Dumbing-Down Energy and Climate at MSNBC 0

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Joe Scarborough By Ava Lowery (Picture 10) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

“Eating granola bars at the base of a windmill.” That is how MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough described the alternative energy component of President Obama’s “all of the above” strategy in an on-air conversation with Fracking King Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania. The comment came during a discussion between the two about the urgency of pulling out all the stops on hydrofracking and the Keystone Pipeline.

Even for Scarborough, whose Morning Joe television show is increasingly difficult to take seriously, the remark came off as bizarre, given the recent findings by the IPCC, and massive investments in alternative energy by mainstream institutions, from the Department of Defense to Fortune 500 corporations.

Later, MSNBC metereologist Bill Karins explained during his weather report that climate change has benefits since it will increase agricultural productivity in the Midwest. A recent Obama administration report said that an anomalous short-term increase could be possible but the long-term consequences for the Midwest would be negative:

Regional Findings of the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment: MIDWEST

• In the next few decades, longer growing seasons and rising carbon dioxide levels will increase yields of some crops, though those benefits will be progressively offset by extreme weather events. Though adaptation options can reduce some of the detrimental effects, in the long term, the combined stresses associated with climate change are expected to decrease agricultural productivity.