Fox News repeatedly criticized a SpongeBob SquarePants book and video about manmade global warming because “they did not tell kids that that is actually a disputed fact.” In reality, it is not controversial among the mainstream scientific community that humans are changing the climate.
The cartoonish hominids who pretend to be journalists on Fox News have a new villain — SpongeBob SquarePants. Why are they incensed at the high-energy invertebrate? Because he understands climate science, that human emissions are warming the planet, and would like to explain that to the children whose climate will be destroyed by the professional deniers like Fox.
Fox News believes this is a “disputed fact” – we’ll set aside the oxymoronic phrase “disputed fact” and merely note that for the National Academy of Sciences, it is a “settled fact.”
Of course, we learned last year that Fox News boss Bill Sammon ordered staff to cast doubt on even the most established science: “We should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.” Hmm. Maybe he isn’t a Sammon, but an octopus, specifically Squidward Tentacles.
If you watch the video – which I don’t recommend without several head vises – it interesting to note that SpongeBob is only concerned about warming. In fact, the far greater threat to ocean life is ocean acidification.
Last year, a Nature Geoscience study found our oceans are acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred. Also, last year the Geological Society reported that acidifying oceans spell marine biological meltdown “by end of century.” And some of the world’s top marine scientists reported in June that acidification, warming, and human activity have put the world’s oceans in ‘shocking’ decline with the ‘speeds of many negative changes … tracking the worst-case scenarios.’
But Murdoch’s Fox News doesn’t care about ocean life — fictitious or real. They care only about pushing their corporatist, pro-pollution, anti-science agenda.
Here’s more on their assault on the famous sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea, from Media Matters:
Fox Blasts Nickelodeon For “Pushing A Global Warming Agenda”
CNS News Reported That Education Department Offered Free Books, Including SpongeBob Global Warming Tale. In an August 2 article, CNSNews.com reported that during a July Department of Education event promoting reading, children “were treated to free books,” including a SpongeBob SquarePants book that “promotes the idea that global warming is manmade.” [CNSNews, 8/2/11]
- Glenn Beck’s Website Asked If Ed. Dept. Is “Indoctrinating Children.” On August 2, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze promoted the CNSNews story and asked: “Is the U.S. Department of Education indoctrinating children to accept man-made global warming as fact?” The Blaze also embedded a 2005 SpongeBob video with the same storyline as the book. [The Blaze, 8/2/11]
Fox’s Steve Doocy: “Clearly Nickelodeon Is Pushing A Global Warming Agenda.” On the August 3 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said:
DOOCY: The Department of Education invited a bunch of DC kids in and they had this festivity and they handed out these particular Nickelodeon books where clearly Nickelodeon is pushing a global warming agenda. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/3/11]
Fox’s Gretchen Carlson: SpongeBob “Blamed Man For Global Warming” But “Did Not Tell Kids That That Is A Disputed Fact.” Fox & Friends aired clips from the SpongeBob video and co-host Gretchen Carlson said:
CARLSON: The Department of Education using SpongeBob SquarePants now to teach kids about global warming. The government agency showed kids this cartoon and handed out books that blamed man for global warming, but they did not tell kids that that is actually a disputed fact. Oops! [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/3/11]
- Department of Education: “We’ve Never Shown Any Videos” At The Reading Events. Contrary to Carlson’s claim, Tim Tuten of the Department of Education said that the SpongeBob video was not shown at the reading events. “We’ve never shown any videos ever, so I have no idea where that is coming from,” he said. Tuten added that participants were permitted to choose one of dozens of diverse books to take home with them and the SpongeBob book was one of those options. [Phone conversation, 8/3/11]
Doocy Claims Unnamed “Parents” Think SpongeBob Book Pushes “Over-The-Top Green Agenda.” On Fox & Friends, Doocy said:
DOOCY: The Department of Education giving kids free books about SpongeBob. Seems like a good idea right? Well some parents don’t think so. They say the books are being used to push an over-the-top green agenda regarding global warming. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/3/11]
Carlson On SpongeBob: “He Is Only Looking At It From One Point Of View.” On Fox & Friends Carlson also said of the Nickelodeon show:
CARLSON: We all know that SpongeBob is popular with the kids and for the life of me I still keep trying to figure out why it is. My kids watch limited TV but every time they chose that show, I’m like, ‘Why?’ Anyway — it’s hard to even follow sometimes. Anyway now maybe that will be a good thing because SpongeBob is talking a lot about global warming, and he’s only looking at it from one point of view. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/3/11]
Fox’s Dave Briggs: Global Warming Is “Unproven Science.” On Fox & Friends, guest co-host Dave Briggs added:
BRIGGS: It’s unproven science. And again, this is public education system that we all pay our tax dollars for and the SpongeBob book says that it’s a manmade problem that requires human intervention.
DOOCY: Right. They’re presenting it as fact.
BRIGGS: As fact. Meanwhile, the schools there — I mean, we’re talking about 14th in the world in reading, 17th in the world in science, 25th in math. So we’re forcing an issue that is not yet proven — we can’t even teach our kids the adequate math, reading and science at this point. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/3/11]
Fox: SpongeBob Shows “Bias” By Blaming Humans For Global Warming. The following on-screen text aired on Fox & Friends:
[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/3/11]
Notion That Humans Are Changing Climate Is Not Controversial Among Mainstream Scientists
National Research Council: “Preponderance Of Scientific Evidence” Indicates That Humans Are Changing The Climate. In a recent report, the National Research Council stated: “[T]he preponderance of scientific evidence points to human activities — especially the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — as the most likely cause for most of the global warming that has occurred over the last several decades.” [National Research Council, 5/12/11]
American Chemical Society: Climate Change Is “Largely Attributable To Emissions From Human Activities.” According to the American Chemical Society: “[C]omprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.” [American Chemical Society, accessed 8/3/11]
AAAS: “Global Climate Change Is Real” And “Is Caused Largely By Human Activities.” The American Association for the Advancement of Science said in a 2009 statement: “The vast preponderance of evidence, based on years of research conducted by a wide array of different investigators at many institutions, clearly indicates that global climate change is real, it is caused largely by human activities, and the need to take action is urgent.” [American Association For The Advancement of Science, 12/4/09]
American Meteorological Society: “Humans Have Significantly Contributed” To Climate Change. In a February 2007 statement, the American Meteorological Society said “there is adequate evidence” to conclude “that humans have significantly contributed” to climate change and that “further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond.” [American Meteorological Society, 2/1/07]
Geological Society Of America: “Human Activities … Account For Most Of The Warming Since The Middle 1900s.” From an April 2010 position statement of the Geological Society of America:
The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s. If current trends continue, the projected increase in global temperature by the end of the twentyfirst century will result in large impacts on humans and other species. [Geological Society of America, April 2010]
Fox Cites Scientists “On Both Sides” To Claim There Is A “Big Question” About Global Warming
Doocy On Manmade Global Warming: “There’s A Lot Of Scientists That Say It’s This. Others Say It’s That.” Suggesting that kids should not be taught that humans are changing the climate, Doocy said:
DOOCY: While there is no disputing the fact that the earth is getting a little warmer, the big question is, is it manmade or is it just one of those gigantic climactic, you know, phases that we’re going – for a while we’re cold and then we get warmer and then we get colder and warmer. Is it – which one is it? The science on both sides – there are a lot of scientists who say it’s this. Others say it’s that. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/3/11]