Monday, 23 July 2007

Swindle director asks: Why react so aggressively?

After last week's airing of Martin Durkin's Great Global Warming Swindle on Australia's ABC TV (which was followed on ABC by a panel who eviscerated the programme, or tried to) Durkin writes in The Australian about the experience of being Up Against the Warming Zealots.
WHEN I agreed to make The Great Global Warming Swindle, I was warned a middle-class fatwa would be placed on my head.

Martin Durkin says his documentary has survived last week's roasting by the ABC

So I wasn't shocked that the film was attacked on the same night it was broadcast on ABC television last week, although I was impressed at the vehemence of the attack. I was more surprised, and delighted, by the response of the Australian public.

The ABC studio assault, led by Tony Jones, was so vitriolic it appears to have backfired. We have been inundated with messages of support, and the ABC, I am told, has been flooded with complaints. I have been trying to understand why.

First, the ferocity of the attack, I think, revealed the intolerance and defensiveness of the global warming camp. Why were Jones and co expending such energy and resources attacking one documentary? We are told the global warming theory is robust. They say you'd have to be off your chump to disagree. We have been assured for years, in countless news broadcasts and column inches, that it's definitely true. So why bother to stamp so aggressively on the one foolish documentary-maker - who clearly must be as mad as a snake - who steps out of line?
Read on here. The reaction there and elsewhere to those questioning the global warming mantra is revealing, isn't it? If they're as confident as they claim, then why all the vitriol? [Hat tip Orson]

UPDATE: The effects of global warming are already upon us. I don't mean the floods in England -- these are 1 in 100 year floods, not 1 in 1500 year floods -- what I mean is the effect of all the political meddling enacted in the wake of global warming theory, even as that theory looks increasingly at odds with the reality. On both reality and the effect of meddling, Christopher Brooker has news of of both in Britain's Telegraph,
The cool wet summer of 2007 may be looked back on as the moment when global warming finally got serious: in two respects. First, we are beginning to see the scarcely credible costs of the legislation our politicians are dishing out, supposedly to change the world's climate.

At the same time, the latest climate data themselves begin to raise some rather serious question marks over the scientific basis for that legislation.

There has been no more vivid example of the mounting costs of our politicians' "climate change" policy than BP's announcement of a £200 million plant in Hull to turn a million tons of wheat a year into "biofuel". This is to help meet the EU's new diktat that within 13 years "CO2 neutral" biofuels must supply 10 per cent of all our transport needs...

Yet just when all this tidal wave of new costs is approaching, the latest scientific data, as I reported last week, are beginning to raise the largest question marks so far over the entire global warming thesis on which they are based.

A graph of satellite data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that, over the past eight years, average global temperatures have flattened out well below their peak in 1998. The 2007 figures to June show a dip to a level first reached in 1983, 24 years ago.

During this same period, however, the graph of CO2 levels from the Mauna Loa Observatory has continued a consistent rise. If rising CO2 inexorably means rising temperatures, what happened to those temperatures?

More importantly, what happened to the brains of all those panicking politicians who are now heaping on us an Everest of costs without bothering to check whether the simple little equation on which they are based actually corresponds with reality?
Brains? Politicians? Anyway, see A Lunatic Crop of Laws for Global Warming - Daily Telegraph.


  1. "The reaction there and elsewhere to those questioning the global warming mantra is revealing, isn't it? If they're as confident as they claim, then why all the vitriol?"

    Hazarding a guess, it's because these non-scientists believe in GW because it gives them an emotional boost? For a point of comparison, see religion.

    The real question is how are the climatologists and other relevant experts responding to the film.

  2. The answer to the question PC is..

    Because deceitful, idiotic people are annoying.

    They spend a large portion of this "documentary" arguing that man made emissions account for such a minute amount of the earths total Co2 production, implying that we couldn't have an impact. A fact that is completely irrelevant given that even if we're only producing say, 1% of the worlds co2 over one year, if that 1% is over the threshold of what the earth can absorb it will accumulate. Co2 levels are currently the highest that human beings have been exposed to. That's a fact, and humans are responsible for it.

    They also make a flawed attack on the results of the ice samples shown in Gore's documentary. Now, don't get me wrong, not all of "An Inconvenient Truth" was good science, but the interpretation of those graphs by the documentary link on your front page is patently flawed. The graphs show a warming trend of 5000 years. The change in Co2 lags the temperature for the first 800. This tells us nothing about global warming because it does not discount the fact that the next 4200 years could be caused by the increases in Co2. Greenhouse gases retain heat in the atmosphere. The extra Co2 allows more heat to be retained, which in turn creates more Co2, It is a feedback effect.

