"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Real Climate's take on last week's TV

Specifically the Great Global Warming Swindle. Didn't bother to watch the program, not surprised to read it was a load of mendacious tosh.

8 comments:

Colin said...

Thanks for posting this John. I did watch the programme, and it appeared to present an argument that might have some valid points (to the layman), and didn't come across as being as hysterical and contrived as it might have been. Most of the expert interviewees were scientists in relevant fields, for example, who seemed reasonable enough. Trouble was, nobody was allowed to challenge any of the views presented - the 'climate change orthodoxy/establishment' view was always presented by the narrator in a grossly simplified, un-nuanced way. For instance, one section talked about the problem with climate models, and how tweaking the variables could have massive effects, rendering them virtually meaningless and implying that climate change believers deliberately manipulated the data to their own ends. The whole thing implied that there was only a handful of models out there that all said the same thing - as though there weren't thousands of scientists endlessly running multiple models to test different possible scenarios. Another guy complained that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had sexed up its reports and removed dissenting views -- but as I was watching, I was also reading an article in New Scientist claiming that IPCC reports had been toned down by govts - so who's telling the truth? I suspected there were convincing counter arguments, but they weren't presented at all - so this Real Climate response is useful. There was a piece in the Independent last week comparing the documentary to An Inconvenient Truth, and a piece in the Observer, the first half of which points to the fact that in its desire to seem balanced and objective the media gives the sceptics a bigger platform than they should have given the ratio of sceptics to non-sceptics in the scientific community. (Don't really agree with the second half of the article.)

Colin said...

Although I missed the start, which seems to have featured that shrivelled scruff Nigel Lawson. I spotted him in Waterstones with Nigella once buying books and he looked well-rough. Getting on a bit I suppose.

Colin said...

More on this has since appeared in press, e.g. Indie. Some of the fetured scientists say they were misrepresented.

Tom said...

Can barely comment on this stuff, it makes me so cross and frustrated. How Nigel Lawson got to become such an authority on climate change has long been a mystery. Wouldn't it make more sense if public opinion on this was being led by someone that actually knew something about it, rather than a decrepid ex-chancellor?

One of the interesting things is how people differ with regards to the uncertainty behind all this. The fact that the scientific models give such a range of outcomes fills me with terror - it could be a 'revenge of Gaia' style meltdown. But clearly for many people, this same uncertainty means they feel inclined to dismiss the whole thing.

Colin said...

George Monbiot responds.

seumas said...

I did find it a little amusing to find the Conservatives praising a film made my members of the Revolutionary Communist Party... ;-)

john said...

Check this from today's Torygraph. This Durkin chappie seems a most unpleasant cove.

Also NB standard of op-ed in t'Telegraph - top notch.

Colin said...

Yes, Durkin's clearly a total git. I hate that Spiked lot, they're just a bunch of snide, cynical contrarians with no apparent positive purpose. At least politicians with whom you disagree think they are right. This lot just like stirring things up (like attention-seeking teenagers).

More on this show, including an editorial in New Scientist and a response in the Ecologist.

Also, interesting to see how quickly Wikipedia can generate a long, referenced article about the programme.