Roker ‘Thrilled’ By NBC’s Climate Unit, Hypes ‘Crisis’ in Greenland

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Launching NBC’s Climate in Crisis on Monday’s Today show, as part of the network’s new climate unit, weatherman Al Roker talked about how “thrilled” he was to head up the effort to push environmental activism and touted a recent trip to Greenland as proof of the “crisis” and “ground zero for climate change.”

“We are back with our special series, Climate in Crisis, as NBC News launches a new climate unit dedicated to covering the global environment,” co-host Craig Melvin announced in the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour while introducing the segment. Fellow co-host Hoda Kotb chimed in by alluding to a new Washington Post poll pushing the cause: “Yeah, just this morning, a new poll shows Americans increasingly see climate change as a crisis and want the government to do more to tackle that problem.”

 

 

She noted that Roker “recently went to Greenland” and “had a real eye-opening visit there.” The headline on screen blared: “Trouble at the Top of the World; Al Goes to Greenland For Firsthand Look at Climate Crisis.”

In the taped piece that followed, Roker proclaimed: “Greenland, a massive island at the top of the world, and one of the most remote places on Earth. This breathtaking landscape is ground zero for climate change, where the Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet.” The music playing in the background during his narration made it sound like a trailer for an action movie.

Talking to Josh Willis, the principal investigator NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland project, Roker breathlessly asked: “We have clear signs of climate change where we are flying right now?” Willis replied: “Absolutely. We can see, especially in Greenland, the impact of warming through the retreat of the glacier.”

Following the story, Kotb applauded the certainty of such conclusions: “Listening to those scientists say, like, it’s so obvious that it’s happening. I think it’s just interesting that sometimes when we’re here, we think, oh, that’s happening somewhere far away, but it’s so obvious to those scientists, a no-brainer.”

Promoting the report again on 3rd Hour Today at 9:00 a.m. ET, Roker’s fellow NBC weather forecaster Dylan Dreyer gushed: “NBC News recently launched a brand new climate unit to bring you stories about the environment, and as you probably know, it’s something I’m passionate about, it’s something, Al, you’re passionate about.” Roker fondly recalled how the effort was launched:

Yeah, I’ve been thrilled. Because our president of news, Noah Oppenheim, came to us about a month ago and said, “We’d like to create this climate unit, would you head it?” Jumped on board immediately. And Greenland is really one of those front lines of this crisis.

After replaying the story, Melvin cheered: “I’m glad we started this climate unit. Good job.” Fellow co-host Sheinelle Jones agreed: “Yeah, it’s a good conversation to have.”

Last week, the 3rd Hour Today crew similarly hailed the new Climate in Crisis series and praised Roker for his “legacy” of “fighting climate change.”

They also touted a new fawning profile in People magazine celebrating Roker and the push by NBC to make the liberal environmentalist agenda a top priority.  

Here are excerpts of the September 16 Climate in Crisis coverage:

7:39 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: We are back with our special series, Climate in Crisis, as NBC News launches a new climate unit dedicated to covering the global environment.

HODA KOTB: Yeah, just this morning, a new poll shows Americans increasingly see climate change as a crisis and want the government to do more to tackle that problem. And, Al, you recently went to Greenland, you had a real eye-opening visit there?

AL ROKER: I mean, we really did, guys. Greenland is experiencing another record melt this year, on the heels of a record heat wave that just hit in July. More than 400 billion tons of water have gone flooding off the ice sheet and into the ocean. That’s enough to cover the entire state of Florida. It’s an event that scientists warn could be happening again, and soon.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trouble at the Top of the World; Al Goes to Greenland For Firsthand Look at Climate Crisis]

Greenland, a massive island at the top of the world, and one of the most remote places on Earth. This breathtaking landscape is ground zero for climate change, where the Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. I traveled here to better understand what all these changes mean for us back home. Why should they care about what happens up here in Greenland?

DAVID HOLLAND: For us, Greenland is a bit of a canary in the coal mine.

ROKER: New York University professor David Holland, invited me on board his ice breaker turned research vessel to see how his team is studying the rapidly melting glaciers.

(...)

7:42 AM ET

ROKER: Next, we take to the skies, with NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland mission, better known by the acronym, OMG.

(...)

JOSH WILLIS [NASA OCEANS MELTING GREENLAND PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR]: Greenland has enough ice to raise sea levels globally by 25 feet, which is an enormous amount. If that much sea level rise happened today, hundreds of millions of people around the world would be affected.

ROKER: We have clear signs of climate change where we are flying right now?

WILLIS: Absolutely. We can see, especially in Greenland, the impact of warming through the retreat of the glacier.

(...)

7:44 AM ET

KOTB: Listening to those scientists say, like, it’s so obvious that it’s happening, I think it’s just interesting that sometimes when we’re here, we think, oh, that’s happening somewhere far away, but it’s so obvious to those scientists, a no-brainer.

ROKER: Yeah, and in fact, tomorrow on our Climate in Crisis series, we’re going to take a look at how some of our treasured landmarks and tourist destinations right here in the United States are being threatened by those rising waters.

(...)

3rd Hour Today
9:04 AM ET

DYLAN DREYER: So let’s switch gears to something that affects all of us, the climate. NBC News recently launched a brand new climate unit to bring you stories about the environment, and as you probably know, it’s something I'm passionate about, it’s something, Al, you’re passionate about. And you were in Greenland not that long ago, and we always said we can’t wait to hear what the story is. And finally you brought the story to us today.

ROKER: Yeah, I’ve been thrilled. Because our president of news, Noah Oppenheim, came to us about a month ago and said, “We’d like to create this climate unit, would you head it?” Jumped on board immediately. And Greenland is really one of those front lines of this crisis.

(...)

9:07 AM ET

ROKER: As we continued on, I got to witness climate change right in front of my eyes. That’s a chunk of the glacier breaking off.

NICO SEGRETO: Yeah, it makes big echo with the mountains, like a theater.

ROKER: Wow.

SHEINELLE JONES: Wow.

CRAIG MELVIN: What did it sound like?

DREYER: Right there when it happened?

ROKER: It’s like thunder. The loudest thunder you have ever heard. And to watch this, and to see literally this change happening before your eyes, Nico had put a pile of rocks where the glacier had been a week before, and it already retreated, within a week, of about 20 feet. So.

(...)

9:09 AM ET

ROKER: We’ve got more on the climate series. Check out NBCNews.com/climate.

MELVIN: I’m glad we started this climate unit. Good job.

JONES: Yeah, it’s a good conversation to have.

ROKER: Thank you. And Dylan is part of the climate unit also

DREYER: Yay!

ROKER: You’ll be able – we’re going to send you back out once you come back from maternity leave.

DREYER: Back to the North Pole.

JONES: Exactly.

NB Daily Environment Global Warming NBC Today Video Al Roker

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