little green footballs

Bill Nye vs Oil Industry Hack on Climate Change

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 11:08:16 am

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."

Video

Money quote from Nye, "We just don't agree on facts. So we aren't getting anywhere."

H/T - Media Matters