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Monday, March 12, 2007

The Great Climate Change Swindle

I finally got around to watching last weeks Dispatches program (Channel 4, UK) on the arguments against climate change. It was a fascinating, well made piece of rhetoric, although I'd rather have seen a balanced presentation of the facts. We are long past the point about arguing about whether climate change is real, it is now obvious that the world is getting warmer, but this programme questioned the cause, presented a number of expert arguments against CO2 as the driver, and suggested other possible explanations (mainly the effect of the Sun).

The implication was that the present warming period is part of a natural cycle of warming and cooling that has been going on for millions of years, and therefore isn't anything to worry about. The political message went further, and argued that in fact worrying about it might do more harm than good (for example, by hindering the progress of developing nations).

Watch the program here (parts 1-8 via YouTube):

And then read a number of authoritative responses online:

I was finally convinced about the human relationship to climate change by the recent IPCC report, but this program did make me question it all again. It hasn't really changed my mind - it's to obviously a polemic for that - but it has revealed the sort of politically-motivated quasi-scientific world that this debate has moved to :-/

Update: It appears that this topic has been Slashdotted - in the comments: some interesting debate on the nature of scientific enquiry, and whether it can stand up to this massive public interest.

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