CNN Media Critic: No Equal Time for Climate Change Skeptics

Monday, 24 Feb 2014 08:02 AM

By Melanie Batley

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CNN's senior media correspondent says journalists should not give air time to people who question the theory of global warming, arguing the evidence for climate change is conclusive and no longer open for debate.

"Let's begin with an important journalistic statement," Brian Stelter said Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources." "Some stories don't have two sides. Some stories are simply true. There's no necessity to give equal time to the 'other side.' One of these is climate change."

Story continues below video.


Stelter said that 95 percent to 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is currently happening, that it is manmade, and that it is damaging the planet. Stelter then interviewed two guests who agreed with his position.

Charles Krauthammer, the conservative Washington Post columnist, however, said in a commentary last week that there is "nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge."

"If climate science is settled, why do its predictions keep changing?" Krauthammer wrote. "And how is it that the great physicist Freeman Dyson, who did some climate research in the late 1970s, thinks today's climate-change Cassandras are hopelessly mistaken?"

"I've long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," he added, "I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30, or 50 years are white-coated propagandists."

In the last few weeks, the Obama administration has stepped up its rhetoric on the issue, saying it, too, does not believe global warming is subject for debate.

"The debate is settled," President Barack Obama declared in his State of the Union Address in January. "Climate change is a fact."

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry sparked controversy this month after he said climate change was possibly the world's "most fearsome" destructive weapon. He also mocked those who deny its existence or question its causes, comparing them to people who insist the Earth is flat.

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