Newspaper prescribes "the Swindle" for schoolchildren

Wed, 2007-04-11 09:58Kevin Grandia
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Newspaper prescribes "the Swindle" for schoolchildren

The editorial then finishes off with the absolutist view of science by propping up one scientist, MIT’s Richard Lindzen, as proof that the “consensus” about the human contribution to climate change is not unanimous. Of course, The Province fails to mention the overwhelming agreement in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that global warming is a real and pressing concern; that humans have caused it and humans must fix it. Instead, the editorial writers cling to the public relations efforts and populist (which is to say, NOT peer-reviewed) journalism of people like Lindzen and letter-to-the-editor king Tim Ball.

As for putting the shock-doc The Great Swindle in front of our high-school children, I’m completely in favour. But let’s first rustle up a brochure outlining the inaccuracies and outright falsehoods contained in the work. The DeSmogBlog could provide background on the oil-inudstry connections of the “skeptical” scientists, starting here.

A fair document might also include some information on the director, Martin Durkin:

- In 1998 the Independent Television Commission found that, when making a similar series, Durkin had “misled” his interviewees about “the content and purpose of the programmes”. Coincidentally, Carl Wunsch, an MIT professor who appeared in this video, has complained that he was misled on this occasion and is considering legal action. In the words of Dr. Wunsch: The Great Global Warming Swindle, was “grossly distorted” and “as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War Two.”

- Also in 1998, Durkin submitted a documentary proposal to the BBC making the claim that silicone breast implants were far from harming women, and were in fact beneficial, reducing the risk of breast cancer. The BBC rejected his proposal based on the finding that Durkin had entirely ignored a powerful body of evidence contradicting his claims. So Durkin took the proposal over to Channel 4, and they aired it.

Durkin’s own researcher, a biochemist, also quit in disgust, saying, “My research was being ignored. The published research had been construed to give an impression that’s not the case. I don’t know how that programme got passed. The only consolation for me was that I’m really glad I didn’t put my name to it.”

- In a 1997, Durkin compared environmentalists to Nazis in a Channel 4 series called Against Nature.

- In 2000 , Durkin produced another Channel 4 documentary on genetic engineering called Modified Truth. Even before the show was aired one of the interviewees, a geneticist named Dr Mae-Wan Ho stated: “I feel completely betrayed and misled. They did not tell me it was going to be an attack on my position.”

As for Channel 4 itself, it’s good to them returning to their usual programming, including such current classics as “Celebrity Wife Swap” and “Wank Week,” an entire week dedicated to masturbation-themed programmes.

The Province seems to be suggesting that An Inconvenient Truth falls short of presenting the whole truth. But if you want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we regret that Martin Durkin’s work will be left in a dark and lonely storeroom - where it belongs.

 

Comments

In other words, you don’t mind seeing high school students exposed to both sides of a contraversy, provided they are also subjected to a good dose of hateful brainwashing. Do I detect a few drops of sweat on your brow at the mere thought of students being given credit for having a least as many brains as Big Al?

Zog, for your edification here is a definition of science from the OED:

“A branch of study which is concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified and more or less colligated by being brought under general law, and which includes trustworthy methods for the discovery of new truth within its own domain”.

How on earth does the “Swindle” come even close to this definition. A description of what the “Swindle” is, is to be found under “rubbish” (OED: “worthless, ridiculous, nonsensical ideas, discourse or writing”).

You only show up your own stupidity and lack of intellect by trying to compare the scientific rigour of these two programmes.

Ian Forrester

When you say brainwash, do you mean facts or much-needed context or a bit of both??
Kevin, I think that when ZOG says “brainwash”, he means the same thing as when he says “dogma” or “religion”, ie. any opinion that differs from his own. Which is itself somewhat dogmatic. Ironic, don’t you think?

If you're presenting facts, (i.e. Durkin's history of misleading interviewees and scientific inaccuracies) they are nothing more than facts. If they do not add to the argument, than they can simply be ignored. When people like Zog respond in the way they do, it tells me that what I am writing is relevant – if it wasn't they would not comment. 

And yes it is ironic, but not surprising – idealogues do have trouble when it comes to logic.  

