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Swindled! Aldatıldık!

By William and Gavin

On Thursday March 8th, the UK TV Channel 4 aired a programme titled “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. We were hoping for important revelations and final proof that we have all been hornswoggled by the climate Illuminati, but it just repeated the usual specious claims we hear all the time. We feel swindled. Indeed we are not the only ones: Carl Wunsch (who was a surprise addition to the cast) was apparently misled into thinking this was going to be a balanced look at the issues (the producers have a history of doing this), but who found himself put into a very different context indeed [Update: a full letter from Wunsch appears as comment 109 on this post]

So what did they have to say for themselves?

CO2 doesn’t match the temperature record over the 20th C. True but not relevant, because it isn’t supposed to. The programme spent a long time agonising over what they presented as a sharp temperature fall for 4 decades from 1940 to 1980 (incidentally their graph looks rather odd and may have been carefully selected; on a more usual (and sourced!) plot the “4 decades of cooling” is rather less evident). They presented this as a major flaw in the theory, which is deeply deceptive, because as they and their interviewees must know, the 40-70 cooling type period is readily explained, in that the GCMs are quite happy to reproduce it, as largely caused by sulphate aerosols. See this for a wiki-pic, for example; or (all together now) the IPCC TAR SPM fig 4; or more up-to-date AR4 fig 4. So… they are lying to us by omission.

The troposphere should warm faster than the sfc, say the models and basic theory. As indeed it does – unless you’re wedded to the multiply-corrected Spencer+Christy version of the MSU series. Christy (naturally enough) features in this section, though he seems to have forgotten the US CCSP report, and the executive summary which he authored says 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. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies. See-also previous RC posts.

Temperature leads CO2 by 800 years in the ice cores. Not quite as true as they said, but basically correct; however they misinterpret it. The way they said this you would have thought that T and CO2 are anti-correlated; but if you overlay the full 400/800 kyr of ice core record, you can’t even see the lag because its so small. The correct interpretation of this is well known: that there is a T-CO2 feedback: see RC again for more.

All the previous parts of the programme were leading up to “so if it isn’t CO2, what is it?” to which their answer is “solar”. The section was curiously weak, and largely lead by pictures of people on beaches. It was somewhat surprising that they didn’t feature Svensmark at all; other stuff we’ve commented on before. Note that the graph they used as “proof” of the excellent solar-T connection turns out to have some problems: see figure 1c of Damon and Laut.

Along the way the programme ticked off most of the other obligatory skeptic talking points: even down to Medieval English vineyards and that old favourite, volcanoes emitting more CO2 than humans.

It ended with politics, with a segment blaming the lack of African development on the environmental movement. We don’t want to get into the politics, but should point out what the programme didn’t: that Kyoto exempts developing nations.

[Also: other discussion at InTheGreen, Stoat, The Guardian and
Media lens.]
[Update: What Martin Durkin really thinks!]
[Update for our german readers: A german version of the "swindle" film was shown on June 11 on German TV (RTL); here is a german commentary by stefan.]


William ve Gavin tarafından hazırlandı. Ingilizce’den çeviren Figen Mekik.

8 Mart Perşembe günü, Ingiliz televizyonunun 4. Kanalı “Büyük Küresel Isınma Aladatılması” adında bir program yayınladı. Biz de, önemli açıklamalar yapılacağını, ve iklim bilimleriyle ilgili ahkam kesenler tarafından aldatıldığımıza dair sonunda ispat sunulacağını zannederken, çok şaşırdık. Çünkü program bizim de her zaman duyduğumuz, olağan ve yanıltıcı düşünceleri sadece tekrarladı. Dolayısıyla biz aldatılmışız meğerse. Hatta sadece biz değiliz aldatılan. Carl Wunsch (ki program’a son dakikada dahil edildi) yanlış bilgi verilerek programa davet edilmiş. Ona dengeli bir sunum olacağına dair taahütlerde bulunulmuş (ki programın yapımcılarının daha önce de yaptığı< bir şey bu), ama kendisi programa gelince, kendini çok farklı şartlar altında bulmuş.

Peki, kendilerini nasıl savundular?

Yirminci yüzyılın ısı rekoruna uymuyor CO2. Doğru ama alakası yok çünkü zaten böyle bir uyum aranmıyor. Program sancılı bir şekilde 1940 ve 1980 arasındaki 4 onyıl boyunca ısının nasıl azaldığını göstermeye çalıştı (ancak gösterdikleri şekil biraz tuhaf ve sanki özellikle seçilmiş gibi; daha herkesçe bilinen (ve kaynağı belli olan) grafik’te bu 4 onyıllık soğuma daha az belirgin). Bunu, kuramda çok büyük bir hata veya eksiklik olarak nitelediler, ve bu çok aldatıcı bir tutum oldu çünkü hem kendilerinin hem de röportaj yaptıkları kişilerin de bilmesi gerektiği gibi, 1940-1970 arasındaki soğumanın kolay bir açıklaması var zaten. Genel Dolaşım Modeli (ingilizcesi General Circulation Model) adı verilen bilgisayar modellerinin çok güzel ortaya koyduğu gibi bu soğumanın sebebi o yıllarda havadaki sülfat aerosollerinin (parçacıklarının) artışıdır. Şurada bu konuyla ilgili bir şekil var meselâ; veya, hadi hep birlikte söyleyelim, Uluslararası Iklim Değişikliği Görevgücü (UIDG) üçüncü değerlendirme raporundaki dördüncü şekil, veya daha güncel olsun, dördüncü raporun politika belirleyiciler için özetindeki dördüncü şekil. Yani.. bize eksik bilgi vererek yalan söylemiş oluyorlar.

