Amid all the media hand-wringing over President Trump’s contentious 60 Minutes interview, one common theme that emerged on Monday morning was all three broadcast networks fretting over his skepticism of man-made climate change. Anchors and correspondents were aghast that Trump could have any doubt in the wake of a recent “dire” United Nations report on the global climate.
“In that interview with 60 Minutes, President Trump backed off his claim that climate change is a hoax, but said he doesn’t want to put the U.S. at competitive disadvantage by responding to scientists’ dire warnings,” worried correspondent Peter Alexander on NBC’s Today. He then promptly connected the issue to the President and First Lady traveling “to Florida and Georgia to tour areas devastated by Hurricane Michael.”
Later in the show, weatherman Al Roker substituted his usual 7:30 a.m. ET weather report for a lecture on climate change:
That’s right, we’re still talking about Hurricane Michael and how could it rapidly intensify like it did? Well, we’re going to start to see more and more of that. Wind speed increases of at least 35 miles per hour in 24 hours. Seventy-nine percent of major hurricanes rapidly intensify, that an increase over the last 30 years, and it’s projected to happen more and more with the warmer climate. Warm ocean waters providing the fuel for these hurricanes. Sea surface temperatures rising one to three degrees Fahrenheit in the last 100 years.
Warming ocean and warming temperatures put more atmospheric moisture available to these systems and that creates rapid intensification, and we’re seeing more and more of it. Who’s most susceptible? From Brownsville all the way to Miami, the Gulf Coast and southeastern Florida more susceptible. We’re talking about over 17 million people at risk for these rapidly intensifying hurricanes.
Roker offered a similar presentation to viewers on August 3. Though just a week later, on August 10, he explained that changes to the global climate would actually cause fewer hurricanes to form in the Atlantic Ocean.
On ABC’s Good Morning America, anchor George Stephanopoulos noted that during the 60 Minutes interview, the President “was also pressed on climate change in the wake of that dire U.N. report last week.” Correspondent Terry Moran lamented: “He now accepts that it’s happening, but he says he’s not sure it’s caused by man-made emissions. He doesn’t want to do anything that might harm the U.S. economy to abate it, and he says it might reverse itself of its own accord.”
A dejected Stephanopoulos replied: “So he’s not going to do anything about it.”
CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell used Trump’s climate comments to tee up a report for the network’s Climate Diaries series:
Last night on 60 Minutes, President Trump expressed skepticism about climate change to Lesley Stahl, days after the United Nations issue an alarming new scientific study on global warning. At the same time, NASA is winding down its Operation Ice Bridge. That mission flies planes to Antarctica from South America to study ice melt.
For the latest installment in our Climate Diaries series, Mark Phillips took two of those flights. And he joins us now from Punta Arenas, Chile.
Phillips feared: “The world’s hottest climate science in the world’s coldest place....not only finding less ice, it’s finding that the ice melting is speeding up.”
Back in August, CBS scared viewers with predictions of massive storms possibly hitting the west coast in the future.
The media refuse to tolerate any degree of skepticism toward liberal doctrine. Reporters eagerly look for ways to dismiss and discredit such points of view.
Here is a full transcript of the October 15 report on CBS This Morning:
8:18 AM ET
NORAH O’DONNELL: Last night on 60 Minutes, President Trump expressed skepticism about climate change to Lesley Stahl, days after the United Nations issue an alarming new scientific study on global warning. At the same time, NASA is winding down its Operation Ice Bridge. That mission flies planes to Antarctica from South America to study ice melt.
For the latest installment in our Climate Diaries series, Mark Phillips took two of those flights. And he joins us now from Punta Arenas, Chile. Mark, good morning.
MARK PHILLIPS: Good morning, from Punta Arenas, at the southern tip of South America and a place with a 500-year history of scientific exploration. We’re standing on a replica of the ship that Ferdinand Magellan used on the first ever ’round the world voyage, which came through these waters. That there is HMS Beagle, a replica of the ship Charles Darwin sailed on, also through here. But Punta Arenas has never seen anything like what NASA is doing now.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Polar Shift; NASA’s Flying Lab Tracks Melting Ice in Antarctica]
It can seem like flying across the surface of a distant frozen planet, which you might expect from NASA. But this flight is just 1,500 feet above the most remote place on Earth, Antarctica, where the frozen wastes are becoming less frozen all the time. As the mission scientist John Sonntag says, they’re not here for the view.
JOHN SONNTAG [MISSION SCIENTIST]: That’s because humanity, the nation and the race, basically, we need to know what’s happening to the climate. And specifically the sea level. And a lot of what’s happening to sea level starts at the poles. And that’s when that ice is either liberated or sequestered.
PHILLIPS: You mean frozen or melted.
SONNTAG: Frozen or melted, that’s right.
PHILLIPS: For a decade, this time of year, NASA has been flying to Antarctica out of Punta Arenas.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN [MISSION SCIENTIST]: We’ll stay til 6:15 p.m., so another 25 minutes.
PHILLIPS: Now using a 50-year-old DC-8 jammed with high-tech equipment and highly trained scientists. The world’s hottest climate science in the world’s coldest place. It may look like just snow and ice. But this plane can see a lot more than the eye can see. It’s got lasers and radars and cameras, and even a gravity sensor, the most expensive thing on board, that can map the seabed.
SONNTAG: I like to think about what we do in a very simplified manner, is just taking a yard stick to the ice year after year.
PHILLIPS: And that yardstick is not only finding less ice, it’s finding that the ice melting is speeding up. Research stations on the ground can see the ice loss, but to get the big picture, you’ve got to get up here, says the mission chief scientist Joe MacGregor.
JOE MACGREGOR [NASA PROJECT SCIENTIST]: Presently the Antarctic ice sheet is discharging more than two olympic size swimming pools of ice into the ocean every second.
PHILLIPS: Every second? At that rate, Antarctica alone could cause as much as 6 inches of sea level rise this century.
MACGREGOR: That’s a clear concern for coastal communities, not just in the United States, but coastal countries around the world.
PHILLIPS: Why has the melting increased? That’s the Wordie Ice Sheet down there, warming seas have turned a thick solid sheet of ice attached to the coast into a collection of icebergs linked by a thin film of ice and that’s allowed the massive Fleming Glacier behind it to flow into the ocean at least twice as quickly. There’s an ice shelf, it disintegrates, then what happens?
MACGREGOR: Then what happens is the cork is out of the bottle and the ice can accelerate for a while.
PHILLIPS: What used to seem so frozen and so permanent is now fluid and changing – fast.
After the science, of course, comes the politics. The question for the scientists is, is anybody listening? That’s the subject of the next of these series of Climate Diaries, Gayle, which we’ll do tomorrow.
GAYLE KING: Well, we’re listening. Thank you very much, Mark Phillips, reporting from Punta Arenas, Chile.