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Global Warming: Trick or Truth?
Aired December 7, 2009 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, a special investigation, "Global Warming -- Trick or Truth?" Stolen e-mails, conspiracy theories -- what's the bottom line on global warming?
LISA JACKSON, ADMINISTRATOR, EPA: There is nothing in the hacked e-mails that undermines the science.
BROWN: Billions of dollars and the future of the planet hang in the balance. Who is telling the truth?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thing that was more damning to me was the attempt to suppress peer reviews or people who are critics.
BROWN: We'll take you inside the university where the scandal started and to Copenhagen where world leaders are about to make major decisions about how we live our lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Tonight, a global investigation into what's being called "Climate-gate," hacked e-mails that some say call into question the very science behind global warming.
We are looking at all of the angles tonight. We've got coverage from Copenhagen to London, skeptics and scientists.
But we start, as always, with the mash-up. We are watching it all so you don't have to. And our top story tonight, a formal environmental warning from the White House just as world leaders gather in Copenhagen for the history-making summit on climate change.
BLITZER: The Obama administration is a big step closer to imposing the first regulations on pollutants blamed for global warming. It's declaring the greenhouse gas emissions are a real threat to Americans' health.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The timing of the announcement was no coincidence. It came as diplomats from the United States, China, and nearly 200 other countries were gathering in Copenhagen today for the largest conference on climate change ever.
BROWN: The U.N. conference delegates heard countries must reduce the emissions, emissions that are warming the planet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clock has ticked down to zero. After two years of negotiation, the time has come to deliver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was also an effort to derail the talks. Saudi Arabia claimed a series of stolen e-mails in which climate scientists appear to fudge data undermine the need to act on global warming.
Climate change deniers say these e-mails are proof humans aren't causing global warming.
U.S. officials say the evidence proves otherwise.
JACKSON: There is nothing in the hacked e-mails that undermines the science upon which this decision is based.
BROWN: Meanwhile, 56 newspapers in 45 countries published a joint editorial this morning urging action. Many printed it right on the front page, saying the Copenhagen conference will "Seal history's judgment on this generation."
Our show devoted to this tonight. Our Special Report again, "Global Warming -- Trick or Truth?" All of that coming up.
We're turning now though to Capitol Hill, where the health care debate is heading into the endgame and growing increasingly heated. Today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hurled a verbal grenade at Republicans, comparing them to lawmakers who tried to stall the end of slavery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID, (D-NV) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: If you think you've heard the same excuse before, you're right. This country belatedly recognized the wrong of slavery. There were those who dug in their heels and said slow down, it's too early, let's wait. Things aren't bad enough.
When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote. Some said they should simply slow down. There'll be a better day to do that. Today isn't quite right.
When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to same filibuster threats that we hear today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Now, angry Republicans, no surprise, call Reid's comments a sign of desperation.
From health care reform to potential health hazard involving the toy every kid is asking for this Christmas, Zhu Zhu pets. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These little hamster-looking toys.
BROWN: They drive, they squeal, you can tuck them into bed at night. But The Good Guy consumer advocate group says the character known as "Mr. Squiggles" carries high amounts of the potentially poisonous metal antimony.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Squiggles is absolutely safe.
BROWN: Why are they so popular?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know, because it's not as if they're cuddly. they're sort of prickly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They look cuddly and innocent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kids really shouldn't suck on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Words to live by.
A spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission tells the Associated Press the much-coveted robotic hamsters comply fully with federal standards.
Our most watched video tonight -- disgraced former NBA referee breaking his silence to "60 Minutes." Tim Donaghy admits to betting on games, but not fixing them despite pressure from the mob.
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BOB SIMON, "60 MINUTES": The FBI says two men associated with the Gambino crime family requested a meeting with Donaghy. They took him for a ride.
TONY DONAGHY, FORMER NBA REFEREE: They came down and picked me up.
SIMON: They picked you up?
SIMON: And what happened then?
DONAGHY: They basically told me that I needed to give them the fix, and that if I didn't that it's a possibility that somebody would go down and visit my wife and kids in Florida.
SIMON: How did you communicate your bets?
DONAGHY: I would discuss it with a high school friend of mine who would pass the information along to them.
SIMON: And was there a code?
DONAGHY: Yes. The code was if I want them to bet the home team I would discuss his brother Chuck. And if I wanted him to bet the visiting team, I would mention his brother Johnny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: The FBI does back up Donaghy's claim that he didn't try to influence the outcome of the games that he was betting on.
