Michael Stuart Kelly

Inconvenient Truth versus Inconvenient Swindle

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Christian,

Thank you for those quotes. Before continuing with the reading, I went to Michael Crichton's website and saw a video of an interview he had with Charlie Rose on Feb 19, 2007. It felt like a breath of fresh air.

One thing I have been concerned about was my positive impression of Gore from the movie. I didn't perceive him as the completely dirty rotten conniving bastard people say he is, but instead as an idealist who turned politician. OK, so all politicians are dirty rotten conniving bastards to some extent, but the image of him that I have been getting from our side is that he does not believe one whit in what he is doing, but instead using this as a means to gain power, etc.

So it was refreshing to hear Michael Chricton say the following (this is taken from a transcript of his interview provided on the site):

CHARLIE ROSE: Well. Al Gore.

MICHAEL CRICHTON: I like him very much. He`s just wrong on this issue.

CHARLIE ROSE: He`s wrong?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: He`s wrong on this issue. That`s my opinion.

CHARLIE ROSE: How is he wrong?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: I like him a lot. I`m very fond of him.

CHARLIE ROSE: Wish he had been president?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: Yes. He`s done some things.

CHARLIE ROSE: Was that a yes to wish he`d been president?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: I don`t look back.

CHARLIE ROSE: That`s a cop-out.

MICHAEL CRICHTON: It`s not. I don`t know how given what we know has happened.

CHARLIE ROSE: Would you rather see George Bush or Al Gore elected when they ran against each other in the year 2000?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: I like Al Gore.

CHARLIE ROSE: OK. There`s nothing to be gained by trying to say yes or no.

MICHAEL CRICHTON: I like him a lot.

CHARLIE ROSE: OK. I hear you. And respect his intelligence, respect his commitment to this issue...

MICHAEL CRICHTON: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: Respect the book he wrote on the Earth and global -- whatever it was. Yes?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: Now he`s made a movie.

MICHAEL CRICHTON: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: "Inconvenient Truth."

MICHAEL CRICHTON: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And you say about what he says in that movie what?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: If I wanted to make a movie that said that, that said what he said, I could make a much better movie. There are a lot of things in that movie that are dicey and that are -- and there`s a lot.

CHARLIE ROSE: OK, but let`s just tell me what there is in that movie that`s not dicey, but wrong.

MICHAEL CRICHTON: OK. Kilimanjaro as an example of global warming is wrong. Twenty-foot increase in sea levels or 40-foot increases, or whatever it is now, is wrong. And I think actually attitudinally it`s wrong. I think that, you know, the notion that this is a -- that this is a spiritual or religious issue for us is wrong. It is a scientific matter that we need to look at with as dispassionate a way of seeing it as possible. And if we don`t do that, we`re just expressing rank prejudices.

CHARLIE ROSE: So Al Gore`s movie and book express rank prejudices?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: That`s my view, sure. I mean, he`s making arguments -- I mean, I love the guy. And he`s making arguments for which there is no data. There just isn`t.

Crichton later said he thinks Gore does not investigate the data himself (and he said that is true about most everybody, especially bureaucrats), but instead relies on his team for summaries, etc. This is the impression I have received so far.

As to there not being any data, we shall do what Chricton says we should do and look for ourselves over the next few weeks. Putting some of it into layman's terms will be on the list, also.

I found one thing that was highly amusing on his site. There is a discussion forum. I thought I would take a look and see what people were saying about State of Fear. The first thing I noticed was the large number of posts in comparison to the other topics. Then I went to the announcement from the Admininstrator dated January 27, 2006. This was not from 2 months ago. It was from one year and two month ago. Here is the amusing part about why no new posts were allowed about the topic of global warming or State of Fear:

1. The "discussions" have become repetitive and, at times, circular in logic. We have beat this subject to death -- and then some.

2. It is the same handful of people saying (basically) the same things over and over.

. . .

5. There hasn't been a new thought about this subject posted in the last 6 months. Same old, same old.

This was over a year ago.

Hmmmmmmm...

Michael

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Michael,

I am having a very difficult time coming up with any kind of consistent understanding of what the heck you are trying to say in this thread, so I guess I just have one question...do you still contend, as you did with your initial and subsequent posts, that Al Gore presented a worthwhile and GOOD *scientific* presentation of what is known and not known with regard to climate science?

