The Great Global Warming Swindle
Polemical film challenging the consensus that man-made CO2 is heating up the earth. Featuring leading academics, the film questions the science behind the accepted reasons for global warming and argues other explanations for climate change are not being properly aired.
George Monbiot has a good piece dated 30th Jan. 2007 that discusses this programme (and other things - I have picked out the bits relevant to this program).
Another Species of Denial
A company called WAG TV is currently completing a 90-minute documentary for Channel 4 called “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. Manmade climate change, the channel tells us, is “a lie … the biggest scam of modern times. The truth is that Global Warming is a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry: created by fanatically anti-industrial environmentalists; supported by scientists peddling scare stories to chase funding; and propped up by complicit politicians and the media. ... The fact is that CO2 has no proven link to global temperatures … solar activity is far more likely to be the culprit.”(10)
So it’s the same old conspiracy theory that we’ve been hearing from the denial industry for the past ten years, and it carries as much scientific weight as the contention that the Twin Towers were brought down by missiles. The programme’s thesis revolves around the deniers’ favourite canard: that the “hockey-stick graph” showing rising global temperatures is based on a statistical mistake made in a paper by the scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes(11). What it will not be showing is that their results have now been repeated several times by other scientists using different statistical methods(12); that the paper claiming to have exposed the mistake has been comprehensively debunked(13) and that the lines of evidence used by Mann, Bradley and Hughes are just a few among hundreds demonstrating that 20th century temperatures were anomalous.
The decision to commission this programme seems even odder when you discover who is making it. In 1997, the director, Martin Durkin, produced a very similar series for Channel 4 called “Against Nature”, which also maintained that global warming was a scam dreamt up by environmentalists. It was riddled with hilarious scientific howlers. More damagingly, the only way in which Durkin could sustain his thesis was to deceive the people he interviewed and to edit their answers to change their meaning. Following complaints by his interviewees, the Independent Television Commission found that “the views of the four complainants, as made clear to the interviewer, had been distorted by selective editing” and that they had been “misled as to the content and purpose of the programmes when they agreed to take part.”(14) Channel 4 was obliged to broadcast one of the most humiliating primetime apologies it has ever made. Are institutional memories really so short?
So now the whole weary business of pointing out that the evidence against manmade climate change is sparse and unable to withstand critical scrutiny while the evidence in favour is overwhelming and repeatedly confirmed must begin all over again. How often do scientists have to remind the media that a handful of cherry-picked studies does not amount to the refutation of an entire discipline?
Dominic Lawson also discusses the program from a sceptics perspective in today's Independent.
Dominic Lawson: Here is another inconvenient truth (but this one will infuriate the Green lobby)
The article ends:
Even if you don't buy that, you should definitely watch the programme, if only to see the head of the International Arctic Research Centre, Syun-Ichi Akasofu, describe how "the Arctic has always been expanding and contracting ... the press come here all the time and ask us: will you say something about the Greenhouse disaster? And I say: there is none."
Then Dr Akasofu emits a tiny laugh - the laugh of a true scientist at the idiocy and hysteria of the world's media and politicians
For Debunking the "The Great Global Warming Swindle" two follow up posts on this blog are:
Debunking "The Great Global Warming Swindle" and
The Great Global Warming Swindle: The Fightback
The "Great Global Warming Swindle" debate took a highly amusing twist today with the leak of an email exchange between the executive producer Martin Durkin and two of the British scientists who questioned the accuracy of the story.
Martin Durkin to Climate Change Scientists: "You're a big daft cock"
New Durkin update (March 20th 2007).
It's a Swindle: Durkin Wiggles, Channel 4 runs