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Wednesday, 14 March 2007

That Channel 4 Documentary, #2

A Global Warming Swindle play-by-play

12 Mar 07

The UK Channel 4 documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle " has been touted by deniers and slammed by a lot of others, including one scientist who appeared in the film. Having taken a quick glance over the movie, the first thing that jumps out is that it's the same guys we write about on DSBlog all the time. There's nothing new here that we have not heard ad naseum from the same handful of global warming deniers.

Here's a few obvious points:

Putting lipstick on a Llama: Tim Ball, retired professor at the University of Winnipeg's department of geography, has magically turned into "Professor Tim Ball, University of Winnipeg, Department of Climatology." Here's some more on Tim Ball. $100 in iTunes to the first person to find the elusive department of climatology at the University of Winnipeg. I'll even give you the list of departments at U of W to make it easier.

Climate scientists are lying to us: Off the top, the narrator states we are all being lied to. In one broad brush stroke, the Swindle film brushes off the following groups who have stated that global warming is a serious problem and we humans are to blame: the National Academies of Science (or their respective equivalent) of China, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, United States, Japan, Italy and and Germany (pdf); the UK's Royal Society (pdf ); the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; NASA; and NOAA, to name just a few.

Of course, the Channel 4 film also forgot to mention that there has been no science in the peer-reviewed scientific literature refuting the consensus view that global warming is real and humans are the cause.

The two Paul's: Paul Reiter and Paul Copper make an appearance.

The "Great Science Funding Conspiracy" is put forth by Roy Spencer . Spencer claims that "climate scientists need there to be a problem in order to get funding."

Virginia's "Climatologist" (can I still say that?), Pat Michaels claims global warming is a big business. Darn rights it is Pat: How much did you make last year from the coal-fired electrical industry?

Nigel Calder might want to refresh his CV for "Swindle Part 2." Calder is touted in the film as the former editor of "New Scientist" magazine. Which is true, he was the editor between 1956 and 1966.

And this is all in the introductory scene.

To continue:

The Little Ice Age as evidence. Is this earth-shattering news uncovered by the crack team of researchers at Channel 4, destined to rip apart the scientific conclusions of climate scientists around the world? Have they never heard of this "little ice age?" Should someone phone NASA? Nope, here's a little background on the Little Ice Age written by an atmospheric scientist in language that is easy to understand.

The Medieval Warming period. For those DeSmog readers well-versed in the "science of global warming denial," it comes as no surprise that a mention of the Little Ice Age would be quickly followed by the next favorite bit of distracting blather: the Medieval Warming Period. Like the LIA, the MWV, has been factored into the science of climate change and factored out as a sign that somehow the global warming today is part of natural variation. Here's an explanation of the medieval warming period .

Blind betting now. I have paused the video and I am going to guess that the next little piece of earth-shattering news in the film will be the "Global Cooling of the 70's." Wish I had wagered money on that one. Here's some more information on the "Global Cooling of the 1970's."

And back to Tim Ball, who at this point in the film, is still parading as a Professor at the University of Winnipeg's department of climatology.

Water vapour makes up 95% of the atmosphere, C02 is unimportant. Again, I will first ask: Do you think the world's climate scientists are unaware of this? Do you think that they have all (in their mass money-making conspiracy) just ignored this in their scientific conclusions? The answer is no, scientists are well-aware of water vapour. Unfortunately the best debunking of the water vapour myth is quite technical, but it is the best one around and is written by a scientist here.

And surpise, surpise here comes Dr. Fredrick Singer. This is the same guy who challenged the effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. Not to mention the fact that he is affiliated with 11 think tanks and associations that have recieved funding from oil-giant ExxonMobil.

Then comes Carl Wunsch who is kicking himself for even appearing in the film.

Philip Stott and solar variability: "Isn't it bizarre to think that is humans, you know, when we are filling up our car, turning on our lights, we're the ones controlling climate? Just look up in the sky at that massive thing the sun." So here's some more on the skeptic's solar variability argument.

Posted on 03/14/2007 11:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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