Media Charlatans

Media Charlatans

TV reporters and anchors produce reports and documentaries that are based on their personal ignorance, where their ignorance is then transferred to the public at large.

It’s a case of ignorance begetting ignorance.

Will Rogers and others have defined ignorance this way:

“Ignorance lies not in the things you don’t know, but in the things you know that ain’t so.”

People should be forgiven for not having accumulated knowledge, especially in scientific matters where the education system doesn’t expose them to the laws of physics, etc.

The travesty that’s being perpetrated on the American public is when ignorant reporters communicate their ignorance to others.

A recent documentary produced by a North Carolina TV station is an excellent example of ignorance begetting ignorance.The so-called documentary claimed that sea level rise, caused by global warming, was inundating the outer banks and the adjacent lands along Albemarle Sound.

The documentary completely ignored other factors and used extreme sea level rise forecasts in an attempt to scare people into believing that sea level rise would destroy communities along the outer banks and the adjacent low lying land.

This is not an isolated example of how sea level rise is being used to scare people into believing that CO2 is the cause of global warming.

The National Geographic magazine used the same scare tactics and misinformation to convince people that sea level rise would inundate New York City.

But what are the facts?

There are several factors affecting apparent sea level rise … Not just one. Here’s a list of a few of those factors.

  • Return of water to the oceans by melting glaciers at the end of the last ice age
  • Thermal expansion
  • Subsidence from isostatic rebound
  • Subsidence caused by water withdrawal from aquifers
  • Subsidence from landfill and other causes

Subsidence was not mentioned in the documentary referred to above.

Isostatic rebound is an important factor affecting sea level rise, or what appears to be sea level rise, in those areas where there were glaciers during the last ice age that ended around 12,000 years ago.

Reddish areas at edges of glaciers show approximate locations of rebound

Glaciers during the last ice age were so thick and heavy that their weight caused the land immediately beneath them to sink, while the land at the edges of the glaciers rose.

Now that the glaciers have melted, the land beneath where they were located is now rising, while the land at where the edges of the glaciers were located is sinking, i.e., subsiding.

Tide gages in cities located at the edges of where glaciers were located would appear to show that sea levels were rising, while other cities located where the glaciers were centered show that sea levels are falling.

The land around New York City is subsiding, so it appears as though sea levels are rising. The land around Stockholm, Sweden is rising which makes it appear as though sea levels are falling.

This is a major problem with the National Geographic magazine’s article on New York City being flooded by rising sea levels caused by global warming. The article didn’t mention that the land around New York City is sinking, by 1 to 2 mm per year, or roughly 4 inches per century.

Sea levels over the past few hundred years have been rising by around 8 inches per century, so the Sea level around New York City will rise by about a foot over the next hundred years, and this has nothing to do with global warming.

The documentary produced by the TV station in North Carolin relied heavily on erosion to supposedly demonstrate sea level rise. Erosion is caused by the movement of water, which can be caused by wind or the rise and fall of tides. Erosion will happen without any rise in sea levels.

The accompanying graph shows sea level rise from the end of the last ice age to the present. This is one of many available on the Internet. Early on, seas rose rapidly as the ice sheets melted. Later, as the ice sheets became smaller and there was less ice to melt, the rate of rise slowed. Since around 4,000 years ago, the rise has been slow, but there have been periods of both slowing and quickening sea level rise extending for a few hundred years.

On average, for the past few hundred years, sea levels have risen around 8 inches per century.

Water withdrawal from Virginia aquifers have resulted in subsidence in Virginia, that could extend into North Carolina, something not mentioned in the documentary produced by the North Carolina TV station.

Subsidence caused by water withdrawal is rather common.

Here is a contour map of the area around southern Texas overlaid on a NOAA map, showing how subsidence has affected Galveston Island.

Quoting from an article on this subject by David Middleton:

“Approximately three quarters (74%) of the sea level rise on Galveston Island is due to subsidence from groundwater withdrawal.”

So-called documentaries produced by TV reporters who lack scientific backgrounds or training, typically perpetuate the reporter’s own lack of knowledge.

This was the case with the documentary on how the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the adjacent land surrounding Abermarle Sound were being destroyed by sea level rise.

It was also true with the National Geographic article on how New York City was being inundated by sea level rise caused by global warming.

It’s true with many other reports on the effects of global warming. Unfortunately, too many of these reports are predicated on ignorance.

Fake News has been popularized by President Trump, but much of Fake News is actually a perpetuation of ignorance.

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4 Replies to “Media Charlatans”

  1. Too many members of the press and their publications no longer see relating the “truth”, or at least the facts, and emphasize instead sensationalism, hoping for more readership.
    To quote Mark Twain:
    “Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.”

    • Thanks. A comment on the Powerforusa web page cited Chief Justice Roberts in his ruling on Massachusetts vs, saying ( and I’m paraphrasing) subsidence doesn’t equal sea level rise.
      As for Mark Twain? I think he was overly generous.

  2. Donn,
    Thanks for a clear and concise article on sea level rise.
    The fact is that the rate of sea level rise (SLR) has been essentially constant with short variations up and down long before global warming became popular with the MSM. Recently there have been claims by politicians that the SLR has been accelerating which are false, obediently carried by the complicit media.

    I think it is more than just ignorance it is also a factor that many in the MSM are happy to be complicit with certain groups or political affiliations. Also they frequently bring people on the air that have absolutely no qualifications to make such claims.

  3. The mainstream media has bought into the false narrative of CO2 induced climate change, so it regurgitates anything that supports that view, whether factually correct or not.
    Thanks for your comment.

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