Neil deGrasse Tyson Slams CNN for Its Stupidity on Climate Change

Why do networks like CNN suggest that climate change is up for debate?

Neil deGrasse Tyson is not putting up with the media’s terrible coverage of climate change. He is especially not putting up with their continued insistence that climate change is up for debate.

Recently, CNN invited science advocate Bill Nye to its popular show "Crossfire" to debate climate change. But why would climate change even be up for debate?

Tyson asked former CNN science journalist Miles O’Brian this very thing on his podcast Star Talk Radio on Sunday, arguing that giving equal airtime to climate change deniers implies there is a debate to be had. Yet over 97 percent of the scientific community agrees that climate change is a reality and that it is manmade. 

Both O’Brian and Tyson liked the idea that journalism should be more like science, using a peer-review process to help eliminate errors.

O’Brian argued that when less than 3 percent of the scientific community is either undecided on climate change or does not believe it is a real threat, why would that view be given equal airtime? Tyson agreed, saying, “One person to represent that 5 percent, but then he gets 50 percent of your time.”

O’Brian was quick to agree, claiming all this serves to perpetrate the lie that there is a debate. Why should a side that has no evidence in its favor be given time to discuss its position? This led O’Brien to ask: “Is it fair, in a story about climate change, which is obviously what I’m talking about, to do this classic journalistic convention of equal time for both sides? This is a huge mistake, I think, for journalists.”

O’Brian said the science team was fired from CNN, jokingly implying they were punished for failing to report on celebrity gossip. He then quipped that CNN has become the Walmart of journalism. “We’re in the boutique age of journalism. CNN is just the department store.”

Climate change denial comes from political ideologues and game show hosts such as Pat Sajak of "Wheel of Fortune" fame, who recently tweeted out that global warming alarmists are “unpatriotic racists.” This is the type of voice CNN is giving airtime to in order to appear as though it is a “balanced” news station.

Tyson is no stranger to controversy. As the host of the hit television series "Cosmos," he has already come under fire from the anti-science right for his insistence that manmade climate change is real and can be combated through economic policies that favor environmentalism rather than profits. He is lambasted week in and week out by creationist groups angered by "Cosmos" episodes devoted to the natural explanation of the universe, including scientific facts such as the theory of evolution, the big bang and now climate change.

Tyson is wisely using his time in the national spotlight to educate the public, with or without the help of mainstream news networks. He does not seem to be letting the controversy get to him and continues to make sure the scientific truth is heard over loudmouth fear-mongers like Sajak and the political right.

Dan Arel is the author of Parenting Without God and blogs at Danthropology. Follow him on Twitter @danarel.
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