'Today' Promotes French Climber Who Claims Global Warming Kills More Than 9/11

On Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Amy Robach sat down with a French climber who was arrested for scaling the "New York Times," building to promote his belief that global warming kills more people every day than 9/11.

The "Today"' show graphic bragged it had an exclusive with the global warming alarmist, Alain Robert, and while Robach did note the criminal charges being brought against him, she never challenged Robert's assertion that climate change was deadlier than al Qaeda.

AMY ROBACH: What is it about scaling skyscrapers that makes you so passionate?

ALAIN ROBERT: This is something a bit different, but most of all, you know, now since nearly a year, I have decided to fight on global warming, and that's the reason why I have decided to climb the "New York Times" building.

ROBACH: Yeah this climb was different than others, because the other times, you did it perhaps just for the thrill of it. This time you did it with a message. Tell us about this organization and why it's so important to you.

ROBERT: In fact, you know, actually, global warming is killing more people every week than 9/11, so which is a big amount of people.

The following is the full interview as it occurred on the June 9, "Today" show:

AMY ROBACH: He is a real-life Spider Man. Traffic came to a standstill in Manhattan last week when Frenchman Alain Robert climbed the 52-story "New York Times," headquarters with no rope, no harness, just pure grit. A professional climber, Robert says he has scaled more than 80 buildings across the globe and here in the Big Apple. He has now been charged with reckless endangerment, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct and is out on bail. Alain's manager is Julie Cohen. Alain, Julie, good morning to both of you.

ALAIN ROBERT: Good morning.

JULIE COHEN: Good morning.

ROBACH: Alright, a lot of questions here. A lot of people think, you know, why? You describe actually, "Climbing is my passion, my philosophy of life" on your Web site. What is it about scaling skyscrapers that makes you so passionate?

ROBERT: This is something a bit different, but most of all, you know, now since nearly a year, I have decided to fight on global warming, and that's the reason why I have decided to climb the "New York times" building.

ROBACH: Yeah this climb was different than others, because the other times, you did it perhaps just for the thrill of it. This time you did it with a message. Tell us about this organization and why it's so important to you.

ROBERT: In fact, you know, actually, global warming is killing more people every week than 9/11 so which is a big amount of people, and you look at the weather today, once again, it's going to be record you know. Above, nearly 100 degrees for a night. So actually, the global warming is killing and the government are not doing that much on the matter. So that's why I have decided that I was, I was having to give a little bit of my time to fight on global warming.

ROBACH: A little bit of your time. Why don't you use protection? Why don't you use harnesses? I mean, that's got to be pretty scary, right? What are you feeling when you're climbing up that building?

ROBERT: No. The, the thing is, you know, from the beginning, I did start to climb, year 1975, and I have nearly always climbed the same way, you know, many not using any safety devices.

ROBACH: Julie, you've been with Alain for a while. You were down below. You recorded some of his preparations the day before. What does it take to get something like this together?

JULIE COHEN, MANAGER: It takes quite a bit of preparation, mostly because we want to be very careful so that he's not putting anyone ever in danger, and we have to, you know, do our research and find out --

ROBACH: Well, and speaking of that, I mean obviously, we numbered or we listed the number of charges you're facing right now, and a lot of people are saying, you know what, this was not just, not just unsafe for you, but unsafe for everyone on the ground below.

ROBERT: It's not, it's not the truth. You know, climbing the "New York Times," it's climbing a ladder. This, I told already everything to the media.

ROBACH: So you had no reason to believe, at all, you could fall?

ROBERT: I am, I am living some world record. Meaning that I did hardest route, for solo, on the planet. So you think that by climbing a ladder, I injure people? I don't think so.

ROBACH: Well I mean, what are your expect-, what do you expecting to say in court? You're back in court on Wednesday, facing these charges. What are you anticipating?

ROBERT: This is my lawyer, you know, is going to defend me, is an expert. First of all, you know, okay they are charges me for criminal trespass. Trespassing is entering inside the property. So there is no criminal trespass. But disorderly conduct, you know I did the best I could do, meaning that I did climb at 11 o'clock which there was not much traffic instead of climbing during the rush hour.

ROBACH: I want to speak a little bit about the message. You talked about the sign you unfurled. And it said, "Global Warming Kills More People Each Day Than 9/11." Did you at all anticipate, just how sensitive that is here in the New York area and how upset some people were at seeing that sign at all, and was there a better message to get that message out than climbing up, scaling up this building?

ROBERT: No, you know, I'm going to tell you why. It's because, okay, I feel so sad, you know, about what's happened in New York seven years ago, you know. I pay a lot of respect to the victims, to the people who have lost husband or daughter and son, but the thing is, you know, to emphasize how important is, is the fight on global warming--

ROBACH: Right.

ROBERT: --I needed to have a very strong message.

ROBACH: Right. Well you certainly got that message out loud and clear. Alain, Julie, thanks so much for being with us.

COHEN: Thank you.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.