Climate Denial Movie: Straight to DVD?
December 13, 2015
Or maybe VHS.
If you’ve been following my series of interviews with self described climate contrarian Marc Morano, you may know that his new movie premiered in a venue near the Paris Climate conference.
Look for this at your Family Video rental soon.
Surrealism reached a pitch this week in Paris that Salvador Dali could only dream about. The premier of the independent film Climate Hustle began in a maelstrom of the bizarre. But for me, a single moment seriously stress-tested my own sanity.
But first, the context. Delegates representing almost 200 countries are currently at the COP21 conference in Paris burning the midnight oil negotiating a new international agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions and preventing devastating climate change.
Make what you will of the Climate Hustle Trailer.
Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is heading the UK team and also the European Union block. Barack Obama, the US president; David Cameron, the UK prime minister and Francois Hollande, the French president, will return to Paris at the end of the week to announce the final agreement.
The oil industry and other carbon intensive industries have very little to be concerned about: even the best outcome from Paris would do nothing to limit the extraction, production, sale and use of fossil fuels. Instead, national governments have submitted plans to try and encourage a reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gasses.
Thousands of observers from corporations and NGOs have filled huge aircraft hanger style halls and providing an ambient chatter to proceedings. The delegates themselves huddle over dining tables, and behind closed doors in their temporary offices.
There are also thousands of journalists from around the world, packed together in a fact factory and pecking away at the official UNFCCC press releases; off the record, background briefings by delegations and camera-ready protests.
And into the crowds of iPhone-addicted, highly focussed discussions and negotiations rolls the cavalcade of climate deniers: replete with stretch hummer limousine, human-sized white teddy bear and what from a distance looks like a ‘world premier’ film showing.
On Monday, a handful of climate deniers hosted by the Heartland Institute and the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) begin their “examination of the data” at the Hotel California on the opposite side of town. I was promptly thrown out.
The front group CFACT was at one time funded by the oil behemoth ExxonMobil and the comically malevolent Charles Koch. Their income has collapsed in recent years from around $5 million to about $1 million, and it’s not difficult to see why. From the Vatican, to Vegas, to Paris this week, their press conferences appear to be attended by fewer and fewer press.
Marc Morano, a compulsive media mouthpiece, has decided this precipitous decline should be met by ever more desperate gambles, and hence we have the Climate Hustle. A film which has been hyped longer than it has been in production.
The climate deniers hired out the Cinema du Pantheon, Sorbonne, Paris. They had ordered in a short scrap of red carpet for the front steps and called around every right-leaning think tank and crank group in France hustling up a stand-in for an audience.
Lord Christopher Monckton was billed to appear. Only days earlier he was telling me that Obama was part of a discreet conspiracy of “totalitarians” who were using the climate conference to install a world Communist Fascist state on an unexpecting, and cooling, planet.
During the interview I asked the viscount whether there was anyone in the world who cared for him and had his best interests at heart who had tried to let him know that he was in fact delusional. It was like water off a duck’s back. Although I thought I could notice his eyes redden and water.
Dr Willie Soon was another star of the night. He was recently exposed as promising “deliverables” – peer-reviewed articles and conference appearances – to his benefactors. Chief among them, predictably, is ExxonMobil.
I spent some time among the Deniers at a Heartland Institute conference in 2012.