In recent months, media investigations have revealed that Exxon Mobil peddled climate science denial for years after its scientists recognized that burning fossil fuels causes global warming, prompting New York's Attorney General to issue a subpoena to Exxon and all three Democratic presidential candidates to call for a federal probe of the company. But despite these developments, the nightly news programs of all three major broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- have failed to air a single segment addressing the evidence that Exxon knowingly deceived its shareholders and the public about climate change.
Political reporters and media critics chided Fox Business for its handling of the November 10 Republican presidential debate, pointing out that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) faced few substantive questions and was allowed to completely avoid controversial topics like immigration reform and his personal finances.
On the November 6 edition of NPR and the Futuro Media Group's Latino USA, host Maria Hinojosa highlighted four important facts about the Latino vote that media and pundits often miss. Hinojosa and several show producers debunked the myth that Latinos are a monolithic voting bloc, explained how the "representation gap" affects Latinos more than "almost any other group," highlighted the significant demographic overlap between millennial and Latino voters and the issues that motivate them to vote, and noted that the impact of the Hispanic vote could be even greater than previously thought due to low naturalization rates among certain groups of Latinos legally living in the U.S.
1. The Latino Vote Is Complex, Not Monolithic
Hinojosa and producer Fernanda Echavarri explained that although "politicians and pundits talk about" the Latino vote "as if it were one vote, for one party, or one issue," "that is not true." The media have a long track record of portraying the Latino vote as mostly concerned with the single issue of immigration, but Echavarri explained that treating the Latino vote as a monolith has alienating effects. Recent polls have shown that Latino voters identify education, the economy, and health care as issues they are most concerned with:
MARIA HINOJOSA: What is the Latino vote? Politicians and pundits talk about it as if it were one vote, for one party, or one issue. But here at Latino USA, we know that is not true. Our producer Fernanda Echavarri spoke with a family who really exemplifies that.
FERNANDA ECHAVARRI: That's right. I came across the Canino-Vasquez family who have very different political beliefs, and that leads to some lively conversations at the dinner table.
HINOJOSA: I mean, even my own family, I remember my young brother, radical, young, high school student, arguing with my father, the American citizen, medical doctor, very serious -- I mean, it happened and yes, and then we'd have dinner and you would be ok.
ECHAVARRI: And actually, that happens more than we think across the United States in Latino families, and for the Canino-Vasquez family. And it really bothers Rose and Ana, when politicians and some in the media try to address Latinos and the Latino vote as if they were all the same.
ROSE CANINO: Ultimately, the effect is an alienating one. And I think if they realized how alienating and how much of a turn-off that sort of one-size-fits-all perspective is. If they realized that, I think they might make a different decision about how they talk about stuff.
ANA CANINO-FLUIT: When people say that the Latino vote is monolithic or it's one issue, it erases the idea that we all come from different nations and different countries of origin who have different issues.
2. The Representation Gap Affects Latinos "More Than Almost Any Other Group"
Hinojosa also explained how "the representation gap," or the disproportion between the Latino share of the population and the percentage of Latinos in public office, affects Latinos "more than almost any other group." Latinos make up 17 percent of the nation's population, but just one percent of elected officials. Latino USA producer Marlon Bishop pointed to Pasco, Washington, a city with a Latino majority where "the representation gap is particularly dramatic," likely due to low Latino voter participation. According to Bishop, "even though Latinos are a majority in Pasco, it's mostly white people who are doing the voting." The Washington Post has pointed out that "addressing the policy needs" of the growing Hispanic demographic "will be a challenge if minority representation in state and local legislatures continues to fall short":
HINOJOSA: By the numbers, there are 26 million Latinos elegible to vote in the United States, and that keeps growing, but only about half of them actually show up to vote on election day. Low turnout is also part of the reason why you don't see a lot of Latinos in public office. Latinos make up 17 percent of the population of the country but only one percent of its elected officials. Now this is called the representation gap. And, get this, it affects Latinos more than almost any other group. And actually, in some counties with a majority Latino population, there isn't a single Latino representative. Latino USA producer Marlon Bishop is going to take us now to one place where the representation gap is particularly dramatic: Pasco, Washington.
