An Interview On Environmental Extremism With The Directors Of Not Evil Just Wrong
Now, to be honest, I don’t like political documentaries — which, I suppose is odd given that I’m a professional blogger. But, the problem is that since I cover this material for a living, there’s no argument or statistic that is going to appear in a movie like this that I haven’t seen 5 times already. That makes political documentaries a little dull for me.
However, this movie did have something most documentaries don’t: real, honest-to-goodness liberals, saying exactly what they really think. The movie gave them time to talk, too — it wasn’t just short, out-of-context. Michael Moore style quips. What they had to say was absolutely appalling, although you do at least want to give them points for honesty. Those scenes, to me, were what made the movie.
So, with that in mind, I requested an interview with the directors/producers of the film: Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. What follows is a slightly edited transcript of our conversation:
This documentary is a response to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Do you think Gore’s movie is dishonest and gives a warped view of the issue to people?
Well, I think it’s not just our opinion. It’s the opinion of the British high court, actually. It wasn’t very well publicized in America, but it is publicized in the documentary.
Tell us a little bit more about that.
We’re Irish, and obviously in the past we’ve had difficulties with the British justice system, but I think on this case they got it right. It was a very long hearing — I think the hearing lasted 30 days. They analyzed many allegations in Al Gore’s film and found them all to be wanting. …An Inconvenient Truth was exaggerated on nine significant points.
So, yes, I think the movie is an exaggeration by a serial exaggerator. Before Al Gore became the Nobel Prize winning, Emmy winning, Oscar winning person that he is, …he was a serial exaggerator. He invented Love Story and appeared on the internet or something like that — or was it the other way around?
You call your movie Not Evil Just Wrong; however, there is a scene in the movie where there is a leftie who is essentially saying, if you break it all down, that she’s willing to let millions of African children die because she believes that DDT might save their lives, but would harm birds in the process. Don’t you think that’s evil?
That’s definitely a tough one. We’re kind of recovering Europeans, recovering liberals. So we’re still being kind of polite and gentle, but I totally hear what you’re saying. It’s very tough to stomach the idea that the environmental movement is on the side of the deaths of all those children. That’s the side that they’re on.
They’re not defending those children. They’re defending newts and defending double-breasted birds and, you know, things we could do without and worms that slide around in the soot in California. This is where their hearts are. I think one of the things that we feel is that there is a fundamental flaw in the environmental philosophy and that flaw is that humans are not part of the environment according to environmentalists.
They think humans are only a cancer on everything and I think that section of the film that you point out is a particularly tough part of the film — the fact that the WHO said they were wrong and that DDT is the safest, cheapest, most effective way of preventing malarial deaths. That got very, very little coverage — no coverage at all really in the mainstream media. I think there is a pretty good reason why — I think people at heart are decent and good and want to do the right thing — and I don’t think anyone would ever want to be on the side of the people who won’t prevent the deaths of children.
One of the fascinating people from your movie is Leo Murray. I say that he’s fascinating because he’s what I think of as a climate extremist — but, unlike Al Gore or a lot of the other friendly faces of the movement, he doesn’t sugarcoat what they really want to do. Can you tell people a little bit about Leo Murray and what he thinks needs to be done?
Well, Leo Murray is a British climate changer and I think he is from a very wealthy background. I think it’s interesting that you select him. You’re completely right; unlike the rest of them, there is an honesty about him actually — because he basically says this is going to hurt. This is going to hurt you if people do what I think they should do according to Leo Murray. It will hurt everyone.
It’s almost just beyond belief that anyone suggests an end to domestic flights. It’s just complete nonsense. It would deteriorate the lives of so many people. It would put so many businesses out of business. Well, America would be out of business if you ended domestic flights. What is Africa going to do, what’s India going to do, what’s China going to do? You know, they are so casual with the lives and livelihoods of millions, if not billions, of people.
What do you say to global warming alarmists who claim there is a scientific consensus and so there can be no scientific basis for doubting man-made global warming?
Well, I think what we say to them is that number one, that’s not how science works. For something like, for example, the boiling point of water — it’s not a debate where we’re interested in loads of opinions. Even if one person knows the truth of that, it doesn’t matter if millions disagree. There is a great quote from Michael Crichton on this issue where he says that consensus is the last refuge of the scoundrel. I think that’s extreme, but also really relevant. It’s interesting that Al Gore constantly, constantly, constantly says to people, “We have to stop debating, no more debate, science settled.” What’s he frightened of?
Even on what he says, even on this consensus — that also is factually incorrect. There are thousands and thousands of scientists all over the world who disagree fundamentally with what Al Gore is saying, who disagree with him on so much of what he says — on the polar bears, on the fact that these last years have been the hottest years on record in the continental United States. It’s not true. The 30s were the hottest decade. On issues like — the warming that has been experienced in the last few years is very unusual. That’s wrong. It was warmer in the Middle Ages. I think that it’s just very interesting that they use this consensus thing.
I think the reason the world listens to that is that unfortunately the mainstream media are not putting out the voices of the dissenters. There are people saying hang on a moment. They aren’t allowing them to be heard. I mean the people that we feature in Not Evil, Just Wrong, people like Professor Richard Lindzen from MIT — this is not a fringe institution. This is an institution that is highly regarded around the world and he is saying, nothing to worry about here. You know, CO2 is life. CO2 is what we put into greenhouses to make things grow.
He also said the temperatures that we’re experiencing at the moment in the world are not at all unusual. So I kind of laugh when I hear about consensus. I also think it’s a very weak argument. It sounds like someone who doesn’t want to have a debate. It sounds like someone who’s scared.
A lot of the talk about global warming has been based on what has turned out to be very flawed claims about temperatures. Can you tell us what the warmest year on record was, how long it’s been since the temperature has gone up from year-to-year and a bit about recent temperatures?
…They thought 1998 was the warmest year on record. Then they discovered a flaw in NASA’s figures which would mean that the warmest year on record was 1934. There has been no significant warming in the last decade — and even the actual figures are relevant because none of their wonderful climate models predicted this. They’re predicting what it’s going to be in 100 years time based on climate models and they can’t predict 10 years from now.
I think that the question that I always want to ask of Al Gore is, “First of all, it was warmer in the Middle Ages. It was definitely warmer than what they’re calling the warm period now. If it was warmer then and we didn’t have SUV’s and we weren’t flying all over the place, how can you explain that?” Why is it that it could be warm in the Middle Ages and it wasn’t caused by humans, but now that it’s warm, it’s definitely us? I’d love to know how that logic works. I certainly haven’t heard anything compelling on their side on that one.
I really appreciate your time. Thank you.
You can get more information on Not Evil Just Wrong, here.
Late last week, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Thomas Sowell about his new essay, Trickle Down
John Hawkins: You’ve criticized how the Bush administration has explained the war effort to the American people. If you were
I really enjoyed Warren Farrell’s incredibly insightful book, Why Men Are the Way They Are. In fact, I liked it