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Bill Nye vs Oil Industry Hack on Climate Change

CNN fails to disclose the hack’s oil industry ties

In yet more evidence why CNN’s attempt to become a second Fox “News” has landed it third among 24-hour cable news outlets, Piers Morgan hosted a “debate” between Bill Nye The Science Guy and a guy named Marc Morano, a longtime climate change denier…who just happens to be a paid oil industry hack.

The latter, of course, was not disclosed.

*Sigh*

Offering two “viewpoints” about temperature data and suggesting that scientific facts are up for “debate” is misleading in and of itself. During the segment, Morano claimed that we “have gone 16 years without global warming according to UN data.” Nye pushed back, saying “This will be the hottest two decades in history, in recorded history. So when you throw around a statement like the UN says it’s not the hottest 20 years, I got to disagree with you.” But the audience was left unaware that Morano was highlighting a short time period to obscure the overall warming trend, as illustrated by this chart from Skeptical Science:

Image: skeptscience-realistclimate.gif

It’s not surprising that Morano seized the opportunity to spread confusion about climate change. His website is sponsored by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, an organization that has received funding from oil companies. As New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin explained, “industry-funded groups have used the media’s tradition of quoting people with competing views to convey a state of confusion even as consensus on warming has built.” Morano has promoted extreme attacks on climate scientists and those that accept global warming. His website often publishes the email addresses of scientists, leading to a barrage of hate mail, and he defended a billboard campaign comparing those who accept climate science to the Unabomber, saying it was “edgy.”

Money quote from Nye, “We just don’t agree on facts. So we aren’t getting anywhere.”

H/T - Media Matters

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54 comments

1 Eventual Carrion  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:04:47am

We don' need no steenkin' facts! WE KNOW in our gut.

2 Lidane  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:05:35am
3 HappyWarrior  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:11:52am

This humanities geek loves Bill Nye. Thanks Bill. Fight the good fight, dude.

4 Kragar  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:12:47am
Marc Morano, a longtime climate change denier…who just happens to be a paid oil industry hack.

What a shocking and unexpected development.
/

5 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:13:17am

Video won't start on both pages.

6 Charles Johnson  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:13:54am

Marc Morano is a truly disgusting individual, who smears and libels climate scientists at the bidding of the energy lobby. He has also appeared several times on the radio show of conspiracy loon Alex Jones.

7 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:14:54am

re: #5 Gus

Video won't start on both pages.

OK, finally started.

8 Charles Johnson  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:15:25am

re: #5 Gus

Video won't start on both pages.

Hmm, works OK here. Try restarting your browser, could be a Flash problem.

9 Kragar  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:15:42am

re: #6 Charles Johnson

Marc Morano is a truly disgusting individual, who smears and libels climate scientists at the bidding of the energy lobby. He has also appeared several times on the radio show of conspiracy loon Alex Jones.

I only trust climate scientists who hold degrees in Scottish history.
/

10 thecommodore  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:16:57am

re: #6 Charles Johnson

Marc Morano is a truly disgusting individual, who smears and libels climate scientists at the bidding of the energy lobby. He has also appeared several times on the radio show of conspiracy loon Alex Jones.

The fact that CNN even had this clown on, let alone without revealing his oil industry ties, is equally disgusting. I wish Nye had mentioned that.

11 HappyWarrior  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:17:19am

re: #9 Kragar

I only trust climate scientists who hold degrees in Scottish history.
/

You see the Battle of Bannockburn explains why climate change is a myth. Also, I don't like Al Gore.

12 wrenchwench  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:19:17am
13 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:19:19am

Marc Morano

Tony Soprano Marc Morano is a wingnut propagandist and global warming denier. He kicked off his career by learning the tricks of the trade as a producer on Rush Limbaugh's show in the early '90s. He then went on to work for L. Brent Bozell's Media Research Center. In 2004, he was one of the first "reporters" to hype the John Kerry swiftboating story. In 2006, preeminent denier and wingnut Jim Inhofe hired Morano to be his Bullshitter-in-Chief "Director of Communications." Morano's position got him into a number of climate conferences and policy hearings. He also put out a bogus report about 700+ number of scientists who "disagreed" with the consensus. Some scientists called for his resignation due to the number of distortions and lies about their work he promulgated. In 2009, Morano left Inhofe and became the proprietor of the website Denial Depot Climate Depot. Climate Depot is sponsored by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, an Exxon funded think tank.[1] Supposedly, he exposes the "lies" of the "warmists" and "scientific McCarthy-ites" who do research in that inconvenient thing called science. The site is really more of a denialist-style Drudge Report that links to whatever nonsense it can find.