RCR

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I am having a very difficult time coming up with any kind of consistent understanding of what the heck you are trying to say in this thread, so I guess I just have one question...do you still contend, as you did with your initial and subsequent posts, that Al Gore presented a worthwhile and GOOD *scientific* presentation of what is known and not known with regard to climate science?

Christian,

I don't mean this unkindly, but I couldn't have made my point any clearer than this post of yours.

I NEVER contended that "Al Gore presented a worthwhile and GOOD *scientific* presentation of what is known and not known with regard to climate science."

That has been in your head the moment you saw red, which means the moment you read my opening post. You demonized me right from the start because I said Gore presented an excellent presentation of elementary science for laypeople and was a great teacher—and that, based on the image presented by our side, I was sorely disappointed not to see a baby-eater in that film, but instead saw a reasonable, logically structured and highly effective presentation. (I also said some similarly positive things about the Swindle movie, although IMO it was not as effective and it was flawed by excessive hostility.)

You apparently took my opinions on the elementary science (the simple facts that Gore got right like how light rays are reflected by water and ice, etc.—and I did give examples of what I was talking about) and interpreted me to mean that everything he said—especially the more complex part—was written in stone. The fact is that there was a lot of elementary science in Gore's film and it was not only correct, it was damn interesting to me as a layperson.

I have constantly made it clear that I still needed to evaluate the accuracy and use of his data (especially in light of all the disagreement between scientists) and that the task was difficult because of all the noise. And... here is what I said right at the beginning of the very first post that started this thread:

Please do not consider any of these observations as completely formed views at this point. I am merely reporting on what I saw and my first conclusions on mulling all this over.

You might have missed that because, like Penn (of Penn and Teller) says, "It's not sexy."

Am I really the enemy? Was it worth it to treat me as one? Was anything gained?

Put in another form (and I do not mean this in a hostile manner), I am starting to come to some more developed conclusions, but not because of any pressure from people who have demonized me for presenting my initial impressions. I am stubbornly looking at things with my own eyes and reporting what I see as I see them. And when I see something, I report it honestly regardless of who doesn't like it. But the fact is, I am becoming convinced of some positions in agreement with my side DESPITE the behavior of my side, not because of it.

Also, I am only at the starting gate after skimming over a huge amount of stuff so far. Hopefully, my approach will be helpful for a number of average people like myself who are completely turned off by the hard sell and intimidation (of both sides), but would like to have some kind of general notion about what is going on.

We have to go slow.

Michael

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Michael; I haven't followed this tread as closely as I perhaps should. I'm willing to give you all the time you need. Let's discuss this more at Towson.

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Michael, I do not believe that I have "demonized" you in the slightest...in fact, I think it is you who have "demonized" me and what I've posted on this thread representing the skeptical postion; you certainly mischaracterized my contributions a few posts back, and never bothered to correct this error. Also from your response, you seem to suddenly think I am the only person who has critized or become confused by your "appraisal" of Gore's movie, when in fact, I think I've probably said the least out of anyone on this thread; yes, I've posted more outside material than anyone else, but I've said the least. Yet, somehow, you assert that you've been victimized by me...I'm not buying it.

Btw, you haven't the foggiest notion of "what was in my head", and I wish you wouldn't make assertions as if you did.

And just so my position is clear, I don't think Al Gore is great teacher at all, nor even good. I also think he botches/distorts even the "elementary science" that he attempts to present in the film as the foundation for his particular thesis and legislative agenda (and I've posted much to demonstrate this); what Gore does do very well (as has been mentioned many times by others) is deliver highly effective propaganda, he sells his agenda very well, but giving someone points for style isn't the same thing as saying he is a "good teacher", since the standards for each are quite different.

You wrote in your initial post:

"I see no harm at all in getting an outline of the issues and basic facts in such a clear and rational manner as he produced."

And that's the crux of the issue, I and others have contented and demonstrated that there IS significant harm in doing what you prescribe above, especially if what one seeks is to actually UNDERSTAND climate science; to achieve this, the last person I would look to would be Al Gore (for all of the reasons which have been amply documented in this thread).

