The issue of global climate change seems to polarise people. I was amazed how strongly some of the participants in a recent discussion expressed their views. Especially in the criticism of the current understanding of human contributions to climate change.
The willingness of some people to reject scientific findings, and even to slander the scientists for their discoveries, concerns me. However, I will return to this subject in a later post.
For now I just want to raise the necessity of proper assessment of evidence when confronted with this sort of discussion.
The Great Global Warming Swindle
People have been recommending the documentary film The Great Global Warming Swindle to me as evidence that climate scientists have been pulling the wool over our collective eyes
I have now had a chance to see the film and can concur that its message is that man-made global warming is “a lie” and “the biggest scam of modern times.” Its certainly a very effective documentary and will convince an uncritical audience. However, I found it polemical and emotive (never good for considering evidence). It presented data selectively and uncritically. I have no special, background in climate science. But even so I detected a number of misrepresentations.
Academic and other apparently authoritative spokesperson are used in the documentary – but all with the same argument. According to Dr. Stephen C. Nodvin “Most of the people who appear in the film are NOT respected climate scientists but long-time climate deniers: many of who have received significant funding from companies like ExxonMobil and Philip Morris. The arguments used are the same warmed-over arguments that have been thoroughly and carefully considered by the majority of climate scientists… and rejected.”
Getting some balance
It’s difficult for the layperson to get a balanced view of this subject. However, for those who have seen the film or are interested in a more objective look at the evidence I can highly recommend the video “Scam of the ‘Great Global Climate Warming Swindle.'”
It’s a video lecture by Chris Merchant of the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. He uses the documentary to show how it conveys its message by:
- selective presentation and misrepresentation of data,
- mistakes in logic, and
- massaging or distortion of data.
Technically the lecture is not the best but it repays the effort. It presents video extracts of the documentary covering the sections he criticises. Therefore it’s not essential for viewers to watch the original documentary beforehand.
Have a look. Is his calm presentation of balanced evidence more convincing than than the emotional and slandering approach of the original documentary?
See also: (Thanks to Damian for most of these)
Misrepresentations of scientific evidence and researchers’ interpretations
The Great Global Warming Swindle – A Rebuttal.pdf
Why the Ch4 documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” is wrong
IPPC Fourth Assessment Report
Channel 4’s Problem with Science
Answers to Global Warming Skeptics
Global Warming Swindle?
Climate change: A Guide for the perplexed
The real global warming swindle
Intelligent design/creationism and climate change