The last several weeks have witnessed a delicious spectacle, at least for us global-warming “deniers,” as a ship filled with eco-tourists and global warming scientists boarded a ship to sail to Antarctica and record the melted ice there. The so-called “Ship Of Fools” got stuck there, and another ship sent to rescue them also got stuck in what is now known to be record ice in an area that was supposed to be ice-free or at least mostly un-frozen. It is summer in Antarctica, you know.
You had to know that this would happen. In 2008, former Vice President Al Gore famously predicted that “the entire north polar ice cap will be completely gone in five years.” Gore is really on a roll. The “Gore Effect,” as it is now known, has become a pretty reliable reverse indicator of regional weather following a specific Gore prediction or even a local appearance by Mr. Gore. The believers who got stuck in Antarctica were a repeat of similarly-intentioned activists who last year got stuck sailing in Arctic ice in the Northwest Passage.
My question is this: was the Antarctica trip a set-up? It seems almost too good to be true. This expedition would seem to confirm the “denier” side of the global warming debate. Global warming theories and computer models are one thing, but when a ship of warming scientists travels to Antarctica to record melting ice there, and instead gets stuck in record ice, it is a little difficult to argue around that.
If this was a set-up, it would be a change in tactics. On the op-ed pages, our side’s argument is practically lost before it even begins. Here is how it works. A hypothetical debate in 2008:
Warmist: “Carbon emissions in the atmosphere are so bad that within five years the polar ice caps will be entirely melted.”
Denier: “That is crazy. It won’t happen. There is no scientific basis for that.”
Fast forward five years, and with the ice caps still there, the 2008 prediction is long forgotten or ignored by the mainstream media. And instead of a reply by the Denier, above, the entire conversation is now swept under the rug by the media. It’s as if the prediction never happened. No need to discuss anything about “how the prediction turned out.” Pesky details that are universally ignored.
Ed Driscoll at PJ Media has pointed out that the original video clip of Al Gore making his prediction has been scrubbed from the Internet, and the only remaining video clip is from a German publication of some sort. Despite the German interpreter speaking, the viewer can still see and barely hear the famous Gore 5-year prediction.
If this was not a set-up by some global warming deniers, maybe it should have been. And there should be more like this in the future. Our side needs to counter prevalent arguments with media stunts, because scientific logic is just not working with the general public.
A few months ago a book was released by James O’Keefe, a guy who makes fools of liberals, not by arguing with them, but by video-taping the proof of conservative sides of various arguments and sending the videos out into the Internet, where the videos promptly go viral.
Was the group ACORN corrupt? Of course not, replied the mainstream media. “ACORN is a virtuous organization. Pure as the wind-driven snow. Everyone knows that.” An undercover O’Keefe video showing O’Keefe and a friend posing as a pimp and a prostitute, being advised by ACORN workers, begged to differ, and quickly won the argument. Following this video Congress decided to stop funding ACORN.
Same for the potential for abuse in voting without identification. Another undercover O’Keefe video showed an O’Keefe assistant going to a Washington DC voting station and claiming to be (Attorney General) Eric Holder. Without asking for any identification, the poll worker quickly offers Holder’s ballot.
There are other examples, but the point is that in a world where 95% of the media dismisses or ignores conservative arguments, making an argument is simply not enough. Our side has to do media stunts that show, instead of argue, the righteousness of conservative principles. And the media stunts need to be big enough to be a media story.
So the next time a global warming scientist proposes to hire a ship to travel to Antarctica and study changes in the ice there, the ship should not be allowed to just sail from New Zealand to Cape Denison in Antarctica for two weeks in December and January. No. Additional ports of call in several world coastal cities should be funded, with media events and lots of fanfare along the way. There should be parties with local celebrities, corporate sponsorships, telethons to pay for more travelers, parades; the possibilities are endless!
And when the inevitable – global warming discredited — happens, the media spotlight will be more and more drawn to the reality of what was not predicted.