Royal Society releases statement on Swindle Ofcom Ruling

Mon, 2008-07-21 15:15Emily Murgatroyd
Emily Murgatroyd's picture

Royal Society releases statement on Swindle Ofcom Ruling

The UK's Royal Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious scientific bodies in the world has released this statement today on the Ofcom ruling that the “Great Global Warming Swindle” television movie misrepresented the views of some of the world's most distinguished scientists:

Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society said: “TV companies occasionally commission programmes just to court controversy, but to misrepresent the evidence on an issue as important as global warming was surely irresponsible. 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' was itself a swindle. The programme makers misrepresented the science, the views of some of the scientists featured in the programme and the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“The science of climate change is complex; however the weight of scientific evidence shows that global warming caused by human actions is happening now, and is set to continue. There is certainly a need for ongoing debate on climate change and on what we are going to do to tackle it but this programme made little or no contribution to that debate.”


For more on the who's who of the climate denial industry, check out our comprehensive climate deniers research database.



Were does it says "makers misrepresented the science" ?

There is something at the end regarding Rule 5.12 requires that where a major matter of current public policy of international importance like this is being considered in a programme “an appropriately wide range of significant views must be included and given due weight in each programme or in clearly linked and timely programmes.” In this part of the programme, and on this specific issue, no such wide range of views was included. Ofcom also found that the programmes referred to by Channel 4 in the cluster of programmes editorially linked to The Great Global Warming Swindle were not sufficiently timely or linked to satisfy the requirements of Rule 5.12. Nor could the requirements of due impartiality be satisfied by the general and wide ranging media output about anthropogenic global warming over recent years (including print media output) that was referred to by Channel 4 in its response.

Part Five of the programme therefore breached Rules 5.11 and 5.12.

Not in breach of Rule 2.2

Breach of Rules 5.11 and 5.12 (in respect of Part Five of the programme)

The rest of the ruling seem to be in the favor of the GGWS not the complainants?

The Ofcom report does not say "makers misrepresented the science" because as a careful reading of the full report (available in PDF from the site Mr. Robichaud cites above)shows, Ofcom does not consider the making of such decisions within it's jurisdiction. In other words, Ofcom takes no official position on the science used in GGWS.

"However, whilst Ofcom is required by the 2003 Act to set standards to ensure that news programmes are reported with “due accuracy” there is no such requirement for other types of programming, including factual programmes of this type." [my emphasis]

In areas that are within it's jurisdiction, Ofcom did find a number of violations requiring public retraction, not only in response to complaints from members of the public, but also from the IPCC, Sir David King and Professor Carl Wunsch. Some complaints were rejected because of rules designed to protect free speech [which of course offers wide latitude for all sorts of deception and distortion--my comment] but others were not.

The violations all had to do with qualities that one associates with responsible journalism:

Rule 5:11 impartiality
Rule 5.12 on presenting a wide range of views
Rule 7.1 allowing parties quoted on the show sufficient opportunity to challenge or correct how their words were being used.

In those areas Ofcom ruled against Channel 4.

Ofcom ruled that in the case of the IPCC, Sir David King and Prof. Wunsch Rule 7.1 was violated. Rules 5.11 and 5.12 were ruled violated in response to 265 individual complaints plus one group complaint.

As an example, here is the part of the ruling where Ofcom ruled against Channel 4 and in favor of the IPCC:

"Accordingly the Committee had upheld this part of the IPCC’s complaint. In summary, the Committee found the programme broadcast a number of significant allegations which called into question the IPCC’s scientific credibility and that the IPCC had not been offered an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond to these. This resulted in unfairness in the programme as broadcast
The Committee therefore partly upheld the IPCC’s complaint of unfair treatment.

Channel 4 was found in breach of Rule 7.1 of the Code.

Since when have denialists and delayers ever been concerned about fairness?

[Blogging for the future at Climaticide Chronicles]

"My True Religion Is Kindness" -- The Dalai Lama/---/Do you know why 350ppm is important?

"Since when have denialists and delayers ever been concerned about fairness?"
My True Religion Is Kindness" -- The Dalai Lama...

Do you know why 350ppm is important? Do tell.

Wilbert, Wilbert, Wilbert...

Have you ever bothered to look into the history of the article you cite?

The actual quote (source: is this:

"Fifty-five million years ago was a time when there was no ice on the earth; the Antarctic was the most habitable place for mammals, because it was the coolest place, and the rest of the earth was rather inhabitable because it was so hot. It is estimated that it [CO2 concentration] was roughly 1,000 parts per million then, and the important thing is that if we carry on business as usual we will hit 1,000 parts per million around the end of this century."

