I watched much of the Climate Reality broadcast. It was excellent. Al Gore is not a scientist, and he’s not perfect, but he is the driving force behind this project and probably the single individual doing the most to raise awareness about this, the most important issue facing the world. Good job Al.
The 24-hour netcast consisted of 24 repetitions of essentially the same presentation, one from each time zone. Good. It was important to repeat the presentation so that all of the nearly 9 million viewers could hear it. Probably the best thing about it is that it focused on the deniers and their pernicious campaign to create doubt about what really is settled science.
There’s lots of climate science that’s not settled, and there’s tremendous uncertainty about the future course of climate change, but this much is settled:
Global warming is really happening.
It’s caused by human activity.
The obstacle to doing something about it is an orchestrated campaign of denial, funded by fossil-fuel industries and perpetrated by both those who are in denial, and those who are outright liars. As the Climate Reality netcast emphasized, it’s based on fake science from fake skeptics who learned their tactics denying the health risks of cigarettes, and global-warming deniers include some of the same people such as Frederick Seitz and S. Fred Singer.
The presentation emphasized many of the “red herrings” used by deniers to create doubt. It was disturbing to hear John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, spread the truly idiotic, moronic idea that volcanoes contribute more CO2 to the atmosphere than human activity. Who you gonna believe — John Boehner, or the U.S. Geological Survey? Boehner didn’t even bother to find out the truth — he just regurgitated the lie he’d been fed because he was so eager to believe it. By his eagerness to indulge disbelief, with his astounding ignorance and culpable laziness about investigating this issue, Boehner embarrassed himself, he embarrassed the state of Ohio he represents, and he embarrassed the United States of America.
It was troubling but not unexpected to hear similar idiocies from Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry. It’s obvious that the Republican party in the U.S. has attached itself to denying science — and not just global warming, but evolution as well. Their anti-science madness is a real threat to our freedom.
It’s time to hold the deniers accountable for their sins, especially politicians, especially in the United States.
There were a few hitches in the netcast. The first presentation was from Mexico City, in Spanish. The problem was that the English-language translator did a poor job. This was even worse in the presentation from China, when the translator had great difficulty maintaining the flow. But overall, the presentations were excellent, the discussions afterward were interesting, and the message came through loud and clear: the reason we’re not tackling this problem seriously is the denial campaign, which creates confusion with nothing but a bunch of red herrings.
The final presentation was given by Gore himself, and in my opinion was by far the best of all. Good going, Al.
It was also interesting that Anthony Watts devoted so much energy to ridiculing the project. He and his crew sound desperate. Considering the stink he made recently about Arctic sea ice only almost setting a new record in several data sets, Watts & Co. literally stink of desperation. Good.
The deniers have delayed action for a long time. Their campaign has been very successful until now — but the tide has turned. They’re losing.
Some of the credit goes to bloggers like the folks at RealClimate, journalists who have showcased the issue, scientists like James Hansen who have worked so hard to publicize the danger. But Al Gore gets more credit than anyone else. Despite his imperfections — warts and all — he has done more than anyone else to make this issue known. There are plenty of fools, both in government and the citizenry, who are still wallowing in denial, but you’d be hard pressed to find somebody who isn’t aware of the issue. Most of the credit goes to Al Gore.
And that’s why the deniers hate him so much. Now that Al Gore has turned the microscope on the deniers, exposing their tactics, their folly, and their lies, they will no longer be able to hide. They can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
The day is coming soon — I predict by the end of this decade — when deniers won’t be able to fool anybody. Except themselves.