New York Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D) punctured Fox News host Neil Cavuto’s attempt on Monday to trivialize climate change protests that have drawn thousands in New York City over the past two days, Media Matters reported.
“Do you think, with everything else going on in the world — ISIS, you know, chopping off Americans’ heads, a wrong budget nightmare, debt piling up, unfunded liabilities — is this now the time to make this the number 1 concern, with all those other concerns?” Cavuto asked Kavanaugh.
“We need to be a country that can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Kavanaugh responded. “This is a crisis. I’m not here to speak for people [for whom] it is the number 1 or number 2 concern. Obviously I’m not going to suggest to you that we should not do something about global terrorism. But the simple fact is that there is a very broad consensus that the globe is warming, and it’s warming at a rapid rate.”
Kavanaugh was quickly challenged by Climate Depot founder Mark Morano, who complained that a United Nations official said policies benefitting environmental health were beneficial even if the science behind them was “off.”
“They want to sell the same progressive agenda,” Morano said. “But they’re just using the science to scare people to go their way, ’cause they can’t sell it on its merits.”
Morano did not mention that, as Media Matters reported, his organization is sponsored by a conservative group, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, that has received funding from Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Donor’s Trust, an “anonymously funded” organization that supports groups arguing against climate change.
The discussion came hours after the “Flood Wall Street” sit-in protest on Monday. Organizers said that the demonstration was meant to highlight the connection between economic policies benefitting from the exploitation of “frontline communities, workers and natural resources” for profit and their adverse effects on the environment.
Monday’s demonstration followed a massive march through the city that reportedly drew more than 310,000 demonstrators. But another guest, Young America’s Foundation spokesperson Ashley Pratte, accused protesters of being hypocrites.
“What we’re seeing are young people who are definitely out there who are using cell phones, who are drinking Starbucks, who litter,” Pratte said. “And they have zero personal responsibility when it comes to taking action for something that they believe in. And they throw out their actual so-called standards for community living at the first chance of convenience that they have.”
“To make a march where three or four-hundred thousand people got together to make a broad point about how we change our economy be either about a couple of celebrities or about a few people littering really is to miss the point of this,” Kavanaugh replied. “I’ve spoken with the people whose job it is every day to clean the city of New York and they said this was not in any way an unusual amount of trash.”
Watch the discussion, as posted on Monday by Media Matters, below.