T Nation

The Great Global Warming Swindle

That is the title of this little documentary, produced by the BBC (the British government has obviously been bought and paid for by the oil companies, natch…):

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4520665474899458831

It runs about an hour and a quarter, give or take. I hope you find it as useful and enlightening as I did…

Maybe after a few people have viewed we can compare and contrast with that other, Oscar-winning “documentary” from a certain former U.S. Veep?

Glad I am not a climatologist. I would not want to stake my credibility as a scientist on the lack of data one way or the other.

Is it too hard to make impartial documentaries? I still haven’t seen Gore?s film and don’t think I will. The use of scare tactics to get people to jump on any science bandwagon is very harmful to science and doesn’t do anything to create valid science.

Some things wrong with the video that I noticed at first glance:

  1. graphs used with no scale–this is bad. It’s hard to make a judgment with no frame of reference.

  2. too much propaganda about the economics of “global warming” which has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics

  3. Greenhouse gases block direct radiation from the sun which could account for lower temps–they never explain this.

  4. The explanation of CO2 following warming though thought-provoking is a little misleading. Just because this might be true does not mean temperature is not affected by CO2–they could both affect each other–this is never explained.

  5. Description of CO2 being absorbed into the atmosphere instead of back into the earth from decaying leaf matter, etc. is inaccurate.
    CO2 is denser than air and thus should not become airborne. Aren’t farm animals a product of humans?

  6. The explanation of the carbon cycle is only given a cursory description which is a vital aspect of the science behind “global warming”.

Other than these six things I thought it was a very good film.

Either way–extreme temperature change is bad for current life–whether it is caused by humans…?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
That is the title of this little documentary, produced by the BBC (the British government has obviously been bought and paid for by the oil companies, natch…):

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4520665474899458831

It runs about an hour and a quarter, give or take. I hope you find it as useful and enlightening as I did…

Maybe after a few people have viewed we can compare and contrast with that other, Oscar-winning “documentary” from a certain former U.S. Veep?[/quote]

Will definitely watch that when I get the chance, at work at the moment. I do feel now that the threat of global warming has been overstated, and that man’s influence has been miscalculated. I do also think that there is nothing wrong with taking steps to protect the environment that coincide with some of the things global warming activists would like to see happen.

I should first point out that I haven’t seen Al Gore’s movie nor any other documentary about global warming before. Rather, I gather info from scientific articles. Your video, although horribly out-of-sync and single minded, was pretty instructional for me.

The producers are evidently biased, and most clear-headed people won’t grant much credit to it. However, it showed how the issue was hijacked politically and for that alone, it deserves to be seen.

There have been lots of posts recently about global warming, all of which supported what is (ironically?) referred to as the “dissident” view. The debate is, and will remain, pure speculations. What I know is this:

  1. The Earth cannot possibly sustain our current lifestyles.
  2. Species are going extinct because of Humans.
  3. The air in metropolises is becoming irrespirable.
  4. Corporations are totalitarian entities that are not serving the common good but exclusively further enriching the already filthy rich.

Until people understand that and start acting on those issues instead of quibbling about what may or may not warm up the Earth, future generations are going to suffer.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Is it too hard to make impartial documentaries? [/quote]

My thought exactly. Ironically, they slam partial journalists in the documentary.

Delectable.

[quote]lixy wrote:

My thought exactly. Ironically, they slam partial journalists in the documentary.

Delectable.[/quote]

Not as delectable as your calling the film makers’ bias and then sweeping the issue aside as ‘quibbling’ relative to your political axioms and then finding it funny that the journalists did the same more subtly.

I guess you’re being honest, even if you are wrong.

So, as a libertarian socialist, are you against all corporations (which would be pretty ironic) or just the ones that don’t practice things like corporate sustainability in the precise manner you deem acceptable?

The guy who made this documentary also made one about how silcone breast implants actually prevent breast cancer.

Yeah sure.

I prescribe a minimum of one dozen death threats for each “scientist” associated with this act of heresy!

Keep trying.

[i]"The Great Global Warming Swindle, was based on graphs that were distorted, mislabelled or just plain wrong. The graphs were nevertheless used to attack the credibility and honesty of climate scientists.

A graph central to the programme’s thesis, purporting to show variations in global temperatures over the past century, claimed to show that global warming was not linked with industrial emissions of carbon dioxide. Yet the graph was not what it seemed.

Other graphs used out-of-date information or data that was shown some years ago to be wrong. Yet the programme makers claimed the graphs demonstrated that orthodox climate science was a conspiratorial “lie” foisted on the public.

Channel 4 yesterday distanced itself from the programme, referring this newspaper’s inquiries to a public relations consultant working on behalf of Wag TV, the production company behind the documentary.

Martin Durkin, who wrote and directed the film, admitted yesterday that one of the graphs contained serious errors but he said they were corrected in time for the second transmission of the programme following inquiries by The Independent.

Mr Durkin has already been criticised by one scientist who took part in the programme over alleged misrepresentation of his views on the climate.

The main arguments made in Mr Durkin’s film were that climate change had little if anything to do with man-made carbon dioxide and that global warming can instead be linked directly with solar activity - sun spots.

One of the principal supports for his thesis came in the form of a graph labelled “World Temp - 120 years”, which claimed to show rises and falls in average global temperatures between 1880 and 2000.

Mr Durkin’s film argued that most global warming over the past century occurred between 1900 and 1940 and that there was a period of cooling between 1940 and 1975 when the post-war economic boom was under way. This showed, he said, that global warming had little to do with industrial emissions of carbon dioxide.