And that brings us to the punch line. This is courtesy of the good people at "Saturday Night Live" who take on everybody's favorite famed party seeking party crashers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm also grateful for the chance to get away from Washington and its many distractions.
We were losing 700,000 jobs a month -- a month. Today's report is designed -- there are better days ahead.
We enacted measures --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want me in it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I want you to take it. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And the Salahis steal the show once again. That is the mash-up.
When we come back, a special investigation, "Global Warming -- Trick or Truth?" A hacked e-mail scandal has a lot of people confused tonight about whether climate change is actually happening or not.
Billions of dollars and the future of the planet frankly are at stake here. So we're going to take you around the world to try to find the answer. Stay with us for this special hour tonight. We'll be right back.
BROWN: Tonight a special investigation into what is being called "Climate-gate." We have coverage from around the world for you tonight. John Roberts is in London and went to the university which is at the center of it all. Becky Anderson is in Copenhagen, where thousands of people around the world are gathering right now for the global climate change summit. And Tom Foreman is breaking down the facts for us at the magic wall tonight. President Obama will be there in Copenhagen next week.
And hanging over it all is this e-mail scandal that is calling into question the very science behind global warming. So we're going to start for you tonight at the beginning.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stolen e-mails, suspicions of conspiracy -- it sounds like espionage, not science.
DR. GAVIN SCHMIDT, BLOGGER: I just logged on normally to check what'd been going on in the blog overnight, and I couldn't log on. And I thought that was very strange.
BALDWIN: Some are calling it "Climate-gate." This NASA climate scientist witnessed it as its began to unravel on his own blog site.
SCHMIDT: I tried a few more of the log-in IDs that I knew about. None of those worked either.
BALDWIN: Dr. Gavin Schmidt shut his blog site down, but it was already too late.
SCHMIDT: Somebody had uploaded this entire file of all of these e-mails, and these e-mails are from people I know. In fact, they include e-mails I've sent and have received.
BALDWIN: E-mails stolen by hackers from this research center at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. were handpicked and posted on the Internet.
A controversy erupted after the e-mails raised questions about whether some scientists might have manipulated data, suppressed dissenting research, and overstated the case of manmade climate change.
SCHMIDT: Well, this shows various weather systems.
BALDWIN: Dr. Michael Mann, the director of the Penn State Earth Systems Science Center, who is under inquiry by his own university, was one of the first scientists to come under fire.
DR. MICHAEL MANN, PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY: The first thought in my mind was, don't tell me it's come to this, that the sort of the opponents of action to combat climate change have reached such a low point where they've actually stolen people's personal e-mails.
BALDWIN: And this is the e-mail at the center of the controversy, an e-mail sent to Dr. Mann from Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit at the University of Easy Anglia. Jones, another casualty of the hacked e-mails, chose to step down while the university conducts an investigation.
In an e-mail dated Tuesday, the 16th of November, 1999, Phil Jones writes, quote, "I've just completed Mike's nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years, i.e., from 1981 onwards and 1961 for Keith to hide the decline."
People see the word "trick." There have been all kinds of accusations about that word. It could be duped. What does he mean by saying the word "trick"?
MANN: Scientists, mathematicians often use the word trick in the sense of a clever approach to solving a problem.
We had one data set that stretched way into the past, but it didn't come up to the present. It stopped in 1980. At the same time, we had more recent data that showed how the earth has warmed in the subsequent decades.
And in order to understand the longer term data, it needs to be put in the context of the more recent data so that the relative warmth today can be compared to the relative warmth in the past.
And so the trick was simply presenting these two data sets together so that they could be compared against each other. It was completely out in the open. So there was nothing hidden or secret. It was just what my colleague was calling a clever way to present the data.
BALDWIN: What about the word "decline"? What's that referring to?
MANN: He refers to tree ring information. They were looking at the density of the wood that formed in those annual growth bands. And it turns out that that measure is highly correlated with summer temperatures where these trees grow.
BALDWIN: For decades, scientists have used tree rings to chart the earth's past temperatures. Before 1960, temperature records from tree rings matched up with other temperature records. After 1960, scientists discovered some tree ring records no longer correlated with other temperature measurements.
MANN: In this e-mail that referred to the decline was simply referring to the fact that these data shouldn't be used after 1960 because of this divergence, because of this decline. So this was something that was completely out in the open, it was in the published literature.
