Brokaw's Global Warming Special – count the errors

Let’s see how many errors we can count. I’m guessing (based on past performance) we’ll see between 5 and 10 major errors. Maybe even a rehash of polar bears.

from Time.com

Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2009

Tom Brokaw’s New Global Warming Documentary

For someone who supposedly “retired” in 2004, Tom Brokaw has kept plenty busy. He filled in as moderator of Meet the Press after the death of Tim Russert, pitched in on campaign coverage for NBC and completed a documentary on global warming in 2006. Covering the environment isn’t a fad for Brokaw — the South Dakota native is a longtime outdoorsman, often fly-fishing near his home in Montana and hiking with green friends like Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. The former NBC Nightly News anchor just finished a new climate change documentary — Global Warming: The New Challenge with Tom Brokaw — which airs on the Discovery Channel on Mar. 18. Brokaw spoke to TIME in New York shortly after his return from a biking trip to Africa. Apparently semi-retirement isn’t so bad.

Tonight March 18th 10 PM EST and 10 PM PST on the Discovery Channel.

Feel free to note any errors seen here.

For those that missed the first viewing, see the additional air times here

What I find most interesting is that when you go to the main page of discovery.com you find that the site is sponsored by an oil company – Shell.

Looks like Discovery Channel is in the pay of “Big Oil”. Gosh!  I’ll await the pronunciations from the usual suspects like Joe Romm.

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60 thoughts on “Brokaw's Global Warming Special – count the errors

  1. “The New Challenge” Ad nauseum! Thanks for piling on Tom!
    Journalists are pathetic! Where are real investigative reporters??
    Thank God for the internet!

  2. It’s interesting, despite the accusations that always fly from Gore and his minions about skeptical scientists being on the take from Big Oil, that many of the big energy companies are deeply invested in the AGW movement. I tend to assume that since many have launched alternative energy subsidiaries, they’re just angling for a better spot at the trough, when the pols dish out the subsidies.

  3. Your only an “Oil Shill” if you are an AGW Sceptic.
    When Oil Companies like Shell are funding AGW Documentaries, they are simply demonstrating “Social Responsibility”.
    (No Profit motive involved – hang a sec – what’s Shells investment in Windmills???)

  4. I’ve never been an admirer of Tom Brokaw. But, just what were his errors that you mention?
    REPLY: Watch the special and count them.

  5. I am sure it will be the usual Discover BS. The last time end of days was shown I forced my self to watch to see the credits. ABC news produced it.
    This time, I intend to make sure who ever advertises the show will regret it. The last two weeks the Fox Series “24” placed an AGE pitch by the actors. Ford was advertising, planning to buy a new truck, will not be Ford.
    Boycott anyone who advertises this [snip]

  6. I’d just like to throw this thought out there. When do BIG oil companies make record profits? When supply is restricted and prices high? Or when supply is large and prices low? So why would it be a shock to anybody that oil companies would support AGW proponents? They get profits and bonuses while acting as victims.

  7. What amazes me most is the people who are most ardent in their cries of “Big Oil Shill!!” will be silent on this.
    Much like the sentiment: It is only free speech if I agree with it.

  8. Dave Wendt (18:18:32) :
    It’s interesting, despite the accusations that always fly from Gore and his minions about skeptical scientists being on the take from Big Oil, that many of the big energy companies are deeply invested in the AGW movement. I tend to assume that since many have launched alternative energy subsidiaries, they’re just angling for a better spot at the trough, when the pols dish out the subsidies.

    That’s part of it, but my belief is that the oil companies love the AGW movement mainly because it will lead to higher oil prices by placing artificial restrictions on oil without an economically viable (so far) alternative. This is especially true if you believe that we have reached “peak oil.” If oil reserves are truly dwindling, what could be better for oil companies than government policies that result in less of it being sold but at a much higher price?

