Giving equal time to two opposing viewpoints is neither "fair" nor "balanced". Doing that assumes that both viewpoints have equal merits. It would be like having 5 experts come on FOX and say that the sky is blue and 5 other experts saying that is was pink. No one would mistake that for being a "fair and balanced" look. You would be unfairly weighing in favor of the nutjobs that said the sky was pink. This is what happens when you have shows that will have one expert saying that global warming is happening and one that doesn't. It would only be accurate if the show had 999 global warming experts and 1 dissenting expert. And that one dissenter shouldn't be a talented novelist (but not a scientist).
I've seen the abandonment of reason. People will discount facts because of bias. I don't think they are stupid. But they do allow themselves to be influenced by religious or political bias. I've read people on these very blog pages discount global warming merely because they hate Al Gore. I've seen embarrassingly specious arguments to counter valid scientific ones. One such one that I have read is the ice cube in a glass argument. It goes that the water level does not rise if the ice cube melts. So, the polar ice caps melting won't have an influence on sea levels. That people will use an argument that could be disproven by a middle school science student is sad. And that they do it with a straight face is beyond explanation. I could go into a long-winded explanation but simply put, a good deal of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are above sea level (because of land). An ice cube in a glass does not take this into account.
Global Warming Is Rapidly Raising Sea Levels
Another argument used is that ice is increasing in the interior of Greenland. These "earth-is-flat" doubters will be so proud of themselves when they say this one. Though they hate science, they'll gladly trot it out if they think it reinforces their opinion. Ice is increasing in the interior of Greenland because a warming climate increase snowfall. It is at the edges of the ice shelves that show the true story.
Another easy way to determine who is telling the truth is by following the money. Who stands to benefit monetarily for the opinions they are projecting? It is not surprising that Bush, Rove, Cheney use every opportunity to diminish the importance of global warming. They have made their money from big oil. A world that uses less fossil fuels potentially hurts their bottom line and those of their major contributors. That future generations will pay the cost of this shortsightedness does not concern them. The thing is ... they know they are wrong and it doesn't matter. People like Karl Rove are not looking to change people's opinions. They are looking to cast enough doubt in order to influence an election. This is because they are not so much bound by ideology but rather by money. They do not want to believe in global warming because they have an economic interest in not doing so.
Scientists and others that speak to the dangers of global warming have no other self-interest than for the survival of our race. If anything, people like Al Gore have paid a political cost by so enthusiastically talking about global warming for 30 years.
If you don't like the messenger, then find sources that do not have an economic or political axe to grind. Tom Brokaw has a great special on the Discovery Channel:
Global Warming: What you Need to Know with Tom Brokaw
Don't just believe things because you get them in a chain e-mail, or because your church told you to believe them. That doesn't mean don't believe anything that you hear. It just means that you should ask yourself why people are giving you a certain opinion. Do they have a genuine concern or are they pushing an agenda? Also, are your reasons for believing or disbelieving something based on financial, political or religious considerations?