Troposfer, stratosferden daha çabuk ısınmalı, diyor pek çok model ve temel kuramımız. Ve böyle de oluyor zaten – ama çok kez düzeltilmiş Spencer ve Christy’nin çalışmasına kendinizi bağlı hissetmiyorsaniz tabii. Christy tabii ki burada da önde geliyor ama sanki kendisinin de yazarlığını yaptığı Amerikan Iklim Değişikliği Bilim Programını ve onun yürütme özetini unutmuş gibi şöyle diyor:Daha önce de rapor edilen, atmosferin alçak ve yüksek tabakaları arasındaki ısı farkı iklim modellerinin ve insanlar tarafından oluşan küresel ısınmanın doğruluğunu sorguluyor. Özellikle, yüzey bilgileri küresel ortalama ısının ciddi bir şekilde arttığını gösteriyor; ancak uydu ve radyosondalardan ilkin alınan bigiler yüzeyin üzerinde ya çok az bir ısınma olduğunu ya da hiç ısınma olmadığını gösterdiler. Bu önemli çelişki artik yok oldu çünkü uydu ve radyosonda bilgilerindeki hatalar belirlendi ve düzeltildi. Yeni üretilen veri tabanlarında da bu çeşit çelişkiler yok. Bizim daha önce yazdıklarımızı da buradan okuyabilirsiniz.

Buzul karotlarında ısı değişimleri CO2’in 800 yıl önünde seyrediyor. Bu pek onların söylediği kadar doğru değil, ama yanlış yorumlamalarına rağmen genel olarak doğru. Öyle bir anlattılar ki, zannedersiniz ısı ve CO2 arasında bir ters ilişki var. Ama son 400/800 binyıllık buzul karot rekorunu açınca, bu önde seyir o kadar küçük kalıyor ki görünmüyor bile. Bunun doğru yorumu zaten biliniyor: ısı-CO2 geribeslemesi diye bir şey var, yine bizim önceki yazılarımıza bakabilirsiniz.

Programın girişi ve ilk kısımları “peki CO2 değilse nedir?” doğrultusna yöneldi tabii. Buna da cevap diye “güneş ışıması” dediler. Bu bölüm şaşırtıcı derecede zayıftı ve plajlarda yatan insan resimleriyle doluydu. Hiç Svensmark’dan bahsetmemeleri özellikle garipti; daha önce de bahsettiğimiz başka konular gibi. Isınma ve güneş ışımasındaki artışı “ispat” eden grafiklei meğerse sorunluymuş. Damon ve Laut’un 1c numaralı şekline bakın.

Program ilerledikçe kuşkucu kesimin olağan şikayetlerini teker teker ele aldı: hattâ ortaçağdaki Ingiliz üzüm bağlarından tutun da volkanların insanlardan çok CO2 ürettiği iddiasına kadar.

Ve program politika ile sonuçlandı, hattâ Afrika’daki geri kalmışlığın sorumluluğunu da çevrecilerin üzerine atarak. Biz politikaya karışmak istemiyoruz, ama programın vurgulamadığı bir şeyi biz vurgulayalım: Kyoto gelişmekte olan devletleri muaf tutar.


558 Responses to “Swindled! Aldatıldık!

  1. 501
    Geoff Wexler says:

    It is ironical that a frequent justification for C4′s programme is that the media has been giving too little space to opponents of GW theory. The opposite is the case. The media tend to give the headlines but not the theory. On the other hand the “anti-GW theory party” has been allowed time to go beneath the headlines and provide apparently technical arguments, graphs etc. and interviews with Lindzen attacking all the modeling work.

    In my view one of the worst features of Durkin’s programme was it’s censorship of the theory which it was trying to undermine. Just one example was the assertion (repeated more than once) that

    “ALL climate models ASSUME that CO2 is the main cause of GW.”

    This is worse than a lie because it censors all the work on the attribution problem which is designed to investigate this issue without assuming the answer. But the trouble is that (as far as I know) neither channel 4 nor BBC TV (or radio) have ever informed the public about this work. So Channel 4 and Durkin have attacked a theory which has never been described properly to the general public. No wonder that there are so many people writing in to various web sites claiming to have had their minds changed.

    BBC Radio 4 suffers from a similar problem. During the last few years it has run three versions of the “Moral Maze” on GW which were based on very poor provision of information.

    #265 You write
    “The climate scientist didn’t come across too well on the radio interview though, perhaps because he wanted to cover too much ground in so little time”

    I think that scientist was John Houghton who amongst many other things has written the excellent book “Global Warming”. He has also reputed to have done good work in educating some of the Christian Evangelists. I’m afraid that your assessment was right and that just illustrates the difficulty. He needed much more time and did not concentrate on the fraudulent nature of the C4 programme. It may have needed someone with the skills of a barrister with forensic skills rather than a nice scientist.

  2. 502
    Bill H says:

    Leo,

    Re: 499

    You may be right. It may be that Durkin was not aware of the distortion in the graph in question when making the programme. For instance the distortion may have been carried out by the “scientific consultant” to the programme, and Durkin in innocence accepted it as the genuine article.

    However, the error was pointed out more or less immediately after the broadcast, and Durkin has had plenty of time to admit to the error. He has done nothing of the sort and has on the contrary continued in a series of media articles (plus obscene emails) to justify the full content of his programme. Do you not agree that in so doing he is now knowingly a party to the deception, whereas before the broadcast he may have been only an unwitting party thereto?

