Tom Brokaw Reduced to Infomercials

Former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw has been reduced to doing infomercials.   I don’t know if it’s because he has some psychological need to be on tv or he lost his money to Bernie Madoff.  Perhaps he expects to profit from trading carbon credits.

Most of us have watched at least portions of infomercials.  They often use a similar format.  A shill pretending to be a real interviewer asks the questions  the seller wants to answer.

Usually the seller has a manufactured product, some medical treatment, a book or perhaps some get rich quick scheme.  The format can also be used for political candidates or ideas.

Infomercials differ from  presentations by journalists because journalists feel a duty to talk to those with  alternate views and  consider  arguments against whatever ideas the interviewee is attempting to “sell”.   Real journalists are willing to ask interviewees potentially embarrassing questions.

Brokaw’s program “Global Warming: The New Challenge With Tom Brokaw”  attempts to sell the carbon credit program begun by the Enron corporation in the 90’s.  The program repeats  the line that Enron’s Ken Lay pushed:  Minor increases in carbon dioxide supposedly will produce catastrophic global warming.

Enron had done very well selling sulfur dioxide credits and Lay realized a bigger profit could be made if the company could get a program for carbon credits.  First the company had to get government to enact a program.  Lay discovered that he could easily get the support of the Clinton administration.  Clinton even allowed Lay to suggest a framework for the Kyoto Treaty that would financially benefit the company.  Enron provided financial support for various purported environmental groups for its carbon trading program.  These facts have been known  since the Washington Post reported it in  2002 so Brokaw should have been aware of them before he did the program.

Brokaw neglects to mention that Dr. Michael Oppenheimer whom he “interviews” got his Ph. D in chemical physics rather than climatology.  The fact that Oppenheimer had an association with a political body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,  doesn’t necessarily mean he has any expertise on climate.

Oppenheimer was the manager [rather than a researcher] of the Climate and Air Program for the Environmental Defense Fund which has been openly supportive of Enron’s carbon trading proposal.    The EDF failed to criticize an Enron pipeline in Brazil that was environmentally damaging and supported an Enron wind power proposal in California.

Brokaw should have asked if it was only a coincidence that Oppenheimer left EDF for Princeton in the year after Enron imploded or if he had been paid by Enron while at EDF.    Did the fall of Enron mean the EDF could no longer afford Oppenheimer’s salary at  EDF of $197,022?  Did Oppenheimer receive more or less from Princeton when he started there?

In 2003 the Washington Post reported that money had compromised the Nature Conservancy which was an early recipient of Enron money.     Had something similar happened at EDF?

Brokaw began by repeating the standard lie that there is a “consensus” about human caused global warming.  Actually, no consensus exists.  Those on both sides can present lists of scientists taking one side or another, however, there is no real consensus about specifics.  There is no agreement about whether any warming has occurred or on whether carbon dioxide can affect temperatures.  Some scientists say CO2 can have no impact on temperature. Others argue that any impact would be extremely small.

Many astrophysicists argue that fluctuations in the sun’s output causes fluctuations in earth’s temperature.  Some believe that the sun goes through centuries long cycles and the sun may be about to enter a period when its output will decline as occurred a few centuries ago.

Supporters of warming  provide no evidence of significant global temperature change.  Their figures indicate only a 0.7 C or 1.25 F temperature (about 0.24%) change during the century.  Such a change could easily be the result of changes in equipment or its placement.  Equipment a century ago might not have been that accurate.

If Brokaw had checked he would have discovered that mathematicians have argued that the whole idea of an average global temperature is an impossibility.

Investigative weather journalist Anthony Watts has operated a blog for some time that exposes problems with the sites for temperature measurement that could lead to inflated temperatures.

In his opening Brokaw talked about global warming “hurting our wallets” and neglected to mention the high cost to consumers of carbon trading.  The money that would be made by carbon traders would come from consumers.

Brokaw repeats many of the lies made by global warming scammers.  For example, he talks about “tropical diseases” becoming a problem in temperate regions.  The fact is that malaria was a major problem in North America, including Canada, during the Revolutionary War period even though that period was much cooler than today.  Malaria was part of the cost of slavery.  African slaves brought the parasite with them from Africa and passed it along to their owners.

Brokaw like  many global warming alarmists uses “global warming” to cover up ways humans actually may harm the environment.  For example, he blames the declining amount of snow on Mt. Kilamanjaro on global warming instead of the gradual elimination of the rain forest that  provides moisture that falls as snow on the mountain.

Salt water encroachment on the Everglades in Florida is more due to human diversion of water that had flowed through the Everglades.   Salt water is moving in because too little water is flowing out rather than because of any change in sea levels.

Brokaw neglects to mentions human actions in Florida that have led to more instances of freezing weather.  The draining of wetlands in northern Florida have allowed freezing weather to move farther south into Florida’s citrus regions.

Brokaw blames global warming for increased damage from hurricanes when the real cause is excessive development in areas with a virtually 100% chance of being hit by a hurricane over the long run.

Brokaw demonstrates the real reason for the program with a segment that suggests that even if increasing the amount of CO2 doesn’t raise temperatures it might increase the growth rate of ragweed.  He neglects to mention that increasing atmospheric CO2 might allow greater growth by plants that can be used for fuel and that food crops need large amounts of carbon that they get from CO2.  For example, each molecule of sugar, sucrose, contains twelve carbon atoms.

Tom Brokaw was once one of the leading television  journalists.   His decision to  serve as a shill on this infomercial destroyed whatever credibility he once had as a journalist.

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