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 Instead, the editorial writers cling to the public relations efforts and populist (which is to say, NOT peer-reviewed) journalism of people like Lindzen and letter-to-the-editor king Tim Ball.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.