Monday, October 12, 2009

Greenist Tolerance of Dissenting Opinion #39

From Toby Harnden, US editor of the BarclayTorygraph, comes this piece (written in September, hence the reference to “next month”) about the reaction of militant environmentalists to the next project of two Irish filmmakers –
Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, whose film Not Evil Just Wrong is due to premiere next month, have been subjected to a slew of death threats and instances of disgusting abuse from the environmental Left. One commenter branded them “Hitler’s Henchmen”.
Their crime? Their film dares to challenge the conventional wisdom about global warming – they prefer to call it “global warming hysteria” – and take on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
Rather than try to rebut the arguments of the couple, it seems, their opponents want to shut down any debate.
One environmentalist sent McAleer and McElhinney an e-mail describing them as “stinking, selfish, sociopathic fascists” and expressed a desire for them to be executed. “It is one of my fondest hopes that whatever remnants of human civilization exists at the end of this catastrophe is able to put people like you on trial for crimes against humanity and give you the same treatment Hitler’s henchmen got at Nurnberg a long drop at the end of a short rope,” the email stated.
A commenter on YouTube wished that McAleer and McElhinney’s children be born handicapped because they were not campaigning against “pollution”. The most vitriolic comments have been deleted by YouTube.
McAleer said he was disappointed by the taking down of the comments. “We wanted to keep the comments so that people could see for themselves the hate being directed at those who dare to ask questions about liberal orthodoxy.”
The couple have been called “hillbillies,” “rednecks,” “zombies,” “dimwits,” “brainwashed idiots,” “muppets” and “slaves to greedy elitists”.
One commenter suggested a tactic for discrediting the couple, writing: “Slander them as tools of big oil/coal. Insinuate they’re on a par with Holocaust deniers.”
Remind you of any comments you’ve seen about Clameur de Haro’s blogposts on green issues?
The film premieres on 18 October.
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Nick Palmer said...

The problem is McAleer and McElhinney are actually one or more of a number of things. A) stupid B) deluded C) cynical liars D) practiced and deliberate deceivers E) Satan's minions.

One of blogland's responses was that 9 significant "errors" (or lies) are present in the trailer alone - and it's only 2 minutes 38 seconds long!! However, the person who wrote that blog doesn't really know all that much because I spotted a much more serious error that they hadn't.

It featured S. Fred Singer (who used to be a scientist before he metaphorically took the Queen's shilling). He is one of the chief poster children for the denier movement because of his mendacious, fallacious book "Unstoppable global warming every 1500 years" which is the source of many of the deceits and misdirection about AGW that the gullible are so prone too.

I can't say for sure that Singer was lying in the trailer because the clip they use looks like an old one when he may have believed his incorrect view before science shot him down (again). What is certain is that putting this clip in a modern, yet to be released film, clearly identifies McAleer and McElhinney as willing to use discredited, outdated, wrong information to further their cause.

The fact that they use such easily checked (their "in denial" audience will probably never check or listen to anyone who tries to clear away the poisonous propaganda from between their ears) misinformation proves that either they don't understand reality, or what they are doing, or they understand perfectly well and are just using anything they can drag up to twist people's minds.

This film just might boomerang on the deniers because, judging by the trailer and a couple of Youtube films I have seen of Mcaleer in action, their quality of argument and false information is so almost unbelievably poor and amateurish that they might just end up being laughed at while they score a huge own goal.

Here's a little sample of their rhetoric promoting their film (to Americans):

Fight global warming hysteria from sea to shining sea! by Phelim McAleer & Ann McElhinney
Tuesday, September 1st 2009, 2:39 PM EDT

America's cinematic tea party is now less than 50 days away! Come Oct. 18, patriots from sea to shining sea will be watching as we expose the true cost of global warming hysteria with the premiere of Not Evil Just Wrong.

The rush to premiere day gave us an emotional rush last week as we recorded the directors' commentary. Production manager Magda joined us in the studio to tell the true behind-the-scenes story of the making of Not Evil Just Wrong. Reliving the film reminded us just how important it is to tell this story. The American Dream is at stake for millions of families!

Radical environmentalists have buried the truth under mounds of flawed science and alarmism, but Americans are awakening as they hear the truth. They're hungry for facts, not the distortions of groups like Greenpeace.

Anyone see parallels with the rhetoric at the Nuremberg rallies here? More lebensraum for the American dream unless those nasty environmentalists ruin it for the GOP and the wingnut US think tanks.

Also from McElhinney:

Ann McElhinney summed up her approach best in an interview with “Environmentalists…have this notion that the world would be better without humanity, and this is clearly not true – and it’s a very anti-Christian message…I mean, the Bible is really clear on this that humanity was to subdue all this amazing stuff we have around us and use it for our betterment.”

I wouldn't hitch your wagon to these losers if I were you, Clameur.

Clameur de Haro said...

The point of the post was neither to support nor to decry McAleer’s and McElhinney’s arguments, for Clameur de Haro has not seen the film. It was to highlight the viciousness of the vehement denigration being directed at them from the environmental left for having the temerity to question the orthodoxy by making the film at all, irrespective of its intrinsic merits or demerits.

Readers will judge for themselves the extent to which Mr Palmer’s descriptions of the filmmakers in his first paragraph conjoin with this. Stupid? Possibly. Deluded? Maybe. But Satan’s Minions? Oh, come on!

What no Greenist has ever been able to explain to Clameur de Haro and fellow sceptics is this – if “your science” is so accurate, and “our science” is so fallacious, why is “our science” attributed solely to base motives, and sceptics subjected to overwhelmingly vituperative, ad hominem denigration?

And CdeH does seem to recall that An Inconvenient Truth was only cleared for showing in UK classrooms after the High Court ruled that it contained 9 significant scientific errors, and that corrective rebuttal must accompany it.

Nick Palmer said...

Did you ever look at the equally vituperative comments from deniers, and those fooled by denier propaganda, that turn up on Youtube comments on pro AGW stuff? It's equally as offensive.

As far as "Inconvenient Truth" and the "9 errors" (sic) go here is a rough guide edited for length but hopefully not basic meaning.

On 10 October 2007, Mr Justice Burton ... ruled that it was clear that the film was substantially founded upon scientific research and fact, albeit that the science is used, in the hands of a talented politician and communicator, to make a political statement and to support a political program. The film could then, on that basis, be shown, provided an accompanying explanation was given of its scientific errors, in order to prevent political indoctrination.

The judge concluded "I have no doubt that Dr Stott, the Defendant's expert, is right when he says that: 'Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.'" On the basis of testimony from Robert M. Carter and the arguments put forth by the claimant's lawyers, the judge also pointed to nine errors, i.e. statements that he found to depart from the mainstream. He also found that some of these errors arose in the context of alarmism and exaggeration in support of Al Gore's political thesis. Since the government had already accepted to amend the guidance notes to address these errors along with other points in a fashion that the judge found satisfactory, no order was made on the application.

The Minister of Children, Young People and Families, Kevin Brennan, declared the outcome a victory for the government, stating: "We have updated the accompanying guidance, as requested by the judge to make it clearer for teachers as to the stated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change position on a number of scientific points raised in the film... A spokesman for Gore said: "Of the thousands of facts in the film, the judge only took issue with just a handful. And of that handful, we have the studies to back those pieces up."

Since that judgement, newer observations have made Gore's exaggerations closer to the truth. Everyone has to remember that Gore didn't invent global warming, he was only popularising and simplifying the existing science so that the general public, who are too easily fooled by the deliberate pseudo science, lies and fallacious logic of the denial industry, could make a judgement on the risks.