ABC's Sam Champion Nixes Idea That Cold Winter Discounts Global Warming, Touted Prof Who Blamed Heat Wave on Climate Change

Liberal weatherman Sam Champion appeared on Friday's Nightline to attack the idea that global warming could be dismissed because of the snowy winter suffered by much of the country. He complained, "There's really no way you can connect it to climate change or global warming. This is a seasonal pattern that we're in." [Audio available here.]

And yet, on the June 9, 2008 edition of Good Morning America, Champion reported on the late spring heat wave much America was enduring. He alerted, "Dr. Stephen Schneider of Stanford University believes climate change is also playing a role."

Schneider proclaimed, "While this heat wave, like all other heat waves, is made by Mother Nature, we've been fooling around by turning the knob and making it a little bit hotter."

The professor added, "We've already increased by 35 percent the amount of carbon dioxide, which traps heat. We've added 150 percent more methane, which also traps heat."

So, it's okay to suggest that a warm snap proves global warming, but there's "no way" to disprove climate change with an unusually snowy winter? Apparently, anecdotal evidence is only acceptable some of the time.

A transcript of the relevant section from the June 9, 2008 Good Morning America can be found below:

7:02am

SAM CHAMPION: It has been an unbelievable run and an uncomfortable run of heat in a good part of the nation. It started last week and it continues over the next day or two before it breaks, and, remember, folks, it's not anywhere near summer just yet. The heat's on across the North and the Southeast with soaring early June temperatures into the upper 90s. In some areas, oppressive humidity making it feel like 110.

...

CHAMPION: And residents in many parts of the country are suffering. In Raleigh, North Carolina, so much heat, the outdoor Special Olympics were canceled.

STEPHEN SCHNEIDER (Sanford University): While this heat wave, like all other heat waves, is made by Mother Nature, we've been fooling around by turning the knob and making it a little bit hotter.

CHAMPION: Dr. Stephen Schneider of Stanford University believes climate change is also playing a role.

SCHNEIDER: We've already increased by 35 percent the amount of carbon dioxide, which traps heat. We've added 150 percent more methane, which also traps heat.

A transcript of the relevant section of the February 26, 2010 edition of Nightline can be found below:

11:38pm

DAVID WRIGHT: Doubters of climate change point to all that white stuff as proof global warming must be a lie.

STUART VARNEY: We're in the middle of a huge snowstorm up and down the eastern seaboard and you are going to create a government agency to stubble - study global warming. It's a losing issue.

WRIGHT: Of course, others say weather should not be confused with climate change.

CHAMPION: There's really no way you can connect it to climate change or global warming. This is a seasonal pattern that we're in.

WRIGHT: So, what does account for all this accumulation?

CHAMPION: We're in an El Nino pattern really. It's that warm pool of water in the Pacific. And the storms that have been building there become these big west coast storms. This is a brand new one that's along the coastline in the past 48 hours. And then they all move directly across the country, low in the country, creating southern snowstorms and then wrap up tightly like the one that's just exiting the east coast now. They've all done that.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org