During coverage of Hurricane Dorian, Fox “hard news” anchor Martha MacCallum hosted climate denier Roy Spencer who denied the proven link between hurricanes and climate change. Spencer also laughably asserted that climate change was occurring slowly; MacCallum did not provide any substantive pushback to his statements.
Contrary to Spencer’s assertions, the link between hurricanes and climate change is a well-known fact. The Union of Concerned Scientists broke the science down into three parts: Warmer water gives more fuel to hurricanes; rising seas worsen storm surges; and warmer air holds more water for rainfall.
Inside Climate News also points to a study linking slow-moving hurricanes like Dorian and Harvey to climate change.
Beyond that, Spencer’s assertion that climate change-driven “warming is very slow” is preposterous. Scientists are warning that the planet is reaching a tipping point beyond which the Earth could be pushed into “into a spiral of runaway climate change.”
Lastly, it’s ridiculous for Fox News to book Spencer at all. Spencer is a longtime climate-denying gadfly who is the “official climatologist” of Rush Limbaugh, someone else who frequently lies about climate change. Spencer has previously argued that climate activists “are supporting policies that will kill far more people than the Nazis ever did.”
In 2011, an editor of the journal Remote Sensing resigned after concluding that it should never have published a study by Spencer denying climate change due to “fundamental methodological errors or false claims.” The editor also harshly criticized Fox News for running with and exaggerating the study. Spencer had also released a study in 2003 that used faulty calculations to purportedly show that temperatures in the troposphere had remained constant over the previous two decades.
Fox News anchor Shep Smith has acknowledged that climate change is real. MacCallum’s decision to host Spencer on her “news”-side program goes to show how little the facts actually matter at Fox.