Monday, 14 February 2011

Climate skeptic play easily beats alarmist "competitor" in London

Climate change (formerly Global warming) is the subject of the plays currently showing in London. Jeremy Lovell, writing in the New York Times, thinks that the play that takes the skeptic viewpoint easily beats its politically correct competition:

Lovell on "The Heretic":

The play follows university geodynamics lecturer Diane Cassell, whose mantra is "I am a scientist. I don't 'believe' in anything," and who becomes increasingly ostracized by her colleagues for stating repeatedly and publicly that there is no proof of human-induced climate change.
She notes that climate change has become the new religion both in language and in attitude, with belief replacing empirical evidence and unbelievers denigrated.
Science is seduced by politicians
The underlying message is not so much that nothing bad is happening to the climate, but that science and scientists have become so ensnared by politicians and money that they have lost their crucial objectivity, and with it, their basis of trust -- at best, overlooking data that fail to fit their models, and at worst, trying to bury them.

And on "Greenland":

"Greenland" at the National Theatre in London's South Bank arts complex weaves together work by four writers looking at the impacts of climate change on the planet, society and individuals.
First, a young girl argues with her skeptical parents, then a climate scientist tries to illustrate the looming Armageddon. A political aide campaigns for action; meanwhile, a birdwatcher in the increasingly less frozen North laments the changes, and two women argue over what to do.
But the playlets fail to coalesce, the tone is hectoring and the end product fails to engage the emotions while barely glancing off the intellect. It has been universally panned by the critics.

A comparison of the two plays:

"The Heretic" succeeds where "Greenland" fails because it engages rather than lectures the audience. It is a linear story following a small group of people on personal journeys of self-discovery. Meanwhile, "Greenland" is a rather frayed patchwork of stories that never really interconnect -- at one stage, the cast bursts into a dance routine prompting rather pale comparisons with "Enron," the musical.

"Greenland" makes even the most praiseworthy sentiments of the environmental lobby sound trite to the point of being laughable. At one stage, it even has a cynical Greenpeace eco-warrior talking earnestly about the need for a new economic paradigm -- not a phrase often heard on a drama stage.

Read the entire article here.

The success of a play like "The Heretic" is a sign of the healthy state of the theater in the UK. One can only hope that theaters in other countries will take it up. A guest performance in Brussels for the bureaucrats responsible for the EU climate madnesss, would be most welcome, although it might be difficult to persuade the alarmist Cameron government to sponsor such a worthwile cultural exchange.

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