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Wed

14

Mar

2007

Media Alert - Pure Propaganda - the Great Global Warming Swindle - The Scientists Are The Bad Guys
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 11:03
by Dave Edwards

On March 8, Channel 4 screened The Great Global Warming Swindle, a documentary that branded as a lie the scientific consensus that man-made greenhouse gasses are primarily responsible for climate change.
 
View the film in it's entirety here.
{youtube}XttV2C6B8pU{/youtube}

The film was advertised extensively on Channel 4 and repeatedly previewed and reviewed in newspapers.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Christopher Booker declared:

“Only very rarely can a TV documentary be seen as a pivotal moment in a major political debate, but such was Channel 4's The Great Global Warming Swindle last Thursday. Never before has there been such a devastatingly authoritative account of how the hysteria over global warming has parted company with reality.” (Booker, ‘A turning point in climate change,’ Sunday Telegraph, March 11, 2007)

Peter Hitchens commented in the Daily Mail:

“If you were worried about those snaps of polar bears clinging to melting ice-floes, sentenced to a slow death by global warming, you may now relax. They'll be fine. Channel 4 has paid in full for its recent misdemeanours by screening, last Thursday, the brilliant, devastating film The Great Global Warming Swindle.” (Hitchens, ‘Drugs?’, Daily Mail, March 11, 2007)

Doubtless like many who saw the film, the Financial Times’ reviewer was left bewildered:

“Not so long ago, the venerable David Attenborough on the Beeb was telling us that human-driven global warming was real and was coming for us. So that was settled. Now Channel 4, like a dissident schoolboy, is scoffing at the old boy's hobbyhorse and I don't know what to believe.” (’Slaughterhouse three,’ Financial Times, March 10, 2007)

The film opened with scenes of wild weather and environmental disaster accompanied by dramatic captions:

"THE ICE IS MELTING. THE SEA IS RISING. HURRICANES ARE BLOWING. AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

“SCARED? DON'T BE. IT'S NOT TRUE."


This was immediately followed by a series of equally forthright talking heads:

"We can't say that CO2 will drive climate; it certainly never did in the past."

“We imagine that we live in an age of reason. And the global warming alarm is dressed up as science. But it’s not science; it’s propaganda.”

And:

“We’re just being told lies; that’s what it comes down to.”

The commentary added to the sense of outrage: “You are being told lies.”

This was indeed superficially impressive - when several experts make bold statements on the same theme we naturally assume they must be onto something - but alarm bells should already have been ringing. This, after all, was ostensibly a film about science - about evidence, arguments, research and debate. Why, then, the language of polemic and smear?

The remarkable answer is provided by the film’s writer and director, Martin Durkin:

"I think it [the film] will go down in history as the first chapter in a new era of the relationship between scientists and society. Legitimate scientists - people with qualifications - are the bad guys. It is a big story that is going to cause controversy."

“It's very rare that a film changes history, but I think this is a turning point and in five years the idea that the greenhouse effect is the main reason behind global warming will be seen as total bollocks.” ('“Global Warming Is Lies” Claims Documentary,’ Life Style Extra, March 4, 2007)

Compare and contrast this with the aim as described in a letter sent by the makers of the film, Wag TV, to Professor Carl Wunsch, a leading expert on ocean circulation and climate who subsequently appeared in the film:

“The aim of the film is to examine critically the notion that recent global warming is primarily caused by industrial emissions of CO2. It explores the scientific evidence which jars with this hypothesis and explores alternative theories such as solar induced climate change. Given the seemingly inconclusive nature of the evidence, it examines the background to the apparent consensus on this issue, and highlights the dangers involved, especially to developing nations, of policies aimed at limiting industrial growth.”

Wunsch comments:

"I am angry because they completely misrepresented me. My views were distorted by the context in which they placed them. I was misled as to what it was going to be about. I was told about six months ago that this was to be a programme about how complicated it is to understand what is going on. If they had told me even the title of the programme, I would have absolutely refused to be on it. I am the one who has been swindled." (Geoffrey Lean, ‘Climate change: An inconvenient truth... for C4,’ The Independent, March 11, 2007; )

We will hear more from Wunsch in what follows.

