SENATOR INHOFE & CNN ANCHOR IN HEATED EXCHANGE OVER GLOBAL WARMING COVERAGE
CNN Anchor Cited Fictional Hollywood Global Warming Movie, The Day After Tomorrow, to Defend His Science Reporting.
October 3, 2006

October 3, 2006

WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR INHOFE ON CNN THIS MORNING

Click Here To Watch ( http://src.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Senators.Television&Senator_id=34&CFId=19018653&CFToken=10675094 )

Update: Click here for International Reaction to Senator's Speech and CNN Appearance:

http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=264408

(FULL TRANSCRIPT INCLUDED BELOW)

Washington DC - On CNN American Morning today, Senator James Inhofe, the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, engaged in a heated exchange with CNN newsman Miles O’Brien over CNN’s biased and erroneous coverage of global warming. Senator Inhofe questioned the journalistic integrity of CNN anchor for, ‘scaring a lot of people’ with hyped climate reporting. Senator Inhofe also questioned O’Brien about his 1992 CNN report regarding fears of a coming ice age. O’Brien responded by citing the 2004 fictional Hollywood global disaster movie, “The Day After Tomorrow” to back up his science reporting. “This is "The Day After Tomorrow" scenario that we're talking about,” O’Brien said after being confronted by Senator Inhofe on his climate reporting.

Senator Inhofe demanded equal time following a CNN segment by O’Brien last week that attempted to discredit the Senator 12 times in a several minute long report. Senator Inhofe debunked global warming alarmism and harshly criticized the media’s unfounded climate hype last week in two separate Senate floor speeches which can be found here ( ttp://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=263759 )and here (http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264027 ).

The Senator accused the media in his speech last week of dismissing “any pretense of balance and objectivity on climate change coverage and instead crossed squarely into global warming advocacy.” This despite the fact that there is no scientific “consensus” that humans are causing a climate catastrophe, as a letter sent to the Canadian Prime Minister on April 6 of this year by 60 prominent scientists who question the basis for climate alarmism clearly explained: The 60 scientists wrote:

(http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=3711460e-bd5a-475d-a6be-4db87559d605 ):

“‘Climate change is real’ is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes occur all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’”

Senator Inhofe criticized CNN for its September 28 segment, (click here to read Senator Inhofe’s speech critiquing the CNN segment: (http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264027 ) noting that O’Brien made multiple erroneous scientific assertions about Antarctica, the state of Arctic polar bears, the ‘Hockey Stick’ temperature graph and attempted to discredit Senator Inhofe because he has accepted money from oil and gas interests.

 

O’Brien also declared on CNN on February 9 of this year, that scientific skeptics of human caused catastrophic global warming “are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, usually.” But when O’Brien interviewed global warming alarmist James Hansen on January 30, 2006, he failed to inform CNN viewers about Hansen’s partisan funding from Teresa Heinz Kerry’s left-wing Heinz Foundation, or Hansen’s subsequent endorsement of Democrat John Kerry for President. O'Brien also failed to inform CNN viewers of Hansen's partisan ties to former Vice President Al Gore and Hansen’s concession that the use of "extreme scenarios" was appropriate to drive the public's attention to global warming.

O’Brien’s 2005 global warming CNN special “Melting Point”, also attempted to smear scientific skeptics of global warming as tools of industry. But O’Brien ignored alarmists like Hansen and his obvious ties to environmental special interests and scientists like Michael Oppenheimer -- a paid partisan of the group Environmental Defense and Michael Mann (the creator of the 'Hockey Stick') who co-publishes a global warming propaganda blog reportedly set up with the help of an environmental group. When he is asked how much oil and gas money he gets, the Senator responds "Not Enough, -- especially when you consider the millions partisan environmental groups spend.” The media never points out that environmental special interests, through their 527s, spent over $19 million compared to the $7 million that Oil and Gas spent through PACs in the 2004 election cycle -- a ratio of 3 to 1.

Excerpt of This Morning’s Exchange between Senator Inhofe and CNN newsman Miles O’Brien:

 

INHOFE: I heard your piece [CNN’s March 2006 Global Warming Special called ‘Melting Point’] on that, and you did a very excellent piece. You scared a lot of people when you did your special.