BALDWIN: No cover-up?
MANN: No cover-up. It was perhaps a poor choice of words. And again, I imagine my colleague that if he knew his personal e-mails were going to be read by the entire world, he might have been a little more careful about how he worded things. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BROWN: And that report from Brooke Baldwin of CNN's special investigation unit.
Next, we're going to hear from one of the skeptics who was named in one of those e-mails. He was called a "bozo," a "moron," "the Joe McCarthy of climate change." You'll hear what he has to say about it all when we come back.
BROWN: Right now, thousands of people from 192 countries are gathered in Copenhagen for the U.N. climate conference. The big announcement expected tomorrow that this has been the warmest decade on record.
But as world leaders try to figure out what to do about that, a scandal is hanging over the event. These thousands of e-mails and documents hacked from one of the world's top global warming research centers creating a lot of confusion about the science behind climate change.
What about those e-mails has created such an uproar? Well, with me now to talk about this is Stephen McIntyre, who was slammed in a number of those e-mails for questioning global warming, a Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer who has helped write the U.N.'s climate change report.
Also with us, Chris Horner, author of "Red Hot Lies -- How global warming alarmists use threats, fraud, and deception to keep you misinformed." And back with me, who has been doing a lot of research on all of this, is our very own CNN's John Roberts joining us for this conversation, as well. Welcome to everybody.
Stephen, let me start with you here. You're personally attacked in some of these e-mails, called everything from a "bozo" to a "moron" to "the Joe McCarthy of climate change." How do you characterize what's going on with the e-mails? Do you think this is an attempt to shut down criticism?
STEPHEN MCINTYRE, EDITOR, CLIMATE AUDIT: Sure they are. In discussion of the trick, let's be quite frank about it -- it was a trick. The tree ring records went down in the late part of the 20th century. Instead of disclosing that in the 2001 IPCC report, they did -- they didn't show the decline.
In another document, the 1999 World Meteorological Report -- that is the subject of the e-mail in question -- they simply substituted temperature information for the tree ring information to show the record going up when it went down. There's nothing mathematically sophisticated about that.
BROWN: Let me go to Michael here. Michael, professor, you were a recipient of some of the hacked e-mails in question. To a layperson, I mean -- Stephen just gave us two examples there. To somebody like me who is not a scientist, it does look like these scientists cherry picked certain bits of information to make the case.
MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: There was no deception here. I mean, let's step back. From a scientific point of view, before this episode occurred, we knew the earth was warming, sea level was rising, glaciers are melting, the sea ice is retreating, the ocean is becoming more acidic, all due to the build-up of the greenhouse gases. Nothing in this episode changes any of that.
Even if you think that the British group was somehow cheating, which I don't believe it was, you could throw them out, and there are three other groups, the Japanese group and two American groups, who have done analysis on the temperature data and reached the conclusion that earth is warming and the warming is unique in climate history.
So there's nothing here that changes the picture. We knew the critics had had decades -- because they have access to the data too -- they have had decades to prove that the global warming observations are wrong and they haven't been able to do it.
Until they do, we know the greenhouse gases are building up, that's partly responsible for the warming of the earth. And until those emission are brought under control, for instance, by the government's meeting in Copenhagen right now, the earth is simply going to simply continue to warm.
BROWN: One of the critics you just mentioned is Chris Horner. And Chris, I know you're not a scientist, you're an attorney. You're a longtime critic of this, a skeptic. And you have long argued that scientists are cooking the data.
But, I mean, what's the motive for that? That's always been my question when somebody raises the questions about the scientists. What are their motives in cooking the data? What are they trying to achieve?
CHRIS HORNER, AUTHOR, "RED HOT LIES": Well, I don't argue that they're cooking the data. I named these guys names and I described what they were doing, relying in great part on Stephen McIntyre's work among others in "Red Hot Lies." It's out there. And now we know in their own words what they were doing.
And why is -- we'd have to perform brain surgery on these people, but the fact is scientists are people too and they're subject to every human motivation, including tremendous amounts and increasing amounts of taxpayer funding, which increases with the alarm, as well as ideology, in the present chief science adviser's case...
BROWN: But the data -- I just -- it's a tough leap to make. If the data's not there, if it doesn't exist and the science doesn't back it up, then you're suggesting there's this massive global conspiracy to make a certain case. And it just logically doesn't make sense.
