Response to Greg Craven "How the World Ends" Climate Video

Apparently, a
video by Greg Craven
called "How the World Ends" has been getting a
lot of attention, supposedly because it prevents an irrefutable argument for immediately taking massive action to fight global
warming.  A newspaper asked me for my response, and I thought I would share it
here as well.  You can find my response posted at Climate Skeptic today.

  • Frank Ch. EIgler

    Nicely done!

  • Skeptic

    LOL, that postscript pwn3d those statists (I mean environmentalists).

  • ElamBend

    I just spoke with a friend who works for an environmental NGO. Over the past five years he's traveled the world working to get an ozone protecting protocol passed.
    I've kept my mouth shut mostly about how I feel about things and just teased out of him how he feels.
    He just returned from Bali and sounds ever the more cynic than I do. Without prompting he commented on how disturbed he was by so many people who fervently wanted to 'do something' about global warming, but didn't understand a lick about science. He went on to complain about the naked cash-grab by the third-world countries and the blatantly cynical ploys by the Europeans to make the U.S. look bad, while doing nothing themselves.
    Of course, I'm happy for nothing to get done at these things, the happiest outcome for me was my continued faith in my friend.

  • Danny Bloom

    If global warming becomes a disaster, where will human live in year 2500 or so?
    Would polar cities make a good show for some TV channel to produce?

    What is your feedback , pro or con. Or both. SMILE -- Danny

    I have come up with a concept, I call POLAR CITIES. See this blog for images and info:
    http://pcillu101.blogspot.com

    A possible future docu-drama about Polar Cites might look like this:

    ---------------------------

    Channel releases documentary-drama about "POLAR CITIES YEAR 2500"

    [Be afraid, be very afraid, writes Michael A. Jones, it's just a
    matter of time before humankind is forced to place the 200,000 or so
    survivors of globol warming events in the year 2500 or so into polar
    cities, so that the human species can continue.]

    POLAR CITIES opens with an ominous twist on a cliche: this is a true
    story, it just hasn't happened yet. The program is a
    documentary-drama hybrid in the tradition of ''Pompeii: The Last Day''
    and ''Colosseum'' and suggests we might just might need POLAR CITIES
    in the future.

    The docu-drama follows Danny Bloom's blog concept that humanity might
    need to find shelter in polar cities in the far distant future. In the
    program, the far distant future is now. It's scary.

    "It is a possible scenario," says producer Ailsa Matthews. "The reason
    we chose it is that is just might be something to look into."

    POLAR CITIES is set in the far distant future and employs
    breathtaking special effects to dramatise events before and after
    catastrophic global warming events.. As drama it is compelling, but as
    documentary it is frightening, throwing fact after unsettling fact at
    the viewer. Life in these polar cities is not a pretty picture. And
    that's just for starters.

    The reaction to this show , says Matthews, is generally disbelief.
    "And understandably so," she adds. "Two years ago, when this film was
    first suggested to me, I didn't know what a POLAR CITY was and once I
    found out my reaction was the same. Why don't people know about these
    things? This is something we should all know about."

    Matthews, who has worked mainly on science documentaries (Neanderthal,
    Threads of Life), was more recently involved in the BBC's
    groundbreaking Walking with Dinosaurs and co-produced Pompeii with Dr
    Michael Mosley.

    To tell the story of POLAR CITIES, she says, docu-drama was the
    obvious method. "We all felt this was an incredibly important story to
    tell and the best way to tell it - because it deals with difficult
    science that you can't really see - was to dramatise it."

    To construct a dramatic shell for the documentary, it was important to
    find the line between fact and fiction. "The question we kept asking
    ourselves was, 'What is this based on?' If we couldn't answer that
    question, then it was a leap too far. I am confident there is nothing
    in this film I cannot justify. I can base it on a conversation or a
    simulation, or a piece of research that was done for us."

    The production team spent eight months researching the project. "We
    sat down with Danny Bloom and explained what we wanted to do. We
    worked through the scenario: how these polar cities would be
    organised, who would be allowed in as residents, where they would be
    situated, things like that.....and what regions of the world would be
    worst hit by global warming events in the year 2500," she says.

    The production team also visited America's Federal Emergency
    Management Agency (FEMA), which responds to national disasters, and
    the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "We took
    the scenario we had built to the FEMA in Washington and said, 'OK, we
    have this scenario, how would you deal with it?' And their jaws hit
    the floor."

    POLAR CITIES, much like ''Pompeii,'' uses many of the techniques and
    tricks of traditional filmmaking to enhance its impact, including
    tight edits, expensive special effects and a powerful score from
    composer Tag Eckles.

    "We have used the rules of documentary and drama to create this
    hybrid," Matthews explains. "It is a drama, but it feels like a
    documentary in many ways when you consider what it could have felt
    like: that is, The Day After Tomorrow or one of those feature films
    that bend and contort the truth beyond all recognition."

