Less than a week after a new report from the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee showcased hundreds of scientists who disagree with the United Nations' alarmist take on global climate change, ABC’s World News Sunday featured a report devoted solely to cheering Barack Obama’s new “green team” — the promotional term was embraced by ABC News — and laying the groundwork for radical action on global warming after what ABC termed “censorship” and “stonewalling” by the Bush administration.
The story by ABC’s Bill Blakemore offered a manipulative presentation, asserting that “wildfires, droughts and downpours [are] increasing exactly as predicted for global warming” — but not mentioning that global temperatures are actually lower now than in 1998 — and scolding how the Bush White House allowed “political assistants in their 20s to rewrite the conclusions of leading climate scientists” — as if the liberal political opinions of scientists could not be second-guessed.
In two teases promoting the upcoming segment, anchor Dan Harris framed the issue exactly as radical environmentalists do:
DAN HARRIS: After eight years of what many critics call censorship and delay on global warming, what can we expect now from Barack Obama’s new ‘green team?’
DAN HARRIS: And coming up here on the show, with wildfires, droughts and storms getting worse, Barack Obama is about to announce his team to take on what has been described as humanity’s greatest problem.
The segment, which appeared about 20 minutes into the December 14 newscast, offered no hint of skepticism of climate change alarmists, nor any hint of how much the Obama administration’s schemes to combat global warming will cost Americans in terms of lost jobs, lower GDP or higher taxes:
DAN HARRIS: Tomorrow, President-elect Barack Obama is going to officially unveil what has been called his ‘green team.’ After eight years of what critics call stonewalling by the Bush White House, we may now see some major changes when it comes to America’s approach to global warming. ABC’s Bill Blakemore takes ‘A Closer Look.’
BARACK OBAMA (Internet video): Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high.
BILL BLAKEMORE: President-elect Obama, with U.S. wildfires, droughts and downpours increasing exactly as predicted for global warming, is declaring forcefully, he’ll fight climate change head-on.
OBAMA (meeting with Al Gore): This is a matter of urgency, and national security.
OBAMA (Internet video): The science is beyond dispute, and the facts are clear.
BLAKEMORE: The Bush White House has been seen as hostile to facing the problem, even allowing political assistants in their 20s to rewrite the conclusions of leading climate scientists. A former Republican EPA chief says that by comparison --
WILLIAM REILLY (EPA chief under George H. W. Bush): We’re about to see 180 degree shift in the priority give to climate change.
BLAKEMORE: Obama’s new so-called green energy team includes scientists. For Department of Energy chief, a Nobel physicist, Steven Chu. He worked on technological innovations to fight global warming. For Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, a chemical engineer. She spent years winning environment regulations in state and federal government. And a new post, climate and energy czar, to coordinate both. Carol Browner, EPA chief under President Clinton. She won hard bureaucratic battles for tough air quality standards.
Another Republican former EPA chief admires the new team, but warns, it won’t be easy in Congress.
CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN (EPA chief under George W. Bush): This is not just a Republican/Democrat issue. This is a coal state issue versus noncoal state. I mean, people’s livelihoods are heavily invested, in those states, in coal.
BLAKEMORE: The looming battle with fossil fuel companies, charge critics, comes after eight years of coal lobby dominance in the Bush administration.
REILLY: One high administration official told me that she had been told, stay out of the way of coal.
BLAKEMORE: Advisers say Obama expects that growing public concern will win popular support for his new ‘green team.’ Bill Blakemore, ABC News, New York.