Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Reprinted for truth

Why do deniers hate Al Gore? Because he is, bar none, the most effective science communicator in the entire freaking debate. And he's had just about enough of their bullshit:

The model they’re using in that effort was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people — I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: “This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes.” Bullshit! “It may be sun spots.” Bullshit! “It’s not getting warmer.” Bullshit!

There are about ten other memes out there. When you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you the same crap over and over and over again. They have polluted this — There’s no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. People have no idea! And yet our ability to actually come to a shared reality that emphasizes that this matters — It’s no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the goddamn word “climate.” They have polluted it to the point where we cannot possibly come to an agreement on it.

H/t the Rabbit.


  1. He may be the most effective communicator on this subject, but that's not why most of them hate him. In fact you've reversed cause and effect -- a lot of deniers are deniers precisely because they hate Al Gore.

    That's not really his fault. We all had plenty of time to decide exactly what we thought of Al Gore in 2000, and we do tend to develop strong feelings about people we vote against. Climate wasn't really central to that campaign, but plenty of people disliked him over plenty of things -- abortion, taxes, the fact that he was part of the Clinton administration, take your pick. And the thing is we tend to align our views of other people and our views about their views. So disagreeing about a few things may cause you not to like someone, and not liking someone tends to make you believe they are wrong about everything. And so you become convinced that Al Gore is a serial exaggerator who thinks he invented the internet, and now he's sounding the alarm about global warming?

    Penn & Teller after basically retracting their Bullshit episode on Global Warming admitted that they were largely motivated by the fact that they think Al Gore is annoying. (link) I assure you there are many deniers who don't even realize this is the reason they are deniers, but this is a common human failing.

  2. Thanks for the link.

    I'm sure you're right about Al Gore -- in climatology terms, hatred of Gore both leads and lags.

    However I would reaffirm my original point, which is that a lot of "skeptic" hatred falls upon people precisely for how effective they are, the crowning example being Michael Mann, an almost comically academic and nebbishy guy who is loathed for nothing more than the crime of presenting and backing up with evidence the single most effective visual depiction of global warming, the hockey stick.

    So while I agree there's an intense partisan dynamic, in which the left-right mutual contempt, which seems to be deepening all the time, gets played out, I also think that some of this resentment is driven by fear and envy.

  3. So even in full context Gore is a boor and blowhard. Than you for clearing that up.