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The Fox News take on the polar vortex is too stupid to be believed

Fox News spent the past two days showcasing its commitment to denying science in the name of profit.

By Caroline Orr - February 01, 2019
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson
Fox News host Tucker Carlson

The recent polar vortex brought record-breaking low temperatures to much of the U.S. this week, sweeping in air so cold that it has caused rare “frost quakes” to shake the earth. In some cases, it has even killed people.

But for Fox News, the deadly blast of cold air is just another opportunity to showcase its commitment to denying science in the name of profit.

On Thursday, Fox host Jesse Waters tried his best to own the libs by suggesting that the Green New Deal offered by Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t account for extremely cold temperatures.

Watters, who clearly doesn’t understand how solar panels work, thought he was being clever when he brought up the polar vortex and challenged the Democrats’ plan to increase reliance on solar panels.

“They have this new green deal or whatever. Ok, where they want to eliminate all oil and gas in 10 years,” Watters said. “If you’re in the polar vortex, how are you going to stay warm with solar panels?”

The answer? Science.

Solar panels don’t depend on heat. They function by absorbing the light, not the heat, from the sun, and turning it into electricity.

Later on Thursday, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson jumped into the fray, calling wind power “a scam” in his own rant about the Green New Deal.

Demonstrating his lack of understanding of basic science, Carlson threw in a zinger, asking, “How is wind power going to heat your house when it’s 30 below?”

The answer is actually pretty simple.

Contrary to what Carlson may believe, wind energy doesn’t stop working when it gets cold. In fact, wind power is putting coal- and gas-fired turbines out of business in Nordic countries, where temperatures are regularly far colder than in the U.S.

While it’s true that extremely cold temperatures pose challenges for wind turbines, recent technological developments are making it easier than ever to produce and use wind energy in some of the coldest regions of the world.

According to one study, these advancements were expected to allow the production of wind energy in extremely cold climates to increase by more than 72 percent from 2013-2017.

But that wasn’t the end of Fox News’ climate change denial marathon.

On Friday, Fox and Friends continued the clown show by mocking the term “extreme weather.” They suggested that liberals had stopped using the term “climate change” and replaced it with the new term in order to “justify them taking more of your money for government control.”

But as Politico reported last week, the American Meteorological Society is now advising its members to avoid the term “climate change” because it has become “so loaded with partisan connotations.”

Despite what Fox and Friends may claim, the change in terminology has nothing to do with Democrats “losing the argument” because the science is wrong.

The reason for the new phrasing is that partisan hacks keep politicizing science — exactly as Fox News did this week.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


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