Deeply Deceptive

The film presented viewers with an apparently devastating refutation of the "theory of global warming". And these were not picky, esoteric criticisms. Durkin insisted that the world’s climate scientists are guilty of the most fundamental error imaginable: increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is not the cause of higher temperature, as the experts claim. Quite the reverse: increasing atmospheric CO2 is itself the +result+ of rising temperature.

As evidence for this contention, Durkin argued that global surface temperature dropped dramatically between 1945-1975, at a time when CO2 emissions were rapidly rising as a result of the postwar economic boom. According to Durkin, if CO2 emissions were responsible for increasing temperature, then temperature should not have fallen between 1945-1975. Clearly, then, some factor other than CO2 emissions must have caused the subsequent global temperature rise.

But Real Climate, an internet site run by climate scientists, such as NASA’s Dr Gavin Schmidt and Dr William Connelley of the British Antarctic Survey, describes Durkin’s discussion of the 1945-75 period as “deeply deceptive”. (Real Climate, March 9, 2007)

In this section of the film, Durkin focused heavily on a graph depicting temperature changes. The graph, Real Climate comments, “looks rather odd and may have been carefully selected”. It appears to show a dramatic cooling between the 1940s and 1970s. But try flipping between the film’s version of the global temperature record:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/izzy_bizzy_photo/capture.jpg

and the temperature plot that normally appears in the scientific literature:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png

The supposed cooling looks rather less evident in this second graph.

Without knowing more details of how Durkin may have manipulated the data plotted in his graph, it is difficult to comment on the presentation. What we can say is that Durkin’s "four decades of cooling", implying a relentless temperature drop over 40 years, is not an accurate description of the trend over this period. There was some cooling for +part+ of this time but also some plateauing, with fluctuations up and down.

But why did the temperature not simply rise in line with the post-war increase in greenhouse gas emissions?

In fact, as is well-known, the absence of a global rise in temperature between 1945-75 is explained by the release of large amounts of industrial pollutants, called sulphate aerosols, into the atmosphere. These particles have a braking effect on global warming, known as “global dimming”. By shielding some of the incoming solar energy, sulphate aerosols mask the underlying warming effect generated by rising levels of CO2. By the 1980s, however, stronger warming had exceeded this masking effect and global temperature has since continued to rise. As Real Climate notes, by failing to explain the science behind this phenomenon the programme makers were guilty of “lying to us by omission.”



The Ice Cores

The film repeatedly gave the impression that mainstream science argues that CO2 is the +sole+ driver of rising temperatures in the Earth's climate system. But this is not the case. Climate scientists are well aware that solar activity plays a role, though a minor one at present, as do long-term periodic changes in the Earth's orbit, known as Milankovitch cycles.

The point is that there is a vast body of evidence that very strongly supports the hypothesis that greenhouse gas emissions, of which CO2 is the most important, are +primarily+ responsible for +recent+ global warming. The 4th and most recent scientific assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes:

"Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely [.i.e. probability greater than 90%] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." ('Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis,' Summary for Policymakers, IPCC, February 2007, page 10)

We then come to one of the film's most misleading arguments. Antarctic ice cores show that rises in levels of CO2 have lagged 800 years behind temperature rises at specific times in the geological past. This, argued Durkin, +proves+ that CO2 cannot be responsible for global warming - instead global warming is responsible for increasing levels of CO2. But this was a huge howler.

What Durkin's film failed to explain was that the 800-year lag happened at the end of ice ages which occur about every 100,000 years.

Scientists believe that the end of an ice age is likely triggered when the amount of heat reaching the Earth rises as a result of a periodic change in the Earth's orbit around the sun. Jeff Severinghaus, Professor of Geosciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, explains why the rise in CO2 initially lags behind the temperature rise:

"The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend." (Real Climate, 'What does the lag of CO2 behind temperature in ice cores tell us about global warming?’, December 3, 2005;)

The best current explanation for the lag of 800 years is that this is how long it takes for CO2, absorbed by the ocean in an earlier warm period, to be "flushed out" at the end of an ice age. Once that CO2 has been released into the atmosphere its heat-trapping properties as a greenhouse gas lead to even stronger warming: an example of positive feedback. (See Caillon et al., 'Timing of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic Temperature Changes Across Termination III,' Science, 14 March 2003: Vol. 299. no. 5613, pp. 1728 - 1731)

Professor Severinghaus summarises:

"In other words, CO2 does not initiate the warmings, but acts as an amplifier once they are underway."