HORNER: Well, that's one more thing made up.
BROWN: Hold on, let Chris make a point. HORNER: Nobody is suggesting a massive global conspiracy. I said these people have proven in their own words what Stephen pointed out they did. They falsified results.
BROWN: But it's beyond this group. You're talking about other people who found very similar results.
HORNER: Let's talk about the falsified results. That's "Climate-gate." It's the fraud, stupid, to oversimplify it. We don't have to keep changing the subject. It's not about locker room talk between scientists. It's the fraud. Stephen proved it. These people have admitted it.
BROWN: But Stephen, let me just go back to you. I know you are a skeptic and you have raised questions. But you're -- and tell me if my read is not accurate, your criticism is a little more nuanced than that. I don't read you as saying fraud, but you tell me.
MCINTYRE: You're right my criticism is a lot more nuanced than that.
There's no question that it's warmer now than it was in the 19th century. The battleground issue is whether it's warmer now than in the 11th century, and whether the data that we have enables you to say that with any degree of certainty.
One of the e-mails in the Climate-gate letters is from Keith Briffa who says it was his opinion that it was as warm as 1,000 years ago as it is today. That's something he doesn't say in the IPCC reports and it's disquieting to read that in this correspondence.
CHETRY: Let me go to John Roberts. John, you spent the day at the university that is ground zero for this whole controversy. What's been their reaction, their response to the furor here?
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, they know that it looks bad from a public relation standpoint. They know that it has had an impact on this prestigious institution, the Climatic Research Unit and the scientists who work there.
But they do stand firmly behind the science. They say even if you take out the work that they've been doing there, there are so many other institutions around the world that have found similar things, and some of the institutions are NASA and NOA.
I have a question for Stephen McIntyre, if I could. And it's good to talk to you, Mr. McIntyre, because your name has certainly come up a lot in the research I've been doing over the last few days here surrounding this.
That tree ring record -- I talked to Michael Mann about it. He said it became unreliable in the 1960s for reasons other than that a temperature decline. Do you agree with that or disagree with that?
MCINTYRE: No one knows why it became unreliable or whether the unreliability existed in earlier periods. The most reasonable interpretation of it is that you can't use these particular records to estimate temperatures in the past. And therefore, the problem is trying to make more of these tree ring records than you really can.
BROWN: And let me get a bottom line sort of account from you in your view.
OPPENHEIMER: Let me make two points. Number one to the point of a massive fraud.
Individual scientists are people, big news. They're fallible. But if you accuse the scientific community of a fraud, you have to say that the 2,500 scientists that are part of the intergovernmental panel of climate change are part of a massive conspiracy.
You have to say that the U.S. National Academy of Science, which looked at this specific issue several times, is part of a conspiracy. You have to say that the Bush administration, which conducted its own review of climate change, is part of a massive conspiracy.
I'm sorry, I don't buy that.
BROWN: All right, standby, everybody. I want to keep you guys with us. We're going to do a little bit more of a fact check if we can here. We want to try to separate some of the opinions, some of the political views, and try to get a more bottom line view that is grounded in science.
Tom Foreman is at the magic wall for us. He is going to try to break that down for us when we come back. And then I want to get your reaction to what Tom says. Stay with us.
BROWN: The growing fire storm over those hacked climate change e-mails couldn't come at a worse time. This week's Copenhagen summit has been two years in the making, getting 200 nations to the bargaining table. Not easy. And now this e-mail controversy threatens to undermine the negotiation.
So we thought we would do a little reality check on climate change, look at what we do know, what we don't know. And Tom Foreman is here to break it down to try to separate fact from fiction for us. Tom, take it away.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Campbell, this is what we're talking about in this big theory, at least one of the things. This little molecule out there, carbon dioxide, and I'll make it bigger so you can really see it -- one part carbon, two parts oxygen, this is the thing -- one of these greenhouse gases we've talked about, that is blamed by the people who believe in this for trapping gases on the earth.
We actually know scientifically these do help trap gasses. The question is why are there so many of them. Let's look at how this is caused. Let me turn around my little molecule here and white it out to look at this. This is the earth, and there are a lot of natural sources of CO-2. For example, volcanic eruptions can cause them. Animal and plant respiration can cause them.
There's something called the ocean atmosphere exchange. This has to do with the rate at which water and plants and other things absorbs CO-2 and helps get rid of inner-atmosphere.
