CBS Continues Network Promotion of U.N. Climate Change Report

On Monday, CBS This Morning followed in the footsteps of ABC and NBC by hyping a new United Nations report on climate change. Unlike the other two networks that offered only news briefs during their Sunday broadcasts, CBS gave a full 2 minutes and 37 seconds of promotional coverage to the U.N. report on Monday morning.

Co-host Charlie Rose began the segment by proclaiming “scientists are heating up an old debate this morning. The United Nations says climate change is real and manmade. It calls for drastic changes by the end of the century. The U.N. says without action there could be irreversible damage.”

The CBS anchor then turned to Michio Kaku, a physics professor at the City University of New York, to further play up the United Nations’ talking points:

For the first time in clear words it says there's a point of no return, a point beyond which damage would be irreversible and irreparable. And that is by the end of the century unless we take measures now. By the end of the century we have to zero out, zero out, not reduce but eliminate our dependency on coal and oil burning. 

As the segment progressed, liberal co-host Gayle King hyped the U.N. report even further and insisted that “irreversible damage never sounds like a good thing. What exactly does that mean? Why should we care about it now?”

Later on, CBS’s Norah O’Donnell eagerly accepted the U.N. climate change report and promoted how “this is going to be the hottest year on record. What needs to be done to turn back the clock?” After discussing the need to mandate more fuel efficient cars, Professor Kaku ended his remarks by eagerly cheering on the new climate change polling:

There's also some good news here. The Pew Research Center has stated that for the first time in history now, the American people believe that global warming is real and not a conspiracy of some sort. 

The segment concluded with Gayle King celebrating the so-called “good news” in the U.N. report as she gushed that its “good to end on a good note, positive note.”  

See relevant transcript below. 

CBS This Morning

November 3, 2014

CHARLIE ROSE: Scientists are heating up an old debate this morning. The United Nations says climate change is real and manmade. It calls for drastic changes by the end of the century. The U.N. says without action there could be irreversible damage. Professor CBS News Contributor Michio Kaku is a physics professor at the City University of New York. Professor good morning. 

MICHIO KAKU: Good morning. 

ROSE: The significance of this report and what sets it apart? 


KAKU: First of all it's based on the largest analysis of data. 30,000 studies were analyzed. And as you mentioned, for the first time in clear words it says there's a point of no return, a point beyond which damage would be irreversible and irreparable. And that is by the end of the century unless we take measures now. By the end of the century we have to zero out, zero out, not reduce but eliminate our dependency on coal and oil burning. 

ROSE: What's the significance of manmade? 

KAKU: Well, if it's a natural cycle we throw our hands up in the air said and what can we do, its mother nature's revenge. However, if it’s manmade, it means we can do something about it, because we can eliminate the causes of it. And this report is different from the other ones. It sets now a clear 2100 deadline. Zero out our dependence on fossil fuels.

GAYLE KING: Irreversible damage never sounds like a good thing. What exactly does that mean? Why should we care about it now? 

KAKU: Well we hear about it now because food prices are going to rise because of the disruptions to agriculture. Farmers realize that summer is almost a week longer than Normal. Insurance rates are going to go up because of flooding in many areas. 

We see increasing heat spells, means more visits to the hospital. And so we're seeing the beginning of this now. Sea levels are rising, temperatures are rising, Alaska and Greenland are beginning to thaw out and so we're beginning to see the beginning of what could be trillions of dollars in property damage. 

NORAH O’DONNELL: This is going to be the hottest year on record. What needs to be done to turn back the clock?

KAKU: Well the simplest thing to do is to increase efficiency. Increase the efficiency of car engines mandate laws to make our society more efficient. 

O’DONNELL: Because of carbon emissions. 

KAKU: Because of carbon emissions. But in the long term, it does mean we have to seriously think about solar, about hydrogen, about alternative sources of energy to reduce our dependence. And by the way, there's also some good news here. The Pew Research Center has stated that for the first time in history now, the American people believe that global warming is real and not a conspiracy of some sort. That’s new.

KING: Good to end on a good note, positive note. Thank you, Michio Kaku. 

Environment Global Warming CBS CBS This Morning Gayle King Charlie Rose Norah O'Donnell