MediaWatch: December 1990

Vol. Four No. 12

More Hot Air from PBS


PBS added to the panic on November 21 by airing another special on the greenhouse effect, After the Warming, a co-production of Maryland Public Television and Film Australia. British author James Burke reported from 2050, looking back at all we did wrong.

The show began with a mock newscast: "By 2005, forty million are dead of starvation....epidemics rage in New York; toxic waste spills throughout Europe; evacuation is ordered from New Orleans; greater temperatures are still to come."

Burke told viewers: "It's a video-tape from 1990, and that was how they thought we'd turn out. Funny how they would miss some of the changes that we would really care about. I mean, do you remember hamburgers, traffic jams, log fires in winter, a place called Miami, a time when the Japanese weren't running everything?" Burke told The Washington Post: "None of this program is fantasy. It is all a result of serious studies."

Meanwhile, PBS refuses to air The Greenhouse Conspiracy, a devastating critique of the science of global warming theory. PBS officials have dismissed the acclaimed British documentary as "too one-sided."

But unlike Race to Save the Planet or After the Warming, which completely ignored opposing points of view, The Greenhouse Conspiracy devoted time to a number of greenhouse advocates, including Stephen Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. After a series of challenging questions, Schneider conceded in the film: "I don't put very much stock in looking at the direct evidence." Putting greenhouse theories to the test in a two-sided debate isn't "too one-sided" for PBS, it's not one-sided enough.