But there are also human sources of CO-2 that we do know about. For example, industrial facilities, automobiles, power plants, deforestation as we cut down trees which absorb CO-2, we might allow more of it to be in the environment.
Again, I'm not trying to take any stance here. I'm just trying to talk through the science of it.
So we have these two different sources here, the natural sources and the human sources, all feeding the earth. And the theory of global warming is that while the earth is covered with all this atmosphere around here, the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases increased. Those allow sunlight to come in, but the heat that it causes cannot escape so easily back through those gases. So in effect, they form a big blanket or big fleece all around the world. And the theory is that's what's making it get hotter because there are more of those gases in theory because there's more of what we're doing here, Campbell.
BROWN: All right. So despite the theory, Tom, how do we know this is happening?
FOREMAN: One of the ways we know, Campbell, is because we have taken pictures of it. Take a look at this.
These are pictures that have been taken by NASA of carbon dioxide emissions in the world. Look at these. All these red spots in here are the areas where there is more carbon dioxide going up into the atmosphere. And if you think about it, where are they?
Well, look, here's the United States, highly industrialized California. Lots and lots of people, lots and lots of cars. Over here in the east coast drifting off here, over into Europe, on into Russia and to Asia, this area. So the argument is, this is one of the real issues here.
So, look at what the supporters of this here say. The supporters say what we're facing right now is a serious problem that humans really are major contributors to this problem and immediate action must be taken now. They say in many ways we're talking about possibly a tipping point, but we won't be able to bring the heat of the climate back under control.
But the skeptics, these people we've been talking to say, look, there is an unknown impact here. We don't really know how severe this is. This could be largely or partially natural and maybe it's not really our fault. And the action to deal with this would be very expensive and could be premature. They say we've got a lot more time to study this and figure out if we're right or wrong.
Again, not taking any stances on this Campbell, but that's the general sense of where we stand. We look about why this is happening and what the two different arguments are about what we should or shouldn't do about it -- Campbell.
BROWN: All right. Tom Foreman for us breaking it down.
You have heard certainly about the Climate Research Unit that is at the center of this hacked e-mail scandal. But only CNN went inside to ask the tough questions. We have an exclusive report for you just ahead.
But next, we are going to get to the bottom line on what Tom just laid out for us. The global warming issue. Is it fact, is it fiction? Our guests, our skeptics, scientists all here to comment on that. Maybe even find a little common ground. We'll see when we come back.
BROWN: Tonight, the world has gathered in Copenhagen to try to hammer out a plan to deal with climate change. And meanwhile, of course, the Obama administration did take an unprecedented step here at home. The EPA declared there is scientific evidence that global warming from greenhouse gas emissions does pose a threat to Americans' health.
So as the debate rages on over those stolen e-mails from climate researchers in England, it raises this question, why don't we just clean up the environment anyway? So let's bring back our guests to talk about that. Stephen McIntyre, Michael Oppenheimer, Chris Horner, and our own John Roberts with us.
And, Michael, I just want to start with you. You say that even if you throw out all those damning e-mails, you take them completely out of the equation. You still say the evidence is overwhelming. So what is the most persuasive piece of evidence to you?
MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Well, to be clear about it, the connection between greenhouse gases like CO2, carbon dioxide and global warming is as solid as the link between smoking and lung cancer. It's that simple. But beyond that, one of the reasons that scientists aren't saying, well, let's study this some more is that once carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, it stays there for decades, for centuries, even for a millennium or longer. So that some of the emissions we're making today are still going to be in the atmosphere a thousand years from now. And that means the actions we take or fail to take today are committing our children, our grandchildren, and future generations to climate change indefinitely. That's why action is needed now.
BROWN: Chris Horner, you're laughing. Why? CHRIS HORNER, AUTHOR, "RED HOT LIES": Because climate changes, that's what it does. It always has, it always will. Oddly, it's not warming. In fact, it's been cooling. That's the trend and the projections in the referenced literature are that the cooling will continue for decades.
And let's just accept all of the hysteric scenarios. Nothing ever proposed what according to anybody detectively (ph), in fact, the climate, so this is a gesture at best. And what you want to do is leave the world wealthier to deal with something. You're always going to have to deal with, not horror. All the scenarios in the world won't change that.
BROWN: But let me take the scenarios out of it. I mean, what's wrong with having cleaner air and cleaner water, Chris?
HORNER: Wonderful. Let's -- we're off at the end of the world thing, right? Great, that's progress.
