Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has found a surprising home on FOX Broadcasting Network to hostCosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. In the 13-part documentary series, Tyson’s advocacy of scientific literacy — particularly related to climate change — is directly at odds with its sister network, Fox News.
In the latest episode of Cosmos, Tyson devoted the hour to the Earth’s history of changing climates and subsequent mass extinctions. He ended the show by forecasting the next mass extinction due to climate change, imploring his audience to break society’s “addiction” to fossil fuels:
TYSON: We can’t seem to stop burning up all those buried trees from way back in the carboniferous age, in the form of coal. And the remains of ancient plankton in the form of oil and gas. If we could, we’d be home free climate-wise. Instead, we are dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate the earth hasn’t seen since the great climate catastrophes of the past. The ones that led to mass extinctions. We just can’t seem to break our addiction to the kinds of fuel that will bring back a climate last seen by the dinosaurs, a climate that will drown our coastal cities and wreak havoc on the environment and our ability to feed ourselves. All the while, the glorious sun pours immaculate, free energy down upon us, more than we will ever need. Why can’t we summon the ingenuity and courage of the generations that came before us? The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming. What’s our excuse?
During the series, Tyson has also spelled out how corporate interests and funding can debilitate science, and has touted alternative energy research into artificial photosynthesis to reduce climate disruption from greenhouse gases.
FOX’s decision to broadcast the remake of Cosmos might seem unexpected. You would never hear these narratives on Fox News — at least without being mocked. A study from the Union of Concerned Scientists found that when Fox News does bring up climate change, it is overwhelmingly to mislead. In an interview with the New York Times, executive producer Seth MacFarlane stated, “I suppose it’s incumbent upon Fox to do something like this, to make up for all the damage it’s done with its news network.”
Tyson himself has admitted that the idea of broadcasting Cosmos on FOX initially gave him pause. In aninterview with tech blog io9, Tyson recalled a meeting with Family Guy's MacFarlane, who worked with Tyson to turn the idea of a Cosmos re-make into a reality:
[MacFarlane] told me he wanted to do something to serve science in America and he asked me what he should do. I thought maybe he could invest in a pilot that we could use to show sponsors. He said “I have a good idea, let’s take it to Fox.”
Now, there are a series of thoughts I’m about to share with you that I think lasted about 12 seconds. My first thought was “This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard, he doesn’t get it, this is a waste of a lunch.”
Yes, there’s Fox News, but also the Fox Network which has acerbic liberal commentary ofThe Simpsons and Family Guy. And there’s Fox Sports. I realized Fox has more demographics of American culture going through their portfolio than any other network. And so, I concluded that there’s no better place to be than on Fox.
Tyson has beseeched the necessity of “scientific literacy,” particularly for those that make decisions on energy, security, transportation, and health, warning that the “scientific illiterate adults” are “in charge of things.” He has also decried those that “cherry-pick” science, saying "[s]cience matters in our lives for us to be better shepherds of not only our civilization, but the world."
Pat Robertson: God shut off D.C. power as a ‘fun’ way to punish Dems for climate lies | The Raw Story
Television preacher Pat Robertson on Thursday explained that God had caused a brief power outage in Washington, D.C. to mock Senate Democrats who held a late-night discussion about climate change. The office of the Architect of the Capitol said on Wednesday…
Neil deGrasse Tyson Chastises Media For Giving 'Flat Earthers' Equal Time in the Climate Change Debate
The host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey says ‘science is not there for you to cherry pick.’
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the star of Fox Networks’ Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, says its time to stop giving equal time to science deniers and chastised the media for creating a false equivalence in its coverage of scientific issues.
Tyson, who is also the director of the Natural History Museum’s Hayden Planetarium, appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources program on Sunday, where he talked about the hypocrisy of people dismissing scientific theory while simultaneously embracing the fruits of scientific discovery “that we so take for granted today.”
Reliable Sources Anchor Brian Stelter inquired if Tyson thought the media had a responsibility in portraying science correctly, particularly when discussing controversial issues such as climate change. Tyson replied that the media was giving “equal time to the flat-earthers.”
