CBS ‘This Morning’ Challenges Sochi Climate Change Hysteria

Olympians and warming alarmists cite Sochi's warm weather as evidence, ignore subtropical location.

Climate alarmists really do find the most outlandish evidence possible for global warming. This time, they are pointing to the warm weather in a subtropical region.

Since the Winter Olympics began in Sochi, Russia, broadcast networks have talked extensively about the warm weather in the region, although they have resisted warnings of climate change.

However, climate alarmists, including a group of Olympic athletes, have used the games to claim that global warming is negatively impacting winter sports. To their credit CBS’ “This Morning” actually challenged that argument in a segment discussing Sochi’s typical climate on Feb. 12.

Far from being some departure from the norm, Sochi’s weather tends to be hot and humid. The Games’ organizer compared it to “Miami” in that CBS report.

Since the Winter Olympics began Feb. 7, ABC, CBS, and NBC reported on the warm weather plaguing the games in 10 stories, but only one of them specifically challenged the claims of warming alarmists.

CBS’ Norah O’Donnell joked on Feb. 11’s “This Morning,” that “Hey, it’s warm enough there in Sochi, though. They probably could be dressed like beach volleyball players during some of those moves.”

Apparently capitalizing on the warm weather in Sochi, a group of over 100 Winter Olympians signed a petition urging countries worldwide to take action against climate change. This petition, Olympic Athletes Against Climate Change, was organized by the climate alarmist group Protect Our Winters.

While reporting on this petition, USA Today’s Wendy Koch said “Climate change has made its way to the Olympics.”

But as one CBS report pointed out, Sochi’s weather conditions may have nothing to do with climate change. Sochi is in a very warm part of Russia, alongside the Black Sea. CBS’ Mark Phillips described it as “a subtropical corner of Russia where it never snows down on the coast and where the mountain snow base can vary dramatically from year to year.”

Phillips even interviewed the Games’ chief executive, Dmitry Chernyshenko who said “For Americans probably it will be like Aspen, the Rocky Mountains, and Miami.”

In fact, the warm weather in Sochi was widely reported before the Olympics began. On Dec. 19, 2013, CNBC’s Michael McCarthy wrote about the “massive--and expensive--effort to make sure that Sochi, a subtropical beach resort along the shores of the Black Sea, has enough snow to pull off the games in the first place.” He continued, “Olympic athletes and visitors should expect a wet, winter climate more like Seattle than Squaw Valley.”

In addition, on Feb. 6, the National Journal’s Marina Koren described Sochi as having “a subtropical, humid climate with palm trees lining the streets. Temperature lows rarely dip below freezing for long periods during the winter, averaging out at about 52 degrees in the winter.” Koren also pointed out that “Many Russian leaders, including Putin, have built dachas, or vacation homes in Sochi.”

The facts do not always matter to climate alarmists. Just last November, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, claimed that outdoor hockey and skiing would soon become impossible in the Northeast United States because of climate change.

— Sean Long is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Sean Long on Twitter.