James Cameron Ducks Climate Debate

Monday, 23 Aug 2010 11:43 AM

By Marc Morano

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Hollywood director James Cameron challenged three high-profile global warming skeptics to a public debate at a global warming and energy conference. But Cameron backed out of the debate at the last minute after environmentalists warned him not to engage in a debate with skeptics because it was not in his best interest.

Cameron challenged Andrew Breitbart, me, and filmmaker Ann McElhinney of "Not Evil Just Wrong."

The debate was already in the program for the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit. The website program described the agreed-to debate as “AREDAY Climate Change Debate: Reality or Fiction?"

After setting up the public global warming debate, Cameron and his negotiator then changed formats multiple times and initially said it would be open to the media and then said he would only participate if it was private with no recording devices. The skeptics agreed to all the changes.

According to AREDAY organizers, activist Joseph Romm of Climate Progress urged Cameron not to go ahead with the debate.

Cameron's cancellation did not happen until I was already in mid-air, flying from D.C. to Aspen on Saturday Aug. 21 to attend the debate. (AREDAY did grant me a 90-minute slot to speak at the summit, where I was insulted and interrupted. See: Climate Depot's Presentation at Warmists' Summit Met By Hostile Interrupting Moderator.)

After ducking the debate, James Cameron boldly slammed global warming skeptics as "swine" on the day he was supposed to be debating them.

How does Cameron square ducking a climate debate he set up when just a few months ago he seemed so confident?

Below is detailed report from Ann McElhinney of NotEvilJustWrong.com on how Cameron ducked out of debate he set up.

Last March James Cameron sounded defiant.

The Avatar director was determined to expose journalists, such as myself, who thought it was important to ask questions about climate change orthodoxy and the radical "solutions" being proposed.

Cameron said was itching to debate the issue and show skeptical journalists and scientists that they were 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.

Well, a few weeks ago Mr. Cameron seemed to honor his word.

His representatives contacted myself and two other well-known skeptics, Marc Morano of the Climate Depot website and Andrew Breitbart, the new media entrepreneur.

Mr. Cameron was attending the AREDAY environmental conference in Aspen, Colo., on August 19-22. He wanted the conference to end with a debate on climate change. Cameron would be flanked with two scientists. It would be 90 minutes long. It would be streamed live on the internet.

They hoped the debate would attract a lot of media coverage.

"We are delighted to have Fox News, Newsmax, The Washington Times, and anyone else you'd like. The more the better," one of James Cameron's organizers said in an e-mail.

It looked like James Cameron really was a man of his word who would get to take on the skeptics he felt were so endangering humanity.

Everyone on our side agreed with their conditions. The debate was even listed on the AREDAY agenda.

But then as the debate approached, James Cameron's side started changing the rules.

They wanted to change their team. We agreed.

They wanted to change the format to less of a debate — to "a roundtable." We agreed.

Then they wanted to ban our cameras from the debate. We could have access to their footage. We agreed.

Bizarrely, for a brief while, the world's most successful filmmaker suggested that no cameras should be allowed — that sound only should be recorded. We agreed.

Then finally James Cameron, who so publicly announced that he "wanted to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out," decided to ban the media from the shootout.

He even wanted to ban the public. The debate/roundtable would only be open to those who attended the conference.

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 all agreed to that.

And then, yesterday, just one day before the debate, his representatives sent an e-mail that Mr. "shoot it out " Cameron no longer wanted to take part. The debate was canceled.

James Cameron's behavior raises some very important questions.

Does he genuinely believe in man-made climate change? If he believes it is a danger to humanity, surely he should be debating the issue every chance he gets ?

Or is it just a pose?

The man who called for an open and public debate at "high noon" suddenly doesn't want his policies open to serious scrutiny.

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 that would help the poorest people in the developing and developed world.

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.

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