ABC's Kimmel Mocks Climate Skeptics; Airs Fake PSA Featuring Scientists

ABC's Jimmy Kimmel ranted against climate change skeptics on his late-night program on Monday, and accused them of being lackeys for "companies that make pollution for a living." Kimmel singled out Sarah Palin for her promotion of the recent documentary, Climate Hustle, and bemoaned that the issue was even political: "Climate change is not a liberal versus conservative thing. But the people who profit from ignoring it want you to believe it is....the idea that this is some kind of a left-wing conspiracy is nuts." [video below]

The host led his climate change monologue with his attack on Palin. He played a clip from a recent interview she gave and mocked her "one very long, very dumb sentence" in the excerpt. Kimmel remarked, "Here's the thing: I have a theory. I think maybe Sarah Palin wants global warming. It's cold in Alaska. It would be welcome up there. But the idea that she knows more than 97 percent of scientists is offensive. It's dangerous."

The ABC personality then regurgitated many of the usual talking point from those who hype the threat of climate change:

JIMMY KIMMEL: ...[U]nlike a lot of things, this isn't a matter of political opinion. It's a matter of scientific opinion — in this case, overwhelming scientific opinion. 2014 was the warmest year ever — until 2015 became the warmest year ever. Now, 2016 might turn out to be even warmer than either of those. You know how you know climate change is real? When the hottest year on record is whatever year it currently is — that's how you know. (audience laughs, cheers, and applauds) We've had 15 in the last — of the 16 hottest years ever since 2001. That's not an opinion. That's a fact....

...NASA says that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the warming we are experiencing is very likely due to human activity....Ninety-seven percent of climate scientist agree on this — and 97 percent of scientists don't agree on much. Even one out of five dentists don't agree (audience laughs) on sugarless gum for their patients that chew gum. But almost half our representatives in Washington apparently know more about science than our scientists — or they pretend to because big corporations give them a lot of money to make sure they can keep doing the destructive things that they do.

At the end of his rant, Kimmel admitted, "I know I'll get beaten over the head by every wacko website, and I know there will be a lot of, what the hell do you know? Go back to girls jumping on trampolines." He continued by introducing a mock PSA featuring six scientists: "The people you're about to see are scientists. They're Americans. They're not part of some imaginary conspiracy. They're just a smarter version of us. Watch this; and if at the end, you disagree, while we're all under water, I hope you'll be the last one who gets a snorkel." His chosen experts went along with his mock-the-skeptics act, and repeatedly said, "We're not f**king with you" (the actual expletive was censored). They even brought a kid at the end of the "PSA," who pretended to curse himself. An unidentified announcer jokingly disclosed that the "ad" was "paid for by people who know more than you do." [video below]

The following afternoon, the Washington Post's deputy weather editor, Angela Fritz, gushed over Kimmel's "mic drop" monologue in an online article on Tuesday. Fritz touted how he was "fed up that people believe politicians like Sarah Palin more than climate scientists on the subject. He thinks this is ridiculous, and he pulls no punches in saying so." She also introduced excerpts from the ABC host with "take it away, Jimmy."

The full transcript of Jimmy Kimmel's monologue and the mock PSA, which aired on the May 2, 2016 edition of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live:

JIMMY KIMMEL: I want to talk about Sarah Palin. You remember her — the former governor of Alaska; the big hair? Anyway, Sarah Palin has been making the rounds lately promoting an anti-climate change documentary — a movie called Climate Hustle. The gist of it is that climate change is a hoax and we shouldn't worry about it. It's showing in around 400 theaters tonight; and Sarah Palin is supporting it.

(clip from Sarah Palin interview by The Guardian)

KIMMEL: That was one sentence, by the way (audience laughs) — one very long, very dumb sentence. And here's another one.

SARAH PALIN (clip from online interview by The Guardian): It's perpetuated. It's repeated so often that too many people believe that — oh, well, I guess if 97 percent of — you know, all scientists believe that man's activities are creating changes in the weather, who am I to question that? (audience laughs)

KIMMEL: Exactly. Who are you to question that? (audience laughs, cheers, and applauds) Here's the thing: I have a theory. I think maybe Sarah Palin wants global warming. It's cold in Alaska. (audience laughs) It would be welcome up there. But the idea that she knows more than 97 percent of scientists is offensive. It's dangerous.

No matter what Sarah Palin and these geniuses she surrounds herself with try to tell you, climate change is not a liberal versus conservative thing. But the people who profit from ignoring it want you to believe it is. In general, politicians on the left believe humans are the major cause of climate change; and politicians on the right say, no — not all politicians on the right, but most. And that is what's confusing me, because unlike a lot of things, this isn't a matter of political opinion. It's a matter of scientific opinion — in this case, overwhelming scientific opinion. 2014 was the warmest year ever — until 2015 became the warmest year ever. Now, 2016 might turn out to be even warmer than either of those.

