CNN Runs Report on ClimateGate, But Only Includes Guests Who Dispute ClimateGate

On Sunday, during the 6:00 p.m. hour and again during the 7:00 p.m. hour, CNN NewsRoom, hosted by Don Lemon, ran a report by correspondent Mary Snow on ClimateGate -- which was somewhat more balanced than the piece aired on November 25 -- though this report similarly did not quote any of the emails that suggest manipulation of data on global warming by scientists at the UK's University of East Anglia. But both times after Snow's report aired, Lemon followed up by talking with a guest or reporter who disputed the credibility of ClimateGate, without interviewing any global warming skeptics.

After Snow’s report aired during the 6:00 p.m. hour, Howard Gould of Equator International opined that "I don't see any importance" in the emails, and later asserted: "I think people are making a big deal out of nothing. I think it's the climate debunkers that are out there, it's their last ray of hope, and they're trying to cling on to something. But it's really, you know, I think it's a bit of a joke."

After Snow's report aired during the 7:00 p.m. hour, CNN international correspondent Phil Black brought up the timing of the email release and referred to the "broad consensus that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal." Black:

Don, many climate scientists believe those e-mails were deliberately hacked and leaked to try and destabilize the negotiations here. And they say those e-mails do nothing to discredit the work of thousands of climate scientists around the world...Some climate change skeptics are also traveling to this city to try and make their case. But they shouldn't expect a friendly reception because this conference is based on the scientific theory accepted by a broad consensus that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

On the bright side, before presenting the views of those who dispute ClimateGate, Snow’s report informed viewers of the investigation into whether climate data at the University of East Anglia was manipulated, and that "Phil Jones, the head of the university's climate research unit, has stepped down temporarily." Snow:

This U.N. probe is in addition to an investigation under way at the University of East Anglia which says it's looking to see if there's any evidence that scientific data was manipulated or suppressed. Phil Jones, the head of the university's climate research unit, has stepped down temporarily. Those who questioned the effects of human activity on climate change have seized on the e-mails, accusing scientists of conspiring to hide evidence and trying to destroy data. Among them, Republican Senator James Inhofe, who's called global warming a hoax.

Snow included only one soundbite of a global warming skeptic -- Republican Congressman John Shadegg of Arizona -- but she used soundbites of two scientists who dispute the significance of the ClimateGate scandal.

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the 6:00 p.m. hour and the 7:00 p.m. hour of CNN NewsRoom from Sunday, December 6:

#From the 6:00 p.m. hour of CNN NewsRoom:

DON LEMON: Well, it’s an issue that is bringing more than 100 world leaders and 15,000 people to Denmark for a two-week summit starting tomorrow. It is global warming. There's wide agreement in many quarters on the issue, but it remains fiercely controversial in others. Why does it matter? Well, for starters, scientists say a warmer Earth has dangerous consequences – storms, droughts and rising sea levels. While they support cuts in greenhouse gases to reduce and even reverse the impact of global warming. But critics say that's foolish. Global warming – if it is happening – they say, is being exaggerated for political purposes. It's this sometimes bitter debate that awaits President Obama when he heads to Copenhagen for the U.N. Climate Summit on December 18th.

Well, the talks in Copenhagen open with a cloud of controversy hovering over the conference. It may be called "ClimateGate"– look for that term to be used a lot – a series of stolen e-mails that may cast some doubt on global warming research. Our Mary Snow has a report.

MARY SNOW: Two weeks after computers were hacked at the UK's University of East Anglia, and e-mails between climate scientists were posted on the Internet, the head of the U.N.'s climate science body told BBC Radio he wants an investigation.

AUDIO OF RAJENDRA PACHAURI, IPCC CHAIRMAN: We are certainly going to go into the whole lot, and then, as I said, we'll take a position on it. So we certainly don't want to brush anything under the carpet. We don't want to sweep it under the carpet. This is a serious issue, and we certainly will look into it in detail.

SNOW: This U.N. probe is in addition to an investigation under way at the University of East Anglia which says it's looking to see if there’s any evidence that scientific data was manipulated or suppressed. Phil Jones, the head of the university's climate research unit, has stepped down temporarily. Those who questioned the effects of human activity on climate change have seized on the e-mails, accusing scientists of conspiring to hide evidence and trying to destroy data. Among them, Republican Senator James Inhofe, who's called global warming a hoax. This week he called for hearings. No decisions yet. And the e-mails were raised at a House hearing this week.

