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December 5th, 2012
12:50 PM ET

Clips from Last Night: Bill Nye vs. Marc Morano on Global Warming; Newt Gingrich on the Fiscal Cliff

On the heels of nationwide record high temperatures for this time of year, on Monday Piers Morgan opened the program up for a spirited debate on global warming, inviting a pair of experts whose respective opinions place them on polar opposite ends of the spectrum.

"When I was 9 years old, the earth's population changed from 2.999 billion to three billion," said Bill Nye, more affectionately known by his television moniker "The Science Guy." "In my lifetime, it's now seven billion. People trying to live the way we lived in the developed world and we're just burning carbon and spewing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at an extraordinary rate."

Dismissing Nye as a "Global Warmist" who lacks facts, Marc Morano presented an alternate theory regarding the impact, and concern, associated with carbon dioxide:

"CO2 is rising. No one's disputing that. What Bill Nye just did was waste everyone's time explaining that CO2 is rising. The question is what impact does CO2 have on the weather, what impact does CO2 have on climate change," exclaimed the publisher of "That is where you look at the geologic record. We've had warmer periods where it's been - with higher - with lower CO2 and we've had colder periods with higher CO2. And you have to go way back for some of that but the bottom line is hundreds of factors are dictating our climate ... so the idea that Bill Nye is just going around saying CO2 is up, therefore global warming is dangerous, we should be concerned, it's not. It's not dangerous."

Meanwhile, after Nye and Morano concluded their debate on global warming, "Piers Morgan Tonight" turned to the day's other burning topic, the "fiscal cliff."

Joining the program for a live interview, Newt Gingrich offered his trademark blend of political insight, and candid commentary:

"I am, frankly, not at all encouraged by what I see and a little bit worried by it. I think, first of all, let me lay my cards on the table: I think that no deal is better than a bad deal," said the former Speaker of the House. "I think going off this cliff is less dangerous than letting things build up for a year or two years to have an even bigger cliff."

As his discussion with Morgan continued, the one-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination offered some advice for the GOP:

"They need to relax. They don't have an election until November of 2014. They need to say 'look, you want to negotiate seriously, we'll sit down and talk. You don't want to negotiate seriously, the country will survive going off this cliff.' It's largely a factor, in terms of American history, the people will not look back on as a giant tragedy. We need to have serious effort to get this country reorganized. And I see no sign that the political system today is at all prepared for that kind of serious thinking."

Watch the clips, and listen to the interviews, as Morano and Nye get fired up about global warming, while Gingrich readies for the nation's financial free-fall.
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soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Robert Merrill

    Mr. Morgan,

    Last night's interview of Bill Nye vs. Marc Morano was a failure. You need a way to cut off the microphone of anyone who yells and screams when the other person is trying to speak. As a Geology Professor I know about the past climatic record and the current crisis. While Bill Nye is a nice man, it would have been far better to have had Jim Hansen opposite any climate change denier, and also to display their peer review publication list. Let's get the best on both sides of the argument. Then have a switch that cuts off the microphone of either speaker when they are discourteous, plus have a red light that shows the audience that the individual's microphone has been cut off. The Bill Nye vs. Marc Morano may have been entertaining, but it was FAR from informative.

    December 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • PhD Candidate

      Had Dr. Hansen been there, no one would have been willing to sit on the other side of the table. CNN had to bring in a nice guy like Bill Nye just to coax one out onto the stage. It would be a very informative exercise to have highly qualified individuals from both sides of the Climate issue sit at the same table... but the arguments might be a little too highbrow and technical for mainstream media to profit from (people just wouldn't get it!). So they settle for Morano vs. Nye and are satisfied that they've earned their advertisers their $0.02 for the day.

      December 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • R

      Peer review is only valid when the peers participating approach what they are reading with an open mind and no political agenda. Global warming alarmists reading things written by other global warming alarmists will have an obvoius result.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • blueconcept

        And Quantum Mechanical papers shouldn't be read by physicist who work in Quantum Mechanics.

        December 7, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
      • FiscalMess StartedWithReagan

        Somebody doesn't understand peer review. Open mind? This straw man is nothing but laughable. It requires expertise. And some bonehead - blueconcept - maintains it's easy to measure the temperature of Jupiter. Well, then it's WAY easier to measure the temperature of Earth. And yet, the denier idiots still can't - actually won't - understand the Earth is warming and why.

        Once again, educate yourselves:

        December 7, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Griff.

    " wonder what will happen if more people start lighing up on Pot??"

    December 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Griff.

    "You know, Pierse. I wish I could see what I've written before I post, but the letters aren't big enough."

    December 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Aaron Nichols

    According to NASA every planet in our solar system is heating up. Are we to blame for the elevated temps on Jupiter? How about Saturn?
    This is nothing more than a new revenue stream – simple as that.