Durkin’s analysis, then, was way off the mark.

The film’s claim that solar activity might account for recent warming is also without credibility. In September 2006, the Times reported the latest findings from researchers writing in the top journal, Nature:

“Scientists have examined various proxies of solar energy output over the past 1,000 years and have found no evidence that they are correlated with today's rising temperatures. Satellite observations over the past 30 years have also turned up nothing. ‘The solar contribution to warming... is negligible,’ the researchers wrote in the journal Nature.” (Anjana Ahuja, ‘It's hot, but don't blame the Sun,’ The Times, September 25, 2006)

The film's other scientific claims can be similarly dismissed. Carl Wunsch - who, as discussed, appeared in the film - comments:

“What we now have is an out-and-out propaganda piece, in which there is not even a gesture toward balance or explanation of why many of the extended inferences drawn in the film are not widely accepted by the scientific community. There are so many examples, it's hard to know where to begin, so I will cite only one: a speaker asserts, as is true, that carbon dioxide is only a small fraction of the atmospheric mass. The viewer is left to infer that means it couldn't really matter. But even a beginning meteorology student could tell you that the relative masses of gases are irrelevant to their effects on radiative balance. A director not intending to produce pure propaganda would have tried to eliminate that piece of disinformation.”

For further help in understanding the weakness of the film’s claims, see the following resources:

Real Climate, 'Swindled',


Campaign Against Climate Change, including a rebuttal to the film by Sir John Houghton, who chairs the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

Royal Society: Facts and fictions about climate change:





“I Was Duped” - Déjà Vu?

Many readers will be aware that Durkin has previous ‘form’. In 1997, Channel 4 broadcast his three-part series, Against Nature, which suggested present-day environmentalists were the true heirs of the Nazis. (See George Monbiot, ‘The Revolution Has Been Televised,’ The Guardian, December 18, 1997; )

Several interviewees who appeared in the film felt they had been misled about the programme-maker’s agenda. Responding to complaints, the Independent Television Commission (ITC) found that the editing of interviews with four contributors had "distorted or misrepresented their known views". (Geoffrey Lean, ‘Climate change: An inconvenient truth... for C4,’ The Independent, March 11, 2007)

In addition, the ITC found: "The interviewees had also been misled as to the content and purpose of the programmes when they agreed to take part." (Paul McCann, ‘Channel 4 told to apologise to Greens,’ The Independent, April 2, 1998)

Ten years on, it appears that history may have repeated itself. In his letter of complaint to the film-makers cited above, Carl Wunsch writes:

“I have some experience in dealing with TV and print reporters and do understand something of the ways in which one can be misquoted, quoted out of context, or otherwise misinterpreted. Some of that is inevitable in the press of time or space or in discussions of complicated issues. Never before, however, have I had an experience like this one. My appearance in the ‘Global Warming Swindle’ is deeply embarrassing, and my professional reputation has been damaged. I was duped---an uncomfortable position in which to be.

“At a minimum, I ask that the film should never be seen again publicly with my participation included. Channel 4 surely owes an apology to its viewers, and perhaps WAGTV owes something to Channel 4. I will be taking advice as to whether I should proceed to make some more formal protest.”

Eight of the scientists in the film - John Christy, Paul Reiter, Richard Lindzen, Paul Driessen, Roy Spencer, Patrick Michaels, Fred Singer and Tim Ball - are linked to American neo-conservative and right-wing think-tanks, many of which have received tens of millions of dollars from Exxon.

Greenpeace provides a fascinating online ’map’ detailing how Exxon funds these climate sceptics. Go to: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/index.php?mapid=831 (click ‘Launch’ then click ‘skip intro’)

In his book, Green Backlash, environmental journalist Andrew Rowell noted that Fred Singer has also attacked scientific and environmental stances on other green issues such as ozone, acid rain, automobile emissions and even whaling. Singer has worked for companies such as Exxon, Shell, Arco, Unocal and Sun.