  3. 503
    Dave Rado says:

    Leo, 499, I’m baffled that you don’t, but getting back to the point, those of us who are complaining to Ofcom are doing so solely because we consider the evidence to be overwhelming that he set out to systematically deceive the public, not with a few “errors” but with a few hundred intentional deceptions. Ofcom rules do not restrict the airing of opinions. So your accusing us of wishing to restrict free speech is fallacious. We wish to prevent public service broadcasters from setting out intentionally to deceive the public. If Ofcom don’t agree that Durkin and Channel 4 did that, then our complaints will go straight into their bin.

  4. 504
    Dave Rado says:

    Re. 498, have you read this?

  5. 505
    Hank Roberts says:

    > The earth will always appear the same temperature from space

    What do you mean by “temperature” — measured how? Averaged over some time span? Instantaneously? According to whom? What’s your source for this? I’m not sure what you mean.

    As a broad generalization, it doesn’t seem credible to me.
    Imagery suggests the brightness in the infrared can vary, for example

    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/earth/watervapor_goes8.gif

    And until the planet’s in thermal equilibrium again, with the stratosphere currently cooling, changes ought to show up in a variety of bands over time.

  6. 506
    Hank Roberts says:

    >498
    Ah, light dawns; I should have read your home page before asking you to explain; much more there, far more than I’ve read yet; but just skimming the main page clarifies what you meant above:
    > Earth does not look hotter from space by a simple broad-spectrum calculation or
    > by the use of an infra-red thermometer.
    Lots there; say more about what you do? (Or where to go read up — delighted to study, your page has a lot of info)

  7. 507
    Leo says:

    Dave,
    I understand totally that you believe Durkin to have deliberately misled his audience. What I fail to understand is what makes your conviction of this so strong.

    I don’t think you have the evidence to press such a serious charge.

    With the exception of the mistake on the temperature graph, to which he has owned up and indeed corrected, all of his ‘lies’ as you insist on calling them are genuine, precedented, ongoing, corroborated disputes with the orthodoxy.

    The most noticeable being the dispute over the Hockey Stick. The range of dispute over the validity of this graph is well documented.

    It seems to be unclear which dataset(s) Durkin used for his graph, so I’m not saying his data are any better. But we should be more certain of their inaccuracy before crying foul. Perhaps Durkin should have used this graph, which appears to show a levelling off of temperature in the last few years. (Actually I’d be grateful for any information about this graph (Brohan et al, 2006). Is it accepted?)

    Hank #500

    Durkin said he presented smoothed data — losing the wiggles in the real data.
    “‘The original NASA data was very wiggly-lined and we wanted the simplest line we could find,’ Mr Durkin said.”
    When people look at the real data, seeing the wiggles, they can tell that he was wrong.

    Almost all global temperature graphs I have seen are smoothed. Without smoothing you get a broad scatter, making it hard to pick out the difference between trends and anomalies. I understand this to be a valid approach.

    What are the ‘real data’ that show him to be wrong?

  8. 508
    bill h says:

    Leo, re: item 507

    You asked: “What are the ‘real data’ that show (Durkin) to be wrong?”

    They’re given in a previous comment, but here they are again to save you the trouble of searching.

    http://img103.imageshack.us/img103/6634/sdodgygraphgm3.jpg

    You can see the data published by NASA, cited by Durkin as his source, superimposed on Durkin’s graph. Would you not agree that, if he has used a smoothing technique, it is, even to the layperson, obviously flawed?

    You mention that Durkin has “owned up” to a mistake concerning the graph, and corrected it. Do you have a reference to this. As far as I can tell from Durkin’s numerous post-broadcast pieces on the subject he has treated the world to unrelenting justification of every aspect of the programme.

    You say that with the exception of the graph in question (which actually provides the basis of a major plank of Durkin’s thesis: it’s not a minor consideration as you suggest):

    “With the exception of the mistake on the temperature graph, to which he has owned up and indeed corrected, all of his ‘lies’ as you insist on calling them are genuine, precedented, ongoing, corroborated disputes with the orthodoxy.”

    Would you include his claims about tropospheric cooling as a “genuine dispute”, and on what grounds? This happens to be another major strand of his polemic.

    Bill

  9. 509
    Leo says:

    Thanks Bill I’ll have to go and look into this.

    The corrected graph (for the second Transmission) can be found here :http://s157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/izzy_bizzy_photo/?action=view¤t=temp-rerun.jpg (from comment #32′s link on this thread)

    I don’t have the software to hand to do the overlay with it so I’ve no idea how it matches.

  10. 510
    Bob Ward says:

    Has the paper by Christy et al published in JGR on 16 March added anything to the discussion of surface vs tropospheric temperatures, which was one of the pillars of the argument put forward by the programme?

  11. 511

    [[As I said above, I don't believe him to be lying. I believe he is genuine in his convictions.
    If you are going to call him a liar, you need proof that he is being disingenuous.]]

    Have you not paid attention to the posts in this thread? He altered charts and quoted scientists out of context. For details, see above.

  12. 512
    Leo says:

    #511 BPL

    I am trying very hard to absorb all the arguments being put forward in this thread. However I’m confounded by the fact that I’m trying to balance one set of rants (Durkin) against another (too much of what is written above is hyperbole: levelling sweeping accusations with no real backup) f’rinstance:

    He altered charts and quoted scientists out of context. For details, see above.

    He published one incorrect graph, which he claims to have corrected.
    He is accused of misquoting one scientist – Wunsch.

    I’m not saying this is excusable but please stop exaggerating everyone. This is supposed to be about science.