If on the other hand, you want to learn how to be a very good used car salesman, then Gore is your guy.

RCR

Edited by R. Christian Ross

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If on the other hand, you want to learn how to be a very good used car salesman, then Gore is your guy.

Christian:

That a great quote and expresses exactly my view of Gore, whether we are talking about him as an "environmentalist" or as a political candidate.

--

Jeff

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Christian has stated my own position so very clearly, I broke down to post and second it. He wrote:

And just so my position is clear, I don't think Al Gore is great teacher at all, nor even good. I also think he botches/distorts even the "elementary science" that he attempts to present in the film as the foundation for his particular thesis and legislative agenda (and I've posted much to demonstrate this); what Gore does do very well (as has been mentioned many times by others) is deliver highly effective propaganda, he sells his agenda very well, but giving someone points for style isn't the same thing as saying he is a "good teacher", since the standards for each are quite different.

You wrote in your initial post:

"I see no harm at all in getting an outline of the issues and basic facts in such a clear and rational manner as he produced."

And that's the crux of the issue, I and others have contented and demonstrated that there IS significant harm in doing what you prescribe above, especially if what one seeks is to actually UNDERSTAND climate science; to achieve this, the last person I would look to would be Al Gore (for all of the reasons which have been amply documented in this thread).

If on the other hand, you want to learn how to be a very good used car salesman, then Gore is your guy.

Especially, Michael, I draw your attention to these comments:

"[Gore] botches/distorts even the 'elementary science' that he attempts to present in the film as the foundation for his particular thesis and legislative agenda[.]"

and:

"[T]here IS significant harm in doing what you prescribe above [viz., "getting an outline of the issues and basic facts" from the Gore film] especially if what one seeks is to actually UNDERSTAND climate science[.]"

I've come to realize, Michael, that a difference between you and those of us here who are reacting with distress at your complimentary response to the Gore film is that the rest of us have much more knowledge of the "issues and basic facts" and of the "elementary science" than you have; thus we realize the extent to which Gore distorted even his description of the (so-called) "Greenhouse effect" in order to serve the point he wants to sell (of impending catastrophe if humans don't radically curtail CO2 emissions like NOW). The "Greenhouse effect" is so complex even many scientists who don't specialize in climate theory don't have an accurate understanding of it. I'm hoping that Dick Lindzen is going to post on his website the detailed technical discussion he presented at U. Conn on March 23.

Marlo Lewis' book might have a description:

http://www.cei.org/pages/ait_response.cfm

Sorry, I haven't time to look right now and Larry isn't here to ask where's the best place to find a reasonably accurate, while not overly technical, account of the "Greenhouse effect." I just want to warn you not to pin trust on the way Gore presented it. For instance, he leaves out the complex interplay between the lower and upper regions of the atmosphere and convection from the upper atmosphere.

It's just: Buyer Beware. Check with sound scientific sources on ANY detail of the "elementary science" Gore presented.

Ellen

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PS: Michael, the Crichton speech RCR quoted from the other day has a good brief description of why the hockey stick model (which Gore used) is in disrepute. (I recommend your reading that whole speech, not just the part on the hockey stick model.)

Go to:

http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/index.html

Then click on:

"Our Environmental Future"

National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

Janaury 25, 2005

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Marlo Lewis' book might have a description:

http://www.cei.org/pages/ait_response.cfm

In fact, the very first chapter offers just such a summation (although, it is in the context of correcting Gore's elementary mistakes/distortions, and is not a general science lesson):

http://www.cei.org/pdf/ait/chI.pdf

Chapter I: Greenhouse Basics

AIT: "The atmosphere is thin enough that we are capable of changing its composition…In particular, we have vastly increased the amount of carbon dioxide—the most important of the so-called greenhouse gases." (AIT, p. 25)

Comment: Water vapor, not carbon dioxide (CO2), is the most important greenhouse gas. Computing the exact contribution of each type of greenhouse gas to the overall greenhouse effect is complicated, because the gases "overlap" in some of the spectra in which they absorb infrared radiation. Taking the overlaps into account, RealClimate.Org concludes that "water vapor is the single most important absorber (between 36% and 66% of the greenhouse effect), and together with clouds makes up between 66% and 85%. CO2 alone makes up between 9 and 26%, while the O3 and the other minor GHG absorbers consist of up to 7 and 8% of the effect, respectively."1

Gore editorializes when he says that we have "vastly" increased the amount of CO2. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is so small that CO2 is referred to as a "trace gas." Over the past century and a half, atmospheric CO2 levels have risen from about 280 parts per million (ppm) to about 380 ppm—from roughly 3/100ths to roughly 4/100ths of one percent of the atmosphere.

