Former Royal Society Spokesperson weighs in on Ofcom's global warming swindle decision

A press release has been issued by the original complainants to Ofcom, the UK's communications regulatory office, over the Channel 4 documentary, “The Great Global Warming Swindle.”

In the release (full version attached below), Bob Ward, former spokesperson for the prestigious UK Royal Society, who submitted one of the 265 complaints received by Ofcom and who reviewed parts of the test complaint, said:

“The commissioning and broadcasting of this programme was clearly a calamitous mistake and revealed serious management failures at Channel 4. It is very disappointing that Ofcom has failed to fully uphold the public interest, and the ruling raises very serious doubts about the ability of the broadcasting regulator to recognise the harm caused by misrepresentations of the scientific evidence on climate change. Recent opinion polls show that a majority of the public mistakenly believe that many scientists disagree that greenhouse gas emissions” [my emphasis]

Ward went on to say that:

“Martin Durkin, who produced the programme for Channel 4, has so far been unapologetic about the misrepresentation of facts and the unfair treatment of scientists. He should also withdraw the DVD version from sale, because it contains many of the errors that appeared in the broadcast programme, and he should recall those copies that have already been sold. I hope that the trading standards authorities now investigate sales of the DVD.”

For more on the history of the “Great Global Warming Swindle” and Channel 4 controversy check out some of DeSmog's previous entries:

A Global Warming Swindle play-by-play

Aussie media lambasting Durkin's Swindle film

Swindle Update: ABC is now slamming the Swindle

Vancouver Sun Promotes Climate Swindle

Newspaper prescribes “the Swindle” for schoolchildren

“The Great Global Warming Swindle”

Monbiot on the Channel 4 Swindle

For a more in-depth look, check out DeSmog's comprehensive research database on the climate denial industry.



Thanks, as always Ian see the previous post:

Just a quick correction to your comment, the site: was set up by Dave Rado, the individual who drafted the complaint to OfCom.

Much appreciated.

I had just been reading the ofcomswindlecomplaint site when I clicked on your post. I didn’t get to the two earlier posts.

Ian Forrester

After 6 million Jews were found to have been gassed, they brought in laws in some countries to prosecute holocaust deniers. The way the military handled the denial they saw in some German people when they first occupied Germany was to force everyone in some towns to go on a tour of the gas chambers. There are still people today who will assure you that no Jews were gassed.

I guess if we came from a dead planet that we had killed by changing its atmosphere the first thing we’d do as we set ourselves up on this one would be to make it a crime to try to manipulate anyone into believing that a planet never was, or could not be, killed.

It’s hard to know what to say. As this crisis becomes more obvious at some point it will degenerate into war. I would have thought it impossible to have obvious effects such as 50,000 square miles of dead trees as we do in the province where I live, and still see most people wandering around as if nothing is happening.

As long as Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, which the UK courts found misrepresented reality, gets the same treatment I would be happy.

I think that you need to spend some more time studying the science. Then you will see that AIT agrees with the climate scientists. The Swindle was full of lies, distorted graphs, cherry picks and other fairy tales.

Also your remark that AIT misrepresented reality borders on slander and libel.

Ian Forrester

The judge’s decision itself is available here, for convenience.

The nine ‘errors’ – note the scarequotes which the pundits never include; they were there in the original ruling, which was responding to claims of the plaintiffs that there were scientific errors – that the National Post et al got huffy on were met with two qualifiers. The first is that “the hearing before [the judge] did not relate to an analysis of the scientific questions” – he was not concerned with the science so much as the representation of scientific consensus. The second is that he makes it quite clear that these nine points were “errors or departures from the mainstream” – even though at least seven of them *do* match up with evidence or current scientific consensus.

The worst you could conclude from that ruling is that Gore wasn’t entirely clear (i.e. mentioning that the likelyhood of imminent total Greenland melt and thermohaline conveyor shutdown is low – but not so low as to be impossible; it does fit with the IPCC report, WG1 chapter 10). The worst you can conclude from the Ofcom ruling is that Martin Durkin is a lying bastard (to put it politely).

Martin Durkin the lying bastard (as described above, and who could possibly disagree), chose his ‘experts’ wisely they included Fred ‘I lie whenever I open my mouth*’ Singer and Tim ‘I lied about my credentials, about not receiving industry funding and the climate’ Ball.

* As just one example of many, see: -
Tobacco, asbestos, climate & etc.