  13. 513
    Adrianne says:

    I see that people are commenting more and more about the documentary and I am glad to see this. Especially because there was a big need of facts that contradict Gore’s documentary that stated that the global warming was man-made.

    Actually, I liked alot the part of the movie that showed how much other factors influence the climate, and the oceans are one of them. I think the oceans should have been first discussed instead of trying to blame energy consumption, flying, driving, etc. Of course, the pollution in the cities is important, but not as important as stated in Gore’s movie.

  14. 514
    Dan says:

    re: 512. Yes, it is about science. Which is why it is disingenous why so many skeptics/deniers quote articles and information from non-peer reviewed, unscientific sources such as web postings, op-eds in newspapers, and science fiction writers. Or equally worse, think they as laymen know more than literally thousands of climate scientists and professionals across the world. And then they spread the disinformation as if it were fact.

  15. 515

    Re #513 – it is largely man-made, in fact, so Gore was right.

  16. 516
    Dick Veldkamp says:

    #513 (Adrianne)

    Why would there be ‘a big need to contradict Gore’s documentary” ? Gore happens to be right, he’s just presenting what all the experts in the field agree on – and what is supported by the evidence.

    There are of course many factors influencing climate, but man-made CO2 is the (most important) root cause of the change we see now. The oceans are just responding. And that CO2 is produced by flying, driving etc.

    Please do a bit of reading: http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

  17. 517
    Guy says:

    A lot of discussion here has centred on the dodgy world temperature graph (which I agree was a central plank in Durkin’s arguments). As has already been linked here (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2007/03/more_tggws_fakery.php) it does seem that the genuine source of the graph has been found – it is accurate to the last wiggle, and it lies here http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm (although the axis in the GCCS are labelled incorrectly). What is perhaps striking about this source is that it is the legendary Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (info here http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Oregon_Institute_of_Science_and_Medicine – it is well worth a full read), which is run from a sleepy farm.

    Durkin removed the libellous NASA reference from the graph on repeated transmissions and shifted the data on the X axis, but what stikes me with some force is that his famous “wiggly line” defence does not now stand. It is very hard to imagine that this graph was nothing more than a ripped off (and then further altered) graph from a discredited – and thoroughly unscientific – website.

    Personally I can see why, when his documentary opened with the dramatic “you are being told lies”, some posters here have become rather agitated.

  18. 518
    Geoff Wexler says:

    re : 507 To Leo.
    You write:
    “I understand totally that you believe Durkin to have deliberately misled his audience. What I fail to understand is what makes your conviction of this so strong.”

    There are lots of answers on this page. Just consider one example of a Durkinism which I quoted in #501 and repeat here:

    “ALL climate models ASSUME that CO2 is the main cause of GW.”

    I called it censorship before. Are you suggesting that this remark was an example of innocent ignorance?
    He has set himself up as an expert on the subject, so I should imagine that he must have looked at the TAR at least once. If so then the above statement is a seriously misleading deception. If not then he had no right to write a TV programme attacking GW theory from a position of total ignorance of it. It is possible that he might get away from the blame by claiming that this was a recording of someone else speaking. But it was at the very core of the programme’s argument. It was all devoted to the attribution problem and the drift of it was that there was no reason for concluding that CO2 contributes to warming …. no reason at all, why? because he is suggesting to you that the reasons do not exist.
    Without such reasons his case is made.

  19. 519
    P. Lewis says:

    OK, Leo

    I’ve no wish to descend into politics, but consider the following hypothetical scenario:

    A. Politician states they are telling the truth (oxymoron, I know) about some evidence that A. Dictator has a Nasty Weapon or Two and that this Nasty Weapon or Two can hit our bases on an inland sea island in ~20 min. That evidence, A. Politician states, is held sufficiently incontrovertible to warrant an invasion of A. Dictator’s country to rid the world of said A. Dictator and his Nasty Weapon or Two. After this invasion we find A. Dictator but no evidence of this Nasty Weapon or Two stockpile. What are we to make of A. Politician’s claims?

    Substitute Durkin for A. Politician and TGGWS for Nasty Weapon or Two, and what do you get?

    Honestly mistaken and badly advised? Or mendacity and cherry-picking half-truths? Hmmm … tough call.

    TGGWS, I think, was about as truthful as were Enron’s last few sets of published annual accounts, i.e. largely misdirection dressed up as fact.

    Scientific fraud (and that is what “swindle” implies) is a serious accusation to level at any individual scientist, let alone the massed ranks of the IPCC contributors. And serious accusations need to be backed up with concrete evidence that will stand scrutiny. Durkin is the swindler, and most of the negative comments made here, IMHO, are warranted.

  20. 520
    Roger from NYC says:

