Hurricane Katrina was the 7th-most intense
Atlantic hurricane on record, the third-deadliest
in US history, and the most expensive
at roughly $108 billion (including economic impact,). That was more than twice as costly as Tropical Storm Sandy, which hit New York and New Jersey in 2012.
In the weeks and months following the storm and catastrophic flooding, the networks repeatedly exploited the Katrina tragedy to push a radical climate change agenda.
All three broadcast networks claimed multiple times that Hurricane Katrina was not only caused by global warming, but also a sign of bad things to come. CBS made the most predictions including the warning that “since 1990, the number of big hurricanes in the Gulf is up again, and there’s no end in sight.” The networks also worried storms like Katrina could be the “new normal” for the United States.
Now 10 years after Katrina, many of the network predictions have been proven wrong. According to research by the American Geophysical Union, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and other independent meteorologists have thrown cold water on claims that global warming makes hurricanes more intense or more frequent. Major hurricanes impacting the U.S. have also been on the decline since 2005, during a nine-year Atlantic hurricane landfall drought.
Here are 10 of the networks’ worst predictions about hurricanes since Hurricane Katrina:
1. NBC Says To ‘Expect Such Storms More Often’ Thanks To Global Warming
The networks wasted no time in blaming global warming for Hurricane Katrina, and predicting more storms like it. The very day after Katrina made landfall, NBC Nightly News aired an “In Depth” segment on its day-by-day formation.
“Even with it’s slight weakening, Katrina was one of the biggest ever, and many scientists say we can expect such storms more often as global warming increases sea temperatures around the world,” NBC’s chief science correspondent Robert Bazell said.
2. CBS: Frequency of Sandy and Katrina-like Storms Will ‘Double’ By 2030
In the wake of Tropical Storm Sandy, CBS was quick to revive Hurricane Katrina imagery, and again predicted that such storms would increase — even though predictions the network made seven years earlier were wrong.
On Nov. 3, 2012, This Morning co-host Rebecca Jarvis said, “As superstorms like Hurricane Sandy and Katrina in 2005, is this the new normal for our weather? They’ve long been considered once-in-a-century events, but researchers now say the frequency of such storms will at least double by the year 2030.”
“Sandy was off the charts,” he said, exaggerating the strength of the storm. “Our climate change made it worse. But Sandy was off the charts. However, it is very much the new normal that we’re seeing more extreme weather, bigger storms more often, heat waves, drought like we saw this summer, fires.”
Sandy, however, was not actually “off the charts” at all. According to NOAA
, when it made landfall in New Jersey, it had already been downgraded to a “post-tropical cyclone.” Sandy caused nearly $50 billion in damage, not because of its intensity, but because it struck the densely-populated and unprepared New Jersey and New York coastlines.
CBS turned to Strauss again that month for alarmist predictions
about how climate change would impact the US.
3. ABC Claims Scientists Might Need to Invent Category 6 for Hurricane Scale
On May 22, 2006, ABC News anchors Diane Sawyer and Bill Blakemore made dire predictions about future hurricane activity in the US.
“We’ve all heard of the category five storm, the worst.” Sawyer teased, “But could there soon be something even beyond that?”
Blakemore ran with that saying that National Hurricane Center scientists were “grappling with a lot of new evidence that shows manmade global warming has been making hurricanes worse around the world.” He also claimed “scientists are even considering adding a new hurricane category, 6.”
Looking back, it’s easy to see how wrong the networks were.
In 2008, The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) responded to climate change assumptions
about hurricanes saying, “There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.”
As the years passed, the more obvious it was that fewer major hurricanes were hitting land. In April 2015, the American Geophysical Union
reported that the United States has been in a nine year Atlantic hurricane landfall drought. A record low.
AGU said, “Such a remarkable ‘hurricane drought’ has never been seen before – since records began in 1851 … the last major hurricane – of Category 3 or higher – to make landfall in the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma in 2005.”
Research by meteorologists Anthony Watts and Ryan Maue, and environmental studies professor Roger Pielke, Jr. showed the same hurricane drought
and an overall slump in tropical cyclone activity throughout the world.