Stossel Responds to Kennedy's Attacks, Lists False Scares Environmentalists Pushed

On Wednesday's Your World with Neil Cavuto, FNC's Cavuto hosted both ABC's John Stossel and environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to discuss Kennedy's charge, from the stage of Saturday's "Live Earth" concert in New Jersey, that the ABC anchor, as well as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, have been "lying" about global warming and are "toadies" for corporations.

Stossel charged that some of Kennedy's comments about the environment are "silly" and brought up a number of big scares that have been promoted in recent years, some by environmentalists, that have turned out not to materialize. Asked by Cavuto if ignoring the issue may make it worse, Stossel responded: "Well, it's possible. And it's possible that the killer bees were going to come up and sting us all to death, and that Y2K was going to crash all the planes, and that the pesticides that his organization [Natural Resources Defense Council] is so upset about were causing the cancer epidemic, and the frog testicles were shrinking, were going to make us all sterile. The scares from the environmental groups have just come one after the other. None has been true."

Transcript follows. Ian Schwartz has the video.

Stossel expressed his unwillingness to let Kennedy restrict the use of air conditioning or "tell poor people they can't have a car," and contended that Kennedy's recommendation that changing light bulbs would help fight global warming was "silly." Stossel: "But to call me a flat-earther because I'm saying we shouldn't turn our freedom and our choices over to Robert Kennedy so he can run our lives and tell us when we can have air conditioning or tell poor people they can't have a car is a bit much. Clearly, there is global warming. Climate changes. The earth has been warming. Is it all our fault? Is changing a light bulb going to make any difference? Some of what he says, I think, is silly." The ABC correspondent later alluded to global warming that happened in Earth's past before the time of the Industrial Revolution as he mentioned that Greenland "was called Greenland for a reason."

Below is a transcript of the segment that featured both Stossel and Kennedy from the Wednesday July 11 Your World with Neil Cavuto:

After interviewing Kennedy alone, Cavuto brought aboard Stossel and read Kennedy's recent comments accusing him of "lying."

NEIL CAVUTO: John, your response.

JOHN STOSSEL: Well, what can you say? I suppose he calls me a corporate toady because I'm a consumer reporter who now defends corporations because I've found, by and large, they do good things for Americans. But to call me a flat-earther because I'm saying we shouldn't turn our freedom and our choices over to Robert Kennedy so he can run our lives and tell us when we can have air conditioning or tell poor people they can't have a car is a bit much. Clearly, there is global warming. Climate changes. The earth has been warming. Is it all our fault? Is changing a light bulb going to make any difference? Some of what he says, I think, is silly. I invite you to debate me about this, to come on 20/20 and talk about it. I'd love to have you.

CAVUTO: All right, for now, Robert, what did you mean to say, that John is "lying" to people?

ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.: Yes, absolutely. Lying and lying repeatedly. First of all, the, everything we need to do, the science on global warming is settled, 2500 scientists and the IPPC report, the top meteorologists and climate scientists from around the world have announced the global consensus that global warming exists, that we are causing it, and that its impacts are going to be catastrophic. You don't need that science, though. All you need to do is walk outside. I just came back from the Arctic. The Arctic is melting. It is catastrophic. The good news is that everything that we need to do to solve global warming are things we ought to be doing anyway for the sake of America's prosperity, for our national security, for our economic independence.

CAVUTO: All right, so, John, what do you think of that? By ignoring this, you're making the problem worse. What do you think?

STOSSEL: Well, it's possible. And it's possible that the killer bees were going to come up and sting us all to death, and that Y2K was going to crash all the planes, and that the pesticides that his organization is so upset about were causing the cancer epidemic, and the frog testicles were shrinking, were going to make us all sterile. The scares from the environmental groups have just come one after the other. None has been true. It's possible that this one will be true, but it is just not true to say there is a scientific consensus that global warming will be a catastrophe. It's probably far better to wait, see what happens, these models have not been that good at predicting the future, many scientists disagree with them despite what Mr. Kennedy says. Let's see what happens. Don't make the country poor.

CAVUTO: All right, well, Robert, what do you think of that? Is it wise, on your part, if someone disagrees with you, Robert, to go after their advertisers, to essentially shut John up?

STOSSEL: Sure, that's free speech. He should be able to do that. That's the American way.

CAVUTO: All right, but go ahead, Robert. Go ahead.

KENNEDY: Absolutely, I think, I mean, you know, the air waves are owned by the public. The airwaves are licensed to the broadcasters, but the broadcasters are obligated to use those airwaves primarily to promote the public interest and to advance our democracy. If you are lying to people about science, about the impact of things like global warming, it's something that you should be challenged on. And the advertisers, of course, should be questioned about that.

CAVUTO: Would you apply the same, John, to Robert Kennedy in any venue he appeared on? Would you urge your listeners or viewers to boycott advertisers in which he's featured.

STOSSEL: No, that's not the way I would do it. I would just argue with him. I mean, this is a man who also said that there's no doubt that mercury in vaccines have poisoned an entire generation. I think he's just silly about a lot of things, including this.

CAVUTO: Robert?

KENNEDY: You know, to go back to the global warming issue, global warming, to say that we should wait and see what's happening, it's already happening. I would urge John Stossel to go to Alaska, go to Glacier National Park, where I visited this summer, where there were 127 glaciers at the beginning of the century. There are 17 left now. On every continent, the glaciers and every mountain range on Earth, the glaciers are now receding.

CAVUTO: So you say we ignore this at our peril. John, you just think it's strong-arming to make us accept that.

STOSSEL: Climate changes. Greenland was once called Greenland for a reason. It's not, that doesn't prove that man's doing it and that our not driving a car, and, heck, I live in an apartment and ride my bike to work. I'm his environmental role model, but it's not going to make any difference.