“The media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but it doesn’t really apply in science,” Tyson said. “The ethos was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view. And then you can be viewed as balanced.”
“Science is not there for you to cherry pick,” said Tyson. “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it. Alright? I guess you can decide whether or not to believe in it, but that doesn’t change the reality of an emergent scientific truth.”
From 2006 to 2011, Tyson hosted the educational science television show NOVA ScienceNow on PBS and has been a frequent guest on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Jeopardy! Tyson said he hopes his new television show, which premiered yesterday to high ratings and rave reviews, can help Americans learn how to discern science from politics, and help make people better stewards of the Earth.
Cosmos is a follow-up to the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, presented by the late astronomer Carl Sagan. The executive producers are Family Guy Producer Seth MacFarlane and Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow. It premiered simultaneously in the across ten Fox Networks channels. According to Fox Networks, this is the first time that a television show premiered in a global simulcast across their network of channels.
Bill Nye “The Science Guy” implored Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Sunday to stop wasting time by denying that the climate was changing and to start leading the charge to do something about it.
Nye began his debate with Blackburn on NBC’s Meet the Press by applauding President Barack Obama’s call to create a $1 billion fund to prepare for climate change.
"What I’ve always said, we need to do everything all at once," Nye explained. "And this is an opportunity for the United States to innovate, to be the world leader in new technologies."
Blackburn, however, shot back that Nye was just an “actor,” while she was a member of Congress.
"What we have to do is look at the information we get from climate scientists, and as you said, there is not agreement around the fact of exactly what is causing this," Blackburn opined.
Nye pointed out that Blackburn and other climate change deniers were trying to introduce uncertainty.
"This is unscientific, this is not logical," he said. "It is a way, apparently, that the fossil fuel industry had dealt with our politics. This is not good. You don’t need a PhD in climate science to understand what’s going on, that we have overwhelming evidence that the climate is changing. That you cannot tie any one event to that is not the same as doubt about the whole thing."
Limbaugh: "Global Warming Is A 'Left-Wing Scam' To 'Advance Communism'" | Video | Media Matters for America
From the 01.22.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Rush Limbaugh raised eyebrows this week when he claimed that the polar vortex that swept the nation with record low temperatures this week was a phrase recently invented by liberals in order to advance a political agenda.
In a segment titled “Left Creates ‘Polar Vortex’ to Make You Think Winter is Caused by Global Warming,” amateur scientist Limbaugh said"Do you know what the polar vortex is? Have you ever heard of it? Well, they just created it for this week…Right on schedule, the media have to come up with a way to make it [the cold] sound like it’s completely unprecedented, because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda."
Today NBC weatherman Al Roker told Limbaugh to “stuff it.”
Roker tweeted a photo of a 1959 American Meteorological Society text with a polar vortex definition in it:
For all the doubters who say the media “created” the Polar Vortex: From the 1959 AMS Glossary of Meteorology pic.twitter.com/x2Nyw0jx3j— Al Roker (@alroker) January 7, 2014
On the Today Show, Roker made clear his derision for Limbaugh and other doubters:"Let me tell you something. We’ve never used the phrase ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ in conjunction with this… Okay?! So for all the doubters out there, STUFF IT."
Glenn Beck kicked off his television program last night with a fake local newscast reporting on the record-breaking cold weather that has engulfed much of the country for the last few days in order to drive home the right-wing theory that climate change cannot be real because it still gets cold and snows.
During the segment, it even began “snowing” in the studio, which is why Beck was covered in glitter when he got serious and told his audience that, a hundred years from now, people will look back on this period in time as “the biggest theft ever in the history of the world” since the effort to fight climate change is nothing more than "a push for more power and to take more of your money."
From the 01.07.2014 edition of TheBlazeTV’s The Glenn Beck Program:
CBN host Pat Robertson: "Climate Change Is A Myth Created By Money-Hungry Scientists" | Right Wing Watch
Today on the 700 Club, televangelist Pat Robertson claimed that the recent cold snap in North America and a ship stuck in Antarctica prove that climate change is nothing but a myth. Of course, both of his assertions are extremely dubious. While the New York Times notes that “97 to 98 percent of working climate scientists accept the evidence for human-induced climate change,” Robertson claimed that the scientists are merely lying to make money…something Robertson would never do.
