For almost 20 years, Crooks and Liars has been spotlighting the deficiencies and failures of our corporate media. The biggest failure of them all? The refusal to cover global warming, other than as a punchline during a blizzard. Notice that even in this Morning Joe segment, with half the country under a massive heat wave, wildfires, and extreme drought, climate change is mentioned as a factor -- and not the cause.
That's because the media is still reluctant to address this existential crisis. Some news organizations are trying their best (ABC News is one of the few that brings in climate change to weather coverage), but it's simply not enough. If it were enough, senators and congress members would be too afraid to oppose the climate change infrastructure in Joe Biden's bill. (Have you called your Republican senators?) As long as inaction rules, this is the New Normal.
"The western part of the country is once again facing dangerously high temperatures and the heat is fueling the wildfire risk," Mika Brzezinski said. "NBC News correspondent Erin McLoughlin has the details."
"Extreme temperatures fueling infernos across the west. In California, more than twice as many acres have burned compared to the same time as last year, triggering evacuations in the northern part of the state," McLoughlin said.
"Photographer Craig Fillpont captured the conditions as a small town burned."
"The fire is also deadly. In Arizona, a retired fire chief and a pilot were killed in an air accident. The temperatures threatening nearly 30 million Americans across the West, with thermostats soaring 10 to 20 degrees above average. On Saturday, Utah tied the hottest state record, a sizzling 117 in St. George. The same temperature as Las Vegas, also matching a Sin City record. The extreme heat pushing the extreme drought to historic levels, reducing water deliveries across the West. In Utah, one reservoir has completely run dry," she said.
"Let's bring in meteorologist Bill Karins. Usually covering different weather events, people say it's never been this bad. But this seems extreme, like never seen before," Brzezinski said.
"Yeah, I mean, we're in mega drought category, people are calling this like a decade-long drought, and then it feeds itself, the soil is so dry it heats up more rapidly with climate change on top of it, it's worse than it should be. We have 95% of the West in a drought right now. This time last year, it was 40%. That's a high number. This weekend, Death Valley, it's always hot but this was incredibly hot. Friday, it was 130. So the all-time record is 134 but that was with an old device, an old type of thermometer, the reliable heat records with the standards we have now, 130 is the hottest what we call 'reliable temperature' ever recorded on earth.
"some people don't think that 134 with today's equipment would have been 134. But you see the last three days, 130, 129, 128. Today we're starting to slowly cool off, but we still have 19 million people under heat warnings and advisories in the West. We'll still see record highs today, not all-time record highs, but easily break record highs. Reno, 105. Fresno at 110 degrees.
"And our friends in the Northeast, we had the horrific flash flooding through the end of last week. We'll do it again today and tomorrow. It's a tropical growth air mass, a lot of downpours already this morning, New York City, Hartford, Providence, Cleveland, Erie, all under flash flood watches. It's hit and miss showers and storms. Watch out in New York City or this evening's rush hour, a lot of heavy rain, lightning and thunderstorms in the area and that easily could cause significant travel delays for your forecast."