Media Matters catches Pat Michaels in an outrageous bit of quote mining:
MICHAELS: Well, it’s an exaggeration. Global warming is a very real thing. People have something to do with it in the last several decades of the 20th century. But what people do on this issue is they exaggerate it. I have a quote from [Gore], from Grist magazine recently.
He said, “I believe it’s appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is.”
MICHAELS: He says it’s appropriate to over-represent the danger on this issue. You have to realize what he said and take that as you see this movie.
No, Gore did not say it was appropriate to over-represent the danger. Michaels has taken the quote out of context. Gore was answering a question about what the right mix is between talking about the dangers of global warming vs the solutions to it, and saying that you have to get people to recognize that there is a problem before you can talk about solutions.
Read the question and answer:
Q.: There’s a lot of debate right now over the best way to communicate about global warming and get people motivated. Do you scare people or give them hope? What’s the right mix?
A. [Gore]: I think the answer to that depends on where your audience’s head is. In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.
Over time that mix will change. As the country comes to more accept the reality of the crisis, there’s going to be much more receptivity to a full-blown discussion of the solutions.
Pat Michaels is smart enough to have read the interview and understood what Gore was saying. Michaels’ conduct was plainly dishonest. David Roberts, whose interview Michaels quote mined comments here. And if you haven’t seen it before, check out the almighty whopper Michaels told Congress in 1998.