CNN Wants You Used to Climate Change Making 'Flying the Friendly Skies' Terrifying

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

Don't think for one flaming second that there isn't any tragedy the Legion of True Believers - yesterday's Singapore Air mishap with over 30 people hurt and one life lost - won't exploit in the name of the climate cult. 


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I don't care how many damn crackers you ate at the gate waiting and that your little jelly belly is uncomfortable - if your butt is in an airline seat and that seat is in the air? Always, ALWAYS have your seatbelt FASTENED COMFORTABLY AROUND YOUR WAIST. Only unbuckle to hit the head, and refasten the second you return to your seat. Otherwise there is always the chance YOUR HEAD might be what hits something.

Just in case, for whatever reason, you missed the awful news yesterday, a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore descended some 6000 terrifying feet in something like a minute.

Reportedly dropped like a stone, besides some shake, rattle and roll.

What that did to unbuckled passengers - and obviously crew members moving around the airliner's cabin - was throw everyone (and everything) who wasn't tied down into the cabin ceiling and overhead luggage bins with tremendous force. At least thirty people suffered significant injuries, with one poor man experiencing a fatal heart attack.

Absolutely ghastly.

The airframe itself performed magnificently throughout the entire punishing ordeal. It held together as advertised, landing safely at a divert airfield in Bangkok and delivering all 211 passengers and 13 crew members to the safety of emergency care, vice scattering bodies and plane wreckage across the Irrawaddy Basin.


This traumatizing incident has been attributed to severe turbulence, and once the crew is debriefed, flight computers downloaded, and the flight recordings are analyzed, that will be nailed down for certain (I am leaving this as "attributed" because there are conflicting reports coming out about when the descent vs the turbulence occurred, etc - best to let investigators definitively shake-out the timeline).

As a person who grew up on "the big rigs" but, thanks to the government only getting the cheapest contractors to fly our troops in large movements, I have been through some hairy moments myself over large oceans. My heart goes out to these folks...along with my queasy Post-Traumatic-Flight stomach.

But turbulence is a naturally occurring, invisible, and never completely predictable phenomenon when leaving Terra firma. It is a fact of life when clouds, winds - fast, slow, opposing directions, above and below - and layers of wet or dry, icy or warm air mesh in the sky above us.

We can't control it. We can only hope to understand ever more about how it works and avoid the worst of what it produces, surprises and all.

As the CNN article says, it "strikes fast and has no visual clue."

...About 65,000 aircraft suffer moderate turbulence every year in the US, and about 5,500 run into severe turbulence.

Yeah, that's a lot of bumping around. But when you consider the many millions of flights and air miles traveled every year, it puts things into perspective much better. 


There are 45,000 flights and 2.9M passengers A DAY in just the United States alone.

Flying, even with the occasional whompa-whompa ride, is incredibly safe.

If turbulence is confirmed to be the cause of yesterday's horrifying event, there should be a great deal of comfort in the fact that it truly is so rare and that the aircraft took the beating but landed safely. 

Never ones to let an opening for advocacy go to waste, the engines were hardly cool on that airplane when CNN (and the BBC) rolled out their version of "Hold my beer."

"Yup," they said. "Turbulence is rare. The bad stuff is awful and can be deadly. But you know what? IT'S ONLY GONNA GET WORSE."

Because we're killing the climate.

Then they use the Singapore Air tragedy to frighten people even as they admit the Singapore Air incident has nothing to do with what they're trying to scare you about.

...These numbers, however, might be destined to grow. Williams believes that climate change is modifying turbulence, and started studying the subject in 2013. “We ran some computer simulations and found that severe turbulence could double or triple in the coming decades,” he says.

The findings, which were later confirmed by observations, highlight a type of turbulence called “clear air turbulence,” which isn’t connected to any visual clues such as storms or clouds. Unlike regular turbulence, it hits suddenly and is hard to avoid. The Singapore Airlines flight of May 21 was not hit by clear air turbulence, but rapidly developing thunderstorms.


The BBC is even more shameless, making sure their article includes plenty of pictures of bloodied heads and noses for emphasis, although they are effective reminders for their second-to-last paragraph.

...Aviation journalist Sally Gethin said wearing a seatbelt could be the "difference between life and death", explaining that anything not bolted down is at risk during severe turbulence.

The last sentence is where they getcha. It reminds you to buckle up because Death is coming for you...

...Research has shown that climate change will make severe turbulence more likely in the future.

...if you don't build a wind farm, recycle...or something.


Frickin' ghouls.

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