Climate change is “just kind of a scam analysis” by “high priests,” according to some at CNBC. Rhetoric such as this is not uncommon at the cable business channel, as a new Media Matters report finds that the majority of its coverage of climate change casts doubt on the science behind it.
Watch as CNBC hosts and contributors attempt to counter 97 percent of climate scientists:
So who are these CNBC figures?
Joe Kernen, the co-anchor of Squawk Box, was the most vocal CNBC figure on climate change in 2013, frequently pointing to cold weather to suggest that global warming is not occurring. Kernen has long pushed climate science misinformation. In a 2007 segment, he cited the “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” a movie that promoted discredited claims, to criticize singer Sheryl Crow and “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Laurie David for speaking to college students about climate change. In 2011, Kernen co-authored a book titled Your Teacher Said What?!: Trying To Raise a Fifth Grade Capitalist in Obama's America that compared climate scientists to “high priests” whose work should not be trusted.
Larry Kudlow, the host of The Kudlow Report, campaigned against cap-and-trade in 2009, by denying climate change (“a lot of scientists are now saying ... this whole thing is just kind of a scam analysis”) and citing The Heritage Foundation's exaggerated cost estimates for the proposed cap-and-trade program.
Rick Santelli is a regular CNBC contributor who some claim fomented the Tea Party movement with a well-publicized rant against government assistance for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages. Santelli denies climate change, including saying in 2013, “when it comes to macroeconomics or climate change, I think trying to say that the scientific method is alive and well is a real stretch.”
This climate denial fits in with a troubling pattern at CNBC of what the Columbia Journalism Review called its “newsroom-as-advocate problem.” On climate change as with everything from market predictions to birther quotes, CNBC is once again wrong.
UPDATE: Forecast The Facts has created a petition asking CNBC Chief Executive Officer and President Mark Hoffman to tell “on-air personalities to stop promoting global warming denial and start reporting the facts on the economic risks of fossil-fueled climate change.”