“It’s getting warmer in Jupiter—and they don’t have any SUVs driving around in Jupiter—it has nothing to do with greenhouse gases it has to do with the action of the sun, there’s either two much sun or not enough sun,” Robertson said. “Think about how much money is involved. It’s money, they’re going to get a river of money.”
“Then you have politicians who want to take control and the progressives always want control, just like with health care, they want control; the EPA in America wants control of all of our energy.”
From the 01.07.2014 edition of CBN’s The 700 Club:
Fox Business host Stuart Varney said on Tuesday that his theory of “global cooling” had been proven when a research ship recently got stuck in ice near Antarctica. The habitual climate-change denier reported that all 52 passengers of the Russian…
Conservative pundit and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson questioned the reality of climate change by comparing it to the second coming of Jesus Christ, saying the difference is that “Jesus will return.” But mounting evidence shows that climate change has already taken hold and will worsen if left unchecked, a fact accepted by many in the Christian community.
On January 2, Erickson sparked controversy on Twitter after he tweeted that “[t]he difference between people who believe in the 2nd coming of Jesus and those who believe in global warming is that Jesus will return”:
Erickson’s claim contradicts the position put forward by ranking members of the Christian community. In his inaugural mass on March 19, Pope Francis called upon “all men and women of goodwill” to be “protectors […] of the environment”:
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of good will: let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.
Catholic leaders have explicitly linked this need to be stewards of the environment with the fight against global climate change. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced in 2001 that it accepts the scientific consensus and “the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”:
As Catholic bishops, we make no independent judgment on the plausibility of “global warming.” Rather, we accept the consensus findings of so many scientists and the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a basis for continued research and prudent action (see the sidebar: The Science of Global Climate Change). Scientists engaged in this research consistently acknowledge the difficulties of accurate measurement and forecasting. Models of measurement evolve and vary in reliability. Researchers and advocates on all sides of the issue often have stakes in policy outcomes, as do advocates of various courses of public policy. News reports can oversimplify findings or focus on controversy rather than areas of consensus. Accordingly, interpretation of scientific data and conclusions in public discussion can be difficult and contentious matters.
Catholic bishops are not alone in calling on Christians to accept the science that speaks to the urgent need for action against manmade climate change. A number of Christian institutions have called upon members to take action against climate change. In 2006, the Evangelical Climate Initiative, a group that includes more than 300 evangelical Christian leaders from across the United States, urged members of the evangelical Christian faith to fight climate change because it “hit[s] the poor the hardest.”
Thanks for clearing that up, Dave.
Once “you open the door to killing,” Barton added, “it’s got a lot of different manifestations” because the nation immediately falls under the judgment of God as He removes his protection and "whap, here comes storms like we’ve never seen before and here comes floods and here comes climate stuff that we can’t explain; all of the hot times and all the cold times and not enough rain and too much rain and we’re flooding over here and we’ve got droughts over here … And today we’re saying ‘oh no, it’s global warming." No, we opened a door that lost God’s protection over our environment and that’s our choice."
Although the proposed rule won’t immediately affect plants already operating, it eventually would force the government to limit emissions from the existing power plant fleet, which accounts for a third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Obama has given the Environmental Protection Agency until next summer to propose those regulations.
The EPA provided The Associated Press with details of the proposal prior to the official announcement, which was expected Friday morning. The public will have a chance to comment on the rule before it becomes final.
Despite some tweaks, the rule packs the same punch as one announced last year, which was widely criticized by industry and Republicans as effectively banning any new coal projects in the U.S.
That’s because to meet the standard, new coal-fired power plants would need to install expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide and bury it underground. No coal-fired power plant has done that yet, in large part because of the cost. And those plants that the EPA points to as potential models, such as a coal plant being built in Kemper County, Miss., by Southern Co., have received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and tax credits.
Coal, which is already struggling to compete with cheap natural gas, accounts for 40 percent of U.S. electricity, a share that was already shrinking. And natural gas would need no additional pollution controls to comply.