February 16, 2014, 04:21 pm
Climate change gets its 15 minutes on Sunday interview shows
By Laura Barron-Lopez
After lawmakers assailed Sunday talk shows for failing to devote more time to climate change, a host of shows on Sunday included segments on the issue and the increasing debate surrounding President Obama's policies.
While climate change issues received a good chunk of air time on Sunday from NBC's "Meet the Press," ABC's "This Week" and CBS's "Face the Nation," the lack of a discernible message reflected the debate surrounding climate change in Congress.
First, Democrats and Republicans can't agree on what the debate is and whether it's the science in question or the policies the administration is already pushing forward.
David Gregory, the host of NBC's "Meet the Press," attempted to shape Sunday's debate on the show between celebrity engineer Bill Nye, known as "the science guy" and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) as one about policy.
"In the scientific community, this is not really a debate about whether climate change is real. The consensus is that it is," Gregory said, turning to Blackburn on whether the extreme weather events created a "new urgency to act" on policy.
But Blackburn said that the science isn't there.
"[Nye] is an engineer and actor. I am a member of Congress. And what we have to do is look at the information that we get from climate scientists," Blackburn said.
"As you said, there is not agreement around the fact of exactly what is causing this." She later added that "there is not a consensus" among scientists on climate change.
In an attempt to turn the debate back to his main point, Gregory stopped Blackburn.
"I just have to interrupt you. I'm sorry congresswoman," Gregory said. "You can pick out particular skeptics, but you can't really say, can you, that the hundreds of scientists around the world who have looked at this have gotten together and conspired to manipulate data."
The Republican governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory, may have offered the solution to the problem plaguing lawmakers of talking past each other on climate issues.
"The whole issue of cleaning the environment, I think, is the issue we ought to talk about more than getting into a debate from the left and right about climate change and global warming,” McCrory said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The question, then, is what do we do about it and how much will it cost the consumer?” he asked on the ABC show on Sunday.
But in a sweeping climate speech in Indonesia on Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry said he and President Obama don't have time to debate with lawmakers over the science of climate change.
"We certainly should not allow more time to be wasted by those who want to sit around debating whose responsibility it is to deal with this threat, while we come closer and closer to the point of no return," Kerry said.