INHOFE: And I wonder also, Miles, it wasn't long ago -- you've got to keep everyone hysterical all the time. You were the one that said another ice age is coming just 12 years ago.

O'BRIEN: I said that? I didn't say that.

INHOFE: You didn't say that. Let me quote you...

O'BRIEN: No, no, no. I'd be willing to tell you there are stories like that. But there's not...

(CROSSTALK)

INHOFE: ... quote you so I'll be accurate. I don't want to be inaccurate.

O'BRIEN: All right, go ahead.

INHOFE: You said, in talking about a shift that was coming -- you said, "If the Gulf Stream were to shift again, the British Isles could be engulfed in polar ice and Europe's climate could become frigid. [From CNN Transcript titled Scientists Research the Rapidity of the Ice Age dated December 19, 1992.]" That's another scary story.

O'BRIEN: But that also is a potential outgrowth of global warming when you talk about the ocean currents being arrested. This is "The Day After Tomorrow" scenario that we're talking about.

(CROSSTALK)

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What follows is the full transcript of the 8:40 am eastern exchange between Senator Inhofe and Miles O’Brien on CNN this morning:

 

TRANSCRIPT October 03, 2006 U.S. SENATOR JAMES INHOFE (R-OK) IS INTERVIEWED ON CNN'S "AMERICAN MORNING"

SENATOR INHOFE IS INTERVIEWED ON CNN'S "AMERICAN MORNING"

OCTOBER 3, 2006

SPEAKERS: U.S. SENATOR JAMES INHOFE (R-OK)

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR

O'BRIEN: Let's change the political climate a little and talk about the debate over global warming. Did you hear about that speech on the Senate floor last week where one senator said it was all a hoax?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

INHOFE: The American people have been served up an unprecedented parade of environmental alarmism by the media.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Nothing new from Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe, who has long voiced skepticism about global warming. Our piece about his speech, which raised some skepticism about the senator's claims, prompted him to blast us several times this past week. So now it is time to hear from him directly.

Senator Inhofe joins us from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Senator, good to have you with us.

INHOFE: Well, Miles, it's nice to be with you. I know you don’t believe it, but it is nice to be with you.

O'BRIEN: It's a pleasure having you here.

INHOFE: You know why? You always smile. So many of these extremists out there, they are mad all the time. But you're not; you smile. In fact, when you're cutting my guts out for two minutes...

(LAUGHTER)

... last week, you smiled all the way through it. And I appreciate that.

O'BRIEN: Well, yes, we got to keep it all in perspective.

Let's talk about global warming. Is it a hoax?

INHOFE: First of all, things are getting warmer. We understand that. We're going through a warming period. No one's denying that. The question is, is it due to man-made gases? And it's not.

Now, some areas are not going through a warming period. One of the things that you said -- I have science on my side. On the Antarctic, for example, that it's actually gaining ice and it’s getting cooler. That comes from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. I documented all these things. The Arctic was actually warmer in the 1930s than it is today. That comes from the International Arctic Research Center.

And the Harvard Center for Astrophysics agrees with us -- or with me when I say that they've come to the conclusion that in the 15th century the world was warmer -- that was during the medieval warming period -- than it is today.

So those things are true. However, the big question here is, is it man-made gases that have anything to do with global warming or with the climate change? And I say that it's not. And that's the big issue there.

O'BRIEN: All right, lots to go through there. Let's talk about the Antarctic ice sheet for just a moment, if we could.

INHOFE: Yes.

O'BRIEN: There's a study you raise -- I think it goes back to 2002 -- but there's a 2005 study I'd like to cite for you. It comes from the British Antarctic Survey and it contradicts some previous assertions. It says this: "The massive West Antarctic ice sheet, previously assumed to be stable, is starting to collapse. Glaciers on the Antarctic peninsula which protrudes from the continent to the north were already known to be retreating."

What do you say to that?

INHOFE: Well, I say -- I quoted a good scientific source and you have too.

One of the things that is happening is that in some areas -- and I think Greenland's a good example -- it's actually getting thicker in the middle, but it's calving -- the term that they use -- on the outside. So the overall ice cap is getting thicker but it's getting thinner on the outside.

Now, keep in mind, this has been going on now for...