MARLON BISHOP: About 30 percent of Pasco's Latino community is believed to be undocumented and cannot vote. But for the Latinos in Pasco who are citizens, voter participation is really low. So even though Latinos are a majority in Pasco, it's mostly white people who are doing the voting.
3. There's A Significant Demographic Overlap Between Millennial And Latino Voters
Hinojosa, Echavarri, and producer Antonia Cereijido explained that a significant portion of the millennial vote is Latino (about 20 percent), but that "a lot of them aren't getting to the polls," -- a phenomenon they say is likely caused by a shortage of information. Noting that the goal "is to get this fast growing population involved in the voting process," Echavarri turned to Voto Latino president María Teresa Kumar to explain that millennial Latinos "are much more drawn to issues than to candidates." Kumar also pointed out that, because Latinas are more politically involved than their male peers, reproductive health rights and the wage gap, which is larger for Latinas, are issues that will likely drive them out to the polls (emphasis added):
HINOJOSA: If there's another voting demographic talked about as much as Latinos, it's millennials. Of course, these two demographics overlap. A major chunk of potential Latino voters are millennials. But a lot of them aren't getting to the polls. Two of our millennial producers, Fernanda Echavarri and Antonia Cereijido, got together in our studio to talk about what Latino millennial voters care about and why they're not voting more.
ECHAVARRI: So it's really not that young Latinos do not care about the political issues but maybe it hasn't sort of been instilled in them. It hasn't been taught in their homes.
ANTONIA CEREIJIDO: Yeah, I mean it's very, very likely that their parents weren't voters. You know, if they're the child of immigrants, now they're first time voters, you need to know a lot of new information if you're going to do that. And that's the thing, these people really do care about very specific things in their lives and they want to be engaged.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR: If you look at the recent studies, millennial Latinos are much more drawn to issues than to candidates. And I think it's because they are more skeptical of the system, they're learning the system.
ECHAVARRI: So, what did María Teresa tell you were some of those issues that Latino millennials care so much about?
CEREIJIDO: There is one issue that makes Latinas in particular go out to the polls.
KUMAR: They are more likely to register and vote if, at the local level, there is a woman's right to choose on the ballot.
CEREIJIDO: For some reason I was shocked by that because a lot of Latinos are Catholic and maybe I doubt their moms feel the same way.
KUMAR: One of my biggest irks is when people cite $.70 on the dollar that a woman makes and fail to realize that the largest generation behind us of Americans are young women who happen to be Latina who are earning $.55 on the dollar.
CEREIJIDO: Latina women have to work this much harder to make a certain amount of money. Having a kid and having more expenses, it makes sense that it's something they really care about.
ECHAVARRI: And what about men? Did María Teresa say anything about how young Latinos are driven to the polls? Any issues that are particularly important to them?
CEREIJIDO: Not really. In fact Latino millennial men are, they're just like less involved. 51 percent of Latinas who are registered to vote actually vote in comparison to only 39 percent of Latino men.
ECHAVARRI: So the idea here is to get this fast growing population involved in the voting process, and millennials are changing the demographics of even what the Latino vote has been in this country.
4. The Latino Vote Could Actually Have A Bigger Election Impact Than Previously Thought
Hinojosa explained that "the Latino vote could be bigger than we thought, maybe even sooner than we thought." As Pew Research Center's Mark Hugo Lopez noted, there are five million foreign-born Latinos with legal residence in the U.S. who are eligible to become naturalized citizens have not taken that step. According to Lopez, that's "a potential pool of voters who could be pushed to citizenship and have an impact on Latino voter participation in the upcoming election":
HINOJOSA: We've been talking throughout our show about Latino voters. There are 26 million Latinos who could be voting in the next presidential election. Now that's enough to tip the scales one way or another, and the candidates know it. But when we spoke with Mark Hugo Lopez of the Pew Research Center we learned that that number could actually be even higher because of one particular group.
