WW0 Investigates: Dinesh D'Souza

WW0 Investigates: Dinesh D'Souza

Dinesh D’Souza is a sad specimen, generally speaking. In the 1990s, he was seen as a serious conservative thought leader before he spent the Obama years plunging into birtherism and even illegal activities, the latter of which landed him in prison. Now he promotes his own grift and traffics in wild conspiracy theories.

One of his favorite hobbyhorses on Twitter is climate denial.

So Front Lines investigated and saw, with little surprise, this Tweet:

In response, we thought to ourselves: “Selves, that’s pretty compelling! After all, if sea level is supposedly rising but these landmarks aren’t underwater yet -- is climate change a bunch of hooey?”

So, we decided to dive right into D’Souza’s claims and, well, investigate.

Here’s what we found:

Let’s start at Plymouth Rock, known by East Coasters as one of the most boring school field trips ever endured. All that way to see -- a rock.

Well, it turns out that the claims by D’Souza and his ilk concerning Plymouth Rock are often repeated and just as often debunked.

Feast your eyes on the below facts quoted from USA Today and Reuters:

  • The rock cannot be used as a gauge of sea level rise since 1620 because it has been moved, broken, and altered, only arriving at its current location in 1920.
  • Radiocarbon dating and tide gauges suggest the area sea level has risen around 1.5 feet since 1620, according to an agency official. The rock also does get completely covered with seawater during very high tides.
  • The tide gauge at Boston has recorded an average rise of 2.89 mm/year since 1921 (28.9cm or 0.95 feet over that time), while to the south at Woods Hole, MA, a tide gauge records a rise of 2.98 mm/year on average since 1932 (26.5cm or 0.87 feet) (here).

How about Sydney Harbor? This argument has also long been debunked.

The Big Picture

We should take the actions of people like D’Souza seriously when they peddle disinformation and misinformation in pretty packages that look accurate to the naked eye. Then, we need to counter them quickly. As the famous saying goes, “A lie Is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” On Twitter, a lie can go from Plymouth Rock to Sydney Harbor just as quickly.

Our advice for D’Souza? Next time, you should at least perform a quick Google search before you spread your lazy lies.

CNN: Trump announces plans to pardon Dinesh D'Souza, May 31, 2018.