NBC’s Chuck Todd at the beginning of “Meet the Press” on Sunday said that his show is “not going to give time to climate deniers” before hosting an hourlong panel with lawmakers and experts about the consequences of climate change.
“This morning, we’re going to do something that we don’t often get to do: dive in on one topic,” Todd said after showing video clips of dramatic weather incidents in the last year. He continued that climate change is “a literally earth-changing subject that doesn’t get talked about this thoroughly, at least on television news.”
“Just as important as what we are going to do is what we’re not going to do,” Todd 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,” Todd added. “The science is settled even if political opinion is not.”
Todd last month received criticism after “Meet the Press” hosted a panelist who denied the existence of global warming.
Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute on the show cast doubt on global warming, citing cold temperatures.
Todd on Sunday said that his show would not not “confuse weather with climate.”
The climate panel included multiple scientists and experts, as well as potential presidential contender Michael Bloomberg, climate activist California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.).
“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,” Curbelo said at one point. He said that his hometown, Miami, floods once a month and scientists have predicted it will one day be underwater.
A federal report released last month concluded that climate change is poised to slash the U.S. economy and substantially diminish the day-to-day lives of all Americans if leaders do not confront the issue of climate change head-on. The report concluded that around 92 percent of climate change stems from human activity.
Another report, released in October by the the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warns that the world might be on a path toward catastrophic climate change if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t cut dramatically by 2030. The Trump administration also refused to endorse that report in a subsequent U.N. conference.
President Trump and top members of his administration stand at odds with the bulk of the international and scientific communities as they express skepticism about the validity of human-caused climate change, Brown and others on the panel said.
“[Trump] is very convinced of his position,” Brown said. “And his position is that there’s nothing abnormal about the fires in California or the rising sea level or all the other incidents of climate change.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after the show applauded Todd’s decision to focus on the issue.