A college professor claimed that “98 percent of the world’s scientists” agree that manmade climate change is real — but things soon became awkward when Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked the academic to name the source of his information on-air.
“I am interested in the claims you’ve made about climate science, that it’s settled, and that 98 percent of worldwide scientists believe that. How do you know that? Are you a scientist or have you polled other scientists? Where did you get that figure?” Carlson asked California State University-Sacramento professor Joseph Palermo on Wednesday.
Palermo clearly wasn’t prepared to defend his previous assertion.
“Well, see, that’s another one of those interesting kind of questions is that, that wasn’t what the blog was about,” Palermo replied, referencing “right-wing websites” misconstruing science for “catchy headlines” and “clickbait.”
But Carlson was determined to get an answer. So he asked the question a second time.
Palermo dodged the question again, saying, “I didn’t want to get into — are you a climate change denier, or a skeptic?”
That’s when Carlson laid into the academic, reminding him that not taking everything at face value is how science works.
“The essence of science, and of journalism,” Carlson said, “is skepticism, because it seeks to get to the truth.”
“And I’m asking as you as someone who just said, as a statement of fact, that 98 percent of the world’s scientists agree with you, with whatever you believe, I’m wondering how you know that,” Carlson added.
Palermo avoided providing evidence to his claim twice more. At one point, he even urged Carlson to send out his “giant research team” to “find out about it,” a suggestion that prompted a good laugh from the Fox News host.
“You just made the claim!” Carlson pointed out.