WASHINGTON -- Once again, media elites are making the case for global warming. A new special from PBS argues that climate change is a real danger.
The PBS show, "Earth: the Operators' Manual," -- big-budget and beautiful -- hits the airwaves Sunday night. The film makes bold statements that science proves carbon dioxide is causing global warming and man's behind much of it.
"Put your thermometer in the ground, in the ocean. Look down from satellites; they show warming. The evidence is clear -- the earth's climate is warming," Penn State University geologist Richard Alley said in the PBS special.
Rear Adm. David W. Titley, oceanographer and navigator of the Navy, agreed.
"Climate change is happening, and there is very, very strong evidence that a large part of this is in fact man-made," he said.
In the film, scientists placed a graph charting the rise and fall of carbon dioxide levels across the ages over a graph of the rise and fall of earth's warm and cold phases. It was a near-perfect match.
"Physics and chemistry show us that carbon dioxide is at levels never seen in human history. And the evidence says that it's all of us burning fossil fuels that's driving the increase," Alley said.
At a sneak preview in Washington, D.C., Alley told CBN News the program isn't political, but pure truth.
"This is what is. This is not what ought to be, not what should be. This is what is," Alley said.
Skeptics 'Resist the Green Dragon'
But some who are skeptical of global warming say carbon dioxide is getting an unnecessarily bad rap.
"Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant - it's plant food," Dr. James Tonkowich of the Cornwall Alliance, said. "And higher carbon dioxide means, yes, plants are bigger, which incidentally makes the earth cooler. And it means that crop yields increase. I mean, in some ways, it's a good thing."
Similar arguments are being made by a large group of well-known Christian conservatives. They've gathered with other climate change skeptics at Cornwall Alliance to say they have grave doubts about the facts and the agenda of those who want to fight global warming.
They've released a 12-part DVD series called "Resisting the Green Dragon," which argues bad decisions based on flimsy science have caused horrible outcomes, like after the banning of DDT, a synthetic pesticide.
"The ban caused over 50 million preventable malaria deaths and hundreds of millions of cases of painful, debilitating, poverty-causing malaria (in the developing world)," said Brian Fischer, director of issue analysis for government public policy at the American Family Association.
Scientists in the series present charts that cast doubts on dire predictions of increased flooding, droughts, and hurricanes.
'No Religious-Political Agenda Here'
"The notion that there's this enormous consensus among scientists that man-made global warming is catastrophic and destroying the world, there simply isn't a consensus," Tonkowich said.
"Earth: the Operators' Manual" tries to immunize itself against some of the political and religious skepticism.
"I'm a registered Republican, play soccer on Saturdays, and go to church on Sundays," Alley was quick to point out in the first few minutes of the special.
In addition, the special's companion website boasts 150 pages of footnotes backing up the statements made in the TV program.
Still, Alley says he's not surprised many scientists are fighting over the climate change controversies.
"The best knowledge is the knowledge that has been beaten up the most and didn't break," he said. "And so you can always find scientists on both sides."