The Great Global Warming Swindle

An hour and a half programme this evening devoted to the place carbon dioxide has in global warming. It didn’t dispute global warming was occurring but it did suggest that it is all due to the activity of the sun and our increased output of carbon dioxide was having a minimal part to play. Their main points were why did temperatures go down from the 1940s to the 1970s when carbon dioxide was increasing but sun spots were decreasing and why isn’t the upper atmosphere heating up faster as all the IPCC forecasts suggest it should be? It produced some neat graphs comparing the number of sun spots with the earth’s temperature and suggested that this correlated better than did the CO2 levels against the earth’s temperature. So why do so many scientists agree with the IPCC? Well the programme found several eminent ones that didn’t but it suggested that so many do because that is where the research money is. It went on to suggest that the climate warming scare is causing great harm by preventing Africa gaining electricity supplies except in the most costly ways – through wind power and solar panels holding back its development and meaning people dying much sooner than they should. Serious stuff – what do people think?

For some answers clink here.

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26 Responses to The Great Global Warming Swindle

  1. tamino says:

    I didn’t see the program (it wasn’t in my area). But I’m very familiar with the science of global warming, and the claims that it’s due to solar activity.

    Based on your description I’d say the “science” in the program was a crock. For example, sunspot counts did not decrease from 1940 to 1970 — they increased up to around 1960 then decreased to 1970. Estimates of total solar irradiance (TSI) based on sunspot counts and isotope abundances, and direct measurements of TSI by satellites (since 1978), indicate that solar activity really hasn’t budged since about 1950.

    Also, the global cooling from about 1945 to 1975 was very tiny, about 0.06 deg.C. Furthermore, we know the cause; it’s due to the increase in atmospheric sulfate aerosols (which have a cooling effect) due to industrial activity during and after WW2. This counteracted the warming effect of greenhouse gases, which weren’t nearly as plentiful back then as they are today.

    But in the 1970s sulfate aerosol emissions were limited (mostly by law, as they’re responsible for “acid rain”), while greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere. That’s why since about 1975 — the “modern global warming era” — greenhouse gases have become the dominant factor. Compare the nearly 0.6 deg.C warming since 1975 to the 0.06 deg.C cooling during the period 1945-1975.

    The notion that global temperature has to follow CO2 concentration faithfully throughout history, is rooted in the naive idea that CO2 is the only factor influencing climate. Ironically, denialists often accuse climate scientists of this, by claiming they ignore the effect of the sun. In reality, modern climate science considers all known factors, while denialists tend to latch on to only one (like the sun) and make it explain everything.

    The suggestion that over 99% of climate scientists are participating in a hoax to get research funds would be laughable, if the consequences of global warming weren’t so serious. Who do you really think is more likely to be lying for the money: the vast majority of the climate science community, or ExxonMobil?

    In short, the real “great global warming swindle” is the program you watched tonight.

  2. Pete Smith says:

    Spot on Tamino. And even if solar activity is the main culprit for global warming, we know temperatures are rising and environments are changing, so what’s wrong with modifying human activity to restrict the rate of change? Money, I suppose.

  3. matt says:

    For those that aren’t familiar with tamino’s US blog, it’s well worth a visit. Lots of debate on the subject of climate change.

  4. keithsc says:

    Tamino thanks very much for your contribution. Just the response I was hoping for. I suspected global dimming had a part in the change in temperature but had no knowledge of how sunpot activity has changed.

  5. prunejuice says:

    I watched the global warming ‘swindle’ too and if I hadn’t got a bit of science knowledge, would have found the evidence compelling. The science was poor and presented in a totally biased sensationalist way. Maybe sun spots do have an influence. But so too might CO2, methane, aerosols, water vapour etc. While we don’t know for certain, what’s wrong with the precautionary principle and reducing, as Pete says, human activity to restrict CO2 outputs? After all, we need to find viable and safe alternatives for fossil fuels anyway, so we can address more than one problem at the same time.

  6. paddyk says:

    Good reply tamino!

    Today, after a record late winter, spring came to Sweden. This is an unprecedented short winter – the bears did not hibernate until after christmas – of only 10 weeks or so. Now maybe global warming is not real, but it would have to be a very VERY big coincidence indeed.

    And on consensus – there is NEVER a 100% consensus in science. That is how science works – there is always room for error. But 99% is as good as you are going to get.

  7. Sean says:

    Here is an url that you can send to friends and family that will direct them to the video “The Great Global Warming Swindle”.

    http://gorelied.notlong.com

    For more information on the documentary you can go here.

    http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/G/great_global_warming_swindle/index.html

  8. Adem says:

    Quote
    “For example, sunspot counts did not decrease from 1940 to 1970 — they increased up to around 1960 then decreased to 1970. Estimates of total solar irradiance (TSI) based on sunspot counts and isotope abundances, and direct measurements of TSI by satellites (since 1978), indicate that solar activity really hasn’t budged since about 1950.”

    Would you agree that the measurement of solar activity, solar forcing and planetary wobble is in its infancy? That we have only been able to take advantage of satellite information over the last two decades and that much work needs to be done to understand the real significance of solar activity on climate change?

