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Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked

 
earl
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03/15/2007 07:20 PM
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Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
by George Monbiot
[link to www.outlookindia.com]

Were it not for dissent, science, like politics, would have stayed in the Dark Ages. All the great heroes of the discipline -- Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein -- took tremendous risks in confronting mainstream opinion. Today's crank has often proved to be tomorrow's visionary.

But the syllogism does not apply. Being a crank does not automatically make you a visionary. There is little prospect, for example, that Dr Mantombazana Tshabalala-Msimang, the South African health minister who has claimed that AIDS can be treated with garlic, lemon and beetroot, will one day be hailed as a genius. But the point is often confused. Professor David Bellamy, for example, while making the incorrect claim that wind farms do not have "any measurable effect" on total emissions of carbon dioxide, has compared himself to Galileo (1).

The problem with "The Great Global Warming Swindle", which caused a sensation when it was broadcast on Channel 4 last week, is that to make its case it relies not on future visionaries, but on people whose findings have already been proved wrong. The implications could not be graver. Just as the British government launches its climate change bill and Gordon Brown and David Cameron start jostling to establish their green credentials, thousands of people have been misled into believing that there is no problem to address.

The film's main contention is that the current increase in global temperatures is caused not by rising greenhouse gases, but by changes in the activity of the Sun. It is built around the discovery in 1991 by the Danish atmospheric physicist Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen that recent temperature variations on earth are in "strikingly good agreement" with the length of the cycle of sunspots (2).

Unfortunately, he found nothing of the kind. A paper published in the journal Eos in 2004 reveals that the "agreement" was the result of "incorrect handling of the physical data" (3). The real data for recent years show the opposite: that the length of the sunspot cycle has in fact declined, while temperatures have risen. When this error was exposed, Friis-Christensen and his co-author published a new paper, purporting to produce similar results(4). But this too turned out to be an artefact of mistakes they had made -- in this case in their arithmetic (5).

So Friis-Christensen and another author developed yet another means of demonstrating that the Sun is responsible, claiming to have discovered a remarkable agreement between cosmic radiation influenced by the Sun and global cloud cover(6). This is the mechanism the film proposes for global warming. But, yet again, the method was exposed as faulty. They had been using satellite data which did not in fact measure global cloud cover. A paper in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics shows that when the right data are used, a correlation is not found (7).

So the hypothesis changed again. Without acknowledging that his previous paper was wrong, Friis-Christensen's co-author, Henrik Svensmark, declared that there was in fact a correlation -- not with total cloud cover but with "low cloud cover"(8). This too turned out to be incorrect (9). Then, last year, Svensmark published a paper purporting to show that cosmic rays could form tiny particles in the atmosphere(10).

Accompanying it was a press release which went way beyond the findings reported in the paper, claiming it showed that both past and current climate events are the result of cosmic rays (11).

As Dr Gavin Schmidt of NASA has shown on www.realclimate.org, five missing steps would have to be taken to justify the wild claims in the press release. "We've often criticised press releases that we felt gave misleading impressions of the underlying work", Schmidt says, "but this example is by far the most blatant extrapolation-beyond-reasonableness that we've seen."(12) None of this seems to have troubled the programme makers, who report the cosmic ray theory as if it trounces all competing explanations.

The film also maintains that manmade global warming is disproved by conflicting temperature data. Professor John Christy speaks about the discrepancy he discovered between temperatures at the earth's surface and temperatures in the troposphere (or lower atmosphere). But the programme fails to mention that in 2005 his data were proved wrong, by three papers in Science magazine (13,14,15).

Christy himself admitted last year that he was mistaken. He was one of the lead authors of a paper which states the opposite of what he says in the film. "Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human-induced global warming. Specifically, surface data showed substantial global-average warming, while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected."(16)

Until recently, when found to be wrong, scientists went quietly back to their labs to start again. Now, emboldened by the global denial industry, some of them, like the film makers, shriek "censorship!" This is the best example of manufactured victimhood I have ever come across. If you demonstrate that someone is wrong, you are now deemed to be silencing him.

But there is one scientist in the film whose work has not been debunked: the oceanographer Carl Wunsch. He appears to support the idea that increasing carbon dioxide is not responsible for rising global temperatures. Professor Wunsch says that he was "completely misrepresented" by the programme, and "totally misled" by the people who made it(17).

This is a familiar story to those who have followed the career of the director, Martin Durkin. In 1998 the Independent Television Commission found that, when making a similar series, he had "misled" his interviewees about "the content and purpose of the programmes". Their views had been "distorted through selective editing" (18). Channel 4 had to make a prime-time apology.

Cherry-pick your results, choose work which is already outdated and discredited, and anything and everything becomes true. The Twin Towers were brought down by controlled explosions; MMR injections cause autism; homeopathy works; black people are less intelligent than white people; species came about through intelligent design. You can find lines of evidence which appear to support all these contentions, and, in most cases, professors who will speak up in their favour. But this does not mean that any of them are correct. You can sustain a belief in these propositions only by ignoring the overwhelming body of contradictory data. To form a balanced, scientific view, you have to consider all the evidence, on both sides of the question.

But for the people who commissioned this film, all that counts is the sensation.

Channel 4 has always had a problem with science. No one in its science unit appears to understand the difference between a peer-reviewed scientific paper and a clipping from the Daily Mail. It keeps commissioning people whose claims have been discredited -- like Martin Durkin and a certain nutritionist of our acquaintance. But its failure to understand the scientific process just makes the job of whipping up a storm that much easier. The less true a programme is, the greater the controversy.

www.monbiot.com

References:

1. David Bellamy, 14th August 2004. An ill wind blows for turbines. Letter to the Guardian.

2. Eigil Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen, 1991. Length of the solar cycle: an indicator of solar activity closely associated with climate. Science, Vol 254, 698-700.

3. Paul Damon and Peter Laut, 2004. Pattern of Strange Errors Plagues Solar Activity and Terrestrial Climate Data. Eos, Vol. 85, No. 39.

4. Knud Lassen and Eigil Friis-Christensen, 2000. Reply to "Solar cycle lengths and climate: A reference revisited" by P. Laut and J.Gundermann. Journal of Geophysical Research Vol 105, No 27, 493-495.

5. Paul Damon and Peter Laut, ibid.

6. Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen, 1997. Variation of cosmic ray flux and global cloud coverage: A missing link in solar-climate relationships. The Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Vol 59, 1225-1232.

7. Peter Laut, 2003. Solar activity and terrestrial climate: an analysis of some purported correlations. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Vol 65, 801-812.

8. Nigel Marsh and Henrik Svensmark, 2000. Low cloud properties influenced by cosmic rays. Physical Review Letters Vol 85, no 23. 5004-5007.

9. Paul Damon and Peter Laut, ibid.

10. Henrik Svensmark et al, 2007. Experimental evidence for the role of ions in particle nucleation under atmospheric conditions. Proceedings of the Royal Society Volume 463, Number 2078, 1364-5021.

11. Danish National Space centre, October 2006. Getting closer to the cosmic connection to climate.

12. Gavin Schmidt, 16th October 2006. Taking Cosmic Rays for a spin.

13. Carl A. Mears and Frank J. Wentz, 2nd September 2005. The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature. Science. Vol 309, pp1548-1551.

14. B.D. Santer et al, 2nd September 2005. Amplification of Surface Temperature Trends and Variability in the Tropical Atmosphere. Science. Vol 309, pp1548-1551.

15. Steven J. Sherwood, John R. Lanzante and Cathryn L. Meyer, 2nd September 2005. Radiosonde Daytime Biases and Late-20th Century Warming. Science. Vol 309, pp1556-1559.

