Over the weekend, Tampa Bay news station WFLA aired an interview with Spano, who expressed skepticism about humankind’s influence on climate change.
“What I’ve seen so far doesn’t prove to me that man has had the influence that some people... said that it has had," Spano, 53, said in the on-air interview. Later on, he lamented the way some folks — namely scientists, politicians and climate activists — “force people to accept that it is true.”
“And if you speak out against it, and you say, 'No no, let’s talk about this,’” Spano asked. “Well you’re an idiot. You’re stupid."
There’s a lot of science which suggests that humans do indeed play a role in climate change, but Spano (who’s also been accused of violating federal election laws) used his time in the WFLA interview to possibly cite a doctored Time magazine cover in his argument against the human species’ effect on climate change.
“..when I was very young, on the cover of Time magazine, we were headed into a period of global cooling,” Spano said.
As author and Florida Man fan Craig Pittman pointed out, such a cover does not exist.
What Spano seems to be referring to is a doctored 2007 Time cover. The front of the original issue has a picture of a penguin and the headline “The Global Warming Survival Guide,” but the one Spano cited in his interview was doctored to look like it was published in 1977 with a headline that says, “How To Survive The Coming Ice Age.”
The picture of the penguin appears on both covers, and the “1977” one hilariously replaces references to The Sopranos and Iraq with ones to M*A*S*H and Russia.
Regardless, Spano might need to check his sources before he tries to convince people that humans don’t have an effect on climate change. But then again, it’s easy to deny the science when you represent parts of Florida that won’t be underwater as soon as Tampa and St. Petersburg will.