How to fight climate change in a 3-minute spot on TV


I am deeply impressed with what Michael Mann does here. He gets a good grip on this Australian politician, Barnaby Joyce, doesn’t let go, and makes him squirm while constantly hammering on the importance of addressing climate change. There’s a lot of skill at communication and media messaging on display here for such a short video.

The difficulty in these kinds of exchanges is that the professional politician is adroit at shifting the conversation to what his audience wants to hear — that the government is doing something about the Australian wildfires, and that they prioritize saving money and jobs — but Michael Mann turns that back against him, explaining that the Australian government has a terrible record on environmental issues, and that what they’re not doing is going to cost more than the jobs they vainly try to protect. And he doesn’t let Joyce get away with any lies!

And Mann comes off as a decent fellow while he’s doing it. It’s a hard trick to pull off. It’s why science communicators are important and not as common as we’d like.

Comments

  1. says

    Barnaby Joyce is Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the minority party in the coalition government, the National Party. I represents rural electorates, formerly the farmers but now shills for the coal and gas industry much ti the frustration of the farmers who are on the front line of coping with droughts and massive fires caused by climate change. Here is the truth about their climate “policies”.

  2. chrislawson says

    Even by the cynical standards of politics, Barnaby Joyce is about as disreputable as one can get. Future generations will wonder how a man so bereft of intelligence, charm, or principles managed to attain such a position of power. (Answer: he sucks at the teat of the Murdochs.)

  3. chrislawson says

    I’d add that Mann does let Joyce get away with a blatant lie (possibly due to editing), Joyce tries to regurgitate the Murdoch-generated talking point that Australia acting unilaterally would make little difference to the climate…which is a lie because nobody has been asking Australia to unilaterally tackle climate change. Almost every other country in the world has been trying desperately to get everyone to act together while Australia and a handful of other nations have done their level best to destroy negotiations.

  4. weylguy says

    Americans are largely a short term-thinking species. It’s easier to believe that climate change is a hoax, and even if it’s real then God will save us,. Or, even better, by that time one will be rich and able to move to a gated community in the Bahamas, with 30 years’ worth of stored food and water. Read Luke 12, which describes what can go wrong.

  5. stroppy says

    He may not look it, but Mann is made of steel. He’s taken more crap than just about any living scientist I can think of. Forged in fire.

  6. unclefrogy says

    @7
    as climate change proceeds their search for a “gated safe place” may become more difficult and the Bahamas out in the middle of the Atlantic may not be the nice tropical paradise it is now maybe they should try looking at some place like the Catskills
    I was just thinking this morning about our food supply and the inflation that is going on today. This will not be getting better long term until the climate stabilizes and who knows when that may be ?

  7. unclefrogy says

    sorry that was 5 not seven
    but yes us hairless monkeys are not the best long-term thinkers generally

  8. says

    So, did Barnaby Jones air in Australia back in the ’70s? There’s no way I could take a guy who has almost the same name as Buddy Ebsen’s aged private eye seriously. “Barnaby Joyce, a Quinn Martin production.”

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    …but Michael Mann turns that back against him, explaining that the Australian government has a terrible record on environmental issues, and that what they’re not doing is going to cost more than the jobs they vainly try to protect. And he doesn’t let Joyce get away with any lies!

    Of course, that wouldn’t work here. All the American version of Joyce would have to do is scream that Mann’s data was made up by Marxists who hate America and freedom and millions of mouth-breathers will chant “DRILL BABY DRILL” while their diesel pick-up would “roll coal,” spewing thick clouds of carbon-based soot in defiance of the limp-wristed liberal cucks.

    If you want to save the world, you aren’t going to do it democratically.

  10. dstatton says

    A few years ago, Michael Mann brought a lawsuit against the National Review for calling his work fraudulent. They then begged their readers for money. I don’t know what came of it, though.

  11. dstatton says

    A few years ago, Michael Mann brought a lawsuit against the National Review for calling his work fraudulent. They then begged their readers for money. I don’t know what came of it, though.

  12. gijoel says

    Barnaby campaigned against marriage equality on a family values platform. Values that are so important to him that he started a second family before leaving his first.

  13. gijoel says

    @10 yes we had Barnaby Jones in the 70 and early 80s.Our Barnaby was born in 1967, so a little early for that show.

  14. chrislawson says

    stroppy@17–

    Brilliant, isn’t it? Mann can’t sue the National Review for defamation because the National Review did not employ either blogger (even though one of them published on the official National Review blog site) and the National Review’s demonstrable historical animus and bias against Mann doesn’t count because there is no evidence that any of the editorial staff who had demonstrated this bias were directly involved in the decision to publish. What a wonderful standard of journalistic ethics this Bush-appointed judge has allowed. It is, by this reasoning, impossible to sue a media outlet for defamation even if they publish blatant lies so long as they delete any record of editorial staff saying “let’s defame this person!” — and even then, it only applies to the specific editors who review the specific piece in question. Which means any media outlet can lie as viciously and premeditatedly as it likes so long as the only person to leave a digital signature during editing is a new employee (as in this case).

    Even more hypocritically, the judge acknowledged that the National Review “had … employees with deep bias against Plaintiff” and that “the investigatory reports exonerating Plaintiff are extensive, numerous, and reliable.” And yet despite there being a clear evidentiary trail of malicious misrepresention by NR that the judge acknowledged, he still allowed the defence to use the truth defence (that is, you can’t defame someone if you tell the truth). To reiterate, clear evidence of malicious misrepresentation — that is wilfully lying — doesn’t preclude a truth defence. I guess it goes without saying that the judge somehow manages to simultaneously believe that NR misrepresented Mann’s science repeatedly and with animus, and yet at the same time, “There remain a great number of genuine disputes of material fact as to the methods that Plaintiff used to develop his hockey stick graph, the conclusions to be drawn from the Climategate emails, and Plaintiff’s actions while under investigation.” Typical fucking Bushite.

  15. DanDare says

    @chrislawson that is the same kind of structural defence as the catholic church pretending to be all these seperate institutions so it could not be held responsible for child abuse. This kind of strategy needs to be blocked by legislation.

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