On CNN’s 11th Hour Tuesday, when Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune made such a claim, Climate Depot’s Marc Morano marvelously fired back, “The Sierra Club took 26 million from natural gas and Michael has the audacity to try to imply that skeptics are fossil fuel funded” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MICHAEL BRUNE, SIERRA CLUB: All of what Marc said would be very compelling if it were true. This is something that has been settled. The science is settled right now. The top climate scientists in the world, thousands of them, are now as confident that climate change is real as they are that cigarettes make people sick. The only folks who are arguing this are the occasional climate skeptic or the people who are paid for by the fossil fuel industry. We know that the extreme weather events that we’re seeing, the record wildfires, the record droughts, the extreme storms that we’re seeing, the hurricane that we saw with 1,000-mile diameter that hit the eastern seaboard late October of last year, are precisely what scientists have said would be the cause of global warming and climate change.
A few moments later, host Don Lemon asked Morano about a new study in the journal Nature claiming Arctic ice levels are linked to extreme weather further south. Morano responded:
MARC MORANO, CLIMATE DEPOT: It’s a wild theory. They had similar theories in the 1970s trying to blame extreme weather on these kind of variables. The bottom line is the Arctic ice was started monitoring in 1979 at a high point of the 1970s global cooling scare. We lost ice. This year by the way we rebounded depending on what dates you want to pick almost a third or more of the ice, and global sea ice currently is highest in 25 years. Antarctic sea ice is at or near record, which no one wants to talk about Antarctic sea ice because it’s inconvenient to the narrative.
But the idea that we’re having extreme weather, listening to Michael talk there, it’s mind boggling. I mean, the earth is geologically billions of years old and we’re sitting around here scratching our heads saying wow we had a hurricane last year which was barely a category 1 when it hit. And then, by the way, it’s not me, and he’s mentioning funding by the way which I think is funny. The Sierra Club took 26 million from natural gas and Michael has the audacity to try to imply that skeptics are fossil fuel funded.
Not surprisingly, Morano was right. TIME magazine reported in February 2012:
TIME has learned that between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy—one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking—to help fund the Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. Though the group ended its relationship with Chesapeake in 2010—and the Club says it turned its back on an additional $30 million in promised donations—the news raises concerns about influence industry may have had on the Sierra Club’s independence and its support of natural gas in the past.
But it’s not just industry that funds global warming activism. A 2009 study by the Science and Public Policy Institute claimed that in the past two decades, the United States government has spent $79 billion on research and developing green technologies.
Just imagine where that figure now stands after almost five years of Barack Obama in the White House.
As such, the money spent on debunking this theory is dwarfed by the dollars allocated to advancing it – but don’t expect the liberal media to point that out.
That said, kudos to CNN and Lemon for airing this segment.
Although it was a two on one – Philippe Cousteau Jr was also on the panel – it’s nice to see a news network other than Fox bring on someone to present the skeptical side.
Beyond that, Lemon came prepared with some good questions for all of his guests.