MARK HUGO LOPEZ: There are five million Hispanic adults who are in the country legally -- they are foreign-born, they are immigrants -- but they haven't quite yet become U.S. citizens. There's a lot of effort to get this particular group to citizenship, so in other words, having them apply for and obtain U.S. citizenship, and ultimately, they would then be able to vote. Among Mexican immigrants who are in the country legally, only about 36 percent ultimately take that step to become a U.S. citizen, and that is the lowest naturalization rate of any of the Hispanic origin groups. Many of these immigrants have been in the United States for fifteen, maybe even twenty years, and still haven't quite taken that step. So that's really a potential pool of voters who could be pushed to citizenship and have an impact on Latino voter participation in the upcoming election.
HINOJOSA: That's right. The Latino vote could be bigger than we thought, maybe even sooner than we thought, if they just signed up for citizenship. Which is why it's important that politicians learn how complex a group we really are.
John F. Burnett contributed research to this blog.
NPR executive editor Edith Chapin and ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen agree it is "unfortunate" that NPR has thus far failed to cover groundbreaking reports documenting that ExxonMobil funded efforts to sow doubt about climate science for decades after confirming that burning fossil fuels causes climate change.
In a November 2 post on NPR's website, Jensen noted that NPR received criticism from some listeners for failing to report on the recent reports by The Guardian, InsideClimate News, and the Los Angeles Times documenting that Exxon amplified doubt about climate science after Exxon's own scientists confirmed the consensus on global warming. Jensen quoted Chapin as saying of the Exxon story, "NPR should have reported on it in some fashion on at least one of our outlets/platforms," and Chapin also said "[i]t is unfortunate that this topic didn't come up [in NPR's daily editorial discussions] or in any conversation or email that I was a part of." For her part, Jensen agreed that the story "seems to have fallen through the cracks," and that given the growing calls for an investigation of Exxon, "the lapse was unfortunate." Jensen noted that the story was addressed in September by WNYC's On the Media, which was at the time distributed by NPR but is no longer affiliated with the outlet.
Since the media investigations were published, climate scientists, members of Congress, and Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin O'Malley have called for the Department of Justice to investigate either Exxon specifically or oil companies more broadly to determine if they knowingly deceived the public about climate change.
As one listener wrote to NPR: "Considering the importance of the issue and the prominence of Exxon's role, this story deserved, and still deserves, to be headline news on the national broadcast." Jensen agreed, concluding that "the issue is still a live one, and it's not too late for NPR to find some way of following up."
Andrew Ratzkin, a listener to the New York City member station WNYC, wrote that the only reporting he heard on the issue was in September, by On the Media, which is produced by WNYC (at the time, the show was distributed by NPR, but that business deal ended Oct. 1 and it is no longer NPR-affiliated). That reporting, examining the InsideClimate News reports, included a contentious interview by On the Media co-host Bob Garfield with Richard Keil, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil, who disputed the InsideClimate News claims.
"This is not enough," Ratzkin wrote. "Considering the importance of the issue and the prominence of Exxon's role, this story deserved, and still deserves, to be headline news on the national broadcast."
Edith Chapin, NPR's executive editor, told me by email that she believes NPR dropped the ball.While it was not a major headline story, I think it meets the interesting test and thus NPR should have reported on it in some fashion on at least one of our outlets/platforms. Exxon Mobil is the world's largest publicly traded multinational oil and gas company and the debate and research decades ago is interesting in light of contemporary knowledge and action on climate change. Daily conversations at our editorial hub typically cross a range of subjects and stories from across the globe. It is unfortunate that this topic didn't come up there or in any conversation or email that I was a part of. It should have been flagged by someone so we could have discussed it and made an intentional decision to cover or not and if so, how.
My take: The story was on the radar of at least some in the newsroom, but it seems to have fallen through the cracks. Given the latest repercussions--Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is among those calling for a federal investigation--the lapse was unfortunate. But the issue is still a live one, and it's not too late for NPR to find some way of following up.
An article on NPR.org effectively debunked Fox News' fearmongering about states that chose to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid eligibility, pointing out that "states whose governors, most Republicans who opposed the Affordable Care Act, chose not to accept federal funds to extend Medicaid to more people ... saw their costs to provide healthcare to the poor rise twice as fast as states that extended benefits to more low-income residents."
