Monday, December 14, 2009

Truthiness Dodges the Question

I'm still befuddled -- but more bemused than anything else.

Last week, I asked for help in sorting truth from truthiness in the climate change debate, particularly in light of ClimateGate. I was hoping there was someone out there who can provide rational information, data, context, whatever, on what's really going on. Surely there is someone out there somewhere who wants people like me to have accurate information accompanied by a reasonable amount of confidence that what they say is backed up by their willingness to calmly answer critics.

So it won't be this guy:

Don't want to answer a question? That's okay. But to call security on a journalist and demand he be expelled from a press conference because he dared ask a question you don't want to answer? That's foolish. Never piss off people who buy ink by the barrel is the old newsroom aphorism, and that goes double for people who have two cameras on you and access to YouTube.

If you're going to espouse any theory, you have to be willing to answer the tough questions. You ought to know your stuff enough to respons calmly and logically. But a response that basically says "I refuse to answer your question, with malice," does only one thing: It feeds the opposition, and let me tell you, the opposition to stances on climate change are very hungry, especially since they've had the ClimateGate e-mails and programming code tossed into their yard.

Those who espouse climate change are often chagrined at those who do not. I have to wonder why, as those who do the espousing appear to be just as arrogant as those who hold opposing views. Everybody's in the same room, but nobody's really talking about things. They're hurling insults, refusing to intermingle, refusing to answer questions.

Professor Schneider, let me tell you the result of not answering journalist Phelim McAleer's rather innocent question on ClimateGate, at least as far as my search for truth vs. truthiness is concerned. It's introduced me to Mr. McAleer's film Not Evil, Just Wrong, which, inexplicably from a national media completely in the climate change camp, i've never heard of, though they've trumpeted Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth quite loudly.
I'll tell you what. I'm going to watch both films this weekend, and try to sort the truth from the truthiness. In exchange, professor Schneider, I'd just appreciate it if you could answer questions with something other than armed security guards.

Another question: Given the developing countries' reaction to the Denmark Document at the current climate talks in Copenhagen, I have to ask if they're going to be shown the door by security as well. This kind of behavior (shunning the less influential or balking at answering legitimate questions) does not bode well, folks.

This doesn't do your cause any good, either, folks.

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