    The script was written by Edward Bloom (no relation to Danny), who
    worked on ''Pompeii''. Matthewss admits there was some creative
    wrangling over the use of dramatic devices such as talk-to-camera
    testimonials to back up dramatic twists with factual evidence. "He
    felt we didn't need to do those pieces to camera. It is a drama, but
    it is a factual drama and we felt they underpinned and supported the
    drama. They are strategically placed so that every time there is a
    plot twist, the testimonials justify why they are there."

    The result, she says, was more collaborative than ''Pompeii''. "We all
    poured into it what we wanted to do; we learned from him and he
    learned from us. On Pompeii, to a large degree, we let him do what he
    normally did on drama; that is, we had very little input into his
    script. With POLAR CITIES we pushed it a bit more. Pompeii took the
    first steps of allowing the characters to speak for themselves. In
    POLAR CITIES we have taken the next step in that we have removed the
    documentary voice."

    Matthews says her next project will take the dramatic process even
    further, but she doesn't think big-budget immersive docu-dramas will
    replace the documentary form. "I think in a couple of years these
    things will have gone out of fashion and we'll be back where we were,"
    she says, "a very traditional way of telling these stories."

    That might not be such a bad thing. While POLAR CITIES 2500 AD is
    powerful, you can't help notice that its bricks and mortar are actors,
    directors and a script.

    POLAR CITIES 2500 AD airs on the ABC on Sunday at 8.30pm.

  • Greg Craven

    To Coyote Blogger (and his fans):

    I swung back by here to see if you had actually followed up with my refutations (posted Dec 17, 2007 at the Climate Skeptic posting you reference above) of your critiques of my video "How It All Ends," contained in the 44 videos following up that project.

    I see that you haven't.

    Yet you continue to pound the drum of economic alarmism and use scare tactics about totalitarian governments whenever someone mentions a solution which might impinge on a completely unfettered market. You might understand my frustration when you so firmly fit into the errors of thought that I outlined in my follow-up videos (especially "Nature of Science," "Risk Management," "Get What You Want," and "No Holds Barred") with your well-established hostility toward government, and your lack of a reasonable test of falsifiability for your claim that AGW is not sufficient to merit significant action. You criticize others for using simple college debate tactics (http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2007/07/global-warming-.html), yet you yourself engage in the very effective and totally disrespected tactic of "spreading" your opponents, where you nitpick enough to give the sense to onlookers that you've given a thorough refutation, without actually providing robust refutation of the key points.

    I tried playing nice, but your insistence on betting the world (OUR world, I might add) on your own personal assessment of climate science--while detracting from anyone who questions YOUR assessment of economics--your supreme confidance that you are correct, and therefore need not even consider the question "what if you're wrong," is so irresponsible and reckless that it defies civility.

    You refuse to investigate the answers to your objections, and you move one, continuing to re-assert your claims. If Rush Limbaugh is your hero, then you must be pretty pleased with your mimicry, and enjoying the adulation of those who come to your blog to feel good in having their beliefs affirmed. If, however, you still have within you enough charity to allow the benefits of others to enter into your metric of what to do or say, then I deeply hope you will view the arguments in my videos, consider them thoughtfully with the attitude that you might just possibly have something to learn--that perhaps you aren't perfect yet--and take up the challenge contained in them to either let your thinking be informed, or explain why it hasn't been. It is to that part of you--that part which is still interested in humbly seeking better understanding rather than merely the preservation of dearly-held opinions which feel good and righteous--that I appeal to.

    I hope that is still within you. But given what I’ve seen of your postings, I think it probably is not. I would love to be proven wrong. To end up with egg on my face. For it to be shown to the world that I was overly excitable in my evaluation, and my “calling out” of you.

    Reading your blog and the comments of your admirers reminds me of a virtual compound of survivalists or cult members, holed up with like-minded compatriots, reinforcing each other’s faith, holding the “hostile” and “irrational” world at bay. So out of touch with the rest of the world that overwhelming disagreement with the rest of society is taken as yet more evidence of persecution of the just and righteous, rather than an indication that perhaps you would be best served by a re-examination of your beliefs.

    I wish you could step out of that, and see that—to most of the rest of us—you are starting to resemble moon hoaxers, or Holocaust deniers, who always have their evidence and experts to provide enough fodder them to satisfy their conscience that their beliefs are not faith-based, or biased, or blinded. This is why I spent well over an hour in my videos talking about how one of the hallmarks of the scientific mindset—and probably the single greatest source of its success--is to be ever vigilant for your own biases. To be humble.

    I almost always manage to avoid engaging in acrimony. But you’ve brought out the worst in me. Your reckless disregard for the benefit of others punches my “Papa Bear” button, because the whole reason I’m doing this is that I’m fighting for a decent future for my two beautiful daughters.

    I dearly hope to be proven wrong.

    Most Sincerely,
    Greg Craven (wonderingmind42, the creator of “The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See” and the entire six hours of the “How It All Ends” video project)