Monday, March 12, 2007

The Swindling of the Earth

There was a new film on global warming that aired in England on Channel 4 last week. You can find it on Google here. It's pretty good, if you want to believe that Global Warming and Climate Change are not caused by man made emissions of carbon.

It has the usual array of American sceptics, but the director has done a skillful job of putting it all together. There are some out and out lies, like the statement that volcanoes put out more CO2 than humans, but most of the lies are carefully crafted, an overall fine work of propaganda.

The Director, Martin Durkin, was known in the past for producing another show for channel 4 which had to issue a public apology for the show. He did another show on genetic engineering called, curiously enough, "Modified Truth."

"In October 1998 a television producer named Martin Durkin took a proposal to the BBC’s science series, Horizon. Silicone breast implants, he claimed, far from harming women, were in fact beneficial, reducing the risk of breast cancer. Horizon commissioned a researcher to find out whether or not his assertion was true. After a thorough review, the researcher reported that Mr Durkin had ignored a powerful body of evidence contradicting his claims. Martin Durkin withdrew his proposal. Instead of dropping it, however, he took it to Channel 4 and, astonishingly, sold it to their science series, Equinox." (Monbiot)

In another show called "Against Nature", following complaints by his interviewees, the Independent Television Commission found that “the views of the four complainants, as made clear to the interviewer, had been distorted by selective editing” and that they had been “misled as to the content and purpose of the programmes when they agreed to take part." Channel 4 was obliged to broadcast one of the most humiliating primetime apologies it has ever made."

This apparently has already happened with his "Swindle" on climate change.

Here is part of one of the scientists interviewed response to "what he said" versus "what he saw" used in the movie.

"In the part of the "Swindle" film where I am describing the fact that the ocean tends to expel carbon dioxide where it is warm, and to absorb it where it is cold, my intent was to explain that warming the ocean could be dangerous---because it is such a gigantic reservoir of carbon. By its placement in the film, it appears that I am saying that since carbon dioxide exists in the ocean in such large quantities, human influence must not be very important --- diametrically opposite to the point I was making --- which is that global warming is both real and threatening in many different ways, some unexpected."

The always careful Real Climate deals with the main issues of the propaganda piece here.

There will always be people and actual real scientists who disagree with the science of climate change. It is, after all, a very young science.

But unlike the portrayal in "Swindle," the concensus is not just coming from the UN, and the IPCC, it comes from all of the Academies of Sciences from all over the world. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has issued a rare consensus warning on the issue, as has the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

There are several pernicious points and devices in this polemic. One, is the idea that the developed nations will use the climate change issue to stop development in the developing world and force them to use solar and wind instead, and that this is just immoral.

Another is the liberal use of Patrick Moore, the quizzling former founder of Green Peace, who sold out long ago. He runs around with his fake PhD in ecology from an Institute in Canada helping out whoever pays him.

Moore apparently was known for causing a lot of problems with his views on activism while at Greenpeace.

So, this Swindling of the Earth is nothing really new. It is just another attempt to derail the slow train we must all ultimately board. It reminds me a little of the "Greening of the Earth" that was put out by the Western Fuels Association about 15 years ago.

That piece of work showed many of the same experts that are in "Swindle" as they opine as to how more CO2 will make for a greener, more prosperous future.

Yes, more CO2 could be good,

just like more water can be good.

But too much water is called a flood.

And too much CO2 will bring catastrophic warming.

Now, is our opportunity to rise to the Challenge,

This case is closed.


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