No Dissent Allowed: Chaos as protesters disrupt climate skeptic Morano’s speech at Georgetown University – Campus police shut down event – Activists ‘would not accept the hosting of’ skeptics – Video


By: - Climate DepotSeptember 20, 2019 1:34 AM with 0 comments

Watch: Marc Morano battles protesters and hecklers at Georgetown University as he presents the case against the “climate emergency.”

https://georgetownvoice.com/2019/09/19/protests-disrupt-rebuttal-to-climate-change-forum/

By:  and 
09/19/2019

The Georgetown University College Republicans (GUCR) hosted a rebuttal to the Democratic presidential candidates’ Climate Change Forum, held at the university, on Thursday. The GUCR event highlighted several presenters, including Marc Morano, a climate change skeptic who published a book called “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.” During the event, a group of students staged a sit in calling for climate justice.

Marc Morano engages with Protesters at Georgetown University.

The Climate Change Forum, a two-day, student-oriented discussion with Democratic presidential candidates on climate change, is being hosted by the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy with MSNBC, Our Daily Planet, and New York Magazine. The first day of the forum featured seven Democratic presidential primary candidates. In total, 12 candidates will participate in the forum.

 

The GUCR event aimed to give voice to conservative viewpoints on climate change. Along with Morano, speakers included Caleb Rossiter and Patrick Michaels from the CO2 Coalition, Paul Driessen from the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and Kenny Stein, from the Institute for Energy Research. On a Facebook page advertising the event, the club wrote that they were “bringing five climate policy &[sic] climate science experts to provide an alternative perspective.” In the introduction to the event, GUCR board members stated that they did not necessarily agree or disagree with the beliefs of any of the presenters.

After Morano, the first speaker, was introduced, protester Olivia Torbert (SFS ’20) immediately stood up and offered an alternate introduction, emphasizing Morano’s association with the fossil fuel industry and his past disparaging remarks about climate scientists.

Morano’s talk was titled: ‘Climate emergency’ CANCELLED! Politicians cannot legislate weather, storms and the climate.

The protestors played music and alarms, held up signs in the windows from outside, and chanted throughout the event. One of these protestors, sporting a clown costume, interrupted Morano’s presentation by blowing an air horn.

During Morano’s presentation, he was questioned by those participating in the sit in, including Alexis Jade Ferguson (SFS ’22), who asked about the impact climate change has on minority communities. Morano responded that these communities would actually be harmed by policies implemented in response to climate change.

As tensions rose, GUPD arrived at the event. Two officers came inside and asked those who had been disrupting the event, including Ferguson and the protester dressed as a clown, to step outside. They refused to leave the room, prompting the GUPD officer to say he would only ask so many times. When asked to present their GoCards, the students did not comply.

Though the protesters were causing a disruption, they did not feel this justified the police asking them to leave. “I think we are exercising our right to free speech. I especially think this because here the rhetoric they are putting out lacks any facts, and the rhetoric we are putting out is factual,” Torbert said. “In order to have the first amendment, we have to recognize facts. Otherwise the first amendment completely breaks down.”

GUPD then asked all attendees to exit the event for around ten minutes. Afterward, they announced that the event would resume, that those who returned had to follow the Student Code of Conduct, and that they would be threatened with a violation of the code if they did not comply with the officers. Some students were permitted to bring signs into the room but were cautioned that vocal protests would lead to removal. One student, who verbally protested after the warning, was escorted out of the venue by a GUPD officer. After leaving the event, protesters continued chants for climate justice from outside.

Those student protesters interviewed claimed not to represent any specific clubs at Thursday night’s protests.

Torbert, who appeared to be one of the leaders of the protests, said the group would not accept the hosting of these speakers on campus. “We want productive conversations,” she said. “The main goal of this protest is to tell Georgetown, tell the greater community that we don’t accept lies. Especially lies that disproportionately hurt marginalized communities.”

Aditya Saboo (SFS ’23), a member of GUCR, said he felt the protesters could have left after making their point rather than derailing the event. “I think everybody should protest, just to an extent which is reasonable,” Saboo said.

Alexandra Mucher (COL ’22) said she thought the inclusion of students of color was important to the protest. “At the forefront of environmentalism should be the people who are impacted by it the most,” she said. “I think we made the right decision tonight in deciding to make ourselves be heard.”

Saboo offered a different view, saying that the issue was not handled correctly. “I just think its not the morally and sort of right thing to do in a way,” he said. “I feel a lot of people’s time was being wasted for an event that was going to take place no matter what.”

Still, Ferguson felt that what the group had done was important. “Thinking in terms of climate change and how it has been affecting our world as a whole, I think that we should be done being complacent, done being indifferent, and we should actually you know seek resolutions to this widespread epidemic that has been occurring for hundreds of years,” she said.

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Campus Protesters Fail to Shut Down Climate Science Lecture –
Georgetown University Police Called to Protect Free Speech

Dr. Patrick Michaels, senior fellow at the CO2 Coalition, and Dr. Caleb Stewart Rossiter, the Coalition’s executive director, were invited by the Georgetown University College Republicans to participate in its “Climate Forum: A Rebuttal” event on Thursday, September 19. The CO2 Coalition is an alliance of 50 climate scientists and energy economists who describe themselves as “unalarmed” about the impact of industrial carbon dioxide on the planet.
About 100 student protesters who were preparing to take part in a Climate March occupied the room and shouted down the speakers as soon as the event began. Georgetown University Police cleared the room and administrators let students re-enter after conducting a bag search to ensure the safety of the speakers and the student organizers. They warned the protesters that if they did not wait with their comments until the question period they would be in violation of the student conduct code. Michaels and Rossiter both had the chance to speak with a now-respectful audience of 75, evenly divided between protesters and other students.
Michaels, a climatologist, demonstrated that UN climate models have over-predicted global warming threefold for the past 40 years. He said this was because the models assume more warming from industrial carbon dioxide than it actually creates. Rossiter, a statistician, explained the link between low access to electricity and low life expectancy in Africa.  He also presented UN data showing that, despite talk of a “climate crisis,” rates of hurricanes, droughts, and sea-level rise had not changed during the era of industrial carbon dioxide. At the end of the talk, Georgetown University Police felt it necessary to escort Dr. Michaels and Dr. Rossiter to their cars.
Rossiter commented: “I’m sort of getting a taste of my own medicine — ‘hoist with my own petard,’ as Shakespeare wrote — since I was a disruptive student in the same way 40 years ago, protesting the Viet Nam war and U.S. support for apartheid in South Africa. I respect the students’ desire to promote what they see as justice. I just think they’re wrong on the facts. That they wouldn’t engage in discussion until threatened with suspension shows that they probably know it too.”
The CO2 Coalition has written the president of Georgetown University to express its deep gratitude for the professionalism the police showed and the commitment the administration showed in successfully defending free speech on campus.