  9. I think I see what Shell is doing.
    Nietzsche wrote: ” The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.”
    So, the Discovery channel and Brokaw really are Big Oil Shills, because they defend the AGW alarmist cause with deliberately faulty arguments.
    And It really is a Big Oil Plot after all. Perhaps I am ready to post on RealClimate. 🙂

  10. I will be wacthing this…as long as I can take it, just for the opportunity to send Discovery Channel feedback :
    http://extweb.discovery.com/viewerrelations
    I don’t hold out any hope of a rationale discussion or revelations of any relevance other than the continuing cacophany of voices I’ve already heard.

  11. And the Discover boycott winner is:
    Knowing, the movie.
    Pay back Hollywood for suffering the “inconvenient Truth”
    It is past the time to argue, it is going to take action to put a stop to this nonsense. Sinking a movie might get someone’s attention.
    As for myself, not a chance I will watch it, no matter how good it might be…

  12. Out here in Cow Flat (ulence) we don’t get no Discovery Channel. All our hand-crank TV gets is Beverly Hillbillies reruns and infomercials about Sham-wow.

  13. I do not work for or with an oil company. BUT, I would certainly trust their scientists before I would trust a government or academic scientist that counts on global warming for research funding. Industry is looking for the correct answers so they will be in the correct business 30 years from now.
    I expect that in 30 years it will be Exxon Solar or Exxon Wind, they are investing in these technologies now.

  14. GE is heavily invested in alt energy schemes that REQUIRE HEAVY government funding. So is Duke Power. Like Enercon before them – who “invented” the cap and trade and global limit schemes in the late 1990’s, then peddled them to Clinton and Gore.
    (Want to find out where the administration is going in energy and power? Find out where – and when! – HIllary is investing in who. HER money is the inside track, and she WILL make money off of up and downturns.)
    Self interest. (Like the Texas oilman who (coincidently has major gas holdings) who ran a series of advertisements last year promoting wind power (and natural gas turbines to span the gap between “today’s energy” and the upcoming energy.

  15. So why would it be a shock to anybody that oil companies would support AGW proponents? They get profits and bonuses while acting as victims.

    I’m glad I’m not the only person who has noticed how much the entire fossil fuel industry stands to gain from the AGW hysteria. It will be difficult for the average person to sort how much of the increased price is due to carbon taxes, artificially induced scarcity, or outright price gouging, so profit margins are going to soar while Uncle Sam bears all the blame from the public.

  16. LMAO, you guys are hysterical so far!!!!
    the big oil co. don’t care if they sell oil or wind or cow farts!
    control is the word, that is it.
    move along nothing to see here!

  17. Planet Perspective is lacking. So Depressing!
    It’s so sad, I used to feed birds and was an avid birder, now I never put food out as I know it is truly destructive to them because of cats and diseases. Meanwhile we spend more as a nation on wild birdseed than we do on foreign food aid for starving humans.. I turn my eyes away and let the birds live in secret, lest my observations destroy them.
    I used to watch all the wonderful nature shows on TV, National Geographic and the Weather Channel, now I can’t tolerate the constant propaganda.
    The word “PLANET” is spoken and I turn it off, wanting to just puke. So now I watch politics and history.
    I lived in Alaska and wandered far on foot and skis. I walked on the ice of the Bering Sea in Nome, 1968 and collected a little bottle of melted sea ice. I flew over the vast expanses, I climbed the mountains. Alaska almost killed me in 1971, skiing in July. Alaska almost killed me several times. Western Colorado has almost killed us too, ice and snow and getting
    The earth is so much bigger and so much more powerful than people stuck in cities have ever imagined.
    I’m depressed about the press, but guess what, we have a BABY BOOM!
    HOPE and CHANGE! When people start to get back to core values, they have BABIES!

  18. get the program name and URL correct – going with South Park until the half hour – should still get at least 3 major factual errors in the last 30 min

  19. WakeUpMaggy (21:05:11) :
    “The earth is so much bigger and so much more powerful than people stuck in cities have ever imagined. ”
    Very wise statement, indeed.

  20. What I find most interesting is that when you go to the main page of discovery.com you find that the site is sponsored by an oil company – Shell.

