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What a breath of fresh air it was to see Channel 4's major documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle" this Thursday - and, incidentally, a tremendous fillip to the GOS's fragile self-confidence as one by one the programme ticked off facts that he has been writing about for months.
The programme was masterly, convincing, and above all thorough in that it explained not only how the Hot-air Brigade are trying to fool us, but why they are wrong, why they are doing it and, most importantly, what the long-term effects of their lies are likely to be. Sadly, any improvement in world climactic conditions will be minimal as these are natural occurrences beyond our control. But the effect on people in the Third World will continue to be catastrophic. They are to be denied the benefits of industrial and commercial progress, electricity, modern sanitation, communications and therefore education, employment and political empowerment, all the things we in the West supposedly enjoy, just so we can feel good about our comfortable way of life, so we can hug to ourselves the thought that while we may be damaging the environment it doesn't matter because the Africans aren't, and so we can enjoy the folksy fascination we have with traditional ways of life just so long as we don't have to live in a mud hut ourselves. And millions of Africans will continue to die of lung diseases because they cook over open fires in their unventilated huts, or from insect-borne infections because Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth don't want the swamps sprayed with DDT in case it hurts the ickle foxy-woxies, or some garbage like that.
In Al Gore's indefensible propaganda film "An Inconvenient Lie (sorry) Truth" he asks what our children will think when they know we did nothing about Global Warming. It's more pertinent to wonder what the descendents of poor Africans, Indians, Indonesians and Chinese will say about us when they hear how we tried to hold them back and condemn them to decades of disease and filth by denying them the right to use their own fossil fuels. In a hundred years' time we won't just be apologising for slavery. We'll be beating ourselves up over globalised genocide.
The programme also made it clear that Global Warming has become an industry. Just as Elf'n'Safety, Multiculturalism, Speed Cameras and Child Protection have become self-perpetuating industries, so Global Warming now provides funding for numerous unscrupulous or incompetent scientists, employment for bureaucrats (local authorities are already appointing "Global Warming Officers") and the burgeoning number of "Environmental Correspondents" in the media, and a platform almost beyond criticism for campaigners and politicians. When Global Warming is finally seen to be a vast red herring, all these people will lose their jobs, and a damn good thing too - but this won't be soon and by then, of course, they'll have had a pretty good career at our expense.
If you missed the programme or would like to see it again, click here.
Predictably some of these Hot Air Gauleiters have already started thrashing about to protect themselves. In fact, some didn't even wait to see the programme. Four days before the programme went out the "science editor" of the Guardian, Robin McKie, published an article entitled "Why Channel 4 has got it wrong over climate change" in which he disputes the claim that "the world's scientific community" is lying when it says "industrial carbon dioxide emissions are heating up the planet". He carefully ignores the fact that it isn't the world scientific community that says this - in fact, some eminent scientists have had to resort to threats of legal action to avoid being associated with the IPCC - and that the claim is demonstrably untrue. It is in fact heating that causes carbon dioxide, not the other way round. The warmer the earth (or, to be precise, the oceans) the more carbon dioxide. Industrial emissions account for such a tiny proportion of the total amount of this (entirely natural and therefore non-pollutant) gas that it could easily be lost in the statistical error that always occurs when you measure anything worldwide.
McKie is happy enough in the secure knowledge that "the world's climatologists have just published a careful, sober report showing global warming is real and worrying", and doesn't seem to know that the IPCC 2007 report "Summary for Policymakers" is riddled with errors, that bureaucrats inserted extra and highly misleading data into the report after it had left the scientists' hands and before it hit the printers, that it has had to be quietly corrected and reissued, that many of the scientists who feature as contributors did not in fact contribute anything, and that some have been fighting unsuccessfully to disassociate themselves from it ever since it appeared.
Still, let's not get too wound up about Robin McKie - his readers can do the job for us perfectly well, as their comments on his article showed
"So to summarise your argument, Channel 4 is wrong, obviously, so wrong you don't even need to spell out why it is wrong" . "Less of the unsubstantiated rhetoric and more fact-based argument please" "Robert McLie: alleged "science" editor, but actually the Logic Denier and Global Dumber" "Science can only be "science" if it is open to refutation or falsification" "if the CO2 case is so sound, why is it so vulnerable to scrutiny?" "Central England temperature in 2006 was a massive 0.35 degrees C warmer than in 1733, 273 years ago and a whopping 0.2 degrees C warmer than 1949, almost 60 years ago. So much for massive amounts of CO2 being added to the atmosphere, now at an incredible 0.04% of the air we breathe" (now then, calm down. Sarcasm never works. It's not big and it isn't clever - GOS) "it is refreshing to read a comment by a "Science" editor that neither contains any science nor displays any sort of editorial expertise "
In short, every single reader response was critical of McKie. All except one - and he was a cyclist who used the article as an excuse to launch an attack on 4x4 and other car drivers, so we don't feel disposed to count him.
Viscount Monckton, a highy-convincing and articulate opponent of the Hot Air Brigade, has published a critique of the IPCC report and of Al Gore's film, in which he highlights
• A 10-fold exaggeration in the effect of melting ice-sheets on sea-level rise (scientists failed to spot the error because the relevant table didn't actually appear in the draft version - it was inserted after the scientists had proof-read it). The world's foremost expert on sea-level change has written: "There is a total absence of any recent 'acceleration in sea level rise' as often claimed by IPCC and related groups."
• A 20-fold exaggeration of the climatic effects of rising CO2 concentrations. This exaggeration has been quietly removed from the revised version of the report.
• Many scientists dispute the claim that mankind's activities are affecting the atmosphere. For instance, Khilyuk and Chilingar (2006), from a geological perspective, have calculated that the total climatic influence of humankind to date amounts to a warming of about 0.1C. Buentgen et al. (2006) have concluded that the anthropogenic effect on climate has been so small that it cannot be clearly distinguished from the background of natural climatic variability. But the IPCC are happy to claim that "most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely [to have been] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse-gas concentrations."
He goes on to show that the IPCC's exaggerations and errors parallel those of Al Gore in his notorious sci-fi horror film "An Inconvenient Truth", now being peddled to schoolchildren worldwide.
• Gore, aiming to undermine the significance of previous warm periods such as that of the Middle Ages, promoted the long-discredited 1,000-year "hockey stick" temperature chart
• Gore showed heart-rending pictures of the New Orleans floods and insisted on a link between increased hurricane frequency and global warming that has no basis in scientific fact
• Gore asserted that today's Arctic is experiencing unprecedented warmth while ignoring that Arctic temperatures in the 1930s and 1940s were as warm or warmer
• Gore did not explain that Arctic temperature changes are more closely correlated with changes in solar activity than with changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
• Gore did not explain that the Sun has been hotter, for longer, in the past 50 years than in any similar period in at least the past 11,400 years
• Gore said the Antarctic was warming and losing ice but failed to note that is only true of a small region and the vast bulk of the continent has been cooling and gaining ice
• Gore mentioned the breakup of the Larsen B ice shelf, but did not mention that the maximum ice shelf limit may date only from the Little Ice Age 300 years ago
• Gore hyped unfounded fears that Greenland's ice is in danger of disappearing. In fact its thickness has been growing by 2 inches per year for a decade
• Gore falsely claimed that global warming is melting Mt. Kilimanjaro's icecap, actually caused by atmospheric dessication from local deforestation, and pre- 20th-century climate shifts
• Gore said global sea levels would swamp Manhattan, Bangladesh, Shanghai and other coastal cities, and would rise 20ft by 2100, but the UN estimate is just 8in to 1ft 5in
• Gore implied that a Peruvian glacier's retreat is due to global warming, failing to state that the region has been cooling since the 1930s and other South American glaciers are advancing
• Gore blamed global warming for water loss in Africa's Lake Chad, though NASA scientists had concluded that local water-use and grazing patterns are probably to blame
• Gore inaccurately said polar bears are drowning due to melting ice when in fact 11 of the 13 main groups in Canada are thriving, and polar bear populations have more than doubled since 1940
• Gore said the ocean absorbs heat from the Sun, when in fact the ocean takes nearly all of its heat from the atmosphere, without which the ocean would freeze over
• Gore said a review of 928 scientific papers had shown none against the "consensus". In fact only 1% of the papers were explicitly pro-"consensus"; almost 3 times as many were explicitly against
• Gore implied that changes in temperature followed changes in CO2 concentration in the past 500,000 years, but in fact temperature changes preceded changes in CO2 concentration
• Gore never acknowledges the indispensable role of fossil fuels in alleviating hunger and poverty, extending human life spans, and democratizing consumer goods, literacy, leisure, and personal mobility
• Gore never acknowledges that there are many environmental, health, and economic benefits of climatic warmth and the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content
• Gore neglects to mention that aggregate mortality and mortality rates due to extreme weather events declined dramatically during the 20th century
• Gore neglects to mention why America is the biggest CO2 emitter: the world's largest economy, abundant fossil energy resources, markets integrated across a continents, and a mobile population
• Gore impugns the motives of so-called global warming skeptics, but fails to point out that the scientific method requires constant skepticism
• Gore never acknowledges the special-interest motivations of those whose research grants, industrial privileges, regulatory power or political careers depend on keeping the public scared about the climate
• Gore never addresses the obvious criticism that the Kyoto Protocol, if all signatories complied, might reduce temperature to 2050 by a climatically insignificant 0.07C, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars
• Gore fails to mention the societal factors that nearly always overwhelm climatic factors in determining the risk of injury or death from hurricanes, floods, droughts, storms, wildfires, or diseases
• Gore says 48 Nobel-laureate scientists accused President Bush of distorting science, but omits that the scientists were members of a political group set up to promote a Democrat presidential candidate

The GOS says: Sorry you've had to wade through such a long page, but sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. I know you'd sooner read something short and pithy with the word f*ck in it.
Don't forget, if you want to see the programme again, click here.



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