Bill O'Reilly-watching climate-change-denier is moved to tears by polar melting documentary

Alexander sez, "James Balog had his movie Chasing Ice released, which is about the attempt to capture melting polar ice on film. A self-described daily Bill O'Reilly watcher, who used to tell people to get out of her house if they said global warming was anything other than 'bullshit', saw it -- and started crying. I really, really, want to see O'Reilly watching her reaction."

Synopsis « Chasing Ice (Thanks, Alexander!)

Discuss

85 Responses to “Bill O'Reilly-watching climate-change-denier is moved to tears by polar melting documentary”

  1. Robert says:

    Oh. I thought it was Bill O’Reilly who was moved to tears. I think there’s a missing hyphen somewhere.

  2. jimbuck says:

    If Bill O’Reilly watches this, I hope his reaction is captured on film so that Jon Stewart can comment – it’s that reaction to a reaction of a reaction that interests me most.

  3. multi says:

    I assume this is supposed to bolster the “man-made climate change” side of the argument, but I don’t see it. The woman seems nuts. Previous to this, she was telling people to get our of her house because they did believe in it. Because she saw a movie, we’re supposed to be impressed with her ability to reason? Talk about an unreliable witness.

    • darladoon says:

      i think the “man made” side of the argument *is* the argument

    • Nylund says:

      The thing that struck me most about her is that she seems very easily persuaded to believe whatever she sees or hears on a screen.  Maybe some of those things are true, maybe they’re not, but no matter what it is, she’ll believe it.

    • P_N says:

      I agree ‘the woman seems nuts’. She does watch Bill regularly – that was the key for me. Think that’s a strong recomendation to watch the show. With Hanity it’s a requirment.

    • wysinwyg says:

       It doesn’t and obviously isn’t intended to bolster the “man-made climate change” side of the argument.  There are plenty of peer-reviewed scientific papers that do that.  This is supposed to be reaffirming to those of us who’ve been trying to calmly argue the case on its merits that — just maybe — if we get the messaging right people who disbelieve in AGW for stupid reasons will come around.

      But as others note, she’s probably not a terribly critical thinker and was likely brought around by emotional appeals rather than logical inference from empirical evidence.  Then again, so few human beings reason that way that this shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

  4. Timothy Clarke says:

    Am I just too cynical? I can’t help but believe that if she saw a well made moving film about the existence of the flying spaghetti monster tomorrow she’d be a fervent convert to that, too.

    By her own admission she was basically irrational when it came to global warming and an uncritical believer in everything Bill O’Reilly has to say. I don’t know, I think I’d feel a greater sense of relief if someone rational was turned into a believer.

    • spacedmonkey says:

      Someone rational wouldn’t still be a denialist in 2012, so I doubt your greater sense of relief will be forthcoming.

      • spacedmonkey says:

        I should amend that.   Not a one of us is “rational,” but someone who was capable of reasoning from evidence would’ve done it already in this case.

  5. God knows what would happen if they showed this woman some Leni Riefenstahl.

    • Whew… Tristan, as much as I want to believe that woman had some kind of epiphany, your comment really hits home.

      • mindysan33 says:

         I think a fair number of people early on recognized the power of film pretty early on.  The U.S. government created the Creel Committee in the first world war which created pro-war films, and they did the same sort of thing in the second world war and in the Cold War.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be used for constructive as opposed to destructive purposes…  Maybe the woman did have a genuine change of heart…  who knows.

    • Florian Bösch says:

      How did she miss that movie with the drowning polar bears? I can just assume that’d make her an incoherent sad blob.

  6. microcars says:

    If she was a climate change denier, why did she rush out to see this movie?  I’m calling shenanigans on this interview.  The climate change deniers I know want nothing to do with anything that might change their believe system. 

  7. Bauart says:

    She is obviously moved to tears… but I did NOT see Bill O’Reilly watching her?

  8. Ian McMurtrie says:

    What can you do?

    Stop eating meat. Cut out like 60-80% of your GHG footprint in one fell swoop.

    (Should also not “drive home” and seek alternate transport, but decades of legislation and car-centric design have almost made that an impossible choice.)

    • Punchcard says:

      So, I’ve been playing with the GHG footprint calculator at http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/index.htm and I’m gonna call bullshit on your statement. They list the average GHG gas emission of somone in the US at 24 tons/year and playing with the sliders going full organic/vegetarian vs. fuck organic/meaty Mc Meateaterson is a difference of only 5.3 tons. Lets say the average American is in the fuck organic/meaty  Mc Meateaterson category, that means your suggestion  only cuts your carbon footprint by 22.1% percent.

      Don’t get me wrong, I won’t argue that going veg helps. But hyperbole doesn’t help.

  9. So maybe she’s not going to develop critical thinking skills overnight (or maybe ever), but can’t we at least be glad that she’s a) lost her faith in O’Reilly and b) going to apologize to all the people she chased out of her house?

    • ocker3 says:

      I’ve read through So many comments to find yours, the first one to really get at the heart of what I think the point of the post is. Show other climate-deniers this movie, and they may just start to come around.

  10. Jeremy LaGant says:

    I would really hate to be a 60 year old idiot.

  11. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Wait until she sees these photos of Glacier Bare Dirt National Park.

  12. michael parker says:

    So, she likes movies and tv shows?

  13. One problem with this approach is that, as far as I can tell, the anti AGW position has shifted from, “We don’t know that GW is happening,” to, “Okay, GW is real, but we don’t know that it’s anthropogenic.” From that perspective, evidence that glaciers are melting is meaningless, because… I don’t know… something about the Medieval warming period and how they didn’t have cars back then.

