On Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur touted the “drop in pollution” as a “positive consequence of the pandemic” that has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world and left tens of millions unemployed.
Talking to Penn State University professor and climate activist Michael Mann, she hoped Americans would seize on this “unique” “opportunity” to “change our habits.”
Late in the 2:00 p.m. ET hour, Tur proclaimed:
“An unexpected yet positive consequence of the pandemic has been a drop in pollution, specifically carbon pollution, which fell 17% worldwide at the peak of the global stay-at-home orders.
“That’s mostly the result of fewer vehicles on the road, but also fewer planes in the sky and factories being closed as well.”
SEE ALSO: No, The Coronavirus Lockdown Hasn’t Made The Air Cleaner
However, she then warned: “My next guest argues that that is, though, a drop in the bucket when it comes to what is needed to address climate change.”
After introducing Mann, she marveled: “I’m sure everybody online saw those images of a smog-free Los Angeles almost looking like a painting, it was so clear. And wow, oh, my God, if we all stopped getting on the road, then this is what the air could look like…”
Mann hailed the development: “When you slow the economy, you reduce transportation…you decrease carbon emissions. Because right now we have a global economy that is driven by the burning of fossil fuels. And as long as that’s true when you reduce economic output, you’re going to reduce carbon emissions.”
SEE ALSO: Why The Economic Slowdown Won’t Affect Atmospheric CO2 Levels
NewsBusters has documented the lengthy list of journalists that have similarly cheered the supposed environmental “silver lining” of the devastating global health crisis.
Despite joining Tur in her enthusiasm, Mann cautioned that far more must be done to stop humans from ruining the Earth with economic activity:
Now, here’s the bad news, in the end, that’s only going to give us maybe a 4 to 7% decrease in carbon emissions for the year. And what we actually need is a 10% decrease in carbon emissions every year for the next ten years if we are to avert crossing the threshold of dangerous influence with our climate. So we need to cut carbon emissions far more than that. And we’d like to do that without slowing down the economy. The way to do that is to decarbonize our economy, to remake our economy so that we don’t have to burn fossil fuels to generate economic activity, goods, services, and transport.
Tur lamented: “So what we’re seeing here was even in the months of this lockdown, we’re not getting to the number – the percentage that we need to really cut down on climate change and it’s going to climb right back up once everybody is let out.”
She then implored: “It seems like, Michael, we are in a really unique position right to effect that change, to change our habits since we’re all locked down.”
Mann agreed: “Yeah, and that’s the good news, right? What this shows us is that we can have a positive impact on our environment.”
The climate crusader then repeated his demand that “We need to literally decarbonize our economy.”
After prompting by Tur to explain his declaration, Mann argued: “…it literally means moving away from the burning of fossil fuels for transport and power generation and everything else, to renewable energy.”
He quickly made the transition to the 2020 election: “We need politicians who support those policies, we’ve got an election coming up in a matter of months where we can choose to vote on this issue and make the right decisions.”
Tur wondered: “Michael, just quickly, if there was one single thing that we could change tomorrow, what would it be?”
Mann reiterated: “It would be the leadership that we have in Washington, D.C.” Tur appreciated his “blunt answer.”
Wrapping up the segment, Tur turned to co-anchor Chuck Todd and concluded: “And if we go back to our normal ways, the opportunity that we have in front of us to cut down on carbon, to really make an impact on climate change, will have gone to waste.”
Todd seized on Mann’s recommendation that the government force people and businesses to reduce their carbon emissions: “He’s making the argument that if you’re going to get the innovation that you need, you almost have to force the innovation. That’s why you see some governments raise mileage standards….that you have to make structural change.” […]
Early in the pandemic, on March 31, Tur dreamed of the crisis bringing “permanent change” to American society with “universal health care” and a “greener economy.”
She and many of her liberal media colleagues have been pushing the socialist agenda relentlessly throughout the shutdown.
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