In Two Segments, CBS's Harry Smith Raises Global Warming Alarm

CBS’s Harry Smith led the charge against "global climate change," first with billionaire airline founder and activist Richard Branson and then in the health segment. On the August 7 edition of "The Early Show" at 7:49 AM, Harry Smith hosted the health segment on how to handle the heat with the current heat wave that is affecting much of the eastern half of the United States. With many Americans baking in the hot conditions, Smith appealed to their emotions with this editorial comment.

"Before we do anything else, there is in fact, global climate change. It really affects some climates much more than others, and it's really caused some real serious problems."

Resident physician Emily Senay affirmed Smith’s claim.

"It has, absolutely. And the last five to ten years we've seen serious illness and death, heat related. And, honestly, I mean, I think it's a sign of the times. We all need to get familiar with what happens during this, and do our best to prevent anything bad from happening to us."

Earlier in that half hour, at 7:31, Harry Smith spoke with Sir Richard Branson about his new Virgin America flight. Through the course of the interview, Smith hailed Branson’s attempts to fight global climate change. The relevant portion of the interview is below.

SMITH: It's interesting to me, because we've had occasion to talk several times over the last six months or so. Talk about global warming, of climate change, and everything else. Are you as passionate about business as you ever have been, or are these other issues more important to you now?

BRANSON: Well, some of the other issues are obviously more important. I mean, global warming is obviously incredibly important. But having said that, and if you can make -- you know, traveling for a whole nation a pleasant experience rather than a very unpleasant experience, you can make a big difference to people's lives. But, you know, as you said earlier, if we can make profits from Virgin America, the money is going to be invested into clean fuels.

SMITH: Right, because you've pledged all the profits from what you call your dirty businesses into finding alternative fuels.

BRANSON: Yeah, exactly. So, so what we're hoping is that we can have fuels that we can use on our planes and on trains and buses and cars. That we'll not damage the environment and that's where all our resources --

SMITH: In the end, not that you're completely altruistic, you're in the alternative fuel business too so --

BRANSON: And if we can come up with a fuel that replaces gasoline, than I'm sure we'll make a penny --

Environment Global Warming Weather CBS Richard Branson