    The crux of the issue is that many uneducated people are watching this, and believing it because they simply don't know any better. The science is all together too complicated for the entire population to learn over-night. People are taking all this bad science at face value and using it as an excuse to continue business as usual.

    We're sick of it. AGW as a theory is over one hundred years old. Propaganda like this "documentary" that creates unscientific claims about it's validity is almost as old.

    All the vitriol and hate is not because the theory is baseless. It's because people who create this shit have no interest in presenting a well balanced view of the issue. They are out to dupe people into believing something that isn't true.

    People who don't understand it should either take some personal responsibility and learn about it or shut the hell up. I don't see you pulling any punches when it comes to other people who lie on a massive scale to gain political support.

    I didn't vote for the Green party last election because I opposed their position on GM, and more importantly, I despised the way they promoted that position. By preying on people's ignorance. This is despite the fact that I have been following climate change policy and science from a young age. I regret that now. It's sad, but environmental activists are part of the reason the issue has finally been brought to the front where it belongs. I can no longer fault them for playing the game.

  3. david s

    That's just more baseless assertion from you again.

    You and the rest of the climate porn industry are completely unable to support your position with any proof. Your position is all just warm air! Vapourware!

    Now how about you go away and work on the proofs you were challenged with not so long ago.


    Here is my opinion.

    The anger and vitriol coming from the "sky-is-falling-down" lobby is caused by the fact that without the great climate threat they can't justify their authoritarian approach to life and they can't justify the totalitarianism they lust to implement over all men. Sickening.


  4. There is a none-too-subtle irony in the fact that Durkin has a whine about the seemingly strong reaction by pundits against his doco, when he was firing off emails to scientists who disagreed with his outcomes and dubious presentation methods, calling one a 'big daft cock' and exhorting him to 'go and fuck himself' (I seem to remember you commented on this a while back, PC).

    If the panelists had resorted to this level of robust debate, it would surely make for more entertaining telly.

    But to engage Durkin on the issue, when you have what is undeniably a narrowly-supported theory, one expects the criticism to be fairly robust. A bit churlish really, to expect prime-time exposure for his fairly patchy (IMHO obviously) doco AND a post-screening debate stacked in his favour.

    Surely one who seeks to challenge the status quo shouldn't get all pouty just because the balance of opinion is firmly against them? That should simply challenge them to secure ever more compelling evidence for the theory in question.


  5. "Now how about you go away and work on the proofs you were challenged with not so long ago."

    Science is not mathematics. There is no proof. It is possible however to demonstrate or have things shown - something usually done from multiple distinct convergent obversations. (And a wiki page outlining one more.)

    Whether this then calls for "the totalitarianism they lust to implement over all men" is another matter altogether. Climate scientists admittedly aren't economists and Science is not a buffet table.

  6. "Science is not mathematics. There is no proof."

    Then what is it you think real scientists do, Wasps?

    Science consists in validating and proving theory; in finding and proving causality - as Aristotle says, understanding the role of causality is what it means to have knowledge "down to the root."

    And as Ludwig von Mises observed, mathematics is ever silent on causality.

    So it really seems you might have this backwards.

  7. Wasps said...
    Science is not mathematics. There is no proof.

    Wasps, was that a layman assertion? If Science is not mathematics, then perhaps you can tell me what the heck are the following mathematical physics models (which were developed by Physics Nobel Prize winners) are all about. These science models look like mathematics to me, unless I am completely blind here.

    - Schrodinger Equation

    - Feynman Path Integral

    - Dirac Equation

    BTW, if you want some examples of those science models I have listed above, then I am happy to give you one (definitely not a layman one).

  8. You're labouring under an incorrect notion of what proof is.

    When you prove something, like Fermat's Last Theorem. That's it. If another session produces NOT-Fermat's Last Theorem, then that line of reasoning is wrong with no exceptions. A proof, by its nature, means that every single assumption that can produce the negation of a proof's conclusion defies the nature or rules of the system. This is where the Proof-by-Contradiction method takes its power.

    When you demonstrate something, you do so with--by the nature of your investigation--a limited amount of evidence that can't be extrapolated far built on top of a base (our universe) that we do not yet know everything about. Therefore the possibility exists that there is evidence that contradicts the conclusions you have demonstrated, that you don't yet know about. The strength, in terms of truth-seeking, of a scientific hypothesis lies not what it predicts, but what it successfully predicts not. (Word order is important here.)