    The financial backing seems surprising — I would have thought the invisible hand of Soros at work here.
    Along with several others above, I think I’ll pass on watching another visual screed. Same old tripe turns my stomach.

  21. Wakeupmaggy…Thanks for an interesting post. But…the good news regarding the current baby boom turns to bad news as we realize that 40% are born to unwed mothers. Most of these stories end badly.
    “At least the war on the economy is going well”.

  22. OK – 2 errors last 30
    Wind Power as cheap as coal? say what? OK I’ll be willing to concede that a properly sized and positioned wind mill over its life might approach the pure electron flow cost of coal but unless you have a battery, inverter and alternator technology that is much better that currently available technology that I’m aware of that is off be at least two orders of magnitude and when you subtract subsidies and the fickleness of wind you can add at least two more orders, nice try, next
    Geysers (CA) can power SF? not sure about that but they have a poor record of actually delivering and – oh, power gird?
    did admit corn alcohol was a “oops”
    ok I’m stretching here, but the whole concept of “green” that can shamelessly dictate your waste disposal (from bodily – 1.5lf toilets that take how many flushes? to mandatory compost to recycle to) how you carry your groceries home and how you get there – is only a short step to dictate hi density housing along mass transit, *energy efficiency” “Green Space” then it only a small step to say “you don’t need wasteful individual bathrooms” and of course cooking (let alone gathering and preparing your own food or drink) can be justified by, we’re all over weight and don’t eat properly as well as energy conservation
    ah, time to take the tin foil had off and call it a day

  23. I hope many such pronouncements are archived and used to call the alarmists to account five or ten years down the road. A documentary could/should be put together using video-clips to condemn them out of their own mouths.

  24. Shell has given up on renewable energy citing it being too expensive and takes about five generations just to break even lol
    Two articles in the Guardian yesterday, one by Monbiot, expressed their anger that they could not force a business to follow their religion.
    And an extra slap in the face for the Revolucion Guardianista, Shell said they’ll develop biodiesel instead of wind, solar and excrement power.
    All the egocentric Marxists who post on their comments section cried “Shell only cares about its shareholders!!!!!!”
    I don’t think Marxists realise that most shareholding in the world is regular working folk. It’s not all rich Jews and Anglo-Saxon Protestants aka grey haired white men whom Communistas detest to much.
    Anyway, more fear factor from the Guardian today
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/18/nasa-climate-change-james-hansen
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/18/perfect-storm-john-beddington-energy-food-climate
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/18/west-antarctic-ice-sheet-melt

  25. earth is so much bigger and so much more powerful than people stuck in cities have ever imagined
    Precisely! They’re stuck in cities and imagine the rest of the world is also warm and packed with people. Whenever I have flown across the States or Asia, even Britain, and looked out of the window I was amazed to see how devoid of life our planet is. Wildlife, trees and plants are not as common as some think. They’re mostly common where there is development, an observation that pisses environmentalists off no end, because when humans have a need for something they make sure lots of it is brought into existence.
    Life is lucky to be here in the first place. They should be celebrating human colonisation as a means to expanding life on Earth. But we’re constantly blamed for destroying the planet just because some Brazilians need to cut down some of their trees.
    In the future we’ll be using genetic engineering to create more simultaneous life forms than Mother Nature could have imagined. Some will be extinct brought back from the dead. Some will be rescued from the brink of extinction. New species can be created to serve specific purposes. Then we’ll have cyborg species, even day to day appliances with biological parts. Imagine for a moment an appliance or even a vehicle that did not need electricity because it has a digestive system that can process leftover food.
    Visionaries will set us free from the lunatic environmental movement.

  26. Profitable big oil is a good thing. “Big Oil” is everyone that owns stock in these companies. A lot of regular people own these stocks which are also bought by retirement funds, money market funds and other secondary investors. They all share in the profits. People that do not like Big Oil are those who don’t own those stocks and cry like babies because they don’t to share in the profits. It’s the “if I don’t have it nobody should have it” attitude.