The programme-makers labelled the source of the world temperature data as “Nasa” but when we inquired about where we could find this information, we received an email through Wag TV’s PR consultant saying that the graph was drawn from a 1998 diagram published in an obscure journal called Medical Sentinel. The authors of the paper are well-known climate sceptics who were funded by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and the George C Marshall Institute, a right-wing Washington think-tank."[/i]

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/climate_change/article2355956.ece

Nothing like using bogus charts and graphs to sell your argument, eh?

more:

[i]Mr Durkin admitted that his graphics team had extended the time axis along the bottom of the graph to the year 2000. “There was a fluff there,” he said.

If Mr Durkin had gone directly to the Nasa website he could have got the most up-to-date data. This would have demonstrated that the amount of global warming since 1975, as monitored by terrestrial weather stations around the world, has been greater than that between 1900 and 1940 - although that would have undermined his argument.

“The original Nasa data was very wiggly-lined and we wanted the simplest line we could find,” Mr Durkin said. (WHAT A FUCKING IDIOT)

The programme failed to point out that scientists had now explained the period of “global cooling” between 1940 and 1970. It was caused by industrial emissions of sulphate pollutants, which tend to reflect sunlight. Subsequent clean-air laws have cleared up some of this pollution, revealing the true scale of global warming - a point that the film failed to mention.

Other graphs used in the film contained known errors, notably the graph of sunspot activity. Mr Durkin used data on solar cycle lengths which were first published in 1991 despite a corrected version being available - but again the corrected version would not have supported his argument. Mr Durkin also used a schematic graph of temperatures over the past 1,000 years that was at least 16 years old, which gave the impression that today’s temperatures are cooler than during the medieval warm period. If he had used a more recent, and widely available, composite graph it would have shown average temperatures far exceed the past 1,000 years.[/i]

same article
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/climate_change/article2355956.ece

[quote]lucasa wrote:
Not as delectable as your calling the film makers’ bias and then sweeping the issue aside as ‘quibbling’ relative to your political axioms and then finding it funny that the journalists did the same more subtly.[/quote]

There was absolutely nothing subtle about the documentary.

Corporations should serve the common good instead of enriching the privileged few. I’ll take cooperatives over the former any day.

Brad, even extending the axis of the time graph by several years does not affect the long term read outs. What about all the other scientists they had featured, I believe the Smith had one several achievements in climatalogy from Nasa. One would be a fool to discount many opinions based on a trivial flaw.

[quote]blck3jack wrote:
One would be a fool to discount many opinions based on a trivial flaw.[/quote]

Trivial flaw? They invented the extra data to extend the graph which was not only incorrect, the correct data would have actually argued the opposite of the documentary’s thesis.

And that’s just one graph. Read the article again, it’s more than just a problem with one graph. They fudged all kinds of things.

If somebody wants to contradict the conventional wisdom on global warming, they shouldn’t use bogus data to do it.

[quote]blck3jack wrote:
Brad, even extending the axis of the time graph by several years does not affect the long term read outs.
[/quote]

Care to share with us how you came to conclude the trivialnature of the results? You cannot know how trivial something is if you do not a) know the error b) know what scale they were talking about. The fact is this video didn’t really present any data in any relevant manner so we cannot judge the “goodness” of their valuations. This is not to say I favor or disfavor the “dissenting” opinion.

This video was, for the most part, capitalist propaganda. But I like how they attempted to take a humanist angle. I was almost fooled.

Humanity is doomed. Major Darwin award stockpiles being created…

[quote]lixy wrote:

There was absolutely nothing subtle about the documentary.[/quote]

Your “segue” was no undertone either.

I think you’re splitting hairs here. The only thing that distinguishes the two is that co-ops have some arbitrary level of discrimination (i.e. you have to be a farmer to be in a farm co-op, or you have to be arbitrarily local, etc.) whereas anyone with a few dollars can own part of a corporation.

On top of that, small, local cooperatives aren’t intrinsically superior in terms of the tenets you laid out. Overwhelmingly (in the States anyway), larger, ‘corporate’ farms are far more regulated than small coops. The reason big corporations make lots of money is because of brutal efficiencies. Big coops would be no less brutal and the decentralization of small coops carries its own inefficiencies and regulatory volatility.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
lixy wrote:

There was absolutely nothing subtle about the documentary.

Your “segue” was no undertone either.

Corporations should serve the common good instead of enriching the privileged few. I’ll take cooperatives over the former any day.

I think you’re splitting hairs here. The only thing that distinguishes the two is that co-ops have some arbitrary level of discrimination (i.e. you have to be a farmer to be in a farm co-op, or you have to be arbitrarily local, etc.) whereas anyone with a few dollars can own part of a corporation.

[/quote]

No. Many co-ops offer memberships. This is a buy-in where you become part owner of the establishment.

[quote]
On top of that, small, local cooperatives aren’t intrinsically superior in terms of the tenets you laid out. Overwhelmingly (in the States anyway), larger, ‘corporate’ farms are far more regulated than small coops. The reason big corporations make lots of money is because of brutal efficiencies. Big coops would be no less brutal and the decentralization of small coops carries its own inefficiencies and regulatory volatility.[/quote]

Most people belong to co-ops–especially grocery co-ops–because they want to know where their food is coming from. Co-ops in the Twin Cities only buy from local farmers and usually organic. Co-ops also ensure fair trade practices on top of keeping profits exclusively local so that they can offer dividends to their members. Its a win-win situation in most cases. Keep it local. Find a co-op.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Your video, although horribly out-of-sync and single minded, was pretty instructional for me.[/quote]

Out of sync with what?

[quote]bigflamer wrote:

Out of sync with what?
[/quote]

The sound was out of sync with the video. I noticed that too but thought it was just network latency between audio and video.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
bigflamer wrote:

Out of sync with what?

The sound was out of sync with the video. I noticed that too but thought it was just network latency between audio and video.[/quote]

Ahh, yes. I believe you are correct.