Wednesday, August 16, 2017

CFACT Fraud About Climate Hustle

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) is a far-right, anti-science organization that acts as a front-group for the fossil fuel industry, receiving millions of dollars per year from sources such as the dark money Donors Trust and the coal company Peabody Energy. ExxonMobil gave them over $500,000 between 1998 and 2007. Numerous other fossil fuel companies have donated to them. The list of people associated with CFACT reads as a who’s who of anti-science climate change deniers. None of this is controversial or a secret. In fact, CFACT seems to take pride in these facts.

CFACT is one of the most active organizations in the climate change denier front – working to undermine climate science with false claims and logic failures. One of their recent creations is the anti-science movie Climate Hustle. This, they claim, has been a huge success and, according to them, is changing the entire debate. In one recent posting, David Rothbard, the president and co-founder of CFACT, boasted “When CFACT's Climate Hustle hit theaters it came in at number one per screen and it was shown in over 400 theaters nationwide!” Their website for the movie states, “CLIMATE HUSTLE was the #1 movie in America (per screen average) during its one-night national theater event and had enthusiastic audiences in over 400 theaters with sell-outs or near sell outs in multiple cities!” This is all very impressive, impressive enough that I did some fact checking and I discovered something.

It’s all a lie. It did not open in any theaters at all and did not have a single penny of box office revenue.

Yes, you read that correctly. The movie did NOT open in 400 theaters. In fact, it didn’t open in even ONE theater. And, it had ZERO box office receipts.

Take a look at Movie Insider, which lists all movie openings. The listing for May 2016 showed there were NO movies at all opening on May 2, 2016. A check for the rest of May 2016 did not show any listing for Climate Hustle. I checked April 2016 to ensure it was not listed there (May 2nd was the last weekend of April) and there was no listing there, either. Even the opening date should have been an alarm bell and an indicator of the coming deceit. May 2, 2016 was a Monday and there are, typically, no movies opening on a Monday. In other words, Climate Hustle could have generated $1 in box office receipts and it would have been the #1 opening movie simply because there would have been no other movie opening on the same day. You have to assume that was their strategy all along.

But, it didn’t get even the $1! Take a look Box Office Mojo, which lists all of the domestic movie grosses. The 2016 listing has Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as the #1 movie of the year in 4,157 theaters with $532,177,324 in revenue for the year. The last movie listed, at #736, is Satanic, which opened at 3 theaters and made $252. What you don’t find anywhere between #1 and #736 is Climate Hustle. Not anywhere.

The record shows the movie did not open in any theaters and did not have any box office revenue. CFACT is lying!

What if someone comes forward and states they know the data is wrong because they went to see it on that night. First, I would want to see some proof because I’ve dealt with these people enough to know just how much they’re willing to lie. Did CFACT rent a bunch of theaters and have a private showing? It’s possible. But, then why are they hiding the attendance and revenue figures? Could it be because the movie was a bomb and they don’t want anyone to know?

Someone may argue that they are not being deceitful if it was all private screenings. The answer is, yes, they are. They specifically stated that it "hit theaters" and was the number one movie per screen. Both of those statements are lies.

CFACT has continued its train of fraud by taking Climate Hustle to Australia in July 2017. Again, they boasted of huge turnouts. Let’s check the facts.

The Australia box office receipts for the week of June 29 – July 2 listed Climate Hustle at: NOTHING! The movie did not appear in the box office receipts. It appears we’re seeing a pattern develop here. How about following weeks? July 6 – 9? Nope, no Climate Hustle. How about the following week, July 13 – 16? Nope. July 20 – 23? Fraid not. In fact, there is no listing for Climate Hustle box office receipts at all in Australia.

It appears they may have had at least one show. This website purportedly shows a crowd attending a showing. They claimed there were 300 people for the showing. Maybe, but with their record of lies and deceit, it's anyone’s guess what this picture is actually showing. As far as I know, this is a group of employees showing up to hear about the corporate medical plan and has nothing to do with Climate Hustle. Either way, it still did NOT open in theaters in Australia and had NO box office receipts.

They are being deceitful about this movie and you have to ask why. My guess is that it bombed beyond their biggest fears. And, by keeping the data secret, they can attack other movies they get so angry about – namely Merchants of Doubt and An Inconvenient Sequel. Let’s check in on the data for those movies. Not surprisingly, it’s easy to find the data on both of them.

Merchants of Doubt, which exposed the corruption of the anti-science organizations, was released in 2015 and came in at #298 with $308,156 in box office receipts from 30 screens. As of today (August 16), An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is coming in at #105 with $2,401,130 in receipts at 556 theaters.

So, unlike CFACT’s fake-science movie, these two movies actually did appear in theaters and had box office receipts. What a difference!

Again, you have to wonder why CFACT is being so deceptive about this. Well, just take a look at the organization and the people involved. Really, you only have to look at one of them – Marc Morano.

Marc Morano is a guy with a B.A. in political science from George Mason University who thinks this somehow qualifies him as a ‘climate science expert’ and thinks he’s smarter than all of the climate scientists in the world combined. He is paid $150,000 per year to act as the front man for CFACT as the executive director and chief correspondent for CFACT’s Climate Depot blog. On the subject of deceiving people on the climate science, Morano stated,

“The media is so easy to fall for misdirections on this issue, and the Trump nominees have mastered that this week,” he said. “You sort of just laugh at how gullible the media is.”

Morano has a long, dirty history of association with the fossil fuel industry and the incredibly corrupt James Inhofe, the senator from Oklahoma who has received more fossil fuel money than any other senator. But, that isn’t even the best highlight of Morano’s career. That would be the way he provides the email addresses of climate scientists and advocates his readers to commit hate crimes against those scientists and their families. In the movie Merchants of Doubt, he acknowledges this, laughs about it, and says its one of his proudest accomplishments.

Marc Morano is not qualified to speak about climate science, is a consummate liar, and advocates hate crimes. Yet, this is the guy CFACT pays to represent them. Do you still need to ask why they are lying about the movie? There is certainly a hustle going on here, and it is on the part of CFACT. After all, why bother producing any science when lies and deceit will work?

I just wonder - did they really think they would get away with this? Yes, it's been 15 months, but the Internet has a LONG memory.


No comments:

Post a Comment