One Vid to Rule Them All: National Journal Discovers Climate Crocks

January 30, 2014

This week’s video, “If There’s Global Warming, How Come it’s So Cold”, is making the rounds.

I got a call from National Journal this morning wanting to know more about the vid, how it was made, and what my “position” was at Greenman Studio.

I explained that my current position was standing in the kitchen with a dishrag and a coffee cup.

Reena Flores in the National Journal:

Somewhere in Michigan, a lake is frozen.

And Dr. Jeff Masters, the Weather Underground‘s king of climate nerds, stands atop the ice trying to explain to climate deniers: Yes, it’s cold this winter. No, that doesn’t mean global warming is a liberal conspiracy.

“If There’s Global Warming … Why Is It So Cold?” is a video for the Yale Forum‘s “This Is Not Cool” series, and it does an excellent job breaking down why what may seem like an average cold snap might actually be an alarming symptom of global warming.

In fact, explains Masters to his YouTube audience, there’s a lot more to the freezing temperatures than your phone’s weather app might be able to tell you.

Arctic air doesn’t usually travel in a loop, experts say, but in an unusual phenomenon this year, the freezing jet stream spilled southward in a spiral out of Canada. The result? Pockets of extemely cold air in places like Michigan, and unseasonably warm temperatures in states like Washington.

But the media isn’t always so keen on elaborate scientific explanations or analyses of global air-flow patterns.

According to Peter Sinclair, the independent videographer in charge of producing the monthly Yale video series, news networks are irresponsible in their weather coverage.

“Whenever we have one of these cold snaps, we hear: ‘Oh my god! It’s cold. How can there be climate change?’ Sinclair says.

The video includes a few outrageous clips from broadcast news, including Rush Limbaugh’s accusation that the media created the polar vortex to “attach it to the global-warming agenda.”

It’s a mainstream narrative that disregards the reality faced by several states, including California’s extreme drought this winter.

Says Sinclair: “It’s easy for dis-informers and misinformers to hoodwink the unwary, and this video is supposed to be a remedy for that.”

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15 Responses to “One Vid to Rule Them All: National Journal Discovers Climate Crocks”


  1. It’s not just press, it’s good press! Congrats Peter!

    Brace yourself for the Heartland effect.


  2. Judging from the National Journal reader comments, you’re not “preaching to the choir”.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      I just spent some time scanning all the comments, and I’m wondering if the Kochs have got a specially designated “troll the National Journal” squad. For a publication that supposedly hopes to “influence decision makers”, there is an appalling amount of ignorance and political diatribe in the comments. They CAN’T be for real, ergo they must be a deliberate attempt to discredit the AGW message and sabotage any publication that tries to deal with it openly and honestly.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        kind of looks like some kind of goon squad attack, no?

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Yes, the audience that the NJ purports to reach out to CANNOT be such a bunch of goons. It defies logic that only ONE (“do the right thing”) commenter would speak sanely (with a couple of weak supporters) and literally dozens of others would run their idiot mouths so strongly about Al Gore and all the usual denier horsepucky talking points.

          I think that it’s a deliberate and coordinated attack. They can’t make much progress on sites like Crock, ClimateProgress and SkS with scientifically literate followers, but they certainly can do damage sowing FUD on more general sites, and I think “the evil forces of fossil fuels” are bankrolling them.


        • This seems to happen a lot at the major news outlets. I wonder if it’s the internet version of the robo call?

          In any case, huge congrats. Nat Journal reaches a broad audience that needs to hear what you’re saying.

  3. fortranprog Says:

    That’s an excellent video and glad its getting some air, for the very first time (to my knowledge) here in N.Z we have a honest program that recognises climate change/global warming seriously. It is called keeping it pure on Prime TV Sunday. I hope this is a beginning and the country gets more serious about tackling it, instead of expanding fracking and offshore oil and gas exploration activities

    http://www.greenstonetv.com/programmes/documentaries/society/keeping-it-pure/


  4. Congratulations. Your position at green man studios? Executive detector of kitchen materials? Great elevator speech. It’s hard to be a true believer and an overnight sensation simultaneously, but who knows. Maybe people are fed up and ready for the truth.


  5. […] Yale video series, Peter Sinclair at Climate Denial Crock of the Week, and Jeff […]

  6. climatebob Says:

    I think Jennifer Francis is brilliant but are we looking at global warming? No! How about ‘If it looks like a duck, it swims like a duck and quacks like a duck. Its a bloody duck” Another Kiwi. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I’ve heard discussion as to whether that is optimal communication, but I think the reaction to the video indicates that as a whole, it is communicating, and seemed to work for the National Journal, which would be a good target audience.

      Her statement also has the advantage of being, well, true – we can’t assign a causal relationship for this current weather with warming, although the changed atmosphere is a component of every event from now on.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Climate Outcome looks like a good site. And if we wait for the absolute proof of causal relationship, the “bloody ducks” will have evolved great big teeth and will be biting us on the “bloody arse” (is that proper “Kiwi-ese”?)


  7. […] Re: Climate Change One Vid to Rule Them All: National Journal Discovers Climate Crocks One Vid to Rule Them All: National Journal Discovers Climate Crocks | Climate Denial Crock of the We… […]


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