If you want to clean up the air, we have regimes in place for that. If you want to tighten them, we do that during economically vibrant times and only wealthy economies do it. Go to Haiti and ask about their clean air act and come back and talk to me.
The fact is if you want to chase SO2, sulfur dioxide or mercury emissions, the most expensive least efficient way to do it is as a co- benefit of trying to ration carbon dioxide emissions, economists will all tell you that and I'm sure other scientists would agree. The fact is if you want wealthier is healthier is cleaner, you're not going to clean up the environment by chasing CO2.
BROWN: Go ahead, Michael, and then I'm going to bring Stephen in.
OPPENHEIMER: If CO2 -- cleaning up CO2 was such an economic loser, why are the Chinese investing in hybrid cars? Why have they become the world's leading solar energy manufacturer?
HORNER: Because --
BROWN: Let me make his point, Chris.
OPPENHEIMER: The point is they know as we should know that the future of technology is going to be green technology and that there's going to be money in jobs. And frankly, I don't want to see the Chinese eating our lunch. I want to get there first. We can both save the world from global warming and have a new economy which will prosper if we move ahead to develop these technologies. That's what we ought to be doing.
BROWN: Stephen, as our skeptical scientist here in the mix, tell me if you see areas of common ground here. Or are you guys so polar opposites on this stuff?
STEPHEN MCINTYRE, EDITOR, "CLIMATE AUDIT": In terms of practical policies, I think there are a lot of practical policies that people who are concerned about energy future and climate can agree on. So I have -- I haven't personally advocated that any policies be changed.
My main concern is that there be proper disclosure, due diligence in the information that is reported that's underpinning the policies. And the standard of professionalism that is shown in the "climate- gate" letters is really very unsatisfactory.
BROWN: Well, I think without question we'll probably -- well, I hope we'll probably see more transparency at least in terms of some of the research and people being willing to share their information. But if I can, I'm going to ask Michael and Chris, are there areas where you think we could agree in terms of the policies we should be pursuing?
OPPENHEIMER: Well, I think everybody agrees it would be a good thing to reduce fossil fuel dependence, get off foreign oil. Those are things that would help clean up the greenhouse effect. At the same time, be more efficient. And look, everybody agrees we need transparency, not just among the scientists. But I'd like to see transparency among the government and the corporations that are making these decisions.
BROWN: Chris, let me let you jump in.
HORNER: I think we can agree now that the global warming issue isn't about global warming. It's about people wanting to get us off fossil fuels and reduce dependence on foreign oil. It's about everything but global warming. And, by the way, Michael, if the Chinese have vowed to do anything other than spectacularly increase their emissions, it's news to probably most of the world.
OPPENHEIMER: Well, they have. They agreed that they're going to slow down their emissions.
HUNTER: They're going to increase their emission.
OPPENHEIMER: No, that's not true.
HORNER: It is true. OK, watch what happens in Copenhagen.
OPPENHEIMER: We'll watch.
BROWN: We will all be watching what happens in Copenhagen.
OPPEHEIMER: Let's see.
BROWN: But many, many thanks to all of you for joining us. Appreciate it.
HORNER: Thank you.
BROWN: Michael, Chris, Stephen and John Roberts, who is reporting, as well.
MCINTYRE: Thank you very much. BROWN: Tonight in a CNN exclusive, you are going to go inside this climate lab that is at the center of those hacked e-mails. We did send John Roberts halfway across the globe to get to the bottom of it for us. That's coming up.
BROWN: Tonight, the scientific study of how humans are impacting the earth's climate has become blood sport. And in this exclusive report, we're going to take you into the University of East Anglia's prestigious climactic (ph), Climatic -- did I say that correctly -- Research Unit in Norwich, England. John Roberts helps us get to the bottom of what is being called now "climate-gate." Take a look.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How times have changed at the University of East Anglia's prestigious Climatic Research Unit.
PETER LISS, ACTING DIR., UEA CLIMATIC RESEARCH UNIT: Typically it's not locked.
Typically that door would be fully open to the school. It's only during this period when, you know, people are sensitive to --
ROBERTS: Security here is tighter since hackers stole 4,000 e- mails and documents off the university's servers. E-mails from the unit's director, Phil Jones, who has stepped down from his position while an independent review gets underway looking into whether he manipulated or suppressed any data.
LISS: Good Lord. I'm just looking in that office there, all the papers piled high.
