Fathom Events and SpectiCast are giving a major push to the anti-global warming documentary “Climate Hustle,” with plans for showings at nearly 400 theaters on May 2.
Variety has learned exclusively that former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is participating in the event. The screening of the documentary, produced by Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and Marc Morano’s ClimateDepot.com, will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Palin, with opening remarks by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
The discussion will be moderated by Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center. Morano is planning to show clips of Bill Nye, best known as “the science guy,” from an interview. Variety reported earlier that Nye was scheduled to appear but his rep for said he was not invited to participate.
The invitation-only panel discussion will take place Thursday in Washington, D.C., following a screening of “Climate Hustle.”
“I’m very passionate about this issue,” Palin told Variety. “We’ve been told by fearmongers that global warming is due to man’s activities and this presents strong arguments against that in a very relatable way.”
Palin noted that, while governor in 2008, she sued the U.S. government over placing the polar bear on the threatened species list because of the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice. Palin pointed to the high population of polar bears in 2008 and dismissed climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice as “unreliable,” “uncertain” and “unproven,” but a federal judge backed the government scientists’ finding in 2011.
“I wanted facts and real numbers,” Palin said. “The polar bear population is stable, if not growing and the designation would have stymied Alaska’s pursuit of developing its natural resources.”
The “Climate Hustle” presentation by Fathom, which specializes in presenting live events for theatrical chains, represents a departure from its usual fare of music and family films.
Among the largest past presentations for the company, co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group: “The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary” at 800 locations; “Finding Noah: An Adventure of Faith” screened at 637 sites; “Ed Sheeran: Jumpers for Goalposts” at 584 theaters; and “Chonda Pierce: Laughing in the Dark,” a documentary about Christian comedian, at 512 locations.
Palin said “Climate Hustle” offers a countering view to Al Gore’s global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which grossed nearly $50 million and won Academy Awards for best documentary feature and original song.
“People who do not believe in American exceptionalism have made this into a campaign issue, so it’s vital that the other side be heard,” she added. “I’m very pleased that this is written and spoken in layman’s terms. My dad taught science to fifth and sixth graders, and it was very important to him that science be presented in an understandable way.”
Marc Morano, host of “Climate Hustle” said, “This film is truly unique among climate documentaries. ‘Climate Hustle’ presents viewers with facts and compelling video footage going back four decades, and delivers a powerful presentation of dissenting science, best of all, in a humorous way. This film may change the way you think about ‘global warming.'”
The film profiles Georgia Tech climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, former NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John Theon, and French physicist and Socialist Party member Claude Allègre.
“Climate change is certainly one of the hot-button issues at the forefront of some of the fiercest political debates. This event aims to shed light on varied perspectives and initiate healthy and timely conversation around this important topic,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh.
“‘Climate Hustle’ is an extremely timely event, especially given the relevant political discussion surrounding global warming,” said Mark Rupp, co-founder and president of SpectiCast Entertainment. “We feel it is important to share all viewpoints on the climate change issue and ‘Climate Hustle’ provides a perspective not generally shared with the public at large in an informative and engaging way.”
Morano founded the anti-climate change website Climatedepot.com in 2009. Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog group, named Morano the “Climate Change Misinformer of the Year” in 2012.