Tucker Carlson dedicated a segment of his Fox News show to a debunked document that claimed clouds are responsible for climate change instead of humans and that had been previously hyped by far-right, conspiracy-pushing outlets including Infowars and Zero Hedge. Carlson and his guest Marc Morano, an industry-paid climate denier, both made false and absurd statements about climate science while discussing it.
The six-page document in question is deeply flawed in a number of ways. Right-wing and climate-denier sites have wrongly called it a scientific “study,” even though it did not go through a peer-review process. After it was released, six credentialed climate scientists reviewed the document for the fact-checking website Climate Feedback and all of them identified substantial flaws in the paper and determined that it was not reliable. Climate Feedback summarized their assessments this way: “This document claims to overturn decades of scientific findings but provides neither the source of the data it uses nor the physics responsible for the proposed relationship between clouds and global temperature.”
The lead author of the document, Jyrki Kauppinen, is a Finnish physicist who has been criticized in the past for making similar arguments denying climate science. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change rejected the comments Kauppinen made on a major report it released in 2014, according to a former climate modeller for the British Antarctic Survey. What’s more, Kauppinen reportedly has a financial interest in disputing climate science because he founded a company that sells emissions analyzers to the fossil fuel industry.
In the July 12 segment on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Morano praised the document and called it “very important.” He also listed off a number of climate-denier talking points. Morano claimed that “500 peer-reviewed studies within the last year debunk[ed] the idea that CO2 is a control knob” for climate change -- a variation on a bogus argument that is often trotted out by deniers but has also been thoroughly debunked. He cited an alleged 1970s cooling period and medieval warm period to bolster his false claim that humans aren't major contributors to climate change. Additionally, he tried to discredit scientists and meteorologists by claiming they're funded by actor Barbra Streisand and philanthropist George Soros.
Carlson has been peddling climate denial and mocking climate change since some of the earliest episodes of Tucker Carlson Tonight. This year, he’s already hosted at least two climate deniers -- Joe Bastardi and Patrick Moore -- and falsely claimed that climate change may make natural disasters less catastrophic. His latest segment with Morano was perhaps the worst example this year of full-blown climate denial on his show, but it was right in line with his lurch toward more extreme right-wing views.
From the July 12 episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight:
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Well, AOC's team say they saw global warming as a pretext for taking over the economy. That doesn't mean their plan was based on evidence of an actual problem, because despite what they tell you, the science is not settled. We can all agree that the climate is warming, temperatures are going up, but we are not sure why. Researchers in Finland have released new work arguing there is little to no evidence at all that the increase in temperature is being driven by the actions of people. Marc Marano is the publisher of Climate Depot and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change. He joins us tonight. So Marc, summarize for us these findings. This is a Japanese and Finnish study. What did they uncover?
MARC MORANO (CLIMATE DEPOT): This new study basically is saying that humankind does not have any kind of control on the climate, that man's influence has essentially been undetectable in the climate record. And the study's finding that clouds are a much more important control knob, if you will, of the climate. Now, it's just one study. The key here is climate skeptics don't jump on one study, but we say, “There are hundreds of factors that influence the climate: tilt of the Earth’s axis, water vapor, methane, volcanoes, and all kinds of ocean cycles.” The idea that carbon dioxide is a control knob is not valid, and I actually point out there's over 500 peer-reviewed studies within the last year debunking the idea that CO2 is a control knob. This latest study on clouds is very important.
CARLSON: So there are three parts -- when people say climate change, there are really three questions that are addressed: Is the climate changing, why is it changing, and what can we do about it? So there seems to be a consensus on one; there is not a consensus on two and three, the questions that matter. Or am I misstating them?
MORANO: No, in fact, it's all about timelines. One of the tricks they’ll do -- these Soros group does these TV weathermen. They'll go, since 1970, temperatures warmed. Why are they using 1970 as a baseline? That was the global cooling era. If you go back to the medieval warm period, where probably the same temperature, we may have cooled. If you go back to the Roman warming period, about 0 A.D., we’re probably cool. If you go to the geologic history of the Earth, we’re in the 10% coldest period of Earth’s history -- in other words, 90% of the Earth’s history was colder than today and didn’t support ice on either pole. So yes, we have warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850. That’s indisputable. Has man contributed? The United Nations claims man is responsible for the majority of the warming and they come up with a 95% confidence interval, which literally is a show of hands of selected activist authors, some of whom, like Michael Oppenheimer --
CARLSON: They’re making it up.
MORANO: Yeah, funded by Barbra Streisand and working for activist environmental groups. And this is how they get it. And then the next question you ask is, how do we control it? We cannot control the climate any more than they believed witches could control the climate. And don’t forget, the witches were actually condemned by judges who were educated at Harvard, so this was the best and brightest who thought that witches influence the climate, causes crop failure. And that's where we are now with the Green New Deal. The U.N.’s own models, the EPA’s models show the U.N. wouldn’t even impact climate.
CARLSON: I've got to stop you there, but I'm going to rush to Google in the commercial break to verify that Harvard-educated judges sent witches to their deaths. But I think you’re right. Marc, thank you for that and the rest. Great to see you tonight.