According to the Environmental Research Foundation, a non-governmental organisation:

“For years, Singer was a professor at the University of Virginia where he was funded by energy companies to pump out glossy pamphlets pooh-poohing climate change.” (Quoted, Sharon Beder, Global Spin, Green Books, 1997, p.94)

Rowell wrote that a quarter of Patrick Michaels’ research funding was reportedly received from companies such as Edison Electric Institute, the largest utility trade association in America. Michaels’ magazine, World Climate Review, was funded by the Western Fuel Association and a video produced by him was funded by coal companies and distributed by the Denver Coal Club. (Rowell, Green Backlash, Routledge, 1996, p.143)

Both Singer and Michaels represented the fossil fuel lobby’s Global Climate Coalition and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a leader in global warming scepticism.

Journalist Ross Gelbspan noted that in May 1995, Richard Lindzen and Patrick Michaels were hired as expert witnesses to testify on behalf of Western Fuels Association, a $400 million consortium of coal suppliers and coal-fired utilities. Gelbspan said of Lindzen:

“I don't know very many supporters of Mr Lindzen who are not in the pay of the fossil fuel lobby. Dr Lindzen himself, his research is publicly funded, but Dr Lindzen makes, as he told me, $2,500 a day consulting with fossil fuel interests, and that includes his consulting with OPEC, his consulting with the Australian coal industry, his consulting with the US coal industry and so forth. That's not to say Dr Lindzen doesn't believe what he says, but it is to say that he stands in very sharp distinction to really just about virtually all of the climate scientists around the world.” (Tony Jones, ‘Journalist puts global warming sceptics under the spotlight,’ Australian Broadcasting Corporation, March 7, 2005;)

Journalist George Monbiot wrote of Philip Stott:

“Professor Stott is a retired biogeographer. Like almost all the prominent sceptics he has never published a peer-reviewed paper on climate change. But he has made himself available to dismiss climatologists' peer-reviewed work as the ‘lies’ of ecofundamentalists.” (Monbiot, ‘Beware the fossil fools,’ The Guardian, April 27, 2004;)

Paul Driessen is a fellow at two right-wing think tanks in the US, which are part of the Wise Use movement. One of the think tanks is headed by Ron Arnold, who has spent the last twenty years attacking the environmental movement. His fellow director is a fundraiser for America's gun lobby. The list goes on...

By contrast, Greenpeace spokeswoman Mhairi Dunlop said her organisation had been interviewed by Durkin but none of the material had been included in the film:

"They interviewed us but I guess what we said didn't fit in with the [story] they were peddling." (McCandless, op. cit)

Following the film’s broadcast, Professor Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society - the government-sponsored academy of sciences for the United Kingdom - has said that many factors contribute to global warming but it is clear that emissions of "greenhouse gases," particularly CO2, are to blame for most of the current temperature rise. Rees added:

"Those who promote fringe scientific views but ignore the weight of evidence are playing a dangerous game. They run the risk of diverting attention from what we can do to ensure the world's population has the best possible future." (Ibid)

On March 11 the Observer published a letter from a group of climate scientists responding to Durkin’s film:

“This programme misrepresented the state of scientific knowledge on global warming, claiming climate scientists are presenting lies. This is an outrageous statement...

“We defend the right of people to be sceptical, but for C4 to imply that the thousands of scientists and published peer-reviewed papers, summarised in the recent international science assessment, are misguided or lying lacks scientific credibility and simply beggars belief.” (Alan Thorpe, Natural Environment Research Council, Brian Hoskins, University of Reading, Jo Haigh, Imperial College London, Myles Allen, University of Oxford, Peter Cox, University of Exeter, Colin Prentice, QUEST Programme, letter to the Observer, Sunday March 11, 2007;)

Viewed from one perspective, Channel 4 has done a huge public disservice in spreading absurd and mendacious arguments guaranteed to generate confusion. This at a time when a fragile momentum is building on the need to take urgent action on the very real threat of catastrophic climate change.

But from another perspective it may well be that this film does for climate scepticism what Tony Blair’s “dodgy dossiers” did for the pro-war movement ahead of the invasion of Iraq. Wildly distorted propaganda often does have a powerful initial impact. But stretched beyond a certain point of unreality, it also has a tendency to turn on, and bite, the propagandists.

Durkin’s grandiose prediction that his film “will go down in history” will surely prove correct, although perhaps not for the reasons he imagined.



