Fox anchor Martha MacCallum and anti-renewable energy activist Michael Shellenberger defended widely debunked statements former President Donald Trump made about whales and offshore wind farms at a recent campaign rally, instead crediting him for “shining a light” on the issue.
Trump’s comments were followed by numerous articles and videos pointing out the lack of evidence backing this claim. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other experts have said there is no known connection between offshore wind and increased whale deaths and strandings on the East Coast. Even the Washington Examiner, a right-wing outlet that has featured misleading op-eds from climate change deniers, wrote that “it’s unclear where Trump got his facts on the boat deaths or the deaths tied to offshore wind activity.”
Yet in a September 29 segment of The Story with Martha MacCallum, Shellenberger said he “was very happy to see former President Trump shining a light on this” and touted a recent documentary he produced to misleadingly claim that activities related to offshore wind development such as “the loud sonar mapping [of] the ocean floor” and “additional boat traffic from the wind industry” are “driving whales to death on the East Coast right now.”
MacCallum concurred that “this is an issue about green energy, whether or not it’s cost effective, whether or not some aspects of it actually harm the environment.”
MacCallum later said that the network has been “digging into it,” adding that “Greenpeace and, you know, a lot of these organizations that claim to care about the ocean” have been “absent” on the issue.
Trump and Fox News have both spread misinformation about wind energy. The former president has long been a critic of wind energy, in the past falsely claiming that it causes cancer and “kills all the birds.” Most recently, Fox has repeatedly amplified “conservationists” with ties to right-wing think tanks backed by fossil fuel money and opposed to renewable energy as supposed experts to attack offshore wind projects.