Climate skeptics to once again get airtime on PBS

Uh oh. I’m sure this will cause brain explosions over at Joe Romm’s place and also at his politically bought and paid for ex-buddy Brad Johnson’s “Forecast the Facts” propaganda outlet. Maybe Brad will start another petition to keep us off PBS altogether this time.

Here’s the Press Release from PBS, followed by the preview video below.

Coming October 23, 2012. FRONTLINE explores the massive shift in public opinion on climate change.

Four years ago, climate change was hot. Politicians from both parties, pressed by an anxious public, seemed poised to act. But that was then.

Today, public opinion about the climate issue has cooled, and politicians either ignore the issue or loudly proclaim their skepticism of scientific evidence that human activity is imperiling the planet. What’s behind this reversal? FRONTLINE correspondent John Hockenberry of PRI’s The Takeaway goes inside the organizations that fought the scientific establishment, environmental groups, and lawmakers to shift the direction of debate on climate issues and redefined the politics of global warming.

Watch on air and online beginning October 23 at 10 pm ET on PBS.

I expect by about mid-November, after yet another skeptic media event following this PBS Frontline report (no, I’m not telling you who’s airing it) both Joe and Brad won’t have any brains left to explode. This time it isn’t just one climate skeptic they’ll have to start a campaign against.

Of course, they may like it, since you can see in the video that they are using the usual iconic visuals. Unfortunately, the Frontline editors won’t listen to people who tell them that steam being vented from power plant cooling towers has nothing to do with CO2 and its AGW effects, but that’s another story.

Let the games begin.


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Let the Hack job begin, is more likely.

cui bono

Hmm. The “who is behind it?” question at the end of the trailer is redolent of more ‘Exxon cheque d*n*alism’ BS. This could be a hatchet job, especially if you weren’t asked to participate, Anthony.

R. Shearer

Science has much less to do with it than corruption.


I wonder how many times they will state that the Climategate scientists were absolved by independent enquiries…


I was wondering when Frontline was going to tackle this whole debate. This ought to be very interesting.

Ian H

From the blurb it sounds like they are going looking for some kind of publicity campaign or conspiracy to overturn the findings of climate science. Of course there is no such campaign or conspiracy. But that doesn’t mean they won’t manage to “find” one. If the media isn’t in a mood to play fair, they have the capacity to construct massive lies out of nothing by selective quoting and misconstruction of snippets of fact. We all know this. Whether or not that is what they choose to do depends on what their motivations are.
Is this just a hatchet job on sceptics constucted to appease the rabble who screamed at them so loudly last time? Or are they actually going into this with open minds to tell the truth as they find it. The former would be pretty much business as usual for sceptics. We are already routinely equated to criminals and holocaust deniers, blown up in videos, and so on. There seem to be no limits as to what people think they can say about sceptics. The PBS can’t exactly hurt us compared to that no matter what lies they choose to tell. But a rational reasoned and well balanced piece … that would be massive.
Nah … my bet is that it’ll be a hatchet job. I just don’t think they are brave enough to tell the truth.


It looks like the smoke at 0:23 is flowing back into the smokestack. An example of carbon capture and storage? ;->

Bill Illis

I think Frontline is one of the best documentary / in-depth news shows on TV (although some producers of individual programs can be from the left of the spectrum but not all are).
Its usually not a hack-job but it probably won’t be balanced discussion. Some will take notice of the issues raised.

David Ball

Without grants, without funding, without a bias media behind us we still have them on their back heels. We have something better than any of those things.


I’d rather see them investigate the WWF ($500 million for various projects including climate propaganda), the UN (many billions for boondoggles and not very much output), and the groups that promote cap and trade that gave piles of money to numerous candidates like Obama in 2008. Anyone think Goldman Sachs gives a crap about science or the environment?
Instead we’ll hear all about the Koch brothers and Heartland (cue some scary music).


From the way PBS reacted to Anthony’s interview I suspect this will be a bone thrown to their subscribers and it will show people that doubt AGW as believing the moon landings were faked or something.

