After putting the kids to bed, I got my mug of cocoa and sat down to watch The Great Climate Change Swindle. Let’s call it ‘Swindle’ because that is how I felt once it had rolled out across Australia.What I was rather disappointed by was the attempt to sell me, the average citizen, a series of thinly disguised half-truths about the lack of a linkage between carbon dioxide and global temperature, and then how the activity of that vicious orb in the sky was driving the climate.
The dulcet tones of Durkin waxed and waned, through the ‘facts’ and how dodgy scientists must be – I must have dozed off, but I seemed to come to as I was told that Margaret Thatcher had started the equivalent of Marxist, greenie plot called Climate Change so she could get into nuclear energy. Wow, I never knew!
Somewhat unimpressed by the film, I decided to watch the ABC Lateline discussion afterwards. My impressions (which differ from comrade Jennifer Marohasy) were these. Firstly, I found it rather exciting that Martin Durkin had produced ‘documentaries’ such as “Storm in a D-cup” which purported to show that silicone implants were great for a woman’s health. That is some pedigree for the producer of ‘Swindle’ – a film supposedly about the facts. I also loved his final mantra “no flaw, no flaw, no flaw” although it did sound a little unreal after Tony Jones’ exposé of his video trickery.
Tony Jones did a great job under a difficult situation (apparently he tried to wriggle out of moderating this discussion). He was perhaps a little harsh on Martin Durkin – but after we discovered the fraudulent way that Martin and his team had faked data, told half-truths and misquoted well-meaning scientists – my sympathy for Martin started to wane. He should stick to D-cups.
Thirdly, I found Professor David Karoly to be impressive if only a little forthright. But he does know his stuff. The sad juxtaposition to this was poor old Bob Carter, who appeared right out of his depth. Mumbling at one point, Bob told us that the reason that the film had not used temperature data after 1980 was because there were no good measurements of global temperature since. Incredulously, Tony asked “do you mean that there are only good measurements prior to 1980 and not after?” Boy, Bob, I guess we should write to NOAA and NASA and request our money back!
And the other panel members? Well, Robyn Williams was typically eloquent and excellent if not a little frustrated. Greg Bourne was effective though grim – I suspect he doesn’t suffer fools lightly! Duffy was strangely inert although he came alive for a short moment and tried to claim foul, suggesting that Al Gore and Sir David Attenborough should be given the same treatment as Martin Durkin. Not sure I can see Sir David in the same boat – faking his graphs and glossing over the small problem of totally misrepresenting the science and its practitioners! The rational thoughts of Nick Rowley, ex-advisor to Tony Blair were contrasted by the hysterical ranting of Ray Evans (Lavoisier Society). The latter seemed confused as well – slobbering on about greenie leftists. That was perhaps one of the most humorous moments.
And then there was the audience. Wow – where did they come from? Out of 8 questions from the floor, only 3 were intelligible to any extent. Tony and the panel struggled with a series of statements about C14, eugenics, Nazis and ‘happy dancing’. I wonder if there was a mix up with the venues and the audience from Big Brother had wandered in accidentally?
John Quiggin’s response on the ‘Swindle’ is well worth a read.