CBC Ombudsman: Climate change and hurricanes
The complainant, Domenico Celli, thought CBC was deliberately lying when meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe pointed out some possible influence of climate change on hurricane Harvey. She was giving documented scientific information. She did not overstate the connection.
You objected to a comment made by meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe in a conversation with National guest host Susan Ormiston about Hurricane Harvey on the August 28th, 2017 edition of the programme. Ms. Ormiston had asked Ms. Wagstaffe if climate change could be a factor in the intensity of Harvey:
… the CBC weather lady stated that the intensity of the storm is due to the rise in global temperature when in fact there has been no rise in temperature for 20 years.
In addition to disagreeing with the temperature rise, you noted that you believe there is no consensus or proven data to support climate change, and that there are “opinions, but no scientific facts” about the change to the pattern of the jet stream.
You pointed out there have been other storms with a greater amount of rainfall, and that intense weather and flooding are common in the Houston area.
You characterized this segment as possibly “sloppy research by the National staff, but that it was more likely “willful lying for propaganda purposes.”
Raj Ahluwalia, the acting executive producer of The National, replied to your concerns. He did not agree with the way you characterized what Ms. Wagstaffe said. He pointed out that when asked whether this event could be linked to climate change, she replied “we can’t take this entire event and connect it to climate change.” He also explained that she talked about aspects of the weather pattern that were influenced by climate change. She specifically mentioned that research is showing that the jet stream is stuck in place, holding the storm off the coast so that the system picks up more moisture.
Continue reading this on the CBC website, where it was first published.