The two-page photograph (pp. 24-25) accompanying Gore's first mention of CO2 shows an electric power plant belching what appears to be thick black smoke. A similar picture appears below.

smokestack.jpg

The "smoke" is probably steam, but it looks dark and ominous against the inferno colors of a fading sunset. Thus, readers (and film viewers) are set up to believe they are literally seeing CO2 spew out of smokestacks, even though CO2 is as invisible as oxygen. Pictorially, AIT presents CO2 as an air pollutant, anticipating Gore's later oft-repeated description of CO2 as "global warming pollution." This iconic and rhetorical depiction of CO2 as pollution is inaccurate and manipulative.

[snip]

In short, we find error, rhetorical manipulation, exaggeration, and rank selectivity in what should be a straightforward overview of carbon dioxide basics. This does not inspire confidence that subsequent, more complex topics will receive a balanced treatment.

RCR

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[From Marlo Lewis]

http://www.cei.org/pdf/ait/chI.pdf

Pictorially, AIT presents CO2 as an air pollutant, anticipating Gore's later oft-repeated description of CO2 as "global warming pollution." This iconic and rhetorical depiction of CO2 as pollution is inaccurate and manipulative.

The idea that CO2 is a pollutant seems to be widespread, judging from how often I hear people confusing CO2 levels with pollution levels. At the dinner following Lindzen's U. Conn talk, even the lady friend of one of the scientists there was confused about CO2 of itself being dangerous to health -- which it isn't unless you're in too high a concentration of it relative to O2. He said, for instance, that with the number of people in the room in which we were sitting, the CO2 level was much higher than general atmospheric levels. She was dubious.

Something about the "greenhouse effect": Larry used this analogy trying to explain a little about that when he led an after-film discussion the 2nd time we saw the Gore film. It's more like a "greenhouse" with all the glass panes broken. I.e., it isn't closed the way a greenhouse is.

Ellen

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Christian,

I don't think you are the only one who presented an image that I was trying to sell the Gore film as complete science. I never said that you were the only one, yet you just claimed I did for some reason.

But for the record, you said that Gore did not even get the elementary science correct. So I presume you disagree with the following:

  • The pictures of earth taken from outer space he presented were actually taken from outer space.
  • The earth's land masses once fit together.
  • In relative size, the atmosphere is like a coat of varnish on a globe you can hold.
  • Rays from the sun hit the earth and reflect back to outer space.
  • A thicker atmosphere traps some rays that would normally go back to outer space.
  • Most of the land mass on the earth is above the equator.
  • CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase and decrease yearly, following the seasons, depending on the tilt of the earth in relation to the sun.
  • The glaciers shown melting are melting.
  • Cylinders filled with ice from deep bores can tell us information about the atmosphere in former times by analyzing oxygen isotopes.
  • Warmer ocean water increases the strength of hurricanes when they pass over it.

I could go on, but this is what I am talking about. This is what elementary science means to a layperson. Not the actual measurements or speculations of causes. Accept that reality if you like or ignore it. When you say someone like Gore did not get any of the science at all right to a layperson, you are saying that all the above is false. You shoot yourself in the foot. People stop listening and start suspecting that something is wrong.

But like I said earlier to Ellen, if that result is acceptable to you, go for it. I find it to be a grave mistake in communication. If you think Gore is a used car salesman, this method you are using is simply incompetent salesmanship. Mocking the customer and bickering with him never makes a sale.

