Misinformation about the North Carolina coast

Bad or wrong information can lead to disinformation. While the word misinformation does not necessarily imply intent, the noun disinformation means deliberately misleading. Disinformation usually refers to the process of national government officials misinforming to influence the political policies or actions of other nations.

It’s becoming increasingly clear, however, that the American press moves perilously close to being a propaganda arm of statists outside the U. S. government and subversives of traditional American cultural values and capitalism now deeply entrenched within it—misinformation is leading to disinformation.

One of the most pervasive examples of this comes to us in press stories about the earth’s environment and misinformation about our need to use natural resources. Vast amounts of writing on this subject spread like a cancer from journalist to journalist until much wrong or questionable information has metastasized from localized sites to most locations throughout the press body.

Although not the worst of examples, such is the case in a recent Wilmington StarNews article cited below.

First sentence: “It’s hard to predict what life will be like in 2050, but chances are locals will still enjoy a walk on the beach”—an innocent comment not actually wrong, but subtly misleading.

It’s impossible for anyone to predict what events will influence life 35 years in the future—or even a few days. This is important because we have been led to believe that promoters of manmade climate change can predict catastrophic weather events, such as unusual increase in sea levels, 100 years in the future.

Second paragraph: “As oceans rise globally, local shores will likely be thinner.” There is no evidence that oceans will rise based on anything people do. But we do know that tides and winds can temporarily increase ocean levels. We also know that great sheets of glacial ice covered much of the northern hemisphere land mass 12,000 to 18,000 years ago that lowered some sea levels. When we have another ice-age we may have thicker beaches.

Press environmental stories mostly involve controversy: the theory of man made climate change is, after all, political—driven by Marxists who demand that people change their lifestyles to solidify power over our economy.

Fourth paragraph: “Since a Republican majority arrived at the General Assembly in 2011, legislators have aimed bills at North Carolina’s shoreline.”

The reporter listed some of the “aimed” bills, but she didn’t explain why they were needed, leaving the impression that they were harmful rather than beneficial. Actually, they allowed owners some hope of better protecting their property and rejected a far-fetched, unfounded projection of a several-foot rise of Atlantic Ocean level years hence—a ridiculous assumption.

Fifth paragraph: “Todd Miller, executive director of the N. C. Coastal Federation, said the state is not taking seriously climate change’s threat to coastal communities”—another example of how environmental misinformation becomes disinformation.

Reporters go to radical nonprofit organizations for comment and never question their motives or ask what authorizes them to tell us how we should live. Rational, knowledgeable legislators shouldn’t take seriously theories and propaganda not based on proven facts and experience.

There is no evidence of any serious “threat” to us except from normal hurricanes that coastal people have weathered for hundreds of years.

The biggest threat we face is from groups like the Coastal Federation that stand in the way of all development. They use fear (“catastrophe”) and deception (“progressive actions…have been weakened in recent years”) to increase their funding and power.

And our press people continue to pass on misinformation, not knowing—or caring—that they may be damaging the once revered “freedom…of the press” by using that right to further negative propaganda rather than being skeptical and informed on the subjects about which they write.



About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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