Thursday, March 08, 2007

Channel 4's The Great Global Warming Swindle

The climate change debate keeps changing media but the elements remain the same. Here is the link to the Channel 4 counterpoint to Gore's Inconvenient Truth. Not sure if there are plans to air the broadcast on this side of the Atlantic or not, but the website does give a synopsis of the documentary and its scope. At least for those of us who have not seen The Great Global Warming Swindle, the link will allow us some traction on the discussion it is generating.

At the same time as Channel 4 was airing The Great Global Warming Swindle, the BBC News website environment correspondent Richard Black initiated contact with a list of climate skeptics in order to write a more fully nuanced discussion about their ideas and concerns regarding climate change. His request for respondents to fill out a questionnaire met with mixed reactions: some of those contacted do not see themselves as AGW skeptics at all (their concern is with the IPCC system and issues of process as they relate to science and policy), others were reluctant to respond having being badly mis-characterized in previous media encounters and some (like myself) responded. What became immediately apparent from this exercise is that skeptics are not a homogeneous, organized nor corporately sponsored collective. Instead, they are a group of individuals with questions for which answers have either been absent, unconvincing or simply unknown, all of which cast doubt on any climate theory's claim to certitude. This in turn translates for many into a general dislike for any process that seeks to enforce that theory as a pervasive dogma onto society in the name of science rather than ideology. Skeptics are not anti-environment: they are anti-environmentalism, ideological hegemony and hypocrisy.

It will be interesting to see when and what appears on the BBC News website and how well it does indeed capture the nuances of the ongoing reluctance to accept the IPCC prescribed view of reality.

In the meantime, it appears the producer of the Global Warming Swindle, Martin Durkin, is receiving the full-court press from the ever-intolerant environmentalist lobby, which seems to operate on the premise of smear first,last and always, in preference to engage, discuss and dialogue.

The more fanatical an ideology the less democratic it becomes: extremism in all stripes becomes totalitarian -- something Orwell warned off and a lesson eco-activists ignore often as for them the "end justifies the means". Blissfully, human history stands as a loving testament to the utter infallibility of this proposition. The means are always much more significant than the ends.