A viral buzz is probably not something you want to have in these days of H1N1 (swine flu) paranoia.
But if you're Ann McElhinny and Phelim McAleer this week it's not a malady, but a desired condition. That's because Sunday marks the formal public introduction to their film documentary "Not Evil Just Wrong," which follows their 2006 joint effort "Mine Your Own Business." The plan was (and is) to generate enthusiasm and interest in a "premiere" for "Not Evil" via DVD sales, nudged along by Internet promotion and social networking. Purchasers had to promise to simultaneously host screenings and parties for friends and others who are interested in the movie's topic, which is to debunk global warming alarmism.
After unsuccessful efforts last year to raise funds for a massive theatrical rollout, the Internet plan shows signs of contagiousness. The Irish pair, married, can thank a fortuitous timing of events upon which they have been able to capitalize with some clever journalism.
McElhinny and McAleer first generated interest in their work in August, when they drew attention to a BBC interview with Gerd Leipold of Greenpeace, who admitted that a July 15 claim that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2030 was "a mistake" and defended the group's practice of "emotionalizing issues." It was a classic catch of environoiacs in their own excesses.
Then last month McAleer brought a microphone, a camera and a friend (to operate the camera, silly!) to environmentalist filmmaker Franny Armstrong's premiere of "The Age of Stupid," which like every other eco-doc, attracted current and former Hollywood celebrities like David Letterman lures interns. As McAleer noted in a blog post for Big Hollywood:
Much of the "Age Of Stupid" is spent attacking those in the developing world who want our lives and lifestyles. The documentary is particularly critical of those in countries such as India who want to fly more for business or pleasure.
The documentary is quite clear that flying in aeroplanes is disastrous for the planet. "Apart from setting fire to a forest flying is the single worst thing an individual can do to cause climate change," we are told.
So of course McAleer, who had gained press access to the "Stupid" event, showed up in New York as the celebrities and Armstrong walked the green carpet and asked them how they transported themselves to the premiere. It wasn't long before the "Stupid" security team realized he had no palatable questions, shut down his camera, and muscled McAleer far from the proceedings.
Apparently this only whetted his appetite for more interruption and rejection. Last Friday he jumped into the question line first after a speech by Al Gore at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists. McAleer then promptly asked about nine critical errors in Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," which a British court two years ago said must be righted before being shown in schools there. The former vice president has done nothing to correct the record, and McAleer asked, "Why?"
The "Stupid" security team may not have liked the challenging questions, but the media toadies who wanted to protect their green leader were downright afraid, so they also used their only defense mechanism: they turned off McAleer's microphone.
That was good and timely for the release of "Not Evil Just Wrong," since the high-traffic Drudge Report highlighted McAleer's exchange with Gore over the entire past weekend. That spurred more radio talk show and other media appearances earlier this week, including an unforgettable debate on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" between McAleer and Environmental Defense president Fred Krupp, who the Irishman reduced to nothing more than a "millionaire lawyer who calls himself an environmentalist."
So what about "Not Evil Just Wrong" as a film?
It effectively makes its points, which are to illustrate how global warming alarmism and its anti-fossil fuel agenda will harm poor countries and their people, because it reduces their access to cheaper, more efficient sources of energy. It makes a mockery of the scientific methods practiced by the climate fearmongers, especially the infamous and now-debunked Michael Mann and his "hockey stick" warming chart. It follows the life of a lower income family whose breadwinner's job is with a local coal-fired power plant, which provides them cheap energy and a higher standard of living.
And the film (as have others) likens the environmentalists' climate change hysteria to the Rachel Carson-inspired DDT ban on pesticides, responsible for millions of deaths in poor African countries. McElhinny and McAleer even interview a U.S. environmentalist working in Uganda, who can't bear the idea of promoting DDT use because of its threat to birds.
If it sounds like the movie jumps around a lot, it does. But that matches the personality and the passion of its filmmakers, and it is surprisingly effective. Best of all, it provides a truthful counterbalance to the award-winning documentary that Gore has yet to correct.
If you're not able to catch a premiere showing of "Not Evil Just Wrong" on Sunday night, that won't be the end of its availability. Watch it soon, and you might even be inspired to suggest it to your children's science teacher.
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