SUGGESTED ACTION

The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. If you decide to write to journalists, we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Send a complaint to Channel 4:

See material on 'Complaining to C4', including a model letter, at http://portal.campaigncc.org/node/1820

Send a complaint to Ofcom:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/progs/specific/

Please send a copy of your emails to:
editor@medialens.org

Please do NOT reply to the email address from which this media alert originated. Please instead email us at: editor@medialens.org

This media alert will be archived shortly here:

http://www.medialens.org/alerts/07/0313pure_propaganda_the.php
The Media Lens book 'Guardians of Power: The Myth Of The Liberal Media' by David Edwards and David Cromwell (Pluto Books, London) was published in 2006. For further details, including reviews, interviews and extracts, please click here:
 
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Comments (13)add comment

a guest said:

0
THAT'S TRUE
MAN MADE GLOBAL WARM?NG ?S A HOAX !!!! hEAR ?T GORE!!!!!!
 
March 14, 2007
Votes: -1

a guest said:

0
More Lies

The dish it out but can't take it mentality of the green movement is becoming intolerable, no wonder people are turning their back in droves on the Global Warming con. You have the audacity to label a film that contains the views of no fewer than 10 professors as Propaganda.

If the Great Global Warming Swindle is propaganda then what is this page of your website.
 
March 14, 2007
Votes: -1

a guest said:

0
17yr old critic.
There are many discrepancies in this report as well (advertised at truth), they had to spice up the report otherwise nobody would have shown it, if you look at the background information then you might notice that they are wrong. Did you know that the IPCC report has not even been released yet. Just check their website www.ipcc.ch only the summary to be reviewed has been released.

If the lag means that the first 800 years of warming are not caused by CO2 then what is according to you?

Yes this program should be questioned but only proportionally, you have just shown exactly what the people were saying in the program, intimidation and speculation without actually looking at the information properly. People were even questioning the program before it had been put on guessing what it said and personally attacking the people who made the program for previous work, this to me seems to give extra credit to the brave people who agreed to talk on the program.

Wunsch declared that he had been duped into it because it was one sided, it had to be and who knows what money he could gain from it? Im not suggesting that he has but one short statement from one person who was part of the production team seems like a small thing to worry about when he was on for such a short time.

The graph is slightly distorted but then so is the one on wikipedia, whenever people draw the graphs they are always slightly different, looking at the wiki graph the red line does not nearly go down far enough in 1955-6 showing another discrepancy. One of the main points of the program was to show that many scientists are in the pay of governments etc so they rely on this theory in order to keep their research grants so of course they will argue to prove it.

The real climate website seems to have almost no scientific evidence to back up their ideas so can it be taken as fact? possibly but this like everything else must be scrutinised and questioned fairly.

If you go out to prove something then you will get that answer.

If you go out with an open mind you are likely to come back the the right answer.

Question everything that you post before posting it as fact to the public. This 'theory' has become the opium of the masses.
 
March 14, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
The film's other scientific claims can be similarly dismissed. Carl Wunsch - who, as discussed, appeared in the film - comments:

“What we now have is an out-and-out propaganda piece, in which there is not even a gesture toward balance or explanation of why many of the extended inferences drawn in the film are not widely accepted by the scientific community. There are so many examples, it's hard to know where to begin, so I will cite only one: a speaker asserts, as is true, that carbon dioxide is only a small fraction of the atmospheric mass. The viewer is left to infer that means it couldn't really matter. But even a beginning meteorology student could tell you that the relative masses of gases are irrelevant to their effects on radiative balance. A director not intending to produce pure propaganda would have tried to eliminate that piece of disinformation.”

So Wunsch is saying we can pump as much C02 as we want into the atmosphere - it will not affect the radiative balance!
 
March 15, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Fear Peak Oil more!
Peak Oil will resolve the so called man made climate change we are supposedly experiencing. I don't even know why we worry so much about climate change when we are on the brink of a major energy crises with no back up plan. Nobody will even care about the climate change crises when getting food in your stomach becomes more the focus of your daily life.
 
March 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
PROPAGANDA!!
If you beleive this then our country is is worse trouble than I am thinking.

This is a propaganda piece in an attempt to keep us asleep to the problems that are CURRENTLY ALL around us!

Big business is wanting us to continue to beleive that all is good in the world crying, "Peace, peace" but you better beleive that there is no peace!

The Bush administration is attempting to keep you beleiving that we need oil, oil is good!

