In episode 47 of America Adapts, Doug talks with noted climate change skeptic, Marc Morano of Climate Depot.  Doug and Marc discuss his motivation to be a contrarian voice on climate change and his history working on environmental issues, from being a reporter for Rush Limbaugh, to being chief spokesman for noted climate skeptic Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. We also talk about the current state of climate affairs.  In the second part of the episode, Dr. Randy Olson joins Doug to deconstruct the conversation with Marc and to see what the climate change community can learn from Marc’s tactics and motivations. In light of recent major setbacks, e.g., pulling out of the Paris Agreement, Randy analyzes Marc’s approach and offers a way forward to the climate community.

“I’m a clearinghouse. It’s sort of like the wild west.” Marc Morano

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In this Episode:

AMAZONIAN ROOTS OF SKEPTICISM – Marc shares the roots of his climate skepticism and how his early work led him to the positions he now takes.

SHOW ME THE MONEY? –  Marc and Doug discuss money involved on both sides of this issue. Marc discusses how he is not motivated by money but by his own certainty around climate change science.

MIDDLE FINGER CLIMATE POLICIES – Marc discusses his admiration for President Trump for thumbing his nose at the establishment and pulling out of the Paris Agreement. Marc also explains how Trump could have handled the pullout more effectively.

Part 2:  Randy Olson Deconstructs

INTERVIEW ANALYSIS – Randy discusses Marc’s interview and explains what motivates Marc in his climate skepticism.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS – Randy provides some tough love on what the climate community can do next to effectively counter people like Marc Morano. It’s blunt but useful advice.

Interviewed in this episode:
Marc Morano
Randy Olson

*This was an unusual episode, with many references to scientific studies. Fact checking the conversation would have made it impossible to have a useful conversation, but I wanted to include a few resources related to some of the discussions in the podcast. Marc Morano on multiple occasions mentioned the study where there is 97% consensus that climate change is happening and he implied this included people studying areas impacted by climate change (he mentioned a hypothetical scientist studying butterflies) and the implication is that this person would be included in this 97% number. There are multiple studies looking at consensus on this issue, and that’s probably what he’s referring to, but there was a study looking at what publishing climate scientists are saying, and that’s where the 97% number was reached. I thought it was important to clarify that information.

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Links in episode:
http://www.climatedepot.com/
http://www.scienceneedsstory.com/
www.americaadapts.org
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a7078/marc-morano-0410/
http://www.salon.com/2015/03/06/merchants_of_doubt_meet_the_sleazy_spin_doctors_who_will_stop_at_nothing_to_obscure_the_truth/
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2009/04/10/randy-olson-on-marc-morano-who-was-featured-in-sizzle/

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Producer Dan Ackerstein
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Doug can be contacted at americaadapts @ g mail . com


1 thought on “Deconstructing a Climate Skeptic: The Marc Morano Podcast”

Ellen · August 8, 2017 at 6:29 pm

Great episode!!!! Nice job with the way you handled “the facts” Marc presented. I agree with Randy that personality is the key to communication and we need to capitalize on that. I can completely believe that someone without engaging critical thinking skills would line up with Marc if they heard him speak so confidently. As a whole we are not thinking critically anymore and instead gravitating to a personality rather than fact, science and intelligence. Who is our charismatic, intelligent, science savvy great communicator? I’m interested in knowing who people believe fills that role.

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