    December 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim Jensen

      Funny that deniers can argue that scientists use faulty thermometers and fraudulent data to show that the earth is warming, then they turn around and claim that scientists have accurately measured a temperature increase on planets hundreds of millions of miles away.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Aaron Nichols

        The smart deniers understand that the earth is warming – just like the rest of the solar system. No thermometer is needed to measure that phenomenon. In Michigan where I live – I usually could have gone ice fishing 3 weeks ago. This year I won’t make it out until the 2nd week of January at the earliest.
        I like how the word denier is used in regards to manmade climate change. It conjures up images of another kind of denier after WW2. It brilliantly connects the 2 as if they are somehow related.
        Good marketing – Bad judgment.
        Good Day

        December 6, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
      • it is not a big deal

        It is not difficult to measure a temperature of Jupiter even from earth. And it is not difficult to compare how temperature changed threw out the years on Jupiter, if you constantly collected data for the last 30 years. All you need is telescope or satellite that can see further enough into Jupiter.

        December 7, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • FiscalMess StartedWithReagan

      This myth about all the planets warming is complete nonsense and anyone spewing it is either ignorant of being duped or complicit in the sort of misinformation campaign that Morano is attempting. Please update your understanding on the climate myth:

      December 6, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lazlo's Other

    Giving a cretin like Morano a platform to distribute asinine propaganda is inexcusable. Shoddy, gutless journalism. Are you next going to have an "expert" who claims that vaccines cause autism, or maybe a moon landing denier? Maybe you could have Inhoffe show up and explain that climate science is bunk because he read genesis. Grow up, get a set and stop pandering to the ignorant.

    @AAron. The difference between earth and the other planets is that we are here, able to study it up close and personal, and not from astronomical differences. This incredible ability to study the planet we actually exist on, coupled with well established physics enables us to know why the earth is warming.

    December 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Griff.

    The American Dollar is not a currency outside the USA, unless someone owns it. And that is not Barack Obama!!
    If investors take the money out, then Obama's Piggy Bank will get less."

    December 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lunchbox

      What does this rant of yours have to do with anything on the topic? you are simply spewing nonsense to rile people up

      December 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Knute Nadelhoffer

    I am speaking from the perspective of a biological researcher who has studied climate impacts on arctic ecosystems and forests for over 30 years. Piers Morgan and CNN need to treat human-caused climate change, for which there is overwhelming evidence, as a serious issue. Providing a forum for a science denier such as Marc Morano, who lacks any scientific credentials, is irresponsible. Morano brings egregious misinformation to an “argument” which has been settled by rigorous, peer-reviewed research and carefully scrutinized data. CNN would better serve its audience and the public by hosting scientific experts for serious discussions of climate science and climate change impacts on our health, economy, and environment.

    December 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. FiscalMess StartedWithReagan

    When are the technically ignorant and incompetent folks at CNN going to stop giving the technically ignorant and incompetent folks like Morano - who are climate deniers/intentional science misinformers for hire - a voice. Morano has no scientific credentials and his intention is simply to misinform.

    Why do you people do this? Is it CNN's intention to misinform its viewers? If so, it is succeeding.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • PhD Candidate

      Part of the problem with reporting on topics like Climate Change/Global Warming is that about 97% of scientists agree that it is happening. Only a tiny percent of that 97% even question that it is derived from human activities. That leaves a very small number of scientists available to credibly represent the opposite side of the issue (the viewpoint of the so-called 'denialists'), and of those, the vast majority want nothing to do with publicity or public speaking, but rather to be left alone to quietly do their research and live their lives! The few scientists who are willing to stand up and speak for that very small percent of scientists who have doubts as to the source of the Global warming trend are given an inordinate amount of face time to speak their point of view. This is because mainstream media practices require a balanced viewpoint of an issue be presented in quality journalistic practices. For every global warming article published, an equal amount of ink (or pixels) is expended to provide both sides of the issue... and that does the public the disservice of imparting the unrealistic viewpoint that there is just as much data out there that supporting the conclusion that global warming isn't happening or that humans have nothing to do with it if it is as there is data describing all the gazillion ways that it is happening and that we are responsible for it. That's just not the case. If you want to be really balanced, 3% of your ink is more than adequate space to represent the portion of scientists with viewpoints other than that of the mainstream. Really. That would give a more accurate reflection of the current state of Global Climate Science.

      It is much easier for people to read that they are not responsible for the climate and ecological disasters they see unfolding before their eyes than to take responsibility for it and do something about it. And if people don't like what they read, they won't go back to a website. And CNN's advertisers lose money.

      No one wants to tell people the truth because of the freemarket way we get our news. But it's there, and there are things we can all do about it. Find ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Ride a bike or walk, when possible. Recycle everything that you can. Buy energy efficient vehicles and appliances when you can. Turn down the thermostat a few degrees in the winter, turn up a few in summer. Be responsible, now. While we still can.

      December 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. W.N. Holmes

    CNN is truly pathetic - this is NOT a "he said-she said" false equivalence "debate" for the entertainment of an audience. DO YOUR JOB! It's no wonder that most Americans are confused about whether climate change is real and man-made - it's because of irresponsible junk like this from CNN.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Martin Wilt

    30,000 years ago this planet started to warm, and by 10,000 years ago the two million year old Pleistocene Ice Age ended. The glaciers that had extended from below present day Russia, across the north-pole to the present day US Canadian border, are all gone.