  27. Roger Knights (23:24:13) :
    I hope many such pronouncements are archived and used to call the alarmists to account five or ten years down the road. A documentary could/should be put together using video-clips to condemn them out of their own mouths.

    Feel free to archive such things here: http://whatcatastrophe.com
    See the Data Repository section. Just need to register so proper ownership can be established.

  28. We live in a fascist society now. Big media are part of the governing fraternity, and Brokaw is part of big media. Why do you think General Electric owns NBC news? Why, because they need a huge government investment in otherwise uneconomically feasible “alternative” energy products, and the only way they will get them is by using their media power to get the right people elected. Brokaw is a useful idiot in this, as the only real asset God gave him in life is his good looks, even NBC may be in the category of useful idiot, because all GE has to do is select the right idiots to run it, then close oversight is not needed.

  29. “The financial backing seems surprising — I would have thought the invisible hand of Soros at work here.”
    Soros’ funding of the underlying “research” that Brokaw uses will be on hand. Shell gets to deflect public outrage at Big Oil – while fanning the warming flames that will again raise petro prices.
    The real tipoff is there is as yet one single MSM broadcast questioning party line AGW. This confirms the total lack of real journalists (George Will excepted) as there are always one or two news outlets that run counter. Clearly profit motive has been ruled out as journalistic driver since a balanced MSM program on AGM fraud would be a ratings bonanza. Time for Fox to lead the charge?

  30. OT, sorta:
    “A Modest Proposal”
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/a-modest-proposal-to-prevent-the-pernicious-warming-of-our-fair-globe/

    . . . To wit; that it be enacted as the cornerstone of the necessary reform of our health care system, that, prior to engaging in any action that might potentially extend a human life, that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional simply be required to file an environmental impact statement in which the carbon emission consequences of said life-extension are clearly set forth and arrayed against any environmental benefits that might ensue from the preservation of the individual in question.

    I expect the CMS (Medicare) bureaucrats are hard at work on this proposal, as we speak.
    /Mr Lynn

  31. I tried to watch it but five minutes is all I could endure before changing the channel… and ran to the bathroom to puke…

  32. Watched 30 minutes of South Park.
    Laughed a lot.
    Watched 5 minutes of Brokaw.
    Laughed a lot. 🙂
    WakeUpMaggy (21:05:11) , great post. I’m a city boy who’s well aware of how precarious human life is outside the extremely un-“natural” state we call civilization.

  33. A bit O/T (but not too much, going from Brokaw to Hansen)
    Here’s another Hansen pronouncement from the Guardian:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/18/nasa-climate-change-james-hansen
    “The democratic process doesn’t quite seem to be working.”
    Perhaps he’s thinking of an undemocratic processes. A Dictatorship of Gaia perhaps? Ever notice how, when someone has insight into The Truth, insight not shared by us great unwashed masses of peasants, his proposals gradually shift towards non-democratic ideas?

  34. tom in Florida has it right
    For all those who bash Big Oil as being overly profitable, please consider this list.
    This shows the average return on equity (investment) for various industries as available from finance.yahoo.com. All of these industries are more profitable than major integrated oil companies, Big Oil. Why is there no similar bashing of these industries?
    Industry Return on Equity, Percent
    Long Distance Carriers (phone) 78.90
    Information & Delivery Services 64.90
    Aerospace/Defense – Major Diversified 55.70
    Publishing – Periodicals 48.00
    Cigarettes 44.50
    Diversified Computer Systems 35.20
    Cleaning Products 34.20
    Agricultural Chemicals 33.70
    Application Software 32.30
    Personal Computers 30.90
    Restaurants 30.20
    Auto Parts Stores 30.20
    Management Services 30.00
    Metal Fabrication 28.20
    Processed & Packaged Goods 26.80
    Industrial Metals & Minerals 26.50
    Food Wholesale 26.10
    Dairy Products 26.00
    Trucks & Other Vehicles 25.60
    Personal Services 25.40
    Electronics Stores 25.40
    Insurance Brokers 25.10
    Beverages – Wineries & Distillers 24.90
    Major Integrated Oil & Gas 24.00

  35. On the Discovery website, I clicked on the link labeled “Global Warming 101“. It explained it thus:

    Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are the top three “greenhouse gases.” They are very good at absorbing sunlight and converting that energy into heat – rather like a rock does just sitting in the sun.