    As an uncommitted outsider who only recently has had the opportunity to pay more than desultory attention to the global warming issue, I have a question. What is the error, if any, in the following: (3 statements whose truth is almost universally acknowledged; thereafter some conclusions which flow reasonably, perhaps ineluctably, from those 3 statements.)
    Statement 1: There is vast, probably irrefutable, theoretical and empirical support for the notion that man-made greenhouse gases must be playing some role in the undisputed rise of global temperatures but the magnitude of that role is difficult to quantify.
    Statement 2: In relatively recent historical times there have been two very significant and well-documented temperature oscillations, the medieval warming and the Little Ice Age, which produced temperature deviations that considerably exceeded any experienced in the past century, without any Milankovitch forcing or man-made greenhouse gases being responsible. While many causes have been proposed, from the laughably silly (indirect effects of bubonic plague episodes) to the highly imaginative though still plausible, none has yet emerged from the realm of the conjectural. So a non-man-made greenhouse gases Climate Changer of major, if not Day After Tomorrow, proportions remains out there–lurking, sinister and unidentified, in the darkness of our uncertainty, capable of freezing or frying us in the future as it most demonstrably has in the past.
    Statement 3: Global temperatures rose in the 20th century prior to 1940, followed by a cooling c.1940-1975, succeeded by a resumed warming, while carbon dioxide concentrations rose throughout the period, and steeply after c.1940.
    Tentative Conclusion A: Statement 3 suggests that if the sharply rising carbon dioxide was more than nullified by aerosols from 1940-1975, then it may be a factor of fairly modest impact.
    Tentative Conclusion B: Statement 2 indicates a Factor X (or a set of factors) has been operating to cause dramatic cooling and warming for much of the past millenium, and it could, in more measured form, be operating today. And, further, that even a much attenuated Factor X (say at 20% of its former strength) would significantly outweigh the undramatic effects of man-made greenhouse gases (Tentative Conclusion A) as a player in post-1900 global warming.
    Firm Conclusion C: Even if Tentative Conclusions A and B are assigned probabilities that reduce them to less-than-likely status, and even if we overall assess a Factor X causation of 20th century and present day global warming a lesser probability than human activity, is anyone seriously willing to assert that Anthropogenic Global Warming has relegated Factor X, in a Bayesian statistical competition of rival hypotheses, to the lowly status of a “p-value less than .05 null hypothesis” in classical statistics? Or in plain English, with Factor X a continuing mystery, can any rational person emphatically proclaim that human activity has been shown to be the true culprit with the high degree of certainty science has traditionally, and properly, demanded?

  21. 521
    Dave Rado says:

    He published one incorrect graph, which he claims to have corrected.

    Where did you get the idea there was only one? Every graph he showed was incorrect. And the one he claimns to have corrected was not the one I gave you the link to, it was a different one.

  22. 522
    Mike Donald says:

    #513
    Adrienne,
    I clicked on your link (if you’ll forgive the expression). Er I think the article headed “Man stopped global warming with naval war in winter 1939/40″ doesn’t tell us the full picture. But anyone who accesses RealClimate is one up on the rest so good on you. I find the archives a mine of info.

    Regards

    Mike

  23. 523
    Leo says:

    Dave #521, I don’t understand.

    This: http://img485.imageshack.us/img485/6576/temprerunhr7.jpg

    Is the correction of this: http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t63/izzy_bizzy_photo/capture.jpg

    No?

    Your earlier link here: http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2007/03/more_tggws_fakery.php
    appears to confirm (or at least doesn’t deny) that this correction is valid.

    Every graph he showed was incorrect

    I don’t have time just now, but I will review this thread in due course (probably not for a couple of weeks now as it’s quite substantial, and quite clogged with rhetoric and side-topics) and look again for the evidence that shows how each of these graphs is wrong. It would help me greatly if you can point me to comment #s that are relevant. If you are right I will certainly owe you an apology.

    [Response:The "corrected" graph merely removes the gross errors. It still fails to show the recent warming period - ie the data has been arbitrarily truncated - and it still uses a dubious datasource for the graph - William]

    Guy #517
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Oregon_Institute_of_Science_and_Medicine

    thanks, I’ll look at that. Although:

    which is run from a sleepy farm.

    So what?

    P Lewis #519
    I get your point exactly. But the problem with your example is it can be used either way round.

    It’s an unfortunate truth that this topic is intimately bound up with Politics and even more with politics – having such grave implications. I don’t think you should apologise for veering into politics, capitalised or not. We just need to remain clear about which comments are political and which scientific.

    All:
    I’m going to have to put this down for a few days, but very much want to continue this discussion later. Thanks for your patience.

    Leo

  24. 524

    [[Statement 2: In relatively recent historical times there have been two very significant and well-documented temperature oscillations, the medieval warming and the Little Ice Age, which produced temperature deviations that considerably exceeded any experienced in the past century, without any Milankovitch forcing or man-made greenhouse gases being responsible. ]]

    Statement 2 is flat-out wrong. The medieval warm period and the little ice age were NOT greater temperature variations than today. Sixteen studies, starting with the much-vilified but many times reproduced Mann et al. “hockey stick”, have shown that the world is warmer now than in the past 1000 years.

  25. 525
    Hank Roberts says:

    Someone’s back again in 513, once again linking to that series of blogs flogging the claim that it’s not fossil fuel, it’s World War II’s oil spills that changed climate.

    I doubt it. I looked into it, and the oil from all the shipping lost in the war was roughly comparable to annual natural seepage of hydrocarbons. Google will find the info if you’re curious to look it up.

  26. 526
    Nick Gotts says:

    re #476 “From everything I have read, I don’t actually believe Durkin is lying. I think he believes what he says.”
    That may not actually be exclusive possibilities. I would guess Durkin does believe that AGW is not happening, and that the scientists who say it is are part of an evil conspiracy against human progress; and so strong is he in that conviction, he feels justified in lying (distorting evidence and the views of others) in its service.

  27. 527
    Craig Mackenzie says:

    Channel 4 Unrepentent

    I made a formal complaint to Channel 4 after watching TGGWS. Today they responded (see below). They appear not to be prepared to accept that they have done anything wrong.

    —-
    Dear Viewer

    “The Great Global Warming Swindle” is an opinionated, authored documentary from film-maker Martin Durkin which examines the scientific evidence that CO2 produced by human activity may not be the driver of climate change. It does not deny that Global Warming is taking place, but disputes whether humans are the cause. It argues that on the causes of Global Warming, the time for debate is NOT over, and that the science of Global Warming is far from settled.