    Of course the planet is warming. How can it not be warming, as we have just come out of an Ice Age? But look for the cause of the global warming 30,000 years ago, not in man’s activity during the past 100 years. Blaming current events and taxing people to stop any more warming is like throwing virgins into a volcano to stop it from erupting. A good example of administrative drunken power by the volcano priests, but still a harmful waste of time.

    Ask any geologist; 70% of the time, over the last billion years, there were no glaciers anywhere on this planet. This planet is slowly returning to its NORMAL state, and throwing all the virgins you can into volcanoes will not change that.

    December 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. AJ Ryan

    Just a thought for you bogger eaters,have ANY of you considered that the warming is NATURES way to rebalance this wonderful little smudge of crap on a lonely arm of a lonely spiral galaxy in a lonely universe.Wise up folks WE ARE HERE to do this rebalancing. All of the goodies that drive life here have been slowly locked away. Is it any coincidence we come along just as the last of the truly large creatures die out ? If we don't or won't free up these building blocks, CREATION will discard us and do better,just ask the Neanderthals

    December 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Blackie in Dublin

    Today I heard an interesting report on the new Irish budget relating to the tax on cars here that is determined by the CO2 emissions. New cars, after 2008 pay far less because they produce less CO2 in a year than the average family breathes out. Perhaps we should prevent the climate change fanatics from finding this out. Who knows if they will then start calling for a culling of billions of people as the solution to reducing CO2?

    December 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. FiscalMess StartedWithReagan

    Oh, just stop the stupidity. There is NO debate about global warming. It is happening. Humans are the cause. And it's time we figured out how to STOP being the cause.

    It would be helpful if the media idiots like Piers Morgan and his producers understood the topics they're trying to inform people on. Providing Know Nothings and intentional misinformers like Morano is a disservice not only to CNN's viewers but to the world and future generations.

    Up your game, boys. It's way past time. And your cluelessness and refusal to learn is very, very nauseating.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Miles Grant

    A scientist says manmade climate change is a terrifying crisis on which we must act now, but a polluter lobbyist says it's not – who can say what's true? We'll have to leave it there!

    It's embarrassing that CNN is trying to create climate science controversy where there is none. Why not debate climate SOLUTIONS? I'd tune in for that.

    December 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tom

    Theory, prediction, test, result: the scientific method. If the result does not match the prediction, the theory is wrong.

    I would like any of you to explain to me where all the predicted hurricanes are. Explain to me why there has been no warming for the past 16 years, when it was predicted there should have been. Explain to me why it was never predicted that Antarctic ice would be at all-time highs. Explain to me why Hurricane Sandy had not been predicted weeks in advance. Explain to me why the rise of the oceans has been slowing, when it was predicted that it should be accelerating. Explain to me why the Arctic isn't ice-free, when it was predicted it would be by now.

    It doesn't matter who you are or what your supposed expertise is. If the predictions of global warming do not match the predictions, then global warming theory is wrong.

    End of story.

    December 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. patrioticduo

    Bill Nye vs Marc Morano seems to me to be a reasonable debate choice. Both are laymen in terms of the science of climate. The complexity of the science means it is surely impossible for CNN or Pier's to keep both sides of the debate happy. Now about the climate debate itself. Just keep in mind that the great majority of those who oppose doing anything about CO2 emissions do NOT also believe that the planet is NOT warming. It is a false dilemna to claim that those who oppose human caused global warming must also therefore oppose the idea that the planet has warmed. Very few people would claim that the planet has not warmed in recovery from the little ice age. And that recovery continues to this day. So of course the planet has warmed (just as it may well cool sometime in the future too). So the real debate going on in climate science circles is how much has it warmed and is it caused by man. The answer to that is still unknown (in so far as unknown means we can't be sure). Thus, the uncertainty of the climate system is still too great for the scientists to know (by successful prediction) whether humans really are causing much if any of the warming. Despite heroic efforts by climate scientists, the connection between CO2 and global warming is still not demonstrated in the evidence. It is only seen in the scientific models. But models are only a (somewhat crude and rudimentary) attempt to recreate the earth climate in the lab. The true test of these models is found in their ability (or in this inability) to mimic our actual future climate within certains bounds of uncertainty. So for example, the global CO2 concentration has been on a linear increasing trajectory for many decades yet the increase in global average temperatures since the peak of 1998 has been statistically insignificant. That is, there has essentially been no warming that is outside of the measurable uncertainty. Thus, all dire predictions made in the 1990's regarding the future 2000-2010 decade have failed to materialise – why? This places the science of human caused global warming very much in the realm of valid debate. Only the climate alarmists want you to believe that the science is settled. They are using another simple fallacy – appeal to authority. The debate is very much scientific. CNN does a great service to everyone by presenting the competing evidence so that the viewer may then be prompted to gain knowledge of both sides of the argument and will then be able to come to a conclusion themselves. Better that than to have people being pushed to a conclusion by shills and trolls and agenda driven politicking and the terrifying sound of global warming fallacies piled upon fallacy upon fallacy.

    December 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Ken from FL

    So now Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is an "expert" on climate science and global warming. You've got to be kidding.

    February 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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