You DO know the difference between presenting a worst-case SCENARIO (i.e. "if we continue business as usual"), as opposed to presenting a PREDICTION/FORECAST, right? goes into more detail.

"Fifty-five million years ago was a time when there was no ice on the earth; the Antarctic was the most habitable place for mammals, because it was the coolest place, and the rest of the earth was rather inhabitable because it was so hot. It is estimated that it [CO2 concentration] was roughly 1,000 parts per million then, and the important thing is that if we carry on business as usual we will hit 1,000 parts per million around the end of this century."
I like that.. So 1000ppm is good and 1000PPM is it!
400PPM is the tipping point. gezzz!

If you think there is anything good about 1000ppm CO2 in our definitely don't "got it!"

"the Antarctic was the most habitable place for mammals"..tell that to the Author.

Industrial revolution till to today CO2 from 280PPM to 380PPM ..100PPM per century.
1,000 parts per million around the end of this century." ?


Setting aside that the passage you quoted earlier says nothing about 1000ppm being good and yet you concluded that it said it was good (and bad), which says a lot about your (lack of) reading comprehension skill, this is just bizarre.

You assume a linear relationship when even COMMON SENSE tells you that it would be closer to exponential (to say nothing of the evidence, which you seem wont to ignore in favor of your own armchair quarterbacking).

It would only be a linear relationship if the amount of CO2 emitted every year between the Industrial Revolution and today was constant -- that is, that the total emissions from all fossil-fuel-consuming devices (roughly analagous to the total demand for fossil fuels) is the same today as it was in 1850.

Clearly, this is absurd (from scientific, mathematical, historical and economic perspectives), and it shows a lack of thinking on your part. You can do better than this.

Of Course it must be my Mistake.. when I read "1,000 parts per million then" I assumed it was 1000PPM Global wise today. I assumed it was a wonderful place to be "the Antarctic was the most habitable place for mammals" I guess I was wrong.. Antarctica must had a different CO2 PPM.

But you were right in assuming that 1000 ppm would be global...of course it would.
But if Antarctica were to be the most habitable place for mammals...just what kind of conditions do you think would exist on the rest of the globe?

I admit there were some allegations in the film that seemed harsh but it is generally accepted that until now at least co2 had not predominantly at least caused temperature rises it was in fact the other way round.

I have read the IPCC 4th assessment and it blames co2 because over recent times temperatures have risen disproportionately and it claims there is more co2 than in at least half a million years.

Ok, if temperatures are rising fast that doesn't prove it is co2 and don't forget ice cores had been used before more accurate instruments to measure co2.

The instruments now are more accurate but the readings will no longer be consistent with the old ones.

Carbon dioxide diffuses in ice so it shouldn't shock you the modern readings show more co2. If we were to use ice cores for present co2 levels there will be nothing alarming about it at all.

In theory green house gases should cause warming but there might well be an offset. Co2 levels are shooting up now nearly all because of warming oceans yet temperatures are declining right now.

Plants, trees etc soak up a lot of co2 if not all of it. This must be the explanation why the facts don't fit the theory.

It shouldn't shock you if temperatures and co2 sometimes go in opposite directions and sometimes in the same direction. This suggests weak or zero correllation.

It might not be the brightness or the heat of the sun that causes warming but most likely sunspots and magnetic connections. It is the solar particles that reach the earth that cause warming.

This is what Piers Corbyn says and he is often right in his long term forecasts, more often than not. I have seen them for myself so this theory shouldn't be ignored.

It seems it is predominantly the Sun and not Co2 to any controlling degree at least.

If the Sun is doing it we are nothing in comparison and I do believe in relativity.

If we had no Sun and just us then the temperature would be much more dependent on us.

You don't have to agree but take it on board and that will please me greatly.

Piers Corbyn is a denialist; look him up on wiki. Your arguments about CO2 are incorrect. We are producing more CO2 than the plants on earth are able to soak up. Also, your claim that temperatures are declining is wrong. Where did you get that idea from?

Here, check out this site and start with the basics, because you do not seem to understand what factors are causing AGW.

Oh My! MY! Wiki and W M Connolly also a Contributor to RealClimate with M Mann and Gavin S and good old NASAs J Hansen and Gavin S then we have GISS with Gavin S.
Quoting each other and the IPCC quoting them right back a big love fest!

As opposed to the Singer/Ball/McLie/lord-what's-his-face goof-ball fest?

At least Connolley, Schmidt, and Mann submit their findings for peer review and are honest about their qualifications.


DIE you maggot,” reads one of the hundreds of emails from climate science deniers that have dropped into philosopher Lawrence Torcello’s inbox in recent days.

“Fortunately, your kind will be marched to the wall with all the other leftist detritus,” says another.

Others accuse Torcello, an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of...

read more