Matthews Frets Trump 'Idiot Nationalism' Exploiting Global Warming

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Between Tuesday and Thursday of Thanksgiving week, a number of MSNBC hosts seized on the latest United Nations report making questionable predictions about a "dire" future, and pushing for regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions. The hype included Chris Matthews accusing President Donald Trump of exploiting the push for regulations to advocate "idiot nationalism," and Katy Tur fretted that scientists have not been "alarmist" enough to persuade U.S. leaders to react.

Matthews ended his Tuesday show with a commentary in which he recited a quote from the film, The French Connection 2, complaining about the country's nationalism. The MSNBC host then tied in President Trump by adding:

I get it, the street-level nationalism -- that's what Donald Trump has been panhandling since he declared himself a political figure in the runup to 2016. And here he is in 2017 selling the same regular guy against the world number when he first announced the U.S. would leave the Paris climate accord in the Rose Garden of the White House.

After playing a soundbite of the President portraying regulations as a threat to jobs in several prominent U.S. cities, Matthews continued:

What he's selling here is demagoguery: Stick your head in the sand while you vote for him. But, meanwhile on the planet which we all live on, there's the reality that the world has wasted so much time dealing with climate change that, according to a new United Nations report today, "rapid, unprecedented cuts in greenhouse gas emissions offer the only hope of averting an ever-intensifying cascade of consequences."

Matthews then listed a number of extreme weather events, hinting that they were the result of by human-caused global warming, and then concluded by proclaiming that President Trump is worse than the Roman emperor Nero:

What more do we need to see? What more do we have to hear from Donald Trump? We thought Emperor Nero was wrong to fiddle as Rome burned -- this guy is worse. He uses the reality of climate change to posture himself as the little guy taking on the experts, the sophisticates, the foreigners. Donald Trump gets votes by consciously lying about the scourge facing the only planet we have. He's telling us that none of it is true, none of what we see is true, none of what our eyes and minds and instincts are telling us. He's using idiot nationalism to take us down -- not just we Americans, but the world with us.

The next day, hosts Tur and Ali Velshi pushed the global warming issue on multiple shows that they hosted. Velshi talked up the "ominous" report that warned of a "bleak" future as he plugged the segment. At 1:53 p.m., on the Velshi and Ruhle show, he proclaimed:

Multiple climate reports released this month are giving dire warnings about the future of our planet, in case you need convincing. The United Nations said Tuesday in its annual assessment -- this is an important one -- the summary findings are bleak, adding that greenhouse gas emissions are still rising dangerously. The United Nations stressing the world's two biggest polluters are China and the United States. They've increased emission levels, reaching record highs in 2018. Important to remember, increasing. We're not going in the right direction at all.

Tur first brought up the issue shortly before 3:00 p.m., wrapping up her regular show, after she had informed viewers of the koala bears who have been injured in Australian wildfires. She then added:

This is all because of climate change -- much of it is because of climate change. And it's really difficult to see those images and to see koala bears, but we also have to remember that it's not just wildlife. This is effecting people, too -- it's effecting children, it's effecting adults. And it's a problem that we just are not taking seriously enough.

As Velshi appeared again to begin his regular hosting duty for the 3:00 p.m. hour, the two hosts went back and forth:

ALI VELSHI: It's a serious matter, and the question is: Are we equipped to actually deal with it? It's not about whether you think it's true or not.

KATY TUR: Can we deal with it when we have administrations change every four to eight years? I'm not sure we can.

As she was fill-in host for MTP Daily, Tur raised the issue again at 5:49 p.m.:

Tonight a new warning from the United Nations to reduce carbon emissions in the next decade or ensure irreversible environmental damage. ... Even if world leaders follow to Paris climate agreement -- the same one the United States is exiting next year -- temperatures will still rise to a dangerous degree the end of the century.

Beginning an interview with global warming alarmist Dr. Benjamin Strauss, the MSNBC host began by posing: "How dire is this warning?" After he argued that the situation is "quite dire," she followed up:

Why are we not more alarmist about it? Scientists haven't been alarmist about it until relatively recently. The idea, I guess, was from what I've read, that you don't want to freak people out. Is it too late? Should we have been alarmist much sooner?

Steve Kornacki also brought up the report as he was fill-in host on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, and, on Thanksgiving Day, Velshi covered the issue again on Velshi and Ruhle:

Climate scientists are sounding the alarm saying that our planet may be on the verge of crossing several tipping points. In the journal Nature, scientists suggest the environmental effects of global warming are already becoming irreversible in certain places. Some of those tipping points include rapidly melting ice sheets in both the eastern and western portions of Antarctica and the loss of Amazon rain forest because of deforestation fires and drought. The warning comes as a new United Nations report urges countries to take drastic action to cut greenhouse gas emissions to offset what could be dire consequences of global warming.

Below are relevant transcripts of MSNBC shows from Tuesday, November 26, through Thursday, November 28, in chronological order:

Tuesday, November 26, Hardball:

7:55 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: In French Connection 2, police detective Popeye Doyle, played by Gene Hackman, proclaimed, "I'd rather be a lamp post in New York than the president of France." I get it, the street-level nationalism -- that's what Donald Trump has been panhandling since he declared himself a political figure in the runup to 2016. And here he is in 2017 selling the same regular guy against the world number when he first announced the U.S. would leave the Paris climate accord in the Rose Garden of the White House.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; along with many, many other locations within our great country, before Paris, France.

