Jack Cafferty Highlights ClimateGate, Reads E-mails Doubting Warming

Jack Cafferty went above and beyond many of his colleagues in the media by highlighting the ClimateGate scandal on Wednesday's Situation Room. He presented both sides of the controversy, noting the "thousand pages of leaked e-mails and documents," while summarizing the side of the defenders of the theory of manmade climate change. Most of the viewer e-mails he read sided with the critics of the theory. The CNN commentator brought up the issue seven minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour, and incorporated a reference to a film by a certain former vice president: "Al Gore called global warming 'An Inconvenient Truth,' but suddenly, a lot of people are asking what the truth really is." He continued with a summary of the issue:

CAFFERTY: Suddenly, it's been dubbed 'ClimateGate.' A climate scientist at the center of a growing controversy over hacked e-mails is stepping down from a British university's climate research unit under a cloud of suspicion. Critics point to a thousand pages of leaked e-mails and documents between this scientist and others, which they say prove that global warming is not a threat. They say researchers are ignoring data that questions whether global warming is real, and have conspired to discredit those who question the phenomenon.

This is all coming right ahead of the global warming climate summit in Copenhagen. What's the old expression? 'Timing is everything.' The scientists who believe in global warming say their case is based on- quote, 'all kinds of evidence,' unquote- like what's happening to the ice in the Arctic. The White House insists climate change is happening, adding they don't think the science is in dispute anymore among most people. But not everybody's convinced. A recent poll shows the percentage of Americans who believe global warming is happening has dropped from 80 to 72 percent over the past year.

So here's the question: do you think the scientific community has been honest when it comes to global warming?

Over 40 minutes later, Cafferty read some of the viewer responses. All but two expressed their skepticism of manmade global warming.

CAFFERTY: The question this hour is, do you think the scientific community has been honest when it comes to global warming? Keith in Virginia writes, 'No real scientist will say, right now, that climate change we see is due to anything humans are doing or ever did. What they should say is that we still, with all our supercomputers, cannot predict the weather, nor our influence on it. What these scientists did is reprehensible and unethical. What Al Gore did is manipulate the facts for his own gain.'

Pamela writes, 'Well, migratory animals and insects have changed course. Satellites show that the ice in the Arctic is melting. The oceans are heating up as well. Polar bears are drowning. So, I'd say: yes, the scientists are being honest. What do independent scientists have to lose? Do they have more to lose than politicians who are in the pockets of big oil and big coal?'

Guna, Jamesville, New York: 'Global warming's been taking place ever since the last ice age. Unless the climate remains exactly the same forever (and that's not possible), it's bound to warm or cool. We're now in a period of warming, and unless you would like another ice age, we ought to just accept it. This is not to say we shouldn't clean up our air, water and trash before we poison ourselves. If we don't do that soon, we won't have to worry about the climate anyway.'

D. in Massachusetts: 'Something smells funny here. I always thought scientists wanted to find the truth. Naive me. The apparent effort to suppress inconvenient information is disturbing. Hope they look into it, and recheck the reported observations that were the basis for the green revolution.'

Ron writes, 'Absolutely. The only question is, how much is the climate changing? Should we wait until billions are starving, here in the U.S. and around the world, before deciding we should have done something years ago?'

And David says, 'Man-induced global warming? Don't hold your breath! Americans are supposed to turn themselves into hunter-gatherers and return to the rice paddies, while the rest of the planet tries to achieve Al Gore's lifestyle. How inconvenient!'

CNN did air a slanted report on ClimateGate on November 25, and the same day, guest Ben Stein indirectly referenced it on The Situation Room. The network deserves some credit for at least devoting some coverage to it. As Julia Seymour of MRC's Business and Media Institute pointed out on Wednesday, the "Big Three" networks' morning and evening news programs haven't even devoted one brief to the scandal.

-Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.