There are already in existance today alteritive forms of energy available that are 100% Earth, people, animal and plant friendly. Look it up and investigate yourself.

http://question911.com/linksall.html
scroll down to:
The Race to Zero point
and
The Hemp Revolution

Do not believe this piece, they are lying to us!

Concerned American Citizen
 
March 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
International View
As a retired scientist, I am well aware that research funding depends on holding and proving the popular view. I also distrust "scientists" whose research must be "peer reviewed" only by those holding the same view. The international community and "intergovernmental" agencies seem to have one agenda - anti U.S. The ocean is a vast reservoir for CO2. When it warms (now by increasing undersea geothermal activity) it releases CO2. Why is the "sea level" faling in some places and rising in others? Could it be that either side is selecting the data to prove the point? We need more critical review. It will be called dpropoganda as long as it opposes and the author will be personally attacked - as he was above.
 
March 18, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
The Great Global Warming Swindle
Weather Action
The Long Range Forecasters

NEWS……March 2007

After the Channel 4 science blockbuster...
Scientists call for balanced debate on Global Warming
- Circulate Channel 4's documentary to all schools
- End cover up of temperature data by UN

"The Channel 4 Science blockbuster, 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' - screened on March 8th, UK TV, Channel4- should be circulated to all schools in the same way that the Government has agreed to circulate Al Gore's movie" said Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist of Weather Action The long Range forecasters, speaking on BBC News 24 on March 9th as part of comments on the.screening.

Mr Corbyn, who appears in the C4 documentary, also said the UN's committee of Government appointees on Climate Change - the IPCC - must end its cover-up of temperature data in its Summary For Policy Makers which had graphs of CO2 over 10,000 years but leaves out vital comparison with temperatures**.

He said that the C4 film correctly showed that scientific evidence over decades, centuries and hundreds of thousands of years proved that CO2 does not drive Climate and pointed out that that for every year since 1998 world temperatures have been lower than that year even though CO2 levels have risen.

An answer to any 'rebutalls' of C4 science documentary blockbuster, ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’.

Piers Corbyn, Astrophysist, Director of Weather Action, Long Range Weather Forcasters.
Commenting on the latest in the Global Warming debate……

There are two questions of the moment.
1. Is Global Warming or Climate Change - whatever its cause - really a problem?
2. How and why do Global Warmers try to dodge the message of the C4 film?

"On the first question some leading meteorologists {eg Profs Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier of the Royal Meteorological Society} have gone wobbly on Global Warming fundamentalism. Let's hope we can now get an open debate and get to the truth. A lot of the extreme claims are nonsense and anyhow a warmer world like it was from 10,000 years ago to 950 years ago would surely be better not worse?

"The public needs to know the cool facts that despite the hype World Temperatures have been lower every year since 1998 than that peak year. There are many details which the public should be told. For example New Zealand has just had its coldest December ever and it snowed in Melbourne on Christmas Day (it is SUMMER there of course). It appears to us in Weather Action that World Temperatures may have peaked. Because warming has slowed or might have stopped the 'Global Warmers' are changing the vocabulary to talk of 'Climate Change' instead. How warming driven climate change could take place without contining warming no-one knows, but the observed facts don't support them.
Leaving aside daft things like TV pictures of the Tsunami shown as man-made Climate Change the facts do not support the alarmism and just as one example tropical storms hitting the USA have gone down over recent decades compared with the rate from 1900 to1960.
[There have been significantly less tropical storms and less damaging landfalling storms hitting the US per decade in the last 4 decades than the average rate over the first 6 decades of the 20th century (figures show the landfall rate was about 30% down from 1961 to 2000(/2004) compared with the rate from 1900 to 1960 – see http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/Deadliest_Costliest.shtml } . Further talk of more dangerous storms in more recent decades cannot be substantiated because the strengths were not well known in the past before satelite monitoring.