In 2010, Morano was given the "Petr Beckmann award" by Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Apparently, he thinks this is something to be proud of.

14 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:22:18am

Gish Gallop

15 Ghost of Tom Joad  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:22:24am

re: #3 HappyWarrior

This humanities geek loves Bill Nye. Thanks Bill. Fight the good fight, dude.

I watched his show diligently when I was younger. Really is a great communicator.

16 Ghost of Tom Joad  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:24:18am

re: #13 Gus

Marc Morano

Sounds like a swell amoeba.

17 HappyWarrior  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:25:40am

re: #15 Ghost of Tom Joad

I watched his show diligently when I was younger. Really is a great communicator.

Made a lot of stuff that would have otherwise been dry for me much entertaining. I can tell you that it made science class better for me. I'm a very visual learner. Was real pleased to hear that they still show his videos in the schools here.

18 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:28:06am

OK, just finished watching. Bill Nye hardly said a word that seemed to get through here. It wasn't a debate at all. Marc Morano used the Gish Gallop technique and just rattled off a never end collection of words and misinformation. Sort of reminded me of the first presidential "debate."

19 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:28:52am

Gish Gallop

The Gish Gallop, named after creationist Duane Gish, is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time. The term was coined by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education. Sam Harris describes the technique as "starting 10 fires in 10 minutes."

20 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:29:38am
21 Ming  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:30:10am

Next time CNN has a debate about climate change, they might want to invite people from the American, Russian, and Chinese militaries, as well as some oil company execs. These organizations are scrambling to position themselves in the widely-anticipated "Arctic Rim," which will feature a warmer (and more liquid) Arctic Region.

22 Tigger2  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:31:40am

re: #12 wrenchwench

[Embedded content]

They always are Bill, about everything. lol

23 BongCrodny  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:34:05am

Morano.

Morans.

Just sayin'.

24 Ghost of Tom Joad  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:35:00am

re: #23 BongCrodny

Morano.

Get a brain, Morans.

Just sayin'.

ftfy

25 Kragar  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:37:45am

New House Energy Committee Members Ignore Climate While Taking $1.7 Million From Fossil Fuels

On November 29th, Upton announced five new Republican representatives that will join the Energy Committee. He said that these members – Gus Bilirakis (FL), Renee Ellmers (NC), Ralph Hall (TX), Bill Johnson (OH), and Billy Long (MO) – have “diverse backgrounds.” However, their records indicate that they all have unwavering support for fossil fuel interests and hostility toward carbon pollution reductions.

Over the course of their congressional careers, these five members received a combined $1.7 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, electric utilities, and coal mining companies. Four of the new members – Bilirakis, Hall, Johnson, and Long – signed onto an anti-climate protection pledge from the Koch Brothers’ outside-spending group Americans for Prosperity. The pledge “opposes any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.”

Interestingly, these new members come from states that have experienced many climate change related extreme weather events that have severely harmed their residents and communities. These record-breaking droughts, severe floods, and heavy storms, have disproportionately affected counties with middle-and lower-income households in each of their states.

26 RadicalModerate  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:38:05am

Replacing Larry King with Piers Morgan was one of the worst decisions ever made by CNN. Morgan is a close friend of birther and conspiracy nut Donald Trump, and was a rather vocal supporter of Mitt Romney this last Presidential campaign.
It should also be mentioned that before Morgan came to CNN, he was rather famously fired as editor of one of Rupert Murdoch's tabloid newspapers in the United Kingdom for faked photographs, and is now essentially persona non grata within the journalism community in the UK.

27 drool  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:39:14am

The ridiculous thing here is having a 1 on 1 debate leaves the impression that the scientific community is more or less divided equally on the subject which couldn't be farther from the truth.

28 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:41:49am

Here you can see Morano's compensation of $150,004.