O'BRIEN: The concern, of course, is ice that goes into the water, because ultimately that is what leads to -- from the land to the water -- leads to a rise in sea levels. And that's the big concern. And that's what they're talking about here. You don’t discount that?

INHOFE: Well, yes, I do discount that, because in some areas you might find that the sea level is rising, not in other areas.

But I would like to go back and just look at the science on these things.

When you talk about the polar bears, for example. I heard your piece on that, and you did a very excellent piece. You scared a lot of people when you did your special. But, you know, when you go up there, the biologists in Canada, along with a group that you would support, the World Wildlife Fund ( http://www.wwfgreatermekong.org/news_facts/education/university/species/other_endangered_species/polar_bear/index.cfm?SID=91&LID=1&FH=O&SECTION=3 )or ( http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1146433819696&call_pageid=970599119419 ), they say that the polar bear population is actually increasing. They said there are 13 populations in Canada; 11 are increasing and two are remaining steady.

(CROSSTALK)

INHOFE: So what I try to do is look at the science. Because I’m not a scientist; neither are you.

O'BRIEN: Let's finish this -- make sure we're complete and on record on that.

That comes from a scientist by the name of Mitchell Taylor. And in that same article, he says this...

INHOFE: No, I didn't quote Mitchell Taylor. I quoted the World Wildlife Fund.

O'BRIEN: OK. Well, Dr. Mitchell Taylor did the study which says of the 13 populations, 11 are stable. And he says this: "It is entirely appropriate to be concerned about climate change." So he’s not discounting the concern here.

INHOFE: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Would you disagree with that?

INHOFE: No. I wouldn't disagree with that. I was talking about the polar bear population and responding to something that you had said.

And another thing of interest -- you trotted out this guy Chris Shays. Out of 230 members of the United States Congress, he is ranked as the most liberal member. Sure, he's going to come out and criticize me. Let's look at people on...

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: I tell you what, there are some others, though. Let’s listen to a couple of them. First of all, Senator John McCain.

INHOFE: Well...

O'BRIEN: Let's listen for a second.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

U.S. SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): I believe climate change is real. I believe that we need to act as quickly as possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: And we've got one more, a veteran congressman who's on the Science Committee, Sherwood Boehlert. Let's listen to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE SHERWOOD BOEHLERT (R-NY): I think there's no doubt about it: The broad scientific consensus on global climate change is for real. Moreover, it's acknowledged that man has contributed significantly to the problem. And we've got to do something about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: It's not just Chris Shays we're talking about.

INHOFE: No. Let me respond. Well, you've picked out Sherry. He's number two in the most liberal.

But as far as John McCain's concerned, he's a good friend of mine. I've served with him. However, John McCain is running for president and this is a huge, popular issue. Seventy percent of the people have been duped by the media.

But let's keep in mind, when you say that I've been alone on this issue, the last time...

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: Well, I said "all but alone...

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: ... in saying it's a hoax." That's what I said.

INHOFE: The last time we had a vote on this, it was last year when I led the charge against John McCain on the floor. He had a bill that was called the Kyoto Lite bill. And we won 60 to 38. So I'm not alone; there are 59 other senators that are out there.

And I wonder also, Miles, it wasn't long ago -- you've got to keep everyone hysterical all the time. You were the one that said another ice age is coming just 12 years ago.

O'BRIEN: I said that? I didn't say that.

INHOFE: You didn't say that. Let me quote you...

O'BRIEN: No, no, no. I'd be willing to tell you there are stories like that. But there's not...

(CROSSTALK)

INHOFE ... quote you so I'll be accurate. I don't want to be inaccurate.

O'BRIEN: All right, go ahead.

INHOFE: You said, in talking about a shift that was coming -- you said, "If the Gulf Stream were to shift again, the British Isles could be engulfed in polar ice and Europe's climate could become frigid." That's another scary story.

O'BRIEN: But that also is a potential outgrowth of global warming when you talk about the ocean currents being arrested. This is "The Day After Tomorrow" scenario that we're talking about.

(CROSSTALK)

INHOFE: Hey, by the way...

O'BRIEN: I want to go to one -- let's go to one quick Web site. I want to share this with people. And I want to see what you say to this.

This is from the Environmental Protection Agency, Bush administration’s EPA.