    • Stefan Jones says:

       You forgot a step:

      “Sure, global warming is real, but it’s a GOOD thing! Growing seasons will be longer and plants love carbon dioxide!”

      The final step:

      “This is not the time to point fingers. We couldn’t have foreseen this disaster. We should rather blame the scientists who did nothing to warn us of the scope of this calamity.”

    • class_enemy says:

      Before too long, it will be, “Yes, GW is real, and it’s anthropogenic, but hell, I like my big air-cooled house and my SUV and using my frequent flier miles, so I’m not changing the way I live.”

      Which is pretty much the same position apparently held by most of the political/media/entertainment figures who are decrying climate change today.  Except that many of them have private or taxpayer-funded jets and don’t bother about the frequent flier miles.

  14. chris jimson says:

    The big argument here seems to be that she is easily swayed, whether by a movie or Bill O’Reilly.  I don’t know her personally, maybe that’s true, or maybe she had a truly life-changing experience.  From what I’ve witnessed people who watch Fox News all the time aren’t really interested in entertaining new ideas (rather they like to get their old ideas reaffirmed in new ways)– she probably knows all the talking points by heart, and so I suspect she finally got her beliefs challenged in a way she couldn’t just explain away.

    • allenmcbride says:

      Thank you. This is such a cynical comment thread. People seem to be forgetting how hard it is to change one’s deeply-held beliefs. If anything, I would expect that to be more true of an ardent O’Reilly fan, not less. So “she was genuinely persuaded by a superior argument” seems more parsimonious than “she’ll believe whatever she hears”. Then again, I haven’t seen Chasing Ice. Maybe it stinks. In which case I might join the cynics.

  15. The Spirits did it all in one film.

  16. TheMudshark says:

    > watch O´Reilly
    > be hardcore climate change denier and throw people out of your house if they disagree
    > watch documentary
    > be reduced to tears and vow to change your life and become global warming prophet
    > be proud to be American, because that means you will spread every viewpoint you see in the media with religious zeal

  17. Chen Lavonia says:

    The Spirits did it all in one film. 

  18. Sandra Bernhard says:

    People like bill O. become opinion leaders for their flocks of listeners.
    I’ve witnessed myself succumb to it (not oreilley, but a local radio host) And I have a friend who only cared what my opinion on a political issue was — he didn’t want to read for hours what the issue was about. He just wanted my opinion and went with it.

    So many people , no matter how intelligent you are, are suseptible to this. People through our cultural evolution just trust what others say. When someone screams ‘wolf’, its a survival strategy to believe them.
    So when someone says climate changes is not occurring, people believe it without question.

    • Uncle Geo says:

      Sandra’s right -humans are frighteningly susceptible to believing things that are not true (we actually pay magicians to do this to us) and into doing evil things no sane human ever would. See the Milgram studies and the other psych research after WWII on authority that showed how regular German and Japanese people were pulled into doing such horrific things.

      I’m going to cut this woman some slack. She’s been brainwashed by right wing bizarro-planet strategists and media shills for years and here’s she’s confronted with stark reality for a couple of hours and manages to break out of it. Good for her!Frankly that’s what a lot of us here on my planet have been hoping would happen. Hopefully it will cause her to question all the other predigested offal that comes down the wingnut propaganda pipe.

      • petertrepan says:

        Frankly I’m glad to see a counterexample to my suspicion that people are cynically denying climate change in order to avoid taking responsibility for consequences that will mostly happen after they die.

  19. Michael Polo says:

    Losing polar bears is sad, thawing the permafrost and all the methane in it is downright scary. Once it starts, I don’t think humans will be able to stop it. http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/frozenground/methane.html

  20. petertrepan says:

    I’m encouraged by this, and I don’t think she’s crazy. I’m a free thinker in every aspect that I’m aware of, but I know there are aspects I’m not aware of in which I’m still prejudiced. I was lucky enough for the TV series Cosmos to show up at a formative part of my childhood, not only to pull away the veil from my conception of the universe, but to show me what a veil looks like and when I should be suspicious that one exists elsewhere.

    It wasn’t because of any inherent virtue of mine that that happened. It was luck. It could just as well have happened at sixty, or not at all. This could be her Cosmos.

  21. Cowicide says:

    So… she still loves Bill O’Reilly and FOX “News”?  I guess it’ll still take a while for all the rest of the indoctrination to wear off, huh?

    You say you want something to do, lady?  First of all, STOP supporting FOX “News” and Republicans along with the rest of us that’d like to see a more habitable Earth for future generations.

  22. 8tracker says:

    Forgive me if it’s been pointed out in the gazillion comments above.

    Here’s what O’Reilly has actually said about global warming:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD39QY8ew3cIt doesn’t mean he’s a genius or even right, but he does seem be going along with most of the rest of you on this one.

  23. I’m glad she had her epiphany, but I suspect it wont last long —

    What is fascinating about this is how easily she swings from one view to another — she seemingly lacks any sense of independent thought process. With her emotional reactions driving her — first to Blowhard O’Reilly, then to a result of a movie — she does not seem to be a rational person capabile of making empirical judgments on her own.  

  24. Egads people on these threads are cynical. Not that I blame them, but yeah- I thought it was awesome seeing her epiphany. SHe might be nuts and it might not last long but what-EVER. I’m not used to seeing ANYone admit that they were misguided or wrong- especially about something like this. What a cool little video.

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