Well, they do a lot of work here.
ROBERTS: His temporary replacement, Professor Peter Liss, himself a climate change scientist who was brought back out of semi- retirement and gave us an exclusive interview.
LISS: It's possibly taken the name off the door because of, again, because you know, he's received one or two threats.
That 106 -- is that 106? That is his office.
For the university, I think it's not, I don't think, you know, people say all publicity's good publicity. I'm not sure that's true on this occasion.
As far as crews are concerned, clearly it's pretty upsetting to get that publicity. Much of which is negative, and I think wrongly negative, but that's how it is. And so, of course, it's difficult and upsetting for some people, particularly those whose data -- whose work-up of the data is being questioned. ROBERTS (on camera): The work that Phil Jones and the Climatic Research Unit are probably most famous for is the global temperature record. A look back at the history of earth's temperature over the past 2,000 years, painstakingly recreated by looking at things like tree rings and in more modern times, thermometer readings. It's widely used around the world by scientists and policymakers and will figure prominently at the Copenhagen summit as people debate whether there is global warming, whether it's manmade, and what to do about it.
(voice-over): Professor Jones and the center's other chief scientist, Keith Griffa (ph), are significant contributors to the United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change, taken to be the gold standard of global warming research. One reason why skeptics are pushing so hard on these e-mails.
In one, Jones writes about his efforts to hang on to data two critical scientists want to see. He writes, "If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone."
(on camera): What's your understanding?
LISS: Well, I think that the university is trying as far as possible and deal with freedom of information requests. We've had a huge number, I got to say, and it takes a lot of time to deal with them.
ROBERTS: He was doing more than just try to comply.
ROBERTS: And he was trying to resist them.
LISS: Well, I think I can't comment to that because that's a subject for the review. But you got to look, look at it in a broader complex as well. Individual scientists have views on the particular piece of work. That someone somewhere else in the world has done, for instance, and they may well express that in certain terms and they may be quite negative about it. That doesn't mean that work is hidden.
ROBERTS: In a statement, Professor Jones says while some of the e-mails may not exactly read well, but he does insist, Campbell, that the science is sound and as importantly, honest.
BROWN: And, John, I know you went on quite a quest yourself in search of Professor Jones. And just give us your sense of his state of mind after all of this has happened. I know he's a bit of a nervous wreck given the way this has played out. What did you learn from him?
ROBERTS: Difficult to know exactly what his state of mind is, Campbell, because I didn't ever get a chance to catch up with him even though we looked up every Phil Jones in the Norwich, England phone book and knocked on the doors.
I could only tell you what other people have said. Professor Liss says that he's obviously disappointed by what has happened. It's quite a blow to him. This was as he said his life's work. But he said that he continues to work, though we didn't see him come in to the Climatic Research Unit today.
Another person I talked to at the university said that he's so distraught by what has happened here on the eve of the Copenhagen climate conference which should have been the biggest, highest point of his life with all his research being used in these papers instead turns into the worst time of life that it's actually made him physically ill.
BROWN: And Michael Mann, I know you also spoke to him today, whose e-mails were part of this. What did he tell you?
ROBERTS: He didn't tell me much about Phil Jones' state of mind because I don't think that he has talked to him in the last few days. I know he's been in contact with people close to him. But again, he insisted that the science is sound here.
The skeptics will say that this is all a crock, that this pulls the underpinnings out of the global climate change research community. But the scientists who were involved in it insist that they have stayed true to their work. They've stayed true to the science and they point to this idea that all of these papers, whether they go into publications or whether they go into these United Nations reports are all heavily peer reviewed. They are gone over with a fine-toothed comb by eminent scientists the world over, and they say it would be very difficult for anyone to get junk science through that particular process.
BROWN: All right, John Roberts for us tonight. John, thanks very much.
Coming up next, we're going to talk to our reporter who is covering the Copenhagen climate conference where organizers are trying to shake that growing e-mail scandal, when we come back.
BROWN: Welcome back, everybody. The Copenhagen summit got underway today in the shadow, of course, of this hacked e-mail scandal. So how much of an effect is "climate-gate" having?
And CNN international anchor Becky Anderson has been looking into that. She is in Copenhagen tonight. I talked to her moments ago.