    The importance of this field is only just being recognised.

  9. edh says:

    So what’s wrong with the “precautionary principal”? Well, that question tells me you didn’t watch “Swindle.” The cost is the human cost of economic immiseration prescribed by global warming fanatics like Gore.

    Second, even if there are non-climate benefits to reduced energy use, that lays bare the lie behind the so-called carbon “offset” indulgences purchased by Gore et al, which do absolutely nothing to correct for their hypocritcally conspicuous consumption.

  10. Pete Smith says:

    Well, like it or not, the precautionary principle is out there. It’s embodied in legislation, not only for climate change, but for fisheries management, food standards, drugs testing, transport of hazardous waste, pollution control……

    It all comes down to risk perception. If you can prove that money spent on actions to limit the effects of climate change is not only wasted but will deprive people of their livelihoods, then it’s quite right to advocate ‘business as usual’.

  11. matt says:

    The swindle comes from Channel 4 going desperately for cheap ratings.

    George Monbiot can answer your questions for you;

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/03/13/channel-4s-problem-with-science/#more-1047

  12. matt says:

    Channel 4’s repretation on the rocks after swindling climate scientist;

    Quoted from ‘The Independent’;

    ‘ But now the programme – and the channel – is facing a serious challenge to its own credibility after one of the most distinguished scientists that it featured said his views had been “grossly distorted” by the film, and made it clear that he believed human pollution did warm the climate.

    Professor Carl Wunsch, professor of physical oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said he had been “completely misrepresented” by the programme, and “totally misled” on its content. He added that he is considering making a formal complaint.’

    http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/climate_change/article2347526.ece

  13. Pete Smith says:

    Monbiot does it again. I love the punchline “No one in [Channel 4’s] science unit appears to understand the difference between a peer-reviewed scientific paper and a clipping from the Daily Mail”

  14. matt says:

    I wonder if Channel 4 still has a deficit, or shall we say, loss on their accounts. Might explain their ratings grab. Desperate for advertising revenue. Had it over to the Beeb!

  15. keithsc says:

    George Monbiot’s article is brilliant. Thanks. It does answer all the points and leaves you wondering why Channel Four ever commissioned the film. Their news broadcasts have a really high reputation. And looking at their web site they do have some well balanced scientific information on global warming that completely goes against the programme.

  16. matt says:

    Sack the GGWS producer, … innit!

  17. send some mor imformation about global warming says:

    imformation about global warming is good but we want more..?

  18. matt says:

    You want more. Blimey, you’re a sucker for punishment! Send us an SAE.

    (Probably) Our address is;

    The Attic
    10 Downing Street
    SW1Y
    London

    Alternatively;
    https://environmentdebate.wordpress.com/2007/03/15/the-great-global-warming-swindle-2/

  19. ShawnLS says:

    I have heard Carl Wunsch speak on global warming before this C4 documentary. The film was an accurate accounts of his views. He didn’t like one minor point that viewers might assume in context to the other experts featured.

  20. Man-caused global warming continues to focus on a very short term, and studiously ignores all of the periods of natural climate change, some of which are very recent. It was warmer than today during the Holocene Optimum, and the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods. Dramatic climate change occurred with no input from mankind. Sea levels rose over 400 feet in less than 18,000 years since the end of the last ice age. Sea surface temperature is still below the average of the past 10,000 years. We are experiencing a warming trend that started almost two centuries ago as the Little Ice Age ended. We still haven’t warmed as much as in the Medieval Warm Period 1,000 years ago, indicated by many factors including the once flourishing vineyards of England.

    The man-caused global warming group are using outstanding methods to achieve mediocre results.

  21. matt says:

    Yup, natural fluctuations have occurred and massive changes to sea levels have resulted. I think what certain people are saying now is that the current changes in weather are as a result of human pollution or the build up of excess CO2 & methane from human activity.

  22. Major Mike says:

    Matt – So far in terms of climate change, it’s natural causes hundreds or thousands of times, and man-made change the next time, maybe. If natural causes have driven all previous climate change, and man-made causes have not, then why is the next one the fault of man and not another example of natural causes? Man-made global warming is still an unproven theory, whereas natural global warming (and cooling) are demonstrable fact. Why is all prior knowledge thrown aside for unproven theories?

    Because that’s where the money will flow.

  23. matt says:

    I’m more interested in how we mitigate the problems Mike.

  24. keithsc says:

    Nobody disputes that natural causes have caused great changes in the world’s climate from ice ages to tropical warming. The worry now is that there are signs that the planet is warming up fast and it is getting faster. With so many people now on the planet it is going to create major problems with regard to food, water and the essentials of life. Sure, it’s possible that major volcanic activity could happen that could throw huge amounts of matter into the air, obscuring the sun and cooling the planet. At present there is nothing we can do about that. Yet the scientific consensus is that the planet is warming because of our activities, that on the whole this will have a detrimental result on our environment and that there is something we can do about it. So why not try and do it?

  25. Pete Smith says:

    I agree with Matt, the argument has moved on. Whether man-made or natural, climate change is happening before our eyes. We need strategies to deal with that.

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