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CNN Touts Climate Alarmists Blaming Skeptics for Wildfires

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Friday's The Lead on CNN, host Jake Tapper ran a report by correspondent Will Ripley which promoted the alarmist view that global warming is to blame for the unusually bad wildfire season in Australia, and that skeptics deserve scorn for undermining the alarmists who are trying to cut carbon dioxide levels. More conservative-minded scientists who argue that the intensity of the wildfires is not linked to global warming, and that liberal environmentalists have hindered efforts to manage the forests properly, were not included in the piece.

This is just the latest example of Tapper -- who is generally better about including both sides on some issues than his CNN colleagues are -- slanting left on the environment and excluding the views of skeptical scientists who would give a dissenting view on the global warming issue.

After recalling some of the catastrophic damage inflicted so far by the wildfires, Tapper noted that, "in Sydney, Australia, 30,000 people marching in a climate change protest." Setting up Ripley's piece the CNN host added that, "with their country burning, Australians are demanding action."

Ripley suggested that it is possible for government action to effect changes in climate as he began his report:

WILL RIPLEY: Fighting for change, tens of thousands spilled onto the streets of Sydney, Australians living a fire nightmare, calling on the government to wake up.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN FROM PROTEST: It's heartbreaking, you know. It's our doing. If we kill Mother Earth, what have we got?

RIPLEY: Unprecedented bushfires, some of the worst on record, have protesters in nine Australian cities demanding drastic action, demanding their leaders do more to tackle climate change before it's too late. Australia's devastation only expected to get worse. The inferno fueled by historic drought and a record-breaking heat wave. 

Then came a clip of Tiim Flannnery of Climate Council Australia, from last week's Amanpour & Co. show, predicting that there may be such catastrophic wildfires about every eight years. The CNN reporter also highlighted the views of those blaming conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has a history of defending the fossil fuel industry:

TIM FLANNERY, CLIMATE COUNCIL (FROM PBS'S AMANPOUR & CO.): Once you add the influence of the human-emitted greenhouse gases, we're likely to see those conditions once every eight years.

RIPLEY: Many of these protesters blame their prime minister, Scott Morrison. Morrison, a longtime advocate for coal mines and fossil fuels, a vital part of Australia's economy.

The omission of the conservative point of view has been typical of the regular "Earth Matters" segment on the show from the past couple of years.

Tapper has adopted such biased terminology as "climate crisis" and "climate emergency," and has accused President Donald Trump of being in a "war" on Barack Obama-era regulations. CNN climate reporter Bill Weir also got to show a short interview with former President Al Gore whom Weir lauded as a "climate Paul Revere" without asking him about any of the criticisms of his environmental films.

Tapper has even gone so far as to deny that liberals have cut back in their usage of the word "global warming" over the past 20 years, and have increasingly used terms terms like "climate change" and "climate crisis," which makes it easier for alarmists to try to blame any type of extreme weather -- even cold temperatures -- on global warming, and make their views seem more believable to the public.

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of The Lead with Jake Tapper on CNN from the past couple of years:

Friday, January 10, 2020:

JAKE TAPPER: In our "Earth Matters" series today,, 18 million acres of and -- roughly the size of the entire state of South Carolina -- burned across Australia as wildfires continue to rage there; 27 people have been killed; 2,000 homes destroyed; as many as one billion animals have been impacted by the fires, according to experts. Millions of those animals killed. And, in Sydney, Australia, 30,000 people marching in a climate change protest. And, as CNN's Will Ripley reports, with their country burning, Australians are demanding action.

WILL RIPLEY: Fighting for change, tens of thousands spilled onto the streets of Sydney, Australians living a fire nightmare, calling on the government to wake up.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN FROM PROTEST: It's heartbreaking, you know. It's our doing. If we kill Mother Earth, what have we got?

RIPLEY: Unprecedented bushfires, some of the worst on record, have protesters in nine Australian cities demanding drastic action, demanding their leaders do more to tackle climate change before it's too late. Australia's devastation only expected to get worse. The inferno fueled by historic drought and a record-breaking heat wave. 

TIM FLANNERY, CLIMATE COUNCIL AUSTRALIA (FROM PBS'S AMANPOUR & CO.): Once you add the influence of the human-emitted greenhouse gases, we're likely to see those conditions once every eight years.

RIPLEY: Many of these protesters blame their prime minister, Scott Morrison. Morrison, a longtime advocate for coal mines and fossil fuels, a vital part of Australia's economy.

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: This is coal. Don't be afraid -- don't be scared.

RIPLEY: But many are afraid. Four months of fires, unprecedented in their intensity and destruction. More than 2,000 homes in the hardest hit area of New South Wales burned; nearly 30 people killed; thousands more fleeing to safety. Climate change is one factor, but 24 people in New South Wales are charged with deliberately starting the fires are only expected to get worse. Hot, dry wind gusts returning to areas where 137 fires are already burning. On top of the human cost, millions of animals dead, nearly 18 million acres natural habitat, home to a billion animals, up in flames.... This viral video shows a man driving along a road littered with their charred corpses, carnage only expected to get worse. Australia's fire season doesn't end for months. Will Ripley, CNN, Sydney, Australia.

