Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle

There is a video making the YouTube and Google Video rounds that is creating quite a buzz on both sides of the Global Warming issue.

It aired in March and was produced in UK by documentary-maker Martin Durkin who according to Wikipedia:

“…is a television producer and director, most notably of television documentaries for Channel 4 in Britain. The perceived bias in many of his documentaries has caused consistent controversies. He is understood to have once been closely involved with the Revolutionary Communist Party and its later offshoots Living Marxism (or LM magazine) and Spiked, a magazine and associated political network which promotes libertarian views, and is highly critical of environmentalism.”

…which is to say, consider the source in your consideration of any material regarding global warming. I would say that this film offers a suitable rebuttal to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” which is no more or less objective or politically motivated than “The Great Global Warming Swindle.”

As you’d expect, with this film and not unlike “An Inconvenient Truth” there is controversy as to whether data, theories, or graphs used in this film are erroneous or have been manipulated. Global Warming supporters informed and otherwise are debating vociferously the assertions in both films.

I can’t speak to the science on either side of this issue because I am not a scientist but for me that wasn’t the value of this film anyway.

What was much more valuable to me was:

The film offered interviews and evidence from credible sources, including scientists from NASA, The United Nations’ IPCC, and the co-founder of Greenpeace, that global warming is a cyclical phenomenon and furthermore that man has nothing to do with the current warming cycle.

“In earths long history there have been countless periods when it was much warmer and much cooler than it is today…when much of the world was covered by tropical forests or else vast ice sheets. The climate has always changed and changed without any help from us humans.”

“Climate variation in the past is clearly natural. So why do we think it is any different today?”

Here is a summary of the points made in the film that I did find valuable:

How did this movement get started and what were the political motivations behind it then and now? This information is very interesting and explains how the movement garnered such broad-based support politically.

Climatological crises came about ironically in the seventies when there was a global cooling scare. According to this documentary, the Global Warming movement began with Margaret Thatcher’s request of climatologists to disprove global cooling theory so as to break the back of striking union coal miners and out of distrust in middle–east oil producers and in favor of nuclear power. She in effect said, there is money on the table if you prove global cooling is a sham.

This was the impetus for the creation of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which initiated the first theories of global warming disaster. Because of Thatcher’s conservative political leanings combined with the opportunistic anti-industry left, the movement gained broad-based political momentum.

It offers a compelling perspective on the formation and the political motivations of the IPCC, which like any UN body is political. The final conclusions are politically driven.

“…really it is a political activist’s movement.” Patrick Moore, Co-Founder Greenpeace

“…campaigners say the time for debate is over any criticism, no matter how scientifically rigorous, is illegitimate; even worse, dangerous.”

The film offers credible common sense and calm reminders that CO2 is a not a pollutant. CO2 is a necessary and natural gas. Nature produces many times more of this gas than mankind ever will, and it makes up such a very small percentage of our atmosphere.

“…humans are not the main source of CO2. Volcanoes produce more CO2 each year than all the factories cars and planes and other sources of man-made CO2 put together. More still comes from animals and bacteria and dying leaves in the autumn. The biggest source of CO2 on earth is the oceans.”

“The warmer the oceans, the more CO2 they produce and the cooler they are the more they absorb.”

"CO2 makes up 0.054% of the atmosphere."

It offers first-hand credible explanations as to why there isn’t an outcry from scientists that refute the causes and even the existence of anthropological (man-made) causes of global warming.

“Climate scientists need there to be a problem in order to get funding.” Dr. Roy Spencer, Weather Satellite Team Leader, NASA

“We have a vested interest in creating panic because then money will flow to climate scientists.” Professor John Christy, Lead Author, IPCC

“The fact of the matter is, tens of thousands of jobs depend upon Global Warming right now. It’s big business.”

Professor John Christy, an IPCC author, discloses that many of the scientists listed to be in agreement with the IPCC’s thesis are actually not in agreement, have resigned and yet are still listed as being in agreement, and that many listed aren’t scientists at all.

And, the film offers a compelling explanation for our current warming cycle and the rise in CO2. The sun’s increased sunspot activity is warming our planet (as well as Mars) as it has many times in earth’s history. A warming planet leads to rises in CO2, not the other way around.

It’s the sun!

Alarmist Global Warming models assume that the chief element of climate change is CO2 and completely discount the effects of the sun although intuitively you would have to think that would be ludicrous. Any model that does this has to be flawed.

At its core, global warming is not a pro-science or pro-ecology movement. Like many liberal causes, it is not for anything. It is an anti-establishment, anti-development, anti-growth, anti-car, anti-industry, anti-capitalism, anti-globalization movement.

With the failure of communism and its close cousin socialism, global warming has emerged as the perfect guise for hypocritical anti-capitalists like Al Gore to promote their ideology. The media in their ever vigilant search for hysteria, is all too eager to comply.

It is the perfect storm if you will, pun intended, as great momentum was created for this new movement because it had Margaret Thatcher on the right promoting it for her agenda and on the left the failed promoters of communism and socialism without a cause to stand on in the shadow of the failure of Communism at the end of the Cold War.

Furthermore there is a powerful bias in the media towards those theories that are interesting or cataclysmic and away from those that are mundane or uninteresting. It has become the media’s business to pursue readership over truth. The reporting has to get more and more hysterical to garner readership in light of all the sources the public has available to them.

“The Great Global Warming Swindle” is no more or less based on fact than “An Inconvenient Truth” despite differing levels of commercial success.

Global Warming is now one of the most heavily government-funded scientific movements worldwide. Very few scientists are willing to publicly take a stand against global warming because it reduces their chances of getting their projects funded. This is the definition of a bureaucracy which is to say it has become self-serving, self-justified self-validated.

Furthermore, it has become increasingly difficult to argue the case against global warming as one's argument can so easily be discounted as an argument for the continued dependence on fossil fuels, which is in fact a seperate issue.

Back to the documentary, I found the scientific data and its graphical depiction not as convincing as that narration may suggest because temperature data and its causation is so highly debated right now. For me, intuitively, the solar activity explanation makes much greater sense to me especially when you consider the fact that other planets in our solar system also have cooling and warming cycles that correspond to Earth’s.

I found the political and fundamental theories much more plausible and convincing. At its best the debate should not yet end and at its worse, Global Warming Alarmists could do great harm to worldwide economies, especially those of developing countries. Ironically, it is the developing world, usually of great concern for the left that may become the greatest victim of global warming alarmists.

There are enough plausible alternative explanations to cast substantial doubt on the current global warming theory.

PS Please don’t counter-comment on my post if you haven’t watched the film. Do your own homework. It is about 75 minutes long and is widely available on the net:


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