NBC News has decided that climate change is no longer an issue that has two sides.
Sunday’s episode of “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd featured an hourlong panel with lawmakers and scientists about the consequences of climate change. But at the start, Mr. Todd said his show is “not going to give time to climate deniers” and went on to inaccurately characterize the nature of the climate debate.
“Just as important as what we are going to do is what we’re not going to do,” he said. “We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The earth is getting hotter, and human activity is a major cause. Period.”
“We’re not going to give time to climate deniers,” Mr. Todd added. “The science is settled even if political opinion is not.”
Skeptics about some of the most alarmist climate-change scenarios drawn by former Vice President Al Gore and other Democratic and left-wing politicians bristle at the word “denier,” claiming it implies parallels to people who claim the Holocaust or the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks didn’t happen.
They point out that while everyone understands that burning fossil fuels puts carbon dioxide in the air and that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat, there is a wide range of scientific opinion on such matters as how much man’s activities affect those gas levels, the likelihood of various possible consequences, the effect of other factors on the climate or the possible consequences such as ice or sea levels, and the quality and extent of past historical data on climate.
Mr. Todd prefaced his Sunday statement with video clips of dramatic weather incidents in the last year, though climatologists emphasize the difference between “weather” and “climate” — a distinction Mr. Todd himself made last month versus a conservative skeptic. Scientists also are usually loath to ascribe any specific weather event to man-made climate change.
Mr. Todd’s panel Sunday had non-scientists offering their opinions, including California Gov. Jerry Brown, Rep. Carlos Curbelo and potential Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg.
“We need to stop covering the debate and start covering the story so that people see that this is real, and so that politicians take a more pragmatic approach and find solutions that are actually achievable,” Mr. Curbelo said about the one-sided discussion.
Other politicians applauded the well-parametered show, with Sen. Bernie Sanders who took to Twitter to offer “congratulations to Chuck Todd and Meet the Press for holding a serious discussion about climate change.”
“Will this be a breakthrough moment for mainstream TV?” the Vermont socialist asked.