Debating Climate Change on Fox News

The premise on FOX and Friends was this: If global warming is real then why is it snowing so much? On one side was Sarene Marshall, the managing director of our climate change team who recently wrote about The Year in Weird Weather on the Planet Change blog. On the other side was Brian Sussman, a meteorologist who has written a book that “exposes the global warming scam.”

Let us know how you think the debate went. Leave a comment below and vote in the poll.

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  1. Yes, there is evidence on both sides of the discussion. One side has a mountain of scientific peer-reviewed research and scholarly analysis supporting it and the other side has a couple of eccentrics and a writer or two looking to make a name (and take a profit) for themselves.

    Yes, the evidence is all around us. Looks like 92.98% of the poll respondents recognize the truth when they see it.

  2. A sound bite debate on an issue like global climate change? Brian Sussman was quite rude to interrupt, also. There is SO much evidence, especially in the Arctic and Antarctic, that warming the earth has not seen in over 10,000+ years is happening. An iceberg the size of a small country broke off the Antarctic ice shelf – I believe it was just last year. Island nations are hurriedly preparing for the eventuality that the rising sea will devour their countries. Banks and insurance companies have acknowledged what it’s going to mean for their businesses in their policies.
    Get real, Mr. Sussman. Perhaps one degree doesn’t seem like much in your backyard, but the whole world???

  3. I’m not quite sure you can call that a debate, but the previous description of “sound bite debate” is pretty accurate. While I am a scientist who agrees that the actual evidence is overwhelmingly in support of climate change, it can be very difficult to translate it into sound bite lingo (or at least for the scientists that study it). However, I think some of the major points to highlight (which were mentioned towards the end) are that the term shifted form global warming to climate change to highlight the fact that warming will not occur uniformly across the globe and that changes in weather is hard to predict, but a major component. Personally, I’m quite sad that the difference between weather (what happens at one point in time) and climate (the average conditions) was not mentioned in response to the snows.

    I, as an ecologist, also want to point out an issue I have with the above poll. While I believe (based on evidence) climate change is currently affecting our planet, as an ecologist, I cannot necessarily say that it is all negative. In fact, many areas can be “benefitted” by warmer temperatures, although some will certainly “suffer” (although what is good and bad depends on the perspective being discussed). Climate change will cause ecosystem CHANGE, but change is a natural ecological process that must be accepted and something we work with and should not immediately termed negative. From an ecological perspective, trying to maintain a static community in the face of a changing climate is a losing battle and could lead to greater ecosystem vulnerability than if we accept nature as a dynamic system. That being said, we should be working to reduce the rate of climate change and work so that natural and human systems can successfully adapt and respond to this change.

  4. It is all natural. World would be a better place if the scientist went home.

  5. The key question for me, is why do these ‘skeptics’ do this? I’m a skeptic skeptic. I dont think they are legitimate, but out to make a name and a buck. I know I work in this field because I give a damn about the future, and all of life on earth, and feel that we must do what we feel to be Right, which is to try our best to change the world for the better before it is too late. I don’t get why they do the opposite. Surely the stakes are too high?

  6. Totally agree with you, Oh Please! Drives me crazy when media give equal weight to the small handful of “scientists” who say climate change is a scam. Fantastic job, Sarene!

  7. While right wing ideology is entrenched with an infantile dismissal of climate change, et al, the basic premise of the debate can be simply (apolitically) stated. Why – for any reason – should the human race abandon a constant effort to minimize air and water pollution? Why? Do we not aspire to become smarter than our ancestors? I often use a conversational example as follows: How would you explain to a visitor from another planet that the primary method of propulsion for 99% of all vehicles on earth creates noxious and extremely toxic gases that immediately and cumulatively poison the same air that all forms of life require for survival? How would you further explain that industrial waste and farming chemicals foul the world’s water supply every day, also an element necessary for the survival of known life forms? Really, the argument is silly if not for its deadly potential. To rally “for” continuing to pollute our air & water is to rally for stupidity.

  8. I think Serene debated the question fairly well, but saying like ‘the evidence is all around us, we can see it’ is too vague. There are photographs made, say 30 years ago, and then today of glaciers in various parts of the world. Some have receded dramatically in that time. Icebergs are calving at an accelerated rate.

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