Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Climate Change Swindle swindle

The documentary refuting climate change has been officially found to be a swindle.

Martin Dukin put together The Great Climate Change Swindle, released to much controversy in 2007 and transmitted by Australia's national broadcaster (ABC) last July.

At the time of release, several of the experts shown in the film complained that they had been misrepresented, comments yanked out of context.

Now Ofcom, the British broadcasting regulator has found the documentary to be dishonest. Yes, it misrepresented two experts and, of particular note, misrepresented the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the key international climate change body. And thus the documentary breached broadcasting guidelines.

Other experts have discussed the documentary's very selective use of data to make its point. A common practice of climate change deniers is to chart the change in global temperatures (or carbon emissions) between two points that suggest the opposite trend, where a more complete picture would put the extract in context of a much wider trend.

Dukin was "unavailable for comment".

New Scientist has a more detailed list of errors here, including that the programme makers admitted to making up some of the charts shown.

Michael "duffer" Duffy, the quixotic rightwing Australian broadcaster/columnist, championed the documentary at the time. I expect people such as him will tone down their rhetoric eventually, but the damage is done at the time. Such interventions in the debate are inevitably counterproductive, at the very least because they foster complacency to such a burning issue. At this point, inertia is the greatest enemy of the global environment.

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