At last weeks Aspen Institute’s Forum on Communications and Society, former Vice President Al Gore got all hot under the collar and let rip at climage change deniers.
Brad Johnson of Think Progress sets the scene for Gore’s tirade….
Gore described the story told inMerchants of Doubt, how corporate interests have manipulated scientific institutions and the news media to defend everything from cigarettes and acid rain to global warming pollution. Big Tobacco “succeeded in delaying the implementation of the surgeon general’s report for 40 years – 40 years!” he said. “In every one of those 40 years the average number of Americans killed by cigarettes each year exceeded the total number of Americans killed in all of World War II: 450,000 per year. My sister was one of them. … It was evil, evil, evil.”
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.