Finally, I had the opportunity to watch Climate Hustle, a documentary on the climate panic hosted by Marc Morano, the editor who runs ClimateDepot.com, the Drudge Report among the climate websites. It’s great and I recommend at least some of you to order the DVD(s) or Blu-rays.
The documentary is witty, intelligent, ordered, balanced and original when it comes to the separation to the topics and selection of the talking heads who are interviewed. In particular, I think that Marc Morano is especially proud that a large part of his sources of wisdom are politically left-wing. (Well, I think that the climate hysteria has become such an important building block in the left-wing group think that most of the leftists could refuse to consider the climate realists as fellow left-wingers.) As the title indicates, the viewers are shown various card tricks, the shell game, and con men doing similar things.
I don’t want to tell you any details because it could subtract from your joy when you watch the film because many of these things are funny, indeed.
The first minute was filled with various crazy alarmist reports on TV which are similar to the bulk of DiCaprio’s movie that I watched just a day earlier – it’s not quite a coincidence. Fortunately, these things stopped in time and the host began to clean the mess.
In various portions of the film, Morano analyzes the scientific and sociological aspects of this weird social phenomenon. A sequel, the Climate Monarchy, will focus on the plans to reorganize the politics with the help of the climate argument – often in fantastic ways and at the global level.
But back to the Climate Hustle.
Morano deconstructs the climate apocalypse faith system in seven chapters which roughly cover the misrepresentation of the “majority” opinions and the untrustworthiness of references about the consensus (the history of the figure 97% and the deceitful methods to claim that “whole scientific organizations” support this stuff are shown in quite some detail), the similarity of the climate panic to the witch hunts a few centuries ago, the history of the changing opinions (the coming ice age etc.), the scientific truths about the basic questions (what’s actually happening to the sea level, hurricanes, tornadoes, polar bears, armadillo – the versatile animal abused both by the global cooling and global warming scares), the fearmongers’ religious interpretation of every phenomenon and its opposite as proofs of the climate change, their insisting on the need to “act as soon as possible” so that you don’t have any time to think, and several other major aspects of this big scam.
Many of the topics are answered very sensibly and they are given the right amount of space. It is extremely clear that Marc Morano – and maybe someone who helped him as well? – has a very good idea about the big picture of this debate. He kind of knows everything. Well, if you manage to read and summarize every important enough climate-related story on a daily basis for several years, you will know a lot about the topic, too. Too bad that DiCaprio hasn’t been running his own Climate Depot (well, because he wouldn’t be able to do so) – and hasn’t read almost anything meaningful about the climate topic in his whole life.
Some of the interviews and answers could have been easy to record. But there were several segments in which the scenes were very insightful for me – even though I have followed this topic very closely for some 15 years – and I have learned quite some interesting details. So I have learned where the figure 97% appeared for the first time (maybe Lord Monckton told me the same thing in 2009 and I just forgot) and how many people were 100%. I have also heard some new movie scenes from the 1970s (mostly) about the coming ice age and some new very famous actors who worked as the talking heads (one of them is a favorite guy of Sheldon Cooper, I don’t want to tell you too much: it was news for me that he was involved).
The research needed to find the numerous videos about the global cooling scares must have been rather nontrivial.
The movie says the basic important truths about things like the tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, snow (Morano made fun out of a powerful guy who promised to lock the ski forever, or something like that, I don’t want to tell you too exactly – Morano tries to interact with many of these folks in a friendly way). In some cases, I would prefer more details or a greater number of graphs and more “theory” – there are subtopics in which I consider e.g. The Great Global Warming Swindle by Martin Durkin more informative than Morano’s movie – but many of them were better than in any previous film about the climate change.
Take the Al Gore’s lift. Do they fit together? Up to that point in Morano’s movie, I thought that it would be a very serious movie that doesn’t want you to laugh too much. But it did change when Morano presented his own lift. He enumerated and explained several fundamental facts that Al Gore wanted his viewers to misunderstand or remain ignorant about. And while he was standing on the lift, Morano did some extra entertaining things with it – which reminded me e.g. of Sheldon Cooper as the Flash. It was an insertion of rather special adrenaline-raising effects in a somewhat unexpected place – the counterpart of a boring slide from a PowerPoint presentation of Al Gore. 😉
But there were many more scenes that made me laugh, like the unexpected end of a dialogue with an alarmist just after he got an inconvenient question etc.
So the movie has lots of good science – although a 3-hour movie with much more science would be still OK with me (probably not with other viewers, however). But Morano makes some rather innovative observations about the sociology. Some of the things he says – like the observation that both snow and the lack of snow, X and non-X are used as proofs of the global warming – belong to the general lore of millions of skeptics and we hear it all the time. People just generally know about this kind of a trick.
But he noticed many others. For example, the speedy deadlines – the end of the world comes on a date [which is very soon]. Morano makes the case that these claims – which are always shown ludicrous rather soon – are primarily being made in order to prevent the people from thinking carefully or looking at the evidence. I agree with that. The climate alarmists must know that every intelligent person who spends at least XY hours or days – there’s no exact figure but there’s a fuzzy figure of this kind – will figure out that the whole climate hysteria is just a ludicrous pile of crap. So they tell everybody: You don’t have any time to think or study because the judgement day may arrive very soon. You must immediately act in the way we want you to act, without any questions or research or independent thinking.