The October 15 article by NPR.org's Alison Kodjak cited a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of Medicaid directors that found that states "that didn't broaden coverage saw their Medicaid costs rise 6.9 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept 30," while states that expanded coverage "saw their costs rise only 3.4 percent." Kodjak noted that "that modest increase in Medicaid spending in the expansion states came even as the rate of Medicaid participation rose 18 percent, three times as much as the states sitting out."
After the Supreme Court gave states the ability in 2012 to choose to reject Medicaid expansion, Fox News repeatedly misled its viewers by claiming that the cost of expanding Medicaid rolls was unaffordable for states, who should reject federal funds to do so. In the aftermath of Fox's disinformation campaign, 5.7 million uninsured Americans were prevented from getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion in states where governors embraced that claim. Fox News' subsequently blamed this gap in coverage on the Affordable Care Act, instead of on Republican governors who turned down federal money that would have allowed them to add more people to the insurance rolls. From the NPR.org article:
The 22 states that didn't expand Medicaid eligibility as part of Obamacare last year saw their costs to provide health care to the poor rise twice as fast as states that extended benefits to more low-income residents.
It's a counterintuitive twist for those states whose governors, most Republicans who opposed the Affordable Care Act, chose not to accept federal funds to extend Medicaid to more people.
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey of Medicaid directors in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., showed that those that didn't broaden coverage saw their Medicaid costs rise 6.9 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The 29 states that took President Obama up on his offer to foot the bill for expanding Medicaid saw their costs rise only 3.4 percent.
That modest increase in Medicaid spending in the expansion states came even as the rate of Medicaid participation rose 18 percent, three times as much as the states sitting out.
There have been stark differences between states that take up the expansion and those that don't.
Texas, for example, hasn't expanded eligibility and its rolls have increased by about 192,000 people in the last two years, or just 4.3 percent. Federal reimbursements to the state fell last year from 58.05 percent to 57.13, according to the Kaiser study.
California, by contrast, was among the first states to sign on to the expansion. Enrollment in Medi-Cal, the state's name for Medicaid, grew by 30 percent in the first year. All told, 3.4 million Californians were added to the Medi-Cal rolls between Sept. 2013 and July 2015.
From the September 25 edition of NPR and WNYC's On the Media:
Loading the player reg...
From the September 18 edition of NPR and WNYC's On the Media:
Loading the player reg...
An NPR article on the government inquiry into classified emails cited two former government officials to criticize Hillary Clinton's handling of her private email server when she was secretary of state. However, the article did not disclose that the former officials have conservative ties, with one of them advising GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
In the August 19 article, NPR extensively quoted Ron Hosko, who was identified only as previously leading "the FBI's criminal investigative division." Hosko suggested that emails which were sent to Clinton -- and which have since been retroactively classified in an interagency dispute over classification levels -- might represent "serious breaches of national security":
"I think that the FBI will be moving with all deliberate speed to determine whether there were serious breaches of national security here," said Ron Hosko, who used to lead the FBI's criminal investigative division.
He said agents will direct their questions not just at Clinton, but also her close associates at the State Department and beyond.
"I would want to know how did this occur to begin with, who knew, who approved," Hosko said.
NPR did not mention that Hosko is currently the president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF), a right-wing non-profit that claims to defend police officers fighting criminal charges, but which has come under scrutiny for financial ties to other conservative groups, such as the Federalist Society and the American Spectator. The chairman of LELDF is Alfred Regnery, the former president of conservative publisher Regnery Publishing, whileboard members include Ken Cuccinelli, the former Republican nominee for governor of Virginia; J. Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican politician and senior fellow at the Family Research Council; and Edwin Meese III, a former Reagan administration official who reportedly helped orchestrate the devastating 2013 government shutdown.
In December 2014, Hosko also wrote a column for USA Today arguing that "police weren't the problem in Ferguson." The column blamed the Obama administration and "radical activists" for "exacerbating the problems in Ferguson" and contributing "to an epidemic that will most adversely affect those for whom they claim to advocate."
The NPR article also cited an interview that former NSA Director Michael Hayden gave on MSNBC's Morning Joe, where Hayden said about Clinton's email use: "Put legality aside for just a second, it's stupid and dangerous."
