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Review: Frontline's 'Climate of Doubt'



For those of you outraged — or at the very least, puzzled — by why climate change or global warming has been largely ignored in this political election season, watch this doc.

For those of who you can't figure out how we got from a growing U.S. consensus that global warming had to be addressed, to this current era of confusion and stasis, watch this doc.

Watch and see how a small, powerful group sowed doubt into the public — and fear into politicians.

The Tea Party. Americans for Prosperity. The Heartland Institute. Fred Upton. David Koch. It's a line up of rogues, all right, but rogues whose money and might have put a deadly dent in our resolve to deal with reality.

I've read about this movement in various articles, but I have never seen it all wrapped up in a nice, entertaining, one-hour package like this.

Kudos to correspondent John Hockenberry who had to sit in the same room as such climate skeptics as Myron Ebell, Christopher Monckton and Fred Singer, whose contrarian views about global warming are not just a means of profit-making for themselves and their benefactors, but downright destructive our planet, and thus, to all of us.

Is Hockenberry fair and balanced? Well, the skeptic profiteers get to have their say, that's for sure. It made me wince to hear a "scientist" say that 97% of climatologists are wrong, that the planet isn't warming.

The problem is, real scientists, when they speak out, are sometimes hit by FOIA requests (Freedom of Information Act) by some of these characters, and have to turn over all their emails. This creates fear, for sure, but it's also, simply, a time burglar.

Look, I follow this stuff quite a lot. You might say I am heavy into it. You can read about my adventures delivering the Climate Reality Project slideshow. Or follow me as I probe the sources of the pro-fossil fuel emails I get.

You see, I am an ecoholic.

But still, I learned plenty from this doc, about the American Tradition Institute (the FOIA-requesters) and about Donor's Trust, who has, according to Climate of Doubt, become "the number one supporter of the groups that lead this movement" toward creating confusion, skepticism and, yes, doubt.

These profligates ignore peer-reviewed science, in lieu of charlatan tactics, and the money behind their madness makes even the most conservative politicians a target when they acknowledge the reality of climate change.

Watch this doc to witness the saga of Bob Inglis, a six-term Republican congressman from South Carolina, who describes himself thus:

"You know, I'm pretty Conservative fella. I got ninety-three American Conservative Union rating, a hundred percent Christian Coalition, a hundred percent National Right to Life, A with the NRA. Zero with the ADA, Americans for Democratic Action, a Liberal group. And twenty-three by some mistake with the AFL-CIO. I demand a recount. I wanted a zero."

Sounds like a shoe-in for a seventh term in a conservative district, eh? Nope, Inglis committed the ultimate sin of saying "yes" at an event when confronted with this question: :yes or no, do you believe in human causation on climate change."

He lost in his primary, 79% to 21%, a resounding victory for his climate change-denying opponent.

Inglis says it was "well spent money to blow doubt into the science" that helped defeat him.

No wonder our political incumbents and challengers, faced with the most massive issue of all time — our deteriorating ecosystem due to fossil fuels and industrial pollution — run away and hide like little babies.

Climate of Doubt is essential viewing to chart our own movement, one that unites sensible, planet-loving folks together, for the sake of all life. Just what the doc ordered.


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