On Friday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman and liberal environmental activist Sam Champion hyped a new global warming study released on April 6. The ABC anchor also featured a representative from a left-wing environmental group and failed to identify the organization’s political slant.
Only minutes after reporting on the "arctic blast" of unusually cold temperatures that much of the country is facing, Champion touted a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that noted "we’re already facing earlier springs."
The GMA weatherman then went on to feature a clip from Brenda Ekwurzel, a representative of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Mr. Champion failed to mention, as did the onscreen graphic, the fact that the UCS has promoted liberal causes such as nuclear test ban treaties and even attacked the Media Research Center for casting doubt on global warming.
Champion prefaced his piece on "baking droughts" and dramatic temperature increases with a report on the brutally cold weather that is striking the East Coast this spring:
Sam Champion: "But it’s a shot of cold air and it’s opened the door for arctic air all the way through the nation. Call it about two thirds of the nation getting this push of arctic cold. This is normally a December, mid-December pattern. As this cold air goes, look at the shades of blue in just about all areas."
Without any sense of irony, Mr. Champion began his segment, which aired a few minutes later at 7:13am, by discussing the new report:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, I'm here with Sam this morning, because there's a brand new report out on global warming. And this one finally translates what all this means for humans."
Sam Champion: "Yes. The second of four expected reports. 450 lead authors of the world's top scientists have been hammering it all night and the results, the results just came out hours ago. Baking droughts in America's west, more waging wildfires in places like California and Texas. And swamped eastern coast lines. That's the future of our world, today's report says, unless global warming is stopped."
Brenda Ekwurzel (Union of Concerned Scientists): "The evidence is quite strong, and the time for action is now."
Champion: "These scientists say we're already facing earlier springs and losing ice. If global temperatures continue to rise, things could get worse. A boost of just 1.6 degrees from present average temperatures could lead to the extinction of 30 percent of species worldwide. A rise of four degrees, over half the world's species could be lost. Already, America's west is feeling the effects. In the midst of a 10 year drought. Look at this, Nevada's lake Mead, a pier to nowhere. What was the lake is 80 feet below normal levels. Seven states draw their water from the dwindling Colorado River. As the water levels drop, officials are scrambling to take action before it's too late."
Pat Mulroy (General Mgr, Las Vegas Valley Water District): "All of us in the Colorado River basin are headed for a much more conservative use of water."
Champion: "$2.5 billion in billion in water projects are already under way, among them, a proposed 280 mile pipeline across parched Nevada."
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: " We are in desperate need."
Champion: "Governor's Schwarzenegger is proposing bonds for new water storage in California as well. The question is, is any of this enough? And how can we stop it? Well, their third report which comes out in May will detail their ideas, these same scientists ideas, on how to stop global warming."
During the piece, the ABC anchor allowed no dissenting opinions and didn't explain the financial cost to "stop global warming."
Mr. Champion has a long history of promoting liberal environmental causes, often in disguise. On April 2, the GMA weatherman hosted a segment on the new phenomenon of green weddings. One of the participants in such a ceremony just happened to be an employee of the left-wing Sierra Club. In January, he highlighted an earlier global warming report in a piece that wondered if "billions" will die from global warming.
In comparison, NBC’s "Today" show didn’t mention the new report at all. Over on CBS, "Early Show" reporter Mark Phillips hosted a segment in the 7am hour that covered much of the same ground, but without any liberal activists masquerading as neutral observers.
Chris Wragge: "Now to the latest report on global warming, and the news is not good. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips is live in London with details this morning, Mark, good morning."
Mark Phillips: "Chris, well the first U.N. report this year dealt with global warming and how it meant that things were going to get bad. The second report deals with where the worst of that bad would be. And because this report is so specific, it was also extremely political. In fact, finalizing the report which was years in the making, came down to an all-night session last night, described as very contentious."
Rajendra Pachauri: "I am wearing the suit that I wore yesterday morning. And I've been sitting in a chair all night."
Phillips: "Every line had to be agreed not only by an international panel of top climate scientists but by governments as well, and that was the problem. Particularly, it seems, the governments of the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia. But the major thrust of the report could not be watered down. It concludes that those who are already suffering most in this world are going to suffer worse due to global warming. Poor people in poor countries are going to be most affected as the climate warms in the next century. The already parched areas of sub Sahara Africa will get hotter, drier, and less able to support populations. And the low-lying areas of Asia, called the megadeltas, will be particularly vulnerable to sea level rise."
Pachauri: "It's the poorest of the poor in the world who are going to be the worst hit."
Phillips: "But the rich countries are not immune. The report warns of increased risks of brush fires in California, of insect infestations and of increased frequencies of heat waves in the American cities already prone to them. And the U.S. has its own low-lying areas in the southeast whose vulnerability will increase. And, so, the scientists have had their say. The question now is whether governments will buy into it. Global warming is an issue that is already moving away from science and into politics."