Here are some quotes from an interview George Monbiot had with Lobby Watch on the characters and organizations behind the “Swindle”:

(He is referring to the LM Group and the way it operates)

“George: There are two reasons why I find it worrying. The first is that the agenda they pursue appears not to be pursued overtly. For example, when they ran the magazine Living Marxism it was very far from a Marxism journal - it was just about as far from a Marxist journal as you could possibly get. And it seemed to me that the title was a direct and deliberate attempt to distract attention from the fact that this was a far right wing libertarian publication which was using the terms of the left to make it look as if the positions it was taking were new and unusual ones. Whereas in actual fact they were very well trodden ones, but well trodden by people like the Libertarian Alliance who in theory were at the other end of the political spectrum…..

….But what Living Marxism did, I felt, was to give the impression that it was saying something new because it was dealing with the issues from a left perspective whereas it was very plainly dealing with them from a right perspective. And it was taking a line almost identical to that taken by right wing organizations - particularly some of the business come lobbyist organisations in the US, such as the Heritage Foundation, the CATO Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute - and so they were able to play very effectively on this semblance of left parties. People find it is very hard to believe that a magazine called Living Marxism would be a right wing magazine. And so they said ‘oh look - the left has come up with something new - really I think that maybe we should be following this line ourselves’. It led to a great deal of confusion really, including among some people I know…..

….But also it meant that when there were issues which desperately needed communication to the public, like climate change, what has the Science Media Centre, what has Sense About Science [both are affiliated with LM Group - IF], ever done on climate change?

And that is the greatest challenge to science that there has been since the days of Trofim Lysenko - climate change denial - which receives a massive amount of publicity in the Telegraph, the Mail, the Spectator - which has got huge industry backing and which, in the United States, of course, is official policy. And not a squeak from these people - who claim to be defending science.

And that to me is a dead give away that these people are industry lobby groups - they are industry lobbyists, they are not science lobbyists. And maybe that answers the question. Maybe… they are obviously trying to swing things towards their right wing agenda by making use of these outlets”.

The full interview can be accessed at:

http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=7748
or
http://www.lobbywatch.org/p1temp.asp?pid=90&page=1

Ian Forrester

As always, much appreciated Ian.


Right on cue. Another ad-hominem attack.

Is that all you’ve got?

EH, before using Latin quotes it would be helpful if you checked out their meaning first. That way it would save you the embarrassment of making foolish mistakes in your Latin syntax. You would discover that there are no ad homs in my post, only factual information.

Ian Forrester

So that really is all you’ve got.

Thanks for clearing that up.
According to one of its advocates, Global Warming Scam is all about “A Big Chunk of 17 Trillion Dollars” quoted here by one of its architects as shown in the attached introductory video. Global Warming Scam http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1425249672931646464&q=%22Geo+Kar... Follow the links at Geo Karras .Org to get the power point presentation that details the personnel and financial arrangers of Al Gore’s movie—BP and Exxon just to name two. And understand the financials of Co2 regulation and carbon trading to understand why, and how the scam fits into globalization.


“The Province fails to mention the overwhelming agreement in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that global warming is a real and pressing concern …(snip)”

Right. Just like that “overwhelming agreement” that we were on the verge of the next ice-age in the 1970’s.

EH, there was no “scientific consensus” in the scientific literature. There were a few papers talking about possible cooling, one was about the fact that we may have passed the mid-point between ice ages, thus the “imminent ice age” which the popular press (Newsweek) was referring to was approximately 10,000 years into the future.

It was a known fact at the time that there were a number of factors that were influencing climate, notably earth orbit factors, aerosols and CO2. At the time (1970’s) it was not known which factor would predominate. Thus there was increased research to try and identify what factors were of most importance. At the same time acid rain was becoming an acknowledged problem, so steps were taken to reduce the output of sulphur oxides into the atmosphere. Sulphur aerosols were also responsible for a cooling effect.

Thus the two fold result of reducing sulphur oxides and continually increasing CO2 emissions has resulted in the high rate of temperature increase observed since the 1970’s.

The important thing to remember is that there was no “global cooling consensus”. This is just a figment of the vivid imagination of AGW deniers.

More details of this can be found at:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/the-global-cooling-myth/

Ian Forrester

What utter nonsense.

If you are unable to understand what I wrote and it is “utter nonsense” to you I can only assume that you are as lacking in your ability to understand English as you are in understanding Latin.

You would be much better spending your time in class rather than wasting your time and ours by contributing to this blog. Come back in a couple of years when you graduate to senior high (if you ever manage to accomplish that feat).

Ian Forrester

Without specific reference to the facts presented, your comment is utterly irrelevant.

Unless you have a counterpoint predicated on a scientific basis (see Forrester’s definition above), don’t waste your time. It just reinforces your lack of credibility.