    Channel 4 strongly defends its right to commission and broadcast this programme. It transmitted as part of a season of polemical films about climate change, which include two pieces broadcast recently: Theologian Mark Dowd’s film “God is Green” about the role that organised religion should be playing in reducing carbon emissions, and a film by the environmentalist George Monbiot called “Greenwash”, critically evaluating the claims of businesses that they are becoming environmentally friendly.

    “The Great Global Warming Swindle” is an important part of this season of films. It provides a powerful counterpart to Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and makes a valid and important contribution to the present debate.

    Please be assured however, that your complaint has been noted and logged. The log is distributed throughout Channel 4.

    Regards
    Tim Stone

  28. 528
    Hank Roberts says:

    Roger

    You’re using logic based on assumptions or being fooled by the PR sites. It’s never wise to make conclusions without checking your facts; that’s leading you toward conclusions you may find attractive. This is always a risk.

    – The ‘Medieval Warm Period’ was just that — the Medieval period was western European, so was the warming. You can look this up.

    – Sulfate aerosols and CO2 and warming, you can look this up too.
    Half the fossil fuels burned were burned by about 1970; the other half of fossil fuels burned to date were burned since 1970.

    Aerosols act fast, but fall out fairly quickly. CO2 merely changes the planet’s ability to hold heat slightly, but act for a very long time.

    The aerosols from the early period were causing cooling, on a background of relatively little fossil fuel use, at a time the warming was just beginning (in retrospect) to show up.

    The aerosols after 1970 were cut back by the US Clean Air laws, while fossil fuel rate of use went up very fast.

    Now we’re seeing aerosols from dirty coal use in China and India, but it’s on not the natural background but the increasing temp background.

  29. 529
    John Gribbin says:

    Re 96: I know I’m late on this – missed it before – but here is a classic example of the Big Lie. “Even Einstein held faith in his special theory in face of growing evidence.” Huh? There has never been any evidence against the special theory, which was devised in order to explain existing observations! Dragging Einstein’s name in gratuitously is one of the sure signs of someone without a case — like “they said Galileo was wrong.”

  30. 530
    Ernie Savage says:

    It seems to me that this debate, and indeed others, not necessarily about issues in natural science, is bedevilled by a tendency among some journalists to seek a single prime cause. The environment is not like that; whatever global climatic changes may be being considered, both those taking place at the present time and those in the past, the causation is multifactoral. This may be driven by the medias `bosses`; certainly I hope that such an approach is driven by scientists.
    Over forty years teaching Geography, I tried to show my students this approach to the environment. Perhasp I, and many of my fellow teachers, have failed.

  31. 531
    Ray Ladbury says:

    It amazes me that there seem to those who still question whether we have cause to doubt the bona fides of Mr. Durkin.

    I submit:
    Exhibit A: The title of his “work” is “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. This represents at least calumny if not outrigt libel against thousands of scientists who have dedicated their lives to understanding Earth’s climate.

    Exhibit B: The tone of the work is no less confrontational than the title. It is an anti-science diatribe that would have been cause for concern had it not been handles in such a ham-handed fashion.

    Exhibit C: The misrepresentation of data in a fashion that understates the significance of the changes being seen.

    Exhibit D: The misrepresentation of the position and words of Dr. Wunsch–again in a way that downplays the level of certainty in anthropogenic climate change and its effects.

    Then there are the previous works by the same director–all of which were anti-science in tone.

    The only defenseI heard the accused offer consisted of telling his accusers to attempt an anatomical impossibility.

    I don’t see much cause for lenient judgement.

  32. 532
    Mike Donald says:

    #527
    Craig. Now off to Ofcom old bean. Click on the link in comment #22 and of course comment #51 and others…

    Come to think of it I noticed two things in Channel 4′s reply that could become part of your complaint to Ofcom. That’s nice of them.

    ” documentary from film-maker Martin D***** “.
    The Cambridge dictionary defines “documentary” as “a film or television or radio programme that gives facts and information about a subject”. Plenty of comments here indicate that Ofcom should teach Channel 4 the meaning of the word “documentary”.

    “It .. makes a valid and important contribution to the present debate.”
    The Cambridge dictionary defines the word “valid” as “based on truth or reason; able to be accepted:”

    Channel 4, Durking and those darn words “facts” and “truth”.

    Regards

    Mike

  33. 533
    Geoff Wexler says:

    Re # 527 : Tim Stone from Channel 4 has correctly defined the subject of Durkin’s programme as concerned with the cause (attribution) of global warming but his “strong defence” of the programme concludes triumphantly with the bluster:

    “makes a valid and important contribution to the present debate.”

    I wonder which parts of the programme Tim Stone thinks are
    (a) valid ,
    (b) important,
    (c) a contribution………?

    the ice core diversion? the accusations of unspecified lies by Nigel Calder, the repeat of the ice age scare myth by Calder who helped to spread the scare a generation ago, the distortion of Wunsch’s interviews, the false suggestion that it is always assumed that CO2 is the main cause of GW, the doctoring of the sunspot evidence, the distortion of the temperature data, the confusion of SO2 from volcanoes with CO2, the assertion that the anthropogenic additions to CO2 are very small, the suggestion that environmentalists want to prevent Africa from slightly increasing its minute carbon footprint?

    Elsehwere Stone asserts that this film “examines the scientific evidence..”

    Remarkably Channel 4 has not offered a second opinion on this examination i.e they have attacked consensus science without explaining what they have been attacking. Monbiot’s film was about a completely different topic and does not offer any kind of balance. His article in the Guardian would have been rather more relevant.