To be specific, how I felt demonized before was by the rapid-fire flood of copy/pasted articles with no time given to read them and sarcastic utterances like "uh huh" to points you disagreed with. Maybe that form convinces others. It sure turned me off. I normally read everything, but I threw in the towel on that amount of volume and pressure. I will get to all of it later, though, and some of it I have already read carefully. I need to go at my own pace. Posting the actual articles was not in vain or wasted on me, but the rapid-fire pressure was. I tuned you out when you started, just like most laypeople would do.

I asked Ellen for some help once I got to discussing the science. She started by claiming that Gore lied about his high-school teacher. Of all the things to mention, she went for character assassination instead of facts and then got upset when I didn't buy it.

So I don't think you guys get it.

You are not talking to scientists or people who are convinced or even care all that much. Yet these people—the laypeople—are the ones who are going to decide the laws. Aren't you interested at all in reaching them or convincing them?

You are not doing that. You are doing the opposite.

Why not join me or nudge me instead of trying to convince me that I have some kind of agenda, hairsplitting over the obvious to claim that it doesn't exist or whatever, or bludgeoning me over the head with information overload and sarcasm? The very worst thing you can say to a person like me is that I should not look at something. Anything. Like Gore's film, for instance. I think it is a great idea to look at it. I'm glad I did. I recommend that others look at it. Everybody. And I think it is a good idea to look at the rest, too. Like I did, am doing and I encourage others to do.

I actually learned some things from Gore's film. Somehow I managed to do that without swallowing his whole message. Isn't it funny how having an independent mind works? I find it strange that you are a person who values independent minds (and I love you for that), yet you are blind to how you alienate them on this issue. (I am talking to you because you spoke up, but these observations go for all people who are engaged in the hard sell.)

You (our side) are losing the war of communication. It is time to rethink how to go about it. If not, these laws and policies will get passed.

That is my whole point.

btw - Did you notice that Michael Chricton disagrees with you on some issues? (And he got the communication for laypeople thing right.) Did you also notice that his own forum shut down discussion about global warming over a year ago? ("Same old, same old" from the same small group of people.) Doesn't that tell you something? Like maybe the people who need convincing are still out there and don't care at all for the hard sell?

Michael

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I asked Ellen for some help once I got to discussing the science. She started by claiming that Gore lied about his high-school teacher. Of all the things to mention, she went for character assassination instead of facts and then got upset when I didn't buy it.

Jesus H., Michael, I mentioned the bit about the science teacher as a "minor but indicative tidbit" BEFORE you asked me for some help on the science. And your description of what I'm upset with you about is inaccurate. Indeed, you're still doing it. Sorry I tried again.

Ellen

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Ellen,

Thank you for those links. I had already found them and they are on my ever-growing list. I will probably comment on them in due time (and present the opposing views in conjunction with them so people can get a notion of how really unsettled all this is).

btw - I am loving State of Fear. One thing I found very interesting in the Appendices was his discussion of how eugenics was a scientific movement that the whole world bought at the turn of last century, but was absolutely false.

(EDIT: LOL... our posts just crossed, so they may seem weird following each other.)

Michael

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Let's see if I can get the gist of what you are saying.

You don't like Al Gore.

Did I get that right?

No.

Over-n-out,

RCR

Edited by R. Christian Ross

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Let's see if I can get the gist of what you are saying.

You don't like Al Gore.

Did I get that right?

No.

Over-and-out,

RCR

No yes? Or no no? (You can also use these questions several times during sex, depending on how long you can keep it up.)

Now pay attention everybody! I'm only going to SAY THIS ONCE!

"Over" means I'm done transmitting and it's your turn. "Out" means I'm done transmitting and you don't get another turn at the mike, assuming you had one in the first place.

"Over and out" is a contradiction. (So is "Over-and-out," improper unto its GrAmmEr.) Ayn Rand says contradictions don't exist. RCR has just proved Ayn Rand WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! So much for HER!

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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I had State of Fear sitting on my shelf for months, but because of this discussion I decided to grab it next and read it. I found it to be fantastic and highly recommend it to any of you who have not read it yet. Crichton does an excellent job of showing how the politics of environmentalism bypasses the science. The appendix, which has a brief discussion of eugenitics, is also extremely interesting.

Regards,

--

Jeff

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Michael,

In the interests of trying to halt before further damage is done what's fast becoming a serious rift in our friendship, I'm going to answer part of what you wrote in your post #86. As I said, you're still doing there exactly what you've gotten me upset with you for doing. Plus you added outright misinformation.