Given the weak response by PBS to the roar of criticism of them for airing Anthony in September, I am extremely cautious in my optimism for balance in this next PBS airing of critics/skeptics of warming biased alarming science endorsed by the IPCC. Basically, I have almost zero positive expectations of PBS . . . . but hope springs eternally from by breast . . . .
I suggest some research to see if Mann is a consultant to the PBS for communicating the CAGW science in this second PBS airing . . . . that would be great news for skeptics.

If this Frontline episode on public attitudes regarding the climate debate includes an honest recounting of L’Affaire Gleick I will be amazed, and impressed, because it should. I fear that if they mention Gleick at all it will be for the purpose of illustrating the frustration that climate activists feel regarding the public’s move away from climate alarmism, and to present him as a martyr who was driven to do what he did by our collective sins.


Frontline has a pretty good record of showing the non-Establishment side fairly. They were the only network program that gave us SOME truth about the 2008 Goldman Coup. Everyone else went along with the official crap that it was just an inevitable consequence of an inevitable housing bubble.

Paul Westhaver

PBS is trolling for ratings from people unlikely to view or donate to the never ending left wing propaganda outlet….PBS.
I will deny them 😉 my attention. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.


PBS must know that 97-98% of “scientists” concur with AGW. If they are seriously challenging that meme, then they must need more funding from “big oil”.
(I’m so confused now, I don’t even know if I need to turn off the “sarc” light, or leave it on….)


Romney wants to cut PBS funding, so I’m sure anything they can do to stoke up the climate crazies will be done.

A few weeks to explain both sides to the ombudsman and maybe he’ll be able to stand up to some of the more vocal responders. Or perhaps he’s given up on the idea of making Frontline into a housecat.
Could be interesting.


“loudly proclaim their skepticism of scientific evidence that human activity is imperiling the planet”
This line gives them away. The sceptic position is that what has been cited as evidence for CAGW is actually nothing of the sort. The idea that sceptics would close their ears to hard evidence like a group of suspicious Luddite ‘anti science’ bible-thumpers is an entirely warmist projection. I am not skeptical of any evidence. On the contrary, I am skeptical of extraordinary claims based on a total lack of evidence and a great deal of creative interpretation of a narrow range painstakingly cherry picked data, trumpeted monomaniacally by a group of people with an obviously political / emotional axe to grind.


Speaking of heads exploding, here’s what threatens to cause mine to: Some at this site appear to be such slow learners as actually to harbor the hope that PBS will come within shouting distance of treating the catastrophic-anthropogenic-global-warming issue even-handedly.


After being savaged by the greens i suspect this will be a crude sop, atonement if you will by PBS.
“Forgive me warmists for i have sinned,I spoke unto a sceptic and yea,i did not spit upon him”
“Gaia will forgive you,doubter you must say five `We`re all going dies.` two `Won`t someone think of the childrens.` and as many `Hail Micheal Manns` as you can before breakfast.Do this or ye shall recharge thy Prius by windmill for all eternity!”
(Which probably wouldn`t be half long enough anyway)


Maybe PBS realises it pays to be controversial.

Notice how that PBS Frontline video preview page has its comments section locked already (screencapture of its still-current condition ). But I at least slid one in there for moderation two days ago when it was not closed:
A quick email to PBS Ombudsman earlier today about my comment not appearing there yet yielded this result indirectly from Frontline “We don’t open comments until the broadcast, and leave them open for two weeks. It appears that for some unknown reason comments were briefly open. We always moderate our comments. So what he probably saw was the system accepting the comment but it’s not actually published until we approve it. Because it was a prebroadcast comment, we did not approve it.”
Awaiting a reply from them as to why such a condition was not explicitly noted in the first place…….

Mickey Reno

Frontline is essentially PBS, and PBS and NPR talk about CAGW as fact, almost universally. They will probably do back flips trying to maintain this illusion, and smear the skeptics, without even understanding what they’re doing. My prediction is that Frontline will be more like the Ombudsman response than an open, honest investigation into this debate.

DD More

Who knew they reprogrammed the ‘red button’ from the 10:10 video to the PBS station numbers on your TV remote.

Alan Watt, CD (Certified Denialist), Level 7

I must say, from the promo it doesn’t look promising.

