Demand CNN Stop Debating Climate Science

Target: Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide

Goal: Stop inviting climate change deniers on CNN panels.

CNN angered the environmental world on Earth Day by inviting climate change denier William Happer to speak on a panel that included Bill Nye and May Boeve, executive director of Happer, a physicist at Princeton University, used his airtime to tell viewers that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a “natural” gas, and that it is causing a beneficial “greening” of the planet. He also claimed that President Trump was supportive of science and that science “has nothing to fear from Mr. Trump.” These statements are categorically false, and by providing a platform for Professor Happer to spread misinformation in an attempt to spark drama, CNN has once again proven it is more concerned with entertaining rather than informative television.

As Nye rightfully pointed out, putting one climate change denier on a panel with two who accept the facts of climate change does a disservice to the truth, as 97 percent of scientists agree climate change is occurring. Placing Happer on the panel allows the audience to think that there is still debate on whether or not anthropogenic climate change is real, and this could not be further from the truth. His talking points neglected to mention the astonishing rate of carbon dioxide emissions from human activities like burning fossil fuel as well as the impact excess carbon dioxide has on our environment. Furthermore, he also lacked to discuss the many executive orders and budget cuts of the Trump administration that directly oppose scientific knowledge and research.

Rather than use its Earth Day coverage as a means of educating viewers, CNN chose to taint a panel of esteemed environmentalists with a climate change denier to create drama, rather than use its airtime to highlight environmental challenges and the promising solutions we have to solve them. Sign this petition to tell CNN that the way it runs its network is unacceptable and must be reformed for the sake of people and the planet.


Dear Mr. Zucker,

During a recent Earth Day segment, climate change denier William Happer was invited onto CNN to spread misinformation about climate change to viewers. Adding insult to injury, Happer joined Bill Nye and May Boeve, esteemed leaders in the climate change movement, and in so doing created the illusion that there is still a debate on whether anthropogenic climate change is occurring.

Statements made by Professor Happer during the segment were categorically untrue. He claimed that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and alternatively is helping mankind. He also stated that President Trump is a friend of science. By providing a platform for him to espouse these falsities, CNN failed to take responsibility for ensuring that viewers know his stance is not taken by 97 percent of scientists who agree climate change is occurring and humans are the cause. Instead, your network decided that stirring drama made for better television than informing viewers about pressing environmental problems. I urge you to lead CNN in a different direction, and use your power and position to make the network a place where audiences can learn the truth about national and international issues like global climate change.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Time Warner

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  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    no more lies about science!

  2. Kathryn Irby says:

    Climate Change is NOT debatable!! It’s a FACT AND A REALITY, PERIOD!

  3. Not signing this petition. Though I am not a fan of CNN and rarely ever watch it, I disagree that there should not be debate about climate change.
    Why are people so afraid of debate? Why are people so afraid of someone who disagrees with them? This is ridiculous.
    Debate is a GOOD thing. We SHOULD be able to question climate science all we want. If it’s true, it can stand testing, debate and inquiry. We should all investigate it for ourselves to make sure it is sound.
    If a scientific “fact” stands vigorous testing, then we can be pretty sure it is true. If it is flimsy and falls apart upon investigation – well, it isn’t scientific after all.
    Debate helps people to develop independent and critical thinking skills, the ability to “think outside the box” and true intelligence.

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