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John Oliver on climate change skeptics: ‘You don’t need people’s opinions on a fact’

On his new HBO show last night, funny guy John Oliver addressed an imbalance in how news shows handle whatever “debate” there is regarding climate change. Standard procedure, he noted, was to fire up a panel with someone who believes the warnings about troublesome climate trends pitted against a skeptic. Wrong approach: To represent just how vastly climate change “believers”/scientists outnumber the skeptics, Oliver hauled in 96 scientists — plus Bill Nye the Science Guy — to oppose the three climate-change skeptics. The bigger crowd shouted down the skeptics.


Nor did Oliver conceal his distaste for a certain polling question regarding climate change. An April Gallup poll found that 25 percent of respondents were “solidly skeptical” of global warming. Who cares? asked Oliver, though he used different, less family newspaper-friendly language. “That doesn’t matter. You don’t need people’s opinions on a fact,” ripped Oliver. “You might as well have a poll asking which number is bigger — 15 or 5?”

Then again, taking a shot at polling, well, that’s easy pickings for any political comedian. There’s a survey or a poll or a questionnaire on everything these days. We know, for instance, that 26 percent of respondents in a CNN poll believe it’s “very likely” that the disappearance of MH370 “was due to actions taken by the pilots or crew members.