Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle C4 tonight

Ummm. Interesting programme.

I have to leave the climatology/sun spots/oceanography arguments to the experts, but many of the programme's arguments were full of holes, for example:

i. The assertation that 10,000's jobs are dependent on global warming - well surely many, many more are dependent on a high carbon economy, so the idea that the establishment has a vested interest in global warming is laughable.

ii. They criticise the research history of many of the IPCC scientists, yet I don't recall seeing a peer reviewed paper ripping apart the theory of man-made global warming.

iii. They say that there is a huge CO2 emission from 'dying vegetation'. Vegetation grows in annual cycles so the CO2 from dead vegetation is reabsorbed in the spring - the Carbon Cycle. Can't say the same about volcanos, I must admit.

iv. That the whole thing is a Thatcherite/Hard Left conspiracy to defeat the miners/big business. Well the US Govt has long been sceptical and therefore must be free of these prejudices - so how come US scientists tell their Government that global warming is man-made?

v. They state (correctly) that there is a lag between CO2 and temperature to prove one argument, then repeatedly state that economic growth and global temperature patterns do not coincide over a period of decades - you can't have your cake and eat it.

vi. That the global warming conspiracy is keeping billions in poverty. I've never heard any environmentalist argue that the poor shouldn't have their fair share of resources - the unfairness is due to the current orthodoxy. Quite to the contrary, the pinning of the global environmental problem on the West is a constant theme amongst campaigners - as the programme pointed out when they were trying to make a different argument. I found this line extremely offensive.

OK, so maybe the programme makers threw in all this rubbish to pad out the programme to an hour and a half, and diluted these scientists' message of dissent, but at the end of the day:

- If 'we' are wrong we still end up with clean, secure, sustainable energy use with reduced congestion, better local air quality, improved community cohesion and we won't have world war III when we hit peak oil.

- If 'they' are wrong, it IS the end of the world.

So therefore I'd rather wait for the message to come directly from the research community than believe a rubbish TV programme like this.

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9 Comments:

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Vic said...

"If 'we' are wrong we still end up with clean, secure, sustainable energy use with reduced congestion, better local air quality, improved community cohesion and we won't have world war III when we hit peak oil." Hear, hear!

 
At 2:33 AM, Blogger anax said...

I was furious with some of the tv show's arguments, especially the idea that climate-change activists want to see the 'death of the African dream [of development]'. But the slick presentation, combined with my scientific ignorance, made me unsure about some of the arguments I've previously believed.
After a couple of days and web research (e.g.
http://climatedenial.org/2007/03/09/the-great-channel-four-swindle/)
I'm now convinced that the show was dangerous misinformation.

 
At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Silvia said...

As I was watching the programme, I couldn't help feeling that Global Warming deniers are missing a vital piont. whether or not we are responsible for climate change, the fossil fuels upon which we all depend are a FINITE resource. The sooner we move to sustainable forms of energy production, the better for all of us. Which brings me to the subject of Africa and it's development. As oil supplies are declining, would it not be irresponsible to put systems in place that are unsustainable? Wind turbines and solar panels would mean that Africa could be independant. Consider this: To replace one year of the world's oil consumption you woud have to:
Build 104 coal-fired power plants every year for 50 years, or
Build and install 32,850 wind turbines every year for 50 years, or
Build 4 Three Gorges Dams every year for 50 years, or
Build 52 Nuclear power stations every year for 50 years (not possible as Uranium is also in short supply), or
Build and install 91,250,000 Solar panels every year for 50 years. Source: Harry Goldstien and William Sweet IEEE Spectrum. All just to keep going for one year without oil! So why, pray tell, aren't we getting busy now with putting systems in place to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil?

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also watched the programme, and have a few comments to make on your comments:

(i) I believe the point made was that the jobs dependent on global warming are in the media.

(v) This was addressing different points. They pointed out that CO2 levels lagged temperature levels by 800 years. That debunked the claim that CO2 has historically been the driver of global temperatures. The lag, it claimed, was due to the time taken for the ocean to warm up. They did not claim a lag between CO2 going into the atmosphere and the dependent rise in temperatures - you seem to have confused the two issues.

If we're wrong, it's not the 'end of the world', it's just higher sea levels. Don't over-dramatise.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Gareth Kane said...

i) The bit I was referring to was referring to the research community, but I think it stands across the board

v) there was another reference to time lags that contradicted the 'economic growth and CO2' argument.

End of the world? I was being slightly flippant, but check out the Sunday Times today, or that leaked US DoD report from a couple of years ago - both predicted mass ecological and social breakdown. For a start the majority of the world's population live close to sea level, so the results could be quite dramatic...

 
At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smelt a fish long ago.

To hear that the IPCC was actually set up by Thatcher....
well that spells the whole thing out clearly - The whole global warming thing is just prepping us for nuclear power.

I think an amazing part of the programme (that could only be achieved on TV) was showing an image of a steel factory - the voice over asks "how will this be powered by solar engery or wind energy?"..... I think it looks like the general public is being made first to reject fossil fuels so that they can pave the way for the reactors....

 
At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

I watched the programme, and I tend to agree with a lot of the statements made, and I can say that I am now more of a skeptic of global warming than a believer. However, I am still a conservationist. The technologies that our efforts are being put into today will create great benefits. We do need to conserve our reseources and treat them with respect. In this way I consider the global warming theory a blessing; great things will come from this.

It's all about balance. I think that western countries have the money to put into large scale renewable energy sources. I also think that developing countries have the right to use their resources to improve their way of life, just like us. Why shouldn't us and our governments help them do that while curbing our own consumption as well? But in the end, the African development officer is right. I work in the solar industry. A few, hmmm, even a thousand, solar panels are not going to develop and sustain a healty and prosperous country.

 
At 1:23 AM, Anonymous TTurek said...

it facinates me to read these sentimental convictions of the movie being rubbish and pouring cold water on people behind its ideas. You all shall admit, that if one is not scientist one has to rely on the mainstream, either politically, environmentally, media or or other self-interest driven information. Thus one has to be sceptical and the movie points out questions that I believe are hard to answer completly, not leaving any doubts. Consider that and dont let your selfs be fooled once again. the whole world is propaganda, think this is not? ALL HAIL

 
At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very furious as I was reading your comments on this film.I am an African and a Quaternary geologist. Many of you are speaking about things you have never live and you don't know what is about them.
Have you ever use solar energy? Do you know how much it cost?
I am in China and my Professor who is a chinese scientists has never watched this documentary disagree on the effects of CO2 on the climate. I should tell you that he can not speak and read english, so does not know about what is going on there. So you should convince us. And I really think that they make a point and it is scientific.

 

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