MATTHEWS: What he's selling here is demagoguery: Stick your head in the sand while you vote for him. But, meanwhile on the planet which we all live on, there's the reality that the world has wasted so much time dealing with climate change that, according to a new United Nations report today, "rapid, unprecedented cuts in greenhouse gas emissions offer the only hope of averting an ever-intensifying cascade of consequences."

It doesn't take an expert to see what's happening on this Earth of ours. In Africa, we see the disappearance of trees, the widening of the Sahara, the climate devastation that's setting people's against each other for a limited supply of good land in places like Somalia. In Africa and Latin America, we see the effect the heat has wrought on the population surging North in rafts across the Mediterranean, in families racing across the Rio Grande River. In Europe, we see the historic flooding on Venice. Here in the U.S., the rising sea levels about to swamp Miami, and not far off threaten the foundations of Manhattan.

In both California and Australia, we see the wildfires devastating communities. We see huge chunks of ice falling from the Arctic. What more do we need to see? What more do we have to hear from Donald Trump? We thought Emperor Nero was wrong to fiddle as Rome burned -- this guy is worse. He uses the reality of climate change to posture himself as the little guy taking on the experts, the sophisticates, the foreigners. Donald Trump gets votes by consciously lying about the scourge facing the only planet we have. He's telling us that none of it is true, none of what we see is true, none of what our eyes and minds and instincts are telling us. He's using idiot nationalism to take us down -- not just we Americans, but the world with us..

(…)

Wednesday, November 27, Velshi and Ruhle:

1:40 p.m.

ALI VELSHI: An ominous warning about climate change. Several reports are painting a bleak picture of what happens if the world doesn't act fast.

(…)

1:53 p.m.

VELSHI: Multiple climate reports released this month are giving dire warnings about the future of our planet, in case you need convincing. The United Nations said Tuesday in its annual assessment -- this is an important one -- the summary findings are bleak, adding that greenhouse gas emissions are still rising dangerously. The United Nations stressing the world's two biggest polluters are China and the United States. They've increased emission levels, reaching record highs in 2018. Important to remember, increasing. We're not going in the right direction at all.

(…)

In early November, a team of over 11,000 scientists representing 153 countries reported that the world is going to face "untold suffering due to the climate crisis" unless society makes major environmental adjustments. The report noting that there are certain indicators that society must monitor in order to combat this crisis like population growth, meat consumption, energy consumption, deforestation and burning fossil fuels.

(…)

But the Trump administration, as you know, formally withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement earlier this month, making the United States the only country in the world to not cooperate with the pact. … Gina (McCarthy), we've had this conversation many times -- I bet you're probably tired of it -- but you know this administration is not -- not only not doing enough, but we know this administration is not only not doing enough, but doesn't even really even suggest that it wants to do enough to fight this crisis. We know that we are accelerating our impact of fuels and CO2. Can there be a solution? And is there anybody, you know, on deck to be the President of the United States who can actually say, "This is important -- we've got to do this now"?

(…)

MSNBC Live with Katy Tur:

2:59 p.m. (after reporting on koala bears being injured by Australia wildfires)

KATY TUR: This is all because of climate change -- much of it is because of climate change. And it's really difficult to see those images and to see koala bears, but we also have to remember that it's not just wildlife. This is effecting people, too -- it's effecting children, it's effecting adults. And it's a problem that we just are not taking seriously enough.

ALI VELSHI: It's a serious matter, and the question is: Are we equipped to actually deal with it? It's not about whether you think it's true or not.

TUR: Can we deal with it when we have administrations change every four to eight years? I'm not sure we can.

(…)

MTP Daily:

5:49 p.m.

TUR: Tonight a new warning from the United Nations to reduce carbon emissions in the next decade or ensure irreversible environmental damage.

(…)

TUR: Even if world leaders follow to Paris climate agreement -- the same one the United States is exiting next year -- temperatures will still rise to a dangerous degree the end of the century. … How dire is this warning?

Dr. BENJAMIN STRAUSS, CLIMATE CENTRAL: Oh, I think it's quite dire. It's a very important warning that we all need to take quite seriously.

TUR: Why are we not more alarmist about it? Scientists haven't been alarmist about it until relatively recently. The idea, I guess, was from what I've read, that you don't want to freak people out. Is it too late? Should we have been alarmist much sooner?

Dr. STRAUSS: Well, actually, there's been research on this, and scientists have tended to make mistakes to err on the side of caution and less drama. So, unfortunately, haven't quite gotten the strength of signal that we really needed. And when you understand the consequences, I think our descendants will wonder why we didn't climb to the top of the nearest hill and shout. The good side is, it's never too late to start doing better, but we are in a really bad place...

(…)

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell:

10:55 p.m.

STEVE KORNACKI: A new report from the United Nations warns that countries must drastically reduce their carbon emissions in the next decade or ensure irreversible environmental damage. The climate change emissions gap report shows that global emissions must decline by 7.6 percent a year between 2020 and 2030. Even if every country meets that standard, the report reveals that average temperatures are still on track to raise a dangerous 3.2 degrees Celsius  That would increase the likelihood of worldwide climate catastrophe.

(…)

Thursday, November 28, Velshi and Ruhle:

1:52 p.m.

VELSHI: Climate scientists are sounding the alarm saying that our planet may be on the verge of crossing several tipping points. In the journal Nature, scientists suggest the environmental effects of global warming are already becoming irreversible in certain places. Some of those tipping points include rapidly melting ice sheets in both the eastern and western portions of Antarctica and the loss of Amazon rain forest because of deforestation fires and drought. The warning comes as a new United Nations report urges countries to take drastic action to cut greenhouse gas emissions to offset what could be dire consequences of global warming....

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