I asked Ellen for some help once I got to discussing the science. She started by claiming that Gore lied about his high-school teacher. Of all the things to mention, she went for character assassination instead of facts and then got upset when I didn't buy it.

To repeat, you have the chronology wrong, as well as having what I'm upset about wrong. I mentioned the point about Gore's highschool teacher and tectonics before you asked for some help on the science. I mentioned it as a "minor though indicative tidbit." I think it is indicative -- though I grant minor -- because of the way he misused that story, whether or not the incident he reports really happened in his highschool class. Michael Crichton uses the same example (of people's noticing the loose obverse-shape match between the east South American and west African continental shorelines when scientific opinion held that this was coincidence), in his speech which I already linked, to the National Press Club Washington, D.C., Janaury 25, 2005. But he uses the example in a correct way.

So I don't think you guys get it.

You are not talking to scientists or people who are convinced or even care all that much. Yet these people—the laypeople—are the ones who are going to decide the laws. Aren't you interested at all in reaching them or convincing them?

You are not doing that. You are doing the opposite.

Michael, what apparently you don't get -- though I said this to you in private correspondence and you acknowledged the point there -- is that I am not engaged in addressing laypeople at large at all. To the extent I've been involved personally in addressing anyone, it's mostly been as helper to my husband, who's been involved in attempts to reach various scientists especially, and also some others in the academic world. He has led one discussion with a small group of laypeople following the second time he and I saw the Gore film. And both he and I sometimes get into conversations on the subject with "just people" we meet various places. Neither of us uses any "hard sell." Nor do I think I used any hard sell in regard to you. Or for that matter, that Christian did. If you felt overwhelmed by the volume of stuff Christian was posting, all you had to say was that you couldn't read and digest so much so fast; perfectly reasonable. Instead what you've been doing is replying with speeches directed at "our side," as you continued to do in the post I'm answering.

Why not join me or nudge me instead of trying to convince me that I have some kind of agenda, hairsplitting over the obvious to claim that it doesn't exist or whatever, or bludgeoning me over the head with information overload and sarcasm? The very worst thing you can say to a person like me is that I should not look at something. Anything. Like Gore's film, for instance. I think it is a great idea to look at it. I'm glad I did. I recommend that others look at it. Everybody. And I think it is a good idea to look at the rest, too. Like I did, am doing and I encourage others to do.

Where did anyone do any of what you indicate, with the possible exception of "bludgeoning" you "over the head with information overload"? But to repeat, all you had to respond about the information overload was that you couldn't read so much so fast, a response which I think everyone who's posted here would have found perfectly reasonable. And where you get the idea that anyone told you you shouldn't look at the Gore film, I can't guess. If anyone did say something like that, I don't recall who. I myself have seen the film twice and expect to be seeing it again, this time on DVD and using a pause button so as to take in-process notes on details.

I actually learned some things from Gore's film. Somehow I managed to do that without swallowing his whole message. Isn't it funny how having an independent mind works? I find it strange that you are a person who values independent minds (and I love you for that), yet you are blind to how you alienate them on this issue. (I am talking to you because you spoke up, but these observations go for all people who are engaged in the hard sell.)

Again, there you go with the "them." Although I'm aware of course that other people are reading what I post on this thread, the primary person to whom I was offering some links -- and the recommendation that you read State of Fear -- was you. Plus I was trying to warn you against being beguiled by Al Gore, as it seemed you were being in your comments about him. I consider Al Gore a thorough con-artist. I'm aware that Michael Crichton says he likes Al Gore, likes him "very much," and that Crichton is rather reluctant to come down hard on that movie. My opinion is that Crichton's judgment of character is AWOL regarding Gore. But whatever one thinks of Al Gore, the recommendation remains: Be very, very cautious about accepting anything he tells you for which you don't have sound external scientific confirmation. Especially be cautious about his predictions of catastrophe unless strenuous efforts are made to cut CO2 emissions.

You (our side) are losing the war of communication. It is time to rethink how to go about it. If not, these laws and policies will get passed.

That is my whole point.

