#261) CLIMATE SKEPTICS: Ignore vs. Boycott? | The Benshi
Fine line. Let’s get clear on this. And let’s understand why you need to respect the climate skeptics, whether you hate them or not.
“Ignoring the climate skeptic movement,” is what Al Gore pretty much did in his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” He trivialized the entire climate skeptic movement at a time when the oil companies were starting to pour staggering amounts of money into combatting climate action ($450 million a year by 2008 [Randy: Can I please see some sort of evidence that that number wasn't pulled directly out of someone's...ah...hat? Where, specifically, did that alleged money allegedly go?] according to an EDF mass e-mail I received from them in 2009).
...More importantly, I think it just further fanned the flames of rage among the climate skeptics, eventually erupting in November, 2009 with their hugely successful “Climategate” action, which proved to be a turning point. Previous to Climategate you heard a lot of climate proponents say blindly, “There is no debate about global warming.” After it, nobody said that any more, and if they did they probably heard back, “Are you shitting me?” from whoever was listening since today there is an ENORMOUS debate about it. It may not be a justified debate, but it is definitely a debate, regardless.
So the bottom line is you cannot afford to ignore such a massive movement. Gore should have allocated at least 15 minutes in his movie to present the basic arguments of climate skeptics, saying this is a serious concern, and doing his best to present them in a way in which we can understand what motivates them to fight so much solid science so vigorously.
So, all that said, at the individual level the climate movement HAS to take the skeptics seriously (not ignore them), but should refuse to engage with climate skeptics in IRRATIONAL VENUES, meaning town halls, public “debates”, TV talk show moderated “debates,” or haggling sessions in front of drunken bar patrons (as was staged a couple years ago by a car manufacturer). It’s a losing proposition in such venues. For starters there is no means of controlling “the Gish Gallop,” that I discussed last week.
But on the other hand, if the climate skeptics are ever foolish enough to do what the creationists did in the evolution issue and bungle their way into a RATIONAL VENUE, namely a major court of law, then that is finally the place where all forces should be mustered and they should be taken on 100%.