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow Form 990 for 2011 page 7

29 Jolo5309  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:44:35am

re: #26 RadicalModerate

Replacing Larry King with Piers Morgan was one of the worst decisions ever made by CNN. Morgan is a close friend of birther and conspiracy nut Donalt Trump, and was a rather vocal supporter of Mitt Romney this last Presidential campaign.
It should also be mentioned that before Morgan came to CNN, he was rather famously fired as editor of one of Rupert Murdoch's tabloid newspapers in the United Kingdom for faked photographs, and is now essentially persona non grata within the journalism community in the UK.

Have you ever listened to Sunday Supplements, a British podcast? You are endorsing him compared to them.

30 wrenchwench  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:46:43am

re: #28 Gus

Here you can see Morano's compensation of $150,004.

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow Form 990 for 2011 page 7

What an Orwellian name.

31 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:49:14am

re: #30 wrenchwench

What an Orwellian name.

Statement of Purpose

Prospering Lives. Promoting Progress. Protecting the Earth.

In 1985, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) was founded to promote a positive voice on environment and development issues. Its co-founders, David Rothbard and Craig Rucker, believed very strongly that the power of the market combined with the applications of safe technologies could offer humanity practical solutions to many of the world’s pressing concerns. A number of leading scientists, academics, and policy leaders would also agree with them and soon joined their effort, along with thousands of citizens from around the country.

Today, this Washington DC-based group is a highly respected organization and its voice can be heard relentlessly infusing the environmental debate with a balanced perspective on environmental stewardship. With an influential and impressive scientific advisory board, aggressive collegiate program, CFACT Europe, United Nations representation, Adopt-A-Village project, Global Social Responsibility program, and “Just the Facts” national radio commentary, CFACT has and continues to offer genuine positive solutions to today’s global challenges.

The organization has been termed “invaluable” by the Arizona Republic, it has been lauded for its “effort to bring sound science to the environmental debate” by a former president of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been praised by a respected Boston Globe columnist for “a record of supplying absolutely solid information.”

CFACT is recognized as an exempt 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Service Act of 1954.

32 Kragar  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:52:51am
33 Lidane  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:53:30am

re: #32 Kragar

*sigh*

34 Targetpractice  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:54:04am

re: #32 Kragar

[Embedded content]

THEOCRACY NOW!

35 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:54:49am

Feck it. Bill Nye did a bad job here. He was right but he just froze up.

36 Lidane  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:55:58am
37 BongCrodny  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:56:41am

re: #31 Gus

Statement of Purpose

In 1985, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) was founded to promote a positive voice on environment and development issues. Its co-founders, David Rothbard and Craig Rucker, believed very strongly that the power of the market combined with the applications of safe technologies could offer humanity practical solutions to many of the world’s pressing concerns.

In other words, the "market" has had 27 years to deliver.

Y'know, if you try something for 27 years and it doesn't work, it's probably time to try something else.

38 Kragar  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:56:44am
39 erik_t  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:57:21am

How was Michelle Bachmann convinced to be a passionate spokeswoman for federal spending on an infrastructure project? Surprise! Dirty heavy industry.

Post election, if you want something new to question Rep. Michele Bachmann about, question her involvement in Minnesota’s St. Croix River bridge project. Until Bachmann stepped in, the various stakeholder groups were working on completing an appropriate compromise. When the new mega-bridge was suddenly pushed through it made no sense – on the surface. After all, there is a comparable bridge just a few miles away in Hudson. Bridge traffic in Stillwater didn't warrant a new bridge of such massive proportions. And Minnesota has bridge projects it can't even fund for repairs.

...

What was on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River, across from Stillwater, that was driving the so-called need for a mega-bridge? Frac sand. Frac-sand mining operations are "exploding" in St. Croix, Barron, Rusk, Dunn, and Chippewa Counties. The industry’s projected hundreds to thousands of trips per day by trucks carrying heavy frac-sand loads needed such a massive bridge.

40 TDG2112  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:58:50am

Here is an interview with Neal deGrasse Tyson explaining scientific illiteracy as directly related to Global Warming:

This is from a much longer interview:
[Link: harlotssauce.com...]


Again, we need to get people excited about science. The average person needs to be excited if we are ever to overcome this.

Fund NASA and this will happen. Take Action:
[Link: www.penny4nasa.org...]

41 researchok  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:59:00am

re: #28 Gus

I wonder if the 4 extra bucks put him into higher tax bracket.

Cosmic justice, i'd say.
//

42 wrenchwench  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:59:27am

re: #31 Gus

Statement of Purpose

Money sources:

CFACT received $710, 000 between 1991 and 2002 from Richard Mellon Scaife controlled foundations, the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. ([Link: www.mediatransparency.org...]