"I've signed on as an adviser to Gov. Bush because he asked me and because he represents what I feel is the right position, which is the Republican internationalist position," Hayden said. "If you're looking for one sentence as to what a new president should do with regard to foreign policy: Get involved, and stay involved."
In coverage of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) newly-proposed standards to lower methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, several major media outlets uncritically quoted oil industry officials who claim that the new rules are unnecessary because the industry is already effectively limiting its emissions. By contrast, other outlets mentioned a new study by the Environmental Defense Fund showing that methane emissions are far higher than official estimates, part of a body of evidence that undercuts the industry's claim.
From the August 11 edition of NPR's Morning Edition:
An NPR fact-check explained the harmful consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood, reporting that such a move would disproportionately impact low-income people and may cost taxpayers money in the long-run.
During an August 3 event hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush suggested that women's health providers such as Planned Parenthood are over-funded by the government, saying "I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues." The renewed push to defund Planned Parenthood has been propelled by right-wing media citing the Center for Medical Progress' deceptively edited videos to push misinformation about the health care provider's vital services, and going so far as to call for a government shutdown "if that is what it takes" to defund the organization.
According to an August 5 NPR fact-check, defunding Planned Parenthood could have major consequences, including impacting low-income people, who comprise a large majority of Planned Parenthood's patients. Pointing to a letter from the Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall, the report explained that although the CBO has yet to come to a "firm conclusion" on the matter, defunding the organization "could have led to more spending (not to mention more unplanned pregnancies)":
Title X and Medicaid are programs that target low- to middle-income Americans, and many of Planned Parenthood's patients are likewise lower-income. As of 2012, 79 percent of people receiving services from Planned Parenthood lived at 150 percent of the federal poverty level or lower (that comes out to around $18,500 for a single adult), according to a March Government Accountability Office report.
Defunding the group might cut some spending and accomplish one Republican anti-abortion goal, but it could also backfire, as Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall wrote this week in a letter addressing S. 1881.
Though the CBO didn't do a full, formal analysis of the bill, Hall pointed out that while the bill could cut government spending, it could also increase it. While displacing Title X funding from Planned Parenthood to other clinics, the bill could have cut Medicaid spending as some beneficiaries might fail or decide not to seek out family planning services at other clinics. But on the other hand, it could have led to more spending (not to mention more unplanned pregnancies):
"CBO also expects that some of the services that would not be used if S. 1881 was enacted would include those that help women avert pregnancies and deliveries. Reduced use of such services would be expected to lead to additional births, increasing federal spending, primarily for Medicaid. In addition, some of those children would themselves qualify for Medicaid and possibly for other federal programs."
Media coverage of Texas' restrictive anti-abortion legislation often presents a false equivalence between arguments from proponents of the legislation and women's health advocates, despite medical experts agreement that such measures are dangerous to women.
The Supreme Court temporarily blocked implementation of two provisions of Texas' extreme efforts to restrict abortion through a targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) law. The provisions in question required all clinics providing abortions "in the state to meet the standards for 'ambulatory surgical centers,' including regulations concerning buildings, equipment and staffing," The New York Times explained, and required doctors who performed the procedure "to have admitting privileges at nearby hospital[s]."
Media coverage of Texas' anti-abortion laws often provides equal coverage to both sides of the debate, at the expense of fact-checking anti-abortion proponents who claim, against the advice of medical experts, that the legislation helps women, as Amanda Marcotte noted in a July 2 post for RH Reality Check. Pointing to a recent article from NPR on the Supreme Court's move to temporarily block the state's restrictions, Marcotte explained that although the piece's efforts to quote both sides "is not, in itself, an issue," a statement from a representative from Texas Right to Life, which claimed the law was simply meant to protect women's health, went unquestioned. "What is frustrating is that there is not a whiff of an effort to provide actual real-world facts to give the audience context," wrote Marcotte. She went on:
NPR framed the story like it was two parties making value claims, with no way to measure their statements against evidence. The problem here is that the debate is not about values. Both sides claim to have the same goal--protecting women's health--and the fight is over who has a better strategy to get there.
