Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Merchants of Doubt (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 93 minutes.

OK for children.

This is an impressive piece of political propaganda, and I don’t use that as a term of opprobrium. Camouflaged as an examination of public relations, it is, in reality, a seemingly effective argument in favor of the theory that global warming is caused by mankind and not a natural progression of the earth.

It explains how PR campaigns are run and spends a good deal of time on the tobacco companies’ dishonest campaign to refute the health effects of smoking. But it quickly segues into the battle about global warming and its cause, which the people behind this film fervently believe is mankind, and not a progression of natural forces. The point of the film is to do what it criticizes climate change skeptics of doing, influence public opinion by attacking the skeptics. It cleverly starts out with attacking people who tried to insist that smoking was not injurious to health, a topic that probably has universal appeal. But there’s a method here. It’s not just to point out the tactics used by the smoking naysayers, but to first paint them as liars and then, when talking about climate change skeptics, to point out that two of them were paid lobbyists to give their scientific opinion to the “smoking causes no harm” crowd, thereby painting them as untrustworthy.

To its apparent credit it gives a lot of air time to the people who oppose the idea that global warming is caused by human activity. Most of the spokespeople are discredited, but they are given plenty of time to tell their positions and extrapolate because, let’s face it, the people chosen are arrogant, useful idiots who can’t see the forest for the trees. Says director Robert Kenner:

“The big question was who would be willing to talk to us. Generally, they were all willing. I made it clear I really wanted to understand their points of view. I wasn’t interested in doing gotchas, because that’s just not as interesting as hearing what these guys have to say. They were all very smart and often very, very funny. It takes a lot of talent and polished to do what they do. I truly enjoyed being with many of them, even though I disagreed with most of what they were saying.”

It is clear that Kenner has a point of view. One of his main interviewees is Naomi Oreskes, who is the co-author (with Erik M. Conway) of the book “Merchants of Doubt” upon which the film is based (or “inspired”). She talks at length and disputes most of what the climate change naysayers say. I have not fact-checked her allegations.

Two others who receive wide exposure are Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic Magazine, and former Republican Congressman Bob Iglis, both of whom changed their positions from skeptics to believers in Kenner’s position.

The filmmakers claim, without specific evidence, that all the scientific evidence supports the idea that the earth is warming. The question is, what is causing it, nature or man? Kenner and Oreskes vote for man. Despite scenes of smokestacks spewing smoke in the air, this film does not prove beyond the shadow of doubt that man is causing global warming, and that’s the big question.

So if you pay attention to this well-made movie, you will see that the filmmakers are using the same techniques to influence you to buy into the theory that climate change is caused by actions of mankind as those they criticize in the film used to influence people to believe that smoking is harmless to health and the idea that climate change caused by mankind is a hoax.

One claim made in the film is that there is not one reputable scientist, literally, who disagrees with the claim that global warming is occurring and is caused by actions of mankind.

Their claim, however, is hogwash. Because it destroys their premise, there is no mention in the film of legitimate scientists like Dr. Roy Spencer, a former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA who now works as a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who told Fox News, “It's easy to believe in the religion of global warming. It takes critical thinking skills to question it.” As quoted by Alex Newman in NewAmerican, “Referring to the alarmists as ‘global warming Nazis,’ Dr. Spencer warned that their ‘pseudo-scientific ramblings’ and support fascist-style ‘radical policies’ literally threaten the lives of millions of people-especially the poor.”

You want more? Here’s a quote from an article by Robert Wilde in Breitbart.com:

Dr. Matt Briggs, who has a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Cornell, was assistant editor for the Monthly Weather Review, and is widely published on matters concerning climate. He explained that for decades “the computer climate models on which the IPCC and others rely, make forecasts where the temperature will be way up there. But, the reality is the temperature has been way down here. So these models are running hot!” The reason that the models are running hot is based on a “firm scientific principle,” says Briggs. “If a model is making bad predictions, which these climate models are, the theory that underlies them must be wrong. So these models must be wrong.”

Briggs explained that atmospheric reaction to carbon dioxide, known as climate sensitivity, is probably too high for these models. “If you take this climate sensitivity model and tone it down, you get a much closer match to reality.” He contends that the computer models are overcompensating for the addition of CO2’s to the atmosphere.

Further, Wikipedia has posted a list of 57 reputable scientists who don’t buy into Kenner’s and Oreskes’ position. So Drs. Spencer and Briggs and 57 other scientists seem to have sufficient scientific credentials to debunk the filmmakers claim that “all the scientific evidence supports the idea that the earth is warming.” None of this is mentioned in this film.

Kenner and Oreskes throw out facts that are impossible for the layman to dispute out of hand, but this list on Wikipedia, which is easy enough for anyone to find, challenges their veracity and makes them appear just as dishonest as they paint those they attack.