You go to their Web site on global warming, you click on the thing that says "What is the problem?" First two lines there are, “According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Earth's surface temperature has risen by about a degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities."

This is the Environmental Protection Agency from the Bush administration saying that. I mean, there is a lot of consensus here, isn’t there?

INHOFE: No, I don't think so. Speaking of Web sites, my Web site is inhofe.senate.gov.

(LAUGHTER)

And I'd like to -- it wasn't just one speech. I made eight speeches on the Senate floor talking about the real science.

Can I mention one thing I think is very significant, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

INHOFE: A guy named Tom Wiggly (ph) -- you know who he was -- he’s the one that was -- the National Center for Science Research. Now, in the event that you're right and I'm wrong -- let's say that it's due to man-made gases, anthropogenic gases -- CO2 or methane, if that is true, if every developed nation signed up on the Kyoto treaty and complied with it, it would only reduce the Earth's temperature by 6/100 of a degree...

O'BRIEN: Well, we're not talking about Kyoto.

INHOFE: ... in 50 years.

O'BRIEN: We're not talking about Kyoto. We're just talking about whether the global warming is real.

I want to do one thing here quickly. Let's listen to the president for just a moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have said consistently that global warming is a serious problem. There's a debate over whether it's man-made or naturally caused. We ought to get beyond the debate and implementing the technologies to enable us to achieve big objectives.

(END VIDEO CLIP) O'BRIEN: The president seems to be saying we should err on the side of caution given the stakes here. What do you say to that?

INHOFE: Well, the president has said, "I don't know whether it’s manmade or natural. But we need to get beyond that point." That's a good statement, and I agree.

My committee that I chair just two weeks ago had a hearing on the technology that could be used out there in the event that we wanted to do something and found that CO2 had something to do with it. But keep in mind, CO2 -- if everyone complied with the Kyoto treaty, it would only decrease the temperature in 50 years by 6/100 of a degree.

O'BRIEN: Not talking about Kyoto. He's just saying something should be done -- in other words, err on the side of caution.

INHOFE: That's fine. I think we should do that, yes.

O'BRIEN: Senator James Inhofe, it was a pleasure having you with us.

INHOFE: Thank you, Miles. Keep smiling.

O'BRIEN: All right. You too.

END

Oct 03, 2006 10:01 ET

Below is an excerpt from a September 28 Senate Floor speech http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264027 by Senator Inhofe detailing his critique of CNN’s segment on him:

“This morning, CNN ran a segment criticizing my speech on global warming and attempted to refute the scientific evidence I presented to counter climate fears.

First off, CNN reporter Miles O’Brien inaccurately claimed I was “too busy” to appear on his program this week to discuss my 50 minute floor speech on global warming. But they were told I simply was not available on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I did appear on another CNN program today -- Thursday -- which I hope everyone will watch. The segment airs tonight on CNN’s Glenn Beck Show on Headline News at 7pm and repeats at 9pm and midnight Eastern.

Second, CNN’s O’Brien falsely claimed that I was all “alone on Capitol Hill” when it comes to questioning global warming.

Mr. O’Brien is obviously not aware that the U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly rejected Kyoto style carbon caps when it voted down the McCain-Lieberman climate bill 60-28 last year – an even larger margin than its rejection in 2003.

Third, CNN’s O’Brien, claimed that my speech earlier contained errors regarding climate science. O’Brien said my claim that the Antarctic was actually cooling and gaining ice was incorrect. But both the journals Science and Nature have published studies recently finding – on balance – Antarctica is both cooling and gaining ice.

CNN’s O’Brien also criticized me for saying polar bears are thriving in the Arctic. But he ignored that the person I was quoting is intimately familiar with the health of polar bear populations. Let me repeat what biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor from the Arctic government of Nunavut, a territory of Canada, said recently:

“Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.”

CNN’s O’Brien also ignores the fact that in the Arctic, temperatures were warmer in the 1930’s than today.

O’Brien also claimed that the “Hockey Stick” temperature graph was supported by most climate scientists despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences and many independent experts have made it clear that the Hockey Stick’s claim that the 1990’s was the hottest decade of the last 1000 years was unsupportable.

So it seems my speech struck a nerve with the mainstream media. Their only response was to cherry pick the science in a failed attempt to refute me.

It seems that it is business as usual for many of them. Sadly, it looks like my challenge to the media to be objective and balanced has fallen on deaf ears.”

End Speech Excerpt.

 

Below is another excerpt from the Senator’s first speech last week on the media’s lack of objectivity and balance regarding global warming. This is from a 50 minute Senate Floor Speech delivered on September 25, 2006

 

http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=263759

 

Excerpt of Senator Inhofe’s September 25, 2006 speech:

“Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930’s the media peddled a coming ice age.

From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.

During the past year, the American people have been served up an unprecedented parade of environmental alarmism by the media and entertainment industry, which link every possible weather event to global warming. The year 2006 saw many major organs of the media dismiss any pretense of balance and objectivity on climate change coverage and instead crossed squarely into global warming advocacy.”

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On March 19th of this year “60 Minutes” profiled NASA scientist and alarmist James Hansen, who was once again making allegations of being censored by the Bush administration. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/17/60minutes/main1415985.shtml

In this segment, objectivity and balance were again tossed aside in favor of a one-sided glowing profile of Hansen.

The “60 Minutes” segment made no mention of Hansen’s partisan ties to former Democrat Vice President Al Gore or Hansen’s receiving of a grant of a quarter of a million dollars from the left-wing Heinz Foundation run by Teresa Heinz Kerry. There was also no mention of Hansen’s subsequent endorsement of her husband John Kerry for President in 2004. http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/dai_complete.pdf

Many in the media dwell on any industry support given to so-called climate skeptics, but the same media completely fail to note Hansen’s huge grant from the left-wing Heinz Foundation. http://www.heinzawards.net/speechDetail.asp?speechID=6

The foundation’s money originated from the Heinz family ketchup fortune. So it appears that the media makes a distinction between oil money and ketchup money.

“60 Minutes” also did not inform viewers that Hansen appeared to concede in a 2003 issue of Natural Science that the use of “extreme scenarios" to dramatize climate change “may have been appropriate at one time” to drive the public's attention to the issue. http://naturalscience.com/ns/articles/01-16/ns_jeh6.html

Why would “60 Minutes” ignore the basic tenets of journalism, which call for objectivity and balance in sourcing, and do such one-sided segments? The answer was provided by correspondent Scott Pelley. Pelley told the CBS News website that he justified excluding scientists skeptical of global warming alarmism from his segments because he considers skeptics to be the equivalent of “Holocaust deniers.” http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2006/03/22/publiceye/entry1431768.shtml

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In July, the Discovery Channel presented a documentary on global warming narrated by former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. The program presented only those views of scientists promoting the idea that humans are destroying the Earth’s climate. http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=258659

You don’t have to take my word for the program’s overwhelming bias; a Bloomberg News TV review noted “You'll find more dissent at a North Korean political rally than in this program” because of its lack of scientific objectivity.

Brokaw also presented climate alarmist James Hansen to viewers as unbiased, failing to note his quarter million dollar grant form the partisan Heinz Foundation or his endorsement of Democrat Presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 and his role promoting former Vice President Gore’s Hollywood movie.

Brokaw, however, did find time to impugn the motives of scientists skeptical of climate alarmism when he featured paid environmental partisan Michael Oppenhimer of the group Environmental Defense accusing skeptics of being bought out by the fossil fuel interests.

The fact remains that political campaign funding by environmental groups to promote climate and environmental alarmism dwarfs spending by the fossil fuel industry by a three-to-one ratio. Environmental special interests, through their 527s, spent over $19 million compared to the $7 million that Oil and Gas spent through PACs in the 2004 election cycle.

I am reminded of a question the media often asks me about how much I have received in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry. My unapologetic answer is ‘Not Enough,’ -- especially when you consider the millions partisan environmental groups pour into political campaigns.

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Bob Carter, a Paleoclimate geologist from James Cook University in Australia has described how the media promotes climate fear:

“Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as ‘if’, ‘might’, ‘could’, ‘probably’, ‘perhaps’, ‘expected’, ‘projected’ or ‘modeled’ - and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense,” professor Carter concluded in an op-ed in April of this year. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/04/09/ixworld.html

 

End Excerpt

 




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