Who knew the most interesting news story today would be one about maple syrup?
But like most of the important reporting in the Hate Trump Era, the real subject of this story is Fake News. As I asked in my book, “The Media Matrix,” what if everything you know is fake?
Eric Felten, in today’s story at Real Clear Investigations, drills down and taps into “Why This NY Times Maple Syrup Story Tastes Odd,” and provides compelling evidence that the Times is a propaganda operation for the climate fear industry.
The Times story in question appeared last Saturday and was headlined in the print edition “Warming Climate May Slow the Flow of Maple.”
Reporter Kendra Pierre-Louis claims, “A growing body of research suggests that warming temperatures and loss of snowpack linked to climate change may significantly shrink the range where it’s possible to make maple syrup.”
Casual readers would be nodding along with Pierre-Louis as she recounts the “facts” behind her argument, no doubt worrying about what they will smother their pancakes with after the climate monster swallows the last of the syrup.
Fortunately, good reporters are not casual readers; they are critical thinkers, and Felten is as good as anyone at stripping a Fake News story down to its unadorned false premises.
What Felten does to Pierre-Louis isn’t pretty, but it’s much less gruesome than what Pierre-Louis does to the truth.
As Felten demonstrates conclusively, Pierre-Louis went back to 2012 to find statistics that support her argument that a warming climate is hurting the maple industry. Unfortunately for her, Felten looked at the years after 2012 to confirm that the growing season and maple harvest have actually been increasing as (presumably?) the climate has been warming.
Then, in the coup de grace, Felten establishes that the more recent disastrous harvest of 2018 was the result of “unusually late snow and cold,” not warming.
As for the length of the maple syrup harvest window, which Pierre-Louis claims is “narrowing,” Felten just cites the facts:
“The figures for the last four years are readily available. In 2015, the season for the U.S. as a whole was 26 days. In 2016 it was 33 days. In 2017 it was 37 days and in 2018 the window expanded again, this time to 42 days. The figures for Vermont … show the state’s maple syrup season widening: 26 days in 2015; 44 days in 2016; 46 days in 2017; and 52 days in 2018.”
Ouch. You almost have to feel sorry for Pierre-Louis and the Times for getting caught in public without the benefit of any facts to cover their shame.
Even more painful was how she dropped into her story, without attribution or evidence, the bald assertion that “This year they were tapping in late January.”
Here is Felten’s brutal takedown:
“Were they really? In upstate New York, the last week in January this year was marked by brutally cold temperatures. A normal high temperature for late January in Buffalo is 31 degrees. Though there were days in that ballpark during the month — and one mid-month day actually made it to 47 degrees — late January was for the most part frigid. The high temperature in Buffalo Jan. 30 was 11 degrees. On the 31st the thermometer peaked at 7 degrees.
“This last winter’s extreme cold persisted well into February in Canada, where the deep freeze kept the maple sap from flowing. It wasn’t until the middle of March that sap started to trickle from the trees north of the border.”
So much for the NY Times’ credibility as a reporter of weather data.
But maybe the Times doesn’t care about its credibility. If it did, would it allow reporters to become public partisans on the beat which they cover? Obviously not, yet as Felten points out:
“Pierre-Louis is officially a ‘climate reporter’ for the Times; she leads NYT-branded “student journeys” to places such as Iceland (cost: $8,190 per high-schooler for 15 days) to teach the risks of a warming planet. In other words, the Times has a business built in part around Pierre-Louis that depends on her being a warning voice on warming.”
Great reporting by Felten.
One final point. I noticed that Real Clear Investigations labeled Felten’s article as “opinion,” when it is clearly more factual than Pierre-Louis’s original story. That’s the same treatment that “The Hill” has given to John Solomon, who is one of the best investigative reporters in the world. I guess if you uncover foul play by liberals, it is called opinion. But if liberal reporters spend two years promoting the fake news of Russia Collusion, it is not just called reporting; it is called Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting.
My new book is “The Media Matrix: What If Everything You Know Is Fake,” which offers many examples of the press being the enemy of the truth. To support my work, please consider buying “The Media Matrix” or my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy, which documents the downward spiral of the USA before Trump arrived on the scene. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Go here for a free sample: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/sitb/B07PDQBJM4