Lawrence Solomon, the National Post’s champion of imagined climate change Deniers complained in a weekend column that Anna Maria Tremonti, host of the CBC radio show, The Current, was too hard on him and too soft on me in a series of interviews last week.
In this, Solomon reminds me of some PR clients I have had over the years, people who, in the midst of a problem of their own making complain about the questions reporters ask rather than accepting that they looked bad because they didn’t have good answers.
Solomon’s in a tough spot because nobody could gracefully answer the questions he was asked.
He wants to say that climate change isn’t happening, even when an overwhelming majority of the world’s best scientists say otherwise. He wants to call people like the UK astrophysicist Nigel Weiss “deniers,” when they respond that his work is a “slanderous fabrication.” And when Tremonti challenges him on these assertions, he blames her for treating him roughly.
Solomon should understand: all questions are hardball when you don’t know – or can’t stomach – the answers.
As for answers, Solomon demanded some from me in that same weekend column. He posed a series of questions that he wished Tremonti had asked, actually going so far as to attribute them to her in his presentation.
I have repeated the questions here verbatim, though I have replaced her name with his. Tremonti is too good and impartial reporter to have made the minor blunders or major ideological assumptions characterized in these questions. My answers follow.