    (I’m sorry of this partially duplicates other people’comments but I wanted it all in one place)

  34. 534
    Andrew says:

    Dumb question, if there is an 800 year lag and feedback loop, don’t we have to wait 700 years to see the man-made CO2 effects of the past 100 years?

  35. 535

    Andrew:

    The global warming deniers are claiming temperature ALWAYS LEADS, not FOLLOWS C02, so in their terms, it’s the amount of increased C02 in the atmosphere we’d have to wait 800 years to see, due to global warming now. Clear?

    Also, I would call it a surprising question. That “800-year lag” is only for that cherry-picked slice of the ice-core records, so you must have gotten it there, and yet you literally drew the opposite interpretation from what the graph very clearly showed.

    Also: No. Temperature increases due to the physical action of adding additional amounts of a greenhouse gas, including C02, do not show an 800-year lag.

  36. 536
    James says:

    Re #534: [if there is an 800 year lag and feedback loop, don't we have to wait 700 years to see the man-made CO2 effects of the past 100 years?]

    No, because the speeds are different. The CO2 involved in the 800 year lag is mostly dissolved in the oceans. It takes centuries for the deeper parts of the ocean to warm up (or cool down) in response to a temperature change at the surface. The CO2 from burning fossil fuel goes directly into the atmosphere, and starts working right away.

  37. 537
    Adam says:

    Posting this here for completeness. George Monbiot has posted his correspondence with the C4 commissioning editor after taking umbrage about his policy programme being lumped in with Durkin’s mockumentary. I didn’t see Monbiot’s programme, so can’t comment on that, but if it was vaguely accurate it’d be pretty justified umbrage.

    Anyway:

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/04/01/correspondence-with-hamish-mykura/#more-1052

  38. 538
    SomeBeans says:

    Not surprised Monbiot is a bit peeved, following this episode I’m reluctant to believe any “science” that C4 broadcasts.

  39. 539
    Mike Donald says:

    Hi chaps,
    And here’s Mr Durkin yakkin away on cjob (yes my thoughts exactly).

    http://www.cjob.com/shows/adler.aspx?mc=67455

    The last word by Durkin? I hope there’s another posting on this thread.

  40. 540
    SomeBeans says:

    I wonder if they checked the rest of their facts as well as they checked the channel on which it was originally broadcast…

    (For the non-UK viewers BBC Channel 4 makes as much sense Pepsi Coca)

  41. 541
    Dwight Jones says:

    Comment 77 by Hopp is completely apropos, the evidence presented re: the sun was worthy of consideration at all times.

    Further, if we are to characterize our climate as becoming wilder and more unpredictable, it follows that present-day deserts my turn green. Desertification may stall or contract. This possible cooling effect warrants some inclusion in these debates.

    Dwight

  42. 542
    David Klinke says:

    Did anybody notice that early on in the *documentary* they went out of their way to say that environmentalists and global warming theorists have made this into a kind of religion? And, at least one of their *experts* (I didn’t watch the whole show – might have been more) gave his rationale/interview against (human generated) global warming inside a church/cathedral. To me, this was about as subtle as a sledge hammer. They were clearly playing into the fears of the religious right, suggesting that this is a threat to Christianity. This kind of manipulation works well with people who place faith above reason.

  43. 543
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Re 541: Yes, and I may win the lottery tomorrow. However, it is prudent to save for my retirement assuming that I won’t. In a world where entropy must rise, optimists are wrong more often than not. That’s why they make lousy engineers.

  44. 544
    Adrianne says:

    RE #522; Mike, The article “Man stopped global warming with naval war in winter 1939/40″ as a principle factor of climate, as explained (see: the oceans ), is certainly not the full picture. The story started when WWI had just ended, in winter 1918/19. By more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature increased at Spitsbergen over a few years time, and ended when WWII started. And what do we hear about the reasons today? Only this:
    It is natural fluctuations internal to the climate system; (Ola M. Johannessen, et.al, Tellus 56A (2004). Natural variability is the most likely cause (Lennart Bengtsson et.al, Journal of Climate, October 2004);. The 1930s warm period did not coincide with a positive phase of the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) (I.V.Polyakov, et.al.;, Journal of Climate, 2004).

    Also the latest IPCCâ??s Summary for Policymakers (Feb.2007) paid little attention to this event, only summarising the â??arctic warmingâ?? as follows:
    Average Arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years. Arctic temperatures have high decadal variability, and a warm period was also observed from 1925 to 1945.

    This is as explanation hardly acceptable after such a long time. The warming at Spitsbergen is one of the major keys to understand climate changes during the last century, which was first observed and published by the Norwegian scientist B.J. Birkeland in 1930. As explained in detail in a number of interesting workouts, for example at http://www.seaclimate.com , the warming at Spitsbergen and subsequently the Arctic was generated by the seas around Spitsbergen; and the sea around England , subject to devastating fighting during WWI, are directly connected by the Norwegian Current, moving the water to the high North in a few weeks time. But to link these events together will presumably only understood, when IPCC would be required to define Climate (a shameful deficit of the FCCC not to have one). The source I use for my contribution says: Climate is the continuation of oceans by other means. I am sure, if climate would be understood in this way, many open questions could be answered more precisely.

  45. 545
    Adrianne says:

    RE #516: Please note! The warming at Spitsbergen (and Arctic) occurred during the winter months!! The warming occurred since winter 1918/19!! What could CO2 contribute??

  46. 546
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Adrianne, among the predictions of climate change: Warmer winters, shorter times between first and last frost and warmer overnight low temperatures (all on average, of course). Can you see that these might play a role overall? Of course, no single instance is evidence of GLOBAL climate change, but the coincidence of so many changes in the same direction from pole to pole are indeed strong evidence.