    Example: Newton's Theory of Gravity. Was thoroughly and convincingly demonstrated to be an accurate descriptor of all celestial and local phenomena under its umbrella in its time. It also excluded a lot of other conceivable possibilities, making it a powerful theory and further to its virtue it was conceptually simple. But when it comes to truth-seeking, Mecury came along and happened to be contrary to what Newton predicted and thus the theory was shown to be at odds with reality.

    A scientist's job is not to mourn the broken theory, but to take what we know and expose these flaws in it. These weak points can then be the source of inspiration for better ideas that lend us the power to go further. The more weak points we know, the better we can construct our theories to exclude what cannot be.

  9. "These science models look like mathematics to me, unless I am completely blind here."

    Built on assumptions that must be demonstrated to be true (science), rather than defined to be true (mathematics). That's the difference.

  10. wasps

    Not so long ago the host of this forum published an article "Arbitrary and out." A little while later I dicussed a news article I came across and was impressed with. The two are related in that they deal with the same issue, namely that of people making assertions without basis in fact of reality. In other words without evidence or with scant information that can't be relied on to support the conclusions some people promote.

    David S responded to the challenges of the article I reproduced with a collection of assertion, feelings, personal opinion and arbitrary claims. That's all well and good, but when it was pointed out to him that it is upon he who asserts the positive that the burden of proof falls and therefore he'd better provide some, we got more claim, some passion and smearing of concepts. No progress there then.

    The issue for the climate porn industry to face up to is that if they intend to claim their the sky-is-falling story justifies collectivism, they need to provide proof for their assertions. After reading the news article "The Challenge", my suspicion is that the main ideas they promote (eg Man caused climate disaster, collectivism is the solution) are not supported by proof or even sufficient evidence to accept.

    In the end there is no requirement to accept assertions from the climate porn pimps simply because they make such claims. Nor is there a requirement to disprove those claims either. Unless proof is supplied on demand, arbitrary assertions may be discarded without further consideration. And that's as it should be. It's basic philosophy.


  11. Hitman, there's nothing wrong with your sentiment, but if you wish to engage in a constructive discussion regarding science you cannot do so without an understanding of scientific terminology. Otherwise, how will you understand what scientifically literate men are saying? Likewise, if you seek to talk to scientists, how will you be sure you are understood if you are not speaking the same language?

    The use of the word proof like this does invite misunderstandings and also invites those who would otherwise take the time to answer your queries to move on. You can blame dishonest men like Kent Hovind.

  12. Eddie visits occasionally24 Jul 2007, 12:00:00

    A lot of people are talking about Tony Jones' interview with Martin Durkin without apparently having seen it. Watch it in two parts here and here.

    The section beginning 4:40min in Pt 1 is especially telling. Durkin was simply fabricating the graph. It's not the only graph he did this with on TGGWS. See here for a statement from the researchers on whom Durkin based one flawed graph dissasociating themselves from his documentary.

    When will PC learn?

  13. Eddie - why some people are so impressed when they find "evidence" from groups with such a vested interest in proving or disproving global warming is beyond me.

    Trying to debate environmental issues on their merits with people who believe that environmental concerns are the tools of a collectivist conspiracy that must be destroyed is pointless.

    The signs of a society in decline is the inability to address issues reasonably anymore. To focus on the spectacle, because the pageantry is all that is left for people to understand. Both sides of the debate do this.

    Once you realise they are playing a game you learn to disparage them, and treat them with about as much respect as they deserve- none. No one is elevated by these blog 'discussions'.

  14. Eddie visits occasionally24 Jul 2007, 14:46:00

    Anonymous - I absolutely agree. When I first started reading PC, I thought he would be open to rational debate; after all, he's an "Objectivist". Once I realised he has a political agenda, I began mocking him, which is all he deserves.

    However, I also see my role as providing links to the real science, the science his regular visitors never see.

    So, to that extent, I'm not interested in dialogue with PC, since he has become emotionally and ideologically invested in his position and will not budge, but with his readers.

  15. Wasps

    Science presupposes philosophy. You bring your philosophy to your science, not the other way around.

    Likewise proof is a concept derived from philosophy, not from science. The nature of what proof is is not something you derive from science. It is derived from philosophy.

    That's all most important to understand.


    Now with respect to your comments regarding "scientific illiteracy", if you are attempting to impune me as a scientific illiterate I would submit you are making a grave error. But since you don't know me and personalities are not at issue here, I'll assume that was not your intent.

    Regards to all



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