CNBC Viewers Back Kernen in Global Warming Interview

Musician Sheryl Crow performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" summer concert series in New York's Bryant Park, Friday, Sept. 23, 2005. Crow's new album "Wildflower" goes on sale Sept. 27. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Jeff Christensen
Musician Sheryl Crow performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" summer concert series in New York's Bryant Park, Friday, Sept. 23, 2005. Crow's new album "Wildflower" goes on sale Sept. 27. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

The debate over global warming seems far from over, as evidenced by the dozens of viewer emails that poured in after CNBC’s Joe Kernen’s interview with singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow and “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Laurie David.

During the Tuesday morning interview, Kernen cited scientific findings from a U.K. documentary, “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” to challenge Crow and David’s view that climate change is caused by humans. The segment generated a surprisingly enormous response from viewers.

“Are we sure it has nothing to do with cosmic rays or sun spot activity or volcanoes?” Kernen said. “The footprint of humans for CO2 is apparently fairly small compared to volcanoes.”

“The globe is warming. Humans are causing it,” David said. “The world has complete consensus on this. I would question who funded the documentary and what their agenda is…. The debate is over.”

About 80% of viewer responses sided with Kernen, many referencing the indignation that Crow and David expressed at having to answer questions about the global warming debate.

“I went to great lengths, I thought, to try to be really fair,” Kernen said.

Even Sheryl Crow expressed anger in her blog. Here are some snippets (misspellings are hers):

"After a short night’s sleep on the bus, Laurie and I got up early to do CNBC. We were interviewed live, via earpiece, by a militant sceptic who’s sole objective seemed to be to disprove us and the theory of global warming at every turn.

Now, I’m not exactly sure what planet this guy is living on (or what planet he thinks he’s living on, perhaps one that is not suffering the extreme weather patterns that planet earth is experiencing) but to argue that global warming does not exist and that the IPCC reports are a political maneuver, is irresponsible and overtly unethical…and at 7:30 in the morning, just plain irritating.

I have to wonder if Joe Kernan argued on the side of the Tobacco Industry and did he ever agree that smoking does cause cancer. Or does he feel like that was a political issue, as well."

Here’s a sample of viewer emails sent to CNBC:

From: Steve In Minneapolis

Great interview with Cheryl Crow and the other woman with regard to global warming. You pinned them to the wall with your very good and intelligent questions ... and all they could come back with was "the issue is settled and the opinions unanimous." Your questions showed the whole issue is NOT settled, and respected scientists do not agree with their (Crow & David's) view of global warming.


From: Rich In Shorewood, IL

As a scientist, I hereby declare the global warming fervor to be a hoax and also declare that I am among the real consensus that opposes the Gore consensus group. I have a B.S. and an M.S. in physics which is probably more than many of the members of the so-called consensus can claim.


From: Mark In CT

Great interview with Crow and David! This is the first interview I can recall on a "mainstream" broadcast where the host challenged the headline reading, talking point, alarmist, the sky is falling, know-nothing celebrities who feel as though they are the savior of the un-washed masses that are too stupid to decide for themselves the validity of complex scientific findings.


From: Alex In CT

Joe Kernen,
I wanted to thank you and CNBC ... for finally shining some light on the hysteria of the "global warming moonies" who have become fixated on blaming human beings for everything, and now the imminent demise on our planet.


From: John

I have become very concerned about the emergence of this new "religion" about the evils of global warming caused allegedly by increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere. This "religion" is complete with a high priest, Al Gore, singing nuns such as Cheryl Crow, and a board of deacons, the UN Science Council.


From: Brad

Nicely done! It's about time that the self righteous acolytes of the global warming faith get some fact-based questions. It is amazing and informative to see how little these 2 zealots actually know about the facts of the mater that they are so fervently purveying to our impressionable youth.


From: Blake In Tulsa

Fantastic interview by Joe Kernen on global warming. The arrogance of the global warming crowd is shocking and scary. Joe Kernen did one of the best interviews I've seen on CNBC.


From: Lin In Chicago

This is the first time (in years of watching) that I have heard Joe sound both arrogant and ignorant.


From: Joe H.

The only people who don't acknowledge global warming are old rich white men and their stooges they have "talking their book." Admitting global warming would threaten their way of life.


From: Pat

Joe -

You're such an obvious hired gun against the best interest of the human race. Enjoy the money a----hole.