WARNING:  THIS IS A LENGTHY ARTICLE – Please think of this “post” as something closer to a feature article in a magazine.  Ryan Mitchell and I feel this is the most important piece we’ve posted on The Benshi to date.  It is the written version of a talk I’ve been crafting over the past two years. And it is the application of the contents of my book to the real world.

For the past year I’ve been giving talks in which I present my analysis of “An Inconvenient Truth,” using the four chapters of my book to examine, not the scientific content of the movie (which from the first year of its release has been examined in great detail), but rather the way in which “the message” was delivered through the medium of film. For the past few weeks I’ve been planning to present my analysis in written form, but last week I was conveniently cued by Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm when he correctly pointed out the seeming contradiction between what I said in my book about “An Inconvenient Truth,” (which was positive) versus what I’ve been saying in the talk (that the movie was a failure).

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I’m in D.C. this week, giving a series of talks, mostly presenting my analysis of “An Inconvenient Truth,” using the principles of “Don’t Be Such a Scientist.” I was going to present the written version of it here today, but instead will wait until Monday to make sure I get it all right.

In the meanwhile, here’s my screening/speaking schedule for the spring:

MARCH 31 – “Sizzle” Screening at the University of Arizona

APRIL 12 – William and Mary College: “Sizzle” screening and “Don’t Be Such a Scientist” talk

APRIL 19 – Syracuse University, “Don’t Be Such A Scientist” Talk 4:00-5:30pm on the SU campus in Maxwell Hall

                “Sizzle” Screening and panel discussion 7:30pm on the SUNY-ESF campus, Baker Lab, Room 145

APRIL 20 – University of Massachusetts, Lowell: “Sizzle” screening and “Don’t Be Such a Scientist” talk

APRIL 21 – MIT: “Sizzle” screening and “Don’t Be Such a Scientist” talk



Well … we had an interesting run with Marc Morano here on The Benshi over the past month.

I had said from the outset of The Benshi that I’m not much of a fan of massive, free form rambling comment sections on blogs. They do occasionally produce some interesting thoughts, but who wants to read through all the off-topic dreck and frequent belligerence. Last week an environmental communicator told me in an email that she and her colleagues know that Real Climate is an important blog, but they aren’t interested in or versed in all the technical detail so they don’t read it. In contrast, she said they appreciate the broader tone of The Benshi. So it’s in the interest of that broader, less technical approach, that I present this summary of emails received rather than a comment section. I hope I’ve done a good job of including everyone who sent in comments that were “on topic.”

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Ed Begley, Jr.


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Today I was going to summarize all the feedback on the Marc Morano interview (and there has been PLENTY), but I’m currently on the road in Colorado and haven’t had enough time to properly digest all that’s been said (btw, I’m giving the keynote address at the Arctic Workshop this evening in Winter Park). I want to do a good job of conveying all that came in for commentary so I’m going to hold off until Monday to deliver my summary. Instead, for today I want to give a little warm up to my interview with Ed Begley, Jr. coming next week and help you understand why I chose to interview him.

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Okay. Some of you are probably irritated with me for this title — you’re thinking, “Why do you have to compliment him?” As if I’m somehow fraternizing with the enemy and being a traitor to the cause of science and environmentalism.  Maybe you’re still buying into the, “Ignore them and hope they’ll go away,” strategy.  If so, you might want ask the folks who have been associated with Kerry, Gore and Climategate how that strategy worked out. In fact, it was one of the bits Morano went through in the interview — more or less saying, “Thank you for making my job so easy by trying to ignore us.”

Marc Morano

Like him or not, Marc Morano is a master communicator

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Marc Morano interviewed in the feature film, "Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy," in 2007 while he was still spokesman for Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)

Two weeks ago I interviewed Mike Mann, one of the climate scientists who has been at the middle of the Climategate story. Here I interview Marc Morano (whom I introduced on Monday with video clips of his television debates). In both cases I recorded about an hour of discussion, edited it down, then let them review the draft. In both cases they were sufficiently content with what I sent and made almost no changes.


As I said at the beginning of creating The Benshi, this is not a blog and there are no comments sections. However, for this and the Mike Mann interview, I am definitely interested in your thoughts. Which means I encourage everyone to send me an email at info AT randyolsonproductions DOT com with any commentary. I will do my best to absorb all of it and synthesize the overall feedback probably next week. Which means you’re welcome to send me all the foul language you want — the only people who will see it will be the people in our group. But more importantly, feel free to send detailed critiques of what either of them said. Think of it as a different sort of moderated discussion. And I’ll try my best to be reasonably fair in summarizing the feedback, as I’ve tried to be with these interviews.

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Marc Morano: The skeptics' prizefighter

This week on The Benshi we’re focusing on Marc Morano, arguably the loudest mouth in the climate skeptic movement with his increasingly popular website, www.climatedepot.com. He is a former field correspondent for Rush Limbaugh, helped to promote the Kerry Swift Boat Veterans story, and former spokesman for Senator James Inhofe (the top climate skeptic in the Senate).

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