On the second question the torrents of abuse from George Monbiot suggest the man needs a cup of tea and a holiday. The more coherent invective presented as rebuttal of the C4 film (eg Steve Connor Independent 14th March) are a weak diversion from the main argument and attempt to confuse the wood with the trees. Indeed the points Mr Connor raise sound the death-knell of the Global Warmers doctrine.
Temperatures and graphs can be considered and presented in various ways from various sources and whether or not (eg) adequate consideration is given to 'urban heating' or if smoothing averages on graphs are taken over single years, decades, centuries or millenia and data plotted at the middle or end of averaging periods, the message is the same: There is no evidence that CO2 drives temperatures.
On the specifics raised by Steve Connor over the last 100 years or so any C4 errors (if real) he raises if corrected do not undermine that finding. Astoundingly Mr Connor asks us to note that the warming from 1975 to1998 has been more that that from 1900 to 1940. Why start in 1900 and what about the cooling from 1940 to 1975?!!! He assumes his readers are stupid. Surely it would be fairer to compare the warming rates from (say) 1900 to 1940 with 1940 to 1998 and we find the amounts were about 0.43degC in each case but over firstly 40 years and then over about 60 years so where does that take us? Warming is slowing. If we look from the minimum around 1910 to the peak at 1940 (30yrs later) we find that we then had more than twice as much warming as that from1940 to1998 (almost 60 years). Warming is definitely slowing - and indeed it (so far) seems to have stopped since 1998. (Graphs and data from the official sites: http://www.grida.no/climate/ip...gspm-4.htm , http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/d...ut3vgl.txt )

Mr Connor confuses temperatures over the last 1,000 years with those of the (early) mediaval warm period about 1000 years ago which was warmer than the last few decades. He does not mention that the last 750 years was the coolest period of such length since the end of the last iceage 10,500 years ago and that the Bronze Age world (including the Arctic) 4,000 years ago was much warmer than now and had less CO2 and lower sea levels.

Crucally Mr Connor says - and words to this effect are in other 'rebutalls':
"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."

WELL
(i) The first question must be how much cooler would the world be now without the relative 'undimming' of the sun he describes and does this mean the recent temperature records are not fair comparisons with the 'near records' in the smokier parts of the last 100 years. Which of the recent 'warmest' ever years should be counted out?

(ii) Yes indeed a combination of volcano dust (not mentioned by Mr Connor) and industrial (dust and CO2) emmissions (and natural CO2 which has an annual flux in and out of the atmosphere 25 times that of man's CO2) can be put together to roughly ('explain'/) move with smoothed world temperatures. However there are many graphs (of various smoothings and ways of describing solar activity** shown on C4 and elsewhere) over the last 100 years, thousands of years and millions of years which show that solar particle-magnetic activity from the sun and temperatures move very closely together.
So if a special comination of CO2 and dust from nature and man supposedly 'cause' temperature changes we must ask why does the sun throw out particle effects to so closely match these very same temperatures?
Man might Lord over much of the Earth, but not the Sun, please - no.
So the effects of solar activity must be in charge, and the official graphs? Well they are a search for a cause too far.

** Measures of solar cycle length are mentioned in the film as an estimate of solar activity and generally speaking are inverse to the average solar activity (of particles as measured by geomagnetic activity - a measure favoured by many)


Information & Comment on other recent Global warming debate below

Email to Radio 4 Today Programme - 'I see No signal' re Sir John Houghton.
Sirs, Sir John Houghton's remarks on 'Today' BBC Radio 4 this morning (14 March) were seriously inaccurate and made false or unfounded claims which are an affront to science.
It is as in the case of another Lord - Nelson - who held a telescope to his blind eye and said 'I see no signal' because he didnt want to.
In this case some of the evidence which Sir John appears to deny was produced by himself!
The claim that the world is in a unique or unprecedented weather / climate-change situation is unsustainable.
The attached Presentation has information which answers his points, specifically:
1. The claim 'temperatures have never risen so fast for thousands of years' is untrue. The graph from NOAAA (slide 10) in this presenation shows that the rate of rise from about 950 AD to 1040 AD is a very similar rate of rise to the recent about 0.6C per century.
2. The claim that there has never been such a rapid CO2 increase in such a short time is unsustainable. Periods of volcanism as well as warming of CO2 rich sea would have had such an effect and more. It has been said that such tall sharp peaks (eg 50yr to rise) cannot be seen in ice records but that is because CO2 diffuses as it goes into the ice and tall sharp rises get smudged out. The data points anyway (slide 7) although clearly showing rapid peaks of maybe 100 years cannot indicate sharper than that because the data points are not close enough together and the height of any peak will be smudged downwards.
3. In terms of weather extremes and events there is nothing going on now which has not happened before.
4. The view that CO2 is a significant factor in determining temperature is not supported by data.
Thank you Piers Corbyn,

