Many have often wondered why in the US, as compared to other developed countries, there is so much skepticism regarding the science of climate change and whether human activity is contributing to it. One of the answers could be that we have a corporate media – interlocked with energy companies and their advertising money – that is constantly attacking the underlying evidence of climate change’s existence.

Take for example CNBC, part of the NBC/Comcast media empire. CNBC was caught recently soliciting an op-ed that would label climate change a “hoax.” According to Republic Report, a CNBC employee sent an email to DeSmog Blog under the mistaken impression that because the site contained information on climate change skeptic Alan Carlin it was in some way affiliated with him.

The email requested an op-ed from Carlin related to the bi-partisan report on the dangers of climate change called “Risky Business.” Rather than focus on the data included in the report and the dangers posed to Americans, CNBC wanted “to extend an invitation to Alan Carlin to write an op-ed for CNBC.com. Can be on the new report or just his general thoughts on global warming being a hoax.”

A hoax? Even for the corporate media that is a fringe position. The vast majority of climate scientists are committing fraud? This is what CNBC wants its audience to be exposed to – outright ridiculous arguments?

Or is it that CNBC wants to present an extreme view so its financial backers and partners look more reasonable promoting a do nothing approach? Republic Report offers an explanation for the odd email:

When a tragedy hits, for example a fire or an industrial accident that kills many innocent people, reporters do not generally solicit op-eds for folks to spin the incident as a “hoax.” Why, then, do reporters obsessively seek to promote climate deniers, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence and the mounting evidence that the phenomenon will cause havoc on human civilization? Perhaps because fossil fuel interests are among the largest buyers of cable news advertising. In any case, we reached out to the CNBC booker who wrote the e-mail. She would not comment on the solicitation.

Climate change is not a hoax regardless of what the fossil fuel industry’s toadies in New York and DC say. The discussion we need to have is what to do about the problem, not whether it exists.