    I am now a believer, ’cause absorbing more sunlight is clearly the problem.

  36. We don’t get TDC (perhaps that is a blessing), but here’s a Q&A by Bryan Walsh about it.
    This “interview” alone is enough to make one barf, so I can only imagine how bad the actual program is.
    They continually conflate issues, such as pollution, which have little or nothing to do with either C02 or climate change. For example:
    “Do you sense that we’re moving towards a consensus in America that global warming is real, and that we need to take action?”
    “It’s complex. I think that the vast majority of the scientific community — and much of the public — believes that it is real. It’s a matter of consequence, how we’re going to deal with this. There are a lot of complex parts. We haven’t arrived at a common intersection of those parts yet, but that’s not surprising given the nature of the issue we are dealing with. (See pictures of the world’s most polluted places.)
    It ends with:
    “Given all that you’ve seen in a lifetime of reporting, are you hopeful that we’ll be able to tackle climate change?”
    “I’m not sure. I’ve seen a lot of good things. When we used to go to the Black Hills as a child, to the creeks near the Homestead gold mine, and my parents would warn me away from the water because it was so polluted from the runoff. But it’s gotten much better since then. We’ve cleaned up the air in Los Angeles. I really do detect a big appetite now for making profound changes.”
    So, we get that he’s “concerned about the environment”.
    Who isn’t, and how does that make him an expert on “climate change”?

  37. Bruce Cobb (13:33:05) :
    So, we get that he’s “concerned about the environment”.
    Who isn’t, and how does that make him an expert on “climate change”?

    Of course there’s the complete non-sequitur in equating real pollution with “global warming”, obviously meaning CO2.
    Every time I hear the phrase “tackle climate change” I just have to puke. It’s such a weasel phrase.

  38. Leon Brozyna (09:50:56) :
    A bit O/T (but not too much, going from Brokaw to Hansen)
    Here’s another Hansen pronouncement from the Guardian:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/18/nasa-climate-change-james-hansen
    “The democratic process doesn’t quite seem to be working.”

    Hansen is particularly unhappy with “corporate lobbyists” but he and his group of protesters are certainly lobbyists by this definition: lobby: a group of persons who work or conduct a campaign to influence members of a legislature to vote according to the group’s special interest. Lobbying is an essential part of the democratic process. It’s one important way that an electorate can be informed. My lobbyists are good, yours are bad.

  39. Hansen is a government funded person who thinks everyone should be a government funded person. That’s why authoritarian and socialist ideas are popular with many government employees. They don’t know what it is like to be a free person who has to build their life on their own. When Hansen thinks about free people he realises he is a prisoner. This makes him angry and jealous. The only way he can be satisfied is if he can encourage as many people as possible to be a prisoners like him.

  40. Thanks to all who dropped over to read my rant.
    Did you guys catch that His Wholly Reluctance has charged his administration to publish a book “explaining” AGW–aimed mostly at those with a primary education level?
    Obviously the “need” for a carbon-trading Ponzi scheme needs some PR.

  41. OT, yet another snow storm is forecast by NWS for this weekend in the Southern Sierras — and it is dang near April!
    “…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON
    THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOR THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA…
    A COLD PACIFIC LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM FROM THE GULF OF ALASKA WILL
    MOVE SOUTHEAST INTO AND ACROSS THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA INTERIOR
    LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THIS SYSTEM
    WILL HAVE ENOUGH MOISTURE AND COLD AIR FOR THE THREAT OF A
    SIGNIFICANT SNOW EVENT IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA.
    BASED ON THE LATEST DATA…SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 2 FEET ARE
    POSSIBLE AT ELEVATIONS ABOVE 5000 FEET WITH THE SNOW BEGINNING IN
    THE YOSEMITE PARK AREA BY LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND THEN
    SPREADING SOUTHWARD OVERNIGHT. SNOW LEVELS WILL LIKELY FALL TO
    3000 FEET OR LESS ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON…THUS ACCUMULATING SNOW IS
    ALSO POSSIBLE IN THE HIGHER FOOTHILLS…INCLUDING BASS LAKE.”
    Did Brokaw mention any of this?

