Worried About Climate Change, ABC Touts Child Fretting Over Polar Bears

The journalists at Good Morning America once again touted the dire consequences of climate change. On Thursday, co-host Lara Spencer featured an emotional child worried that global warming would keep polar bears from eating. Spencer talked to Bernadette Woods Placky of the website climate central and hyperventilated: “Is this the kind of thing that people who live on the coastline should be panicking and moving inland?” 

Placky tried to calm Spencer down a bit, reassuring, “We never want panic, but we need to take it [climate change] seriously.” Spencer then featured a young girl fret, “I really want the polar bears to have food to eat so that... they won't be hurting. I don't know how to fix it and I really want to.” 

Asked how to solve the problem of global warming, Placky offered the predictable: “So the big transition away from carbon dioxide and fossil fuel is important because it has big impacts.” She added that “on a small scale," “we need to learn how the little things really play a part. How we can recycle more, what else we can do. Stop using as much plastic bottles.” 

GMA hosts have a history of scaring people. In 2008, then-meteorologist Sam Champion wondered, “Could global warming one day force us into space to live?” Champion repeatedly hyped an extreme environmentalist who refused to use toilet paper.  In 2007, the show's hosts tried to explain his position on toilet paper. 

A partial transcript of the January 7 segment, which aired at 8:34am ET, is below

GMA
1/7/16
8:34

LARA SPENCER: So, of course, Amy's adventure in Iceland took our breath away. Got such a great response from so many of you. But a lot of follow-up questions did happen. So joining us to help answer some of them climate expert Bernadette Woods Placky, the chief meteorologist at Climate Central and a fellow Penn state graduate so we know she knows her stuff. 

...

SPENCER: Rodney on Twitter says are glaciers growing in other parts of the world or are they all melting? 

PLACKY: They're melting and retreating. But I want to get into the difference between land ice and sea ice here because I think maybe where this is coming from is that we hear about growing sea ice in the antarctic. Now, in the arctic it's melting like crazy. But land ice is different than sea ice. Glaciers are land ice. So we're putting more ice and more water into the ocean when they melt. Again, that glass of water, when you put more in — 

SPENCER: Is this the kind of thing that people who live on the coastline should be panicking and moving inland? 

PLACKY: They should be staying it seriously. We never want panic but we need to take it seriously. It is a serious issue. But there are ways we can solve it. 

SPENCER: Can you give us a couple of quick tips we can take away and start doing today? 

PLACKY: We need small things but we need big things. So the big transition away from carbon dioxide and fossil fuel is important because it has big impacts. But also on a local scale, we need to learn how the little things really play a part. How we can recycle more, what else we can do. Stop using as much plastic bottles and our bags and one thing that always gets me too I'm the first one to enjoy a good cup of coffee, but bring your own mug.

...

YOUNG CHILD: I really want the polar bears to have food to eat so that they won't be – so they won’t be hurting. I don't know how to fix it and I really want to. 

SPENCER: That makes me cry. 


PLACKY: Leila, you're not the only one. A lot of people are working on this issue. It is a serious one, serious impacts but there are ways we can fix it if we all work together for this.  

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.