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Global Warming Debate, FOX News Style: Two Questionable Guests With The Same Opinion

Reported by Ellen - January 31, 2007 -

Last night’s (1/30/07) Hannity & Colmes offered a “debate” about global warming with a panel made up of global-warming deniers, only. Each of the two guests has ties to the energy industry that were not disclosed to viewers by the “we report, you decide” network. The debate was prompted by an upcoming report from the U.N. on the issue. It must have been the inclusion of the U.N. that prompted “fair and balanced” FOX News to decide that it just couldn’t take a chance with anyone with a different opinion, even if that opinion is in the mainstream of science.

During the discussion, the biased FOX News chyron did its part, too, to cast doubt on the UN and global warming: U.N. SET TO RELEASE GLOBAL WARMING REPORT: IS IT FACT OR FICTION?

Nobody told the viewers that guest Professor Fred Singer has served as a consultant to several oil companies – just the kinds of entities who would prefer not to be fingered as a cause. Furthermore, Singer’s organization, SEPP, has received multiple grants from ExxonMobil, according to the website Exxonsecrets.org.

Singer acknowledged that the temperature is rising but, he insisted, there was no proof that it’s not part of a natural cycle. “We find that there’s really no evidence to support the man-made hypothesis.” Singer said. “There has never been a case of human activity causing a global warming and, of course, sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age.”

Singer is also alleged to have debated Carl Sagan on the effects of the Kuwait petroleum fires during Operation Desert Storm. According to Wikipedia, Sagan thought the petroleum fires would lead to ecological disaster. Singer said such a view was ridiculous, that the smoke would go up only a few thousand feet and then be washed out of the atmosphere by rain. Three days later, black rain began falling over Iran, which essentially put an end to the speculation. Singer has also been a spokesperson for the tobacco industry and has written op-ed pieces on the “junk science” of second-hand smoke hazards.

The other guest was Dennis Avery. Avery is probably best known for his misleading claim that organic foods are more dangerous than those sprayed with chemicals. Avery is the director of the Center for Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute. According to SourceWatch, that institute has also received funding from ExxonMobil along with such other entities as DuPont and the National Agricultural Chemical Association.

Alan Colmes cited the rise of CO2 in the air that has occurred since the industrial revolution. “Is that not incontrovertible proof that the behaviors of man has led to what we’re talking about here?”

Not at all, Avery said “We’ve had 600 warmings in the last million years and the ice cores and the sea beds sediment show this. And none of the past has found CO2 coinciding with temperature change.”

Colmes asked, “How do you discount the amount of pollution that’s gone into the atmosphere?”

Singer responded, “CO2, of course, is not a pollutant. It is a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere… It has increased and it is undoubtedly the case that human activities have led to the increase. But that doesn’t prove it’s the cause of warming. You see, it’s just a correlation.”