  42. Aron (02:13:23) :
    A “perfect storm” of food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy resources threaten to unleash public unrest, cross-border conflicts and mass migrationas people flee from the worst-affected regions, the UK government’s chief scientist will warn tomorrow.

    What could possibly happen to our climate in the coming decades that would cause a mass migration? This has always seemed like one of the silliest global warming caused scenarios out there. If man can adapt to life in the African bush with a little genocide thrown in for good measure man can adapt to anything. I’m really not expecting to see any Eskimos or Bedouins showing up in our neighborhood anytime soon to escape extreme climates. Climate is only one factor, and I would consider it a minor one, that determines where a person lives. To think that a change in temperature of .5c/ decade would cause a whole population to leave house and homeland is ridiculous.

  43. A “perfect storm” of food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy resources threaten to unleash public unrest, cross-border conflicts and mass migration
    There is no credible science that GW will result in less food. I challenge anyone to show a single historical instance where hot weather caused a famine. They are, without exception, caused by cold weather or drought.
    The world’s supply of water is for practical purposes infinite. Shortages without exception result from lack of adequate investment. The Roman’s solved this problem 2,000 years ago, yet it suddenly reappears in the 21st century.
    And the insufficient energy resources claim is ludicrous, because their ‘solution’ is to severely restrict supplies of energy.
    The ‘mass migration’ is pure racism. It doesn’t mean you are going to find blond-haired blue-eyed Swedes moving into your neighbourhood.

  44. The lack of posted “errors” by those that watched the Brokaw special can mean only that either (a) people had better things to do than to suffer through it, or (b) heavy on effects of warming (anthropogenicity is assumed, of course) and policy changes needed to “fight” this change accompanied by pep talks such as “we can do it!”, “it’s not too late yet”, etc., which, since they are for the future to judge, cannot at this time be listed as errors.
    Without supporting the need to combat climate change I must say that control of good old fashioned pollution, achieving energy independence, and saving a finite hydrocarbon supply are worthwhile goals and, agreeing that man can do anything he sets his mind to, including a complete overhaul of our energy generating system, why not give a larger cut of the various energy taxes and trading schemes being proposed for a stepped up basic research program (I’m trying not to say “Manhattan Project”) so that an actual solution can be reached within 10-20 years that does not involve millions of acres of ugly windmills. Set technology loose on the energy problem, reap the benefits from all the “spin-offs” and really see a change by 2100.

  45. My question for the scientists that predict global warming is this … If your model can predict 10-20-50 years ahead, then logically it has to be able to predict any number of years less than those targets. So, why not take some of these predictive models and have them make their predictions for 3 months, 9 months, and 1 year from now? That way we can see if they have any sense of accuracy. If they do not predict the short term well, then long term results will just be that much more unreliable. If, on the other hand, the models predict the short term well, then go out 2 years and 5 years. If they show they are accurate with those mid-term ranges after 2 and 5 years, THEN we can feel fairly comfortable in attributing global warming to man and THEN we can start making policy to deal with it.

  46. Thom Scrutchin (19:08:26) :
    [i]Nietzsche wrote: ” The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.”
    So, the Discovery channel and Brokaw really are Big Oil Shills, because they defend the AGW alarmist cause with deliberately faulty arguments.[/i]
    Clever but then how do you really tell??? Was htis the motive behind AIT???? No it was propaganda and so is Browkaw….BS is BS and the alarmists have piled enough out….it’s getting real deep……

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