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A Documentary Designed to Attack Climate Skeptics Bombs at the Box Office by The Elephant's Child

There’s more to the Progressive attack on climate science than I thought.

“Merchants of Doubt,” a new documentary film designed to portray climate change skeptics as “pundits for hire” as in the pay of big business (read “corporations”) has tanked at the box office.

Ukip blogger ‘Rog Tallbloke’ has revealed that Kenner emailed him, exhorting him to ‘spread the message’: “Dear Roger, People who mislead the public on climate change should not be on TV. Period,” the director said.

“That’s one big reason why I produced Merchants of Doubt, a film that lays bare the greedy, shameful world of climate denial and the journalists who broadcast it. That’s also why, right now, we’re launching a people-powered national campaign that could keep climate deniers out of the news for good.

“Merchants of Doubt premieres in U.S. theaters today, and it will invite  thousands of energized viewers to sign this petition and join our campaign. Let’s lead the charge! Join me to tell TV network and cable news directors: Stop booking “merchants of doubt” on your programs immediately.”

Unfortunately for Kenner, it seems not many people are interested in leading the charge – not to the box office at least. The film made just $23,300 in its opening weekend, ranking it the 314th best opening weekend ever for a documentary film in the United States, according to the Heartland Institute.

My goodness, they are really pulling out all the stops to try to attack the climate scientists who are actually studying the climate and trying to understand more about how it works. The message is that  you shall not deny climate orthodoxy. The problem is that the attackers know nothing about climate science beyond the administration’s talking points — which unfortunately are not science, but talking points.

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I actually saw part of an advance screening for this silliness (I could only last ten minutes before leaving or strangling someone for their stupidity; since my baby sister has to work with those people, I left). The first thing I noticed was that it was impressively un-good. A teenager with an iPhone could have filmed it better, and the scripting could have been improved by adding the maturity and intellectual heft of, oh, say, a group of cranky 5-year-olds before naptime.

As Jay Sherman would put it:

It was a “documentary” in the same vein of Michael Moore’s “documentaries”; One-sided assertions with very little in the way of scientific or statistical evidence to back any of them up; No attempts to provide balance to the story by providing opposing or even variant viewpoints (not surprising, since the whole point of the film is to rile up the climate hysterics). The whole thing boils down to another attempt to start a blacklist against “deniers”.


Comment by Lon Mead

If you recall David Horowitz’ “Take No Prisoners,” he explained the Democrats have moved far left, and “are led by progressives who are convinced that their policies are way stations on the path to a ‘better world’.” They are zealots, missionaries who want to “change society” and “solve” its problems.OK, I’ll accept that. But reading all of John Kerry’s screed about climate change, and then some other lefty pronouncements, I realized that none of them have ever read any of the science. They are informed by Democrat talking points, and consequently believe that the “Skeptics” are evil and don’t care about the terrible catastrophe waiting for the earth if we don’t sequester CO2 right now, get rid of fossil fuels, and live more frugally. (the latter doesn’t apply to their travel). They simply do not know anything beyond the talking points, because that is all of the received wisdom, and to read anything else would be tantamount to treason.

I have never bought in to any of the global warming stuff. It made no sense to me, but then I had an unusual upbringing. I grew up at about 4000′ in what you might call the foothills of the Rockies, on 400 acres wedged between National Forest and BLM land, with 2 miles of river frontage. I spent my time, winter and summer outdoors, often in the river making houses for crawfish. I often went down to the river to catch a trout for breakfast. When I was old enough I had a horse, and always dogs, mostly St.Bernards, assorted cats and rabbits at Easter. Fortunate child. But I knew the outdoors at all seasons. Snowed in, flood took out 5 buildings, lots of wildlife. A lynx killed my kittens. Heard cougars scream, but never ran into one. So I understand the out-of-doors considerably better than the apartment-living environmentalists who occasionally go for a walk in the woods and think they are descended from the Comanches. (It’s always the Comanches) Country people mostly think that global warming is a joke. But I’ve read a lot of the science as well.

I’m coming to realize that the progressive political class relies on talking points, reads only the approved NYT, Salon, Think Progress, and studiously avoid anything else. It’s all “talking points,” which in turn becomes their propaganda, their attacks, their blacklists which the believe in fiercely. Then spread that net a little wider and think about all the things that have been controlled by Democrat talking points. Bush’s evil Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Did the public actually tire of them, or was that the triumph of Progressive talking points? I’m just pondering, wondering how far it goes.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Around here, everyone is descended from a Cherokee somewhere in their background (not me… German-Irish extraction), and for some reason, they seem to match pretty much none of the talking points of the left. The actual Eastern-Band Cherokee that I know disdain the term “climate” (which is simply a statistical pattern, after all) and simply call it “weather” (whatever THAT is). Lots of Washington Redskins fans (I happen to know that the tribe sent a letter to Dan Snyder, Dwight Schar, and Fred Smith, the owners, supporting the name “Redskins”; it is, after all, what the natives referred to themselves by). Not rich, but not poor. Usually vote Republican (to be expected in southern Appalachia). The Cherokee, who have lived in this area for centuries (the Eastern band for the most part was not forced to walk the Trail of Tears (as they put it) because they hid out in the valleys and coves of NC, TN, and north GA) usually listen to the claims of the climate hysterics, smile, and politely ignore them.

Which, of course, drive the university liberals around here absolutely bananas. The Cherokee don’t seem to do or believe ANYTHING they’re supposed to.

You mention ThinkProgress (as ironic a name as they could have come up with, since actual thinking and real progress are anathema to them); I help coach a local high school debate team, and one of the teenagers is trying to be a good liberal. He used to bring up ThinkProgress a lot. I told him he shouldn’t use that site as anything other than a starting point, and definitely not as a source. when he asked why, I simply told him to pick any five articles on the site that he considered accurate and thoroughly researched and presented. He presented them to me, and inside of 15 minutes I had refuted the arguments made in every one of them. (I teach critical thought as part of my debate training). Even DailyKos and Salon have differing viewpoints every now and then.


Comment by Lon Mead

Our locals were Nez Perce, but when someone in general claims Indian ancestry, it’s always Cherokee. Nobody is ever descended from the Paiutes or the Diggers. When looking for romantic ancestry, it’s teepees, wild horses and open plains. “Dances with Wolves” inspired a lot. Horrid movie.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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