Sunday, March 04, 2007

Britons, At Least, Can Hear Another Side of the Global Warming Issue

The UK's Channel 4 will air a real documentary that will really tick off the zealotous members of the Church of Global Warming.

The Great Global Warming Swindle

In a polemical and thought-provoking documentary, film-maker Martin Durkin argues that the theory of man-made global warming has become such a powerful political force that other explanations for climate change are not being properly aired.

The film brings together the arguments of leading scientists who disagree with the prevailing consensus that a 'greenhouse effect' of carbon dioxide released by human activity is the cause of rising global temperatures.

Instead the documentary highlights recent research that the effect of the sun's radiation on the atmosphere may be a better explanation for the regular swings of climate from ice ages to warm interglacial periods and back again.

The film argues that the earth's climate is always changing, and that rapid warmings and coolings took place long before the burning of fossil fuels. It argues that the present single-minded focus on reducing carbon emissions not only may have little impact on climate change, it may also have the unintended consequence of stifling development in the third world, prolonging endemic poverty and disease.

The film features an impressive roll-call of experts, including nine professors – experts in climatology, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science, biogeography and paleoclimatology – from such reputable institutions as MIT, NASA, the International Arctic Research Centre, the Institut Pasteur, the Danish National Space Center and the Universities of London, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Winnipeg, Alabama and Virginia.

The film hears from scientists who dispute the link between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures.

'The ice core record goes to the very heart of the problem we have,' says Tim Ball, Climatologist and Prof Emeritus of Geography at the University of Winnipeg in the documentary. 'They said if CO2 increases in the atmosphere, as a greenhouse gas, then the temperature will go up'.

In fact, the experts in the film argue that increased CO2 levels are actually a result of temperature rises, not their cause, and that this alternate view is rarely heard. 'So the fundamental assumption, the most fundamental assumption of the whole theory of climate change due to humans, is shown to be wrong.'

'I've often heard it said that there is a consensus of thousands of scientists on the global warming issue, that humans are causing a catastrophic change to the climate system,' says John Christy, Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center, NSSTC University of Alabama. 'Well I am one scientist, and there are many, that simply think that is not true.'

The film examines an alternative theory that explains global temperatures, based on research by Professor Eigil Friis-Christensen of the Danish Space Center. The professor and his team found that as solar activity increases, and the sun flares, cloud formation on earth is significantly diminished and temperature rises.

Ian Clark, Professor of Isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology at the Dept of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa explains: 'Solar activity over the last hundred years, over the last several hundred years, correlates very nicely, on a decadal basis, with temperature.'

Finally, the film argues that restricting CO2 emissions could actually be damaging for people in the developing world. James Shikwati, Kenyan director of the Inter Region Economic Network, says: 'The rich countries can afford to engage in some luxurious experimentation with other forms of energy, but for us we are still at the stage of survival.

'I don't see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry, how a solar panel is going to power a railway network, it might work, maybe, to power a small transistor radio.

'The thing that emerges from the whole environmental debate is the point that there is somebody keen to kill the African dream, and the African dream is to develop. We are being told don't touch your resources, don't touch your oil, don't touch your coal; that is suicide.'

Apparently, global warming enthusiasts not only don't like the US and Western-style capitalism, they don't like the poor in the Third World, either. I wonder who they do like.

Hat tip to Little Green Footballs (see blogroll at left).

Update, 3/7/07: I enjoyed reading this little post.

Update #2, 3/11/07: Ker-plunk (see blogroll at left) discusses why environmentalism is like a religion for the left, and has a link to the BBC video.


Justin Smith said...

Darren, you're right on target. Just today I made a post covering a Danish study that suggests cosmic rays cause global warming. These folks have put out a dozen articles in scientific journals with their findings and Al Gore is still saying nobody has presented anything to contradict his pet theory.

Anonymous said...

The Church of Global Warming? That's like the Church of Atomic Theory, The Church of Universal Gravitation, and The Church of the Non-flat Earth, and--well--The Church of Reality.

But hang tough, man. Don't buy any of that stuff "they're" trying to push. Like the "fact" that NASA sent men to the moon or that Islamic radicals flew planes into the WTC. Or that global climate change is real and is caused by human activity. Hang tough, man.

Unknown said...

"hat's like the Church of Atomic Theory, The Church of Universal Gravitation, and The Church of the Non-flat Earth, and--well--The Church of Reality."

Uh no, but thanks for playing. You can pick up your booby prize on the way out.

Ellen K said...