September 23, 2019:

BILL WEIR: One world leader who knows this topic well and is back in familiar territory, former Vice President Al Gore. … What do you make of the lack of American leadership here today?

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that, to focus on the good news side of it, Donald Trump, being the face of global climate denial, is actually motivating the kind of uprising.

(…)

It's been over a decade since he tries to sound the alarm, a climate Paul Revere with An Inconvenient Truth. And after, of course, a lot of fanfare, a Nobel prize for the IPCC scientists behind those initial alarming reports, very little has been done to burn carbon at an unsustainable rate, but yet he continues to carry that message with unflappable optimism somehow.

September 4, 2019:

JAKE TAPPER: Dorian is a historically harsh storm, the strongest to hit the Bahamas, as far as we know. One of the slowest moving hurricanes on record. Second strongest winds in the Atlantic basin ever while scientists cannot definitively say that the climate crisis is making these hurricanes stronger, there is evidence that warming ocean temperatures contributing to their intensity. It's all part of our "Earth Matters" series.

(…)

GABRIEL VECCHI, CLIMATE SCIENTIST: So what we're seeing and what we think we should be seeing due to global warming is an increased probability of storms becoming severely intense like Dorian has, and doing so in a very rapid way.

(…)

TAPPER: When it comes to severe weather, we should point out that hurricanes are not the most glaring example, of how climate change is contributing to extreme weather. There are other much more stark extreme weather examples.

VECCHI: Exactly. Things like extreme rainfall events, heat waves, or even the more gradual sea level rise and how it makes coastal communities more vulnerable to certain weather hazards by bringing the ocean closer to people

TAPPER: Tonight, CNN is going to host an unprecedented town hall on the climate crisis with 10 of the Democratic presidential candidates, Each one is going to put out their own plans to try to fight this emergency.

August 8, 2019:

TAPPER: In our "World Lead" now, the Americans hit hardest by the climate crisis right now might be the ones who feed all of us -- farmers. A report out today by the United Nations warns that climate change is having a devastating impact on agriculture.

(…)

TAPPER: And on top of it all comes the latest alarming report from the IPCC, which finds that growing food from India to Iowa will only get harder as the climate gets harsher.

(…)

Dr. EUGENE TAKLE, IOWA STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRONOMY: We're going to see by mid-century, by current projections, that our number of days above 90 degrees is going to rise from about 17 days per year, 90 degrees in Des Moines, that will be up more like 50 to 70.

July 11, 2019:

A State Department analyst resigned, according to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, after the White House removed  portions of his June congressional testimony, which included evidence that the climate crisis is a threat to U.S. national security.. … As part of our "Earth Matters" series, CNN's climate correspondent, Bill Weir, is looking into an economic as well as an environmental threat to the communities across this country -- what's known as "climate gentrification."

June 24, 2019;

TAPPER: In our "Earth Matters" segment today, Vice President Pence will visit the National Hurricane Center tomorrow. Perhaps while he's there, he could check in with the scientists of NOAA on the climate emergency, Those scientists say there's a, quote, "threat to the health and wellbeing of the American people." Here's the Vice President yesterday.

TAPPER (FROM STATE OF THE UNION): Do you think it's a threat -- manmade climate emergency -- is a threat?

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: I think the answer to that is going to be based upon the scientists.

TAPPER: Well, the science says yes -- I'm asking you what you think.

PENCE: Well, there's many in the science that --

TAPPER: The science community of your own administration at NOAA, at the DNI -- they  all say it's a threat.

August 2, 2018

TAPPER: In our "Earth Matters" series, the war President Trump has been waging on signature Obama-era environmental policies -- the most recent, a proposal overturning requiring auto makers to build more fuel-efficient cars.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Look, it used to not be climate change -- it used to be global warming. Right?

TAPPER: Actually, it's always been climate change and global warming.

BRENDA EKWURZEL, UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS: As a scientist, we tend to use the term climate change because there's all sorts of changes that are happening on the planet, including global average temperatures rising over the long term .And that part is called global warming.

TAPPER: The President has a theory as to why global warming isn't used as much, in his view.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: That wasn't working too well because it was getting cold all over the place.

EKWURZEL: It is not getting too cold. Global average temperature of the Earth is warming, and that's a fact.

TAPPER: Take a look at this heat map from NASA showing rising temperatures from 1884 to 2016. According to researchers, 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred within the last 20 years.

(…)

January 18, 2018:

TAPPER: As President Trump wraps up his first year in office, government scientists announced the 2017 was one of the hottest years on record. The White House, of course, isn't doing much about it even though scientists say humans are primarily the reason why. Scientists at NASA ranking 2017 the hottest year since they started measuring this, only behind 2016. Using a different methodology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranked 2017 third behind 2016 and 2015. All the scientists agree the rise was mostly caused by carbon dioxide emissions.

May 5, 2017:

TAPPER: Todd Stern, he was the lead U.S. negotiator for the Paris agreement under former President Obama. … What would it mean for the U.S. to pull out entirely from the agreement?

TODD STERN: It would be a huge big deal. I mean, it would fundamentally undermine the international regime, First of all, you can't solve climate change without an international regime because it's essentially a global problem...

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