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 is 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]
Below are 0ld comments from the earlier Facebook commenting system:
Finally they are taking on someone their own size (intellectually speaking).
I’m not saying Gretchen Carlson pretends to be a spit-drooling idiot to bring herself to the level of her Fox viewers, but Jon Stewart and the Daily Show did make a compelling case for that. Carlson was her large high school’s valedictorian and graduated cum laude from Stanford after also studying at Oxford.
Yet she claims on Fox that she had to Google the words and terms “czar, double-dip recession” and “ignoramus,” finding the last was defined first as “Fox News viewer.”.
She claims above that she cannot follow the Dostoyevskian plot lines of SpongeBob SquarePants.
Maybe the fact that Michelle Bachman was Carlson’s nanny (true story) explains a lot. As a Manchurian Candidate Carlson’s an upgrade from Bachman, who instead of Stanford and Oxford attended Winona Ryder State Collage and Oral and Occasionally Written Roberts “University” “Law” “School”.
I haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s clip, but perhaps he gives her too much credit. Her academic credentials are not especially impressive: A bachelor’s degree (in sociology). Besides, there are plenty of deniers with degrees from prestigious schools. Most have limited scientific background, some have enough scientific background to know better, and almost all are motivated by deeply held political and/or religious beliefs and/or images of success and money that have a stranglehold on their ability to reason.
Julia – I’m sure your list of reasons for lack of reason in Carlson and all those like her is probably accurate in some combination. The best sociologists would use the scientific method as applied to an admittedly soft science, but the hardest thing about such an undergraduate degree at Stanford is getting in, because after that your hand will be held throughout and grade inflation is rampant.
And speaking of such things, you should be proud that the UT Law School denied admittance to George W. Bush and so his safety school was Harvard Business, which knows a legacy when it sees one, even a Yalie. All in all you’re quite a bright cat.
Rob Honeycutt · Top Commenter
Fox News engages in a activity called “paid stupidity.”
treasurecoastskywatch (signed in using Yahoo)
Dumb bunnies are dumb. Fox “News” is a misnomer. FoxViews should have a health warning along the lines of “watching this network will seriously reduce your mental agility and chances of getting laid”.
treasurecoastskywatch (signed in using Yahoo)
climate progress and soros http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCQMTdf7mEY.
treasurecoastskywatch (signed in using Yahoo)
Man made global warming is a fraud just like Al Gore.
Let’s note (if not exactly applaud) when concessions creep into the rhetoric of skepticism.
Doocy: “And while there’s no disputing that the world is getting a little warmer”…
Now that is a step.
Doocy: “…or is it one of those gigantic climactic phases..”
At least he’s getting a notion of the scale.
I wonder why they’re just now getting around to attacking this video, which has been around for years and millions of kids have already seen (including mine).
I don’t allow my children to watch it. It’s honestly more of a grown up cartoon with all the undertones it has. The only thing they got out of it after watching a few episodes was to try and karate chop each other. Now TV time is very restricted and limited. I’m criticized all the time for it, but honestly, they have little brains and imaginations. I want them to use them not rot them.
Lily got hooked for a while visiting her older cousins, but then lost interest. The show is a toned-down, kid version of “Ren and Stimpy,” and can be very funny, but at home we stick to PBS.
The real crime here is Fox News’s lies about global warming, as my cousin Joseph Romm points out.
I hate fox more.
- treasurecoastskywatch (signed in using Yahoo)
Why because they question propaganda from the fraudsters ? why the hate ? global warming is a hoax !
When I realize that organizations like FOX news who dare to question and deny (subtly or not) global warming, evolution and other scientifically proven and otherwise universally accepted facts, the only comfort I receive is that I probably live in the most democratic country in the planet. Where else would people take seriously such backward fundamentalistic non-sense. The price of this freedom to believe and make believe whatever lunacy you find comfort in (and suits your political/financial agenda) does not come without a high price tag though: irreversably degrading the biosphere. What is truly pathetic, disturbing and quite dangerous is that the public in this great country of ours is so devoid of critical thinking, so naive and so ideologically biased that we cannot have any realistic debate on the subject. This is no di…See More
laska1818 (signed in using Yahoo)
I wish I could have watched the audition for those Faux shows. It must have been a howl watching them out dumbing down one another. SpongeBob..seriously?
instead of unreasonably argue with Spongebob. Why don’t they show how screwed-up is our economy and critize our rulers of doing nothing about unemplyment? it’s the media! They own everything and keep all to themselves… sick!
Joe–The link in the third paragraph tied to the words “settled fact” appears to be broken.
Then that would make Patrick smarter than the left leaning Democrats and CNN ABC NBC MSNBC and CBS
Paul Magnus · Top Commenter
Yep, that was written speciall for fox…