The Global Warming issue has passed beyond the level of issue to political litmus test. Heaven forbid we allow science to get in the way of the steamroller of political activism. I noticed on our local PBS affiliate they had a show on how the changes could be caused by the periodic reversing of the poles, something that has happened every 5000 years or so. It makes as much sense, in fact more than mere people causing the problem, as other theory out there. What's funny is that my daughter mentioned the possibility six years ago when she was taking AP Physics her junior year. What scares me is that the supporters will run headlong and drive the economy of the entire world into reckless and unfounded solutions just to make political points and we will end up missing the one or two key things that could spur or hinder our survival. That's the way tunnel vision works.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Sorry Ellen K, but your facts are wrong and your analysis is wrong.

Geomagnetic pole reversals do not happen "every 5000 years or so." Their periodicity is somewhat stochastic, but is better represented as one to five events per million years.

*Real science* tells us global climate change is real and exacerbated by human activity. Right-wing *politics* tells us to "smoke 'em if ya got 'em," a warmer earth would be a better earth, and hey--the end-times are nigh anyway; if there's a nickel to be made plundering the earth, get that nickel!

Fringe science is good fun and gets ratings for broadcast media (Coast-to-Coast does great business on late-hight AM radio), but it's outside the mainstream and has little or no substance.

Rightwingprof: keep your booby prize. And let it inspire a comment of substance next time. Surely you have one to offer.

Anonymous said...

Actually scientific research tells us that a warmer earth would be a more gregarious earth, at least in terms of food production. We actually in a bit of a cold desert period right now, in fact, and life is harder than it has been.

I don't think anyone that I've seen that doubts the media's presentation of global warming is advocating the plunder of the earth, just advising not plundering the economy chasing the current armeggedon theory. Remember, just ten years ago we were all supposed to freeze in a global ice age by now, and/or run out of food.

Anonymous said...

"Apparently, global warming enthusiasts not only don't like the US and Western-style capitalism, they don't like the poor in the Third World, either. I wonder who they do like."

I sincerely hope this was sarchastic, because if it wasn't, that's the biggest twisting of words I've ever heard. That's about as warped as saying "Apparently the pro-choice enthusiasts want to kill all the babies."

As for global warming, have you ever heard of Pascal's wager? It has to do with belief in God, and goes something like this. "You can either believe or not believe. If you believe and you're wrong, so what - there's no afterlife. If you believe and you're right, you'll go to heaven. If you don't believe and you're wrong, you'll go to hell. If you don't believe and you're right, so what. Therefore you should believe in God, because the potential benefits are greater than the potential harms." This idea has a lot of flaws, most notably that it assumes that you can force youself to believe and speaks nothing of the quality of your life on Earth based on your choice. But the principle behind it is very interesting. Applying it to global warming would go something like this:

"You can either believe global warming is caused by man, or that it isn't. If you believe it is and you're right, you've just saved the planet by taking preventative action. If you believe that it is and you're wrong, you've reduced carbon emissions and improved the quality of the air we breath in places like LA. If you believe it isn't and you're wrong, you've just destroyed the planet by not taking preventative action that you had the ability to take. If you believe it isn't and you're right, so what - no action taken, no effects of your lack of action. Therefore, you should believe it is cause by man and act accordingly, because the potential benefits are greater than the potential harms."

I'm not saying I agree fully, just that it's interesting. Apparently people have applied the same idea to cryogenic freezing. If you freeze youself you'll probably die, if you don't freeze yourself you'll certainly die. I find this hilarious and interesting - people are weird. Wikipedia has an really good article about the history of the idea and the flaws inherent in it. Just search "Pascals Wager" on

Darren said...

Perhaps what's missing in Pascal's wager is a probability of occurrence. I don't view the theory of man-caused global warming to have a very high probability of being correct, so I'll spare us the devastation of Western economies that would come with belief in that theory.

As for your belief that one of my comments was sarcasm, I assure you it was not. Perhaps you should watch the movie 'Mine Your Own Business'. You can read about it here at

Let me remind you: it was a self-professed leftie who made that movie.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The flaw in Pascal's Wager (or at least one of the many flaws) is the lack of inclusion of probablility. But you say you feel there's a low probability of man-made global warming...why? There's two parts to the man-caused global warming theory:

1) Man is releasing carbon into the air
2) Carbon causes higher temperatures on earth

Which part is it that you find logically flawed, or that you feel there isn't enough evidence for. Hopefully not #1, because to say that man isn't mining fossil fules and burning them is like saying the Holocaust never happened. And number two is pretty easily explainable scientifically, and there are huge amounts of evidence to support it - I don't understand why everyone is so opposed to this idea. The only thing I can think of is that you don't WANT to believe it because it is, as Mr. Gore put it, "inconvenient." But a desire to believe one way or the other is by no means a justification for that belief - at least not rationally speaking.

Darren said...

To save me from having to point things out for the umpteenth time, I encourage you to visit the "global warming" label at the left :-)