Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Season 1 Episode 13

Environmental Hysteria

0
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 18, 2003 on Showtime
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
51 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Here Penn & Teller explore the truth behind fears about global warming, air quality, water quality, acid rain, species extinction, and take a look at Greenpeace's activities. They also examine the idea of blindly joining up for causes, such as environmental ones, without getting all the pertinent information first. Special Guest Experts include: Julia Butterfly Hill (Tree Hugger, Author) Jerry Taylor (Director of Natural Resource Studies, CATO Institute) Bjørn Lomborg (Author) Patrick Moore (Ecologist; Founder and Former President of Greenpeace) Ross Gelbspan (Environmental Journalist) Kate Loewe (Global Justice Activist; Organizer, Rainforest Action Network) Nina Fascione (Vice President, Defenders of Wildlife)moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Penn & Teller look into the environmental movement and attempt to discredit their claims of an environmental holocaust.

    6.0
    This is a good episode that does have its high points (Patrick Moore's interview is one of those points) but the problem I have with the episode is a problem that exists through out the series. The side that Penn & Teller is for is represented by people who are very well knowledgeable on the subject and the side they are against is represented by people who are just the opposite. They have no idea what they are talking about and therefore they cannot present a viable debate. The show needs to correct this problem.moreless
  • An interesting episode which questions the true motives behind environmental legislation and whether these laws actually accomplish their objective.

    9.0
    I really enjoyed this episode. It really explores the idea of unintended consequences.



    For example, they examine the "Endangered Species Act". Now I'm all in favor of protecting our natural resources and wildlife, but Penn and Teller find a great example of how such legislation doesn't work and ultimately ends up hurting people.



    They interviewed a wheelchair bound woman who could not build a handicap-accessible house on her property because an unusual bird species had a nest there. Consequently, she cannot sell the property or develop it in any way unless the birds leave (but must pay the property taxes, of course). She is forced to live in a house that is not handicap friendly and made to take showers with a garden hose outside.



    I have to say this one really made me question the government's true motives. A+, Penn and Teller, you have done it again.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • An additional segment with Patrick Moore and an additional segment with Julia Butterfly Hill can be seen in the deleted scenes on the season one dvd.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • [last lines]
      Cameraman: Why are you so passionate about this?
      Loewe: [laughs, no response over 10 unedited seconds]

    • Fascione: [on Endangered Species] It's important to point out that if you're on a ship heading toward an iceberg, you don't wait until you have the exact measurements of the iceberg before you put on the brakes.
      Penn: And you have to try to not become obsessed with that great, fictitious white whale.

    • Penn: We keep saying that Kate is "the chosen spokesperson for The Rainforest Action Network" because if we don't keep saying that, it seems like we're just picking on somebody. She's not some poor little girl, she's a woman. And she's THE woman THEY chose to represent THEM. Sure, we're a piddly stupid cr*p show, so maybe they sent in the junior varsity speaker. But has no one ever asked any of these very basic questions that we asked? Has SHE never asked any of these g*dd*mn basic questions of the group that she so fervently supports?

    • Moore: And it drives me even further crazy to have them say they're against globalization when their main tools of trade are cell phones and the internet. It just makes no sense at all to be against science and technology and then to use science and technology whether its jet planes to get to international environmental meetings, or cell phones,or laptop computers. You're part of globalization! So, how can you be against it?

    • Taylor: One of the reasons people like environmentalism is that for years and years and years they've been guilt-tripped for having a car, for having a big house, for sending a kid to a nice school. I think that's what environmentalism really is today. It's a way for people to get rid of guilt feeling they have about the way they live.

    • Moore: Nobody is going to listen to you if you say the world is not going to come to an end, but, if you say the world is coming to an end, you get headlines. And so, sensationalism, especially when it's combined with misinformation, leads to a situation where people send gobs of money to these groups for campaigns that are actually totally misguided.

    • Penn: Is passion supposed to replace common sense? We understand the desire to join up and do something important. It's sexy to save the world. But, you gotta spend a couple of minutes to find out if you're really saving the world and not just being herded around by some politically motivated a**holes who may not really care that much about the environment but see this as some chance to raise money for whatever they think is a good idea. No end justifies the means of lying.

    • Penn: And our petition woman was getting signatures left and right!....well, mostly left.

    • Penn: The big point is that science changes. As we gather more data, we advance our ideas and our theories. It's okay the environmental movement has gone from global cooling to global warming, but they must remember that we're still gathering information. WE'RE NOT...SURE...YET!!!

    • Gelbspan: The cost of inaction will be unbearable. You are talking about crop failures, you're talking about industry shutting down, you're talking about lots of unemployment. Unchecked, global warming will bankrupt the global economy by 2065.
      Penn: Where did Ross get that data? How did he choose that date? I'll tell you how...this a**hole figures he'll be dead by then and won't have to own up. In that respect, he's a lot smarter than the people who, in 1970, said we'd all be in hell by 2000. A lot of them are still alive, and ho ho...if they were still famous, we could point and laugh.

    • Water Petitioner: [spoken to a variety of protestors, some of which are drinking water at the time] Uh, this is a petition for Dihydrogen Monoxide, what it is is it's a chemical that is found now in reservoirs and in lakes...pesticides, different kinds of companies are using this...styrofoam companies, nuclear companies, and now, when they use it in pesticides, when we're washing our fruit and things like that, it's not coming out...which of course means it ends up in the grocery stores and in our babies' food and stuff like that....causes excessive sweating, excessive urination...anything to help the environment!

    • Penn: It's important to note that if you're pro-socialism, or anti-globalism, or anti-corporation, those are all fine, debatable ideas. But couching them in environmentalism is bullsh**! Just say what you mean. Don't say, "Corporations are bad because the water is worse today"...because the water isn't worse today. We're not gonna say there are no good arguments for socialism...but the environment ain't one of them.

    • Activist: What's creating global warming is corporations and the institutions. Their bottom line is how much money is in the bank at the end of the day?
      Penn: Isn't that the definition of bottom line, MORON? Money at the end of the day?
      Activist: The rest of us, our bottom line is do we have air to breathe, do we have water to drink, are there still forests on our planet?
      Penn: OOO OOO! I know the answers! Yes...Yes...and YES.

    • Penn: Here, in Washington DC, on a beautiful day with the trees and flowers blooming and not a cloud in the clear blue sky, an environmental march will proclaim the earth to be a cesspool of pollution and decay.

    • Hill: You know, the action they're taking, is turning incredible, magnificent trees, like this one, into clear-cuts, so that somebody can have deck or siding.
      Penn: ... or a tree house. Where does she think her lumber came from?

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode recieved a TV-PG rating. This is the show's least-adult rating ever. The most-adult rating was the episode, "Sex, Sex, Sex" which recieved the rating TV-MA.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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