This is a translation of the May 2, 2012 “Programa do Jo” on Globo, a half hour interview with the climate skeptic geographer Ricardo Augusto Felicio on global warming. On YouTube alone, the interview has nearly 700,000 views; in Brazil, Globo is a dominant television network. Original clip here; for a critique of the content, see here.
Tranlated by Beatriz Vianna, a Ph.D. student in biology at West Virginia University who is originally from Brazil.
Jo Soares: Today we are also gonna talk about global warming! With a climatologist who says that global warming is B.S. [Joke that can’t be translated]. I’m gonna talk to Ricardo Felicio…come over here!
Jo Soares: So, you are a professor at the geography department at USP [São Paulo University]. And what do you study specifically–climatology, right?
Ricardo Augusto Felicio: Antarctic climatology, from the Antarctic continent, for 20 years already.
Jo Soares: Only the Antarctic continent?
Ricardo Augusto Felicio: Yeah, that is my area of expertise, but the other ones too…. there is no way to separate it (laughs).
Jo Soares: Of course! And you’ve been in Antarctica a few times…
RAF: Two times already.
JS: What do you think of the global warming theory–that the continent’s [Antarctica’s] ice is melting?
RAF: Yeah, to begin with, this is not even a theory, it is a hypothesis. It does not need scientific proof. There is no scientific proof of global warming. It’s been 26 year–in fact, it’s about 3,000 years this “story” exists. Our researchers from the Climageo team have researched about this information. This has been debated already by the ancient Greeks: “If trees were cut the planet’s climate would change….”
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.