Klutz Stumbles into Hornet Nest, Google News Blames Global Warming

Google News today is promoting an article in which a klutz in Washington state stumbled into a hornets’ nest, got stung, and then blamed global warming. In reality, hornets have always existed in Washington state, and a person stumbling into a hornets’ nest and getting stung has absolutely no connection with global warming.

The website Crosscut published an article today titled, “Covering climate change means watching the Washington you love fade away.” Google News is promoting the article at the top of its search results for “climate change.” The article begins with the author recounting how she recently stumbled into a hornets’ nest and got stung. The author claimed she had never been stung by a hornet before in Washington state, and immediately blamed climate change for the hornets existing there and stinging her.

However, as shown in the image below – presented by Wikipedia – bald-faced hornets are quite widespread and are more prolific in cooler areas to the north of Washington. Given this fact, it is quite dubious that global warming made the hornet nest any more likely to exist when the author clumsily stumbled into it.

Taking her global warming speculation and scapegoating still further, the author claimed global warming is making West Nile virus more likely in Washington. However, the Washington State Department of Health reports there has been only one case of West Nile virus in Washington this year. This follows just two cases in 2020 and five cases in 2019. If there is any trend of West Nile virus in Washington state, it is a trend of declining cases.

Nationally, U.S. Centers for Disease Control data show no worsening trend in West Nile virus cases, either. The most annual cases reported nearly 20 years ago, in 2003.

Blaming global warming for all manner of unpleasant things has become a knee-jerk habit among many people. Blaming global warming for a klutz stumbling into a hornets’ nest and getting stung is now one of those examples. In reality, this example illustrates how anti-science such global warming claims are.

James Taylor
James Taylor
James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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  1. The mainstream media are always on the lookout for things that they can (however tenuously) relate to the dreaded “Climate Change”, just as they are always on the lookout for “outrages” to blame on white people or others who are insufficiently woke. Their tactic is to get the latest outrage out there for their base to foam at the mouth about, with no regard to whether it makes and sense or not. When confronted with facts that belie their claims, they claim that the facts don’t matter — it’s their feelings that count. I, for one, am pretty tired of politicians and the press catering to the Church of the Perpetually Outraged.


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