On April 17th, roughly 80 people assembled into the auditorium at Elk River High School to hear what was touted as a balanced presentation of the global warming "debate". Unfortunately, both the organizers and the presenter were deniers and thus controlled the flow and direction of the discussion. The following is the introduction of the presentation given by James Taylor of the Heartland Institute. We will have a deeper examination of Heartland and its "nonpartisan" nature of denying negative effects of smoking as well as their connection to the oil industry but for now we focus on this introduction.

The following is the introduction given by Mr. Taylor:

In his remarks he makes the claim that temperatures had been 2-3 degrees warmer than today without giving any explanation of where he came by such a figure. It becomes difficult to refute such a claim without knowing how he came to such a conclusion. However, it appears he was using a regional climate reading and attributing that to the globe as a whole. At Real Climate, there is a good refutation of such claims.

As part of the presentation, Taylor discusses how he will be showing roughly an hour of the Al Gore film, An Inconvenient Truth. I asked Mr. Taylor after the forum was over if he had received permission to show the film and he seemed a bit befuddled until a female supporter jumped in and declared that because it was a free event they need not seek permission. His final comment to my question about copyright was "Al Gore has enough money".

While I am no expert on copyright law, I did find the website of Swank Motion Pictures who own the rights to the film. In order to find out more about whether there is a potential copyright violation here I emailed the group with the following message:

To whom it may concern,

On April 17th, 2008 I attended a global warming forum in Elk River, Minnesota, put on by James Taylor of the Heartland Institute and some area legislators. At that event they showed an hour of your film An Inconvenient Truth. When I asked Mr. Taylor if they had received permission he claimed he did not need permission due to the nature of the event and that there was no charge for attendance.

I am curious as to whether this may be an infringement of your copyright?

Here is my question and the response given by Mr. Taylor. I apologize for the video but the audio is clear.

Cross Posted on St. Cloud Times


1 Response to "GW Denial Forum: Introduction"

  1. Anonymous On April 19, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    Those were introductory remarks and you could expect them to lake technical information. What he is referring to is the generally high temperatures of the Holocene era, including the Holocene maximum which has dominated the era's temperatures, bringing them much higher than today.