• August 4, 2021

Exclusive: MSNBC’s Hunt Lets Dem Gov Blame Wildfires on Global Warming

 Exclusive: MSNBC’s Hunt Lets Dem Gov Blame Wildfires on Global Warming


On Thursday’s MTP Daily on MSNBC, fill-in host Kasie Hunt gave an unchallenged forum to Oregon’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, to blame global warming for recent weather disasters in her state and to push for a reduction in the burning of fossil fuels to allegedly curtail such events in the future.

Hunt blamed recent extreme weather events in both the U.S. and Europe on global warming as she set up the segment:

Wildfires are raging across California and the Pacific Northwest right now. These intense fires are starting earlier and growing larger than normal for July. The largest blaze, Oregon’s Bootleg fire, has burned nearly 230,000 acres and threatens nearly 2,000 buildings. The fire is also wreaking havoc on interstate infrastructure interrupting electrical lines that are used to bring power from California to Oregon earlier this week.

Citing only the alarmist “experts,” she added:

Experts say these fires were brought on by extreme weather and by climate change as drought and record-breaking heat waves sweep through the region that created perfect conditions for wildfires. And, of course, the impact of extreme weather is being felt around the world. In Europe, 33 people are dead and dozens are missing after extreme flooding in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Governor Brown blamed “climate change” for the recent extreme weather, calling the West a “canary in the coal mine,” and praised the Joe Biden administration for pushing the same efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions that she had enacted in Oregon:

So clearly climate change is happening, our people are dying, our forests are burning, and our rivers and our lakes are burning up. We must take action, and politics cannot get in the way. I am so pleased to have the Biden/Harris administration that sees the science and data around climate change, and they are willing to take action. In Oregon, we have taken a number of steps to tackle climate change from passing legislation to reduce the intensity of the current emissions to moving to clean energy. Oregon now, once I sign the bill, will have the most aggressive clean energy standard in the entire country.

Hunt followed up by asking if the governor is finding that people in her state are less inclined to dispute whether climate change is to blame than in the past, giving the Democratic governor a forum to repeat some of her points blaming recent events on manmade climate change.

This one-sided segment on MSNBC’s MTP Daily was sponsored in part by Colonial Penn. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

MSNBC

MTP Daily

July 15, 2021

1:50 p.m. Eastern

KASIE HUNT: Wildfires are raging across California and the Pacific Northwest right now. These intense fires are starting earlier and growing larger than normal for July. The largest blaze, Oregon’s Bootleg fire, has burned nearly 230,000 acres and threatens nearly 2,000 buildings. The fire is also wreaking havoc on interstate infrastructure interrupting electrical lines that are used to bring power from California to Oregon earlier this week.

Experts say these fires were brought on by extreme weather and by climate change as drought and record-breaking heat waves sweep through the region that created perfect conditions for wildfires. And, of course, the impact of extreme weather is being felt around the world. In Europe, 33 people are dead and dozens are missing after extreme flooding in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

I am joined now by Oregon Governor Kate Brown. Governor, thank you very much for taking a few minutes to talk with us about what has been a very difficult few weeks for your state. You are battling this enormous wildfire right now. What concerns — I mean, what is there to be done about this at this point? What does your state need in the short term? But also, what are you asking for in the long term?

GOVERNOR KATE BROWN (D-OR): Well, obviously, the West is the canary in the coal mine in terms of climate, and the signals are not subtle ones. In the past, here in Oregon, we have had historic wildfire, unprecedented ice storms, devastating heat storms, drought, and, of course, flooding. So clearly climate change is happening, our people are dying, our forests are burning, and our rivers and our lakes are burning up. We must take action, and politics cannot get in the way. 

I am so pleased to have the Biden/Harris administration that sees the science and data around climate change, and they are willing to take action. In Oregon, we have taken a number of steps to tackle climate change from passing legislation to reduce the intensity of the current emissions to moving to clean energy. Oregon now, once I sign the bill, will have the most aggressive clean energy standard in the entire country.

HUNT: So, Governor, I’m curious if you’ve seen as you’ve experienced this heat wave and as different industries and people are affected in your state, are you seeing a shift in the politics around this? Because, I mean, this has become an issue — for many years, there were people who said it didn’t exist — we were fighting over that. A lot of these arguments are made with data and things that seem far away from people and their daily lives. That has changed — some would say it has taken a long time. Others would say, “Oh, I’m suddenly abruptly feeling this change in my life.” I’m curious if that’s translating into more support for these kinds of clean policies from constituencies or groups who maybe in the past either didn’t bother to care about it or were opposed to making some of these changes to protect the climate?

GOVERNOR BROWN:  Well, what we’re seeing on the ground is obviously that climate change is impacting everybody. Our farmers are hurting, our tribes are unable to access native fish species because of the die-outs, and the fish are incredibly important both spiritually and economically for the tribes. And agriculture is an important sector for Oregon’s economy, and it was devastated by the heat dome that we saw a couple of weeks ago. Obviously, the ice storms were extremely challenging for many communities throughout Oregon. First of all, we are all going to have to be better prepared for these types of climate change events. They are happening too frequently, and too rapidly, and we must be better prepared.

The second piece is that Oregon has been able to take action. As I mentioned, we were the first state in the nation to move our coal to clean, eliminating the reliance on the coal-based energy, and I will be signing soon our legislation to move us to 100 percent clean by 2030, one of the most aggressive standards in the nation. But the reality is quite harsh on the ground. As you mentioned in terms of the wildfires, we have seen twice as many fires and four times as many acreages burned as this time last year.

That’s why it’s so critically important that we are better prepared for wildfire season. I stood up a wildfire council a couple of years ago — the recommendations from the council were codified into senate bill 762. It will provide the tools to make sure that our communities are more resilient in the face of wildfire. It will make sure that we are modernizing our wildfire fighting efforts, and it will ensure that our communities and landscapes are healthier.



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