16. Tom Wigley et al, April 2006. Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere -- Understanding and Reconciling Differences: Executive Summary. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

17. Geoffrey Lean, 11th March 2007. An inconvenient truth… for C4. Independent on Sunday.

18. Independent Television Commission, 1st April 1998. Channel 4 to apologise to four interviewees in "Against Nature" series. Press release.
Anonymous Coward
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Switzerland
03/15/2007 07:26 PM
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Re: Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
THE HORRIBLE TRUTH why the satanic illuminati launched full scale the global warming campaign in late 2006, explained worldwide first by
[link to www.goldismoney.info]
The Rock

User ID: 197038
United States
03/15/2007 07:28 PM
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Re: Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
When they prove NASA wrong , who says Solar Cycle 24 is going to be the hottest motherfucker in the past 400 years of history , wrong . Wake me up .

Until then STFU.

The Globe IS warming ... along with the rest of the solar system and there's not a damn thing we can do about it except hope the proposed skyshield along with all the other chemtrails doesn't end up killing us all and keeps the planet cool enough for the next 11 years.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 208594
United Kingdom
03/15/2007 08:22 PM
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Re: Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
by George Monbiot
[link to www.outlookindia.com]

 Quoting: earl


Oh my god...
And this is the same George Monbiot that published an article going on about 'The 9/11 conspiracy theories are a coward’s cult.' And ranting at length about a subject that he obviously knows absolutely nothing about, it's all half baked BAD guesses and cheap trashy prejudice.
"Bayoneting a Scarecrow" Posted February 20, 2007
[link to www.monbiot.com]

Monbiot’s article was aptly set up straight by ‘Crimes of the State’ answer;
No George Monbiot, These Are The Facts of September 11th 2001
[link to crimesofthestate.blogspot.com]
(Scroll down, or read it from Prison Planet)
[link to www.prisonplanet.com]

He used to be one of the few good journalists out there caring enough to be bothered with digging the truth out, in the past few years he completely lost the plot.
Another one bites the dust…

The Flip Flopping Of George Monbiot
[link to infowars.net]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 198733
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03/15/2007 08:36 PM
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Re: Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
I am impressed with this piece of writing.

He actually sites sources and gives a cogent response to the film and the claims in it, based on what has verifiably happened.

He may have had problems in the past, but, since I have been double checking this film myself in the last few days, it seems that all of this data matches with the truth in this case.

It does not take much to see that the "Global Warming Swindle" was itself just a hit piece.

Notice how NO ONE from a conflicitng viewpoint was allowed to speak, question findings or results?

That is not balance.

Nor is it good science.
earl (OP)

User ID: 187237
Australia
03/15/2007 10:23 PM
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Re: Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
I am impressed with this piece of writing.

He actually sites sources and gives a cogent response to the film and the claims in it, based on what has verifiably happened.

He may have had problems in the past, but, since I have been double checking this film myself in the last few days, it seems that all of this data matches with the truth in this case.

It does not take much to see that the "Global Warming Swindle" was itself just a hit piece.

Notice how NO ONE from a conflicitng viewpoint was allowed to speak, question findings or results?

That is not balance.

Nor is it good science.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 198733



Agreed. At least there are indentifiable sources from which we can reference and cross check the information. Really, the doco now needs to be made that puts both sides up against each other.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 198733
United States
03/15/2007 10:36 PM
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Re: Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
More than that, I think we need to see all the data clearly set out, with hard data set against hard data, not just opinion.

Each person talking should be required to give ALL of their affiliations,a nd who paid them money in the last year.

If they are at all relevant, this data should be displayed on the screen as they talk.

So, if the government paid your bills for the last year, we should know it. If Exxon pays you through another group, we should have access to that information at a glance. And if you got all your money from college from the sierra club, this should be made clear as well.
Jomama

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03/15/2007 11:20 PM
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Re: Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
It's the sun that heats the planet just like it's the
battery that starts your car.

Occam's Razor prevails:
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
to herd or not to herd
[link to djomama.blogspot.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 209605
United States
03/16/2007 12:48 AM
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Re: Global Warming Swindle Film - Debunked
Sure the sun heat's the planet, and more and more CO2 means that more and more heat stays on the planet instead of re-radiating back into space.

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