Similarly, in their reporting on the Supreme Court's block, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal each included statements from both sides of the debate arguing that they were protecting women's health while failing to note that medical experts don't support the legislation.
Health experts have roundly backed abortion access advocates in their assertion that laws of this nature are both medically unnecessary and dangerous to women. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Health Association condemned such measures in a joint amicus brief, writing that the measure to be implemented in Texas "jeopardize[s] the health of women" and "denies them access" to safe abortions. Yet despite the health community's denouncement of the provisions, the media often fails to interrogate anti-abortion proponents' false claims on the law.
Many major media outlets reported that a new Environmental Protection Agency study found no evidence that hydraulic fracturing (aka "fracking") has had "widespread" impacts on Americans' drinking water, but did not mention the EPA's explanation for why the study doesn't necessarily indicate "a rarity of effects on drinking water resources." The EPA study identified several "limiting factors," including insufficient data, the lack of long-term studies, and inaccessible information, which it said "preclude a determination of the frequency of [drinking water] impacts with any certainty."
A local reporter's five-year investigation into rape kit backlogs in Ohio helped inspire state-level reforms and identify hundreds of serial rapists, evidencing how good reporting can bring about positive change to states' handling of sexual assault -- a stark contrast to conservative media's dismissal of sexual assault that may actually discourage victims from coming forward.
Reporter Rachel Dissell discovered a decades-long backlog of untested rape kits while researching sexual assaults for Cleveland's The Plain Dealer. As she told NPR's Fresh Air, the Cleveland police possessed at least 4,000 untested kits, which contain DNA evidence that could be used to identify and prosecute perpetrators. While many factors contribute to why the kits were left untested, Dissell explained that often times the perceived credibility of the victim played a role: "A lot of the victims whose cases didn't go forward and whose kits weren't tested were minorities. They were drug addicts. They had mental health issues -- all kinds of things like that that just really made them the most vulnerable and the least likely to be believed."
Dissell and The Plain Dealer's reporting helped inspire a groundbreaking Ohio law mandating that old and new rape kits be tested, leading to the reopening of nearly 2,000 rape investigations and the identification of over 200 serial rapists or potential serial rapists.
The positive impact of such reporting shines a light on conservative media's comparatively dangerous coverage of sexual assault, which actively reinforces the stigma surrounding sexual assault victims.
Conservative media have repeatedly attempted to discredit research showing that one-in-five women experiences a completed or attempted sexually assault at college, mocking those who do come forward and dismissing efforts to address the crime as proof of a "war" on men.
Glenn Beck's TheBlazeTV argued that the sexual assault epidemic is "completely untrue" by acting out sexual positions and labelling each skit "RAPE!", while George Will asserted that victim has become a "coveted status." Pundits from Rush Limbaugh to The Weekly Standard's Harvey Mansfield have blamed women for the epidemic, while other conservative talking heads stoke fears about a supposed increase in false reports of sexual assault. Others have explicitly blamed victims for their sexual assault, describing sexual assault survivors as "bad girls...who like to be naughty" and lecturing women about the burden of personal responsibility, saying, "It is the truth that if you are the victim of violent crime or the victim of an attempted violent crime, it is not the patriarchy that puts the burden on you to defend yourself, it is not rigid gender roles, it is -- it's a fact of life."
Such disparaging coverage not only stigmatizes victims, it can actually discourage victims from reporting the crimes and their attackers in the first place. And sexual assault is already a vastly underreported crime -- estimates show that sexual assault goes unreported nearly 70 percent of the time.
In her interview with Fresh Air, Dissell described how discrediting sexual assault victims helps their rapists go unpunished: "They knew if they chose the most vulnerable women - the least likely to be believed - that they would never get caught. And I just don't know how that happened. How did we let them outsmart us for all that time?"
Reports by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters and NPR uncritically relayed climate science deniers' criticism of the Vatican's climate change summit and Pope Francis' forthcoming encyclical on climate change. By contrast, other media coverage -- including a different New York Times article -- noted that the organization behind these efforts has received funding from fossil fuel interests and their claim that humans are not responsible for global warming is firmly rejected by the vast majority of climate scientists.