The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove reports that last night, comic Sarah Silverman refereed a Lexus-sponsored showdown on the topic of global warming, between skeptical filmmaker Phelim McAleer and environmental journalist Amanda Little:
Little: “My position on global warming is the same as ExxonMobil, who stated that the appropriate debate on climate change is not whether it’s happening but what to do about it… It the same position that Shell Oil, the Pentagon, the Pope, NASA… virtually every country on the planet and every executive of every major industry you can think of has made—which is that the science is real.”
McAleer: “What have we come to? That the most radical journalists in our world support a position that ExxonMobil, Shell Oil—the pope! The pope! They support the pope!… All these conservatives are obsessed with your bedroom. But these liberal environmentalists are obsessed with every other room in your house…And the radical journalists now are sucking up to power!”
McAleer: “My point is that there are number of scientists who are trying to seek a solution to all these problems and the solution is anti-capitalist, anti-development, and anti-American. Why aren’t the Indians getting all these questions? Why aren’t we over in China investigating China? Because that’s where most of the pollution comes from.”
Little: “It’s a fact that have 30 percent greater concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than in pre-industrial times, and it’s scientific fact that carbon dioxide adds heat. These are not theories. They’re not ideology. They’re facts.”
Silverman: “Let’s try our indoor voices… What are your thoughts and feelings about Climate-gate?”—a reference to the recent controversy over British climate scientists cooking the numbers to reflect rising temperatures in a United Nations-sponsored study.
Little: “The idea that this somehow debunks climate science is ludicrous. To assume that these small handful of scientists are poisoning the well is kind of like saying that Phelim is a putz because he’s misrepresenting the truth, so therefore everyone in this room is a putz, because Phelim is misrepresenting the truth. It’s just not fair.”
It would be interesting to see the rest of the debate—as the man behind powerhouse environmental documentaries Mine Your Own Business and Not Evil, Just Wrong, McAleer knows his stuff, and likely gave all the eco-leftists and Hollywood bigwigs in attendance a jolt of reality they’ll not soon forget. But the bits Grove did highlight are revealing in their own right.
First is the appeal to oil companies. Would these be the same eeeevil corporations that are supposedly also paying skeptics to lie to the public? I guess when businesses spout the right line, they’re authoritative after all—it couldn’t possibly be that businesses want to cultivate politically-correct, environmentally-conscious public images because they desire good PR as much as everyone else…
Next, there’s something surreal about left-wingers appealing to the Pope, especially on matters of science. Would Little accept the answers of religious authorities on the subjects of evolution or when human life begins? How about abstinence education or whether homosexuality is a choice? It’s just further indication that leftist faux-paranoia over religion in politics is mere propaganda to be jettisoned at the earliest possible convenience.
Lastly, Little dismisses ClimateGate as about a “small handful of scientists.” As I’ve explained before, and has Ed Morrissey has compiled, the scandal reaches far beyond East Anglia University—we have since learned plenty of troubling things about the poor standards, selective measurements, biased work, and intellectual intolerance that tarnishes not just their work, but the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, NASA’s Goddard Institute, and the United Nations’ very own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In fact, earlier today Morrissey blogged about how NASA’s numbers are in even worse shape than we feared—internal NASA emails reveal that:
…the databases maintained by NASA, UEA CRU, and the NOAA NCDC have self-endorsing mechanisms that mean that problems in one or more mean problems for all [...] The efforts by NASA, UEA CRU, and NCDC have not been independent of each other at all. They have been very much related, which means that systemic problems discovered in the UEA CRU data and analyses bleed over onto the other projects as well. They use each other’s analyses as assumptions, and each other’s data as the basis of their own calculations. The collapse of the UEA CRU’s credibility necessarily damages the credibility of the entire AGW industry.
Double-standards and flat-out denial of the facts run rampant on the Left, which no conservative should let opponents get away with. On the bright side, given the overwhelming evidence that global warming is a joke, it is fitting that comedians are now moderating debates on the subject.