That old chestnut… That the ‘climate denial machine’ is ‘well-funded’… is about to suffer another blow to its credibility.
Luboš Motl of the Reference Frame has an entertaining take on the Climate Reality project, which seems to be Al Gore’s latest stunt. Says Motl,
Just look at the dozens of people who had to participate in the creation of these amateurish, would-be interesting movies that have 12,000 or 15,000 views on YouTube, respectively. Imagine how many millions of dollars have been thrown to the trash bin, how many fat screaming female musicians had to be killed during the shooting. Gore’s videos are completely unoriginal, can’t compare with the videos that inspired Gore (like Honda’s Rube Goldberg device: I recently saw some equally good ones, not just the Melvin Machine, but forgot the URLs), and they really make no sense. Why is a Rube Goldberg machine used in a video about the climate? What point could it make (except that alarmists’ arguments are contrived and extremely unlikely)? Those people are just not capable of thinking, capable of doing anything well. They’re just low-quality people.
It’s a good point. There seems to be no end of cash available to promote the catastrophic story, and the individuals behind it, of course. This latest stunt is a 24-hour long web-TV extravaganza. The man himself, says,
“24 Hours of Reality will focus the world’s attention on the full truth, scope, scale and impact of the climate crisis. To remove the doubt. Reveal the deniers. And catalyze urgency around an issue that affects every one of us.”
CHAIRMAN OF THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT
It’s an interesting claim. Reality, it seems, is determined by committee, chaired by none other than himself. ‘I’ve got reality on my side’, he seems to be saying, ‘what have you got?’
We ain’t got enough cash for a 24 hour worldwide telethon, that’s for sure, Al.
This is a promo for the event.
And ain’t that the point… There’s the proverbial sh*t that his the fan, to which the promo visually alludes (oh, the subtlety), but there’s the other idiom, ‘throw enough dirt and some of it will stick’.
What possible use could 24 hours of web TV to settling the argument, other than to bore the opposition into submission? There are only two categories of people who will be willing to endure such a dull enterprise: the choir, who need no preaching; and sceptics, who will find it entertaining to see the climate Great and Good attempt to elevate and flatter themselves. Nobody will be watching this from on the fence.
If this 24 hour Gore-Bore-a-thon is an attempt to do anything, it is yet another attempt to win the ‘debate’ without having it. It’s about asserting a claim about ‘reality’, without ever having the claim tested. It’s not simply ‘bias’; it’s naked dogma. All it will do is epitomise the environmental movement’s intransigence; it’s inability to respond to criticism. It may work, of course, for the true believers in one respect. For the committed, it will be a self-affirming ritual… A ceremony for the smug, who will nod, tut, sigh and laugh on cue. But… there is good news…
This failure to permit dialogue must by now be the essential characteristic of the environmental movement, beyond question. I have lost count of the number of on and off-line discussions I have had, in which it became clear that my opponent’s intentions were not to respond to anything I said, but to merely recite the litany at me. In contrast to discussion, in which a point can be explored, conversations with the Faithful do not progress. These encounters are not conversations. There is no person, merely dogma.
If I were to speculate as to what might be going on, it is this. If one starts from the view that ‘the debate is over’ and ‘the science is settled’, and that all that is necessary to win the debate is to tell the consensus story, it is by definition, an appeal to authority: it’s not me who is saying it; it’s not my opinion; it is science‘. Thus the proponent of this view has completely surrendered his own judgement. Lacking any critical function, he has no option but to recycle the litany, as best it fits any turn the discussion takes. He doesn’t have to understand the science, he merely needs to know what to say, and when. It is impossible to have a discussion with such a mind. It is not capable of discussion.
The good news is this, then. As human as this tendency is, so is the tendency to realise that what once seemed like sense is dogma. Since the only people watching the contrived ‘reality’ that Gore and his crew want to promote are likely to be the choir, the only people it will bore are the choir. And the longer they are expected to obediently sit, listen, repeat, and sing on cue, for no reward — for no payoff whatsoever — the more likely they will want to start singing a different tune.
Please, Mr Gore, more 24-hour long ‘reality’ stunts.