Recently Anthony Watts published a guest post by someone who claimed to have been a mole in Al Gore’s Climate Leadership Training. As you might imagine, the mole is quite critical of Al Gore’s climate leadership course.
I was contacted a few days later by Amy Huva, who works in the environmental sector in Vancouver Canada, with an offer to write a response to the mole’s comments. I agreed and the response is below. I was a little uncertain at first given that Amy has referred to the mole as a “denier” and it’s a term I’ve tried not to use. I decided to go ahead anyway, largely because this is Amy’s response not mine, I’d rather publish a guest post unedited than insist on changes, and a bit of controversy might be interesting. Also, the word “denier” isn’t really pejorative, it just means to deny something – in this case anthropogenic global warming – for which there is extensive evidence. I also should add that this guest post was not solicited, I don’t know Amy and Amy does not even know who I am. This is also a first for me, so I’m keen to see how this goes.
It hurts the deniers feelings when we call them that – A response to the ‘mole’ at Climate Leadership training
Apparently last week at the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Chicago, someone turned up to be a climate denier ‘mole’ at the sessions. I was also at the climate leadership training last week and had quite a different experience – not sure which table he was sitting at!
He criticised the crowd for being ‘super-liberal Kumbaya’ and on that I would agree with him (although he misspelt kumbaya). Environmentalism has a reputation for being hemp-wearing hippies and there were definitely a few of those at the training, however as for his claim of ‘carefully timed applause’ – seriously? There was no-one telling anyone when to clap, not even in a ‘make some noise!!!!’ NHL-style.
Yeah, it had a bit of an evangelical feel to it occasionally that some of us on the Canadian table didn’t feel comfortable with, but that’s also what happens when people are really passionate about something. Unless they don’t get that excited at the Heartland conference???
He complained about ‘lumping data together’ year by year or decade by decade. I’m not sure how many statistics courses this guy took in school, but that’s how you can see a long term trend rather than variability. That’s how we can see climate from the weather and how climate science works. You need 30 years of data to determine climate.
The reason Gore mentioned that urban heat island effects and measurement inaccuracies are minimal is because they are. As technology and monitoring systems have gotten better and scientists have gotten more skilled at minimising error margins, the data has gotten more accurate. Yay for progress in science and technology!
FYI in case the mole was checking his twitter feed when Gore went through the linking of CO2 and temperature – he actually said that the relationship is coupled. That one or the other can lead. It’s a two way street, not a one way street, and paleoclimate research into previous mass extinctions have shown that.
The denier mole apparently didn’t like the use of the word ‘denier’ to describe him and his cohort who cherry-pick data to disprove reality. Awww. Maybe we could come up with a different name – data cherry-pickers, variation nit-pickers, fossil fuel defenders? And I’m sure they never engage in name calling either, right?
According to his post, the denier was hoping for something ‘new’ in the presentation. I’ve got bad news for him – the body of scientific evidence around climate that has been solidly building studying the changes in our atmosphere and biosphere are not new – they’re continuing. They’re continuing in the same way that was projected in the 1980s by Dr. James Hansen and are honed through the scientific method.
There was a comment at the table I was at that the training didn’t mention ocean acidification, which is certainly a very important issue. But this was not a science training session – this was a science communication session. It was about learning how to communicate more effectively.
As for the denier’s question at the end of his post about the ‘faked’ Climate 101 video my response is: really? You’re that worked up about whether a video really did the experiment while they filmed it or not?
It’s a pity that the denier wasted his time and money to go to a conference that he’d already decided was BS simply so that he could sniff around for evidence of ‘brainwashing’ the new ‘Gore-bots’. For my part I thought the three days of training were excellent. There were some really practical suggestions on presenting the work of the Climate Reality Project, and on ways of communicating – even with people who disagree with you. Also, I went to the ‘Pro Snow’ winter breakout session which was great – I even got to meet an ex-Olympian.
Good luck on your ten acts of climate leadership over the next year!