I have heard of similar things from the Christian evangelists (including an ex-GF of mine). What if I am right and God and Jesus exist? You may go to hell just because you have dared to question that their word was the truth. So buy what I say before you dare to think! Even though the piling failed predictions of a doom make and should make the whole belief system less plausible, they make something good for the belief system as well: they reduce the likelihood that the people will study it and see that it’s bogus.
I don’t claim that Morano is the only person who realizes such a thing. He’s probably not even the only person who explicitly described this trick. But he may be the only visible mainstream “TV talking head” who has articulated it in a way that is comprehensible to everybody. And there are several other similar observations of this sort. Believe me that the movie contains much more than what you will be able to extract from this review.
It’s impossible not to compare Morano’s movie with DiCaprio’s movie. I think it’s fair to say that the masterminds of both movies – DiCaprio and Morano – are non-scientists whose comparative advantage is that they look good on TV. (An alarmist has complained that the alarmists are losing the war because Marc Morano looks like a likable uncle while on TV.) I do believe that DiCaprio is ultimately a better actor – but maybe it’s because I haven’t watched Inception and Titanic featuring Marc Morano yet. He could be extremely good.
But you know, the climate change issue is not about the question who is better as an actor in Titanic or Inception. It’s about who is right about the climate – and who is doing the right things that make it more likely that he is right. In comparison with Morano, DiCaprio is a naive and gullible 8-year-old boy who just doesn’t have a clue about anything. In other words, in comparison with DiCaprio, Morano is a new Isaac Newton.
It must be obvious to anyone with some intelligence that Morano’s analyses are always at least one level above – and usually many levels above – DiCaprio’s scenes. DiCaprio is clearly addressed to the viewers who are so stupid that they expect the instructions “Now, become angry and start to scream The Sky Is Falling” and they become angry and start to scream The Sky Is Falling. Morano’s movie is not only for the people who avoid this trap. It’s for those who actually want to understand (and are able to understand) what’s going on. Why is someone screaming The Sky Is Falling? Where is the sky actually moving if it is moving at all?
Morano’s movie isn’t (and most other skeptics’ films aren’t) afraid to show whole self-sufficient segments from alarmist movies and TV news which do include the “beef” that the alarmist are proud about. Why? Because he actually wants to look at them, decide about their truth value, and analyze them. At the end, it’s possible without hurting the “big story” of the (skeptical) movie because virtually all the alarmist claims may be shown to be wrong, irrational, or deceitful rather easily. On the other hand, the alarmists (e.g. DiCaprio in his film) never dare to show you what the climate realists are actually saying about science. They must declare all these things to be taboos because they know extremely well that any reasonable person who is exposed to both viewpoints and both sets of arguments will prefer the realists’ take. At most, the likes of DiCaprio sometimes fight a straw man.
I simply can’t believe that an intelligent viewer doesn’t see that Morano’s approach is way more intelligent, analytical, and scientific than DiCaprio’s. It’s just so obvious. DiCaprio’s movie is obviously a piece of cheap propaganda. Morano’s film is an analysis of a problem prepared from a viewpoint that is obviously close to the perspective of any intelligent person.
Judith Curry is one of the scientists who talks often in Climate Hustle. Up to late 2009 or so, she was basically buying the “consensus wisdom” of the IPCC where she belonged etc. The ClimateGate (the scandal with leaked/hacker e-mails that show that the climate alarmist community is run in the same way as the Italian Mafia) was the main event that has turned her into a doubter. But you can see that she has restored her rational thinking pretty much completely. And Morano also asks her a few questions about claims that some people – including the likes of DiCaprio – seem to present as absolutely serious claims. Are you a heretic? Or: Is it true that the rising carbon dioxide is the cause of the turbulence in the airplane (as claimed by a TV)?
Needless to say, the answer to the last question is just a laughter. Well, I would be able to give you a serious answer to the question whether “the turbulence in the airplanes is caused by rising CO2” because over the decades, I have gotten used to listen to almost any – arbitrarily idiotic – questions and politely provide their authors with basically professional answers. But in a given context, claims such as “the airline turbulence is caused by CO2” surpass a certain threshold of stupidity. So of course that Curry just laughs and doesn’t seriously answer this question. The reaction depends on the social environment. You know that the claim about the turbulence is absolutely silly, Curry knows it – and we even know that most of us, including Morano, know why it’s silly, too. So all of us may just laugh as soulmates who understand something sometimes do.
But the number of claims by the alarmists that are comparably ludicrous as the claim “the airline turbulence is caused by CO2” is rather high. People with common sense who haven’t been brainwashed by the order “you shall listen to the climate science authorities” would surely laugh because they would find it obvious that these claims are ludicrous. But numerous people – including scientists (by their occupation) similar to Judith Curry who haven’t swallowed the red or blue pill yet (whichever is needed to see through the tricks) – simply have been brainwashed to say “OK” to very ludicrous things.