On July 3, 2012, Your World, Neil Cavuto and his climate-change denying guest played the media victims over reports that scientists blame the wicked weather on global warming. But the real perpetrator of media bias and distortions of facts was this very segment.
Cavuto opened the segment by describing "the global warming crowd" as "quacks.
Chris Horner, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, was the sole guest. Cavuto somehow neglected to tell the “we report, you decide” network's viewers that Horner’s think tank is a big beneficiary of the petroleum industry. Horner is a regular guest on Fox – where he makes a point of smearing climate change concerns.
So, let’s see, we have the host of the segment denigrating climate concerns as quackery and the sole guest is a known mouthpiece for the fossil fuels industry. How much more “fair and balanced” can you get?
Horner, who is an attorney, not a scientist, insisted that the heat wave is “just weather, not climate.” For extra Fox News bonus points, he threw in a swipe at President Obama. “You may have heard about this guy who said something’s not a tax, and then he argued it is a tax, and then he insisted it’s not a tax, whatever his political agenda needs worth of time. Well, view these people the very same way… They’re pushing an agenda.” He went on to criticize an AP report “that got so much attention today” with “sources (who) were all stars in the drama known as climate gate.” And yet, neither Horner nor Cavuto seemed to care a fig that all the sources in this segment were all playing the climate-change denial game.
Instead, Cavuto made a point of boosting Horner’s cred. “You hit a brilliant point as you often do. If it’s cold, it’s climate change, if it’s warm, it’s climate change, if there’s bad storms, it’s climate change, if there’s fires out in Colorado, it’s climate change, if there’s no fires in Colorado, it’s climate change… Now you can affix something related to man destroying the earth with every climatic movement, whether noteworthy or not.”
Horner insisted “Temperatures are much cooler than even under the deindustrialization. Hurricanes are at a 7-year low, sea level rises dropped. You gotta make them stick to a point. They don’t like doing that.”
Presumably, the AP report Horner was referring to was this one by Seth Borenstein which – unlike Horner and Cavuto - clearly and authoritatively presented the possibility that weather, not climate change, is behind the record-setting heat across the nation:
These are the kinds of extremes experts have predicted will come with climate change, although it’s far too early to say that is the cause. Nor will they say global warming is the reason 3,215 daily high temperature records were set in the month of June.
Scientifically linking individual weather events to climate change takes intensive study, complicated mathematics, computer models and lots of time. Sometimes it isn’t caused by global warming. Weather is always variable; freak things happen.
Furthermore, Horner was flat out wrong when he said Borenstein’s only sources were climate-change “stars.” There’s this paragraph:
While at least 15 climate scientists told The Associated Press that this long hot U.S. summer is consistent with what is to be expected in global warming, history is full of such extremes, said John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He’s a global warming skeptic who says, “The guilty party in my view is Mother Nature.”
And then this one which serves up to Horner, Cavuto and Fox News the inconvenient truth that one reason the vast majority of the scientific sources in the article pointed to climate change is because the vast majority of climate change scientists have concluded that's what the science indicates.
But the vast majority of mainstream climate scientists, such as Meehl, disagree: “This is what global warming is like, and we’ll see more of this as we go into the future.”
But that was another point not delivered by the “we report, you decide” network.