NBC's Chuck Todd delivered a monologue on climate change on Sunday's edition of 'Meet the Press.' The host said he will not "give time to climate deniers" on his program and declared, "The earth is getting hotter, and human activity is a major cause. Period."
CHUCK TODD, 'MEET THE PRESS' HOST: This morning, we're going to do something that we don't often get to do, dive in on one topic. It's obviously extraordinarily difficult to do this, as the end of this year has proven, in the era of Trump. But we're going to take an in-depth look, regardless of that, at a literally Earth-changing subject that doesn't get talked about this thoroughly on television news, at least, climate change. But just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we're not going to do. We're not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We're not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not. And we're not going to confuse weather with climate. A heat wave is no more evidence that climate change exists than a blizzard means that it doesn't, unless the blizzard hits Miami. We do have a panel of experts with us today to help us understand the science and consequences of climate change and, yes, ideas to break the political paralysis over it.
Kate Marvel is a scientist at Columbia University and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. And she writes the Hot Planet column for Scientific American. Craig Fugate was President Obama's FEMA administrator for eight years. And he led emergency response for republican governor Jeb Bush of Florida before that.
Michèle Flournoy served as undersecretary of defense under President Obama, where she dealt with the national security threat climate change poses. She's also the cofounder and managing partner of WestExec Advisors. Anne Thompson is our chief environmental correspondent right here, at NBC News. And Congressman Carlos Curbelo represents the southernmost part of Florida, which is particularly threatened by climate change. Coming up, I'm also going to have conversations with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California governor Jerry Brown, both of whom have been on the front lines, dealing with climate change over the last few years. But we're going to begin with a look at a crisis that's been ignored for too long.
REPORTER: They say economic impact would be devastating.
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, I don't believe it.
REPORTER: You don't believe it?
DONALD TRUMP: No. No, I don't believe it.
CHUCK TODD: But in a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, two-thirds of Americans believe action is needed to address global climate change. 45% say the problem is serious enough for immediate action, a record high. Climate-related disasters, from wildfires --
WILDFIRE VICTIM: We lost a lot.
CHUCK TODD: -- to more intense storms, extreme rain events, and floods, are already a serious threat and getting worse.
HURRICANE VICTIM: House is flooding. And it's rising way too fast.
HURRICANE VICTIM: I just was in such denial. I didn't put anything up. I didn't grab anything.
HURRICANE VICTIM: I saw the water mark in my basement. It was over my nose. The drive down here was almost as bad as seeing my just gone.
CHUCK TODD: Glaciers are disappearing. And Arctic ice melt is producing rising sea levels and rewriting global weather patterns. All five of the warmest years on record in the Arctic have come since 2014. And these rising temperatures have already cost the U.S. economy.
JOHN GILBERT (IOWA FARMER): There's consequences, serious consequences. We're talking about, not necessarily, whether you and I have something to eat tonight. We're talking about the survival of the human species over the long term.
CHUCK TODD: This year, a series of climate reports, including one produced by 13 agencies in Mr. Trump's government, issued dire warnings of economic and human catastrophe, if there is not immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the federal response to the climate crisis has been political paralysis and denial.
SEN. JIM INHOFE: We keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I asked the chair, "You know what this is? It's a snowball." And that's just from outside here. So it's very, very cold out, very unseasonable. So Mr. President, catch this.
CHUCK TODD: While the federal government lags behind, cities and states are attempting to lead their own climate efforts.