REP. JOHN SHADEGG (R-AZ): Anyone who thinks that those e-mails are insignificant, that they don't damage the credibility of the entire movement, is naive.

SNOW: But at that hearing, a top government scientist said the e- mails do nothing to change the science.

JANE LUBCHENCO, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION: E-mails really do nothing to undermine the very strong scientific consensus and the independent scientific analyses of thousands of scientists around the world that tell us that the earth is warming and that the warming is largely a result of human activity.

GAVIN SCHMIDT, NASA GODDARD INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES: These are the temperature records from the U.S.

SNOW: Gavin Schmidt is a leading climate scientist with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In the weeks since the e-mails were hacked and questions arose, he’s been putting large volumes of data links on the Web site RealClimate.org that demonstrates a consistent trajectory of a potentially dangerously warming climate.

SCHMIDT: So what we've done is we just said, you know, look, you're not aware of that data. But here is all the data that's already existing.

SNOW: His name appeared on those e-mails, and he says he has nothing to hide.

SCHMIDT: There’s nothing in these e-mails that's problematic, you know. Most of the stuff that has been talked about has been taken completely out of context, and there's a lot of nonsense that's being spoken.

SNOW: Debate over these e-mails comes as world leaders head to Copenhagen next week for the U.N. Climate Change Conference. As to what impact these might have? The UK's Energy and Climate Change Secretary is quoted by the BBC as saying the idea that they could derail the conference is in his words, nonsense. Mary Snow, CNN, New York.

LEMON: All right, Mary, so let's talk about all of this now with Howard Gould. He is the president of Equator Environmental, and he joins us from Stanford, Connecticut. Good to see you, Howard. So ClimateGate, ClimateGate, ClimateGate, what's the importance, if any, of these e-mails?

HOWARD GOULD, EQUATOR ENVIRONMENTAL: I mean, I don't see any importance. The fact is that there's going to be an investigation that's ongoing and going to looking to exactly what happens. I mean, I do think that a lot of this stuff was taken out of context. But I also think that let's just take all of it out of the picture, and you still look at all the other scientific institutions that are out there, and they all say the same thing. So it's, you know, I think people are making a big deal out of nothing. I think it's the climate debunkers that are out there, it's their last ray of hope, and they're trying to cling on to something. But it's really, you know, I think it's a bit of a joke.

LEMON: So you don't think it's suppression at all, as they claim, of any evidence about global warming?

GOULD: Oh, I mean, I'm not, I'm not saying that maybe certain scientists out there in their particular data sets might have done something at that university. I mean, that may well have occurred. I can't speak to that. But I, you know, my thought is that, okay, fine, let's just take all of that data that's come out of that university off the table, and look, I mean, you just heard yourself from the people over at NASA that look, look at the data. It's, you know, it says that climate change is occurring, and the globe is warming, and it is probably anthropogenic, or manmade.

#From the 7:00 p.m. hour of CNN NewsRoom, after Snow's report re-aired:

DON LEMON: And CNN has learned that officials at this week's climate conference in Copenhagen will not shy away from the controversy over the leaked e-mails. Let's go now to CNN's Phil Black who is in Copenhagen. Phil?

PHIL BLACK: Don, here in Copenhagen, just hours before the Climate Change Conference opens, United Nations officials admit that ClimateGate is already being discussed by delegates here. The U.N.'s climate change chief Yvo de Boer, says the issue of those e-mails from the University of East Anglia will be addressed directly in speeches during the opening ceremony. I asked Yvo de Boer what he makes of the allegations. And he said he believes there is a positive side to this scandal.

YVO DE BOER, UNFCCC EXECUTIVE SECRETARY: I actually think it's very good that what's, what has happened is being critically addressed in the media because this process has to be based on solid science. And if the quality and the integrity of the science is being called into question, then that needs to be examined.

BLACK: Don, many climate scientists believe those e-mails were deliberately hacked and leaked to try and destabilize the negotiations here. And they say those e-mails do nothing to discredit the work of thousands of climate scientists around the world, independent scientists whose work draws similar conclusions. Some climate change skeptics are also traveling to this city to try and make their case. But they shouldn't expect a friendly reception because this conference is based on the scientific theory accepted by a broad consensus that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal.