Campaigners focused on highlighting climate denial released an ad on Thursday that portrays a climate denier Congressman embarrassing his daughter at her school’s science fair.
Narrating this course of events is “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier, who explains how denying climate science is tearing families apart, with the help of actual NASA climate scientist Dr. Joshua Willis.
The ad was created by The League of Conservation Voters, along with Organizing for America and SHFT.
It becomes clear early on that things don’t go well for the dad or the daughter as he accosts students and judges at the fair:
Climate denier “Jason Sherman”: “And you! You should be ashamed of yourself, rewarding kids for this… fraud…”
Science fair judge: “Sir, it’s basic science”
Climate denier “Jason Sherman”: “And it’s mocking me!”
At this point Grenier steps in, saying “now you don’t have to be a climate scientists to understand the importance of climate science — just ask a real scientist.” Willis says bashfully, “hello, I am a real scientist.” Grenier prescribes a “montage to 70s slow jams” to solve the protagonists’ dramatic tension.
The daughter teaches her dad the basics of how the atmosphere works as he sees the impacts of climate change. They even install solar panels together.
Willis and Grenier say that though climate change is a huge threat to our species, “over 100 members of Congress deny climate.” Grenier urges the view to challenge them in person and online, because “they can change.” Willis adds “if they say no, tell them ‘science says so.’”
Willis would know — he’s an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and has researched ocean temperatures and sea level rise for years. Earlier this year he co-authored a study of ocean temperature readings taken in 1873 by the HMS Challenger during a science expedition. They looked at the data’s range of uncertainty, and found that the data confirmed the oceans absorb a lot of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases.
“After we had taken all these uncertainties into account, it became apparent that the rate of warming we saw across the oceans far exceeded the degree of uncertainty around the measurements,” Willis said. “So, while the uncertainty was large, the warming signal detected was far greater.”
Still, over 100 members of Congress deny the reality of climate change. 161 as of October 2013, in fact, according to the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Climate Denier Caucus list.
While the government shutdown occupies most national attention, carbon emissions emitted by humans continue to trap heat within the atmosphere and Congress continues to do little about it. Ads like these try to break the ice and show how the science is clear and simple, which makes congressional inaction that much more frustrating.