It's a point which is entirely misaddressed to me. To repeat, the only person I was concerned to offer some counteractive to here was you. But somehow it's now partly on my shoulders -- as a member of some vague "our side" -- if "these laws and policies [...] get passed"? Michael, your soapboxing to me, and your collectivization in your responses to me, has left a bad taste in my mouth, one from which I'm going to need some time to recover, if I do recover from it. I hope you will not continue with subsequent instances of pointing me out as an example in your broadsides against the methods of "our side." And I hope you won't continue at all making collectivized charges of the sort you have been making.

Ellen

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Edited by Ellen Stuttle

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I was the one who said I didn't intend to see either film, but I did not say someone else ought not see either.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Ellen,

I really don't understand all this personal stuff all of a sudden. I'm serious.

The way I understand rational discourse is "this is correct for such-and-such reasons" and "that is wrong for such-and-such reasons." That seems to work until Gore's film gets mentioned. Then it is "Gore is a con artist" (and some other colorful adjectives) and "wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong." And then, "Nobody is pressuring."

If you like, I will go through all those past posts on this thread and quote them in order to do an "I said, you said" thing, (and I would do that to preserve a threatened friendship), but I personally think it is a huge waste of time over nothing. I will do one to show good will. Twice you have mentioned chronology. Here are the mentions:

Jesus H., Michael, I mentioned the bit about the science teacher as a "minor but indicative tidbit" BEFORE you asked me for some help on the science.
To repeat, you have the chronology wrong, as well as having what I'm upset about wrong. I mentioned the point about Gore's highschool teacher and tectonics before you asked for some help on the science.

Now here is what you wrote right after my reaction to your comment about Gore and his high-school teacher.

Was I writing an essay for the general public, or was I answering something you asked me -- and furthermore answering your request for some clues on this, remember -- explaining why that opening gambit is lulling the viewer into false implications, just as it lulled you?

On looking through this thread, I noted that your post about Gore and his high-school teacher was your first post on this thread. So where on earth did I ask you anything about global warming or Gore's film except off line? And if you were not responding to that, then what were you responding to? I am very confused about this.

For every assertion I have made, I can go through the past posts and dig something up as to why I made it. And I can quote. Do you find this productive? I don't. We can disagree without bickering.

Back to the issue, I fully agree with you that caution is required with Gore's film. I even stated that right at the beginning and I kept stating it in several posts. I also think that caution is required with all the conclusions I have seen so far on all sides. I stated that too. In fact, the only conclusion by anyone I seem to agree with up to now is that science is not settled on most of the issues.

To me, that conclusion is the proper selling point for combating the upcoming laws. It is stupid to legislate the unknown. That has to be the banner if it is to be effective. Not Gore is scum.

I am certainly more interested in the information in easily understandable language right now than I am of anyone's opinion of Al Gore. Who cares about who thinks what about Al Gore? You don't like him. As you noted, Michael Chrichton likes him. So what is proven? Two intelligent people disagree over their opinion of a politician? For the record, I have no opinion about Gore other than what I saw in the film, and I thoroughly disagree with the con artist assessment based on lots of experience observing con artists up close. I think Gore actually believes in what he is promoting. That doesn't mean I think he is right and that doesn't mean my opinion will stay the same as I get to see more.

One thing I am sure about. It is not important at all. The information is.

Non-committed people reading this exchange will take your vehemence (and Christian's) against Gore and not pay very much attention to your information because of it. They will simply categorize you as a partisan and skim over your real arguments. Your image is not pro-science, but anti-Gore instead. Like I said, if that result is satisfactory to you, no problem. It appears to be satisfactory because you keep repeating that you are not addressing the people who are reading these posts. You are only addressing me.

My own purpose in doing this thread is to educate others as I educate myself. Bashing Gore (or anyone else) does not educate anyone. It is merely a personal opinion about a politician and nothing more. I react against it because it drowns out all attempts of getting to the point of "this is correct for such-and-such reasons" and "that is wrong for such-and-such reasons."

