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Even Meteorologists Are Hiding The Truth


By James Donahue

October 2004


I recently heard Gov. Howard Dean make an interesting observation about the media. He accused corporate-owned newspapers and television stations to be so interested in profit they are willing to slant or even create news to gain public interest.


While I think Dean is correct, he neglected to take the issue a step farther. The media, now owned by corporations with a wide range of other financial interests, also is bending over backward to hide the bleak side of world events for fear of putting the brakes on commerce altogether.


If our weather prognosticators dared to stand before the cameras, their eyes wide in alarm, and say that the rash of hurricanes and typhoons striking the coasts of the United States and Asia are unprecedented in their numbers and strength, they are the result of global warming and there is no let-up in sight, people would be moving away from these popular and pricey neighborhoods in droves.


If the meteorologists were honestly warning Americans that the changing world weather patterns causing the drought across the Western United States are not going away, and there is going to be a return of the dust bowl years that may not end, rangers and farming interests would be heading for greener pastures . . . providing any could be found.


If the experts would clearly spell out the extreme dangers of extreme weather, including ultra high winds, more tornados and floods, insurance companies would buckle, real estate values all across the land would shift and people would be building underground bunkers in high places.


If the television weather personalities would report on the abnormalities of the smog that turns the horizon brown and causes an increase in lung disease, the news might create a movement among the citizens to stop burning fossil fuels and attempt to do something about global warming.


But in the interest of corporate profits, the smiling faces we see on our televisions during the nightly news hour are staying mum. They are not doing their jobs.


Dean says can’t blame the reporters as much as he does the editors and corporate heads who are reaching down to change the information the public receives.


If you think I am exaggerating consider this. General Electric owns NBC and CNBC. CBS is the property of Westinghouse. Disney owns ABC. Viacom is the owner of Paramount Television and Pictures, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Sundance Channel, Flix, MTV and at least 20 major market US stations plus numerous newspapers. Time-Warner controls CNN, HBO, Cinemax, Warner Brothers, E!, Court TV and is the largest owner of US cable television systems. Fox is owned by News Corporation LTD, which also owns Twentieth Century Fox, 132 newspapers and 25 magazines including TV Guide.


This is why weather people are assuring us that the four destructive hurricanes that struck Florida this season are, in a sense, being downplayed as a cyclical natural phenomenon rather than anything abnormal.


In truth, those storms set a record that has stood since four, and less destructive hurricanes, hit Texas in 1886. Also the media is neglecting to tell us that Japan has been struck by nine typhoons this season, which is an all-time record. The last one was the worst ever recorded.


The storms caused extensive damage, left hundreds dead and thousands homeless in their wake. They are generating more heat from the oceans than the past because of rising levels of carbon dioxide and methane. This is making the upper atmosphere colder, thus setting up a formula for extremely dangerous weather.


Shouldn’t somebody be doing something about this? If we bury our heads in the sand much longer, the next storm might have our names on it.

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