It’s actually quite easy to discredit skeptics if you find the right ones to interview – you know, those not-too-bright souls who unknowingly make a fool of themselves on air. Note that the program’s proclaimed goal is not that of investigating AGW (PBS is totally unqualified to do THAT) – they are investigating those in the public who are skeptical, which definitely will not be of the same caliber of folks in the scientific community who are skeptical. There are a lot (and I mean a LOT) of low intellect sorts out there, believe me, and I’m sure PBS is out to find them. This can be considered akin to the ad hominem fallacy : if the people who are skeptical are dopes, then skepticism must also be stupid.

Audio Visual Editors take note: make sure you fade in and out with this song 🙂 there’s nothing like a good tune and facts be damned and all that, Just make sure you do what you think is right. 🙂

Warwick wakefield

I hve no hope that this program will be even handed. My guess is that they will adopt the position that science supports the CAGW story but that antiscientific groups have created doubt about the conclusive findings of the scientific community.
Their visuals are already deceptive. And, if they intended to present an honest portrayal of the debate, they would have already mentioned the names of prominent scientists who reject the AGW hypothesis


JJB MKI, I’m afraid you are right. Frontline will spend most of the show equating AGW and CAGW and it’s doubtful that any of them are aware of the difference.

Yes, we’ve seen it already!

Reaction of AWG “Believers” to being challenged.

john robertson

PBS could save the production costs and just run Tiny Tim, The Ice Caps are Melting in a loop for their program. Probably work for both the screamers and the sceptics.

“On the PBS NewsHour Tuesday, Gwen Ifill will talk with coral reef biologist Nancy Knowlton about what can be done to save the reef.” JF: Send money!
“The NewsHour has been following the troubles of the reef since our first visit in 2005, when Betty Ann Bowser reported on how losing the Great Barrier Reef may mean the loss of valuable medical research.” JF: The reef is fine, but send money!
“In 2009, we reported on how ocean acidification was slowing the growth of the reef. Then in 2011, science reporter Jenny Marder covered how heavy floods in Australia were washing pollutants into the coral reef ecosystem, further endangering the reef.” JF: Humans are doing it? Rubbish, send money, this ocean acidification is just more alarmist crap, send money for more green jobs.
No one in their right mind could really believe that PBS could EVER take the realists side. And can one really expect a balanced view from Nancy Knowlton? She is just another alarmist chasing funding.
Remember because of global warming wolves eat more moose meat! Yes just send more money!


It’s the implosion of CAGW that’s causing the explosion of the “heads”.


@ David Ball.
“without a bias media ”
Do you mean a biasED media, or do you live in a place where they sell “use cars”?


After that apologist of an ombudsman’s blog post on Anthony’s appearance in that PBS show about Muller’s faux conversion, I’m not getting my hopes up.


You might have put a warning on that video Max.It was stupid and violent.


The “skeptic” movement is growing as observations and scientific analysis does not support the extreme warming paradigm. The “skeptic” movement is growing as spending trillions of dollars on scams that damage the environment, result in massive net job losses, and do not significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions which is not a problem anyway are lunacy.
The reason observations do not match the IPCC extreme warming predictions is the IPCC general circulation models assume the planet amplifies CO2 warming while observations indicate planetary cloud increases or decrease in the tropics thereby reflecting more or less sunlight off into space to resist warming (negative feedback). A doubling of atmospheric CO2 will therefore result in less than 1C warming with most of the warming occurring at high latitudes which will cause the biosphere to expand.
Joanne Nova has a succinct summary of some the key “skeptic” papers.
Observations show major flaws
1. The missing heat is not in the ocean 8 – 14
2. Satellites show a warmer Earth is releasing extra energy to space 15 -17
3. The models get core assumptions wrong – the hot spot is missing 22 – 26, 28 – 31
4. Clouds cool the planet as it warms 38 – 56
5. The models are wrong on a local, regional, or continental scale. 63- 64
6. Eight different methods suggest a climate sensitivity of 0.4°C 66
7. Has CO2 warmed the planet at all in the last 50 years? It’s harder to tell than you think. 70
8. Even if we assume it’s warmed since 1979, and assume that it was all CO2, if so, feedbacks are zero — disaster averted. 71
9. It was as warm or warmer 1000 years ago. Models can’t explain that. It wasn’t CO2. (See also failures of hockey sticks) The models can’t predict past episodes of warming, so why would they predict future ones?
The extreme AGW issue is a mania with no basis in fact.
“The problem for global warming supporters is they actually need for past warming from CO2 to be higher than 0.7C. If the IPCC is correct that based on their high-feedback models we should expect to see 3C of warming per doubling of CO2, looking backwards this means we should already have seen about 1.5C of CO2-driven warming based on past CO2 increases. But no matter how uncertain our measurements, it’s clear we have seen nothing like this kind of temperature rise. Past warming has in fact been more consistent with low or even negative feedback assumptions.”
The Clean Energy Scam,9171,1725975,00.html
Biofuel production ‘a crime against humanity’

