On Friday’s “Early Show,” CBS News correspondent Jerry Bowen offered a one sided global warming report. The story appealed to the emotions of viewers and only cited scientists who are alarmist on the subject. Bowen referred to specific findings and opinions offered by scientists who claim “man made” global warming is a threat, while only offering the reality that critics of man as the cause of global warming exist and not their opinions or research.
Citing NASA climate scientist, James Hansen, Bowen noted some frightening conclusions:
“He told a climate conference this week, ‘I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change, no longer than a decade at the most.’ If nothing is done, Hansen foresees a different world with rising seas that would put coastal regions under 3-20 feet of water, more heat waves, more prolonged droughts worldwide, and imminent extinction of animal species in the arctic, including polar bears...”
While offering only the acknowledgement that there are critics:
“A decade goes by quickly and there remain global warming skeptics who don't believe the sky is falling.”
Most scientists agree that the earth is getting warmer, but there is significant debate about whether it is a man made occurrence. Instead of offering a story that plays on the emotions of viewers, the “Early Show” should have offered a real scientific debate in which findings from scientists on both sides of the global warming debate were presented. Why were the findings of scientists such as Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Patrick Michaels, research professor of environmental studies at the University of Virginia, or William Gray, Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University silenced in the “Early Show’s” report?
The nature of the report begs the question, is this news or just wild speculation about the weather ten years from now?
The transcript of Jerry Bowen’s report follows:
Rene Syler: "Apparent new evidence of global warming in the arctic is setting off alarm bells. One expert warns we only have a limited time to act before catastrophe strikes. CBS News correspondent Jerry Bowen reports."
Jerry Bowen: "The ice breakers crunching their way through the arctic ice pack at the top of the world are finding more open water than ever. And NASA scientists say it's all because of what they call an alarming rapid melting of winter sea ice, the usually permanent ice cover over the Arctic Ocean. In just the past two years it shrank by 14%, just at the edges but still a Texas-size loss that researchers say is linked to man made global warming."
Josefino Comiso, NASA Scientist: "To see ice melt is actually a consequence of that warming. The fact that you have a longer melt period is also a consequence of greenhouse warming."
Jerry Bowen: "NASA Climate Scientist, James Hansen, believes the world has little time left to combat greenhouse gases. He told a climate conference this week, "I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change, no longer than a decade at the most." If nothing is done, Hansen foresees a different world with rising seas that would put coastal regions under 3-20 feet of water, more heat waves, more prolonged droughts worldwide, and imminent extinction of animal species in the arctic, including polar bears as the sea ice habitat that is key to their survival continues to shrink. A decade goes by quickly and there remain global warming skeptics who don't believe the sky is falling. But at the top of the world something's going on; the ice is melting faster than ever. Jerry Bowen, CBS News, Los Angeles."