Video: The Great Global Warming Swindle

by Martin Durkin
Martin Durkin is a television producer and director, most prominently of television documentaries for Channel 4 in Britain. He is managing director of WAG TV, a London-based independent TV production company. He has produced, directed and executive-produced a wide variety of programmes covering the arts, science, history, entertainment, features and social documentaries. A number of his documentaries have caused controversies, most notably those which are critical of environmentalism. He has been described as 'the scourge of the greens' (Independent 8 March, 2007) and 'one of the environmentalists' favourite hate figures' (Independent on Sunday 4 March, 2007).

This film by the documentary-maker Martin Durkin presents the arguments of scientists and commentators who don't believe that CO2 produced by human activity is the main cause of climate change.

Wikipedia writes about the film the following:

"The Great Global Warming Swindle was a 2007 documentary film which premiered on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2007 and subsequently criticised by the British media regulator Ofcom. The film features scientists and others who are sceptical that global warming is caused by human activity. The second part of the program examines the conditions under which one of the current theories was developed. It focuses on political pressures on those who speak out against the supposed anthropogenic causes of global warming, some of the reasons for the wide adoption of this view and the factors leading to its original development. The film also interviews sceptics who are critical of environmental policies they view as holding back developing nations from industrialising. The film has drawn wide-spread complaints from some in the scientific community, citing numerous errors and misleading claims. Professor Carl Wunsch who appeared on the programme has since repudiated the film and compared it to propaganda.Durkin responded that Wunsch had been told very explicitly the nature of the programme and now appeared to be back-tracking.

The film was praised by critics of the scientific consensus on global warming, including Andrew Bolt , Dominic Lawson and Steven Milloy, and Durkin's work has been defended in an interview in Spiked.

Further controversy followed the broadcast of the film after it emerged that Martin Durkin had fallen out with geneticist Armand Leroi (whom Durkin was due to make a documentary with), after Leroi questioned the accuracy of the data used in the film in an email to Durkin. Leroi copied the e-mail to various colleagues including Guardian journalist and Bad Science columnistBen Goldacre and science writer and mathematics expert Simon Singh. Durkin replied to Leroi copying in the others with the single sentence: "You're a big daft cock". Singh then sent an email to Durkin that said: "I have not paid the same attention to your programme as Armand has done, but from what I did see it is an irresponsible piece of film-making. If you can send me a copy of the programme then I will examine it in more detail and give you a more considered would be great if you could engage in the debate rather just resorting to one line replies".

Durkin responded: "The IPCC's own figures show the hottest year in the past ten was 1998, and the temp has been flat-lining now for five years. If it's greenhouse gas causing the warming the rate of warming should be higher in the troposphere than on the surface. The opposite is the case. The ice core data shows that temperature change causes the level of atmospheric CO2 to change - not the other way round. Why have we not heard this in the hours and hours of shit programming on global warming shoved down our throats by the BBC?", and concluded with, "Never mind a bit of irresponsible film-making. Go and fuck yourself". Durkin later apologised for his language, saying that he had sent the e-mails when tired and had just finished making the programme, and that he was "eager to have all the science properly debated with scientists qualified in the right areas".

The film was awarded the Best Documentary trophy at the Io Isabella film festival and was shortlisted for the Best Documentary prize in the British television industry's 2008 Broadcast Awards.

An OfCom enquiry in July 2008 found that this programme "did not fulfill obligations to be impartial and to reflect a range of views on controversial issues" and "it treated interviewees unfairly" (including Carl Wunsch). However the programme was not found to have mislead viewers "so as to cause harm or offence". According to OfCom, the reason the program was not deemed to have caused harm, however, was not that it was accurate but that it was so blatantly outside of what is not scientifically established: the program caused no harm because "the discussion about the causes of global warming was to a very great extent settled by the date of broadcast, meaning that climate change was no longer a matter of political controversy."









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See also related article on Facts and Arts: No significant global warming since 1995


BBC article: What happened to global warming?

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