John Garrett

There’s not the slightest doubt in my mind that this will be indistinguishable from a propaganda piece.
It will regurgitate the party line verbatim and declare in no uncertain terms that the body politic has been duped by the “merchants of doubt.” I that the tobacco industry bogeyman will be repeatedly invoked.

Mark T

The only relevant quote:

the massive shift in public opinion

… acknowlegement.
It is possible to shift public opinion, though un-shifting is very difficult. Mann’s days are numbered.

Ben D

PBS/Frontline says:
“Four years ago, climate change was hot. Politicians from both parties, pressed by an anxious public, seemed poised to act. But that was then.
Today, public opinion about the climate issue has cooled, and politicians either ignore the issue or loudly proclaim their skepticism of scientific evidence that human activity is imperiling the planet. What’s behind this reversal?”
Hey this is the real important stuff,…you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time,…you know the rest!

Robert Clemenzi

Two weeks before an election where neither candidate wants to address the issue .. but one of the candidates want to cut PBS funding. Really?

Brian H

Noticed one dangerous sound snippet: “They are COOKING the data” , Dangerous because even a little investigation will prove this.

jim2 says:
October 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm
Romney wants to cut PBS funding, so I’m sure anything they can do to stoke up the climate crazies will be done.

Perhaps they’re hedging their bets, providing some evidence they can point to later: “See, we CAN be objective!”

Phil Ford

I have to agree with many others here that this will almost certainly be a hatchet job on climate skeptics. This kind of documentary always sets out with a completely bogus ‘open mind’ and by the final reel (if not a lot sooner) it’s fairly obvious what the conclusions are going to be. All a bit depressing, really. Truth and honesty in reporting? Yeah, a nice idea, now move along; nothing to see here…

clipe says: Maybe PBS realises it pays to be controversial.
That looked like the one likely scenario. Organize a dogfight. Reminds me of the Coliseum, what Romans enjoyed, watching Christians pitting their strength against lions. We know who won eventually.
Politics won. When politician Constantine realized he needed to accept Christianity force the Christians into cooperation, using the token of acceptance.
I still believe in the power of truth, despite all that.

Steve C

Just maybe it won’t be as bad as the pessimists fear. In which case, and with apologies to Pink Floyd, we can say to Anthony “All in all, you’re just the first crack in the wall” …

Who or what is behind the climate fears? It’s your tax dollars at work folks with these grants paid to the researchers.
Government:- Can you prove that CO2 is a problem?
Scientist:- Probably
Govt:- Here’s $1M
Scientist:- I can now.

I thought the PBS did a fair job in the original program where Anthony pulled the plug on the nonsense of the CAGWers. So I would like to think that they will again do a reasonable program and try to explain the situation as it really stands. The only problem I can see with this were the responses after the program which demonstrated a rather sad and sorry example of that the PBS management may indeed be biased and may corrupt and bias the outcome. We will have to see what they come up with. Either way, one side is going to get really p…ed off.


Its just well-timed electioneering. Completely illegal and yet it’ll still be broadcast.
Politics as usual. The desired result is voting, not science or reasoned debate.


Anthony … Were you interviewed for the show? Do any WUWT readers know of anyone interviewed?