I would have to go through your and Christian's posts (and even some by some others) to check to be sure, but I would bet good money that neither of you said once that Gore was right about something. Anything at all. However there is a lot you mentioned where (1) he is wrong, and (2) he is a sleezeball. Huge emphasis on this. Huge emphasis. And, of course to finalize, you make it clear that I am mistaken—at best—for finding any redeeming value at all in his film. The insinuation is that I am pretty stupid.

We will just have to disagree about our personal appraisals of Al Gore and his film. There are parts where I learned from it and parts I found dubious. I will not say the contrary because it is simply not true. I will present Gore's points in due time with the opposing points. And, once again, although I am not stupid, I admit that I have to go slow.

I am sorry if this upsets you. That is not my intention.

Michael

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Jesus H., Michael, I mentioned the bit about the science teacher as a "minor but indicative tidbit" BEFORE you asked me for some help on the science.
To repeat, you have the chronology wrong, as well as having what I'm upset about wrong. I mentioned the point about Gore's highschool teacher and tectonics before you asked for some help on the science.

Now here is what you wrote right after my reaction to your comment about Gore and his high-school teacher.

Was I writing an essay for the general public, or was I answering something you asked me -- and furthermore answering your request for some clues on this, remember -- explaining why that opening gambit is lulling the viewer into false implications, just as it lulled you?

On looking through this thread, I noted that your post about Gore and his high-school teacher was your first post on this thread. So where on earth did I ask you anything about global warming or Gore's film except off line? And if you were not responding to that, then what were you responding to? I am very confused about this.

OK, I can see where you'd be confused on that. What happened is that I posted my first post; meanwhile you and I had an email exchange in which I mentioned posting that. A little while after, you sent another email in which you made the request for help on the science. Meanwhile, I'd said some further things explaining why Gore was scientifically off-base in what he said, after which you gave me one of your speeches about "our side" going at things wrong.

I don't know what more I can say to you, Michael, if you don't understand why I am aggravated at the kind of reponses you have been giving to me and in general, with your collectivized replies, but I hope you'll stop that.

Ellen

___

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I don't know whether any of this will help to improve the light to heat ratio... but I'll give it a try.

I haven't seen Gore's film yet. I expect to shortly.

I've seen the British documentary. I've also recently read Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), which I thought made its case reasonably succinctly.

I'm interested in how to respond in a non-inflammatory fashion to claims that there is a catastrophic global warming trend that is being caused by burning fossil fuels and can only be stopped by mandating 80 or 90% cuts in CO2 emissions from the USA and other developed countries. Many of the members of our local Unitarian Universalist Fellowship are heavily identified with environmental causes and some well educated people are currently pushing for legislation that would mandate an 80% cut. I've known some of these folks for a few years and it seems plausible to me that their value judgments concerning typical American living standards were in place before they became convinced that driving gasoline-powered cars and burning coal or oil or natural gas to generate electrical power were bringing about catastrophic changes in climate. All the same, I'm willing to take them at their word when they say that they are pressing for legislation because they believe the predictions about rapidly rising sea levels, intensifying hurricanes, mass extinctions, and the like.

Robert Campbell

PS. What does Al Gore say about nuclear power in his film?

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I don't know whether any of this will help to improve the light to heat ratio... but I'll give it a try.

I haven't seen Gore's film yet. I expect to shortly.

I've seen the British documentary. I've also recently read Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), which I thought made its case reasonably succinctly.

I'm interested in how to respond in a non-inflammatory fashion to claims that there is a catastrophic global warming trend that is being caused by burning fossil fuels and can only be stopped by mandating 80 or 90% cuts in CO2 emissions from the USA and other developed countries. Many of the members of our local Unitarian Universalist Fellowship are heavily identified with environmental causes and some well educated people are currently pushing for legislation that would mandate an 80% cut. I've known some of these folks for a few years and it seems plausible to me that their value judgments concerning typical American living standards were in place before they became convinced that driving gasoline-powered cars and burning coal or oil or natural gas to generate electrical power were bringing about catastrophic changes in climate. All the same, I'm willing to take them at their word when they say that they are pressing for legislation because they believe the predictions about rapidly rising sea levels, intensifying hurricanes, mass extinctions, and the like.

Robert Campbell

PS. What does Al Gore say about nuclear power in his film?

Ask them for their references. Carry a little notebook and write them down. Make a point of noting who it is giving them to you.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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