Worried Charlie Rose to Bill Gates: ‘Have Climate Deniers Gained Strength?’

On Monday, Charlie Rose used the insulting term “climate deniers” as a way to describe those who dare express any sort of skepticism about the liberal orthodoxy of climate change. 

The CBS This Morning co-host invited Microsoft co-Founder Bill Gates on to his PBS talk show to promote his Breakthrough Energy Coalition and asked  if “climate deniers” have “gained strength?” Gates responded that “the problem of climate denial is not a huge problem outside of the United States.” 

The following is the relevant exchange as it was aired on the February 22 edition of PBS’s Charlie Rose show: 

CHARLIE ROSE: Two questions before we turn to health and other things you are doing. Number one, where —  have climate deniers gained strength or are they, what, where would you put that component of our population?

BILL GATES: The problem of climate denial is not a huge problem outside of the United States. And so —  

ROSE: Why is that? 

GATES: That’s a good question. The policy makers on many issues like agriculture crops called GMOs, Europe is more skeptical of the science on that. 

ROSE: Than we are?

GATES: Than the U.S. is. On climate change we are uniquely skeptical particularly in terms of telling policy makers, hey, look askance at that. And there’s another group that is a little bit of a problem which is people believe that climate is a problem but think that it’s easy to solve. And so “okay, hey, as soon as the utility guys don’t stand in the way of rooftop solar, this thing is solved not just for the U.S., but for the entire world, not just for the power sector but for transport industry, industry, home, everything we need.” That notion that it there are simple solutions also stands in the way. 

ROSE: But is that inhibiting forward progress? 

GATES: Until the 2015 November talks, the idea of improving the amount of innovation, improving increasing R and D actually was not discussed. And I am still kind of amazed at that. The 20 countries did commit there. That’s good. 

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