Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Debunking "The Great Global Warming Swindle"

It seems that The Great Global Warming Swindle has generated a lot of interest on the web. Even my man ~C4Chaos has gotten in on the hysteria.

The problem is that the film is blatant propaganda. And the creator of this crap is notorious for his distortions of truth and his misuse of peoples' words.

One of the most distinguished scientists featured in the video is considering legal action:
Professor Carl Wunsch, professor of physical oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said he had been "completely misrepresented" by the programme, and "totally misled" on its content. He added that he is considering making a formal complaint.
The Guardian UK is also pretty open in its criticism of the so-called scientists refuting global warming:
To back his case, director Martin Durkin interviews climate-change deniers including Phillip Stott, Piers Corbyn, Nigel Calder and Nigel Lawson who reveal their antipathy to the idea we are altering Earth's weather systems.

These names are scarcely unknown. Listeners to Today and viewers of Newsnight have been hearing Stott and the rest promote their views for years. Indeed, they have dominated and distorted the whole global warming debate, a point stressed by Alan Thorpe, head of the Natural Environment Research Council. 'These people are never off the radio or TV, yet now they claim debate is being suppressed? It is preposterous.' So what, we might ask, is the deniers' problem? Examine their movement and you see a common thread: most proponents are elderly, only a few are scientists and several have pronounced pro-market views. And hereby hangs a tale.

'It is widely assumed that to control climate change, we will need a raft of government measures and increased bureaucracy - anathema to these people,' says political philosopher John Gray. 'So they deal with the issue by denying the problem in the first place. They say there is no such thing as global warming and therefore no need for more controls. They have closed their minds.'

For a little perspective on Channel 4 and Martin Durkin, the creator of this propaganda film, George Monbiot has a fine article that examines some of Durkin's other projects and also looks at the motivations of the network that aired it.

Finally, as if all of that isn't enough, you can check out the Wiki entry for the film to get a little more in-depth perspective on its creator and the controversy surrounding the film.

What all of this shows is that the ignorance of basic science among the people of England and America has given truth-deniers the freedom to shape public perception with misinformation because most people are simply too ignorant of basic science to see through the bullshit.

However, what you also find as you examine the evidence is that most of the climate change deniers are free market capitalists who abhor any kind of restrictions on business, including environmental protections. They are not speaking in the name of science and truth -- they are speaking in the name of profit.

As long as our basic scientific literacy continues to plummet -- and what better example of this than the moron in the White House -- we will be subject to charlatans perpetuating lies in the interest of making more money. In this case, we get what we deserve.

[Thanks to Revolving Doors for posting the links.]


Tom said...

I hope it is not [just] because of the gray hairs I'm accumulating, but I wonder what The Gaurdian means by "So what, we might ask, is the deniers' problem? Examine their movement and you see a common thread: most proponents are elderly, ..."

Most are probably also caucasian men. But should we also sudder when we see any group dominated by caucasians or men? Ooop. Maybe I don't have a point here. Nevermind.

MD said...


I just watched the documentary in question. With respect, I have completely different reactions than yours. The film is persuasive for me.

take care,