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MediaWatch: December 1990

Vol. Four No. 12

More Hot Air from PBS

FUTURE SCHLOCK

PBS added to the panic on November 21 by airing another special on the greenhouse effect, After the Warming, a co-production of Maryland Public Television and Film Australia. British author James Burke reported from 2050, looking back at all we did wrong.

The show began with a mock newscast: "By 2005, forty million are dead of starvation....epidemics rage in New York; toxic waste spills throughout Europe; evacuation is ordered from New Orleans; greater temperatures are still to come."

Burke told viewers: "It's a video-tape from 1990, and that was how they thought we'd turn out. Funny how they would miss some of the changes that we would really care about. I mean, do you remember hamburgers, traffic jams, log fires in winter, a place called Miami, a time when the Japanese weren't running everything?" Burke told The Washington Post: "None of this program is fantasy. It is all a result of serious studies."

Meanwhile, PBS refuses to air The Greenhouse Conspiracy, a devastating critique of the science of global warming theory. PBS officials have dismissed the acclaimed British documentary as "too one-sided."

But unlike Race to Save the Planet or After the Warming, which completely ignored opposing points of view, The Greenhouse Conspiracy devoted time to a number of greenhouse advocates, including Stephen Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. After a series of challenging questions, Schneider conceded in the film: "I don't put very much stock in looking at the direct evidence." Putting greenhouse theories to the test in a two-sided debate isn't "too one-sided" for PBS, it's not one-sided enough.