10:04 PM | Posted in ,
Over the past week I have spent significant time and energy debunking the denial in the recent Global Warming Denial Forum held at the Elk River High School. For my final post on this forum, I would like to address the nature of this event.

In this video, Mark Olson, disgraced Republican from House District 16B, is asked about why only Republicans were represented at the event and also about the funding for the event. His response to the first question is that he invited Democrats in the "area" but none of them chose to accept that invitation. His response to the second question is that this was a legislative event and not a political event.

Given that Mr. Olson never does define what he means by the "area" targeted by the event, it is difficult to determine who he may have invited. So, I emailed Democrats representing districts directly adjacent to the districts involved in the forum. From the legislator responses, it is interesting to note that the first that any of these Democrats heard of the forum was two hours before the event was slated to begin. It seems an empty gesture so that Olson can claim he invited Democrats. The only reason to ever give someone such short notice is so that you can claim you invited them but they just weren't able to attend.

A couple responses:

We received the invitation approximately two hours before the event. At that time, I had other commitments for the evening.

The only invitation that I can recall is the announcement on the House floor that Rep. Olson gave on the same day the forum was being held.

If Olson truly wanted this to be a bipartisan discussion of the issue he would have done more than just invite legislators hours before it was already set to start. He would have aggressively (perhaps not a good word for Olson given his history) sought not just attendance but meaningful participation from Democrats in the "area" and groups with divergent positions. Which leads me to the next issue found in this video.

Olson claims that this was a non-political event meant to "wrestle" with the issue. However, an anonymous source tells me that she attempted to get permission from Olson to hand out information after the event supportive of global warming and supportive of "An Inconvenient Truth". Olson denied her the right to do so deeming it too "political" but as I left the event there was a group from the right wing group, Minnesota Majority, handing out stickers and information from their website. One has to wonder how it is too "political" for someone to hand out information about global warming but not too "political" for a right wing front group to hand out information denying global warming.

Olson and the rest of the legislators involved in this forum have no intention of dealing with this issue in an honest manner. Their hope is to feed their believers with the information they want to hear and shield them from any information that may bring down their beliefs.

Cross Posted on St. Cloud Times


1 Response to "GW Denial Forum: Non-Political Event?"

  1. Karl On April 28, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    So if this was a "legislative" event, were public funds used to pay for it? And if so, why was literature distribution restricted to right-wing nutjobs? How much did this sham cost taxpayers?