  47. 547
    Adrianne says:

    RE #522; Mike, The article “Man stopped global warming with naval war in winter 1939/40″ as a principle factor of climate, as explained (see: http://www.seaclimate.de), is certainly not the full picture. The story started when WWI had just ended, in winter 1918/19. By more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature increased at Spitsbergen over a few years time, and ended when WWII started. And what do we hear about the reasons today? Only this:
    It is natural fluctuations internal to the climate system; (Ola M. Johannessen, et.al, Tellus 56A (2004). Natural variability is the most likely cause (Lennart Bengtsson et.al, Journal of Climate, October 2004);. The 1930s warm period did not coincide with a positive phase of the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) (I.V.Polyakov, et.al.;, Journal of Climate, 2004).

    Also the latest IPCCâ??s Summary for Policymakers (Feb.2007) paid little attention to this event, only summarising the â??arctic warmingâ?? as follows:
    Average Arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years. Arctic temperatures have high decadal variability, and a warm period was also observed from 1925 to 1945.

    This is as explanation hardly acceptable after such a long time. The warming at Spitsbergen is one of the major keys to understand climate changes during the last century, which was first observed and published by the Norwegian scientist B.J. Birkeland in 1930. As explained in detail in a number of interesting workouts, for example at http://www.seaclimate.com , the warming at Spitsbergen and subsequently the Arctic was generated by the seas around Spitsbergen; and the sea around England , subject to devastating fighting during WWI, are directly connected by the Norwegian Current, moving the water to the high North in a few weeks time. But to link these events together will presumably only understood, when IPCC would be required to define Climate (a shameful deficit of the FCCC not to have one). The source I use for my contribution says: Climate is the continuation of oceans by other means. I am sure, if climate would be understood in this way, many open questions could be answered more precisely.

  48. 548
    Hank Roberts says:

    The people Adrienne represents — arguing based on their own unique definition of the word “climate” — keep popping in here posting links to their many websites.

    I wish they’d do the math. Sure there’s a correlation between arm-waving numbers and temperatures, or no way to disprove it, without having some actual numbers.

    There’s a correlation between sunspots and wars, and there’s a correlation between wars and global warming, and there’s a correlation between sunspots, suicides, and heart attacks, and so on.

    Given enough numbers, correlations are inevitable. You can look this stuff up if you don’t believe it. Heck, make up some likely correlation and try it in Google Scholar — someone’s likely already published it.

    I did a little homework-help searching before and gave them the links to estimates of the amount of natural seepage of hydrocarbons.

    Here’s one again, as a starting point:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/bya6g7r7ceebanrl/

    “….The amount of natural crude-oil seepage is currently estimated to be 600,000 metric tons per year, with a range of uncertainty of 200,000 to 2,000,000 metric tons per year. Thus, natural oil seeps may be the single most important source of oil that enters the ocean, exceeding each of the various sources of crude oil that enters the ocean through its exploitation by humankind.”

    If they want to argue that oil pollution from wars causes climate change, they ought to try collecting some verifiable numbers, with the cites to the sources — not just repeatedly posting links to their pages to get their Google rank up.
    And not just numbers that agree with the argument—-all the available information. Put it up in public where someone who can do statistical analysis has access to it.

    Not that such a collection is a good enough basis —- because you really have to talk to a statistician _before_ you start collecting data, if you want to be able to do an analysis that’s useful.

  49. 549
    Adrianne says:

    RE #546 Ray Ladbury, thanks that you put the finger on the problem of current discussion. Birkeland stressed already in 1930 that the sudden rise of winter temperature at Spitsbergen could: probably be the greatest yet known rise on earth. Recently Lennart Bengtsson et.al, JoC 2004, acknowledged that this event is: one of the most puzzling climate anomalies of the 20th century. A graph showing the rise can be found on http://www.oceanclimate.de .
    Is it really that puzzling? The point is that during winter at Spitsbergen at latitude 80 degrees North, just 1000km away from the North Pole, the influence of the sun can be neglected for several months. At that time, around winter 1918/19 not one single natural event has been observed. No earthquake, tsunami, volcano, or meteorite, which could have triggered this event. What can be said for sure, that only the seas around Spitsbergen could have initiated and sustained this winter warming over two decades until it ended in winter 1939/40. One need only to accept the fact that the Norwegian/Greenland Sea must have playing the major role in this event, thereon it should be possible to identify the cause. It would be late, but not to late!

  50. 550
    Hank Roberts says:

    Adrienne’s site refers to Bengtsson, (the page uses an image from it, but gives no link).
    Their claim is that “not one single natural event has been observed” — suggesting that Bengtsson’s paper supports their claim that the warming described is inexplicable — then the page offers the World War I timing as an explanation.

    Check the sources for claims like this, to assess whether you’re getting science or not.
    When websites make claims but don’t provide links to sources, Google Scholar will find them if they’re real.

    Compare what Bengtsson actually wrote: http://edoc.mpg.de/175055

    “… we suggest that natural variability is the most likely cause with reduced sea ice cover being crucial for the warming. A robust sea ice-air temperature relationship was demonstrated by a set of four simulations …. the observed early century surface air temperature anomaly revealed that it was associated with similar sea ice variations. …. the simulated temperature increase in the Arctic was caused by enhanced wind driven oceanic inflow into the Barents Sea with an associated sea ice retreat.

    “The magnitude of the inflow is linked to the strength of westerlies into the Barents Sea.”


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