LETTER TO OBSERVER, not printed, re 'Climate Change Denial'
Sirs, I, along with others, object to being labelled as a 'Climate Change denier' with the foreboding innuendo of 'holocaust denier' that this carries - simply for having a considered scientific view which differs from that of a committee of appointees of Governments (the IPCC). Robin McKie (Observer 4 March) rather than discuss the issues seems to prefer to make us into 'hate objects', a dangerous minority. Yet I and others he attacks have studied climate for many years and know it changes. We also know - and this is what the Channel 4 blockbuster "The Great Global warming Swindle' spells out - that Global Warming & Climate Change are not caused by carbon dioxide either of Man or nature.
Science advances through argument - not through consensus and least of all through enforced consensus in which dissenters are vilified in a manner reminiscent of the Papal inquisition or inter-war Russia and Germany. In science what counts is not opinion polls however generated but hypotheses tested against observed facts, and here is the 'Global Warmers' problem. The more they hypothesise and look at reality the less support nature provides them. Measurements over decades, centuries and hundreds of thousands of years show that CO2 does not drive Climate. Furthermore in every year since 1998 world temperatures have been lower than that year even though CO2 levels have risen. Their models have failed.
Rather than open up debate to tackle this contradiction, the IPCC - which is a political body - is engaged in cover-up of temperature data in its Summary For Policy Makers. This Report graphs CO2 over 10,000 years but leaves out vital comparison with temperatures - which happens to negate their whole case. The Observer of all papers must support objective debate. I ask you to campaign to redress the present one-sided political climate on this matter and campaign for C4's 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' to be circulated to all schools in the same way that the Government has agreed to circulate Al Gore's brainwashing movie .
Thank you, Piers Corbyn, Weather Action, Long Range Forecasters

(Graphs and letter to govt - view in notes mode - attached )

Thank you - End of document

Weather Action
The Long Range Forecasters -
Delta House, 175-177 Borough High Street, London SE1 1HR
Tel 44(0)20 7939 9946 Fax 44(0)20 7939 9901 E: info@weatheraction.com
CONTACT Piers Corbyn 44(0)7958713320



 
March 18, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
I have the solution!
If the "cooling off" period from 1945-1975 can be attibuted to a preponderance of aerosols and sulfates in the atomosphere, then let's start cranking out more aerosols and sulfates! It's so damn obvious! We the People can control the climate whenever we choose! You're welcome! This solution is free of charge as opposed to Generation Investment Management, who will charge a small fee for each carbon credit that changes hands. Follow the money, people. This isn't too complicated.
 
March 18, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
WHEW.... THE WIND BLEW AND THE S_ _T FLEW....
 
March 30, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Global warming? Yes. But it's natural not human made
Climate is always changing. And will do it in future. But in long run we are running to new Ice Age. Weather has been cooling since last 7 millenium and this will continue. Current warm period is because very high solar activity since late 1800's. Nasa and Russian Science Academy told however last spring that that activity is coming down. That will drop temperatures about 0.2 C.
 
March 30, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
Did any of you actually read this article before writing in in a panic?? Sure it's more comfortable to believe that global warming is not a problem, but you have to go to quite an effort to convince yourselves, including apparently reading the given facts backwards. To some of the above comments: global dimming is cooling the world, not warming it. Please re-read. And "You have the audacity to label a film that contains the views of no fewer than 10 professors as Propaganda" - eight of the ten are in Exxon's pay. Go figure. It's pretty easy to find 10 professors who will say what you want. Professors aren't uncommon. If they don't say what you want, you take their words out of context until they do. As stated above. Please re-read.
And the comments on Carl Wunsch's quote - he says his words were misquoted. Did you miss that bit? I can go on but I expect you will misread what I say too. Sticking your head in the sand doesn't make the problem go away, no matter how vigorously you deny it exists.
 
July 04, 2007
Votes: +0

SherlinDukes said:

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Global Warming Facts
Due to increase in global temperatures, lots of changes are caused like rising Sea levels due to thermal expansion of the ocean, in addition to melting of land ice. Amounts and patterns of precipitation are changing. Due to average intensity and average duration have increased, the total annual power of hurricanes has already increased markedly since 1975.
http://www.globalwarming360.net
 
August 10, 2010
Votes: +0

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