The Climate Hustle (2016)

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CFACT's Marc Morano did his late retort to An Inconvenient Truth, in a one night replay of what they showed at the Paris Climate Summit, for $15/ticket. It basically goes through and tries to explain all the fallacies in the pro-Climate Change alarmism, from what are the forcing factors, how do they rank, how does CO2 rank in them, the fake Climate Consensus, the global cooling scare, and all the sensational claims made -- and then debunking them.


Movie Format

The good:

  • It interleaved archival footage of previous scares like Y2K and global cooling, or various claims that many famous people or newscasters reported, and how far off from reality they have been.
  • It had interview/comment clips from many famous top scientists who were once champions of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory), who are now speaking out against it as going way too far, and getting away from science.
  • And explains what happened to those scientists, once they started defending science (skepticism) against the Climate dogma.

The OK

  • It is broken down into 7 chapters, with names like "stacking the deck" and "slight of hand". And my feelings on the movie are mixed. The data in it is good, but often brushed over some parts and facts weren't always given context or what it meant.
  • They tried to make it entertaining and watchable by using using cheesy graphics and plot devices -- like using a computer generated scissor lift (like Al Gore did in inconvenient truth), over a blue screen to mock the original... or a bucket of water thrown on the narrator during a hurricane scene.

The Bad:

  • The transitions between segments are long and amateurish -- I don't need 30 seconds of video graphics explaining some sensationalized name for the next segment
  • And for goodness sake, if you're using a device like this, be consistent between the segments (it had a few formats that it alternated between, driving us OCD types nuts).
  • Then it spent 5-10 minutes telling me what the next movie would contain (that didn't make this one)
  • It ended with a panel discussion at the end with Sarah Palin and Dr. David Legates (a real scientists).
    • I don't dislike Sarah Palin, I just don't think she adds credibility to this kind of topic: and her partisan rhetoric will turn too many people off (as well as her voice), and she has no credibility as a climate scientist. This would be as valuable as Nancy Pelosi's opinions at the end of an Al Gore film. It makes me want to punch the director. I walked out on that part, it was adding nothing of value, and diminished the rest of the effort.
    • A panel discussion or debate with a few Climate Scientists explaining different areas of concerns, would have been far more valuable.

So the data presented was good, but these bad effects and the campiness which it was done with, diminished the seriousness of the points. And the panel outright annoyed me.


Audiences generally liked it (getting 71% on RottenTomatoes), while reviewers did an unofficial boycott of it. Knowing how the other side thinks is key to being able to intelligently discuss or argue a point. That makes this kind of film more valuable than being able to regurgitate the stuff taught in schools or by the media. But many prefer consensus to contrarian views, and thus didn't see this, nor would have interest in it, and will never understand why some are skeptical.

  • RottenClimate.png

Reviewer Bias 


Movie critics often have a leftward slant that makes them droll and predictable. It also means if a movie is at all political, has anything that's politically incorrect, or can be re-imagined that way, then reviewers will likely get out of touch with the audience. Since I lean towards the audience preferences and away from marxism as movie-reviews, this spread (or the inverse of the reviewers opinions) can be a better indicator of how much I'll like a film than their actual reviews.

Not for everyone

My movie buddy (who leans left), didn't like a few points:

  1. the author claimed the tone would be above the other side, and for the most part it was. (It wasn't calling for the criminalization of Climate Frauds, as they have done) -- but the tone still called things "a con", "hustle" and stuff like that. Just lay out the facts and let the audience decide, without three card monty and jabbing the other side. (After criticizing them for doing worse).
  2. It showed a lot of the violent protests, or worst claims made by Climate Alarmists. To many, this is seen as sensationalizing. Which it kind of is -- but it can also be fact. But you have to back it up -- how many, how severe were these? So while the Climate-Alarmists love to show the most sensational exaggerations by the skeptics, and pretend that's the norm -- doing the same back, doesn't make you any better (or taking the high road). The tone could have been more neutral sounding, and if you're going to show protests-turned-riot, you need to back it up and quantify it more.
  3. It flashed up valid data -- but it was often quick, and a lot of the support for it was glossed over, and then on to the next topic. Some of that was because of how much ground they wanted to cover. Some was just the style. But it came across a little too much like a Michael Moore film (sensationalism), than a fact based documentary that it should have.


In the end, it was OK. And interesting hour and half rehash for those of us familiar with the arguments. But it was a little too sensational, and spent too much time on distractions and plot devices and graphics than presenting the facts. It tried to entertain, but informing can be entertaining too. So it's worth seeing, to all the people that won't see it, and don't want to hear the other side of the argument. But the presentation is amateurish enough that some who want to close their minds to the other side's points will have plenty of excuses to do so from this film.

A few years back, I did a Toastmaster speech on the subject, with nearly as broad a topic coverage, with more data, and a more neutral tone, in 10 minutes (instead of an hour and a half). And I felt I could have tightened that up and supported some arguments more. So I wasn't thrilled with my result, and the movie fell below that standard for me: