Pelley Again Covers Warming

Yesterday on "60 Minutes," Scott Pelley offered up the latest in his series of stories about global warming. You can watch the story, much of which was filmed in Antarctica, by clicking on the video box.

Pelley has spoken with me twice about his coverage of global warming, and in a wide-ranging interview posted March 22, I asked him what he thinks "about the fact that James Inhofe, who until recently chaired the Environment and Public Works Committee, has cited your work as one of the prime examples of the media hyping global warming?"

Here is Pelley's reply:

That interview I did with you has become somewhat famous around Washington, apparently. First of all, let me say I am not familiar with what Senator Inhofe has said about me specifically, although I am aware that he brought my work up on the floor of the Senate. I think it's important to know that Senator Inhofe is a very careful and capable representative of the state of Oklahoma, which is where my family is from. And one thing Senator Inhofe knows is his constituents. And a lot of his constituents are honorably employed by the oil industry and companies that serve the oil industry. There's nothing wrong with that. And there's nothing wrong with him being an advocate for those constituents.

I think Senator Inhofe comes at this from a particular viewpoint, and that is that petroleum products should not be blamed on global warming. The science, however, is overwhelmingly on the other side of the question. The recent international conference on global warming, which was sponsored by the United States, concluded with 90 percent certainty – which is all you can get a scientist to say – that human activity, i.e. greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, is the principle driver of the warming trend that we have seen over the last several years.

And there is no debate any longer that there is a warming trend. I've just come back from Antarctica a few weeks ago, where we were shooting a story, and there are manifest, obvious changes down at the bottom of the earth that the earth is warming.

Conservative media bias site Newsbusters is calling Pelley's latest report "alarmist." Wrote Justin McCarthy, sarcastically: "Apparently, when watching a glacier recede, one can jump to the conclusion that SUV driving soccer moms are causing it."