Olson summarizes his thoughts on interviewing climate denialist Marc Morano (who won't bet over his position, more evidence that Morano is smart).
I mostly agree with Olson - I think Morano is an effective, dishonest debater, and should be debated only with extreme caution and preparation.
I still think it would be at least a useful exercise for someone to go for the all-out attack, on Morano personally, for his dishonesty in the course of a debate. To that extent I disagree with Olson's comments. I also disagree with Olson on likeability - however likeable Morano may be in person, I think Morano is charisma-challenged. I'd contrast Morano to Bill Gray or Michael Crichton in terms of the latter two being much more likeable. Morano speaks fast, as he has to in order to practice Gish Gallop lying, but it doesn't help him on likeability. Another contrast would be Bill Nye's calm takedown of a denialist. It's the advantage that we have with science on our side, that we don't have to spew a fountain of nonsense in hopes of confusing people.
Finally, since I stumbled on Roger Pielke Jr.'s blogging on the same subject - I thought Roger might give a token slap on the wrist to the denialists, but he skips that step and instead buys Morano's claim to not be a GOP operative. First, you can't trust anything Morano says that's not verifiable. But even if it's true that he's only voted for two GOP presidential candidates since 1988, if those two candidates were named Bush, then that's four of six elections (with Morano presumably sitting out or throwing away his vote in the other two).
At least, I don't recall seeing Morano hanging out with us fellow Kerry volunteers in '04 or Obama volunteers in '08, but maybe I overlooked him.