Update: for my review of the film, click on “Not Evil Just Wrong” a powerful refutation of Al Gore, environmental extremism.
Watching the film she made, I became angry. After talking with her, I feel better, but I’m still angry.
McElhinney was in Wichita yesterday to speak to a civic group. I attended her talk, and then spoke with her afterwards.
So why am I angry? Over and over, Gore and other radical environmentalists disregard facts and science, while at the same time proclaiming that the scientific debate is over. And it’s not just an academic debate. As Not Evil Just Wrong illustrates, millions of lives are at stake, as well as our standard of living.
An important episode in the film isn’t directly related to the global warming debate, but it serves to illustrate the ways we’ve been wrong before, and it gives us insight into one of the most visible personalities driving global warming extremism.
“Who here has played in the fog behind DDT trucks,” McElhinney asked the audience in Wichita. The widespread use of DDT led to the eradication of malaria in America and large parts of the world. But then a book — Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring — made a connection between DDT and danger to animal and human life. A worldwide ban on DDT followed, and malaria returned, especially to parts of Africa. Millions have died of malaria since then. In Uganda alone, 370 children per day die from malaria. She asked: if this was happening in Kansas, wouldn’t we do anything to stop it?
Everyone believed Carson’s story about DDT. But it was based more on speculation than good science.
In 2006, the World Health Organization said that Carson was wrong. But Gore still defends Carson. He wrote the introduction to an edition of her book. He visited her homestead.
So when Gore says that carbon dioxide is going to ruin the planet, should we pay him much attention? His film An Inconvenient Truth has received a lot of attention, including winning an Oscar. But McElhinney played a clip from Not Evil Just Wrong that showed how the British High Court found that the film contains nine significant exaggerations or scientific errors.
One of these exaggerations is Gore’s claim that sea levels will rise by 20 feet in the near future. The IPCC says this might happen over thousands of years. But schoolchildren in Ireland still get Gore’s erroneous message, and they fear that they will drown.
McElhinney says that “it’s an extraordinary position for Al Gore to take — as a Nobel Laureate, Oscar winner, Emmy winner — to not go back and re-edit the film and take out the errors.”
One of the loudest things we hear from the left, McElhinney says, is that “the discussion is over.” Greens say that global warming is settled scientific fact, humans are at fault, and we have to change the way we live. Her film, she says, shows that this is not conclusive. The scientific method calls for continued checking and debate, and those who call for an end to the debate are anti-scientific.
Energy, especially inexpensive energy, is a wonderful thing, she said. “People in America are very lucky to have the energy that you have. … People get to live long, and get to do really exciting things and make loads of choices, and this doesn’t happen everywhere. … The freedom that people have in America is because of energy. The idea that we would take away energy is, that we would reduce the amount of energy is the most crazy thing I’ve ever heard.” She cautioned us to be careful not to throw away our advantage of inexpensive energy.
Responding to a question from the audience, McElhinney reminded the audience of the existence of radical environmentalists who are opposed to chemicals and pesticides because they want everything to be “natural.” But disease and short life, she said, is the natural state of man.
After her talk, I asked McElhinney about the motivations of people like Al Gore. Does he know the facts, that the famous hockey stick graph is wrong and that the DDT ban has cost millions of lives? Does he know these things and decides to ignore them, or is he just innocently mistaken? She said she thinks that he does know the truth, but he is ideologically driven. Those who are so ideologically blinkered have to stay with their story, even though the facts disagree with them.
Also, Greens (radical environmentalists) think that animals are more important then people. Being elitists, too, the harmful effects of a misplaced war on carbon dioxide won’t affect them on a personal level as it will the masses of people.
I’ve seen Not Evil Just Wrong, and it uses a powerful technique of putting a face, a person, on the issues. McElhinney said that while it’s hard to comprehend of millions of children dying of malaria, “it’s very easy to understand the death of one child.”
Responding to another question, she said that the war against carbon emissions also a war against capitalism, and is also anti-American, with many initiatives directed against America. The wealth generated by capitalism allows people to cultivate gardens, for example, instead of doing whatever is necessary — including damaging the environment — to stay alive.
Coverage from Kansas Watchdog is at “Not Evil, Just Wrong” Counters Environmental Extremism.
Not Evil Just Wrong will be shown in Wichita on Sunday, October 18, as part of its nationwide premier. This free event will be at the CAC Theater at Wichita State University. It starts at 6:00 pm, with meteorologist Mike Smith presenting “An Atmospheric Scientist’s View of Global Warming” at 6:15. The movie will start at 7:00 pm. It runs 85 minutes. I’ll have my review of the movie next week.