You know how you know climate change is real? When the hottest year on record is whatever year it currently is — that's how you know. (audience laughs, cheers, and applauds) We've had 15 in the last — of the 16 hottest years ever since 2001. That's not an opinion. That's a fact. But for some reason, whether or not humans are contributing to this has become a left versus right issue. Our politicians debate this, but our scientists don't. A huge majority of climate scientists say climate change is happening. They say we're causing it, and we need to do something about it before it has a terrible effect on all of us.

There's no debate about the greenhouse effect, just like there's no debate about gravity. If someone throws a piano off the roof, I don't care what Sarah Palin tells you — get out of the way, because it's coming down on your head. (audience laughs, cheers, and applauds) So, there's this — a thick circle of man-made gases around the planet. It's like a snow globe holding heat in.

Now in fairness — and I do want to be fair — this isn't bad news for everyone. For example, it's — climate change is great for anyone who would like to get swallowed by the ocean. (audience laughs) For everyone else, though — it's good for Aquaman; it's bad for us. NASA says that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the warming we are experiencing is very likely due to human activity. That's NASA. It's right there on their website: climate.nasa.gov. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientist agree on this — and 97 percent of scientists don't agree on much. Even one out of five dentists don't agree (audience laughs) on sugarless gum for their patients that chew gum. But almost half our representatives in Washington apparently know more about science than our scientists — or they pretend to because big corporations give them a lot of money to make sure they can keep doing the destructive things that they do.

And the idea that this is some kind of a left-wing conspiracy is nuts. What if I decided to deny the existence of yogurt? (audience laughs) Think about it. I've seen the containers. I just don't believe there's anything in them. (audience laughs) I believe yogurt is a conspiracy created by John Stamos. (audience laughs and applauds) You'd think I was insane, and I would be insane. But this is not that different than that.

To me, the big question is either you believe in science or you don't. Why do we believe scientists when it comes to molecules and the speed of light and Cialis, but not this? (audience laughs) Because members of Congress — who we don't even like, by the way — because people who take money from companies that make pollution for a living — told us not to worry about it.

Now — and I know I'll get beaten over the head by every wacko website, and I know there will be a lot of, what the hell do you know? Go back to girls jumping on trampolines. (audience laughs) This is not about what I know. This is about what scientists know. So I hope that for the next two minutes, put your political leanings aside. Forget about whether you're a Republican or a Democrat. Forget the labels, and pay attention to the following message. Decide for yourself. The people you're about to see are scientists. They're Americans. They're not part of some imaginary conspiracy. They're just a smarter version of us. Watch this; and if at the end, you disagree, while we're all under water, I hope you'll be the last one who gets a snorkel. (audience laughs)

ARADHNA TRIPATI: Hi. I'm Aradhna Tripati. I'm a paleoclimatologist and isotope geochemist.

ALEX HALL: Hi. I'm Alex Hall, and I'm a climate scientist.

JEREMY PAL: I'm Jeremy Pal, and I'm a hydroclimatologist.

NINA KARNOVSKY: I'm Nina Karnaovsky, and I'm a polar ecologist.

CHUCK TAYLOR: I'm Chuck Taylor, and I'm an environmental analytical chemist.

JOHN DORSEY: I'm John Dorsey. I'm a marine environmental scientist.

KARNOVSKY: Over the past 40 years, thousands of scientists have studied climate change.

TAYLOR: Definitely happening.

TRIPATI: And it's caused by human beings.

PAL: That's you and me.

HALL: And the consequences could be extremely dire—

DORSEY: Catastrophic—

KARNOVSKY: Apocalyptic.

TRIPATI: And here's the thing: when we tell you all this, we're not (expletive deleted) with you. (audience laughs)

PAL: We're not (expletive deleted) with you.

TAYLOR:  Definitely not (expletive deleted) with you.

DORSEY: Why would we (expletive deleted) with you?

PAL: Think about it—

HALL: If I wanted to screw with people, do you think I would have gone into climate science?

DORSEY: If we're (expletive deleted) with you, I'm sure we could do better than anthropogenic climate change.

TRIPATI: I'd probably tell you that a meteor was coming; and then, try to sell you a helmet.

TAYLOR: We know about this stuff.

HALL: We have PhD's—

TRIPATI: In science!

KARNOVSKY: This is not a prank.

TAYLOR: This is not a prank.

DORSEY: Once, when I was younger, I locked one of my buddies in a port-o-potty; then, pushed it over. Now, that's a prank. (audience laughs)

TRIPATI: So, just to sum up—

KARNOVSKY: Global warming: real.

HALL: It's real.

PAL: Man-made—

DORSEY: Cause by carbon pollution—

TRIPATI: Temperatures soaring—

KARNOVSKY: Oceans rising—

TAYLOR: Ice melting—

HALL: For real—

DORSEY: We're not (expletive deleted) with you.

PAL: We're not (expletive deleted) with you.

KARNOVSKY: We're not (expletive deleted) with you. (audience laughs)

TRIPATI: Believe us — if not for our generation, then for his.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE CHILD: You mother (expletive deleted) better not (expletive deleted) this up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER (voice-over): Paid for by people who know more than you do. (audience cheers and applauds)

[ABC Graphic: "For More Information Go To: www.globalchange.gov]

KIMMEL: Climate change is real; wrestling is fake — okay?

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