The Great Global Warming Swindle

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

The Great Global Warming Swindle is a television program advocating the common arguments by anthropogenic global warming skeptics. It was broadcast on March 8, 2007 on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. It was subsequently broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in July 2007.

The film's writer and director, Martin Durkin, believes that "global warming is a hoax foisted upon an unsuspecting public by conspiratorial environmentalists," reported The Age in June 2007. Durkin previously made the anti-environmental film "Against Nature," which Britain's Channel 4 had to issue a public apology for, "because it misled interviewees and distorted the editing of their contributions." Other films by Durkin praise genetically modified food and silicone breast implants. [1]

Oceanographer Carl Wunsch "complained he had been misled" with regard to "The Great Global Warming Swindle." He claimed that his interview "had been edited to look as though he was dismissing human-caused climate change." [2]

Split UK ruling

In July 2008, the British government's media regulator, Ofcom, issued a split ruling on "The Great Global Warming Swindle," a film commissioned and broadcast by Channel 4. Ofcom received 265 complaints about the film, including "a detailed 'group complaint' from scientists and concerned individuals that ran to 176 pages and accused Channel 4 of seriously misleading viewers." [1]

Ofcom found that Channel 4 broke impartiality guidelines and the film misrepresented statements by former British government scientist David King, in a scene with global warming skeptic Fred Singer. Ofcom also found that the film unfairly treated the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and MIT professor Carl Wunsch. However, Ofcom ruled that the program did not "cause harm or offence" by "materially" misleading viewers. Ofcom also said that its impartiality rules did not apply to the majority of the film, because the rules require balance on "matters of political or industrial controversy" and human-induced climate change has "been almost universally accepted by governments around the world." [1]


SourceWatch resources

External links

Website of 'OfcomSwindleComplaint'