Sunday, August 29, 2010

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James Cameron Ducks Climate Change Debate


“Avatar” and “Titanic” director James Cameron challenged three noted global warming skeptics to a debate at an energy conference — then backed out of the debate at the last minute.

In March, climate change crusader Cameron said he was eager to debate the issue and show skeptics they are wrong.

“I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads,” he said in an interview.

A few weeks ago his representatives contacted three well-known skeptics — Marc Morano, executive director of the Climate Depot website; Ann McElhinney, who co-wrote and directed “Not Evil Just Wrong,” a documentary critical of global warming crusaders; and conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.

A debate was arranged to take place in Aspen, Colo., during the Aug. 19-22 American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit. The website for the gathering described the exchange as “AREDAY Climate Change Debate: Reality or Fiction?”

The plan was for Cameron and two scientists to confront the three skeptics in a 90-minute debate that would be streamed live on the Internet and perhaps attract media coverage, Climate Depot reported.

“We are delighted to have Fox News, Newsmax, The Washington Times and anyone else you’d like. The more the better,” one Cameron organizer said in an e-mail.

According to an article written by McElhinney, which appeared on the Climate Depot site, Cameron’s side wanted to change their team. Then they wanted to change the format to more of a “round table” than a debate. The skeptics agreed to both requests.

“Then they wanted to ban our cameras from the debate. We could have access to their footage,” McElhinney writes. “We agreed.

“Then finally, James Cameron decided to ban the media from the shootout. No media would be allowed and there would be no streaming on the Internet. No one would be allowed to record it in any way. We agreed to all that.

“Then, just one day before the debate, his representative sent an e-mail that Mr. ‘Shoot It Out’ Cameron no longer wanted to take part. The debate was cancelled.”

Cameron’s Aug. 21 cancellation came so late that Morano — former spokesman for Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma — was already on a plane flying from Washington, D.C., to Aspen to attend, Climate Depot disclosed.

McElhinney wrote: “I was looking forward to debating with the filmmaker. I was looking forward to finding out where we agreed and disagreed and finding a way forward.

“But that is not going to happen because somewhere along the way James Cameron, a great filmmaker, has moved from King of the World to being King of the Hypocrites.”

Chip Comins, founder and executive producer of the Aspen event, claimed that the details of the debate had never been confirmed, according to Environment & Energy News.

Comins also said: “Morano is not at James Cameron’s level to debate, and that’s why that didn’t happen. Cameron should be debating someone who is similar to his stature in our society.”

But Morano said Cameron “let his friends in the environmental community spook him out of this debate. When he was warned that he was probably going to lose and lose badly, he ran like a scared mouse.”

Footnote: On the day the debate was supposed to take place, Cameron told an audience this about global warming skeptics: “I think they’re swine.”

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