On the Friday July 20 The Situation Room on CNN, substitute anchor Miles O'Brien insisted that, regarding the role of carbon emissions in global warming, "the scientific debate is over," as he lectured former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts on the subject. In response to Watts' contention that "I don't believe the Earth is melting because of carbon emissions," O'Brien responded: "Well, you're not paying attention to the science, J.C. You're definitely not paying attention. ... The scientific debate is over, J.C., we're done." (Transcript follows)
The exchange came at about 4:55 p.m. during a segment in which O'Brien, who also serves as CNN's chief technology and environment correspondent, was hosting a discussion with Watts and former Clinton advisor Paul Begala on the presidential race. The discussion turned to global warming after Begala suggested that McCain should run on his "progressive view" on global warming. The exchange between O'Brien and Watts occurred after Watts voiced his doubts that carbon emissions are responsible for global warming.
J.C. WATTS: I can't talk for John McCain, but I can talk for me. I don't believe the Earth is melting because of carbon emissions.
MILES O'BRIEN: Well, you're not paying attention to the science, J.C. You're definitely not paying attention.
WATTS: You've got science on both sides of this.
O'BRIEN: No, you don't. No, you don't. The scientific debate is over, J.C., we're done.
WATTS: It's your position.
O'BRIEN: No, no, no. That's not, that's science. That is science. The science is out there.
WATTS: It's political science. It's political science.