When I fume, I just sputter. WillyK spouts sense. Of course, it helps that she has a firm grasp of facts on a wide variety of topics.
At the end of the showing of “Not Evil Just Wrong” Wednesday night, a docufictionary pretending that there’s solid reason to doubt that humans are causing global warming, the three Republican state reps who sponsored the evening–Sue Allen, Andrew Koenig, and Cole McNary, all from West County in St. Louis–took questions. Willy, after listening to a few audience members make remarks indicating they trusted the film’s nonsense, raised her hand and succinctly skewered the movie’s–well, to be charitable–inaccuracies.
The filmmakers had painted a grim picture of job loss because of precipitate switches from good ole dependable coal to such will o’ the wisp energy sources as solar and wind. Indeed, Representative Allen remarked afterward that those sources would not work in Missouri because we do not have enough sun or wind.
Willy responded that part of the point of the new energy legislation (ACES) is to construct a nationwide, standardized grid so that energy could easily, efficiently be moved from, say, sunny Arizona to Missouri when we need it or from windy Wyoming to our state. What’s more, strides are being made at storing such energy for future use.
Willy felt that the film’s misrepresentation of the intent in the cap-and trade legislation echoed its misrepresentation of climate and environmental concerns in the film, one of the most egregious examples being the claim that DDT had been banned for purposes of malaria eradication. In the U.S. legislation banning the use of DDT and in the later Stockholm convention, DDT was banned only for agricultural uses but its use was permitted for “medical vector” purposes, and indeed its use has continued outside the U.S and Europe where other factors had made use of DDT unnecessary. One of the reasons that DDT is not used more widely at present is that because of its overuse, mosquitoes are becoming resistant.
Willy suggested that if the elected officials conducting the discussion really wanted to discuss cap-and-trade in a fair way, rather than mislead in the same way that the film misled about global warming and DDT use, they should have also mentioned that the cap-and-trade provisions will take place slowly in order to allow people to transition to alternative energies. Furthermore, the legislation offers subsidies to help states with high coal use adapt to other kinds of energy.
Rep. McNary accepted her remarks graciously, urging her to send him links by e-mail to verify her claims. Later, though, when she made a second, briefer comment, he ran out of patience and suggested that perhaps she should rent a hall and arrange to hold her own event. Oops. He was finding her facts inconvenient. The liberal bias of reality can be annoying.
Despite that and other minor tensions between us and the organizers, Willy and I spoke to Representative Allen at the end of the Q & A, and Willy expressed her concern at seeing Rep. Allen associating herself with a film so riddled with inaccuracies. It’s a fair admonition, but I don’t hold much hope that she and the other two representatives will shun such bad company.