I Can Change Your Mind About Climate – A documentary film broadcast on Australia’s ABC television April 26 2012.
Full transcript of Climate Depot’s segment below:
Robyn Williams: I know it’s risky to quote John Maynard Keynes, especially before a federal budget, but I’m sure you’ve heard this one from the mathematical genius and economic don from King’s College Cambridge before: ‘When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?’
This is Science Show number 1,857, I’m Robyn Williams, and you’re about to see a film erupt on ABC1 next Thursday, I Can Change Your Mind About Climate, in which former senator Nick Minchin goes on the road with Anna Rose, co-founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. You’d imagine that Nick Minchin would be clear on the facts as he was a minister for science in the Howard government, and you’d expect Anna Rose, whose training is in law, to be well briefed. Each was supposed to introduce the other to well-credentialed experts. We ran an example of one of Anna’s last week, Naomi Oreskes. Professor Oreskes does not appear in the final cut.
Here is one of Nick Minchin’s selections in America.
Narrator: We’ve arrived at Capitol Hill, the centre of power in the US, and where the ultimate fate of climate action might be decided. Anna doesn’t know it yet, but she is about to get a lesson in politics, Washington style.
Nick Minchin: Well Anna, I was keen for us to come to Washington because I’d like you to meet one of the more interesting climate change sceptics in the United States, a guy called Marc Morano who worked for Senator James Inhofe who’s probably Congress’s leading climate change sceptic.
Anna Rose: I have heard of him.
Nick Minchin: Yes, I imagine you would have.
Narrator: He’s not a scientist, he’s not a politician. Online journalist Marc Morano runs a popular sceptic news website, and he’s the man credited with bursting the climate belief bubble in the US.
Anna Rose: Nick, I wanted to say, I’m quite surprised that you brought me to meet Marc, because I know in Australia people haven’t heard of him, but in the US I feel like he has actually been quite discredited because he misrepresents scientists, he has been shown to just make things up, and the most worrying thing to me, he publishes scientists’ email addresses on his website under pictures of Hitler and encourages his readers to then email them, and then they get death threats. So I’m happy to listen to what Marc has to say today, but I’m not going to engage in point-to-point debate.
Nick Minchin: Well, that’s a very aggressive opening Anna, and I’m sorry if you’re taking that approach, and I’m happy for Marc to respond to that. But I think it is instructive, if you really want to be open-minded about where this whole debate is at, to talk to someone like Marc who has been actively involved in this issue. What the US does is critical to whether the world is ever going to do anything about CO2 emissions…
Anna Rose: You know I’m happy to debate any legitimate climate scientist. Marc is not a climate scientist and I feel that the tactics he uses aren’t even helpful to your side of the debate.
Marc Morano: What a copout Anna. You say you don’t want to debate. Is that because you don’t know if you have the science on your side? Your reference to the death threats; I proudly posted the publicly available emails of scientists who make absurd claims, and I just help bring the public to these scientists who can finally hear the anger, the frustration, the intellectual arguments against them. The point is not to send abuse to scientists, the point is they can hear from the public, and of course any public figure is going to get a percentage of abuse.
Where we are now in 2011 with the whole global warming debate, I argue that from A to Z, the man-made global warming movement has literally egg on their face, and I’m talking from the Arctic, which is now 9,000 Manhattans over the low point of 2007; sea level, which contrary to predictions of it accelerating has actually dropped, an historic drop according to the European Space Agency and NASA; polar bears at or near historic population height; global temperatures that hit their high point in 1988; claims of 2005, 2010 being the hottest years are based on 100ths of a degree Fahrenheit, it is a political statement. You can’t even get a margin of error to even approach what they are claiming.
111 countries, Gallup did a survey, the majority of the human race isn’t afraid of global warming. Anna, you should not be affiliated with a movement that proved itself sub-prime science, sub-prime economics and sub-prime politics. You are the face of one of the greatest threats of our liberty, and that is intellectual, international bean-counters trying to control average people’s lives because they think they know better how people should live, because people left to their own devices will somehow destroy the planet. It is a mockery. You’ve been had. You need to go back and re-examine your conscious, Anna.
Anna Rose: My ‘conscious’?
Marc Morano: Your conscience.
Anna Rose: I’m pretty conscious, and I have looked at the evidence.
Marc Morano: Your intellectual conscience.
I’m getting silence here. I’m trying to be as personable and likeable as I can be.
Producer: Anna I’m curious…you don’t want to discuss anything at all?
Anna Rose: I really happy to listen to what Marc has to say, but as I said at the start, I’m not going to be engaging in point-to-point debate because he is known for making things up.
Nick Minchin: What did he make up?
Anna Rose: Do a simple Google search, you’ll find hundreds of examples.
Nick Minchin: What did you make up, Marc?
Marc Morano: I don’t know. I can’t defend myself against non-attacks, which is what she is doing. Basically she’s saying I’m a liar so she won’t talk to me.
Nick Minchin: Look, it’s a real problem in this debate that those of us who are not prepared yet to be convinced that a man is causing dangerous global warming just get attacked personally all the time.
Anna Rose: Nick, how can you say that? You’ve brought me to the worst of the worst Republican attack dogs. I would have thought that you of all people would pick a different kind of spokesperson to take me to in Washington.
Nick Minchin: I have enormous respect for Marc, I think he runs one of the most interesting websites there is on this issue. He’s done enormous work in Congress on exposing a lot of the exaggeration. I really want to thank you, Marc, for giving up your time, terrific to meet you mate.
Marc Morano: Thank you, I enjoyed it.
Anna Rose: Thank you for taking the time.
Nick Minchin: Good onya mate.
Anna Rose: I was so surprised that Nick would want to associate himself with someone like Marc Morano, I really could hardly believe it. Nick must be thinking though about if the Liberal Party does get in government, what they are going to do on climate change, because it’s not going to go away. I wonder what he’s thinking.
Nick Minchin: I was disappointed that Anna was not prepared to engage with Marc Morano. People like her, they have to acknowledge the reality that there are people who disagree with them. And just to ignore that or not engage with it, it’s ostrich behaviour.
Robyn Williams: Nick Minchin. So is this model of two sides opposing, clashing, workable in science? For or against evolution, for or against smoking, or gambling? Here’s my nephew in Oxford, typically restrained on the issue.
Narrator: Britain’s found a way forward by putting arguments about the science to one side. But would this work in Australia where the media seems to be obsessed with climate conflict? As television programs like this one, presenting both sides of the argument evenly, might actually be part of the problem. Science writer Ben Goldacre is sick to death of the whole debate.
Ben Goldacre: It’s just boring, it’s a boring, boring argument. I would literally rather slam my cock in the door than get involved in this, because it’s special pleading by a very small number of people who are desperate to make a fuss, and actually I don’t think…
Narrator: Goldacre delights in exposing the dodgy use of science in the media.
Ben Goldacre: But one real problem that you get a lot in the media is this idea of balance. People who are climate change deniers get equal footing because I think journalists can’t be bothered to research it adequately and communicate it adequately themselves, so what they think they’ll do is they’ll just kind of triangulate the truth. We’ll just get one person on one side and one person on the other side and they can just have a fight. And actually dodgy positions in complex areas of science are pulled apart under the microscope at length, and you don’t get under the microscope at length in the media.
To you, the media is an absolute gift. You will win every time. You can cherry-pick data and there will be no time to point out the flaws, you can pull out dodgy science and there will be no time to point it out, you can pull out arguments that have already been refuted and you can find one of those that the person that you’re arguing with hasn’t yet heard of, and then it will be next Tuesday by the time they’ve gone off, looked it up and gone, ‘Oh, bloody hell…’
You’re doing well because the proportion of the public who believe your side of the argument is vastly greater than the proportion of scientists working in the field. And it’s a gift. You should thank your lucky stars.
Nick Minchin: I will, I’ll go down on bended knee tonight.
Anna Rose: So do you reckon I made a mistake during the show?
Ben Goldacre: It’s interesting, isn’t it. Lots of people won’t participate in what they regard as flawed formats.
Anna Rose: But you kind of have to engage, because it’s not like if we don’t engage, these people won’t be getting airplay anyway.
Ben Goldacre: It’s very difficult, isn’t it.
Anna Rose: It’s hard. It’s hard to know what the right…
Ben Goldacre: You’re buggered.
Anna Rose: Great.
Robyn Williams: You can watch Anna Rose getting buggered, or not, on ABC1 at 8:30pm. I Can Change Your Mind About Climate will be followed by Q&A, chaired by the white wolf, Tony Jones. And apart from Anna Rose and Nick Minchin, there will be climate experts Rebecca Huntley and Clive Palmer, who is actually a fan of The Science Show, he told me so in March.
Do look out, by the way, for Anna Rose’s book on the filming, it’s called Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic, published by Melbourne University Press. It’s a terrific read.
‘The figures on global temperatures were published by Environment Minister Gregory Barker in a parliamentary answer to Tory MP Anne Main’
‘No warming means no funding and no massive ego trip, so Hansen fixed the temperature record in the year 2000 to produce a lot of US warming prior to 1989. See animation of how ‘Hansen rewrote US history’
But ‘sea ice is expanding around Antarctica because the water is getting warmer. Makes sense if you have the IQ of a turnip’
Watch Now: Climate Depot featured in Aussie TV Doc — Debates Climate: ‘From A to Z, the man-made global warming movement literally has egg on their face’ — Morano: AGW is ‘sub-prime science, sub-prime economics and sub-prime politics’– Marc Morano debates Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s Anna Rose — Transcript available here.
Climate Depot on Aussie TV documentary: ‘The Arctic is now 9,000 Manhattans over low point of 2007; Sea level, contrary to predictions of it accelerating has actually dropped’ Transcript of Show: Morano: ‘Polar bears at or near historic population height; global temps hit their high point in 1988; claims of 2005, 2010 being the hottest years are based on 100ths of a degree F., it is a political statement. You can’t even get a margin of error to even approach what they are claiming’
Aussie’s ABC TV features Climate Depot: ‘Morano runs a popular skeptic news website, and he’s the man credited with bursting the climate belief bubble in the US’ — ‘I CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND ON CLIMATE’ – Aired April 26, 2012
Climate Depot response: Cook should spend some time educating himself on the Arctic & global temps by reading the A-Z report on global warming. Cook is reduced to dredging up the absurd 97% ‘consensus’ of scientists claim.
Climate Depot Response: How convenient, the alleged ‘demolishing’ of the reality of sea level claims did not make it on air. For a full report on the lack of accelerating sea level and even a recent drop in sea level, see Climate Depot’s A-Z report on page 53
Mann: ‘He’s a hired hand and his main role is to intimidate and discredit climate scientists in the hope that they will withdraw from participating in the public discourse…[Morano’s] modus operandi of publishing scientists emails, portraying them as enemies of the people, is just one of the lines of attack used’