by D. Wojick, Oct 4, 2021 in CFact
I am constantly entertained by the artful ways alarmists bend language to their will. This often happens as science stories percolate through the media. Each step is a bit of a stretch, maybe not an obvious lie. But the sequence of stretches takes us so very far from the truth that we wind up in alarmville.
We just had a beauty kicked off by the great green Washington Post. What makes this especially funny is they are reporting their very own research, so there is no question of misunderstanding it. Just stretching it bit by bit, here and there.
The study itself is simple enough. When really bad, damaging weather hits it is normal to declare a federal disaster. This which allows Federal agencies to take certain actions, including loans and tax relief. This is done at the county scale. So WashPo looked at all of the disaster declarations in the last three months and determined the cumulative fraction of the US population that lived in those counties.
Since some disasters, especially from hurricanes, cover more than one entire state, it is no surprise that this added up to about a third of the national population. So far so good. This is science of a crude sort, basically adding stuff up.
The stretching begins when they report their study. First we get the headline, which is all that most people will read. Here is the main headline:
“Nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer“