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Exposed: The Climate of Fear
Aired May 2, 2007 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBERT GIEGENGACK, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: We`re at a level of hysteria, and to me it`s astonishing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here you`re really being told your job is in jeopardy if you speak out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My whole career has been going around saying the climate changes all the time. Get used to it. Understand it. Stop lurching from one crisis to the next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think fear is a constructive sentiment. It`s a political trick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fear element drives the media, and the media drives the hype.
GLENN BECK, HOST: Welcome to exposed, the climate of fear. I want you to know right up front, this is not a balanced look at global warming. It is the other side of the climate debate that you don`t hear anywhere. Yes, Al Gore, there is another credible side.
We`ll get to Al Gore and his inconvenient truths about his movie in just a little bit, but I want to start with what we do know.
The globe is getting warmer. In fact, it`s warmed .7 degrees Celsius over the last 10 years. It`s not up for debate, but there are questions as to why it`s happening, how could the traffic it may be. Who is right? Who`s wrong?
Unfortunately, when it comes to climate, it takes years, even generations, to find out. So the only way to judge is to look back. Now ten years ago, the U.N.`s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, had begun to convince many that global warming was caused by us. Man.
So the world reacted. They crafted what`s called the Kyoto Protocol. This is, according to many environmentalists, the gold standard of worldwide efforts to limit emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by industrialized nations that most blame for global warming. That`s us.
So what is the legacy of Kyoto? Well, once you realize how many holes there are in the consensus solution, you may begin to open up your mind to the other side of the global warming debate as a whole.
BECK (voice-over): Who knew climate could be so volatile?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Bush is breaking the international agreement.
BECK: Anger, protests, scorn against America and President Bush for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was not a popular position in parts of the world.
BECK: Yes. It really wasn`t. One hundred and seventy countries have ratified Kyoto, many promising to reduce their greenhouse gases to below 1990 levels.
KOFI ANNAN, FORMER U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: There`s no time to lose.
BECK: Amidst international pressure, the U.S. and Australia have refused to participate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re going to go on and implement the Kyoto treaty. Do not wait for Bush.
BECK: Why, when the U.S. is responsible for 20 percent of all manmade greenhouse gases? Why refuse to join the rest of the world? I mean, other than the purely annoyed, these people.
Because, quite simply the Kyoto Protocol is a joke, a really unfunny and expensive joke.
MARLO LEWIS, COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Three-quarters of the total expense would fall upon the United States.
TIM BALL, NATURAL RESOURCES STEWARDSHIP PROJECT: I think there`s only two countries that are even coming close to meeting their targets.
PATRICK MICHAELS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA STATE CLIMATOLOGIST: The amount of warming that would be prevented, perhaps, is 7/100 Celsius.
PATRICK MOORE, FORMER DIRECTOR, GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL: It does not include China, India, Brazil, and these countries are all industrializing rapidly.
CHRIS HORNER, AUTHOR, "POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO GLOBAL WARMING": Kyoto encourages people to run the hell away from it.
BUSH: We didn`t feel like the Kyoto treaty was well-balanced. It didn`t include developing nations.
BECK: Developing nations, like China and India, aren`t mandated to reduce their emissions under Kyoto. That`s a big problem for the U.S., especially since many developing nations are big polluters.
MICHAELS: It used to be thought that by 2020 that China was going to pass the United States in carbon dioxide emissions. New data says it`s going to happen in 2009.
BECK: Even our vice president thought it was ridiculous.
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is a ridiculous notion.
BECK: No, no, no, I don`t mean that vice president. I mean this one.
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will not submit this for ratification until there`s meaningful participation by key developing nations.
Beck: Yes, you heard right. Back in 1997, Al Gore set the standard that the U.S. Will not comply with Kyoto as long as big polluters like China don`t have to.
Horner: That`s the Gore standard. That standard still has not been met. That was the standard George Bush articulated, too, but he`s mean.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today I reaffirm my personal and announce our nation`s commitment to reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases.
BECK: Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol, announced his commitment to it, but never sent it to Congress to be ratified.
HORNER: Just like George Bush has never undertaken the purely protocol step of asking the Senate to vote on Kyoto, neither did Bill Clinton, for 801 days of his presidency.
BECK: Why? Because they knew the Senate had already voted down a Kyoto type deal by the razor-thin margin of 95-0.
There`s another problem. The targets are next to impossible to meet.
MICHAELS: Take a look at some of these sort of mid-major nations in here, Spain, Portugal, et cetera. Their emissions are going up like crazy: 50, 60 percent.
BECK: As a matter of fact, meeting targets is such a problem some countries are resorting to more drastic measures.
JOHN CHRISTY, ALABAMA STATE CLIMATOLOGIST: There are examples of Chinese factories that are being used to buy credits for European countries, so European countries can say, "Well, we can pollute because we`re reducing pollution in China."
HORNER: It`s an indulgence.
BECK: Europe especially is having issues. Of the main 15 European nations to ratify Kyoto, only two say they will actually meet their targets: the U.K. and Sweden.
Six more countries say, well, you know with a little more work and a lot more money, we might be able to make that kind of happen. And the remaining seven, they`re not even pretending. They say there`s no way there`s no way to ever meet their target.
CHRISTY: The writers underestimated the demand for energy that people have, that just will not be able to withdraw energy from people once they`ve had it.
John Christy, the director of the earth systems science center at the University of Alabama and the state`s climatologist, Christy played a major role in the 2001 science report used to mold the direction of the Kyoto Protocol.
CHRISTY: In IPCC 2001, I was the lead author.
BECK: The IPCC report, brought to you by the United Nations, is the supposed consensus you`re always hearing about, the one, when translated by alarmists, is the call to action because of the dire consequences of global warming on the earth.
CHRISTY: We have to make this report so dramatic.
BECK: But Christy says what he saw behind the scenes was more alarming than those alleged dire consequences.
CHRISTY: I was at the table with three Europeans, and we were having lunch. And they were talking about their role as lead authors. And they were talking about how they were trying to make the report so dramatic that the United States would just have to sign that Kyoto Protocol.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t be poor in a hot country.
BECK: Since then, several more reports have been issued.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t live in Hurricane Alley.
BECK: The most recent report was released this past April...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch out about being on the coasts or in the Arctic.
BECK: ... where the current lead author describes their findings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you`re in a Mediterranean climate, you`re going to have a fire season in the summer, and it`s really going to be a problem -- problem -- problem.
CHRISTY: All scientists are confronted by bias, every single one of them.
HORNER: The Kyoto Protocol is probably the best example of something working precisely as it was designed, just to fail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Kyoto Protocol is dead.
BECK: Well, when Al Gore testified before Congress on global warming just a couple of months ago it was a media circus, but also testifying that day without any fanfare or really any coverage was Bjorn Lomborg. He`s the author of the best-selling book "The Skeptical Environmentalist". He`s an expert on the economic impact of global warming.
Bjorn, you`re not a scientist, you`re a political scientist, so I`m not going to ask any science questions. I want to ask you, as a guy who believes in manmade global warming, why don`t you think Kyoto is the solution?
BJORN LOMBORG, AUTHOR, "THE SKEPTICAL ENVIRONMENTALIST`S GUIDE": Well, essentially exactly because of what you showed in the clip. Kyoto is, at the same time, impossibly ambitious and yet entirely inconsequential when you talk about the environment. It will cost lots of money and end up doing virtually no good. That`s not a good deal.
BECK: Let me -- let me show the chart.
LOMBORG: What we need to look at is to try to find smarter ways.
BECK: This is the chart. This is the impact of Kyoto here on this chart, compared to if we do nothing?
LOMBORG: Yes. Basically no change. It will basically postpone global warming for about five years at the end of the century.
BECK: OK. Let me...
LOMBORG: That`s not a very good deal.
BECK: Let me play devil`s advocate here. Al Gore has made mention of malaria a lot. Some people say we could save 100,000 people on malaria alone if we do something about global warming. Why wouldn`t we save 100,000 people?
LOMBORG: We could probably save about 85 million people from malaria if we did something about malaria. These people are suffering right now.
Why is it we`re talking about making very expensive moves doing virtually no good 100 years from now when there are real people that we can really save very cheaply from malaria right now?
BECK: OK. We just had a situation -- I don`t remember when it was -- just a few years ago, where we had a massive heat wave in Europe. Thirty- five thousand people in France alone died. Another 2,000 people died from this heat wave in England.
If we don`t stop global warming, won`t things just get worse and worse and more people will die just from -- from the heat?
LOMBORG: Glenn, that`s exactly true and that`s, of course, what Al Gores tells us. With global warming you`re going to see more heat deaths, but what most people don`t tell us is we`re also going to see much less cold deaths.
And actually, many more people die from cold than from heat, so for England alone you mentioned the number 2,000 people. Actually that`s what we expect will die from more heat waves in 2080, but what we have to remember is that 20,000 fewer will die from cold each year in 2080.
Now I`m not sitting and saying we should go for global warming, but I`m saying we need to know both.
BECK: OK. You started something called the Copenhagen Consensus, and this was a group of experts from the U.N., economists, et cetera, et cetera, and you prioritized all of the world`s biggest problems and where we would be most effective in spending our money. AIDS was number one, right?
LOMBORG: Yes, and basically the point is again to say we have a tendency to bark up the wrong tree. We worry intensely about climate change, but the point is we can do very little good at very high cost.
Let`s focus on where we can actually do a lot of good. If we care about this planet, if we care about its environment, shouldn`t we do where we can do the most good first?
What these Nobel laureates basically told us if we spend our money on HIV/AIDS, we can do $40 word of good for every dollar. If we spend it on Kyoto, we can only do 30 cents. Let`s do the $40 first.
BECK: Give me -- give me the top five quickly, and where does global warming fall in this list?
LOMBORG: Basically what they told us was it was HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, free trade, malaria and agricultural research. Those are things that we can do cheaply and do an immense amount of impact in this world right now and also for future generations.
Kyoto came down at the bottom. Not because climate change is not real, but simply because the way we tackled it through Kyoto is very expensive and a very poor way of helping the world.
BECK: Bjorn, thanks.
Coming up, Al Gore and his inconvenient truths.
Plus, scientists silenced for questioning the threat of global warming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that I`ve had several friends who have essentially been told if you speak out as climate -- on climate change, you must do so as an independent citizen. If you do so through our organization or through our institution, you will essentially be fired.
BECK (voice-over): And later, how the media is feeding you fear.
MICHAELS: I`m going to tell you something about the media and global warming that you don`t hear real often. It`s not all your fault, OK?
BECK: More of "Exposed: The Climate of Fear" in a minute.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: You know, it seems when something as factual as science moves into the world of politics and media, problems always follow. Global warming isn`t any exception.
With billions of dollars of funding at risk and the world`s attention in sharp focus, some say there`s no room left for dissent, but how can you stop scientists from debating? Isn`t that what they`re supposed to do?
There is one solution, of course: belittle, insult and sometimes threaten the lives of those opposing voices until they`re snuffed out and can no longer be heard.
SHERYL CROWE, MUSICIAN/ACTIVIST: You know what, the science is in. The debate is over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scientific dialogue is compromise.
GORE: The debate on global warming is over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, if there was only one side and it was absolutely correct, that side should say, "Please interview these stupid idiots so we can cut them to ribbons."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re being told your job is in jeopardy if you speak out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you dare to speak out you don`t care about the planet or the children or the future.
BECK: Scientific consensus has been overturned over and over again throughout history, from eugenics in the 1940s to global cooling of the 1970s, and every generation has groups that think that they are so right they shouldn`t be questioned.
But today, with warming, the heat is really getting turned up.
GIEGENGACK: We`re at a level of hysteria, and to me it`s astonishing.
DAVID LEGATES, CLIMATOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE: I think those people are entitled to their views, but in many case it`s not the scientific consensus.
BECK: David Legates is a state climatologist in Delaware, and he teaches at the university. He`s not part of the mythical climate consensus. In fact, Legates believes that we oversimplify climate by just blaming greenhouse gases.
One day he received a letter from the governor, saying his views do not concur with those of the administration, so if he wants to speak out, it must be as an individual, not as a state climatologist.
So essentially, you can have the title of state climatologist unless he`s talking about his views on climate? Confused? Here`s a demonstration.
LEGATES: We have need for sanitation.
BECK: Delaware state climatologist.
LEGATES: The biggest misconception is that climate change is going to be dramatic and that it`s going to be extreme.
BECK: Some guy with a Delaware license plate.
LEGATES: So I am charged as a state climatologist to speak out on those issues, but I make it clear that I do not represent the views of the state.
BECK: I have no frickin` idea either.
But what could possibly happen if you speak out with the wrong title?
LEGATES: I`ve had several friends who have essentially been told if you speak out as climate -- on climate change, you will essentially be fired.
BECK: Meanwhile, in Oregon, the state climatologist, George Taylor, is under fire for his take on global warming.
GEORGE TAYLOR, CLIMATOLOGIST: Most of the climate change we`ve seen up until now has been as a result of natural variations.
BECK: Solely because of this opinion, Governor Ted Kulongoski wants Taylor to be stripped of his title.
GOV. TED KULONGOSKI (D), OREGON: I just think that there has to be somebody that says that this is the state position on this.
BECK: We reached out to Taylor. He said only this: "Being skeptical about the effects of human-caused greenhouse gases on global climate variations can threaten one`s long-term job security."
He`s choosing his words very carefully. These days it seems you have to. Why?
LAURIE DAVID, PRODUCER, "AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH": No serious scientist, no peered review scientist is saying that, OK?
GORE: Those who deny global warming are just flat out wrong.
BECK: Ellen Goodman from the "Boston Globe" wrote, "Let`s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers."
LEGATES: Somebody says that whenever you get into Nazi connections, you`ve really jumped the shark.
BECK: No Nazi references, but how would these people even form sentences? Even I got to jump into the World War II of weather. Robert F. Kennedy called me "CNN`s chief corporate fascism advocate". When asked why by the "Washington Post", he recalled that I was voicing doubts about global warming a few weeks back.
LEGATES: When you have the science on your side, you argue the science. When you don`t have the science on your side you attack the messenger.
BECK: Look, it`s practically in my job description to be called a fascist by people who hate my guts, but that`s not what scientists sign up for. They`re just trying to give their opinion, based on the best information they can.
But how can they? When the debate moves from science to their livelihood or sometimes even worse?
TIM BALL, NATURAL RESOURCES STEWARDSHIP PROJECT: Many times I`ve been tempted to say why am I doing this? Why am I running my head into a concrete wall?
BECK: Tim Ball received a Ph.D. in climatology from the University of London and spent his professional life under the radar as a professor at the University of Winnipeg.
BALL: If I had gone along with the prevailing wisdom, the funding would have been enormous. Instead, I`m accused of getting the money from the oil company, which is simply a lie.
BECK: Whether you agree or not with what the other side says, the debate must not only be tolerated; it must be encouraged.
BALL: I think that the truth is absolutely paramount, and if we abandon that, we`re lost. And I don`t care if people or the politicians choose to ignore me. That`s their choice. But what I don`t want is I don`t want them to ever be able to come back and say we weren`t told.
BECK: You`re not going to believe this, but sometimes fear makes people act irrationally. Luckily, we have the media to put things into perspective, because nothing ever gets over hyped on television.
The truth is that a show like tonight`s, trying to cut through the hype, isn`t sexy. With global warming, the ratings are in the disasters, and the media knows it.
BECK (voice-over): Severe storms. Devastating hurricanes. And massive walls of sea pummeling major cities. These are the kind of extremes that movies like "The Day After Tomorrow" propagate about global warming. Even Jake Gyllenhaal isn`t safe.
This you know is fake, but you can get similar stories from less convincing actors and no cool special effects. But you still get all the drama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This week`s grim report about global warming at a looming climate catastrophe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Extreme wetter from drought to heavy rain and cyclones.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The seas are rising. Hurricanes will be more powerful, like Katrina, and polar bears may be headed towards extinction.
CHRISTY: We don`t see that happening. Tornadoes are not increasing. The frequency of hurricanes is not increasing.
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, NBC`S "THE TODAY SHOW": The world is heating up fast, and we have ourselves to blame.
MICHAELS: I`m going to tell you something about the media and global warming that you don`t hear real often. It`s not all your fault, OK?
BALL: The problem with the media is that it`s essentially become a business, and everything`s got to be more sensationalized.
DAWNA FRIESEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: This just isn`t hype and scare-mongering. Global warming is real.
HORNER: Fear drives the media, and the media drives the hype.
CHRISTY: Fear is part of the equation now.
BALL: When I started out in the 1970s, global cooling was the consensus.
BECK: He`s not exaggerating. Take a look at this article from the "L.A. Times" in 1978: "No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere".
Or "TIME" magazine`s big spread from 1974, asking "Another Ice Age?"
"Newsweek" said global cooling evidence had "begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard pressed to keep up with it."
HORNER: Just switch out warming for cooling, and they`ve written it before.
BECK: It`s true. The hype has been steady. The only thing that has changed is the temperature of the catastrophe.
Take a look at this headline for the "New York Times" in 1959 claiming "A Warmer Earth Evident at the Polls". But just two years later, in the same newspaper, we find this: "Scientists Agree World is Colder."
Even in the mid-`90s, the "Times" was talking about a frozen earth, except it wasn`t the 1990s. It was 1895.
HORNER: You get whiplash reading these things.
BALL: My whole career has been going around saying the climate changes all the time. Get used to it.
BECK: When we come back, in the Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" Al Gore says the debate is over, and the verdict is in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: Isn`t there disagreement among scientists about whether the problem is real or not? Actually, not really.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Not really? We`ll try to separate the science from fiction in "An Inconvenient Truth", coming up next. Don`t go anywhere.
BECK: Welcome back to "Exposed: The Climate of Fear."
Even most global warming skeptics believe the Earth has warmed to about the same extent that Al Gore does. Many also think that man may have an impact on the warming. They just don`t believe it`s nearly as significant as Al Gore does.
It doesn`t sound like a difference that should be cast as a battle between world saviors and Holocaust-deniers, but it is. The centerpiece of this debate is a star vehicle for the former vice president, the Oscar- winning movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."
BECK (voice-over): "An Inconvenient Truth," one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of our times, and also one of the scariest.
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Global warming paradoxically caused not only more flooding, but also more drought...
... big hurricanes, tornadoes...
... fearsome diseases, polio, tuberculosis, West Nile Virus, avian flu, SARS...
... polar bears that have actually drowned...
... global warming, global warming, global warming.
BECK: Lost among all the extreme rhetoric? Any semblance of balance. "An Inconvenient Truth" is a study in absolutes, a one-sided argument devoid of any gray area.
GORE: There`s not a single fact or date or number that`s been used to make this up that`s in any controversy. Isn`t there disagreement among scientists about whether the problem is real or not? Actually, not really.
BECK: Attention: You`re about to meet people that aren`t really real.
ROY SPENCER, PHD, FORMER SENIOR CLIMATE SCIENTIST, NASA: Politicians and some of the scientists like to say that there`s a consensus now on global warming or the science has been settled, but you have to ask them, what is there a consensus on? Because it really makes a difference. What are you talking about? The only consensus I`m aware of is that it`s warmed in the last century.
They completely ignore the fact that there`s this thing called the Oregon petition that was signed by 19,000 professionals and scientists who don`t agree with the idea that we are causing climate change.
JOHN CHRISTY, PHD, ALABAMA STATE CLIMATOLOGIST: One of the statements in the SPM was the statement that, if you boil it down, it says we are 90 percent certain that most of the warming in the last 50 years was due to human effects. I don`t agree with that. I think things are much more ambiguous.
BECK: Well, clearly these guys haven`t seen the movie. There was, you know, video of ice falling and pictures of snow melting and stuff. Perhaps we should meet some of Al Gore`s supporting cast members.
First up, Mount Kilimanjaro.
GORE: This is Mount Kilimanjaro more than 30 years ago and more recently. Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro.
CHRISTY: Half of the snow was gone when Hemingway wrote "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." That tells you right there that the cause of that was not human effects on the climate.
There is no upward trend in the temperature for that region. The reason the snows are going away is not because of temperature changes, but probably because of a lowering of the cloud amount and less precipitation.
BECK: All right, how about another co-star? It`s the so-called hockey stick graph. This is the version shown by Al Gore. However, the original version used by the IPCC contained a wide margin of error not shown in "An Inconvenient Truth." Inconvenient, huh? Critics say there`s even more missing.
PATRICK MICHAELS, PHD, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA STATE CLIMATOLOGIST: There are two factors that most climatologists think happened that don`t seem to be included in it, which are the little Ice Age, which is a very cold period that ended in the late 19th century, and the medieval warm period, around 1000 or so.
CHRIS HORNER, "POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO GLOBAL WARMING": Since the third U.N. report, for which this was the smoking gun, there`s been a fourth U.N. report. Does anybody see a hockey stick in there anywhere? I can`t see you. It`s not in there. Guess what? It`s air-brushed out, in classic fashion, and they don`t even mention why it`s not here. What hockey stick? I didn`t see any hockey stick.
BECK: Clearly, I mean, these guys haven`t seen the movie, right? Because any movie with charts and graphs this big, I mean, they`ve got to be right!
Now, here`s one of Al Gore`s favorite charts, comparing CO-2 levels and temperature.
GORE: When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer. Look how far above the natural cycle this is, and we`ve done that.
BECK: We, meaning you and me? I guess it looks pretty convincing. Gore assumes here that CO-2 levels are causing temperatures to rise, but, look, could it be the other way around?
TIM BALL, EARNED PHD FROM UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: We now know for certain that the temperature changes before the CO-2. And one of the fundamental assumptions that Gore doesn`t understand is that in the theory of global warming due to humans is, as the CO-2 goes up, the temperature will go up. Well, the ice floe records show it`s exactly the opposite.
BECK: Now, what about that really cool animation of Florida and Manhattan drowning? Huh, cool, huh? You`ve seen these horrific scenarios everywhere based purely on catastrophic hypotheticals that dramatically exaggerate even what the U.N. says. It`s Al Gore`s best supporting actor, the word "if."
GORE: If we have an increase of five degrees, if Greenland broke up and melted...
... if this were to go, sea level worldwide would go up 20 feet.
MARIO LEWIS, PHD, GOVERNMENT POLICY ANALYST: Where he`s misleading is that he gives the impression that this is something that is likely to happen. The likelihood of this is next to nil.
DAVID LEGATES, PHD, CLIMATOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE: The IPCC report is that the upper limit of sea level rise by the year 2100 is going to be about 23 inches.
HORNER: That`s why Al Gore makes up 20 feet. The truth isn`t scary.
BECK: Just look at the difference between Greenland`s ice melt in Al Gore`s scenario when spread out over a century versus what the IPCC projects.
CHRISTY: To come up with 20 feet is really grasping at straws, I think, but it does make a dramatic image. It makes a startling announcement. And that is where, as I heard one commentator say, "It makes blood shoot out of my eyes."
BECK: Gee, I wonder who he could be talking about. Anyway, the bottom line is, no one is denying that the globe has warmed. It has, 0.74 degrees Celsius.
But there`s a disagreement on why, and there`s even more disagreement on if it will be catastrophic or not. The tactics Al Gore uses in "An Inconvenient Truth" deserve an Oscar. We all have to remember: There`s a difference between science and science fiction.
BECK: We`re joined now by Chris Horner. He is the author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming."
Chris, I want to start here. People that are on this special or speak out are always going to be accused of taking money from big oil. How do you respond to that? You`re in bed with big oil, they say.
HORNER: That`s generally employed by people who aren`t comfortable with the issues or the facts and they want to change the subject.
If industry funding corrupts someone`s message, however, I suggest the alarmists have an awful lot of explaining to do. They receive an awful lot more in industry and industry-related funding every year, but let`s just make the record. The public record is quite clear: We do not receive lots of money from big oil. And for some reason, that seems to be the claim that the alarmists want to shift the debate onto, even though they know the truth there, too.
BECK: OK. So are you saying that the reason why this is such a big deal is because of money? How much money do we spend on research on climate change and global warming...
BECK: ... compared to, let`s say, cancer?
HORNER: I believe slightly more. Let`s just say the same amount on both climate-related activities and the amount we send to the National Cancer Institutes every year, which I think is rather shameful. The administration has done quite a bit right on this issue, but, to their discredit, they boast that they spend so much more on global warming issues than they do AIDS. I think that`s disgraceful. This is a political issue because it`s been politicized, and we wouldn`t even be talking about it right now if it weren`t for the politicians.
BECK: In the Al Gore movie, he keeps talking about all these scientists, and there`s nothing but consensus, and discredit everybody else that does. How does the IPCC even work? This is the group of thousands of scientists...
BECK: ... that write this report.
HORNER: Right, except thousands of people obviously can`t write a report. Just think of the impracticalities there. It doesn`t happen that way.
Here`s what happens. They don`t conduct science. They reviewed the existing literature. And the thousands of scientists select or emphasize what it is that they want to. We`ve seen this, sometimes disgracefully.
However, these scientists are generally assigned one page to a page- and-a-half to write with one other author. They`re never asked if they agree with anything else, never asked if they agree with the chapter or the underlying work, let alone the summary for policymakers, which is written by bureaucrats and politicians and pressure group lobbyists, who are in one room down a hall, where the lead authors of the chapters, which are compilations of these page to page-and-a-half writings, and a runner runs back and forth telling the lead authors, the scientists, "The pressure group lobbyists want you to change the following to be in harmony with the summary."
Remember, this is a document that is produced generally, the summary of which is issued months before the actual underlying work is actually even written. That should tell you something. And this writing process, whereby runners subject, you know, very credentialed scientists, many of whom have dropped off, to the humiliation of having to change their underlying work to agree with something politicians want to say, which, like I say, is why many of these so-called world`s leading scientists do remain in the process, but many also have dropped off.
BECK: Chris, one thing that somebody could Google right now, and you watched the movie and you said, "Oh, jeez, I wish people would just Google this fact." In the movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," what would be the one fact they should Google?
HORNER: Well, the cause-and-effect relationship of CO-2 and temperatures. Obviously, temperatures go up throughout history. The scientific literature is fairly clear, fairly uniform. Temperatures go up; then, CO-2 concentrations go up. CO-2 does not drive temperature.
BECK: Great. Chris Horner, thanks.
Up next, why innovation and not regulation is the real answer on global warming. We`ll be back in a minute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time for "Skeptic Quiz."
Today`s question: Who is Richard Lindzen? Is he: a, the spouse of a comedian, or, b, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT, PhD, Harvard, member of the National Academy of Sciences, award-winning fellow at the American Meteorological Society and American Geophysical Union, and former IPCC lead author?
The correct answer is b. Lindzen was also discredited by Laurie David. She is best known for being a spouse of a comedian.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: I want you to know we`re trying to cover so much ground with this special, but what we`re really trying to do here is trying to just raise questions, open people`s minds up, so you can do your own homework and make your own decisions. Now, if there is a problem, what about the solutions?
Every day, we`re reminded: Do your part to stop global warming and help the environment. Sometimes the people who are reminding us are not doing their part. We`re told that it`s the little things that can make a big difference, the plastic bags, the low-flush toilets, and the bane of my existence, the compact fluorescent light bulb.
BECK (voice-over): This Wal-Mart ad makes their pitch. Can this funny looking light bulb save the Earth? Well, I hope they know the answer to that is no.
Global warming is not going to be stopped by annoying light bulbs, but, amazingly, many of the options that are sensible are being opposed by the same people complaining about fossil fuels.
PATRICK MOORE, PHD, CHIEF SCIENTIST, GREENSPIRIT: There are a number of existing technologies that, if we adopted them aggressively now, we could make a considerable dent in our use of fossil fuels. The most important one, in my estimation, is nuclear energy, because it can immediately replace fossil fuels for electricity production.
BECK: Nuclear power is the second-largest source of energy in the U.S., giving us about 20 percent of our power, and it`s almost emission- free. But despite the fact that countries like France get more than 70 percent of their energy from nuclear power, no new licenses have been granted in the U.S. since the 1970s. Why? Environmental panic.
MOORE: That is what actually drives me nuts, is you`ve got Greenpeace and other major environmental groups saying that the civilization and the environment are going to be destroyed by global warming, catastrophe, chaos, and all of these scary words, and yet they are unwilling to adopt nuclear energy.
BECK: But, really, how risky is it?
MOORE: I don`t think there is much of a risk in nuclear energy myself. There`s 103 plants operating every day in the U.S., and no one has ever been injured by them.
BECK: Look, America should embrace nuclear power, even if it`s to get off the foreign oil bandwagon. But is it a worldwide solution? It works well for us and a few other people like them, them, and I guess them, too, but I really don`t want them to have it, or them, and especially not this guy. So what else has to happen?
MARTIN EBERHARD, CEO, TESLA MOTORS: I think that anybody whose idea about how to fix the world starts off by, "First, we`re going to change human nature," is doomed.
BECK: Meet Martin Eberhard. He probably doesn`t agree with anything in this special, except maybe for this: It`s ideas like his that are part of the solution.
Go back 100 years. Henry Ford understood it. He combined innovation and capitalism. He tapped into the consumer market and gave the people what they needed at the time. He was an innovator.
Fast forward to now. We want -- no, need -- aesthetics, prestige and power. We don`t just have to drive our cars; we really want to. But we`d like to do it without giving our entire life savings and our country to a Middle East dictator. And even if you don`t give a crap about the environment, you know how much it costs to fill your tank.
EBERHARD: I needed to change the way that people think about electric cars, and that meant we need to make a car that really broke all of the pre-conceived notions of what they were.
BECK: This is the Tesla, a completely electric sports car. It runs on the same battery as your laptop computer, almost 7,000 of them. At the end of the day, you just plug it in for three hours and you`re good to go for over 200 miles. And this baby is fast: zero to 60 in four seconds. And my favorite part is, it didn`t look eco-friendly, which is why people will actually want to buy it.
EBERHARD: Part of what`s gone wrong with so many electric cars that came on before is that they`re built by people who thought of driving as a necessary evil and that Americans` driving habits are bad and we`re bad people and we shouldn`t do that, and if we would just become better people, why, we can be perfectly happy with this glorified golf cart.
BECK: The Tesla hopes to solve two major concerns: the CO-2 emissions and, importantly, the male midlife crisis, while looking damn sexy doing it.
Now, besides my car, there`s another respite I just won`t have messed with, and that is: Stay out of my house. If you want me to be eco- friendly, make eco-friendly not suck.
Welcome to Maine, where the winters are usually cold and the electric bills can get really, really high, but not for Bill Lord, another guy who probably doesn`t agree with one word of this special.
BILL LORD, OWNS SOLAR POWERED HOME: On balance, we probably are generating as much as we use, so essentially it`s a net-zero type of situation. We have to pay slightly more than $7 a month.
BECK: His home is completely solar powered. Water and heat completely run through these fancy roof panels.
LORD: Favorite part about this house is that it works on our behalf. It is always doing something for us. While we`re talking, it`s making electricity. While we`re talking, it`s making hot water.
BECK: Look, having a solar-powered house is a small part of the equation. And even if everybody switched to an electric car, that electricity is coming mostly from fossil fuels anyway.
But the point is that these technologies will only be adopted when people want to choose them. Then the market will improve on the ideas, make them cheaper, and the world will embrace them, as well. That`s how it works, and innovative capitalists are the only ones that can make it happen.
BECK: I really believe that innovation, funneled through the filter of capitalism, is where we`re going to find the answers to global warming and other problems.
Up next, why honest debate on all of these issues surrounding global warming is so important to our American society.
BECK: A "New York Times" story reported that 84 percent of Americans now see human activity as at least contributing to warming. Wow, almost unanimous, but what they didn`t put in that same story is that 75 percent of those think that it is just one factor of many. Well, that`s the opinion of almost every skeptic you`ve heard from tonight.
Another survey from a New York-based educational provider shows kids are now more scared of global warming than terrorism, cancer and car crashes. The organization that took the survey said one of the main reasons was the media coverage of tragedies, like the tsunami. The tsunami was caused by an earthquake. And as far as I know, even Al Gore isn`t claiming a link between global warming and earthquakes.
I think to solve these problems, we need to take a step back. Isn`t it amazing that fossil fuels have become the enemy? The rise in our CO-2 emissions have coincided with the rise in our wealth, our life expectancy, and technological advancement. Fossil fuels are, in some ways, a victim of their own success.
They`ve helped us in so many ways: We`ve stopped worrying about whether we can heat our homes or get sick people to the hospital. Instead, we now focus on developing new kinds of energy simply to avoid the possibility of future environmental problems. When you think about the history of the Earth, that`s a pretty good problem to have, isn`t it?
Now, that doesn`t mean that we don`t want clean air. No one wants the Earth to die. But it`s what we do about it that`s at question. And let me be clear: The correct decisions will not be made when fueled by frantic alarmism.
I can`t tell you how many calls I`ve received from parents saying their kids are now being shown "An Inconvenient Truth" completely unchallenged, not just in science class, but in art and math classes. A green hotel in California has just replaced the traditional in-room Bible with an in-room copy of "An Inconvenient Truth." Isn`t that appropriate? Al Gore`s version of climate change has no longer become science. It`s dogma. And if you question it, you are a heretic.
You`d think that scientists would look back at their history, when out-of-control churches locked them in towers to stop progress, and realize that just yelling, "The debate is over, and these people are heretics or Nazis," as loud as you can is not really the best way to advance science. However -- and many have discovered -- that it is the best way to secure funding.
For now, all we can do is look for sober solutions in a world drunk on hysteria. The debate is not over. I have a feeling it`s just beginning.
From New York, good night.