BROWN: Becky, talk to us about what's going on at the conference and the effect this e-mail scandal is having on Copenhagen.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: All right. Well, the delegates here, let me tell you, there are tens of thousands of them. Something like three times as many as they can get in this building. They've been queuing down the streets today for some three or four hours just to get in. When they get in, they really face a perfect storm of inconvenient timing if not inconvenient truth.
The political impact of "climate-gate" is hard to overestimate, but the head of the IPCC says that the evidence for global warming is unequivocal. He's supposed to be a little earlier. I put it to him -- I basically said to him listen, it may be unequivocal to you, but for those of us who've been looking at this e-mail controversy, well, how do we know that the evidence isn't cooked up? This is what he said.
RAJENDRA KUMAR PACHAURI, CHAIRMAN, IPCC: Even these e-mails which were stolen and hacked into at the University of East Anglia, whatever publication was being referred to in those e-mails in terms of a desire to leave them out actually found their way into the four assessment report. So, you know, it's one thing for somebody to express anger or anguish in private. It's quite another to translate that into action. And even if somebody did, there are so many checks and balances in the processes and the procedures that we follow in the IPCC, there's not one iota of possibility that something like this would happen.
ANDERSON: How then, though, do you explain the language in those e-mails?
PACHAURI: Well, I can tell you privately when I talked to my friends I use language much worse than that. This was purely private communication between friends, between colleagues and, you know, they were letting off steam. And I think we should see it as nothing more than that.
ANDERSON: Would you use the research department again at East Anglia?
PACHAURI: Well, why not? I mean, if they are qualified in professional terms, I certainly would. I don't see any reason why they should be excluded.
ANDERSON: It seems to be calming down here. It was big when we got here today. But as it moves through the week, I think this summit will begin to leave that controversy behind and begin to really concentrate on the matter at hand. And that is getting a legally binding deal at some point on a climate treaty.
The head of the U.N. summit here told me he didn't think he'd get that legally binding deal here, although he did say he'll get a political deal -- Campbell.
BROWN: All right, Becky Anderson for us tonight. Becky, obviously, you're going to be watching this for us. We'll have you in Copenhagen for us all week, and we'll check in with you again tomorrow. Becky Anderson tonight. Becky, thanks.
"LARRY KING LIVE" starting in just a few moments. His special guests are the parents of Amanda Knox, who is now serving 26 years in an Italian prison for murder.
Coming up next, a check of the headlines with Mike Galanos, including a new breakthrough in space tourism to tell you about.
BROWN: "LARRY KING LIVE" just minutes away. First, though, we've got more must-see news happening right now. HLN's Mike Galanos here with tonight's "Download."
MIKE GALANOS, HLN PRIME NEWS: Hey, Campbell. Tonight, much of the country is bracing for a severe winter storm.
California took the first hit. Heavy snow, strong winds that are really creating some havoc on the roads. Now the storm is heading east. Parts of the Midwest expecting more than a foot of snow by Wednesday. Even part of Arizona is under a rare blizzard warning right now. It's quite a wallop here early.
Well, Iranian students caught on amateur video today shouting death to the dictator. This as they broke down a gate in Tehran. The student day is meant to mark the death of three students killed in 1953 protesting the U.S.-backed coup that brought the shah to power. This year they're protesting the disputed presidential election six months ago.
And finally tonight, you're now free to float about the cabin. That's what billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson had in mind. That when he developed Spaceship 2. Now CNN got an early peek at the winged rocket. This meant to carry tourists into space for brief trips that starts in 2011. The price tag -- $200,000 per ticket for a few minutes of zero gravity. Three hundred people have already laid down the $20,000 deposit.
GALANOS: Yes, they're ready to go.
Three hundred people?
GALANOS: Three hundred people, 20 grand each. It's going to go to about 60,000 feet. There you can float. Big windows, they say unbuckled. Enjoy the view.
BROWN: OK. In this economy...
BROWN: ... I mean, who would have thought?
GALANOS: You're right. Who's got the cash? I know.
BROWN: Mike Galanos -- appreciate it, Mike.
GALANOS: OK. Thanks, Campbell.
BROWN: That is it for us. And be sure and stay with us all week. We're going to have much more on our special report, "Global Warming: Trick or Truth." We're going to try to tell you everything you need to know about the history-making summit in Copenhagen, the e- mail scandal that threatens to undermine it all. Will years of progress just slip away?
You're going to hear from the man who is at the center of the controversy, Professor Michael Mann. "Global Warming: Trick or Truth," all that continuing tomorrow. That's it for us.
"LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.