43 Gus  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:01:44pm

re: #42 wrenchwench

Money sources:

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow - Funding

CFACT is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit group under the of code of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.[8] On its website, CFACT does not disclose its corporate or foundation funders.[9]

Media Transparency calculates that between 1991 and 2006 CFACT gained $1,280,000 from 18 grants from only two foundations -- the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.[10] The Carthage Foundation granted $1,105,000 to CFACT between 1991 - 2006, while the Sarah Scaife Foundation sent $175,000 to the group between 1996 - 2001.

On its website tracking grants to groups, the conservative Capital Research Center listed CFACT as having received grants of $60,500 from Chevron between 1994 and 1998. (The CRC lists the grants comprising $16,000 in each of 1994, 1995 and 1996 and $12,500 in 1998). The CRC also listed CFACT from having received $25,000 from DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund $25,000 and a token $500 from the Ford Motor Company Fund.[11]

ExxonMobil contributed $5,000 in each of 1997 and 1998.[11] Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets website adds that Exxon has contributed a further $577,000 between 2000 and 2007.[12]

44 HappyWarrior  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:01:49pm

re: #36 Lidane

[Embedded content]

Fucking sick.

45 TDG2112  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:03:20pm

re: #35 Gus

Bill is a great guy. But he's getting old. And he also isn't an actual scientist. Much of what he's done that I love so much was all scripted. And he only has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. (granted, that makes him more scientifically literate than myself, but still not at the same level as an actual scientist with a PhD in a Scientific field of study). They really need to bring out someone like Neal deGrasse Tyson. He can make a point in any situation on any topic.

This last will happen a lot more after the Cosmos reboot I think.

46 researchok  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:03:29pm

Because there just isn't enough weird out there:

Your home in a snow globe.

Seriously.

47 dragonfire1981  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:04:06pm

Yikes! I just went to Morano's Climate depot site and I'm hoping my eyes will forgive me someday. Don't right wingers know any decent web design folks?

Also, there's a Marc Morano who writes at Christianity.com. I did some digging and haven't been able to verify if it's the same guy but the Christianity.com writer seems to posit viewpoints that are very much in line with the climate denier so I suspect it's the same guy.

48 danarchy  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:09:36pm

re: #44 HappyWarrior

Fucking sick.

I don't know, I think the 48 hour rule applies here. The manager says he has video and audio of the entire confrontation and religion was never mentioned. I'd love to see the video so we don't have to take anyone's word for it.

49 wrenchwench  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:09:40pm

re: #45 TDG2112

Bill is a great guy. But he's getting old. And he also isn't an actual scientist. Much of what he's done that I love so much was all scripted. And he only has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. (granted, that makes him more scientifically literate than myself, but still not at the same level as an actual scientist with a PhD in a Scientific field of study). They really need to bring out someone like Neal deGrasse Tyson. He can make a point in any situation on any topic.

This last will happen a lot more after the Cosmos reboot I think.

57 is not old! But, yeah, he's not really a public speaker with the kind of skills that Tyson has. And that matters on TV.

50 TDG2112  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:16:21pm

re: #49 wrenchwench

I guess I should have looked up how old he is. He just looks so old and bewildered whenever I see him on these shows...

51 Mattand  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:21:12pm

re: #50 TDG2112

I guess I should have looked up how old he is. He just looks so old and bewildered whenever I see him on these shows...

If you were dealing with this lunatics, you'd look bewildered, too! I honestly think Nye has a hard time believing people are as anti-science as they are.

52 TedStriker  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:22:06pm

re: #6 Charles Johnson

Marc Morano is a truly disgusting individual, who smears and libels climate scientists at the bidding of the energy lobby. He has also appeared several times on the radio show of conspiracy loon Alex Jones.

Shocka!

53 Eventual Carrion  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 12:53:54pm

re: #39 erik_t

How was Michelle Bachmann convinced to be a passionate spokeswoman for federal spending on an infrastructure project? Surprise! Dirty heavy industry.

But those industries BUILT IT THEMSELVES.

//

54 alinuxguru  Wed, Dec 5, 2012 1:24:50pm

I wonder if Morano is aware the the Mighty Mississipi is drying up to the point where it is going to have trouble getting barges through


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