March 9, 2007


'Apocalypse my arse': Martin Durkin, director of The Great Global Warming Swindle, on green intolerance, soft censorship and his 'dodgy' Marxist background. (Brendan O'Neill, Spiked)

[Martin] Durkin's latest film has won him the accolade - or perhaps slur - of being the 'anti-Al Gore'. Where the American president-who-never-was transformed his rather dull PowerPoint presentation on the threat of global warming into a marginally less dull big box office flick - An Inconvenient Truth - Durkin has directed a 90-minute made-for-TV movie that basically says: 'Everything you know about global warming is wrong!'

Its title a knowing, punk-rebellious nod to the Sex Pistols film The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle, The Great Global Warming Swindle featured scientists questioning whether global warming is manmade. Some of them argued that the Sun - directly, or through its effect on cosmic rays - causes global warming. Others claimed that CO2 levels are influenced by changes in temperature rather than the other way around. If this were the case, it would turn on its head every fundamental assumption underpinning not just the green movement but also national and international politics, a whole new genre of global warming literature and research, and much of the newly greened education system in Britain: those assumptions being that a rise in CO2 is causing the Earth to warm, that man is responsible for that rise in CO2, and thus we must rein man in. No wonder many seem miffed by Durkin's film.

Whatever viewers may have thought about the new theories put forward in Swindle to explain global warming (personally, I found the replacement of the widespread, all-encompassing manmade theory with an all-encompassing cosmic ray theory - sort of 'It's the Sun wot done it!' - a little unconvincing), there's no denying that the film poked some very big holes in the global warming consensus.

Professor Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, one of the world's leading experts on malaria, was a revelation. He explained how he had to threaten legal action against the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to have his name removed from the list of '2,000 of the world's leading scientists' who apparently backed its summary published last month. The problem? Professor Reiter didn't back it, instead arguing that it was a 'sham'. The IPCC 'make it seem that all the top scientists are agreed, but it's not true', he said.

And leaving to one side the science of global warming, there was also some stirring stuff on the impact of the environmentalist ethos on political debate and human ambition - especially in relation to the developing world. Many of the talking heads argued that our obsession with restraining development in order to 'save the planet' will consign the world's poorest to a life of grime and squalor. And, ironically, pollution. As one contributor pointed out, the smoke from cows[cat] and other items that some in the developing world burn in order to warm their homes - because they don't have electricity and because the only solution put forward for their predicament is that they should use expensive and ineffectual 'sustainable' solar and wind power - is recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the worst pollutants in the world. Tens of thousands of children in the developing world die every year from respiratory problems brought on by such in-house smog. It is peasantry, rather than modernity, that kills them; s[cat], not cars.

Watching The Great Global Warming Swindle felt a little bit naughty, even subversive. You simply never hear stark criticisms of the politics of global warming in the mainstream media very much.

He may underestimate cosmic rays at that.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 9, 2007 2:27 PM

Hey !!!?, (who ever you are)

Did anyone in the UK copy it.

I tried to log on and watch it here, but the US was blocked.

I even went so far as to "chat" with a tech rep, and he wrote bluntly that "we don't sell our content" in DVD format.

Given their silly attitude toward making scads of $$ off of Americans looking for the same quality of content, please feel free to contact me and I'll make arrangements to "borrow" a copy from you (or any other Brit reading this)

BTW, what is wrong with you limeys? Even our PBS has the sense to sell their shows as DVDs.

Posted by: bruno at March 9, 2007 3:40 PM

Windows doesn't know how to open any of those downloads. Help?

Posted by: erp at March 10, 2007 8:22 AM


I think you need to jump through the hoops to get bit torrent, which is one the more obscure ways to stream/load content off of the web.

Posted by: bruno at March 10, 2007 3:10 PM

Bruno, since my knees have indicated they are no longer available for jumping through hoops, can you suggest a more pellucid way to stream/load content off of the web? Much appreciate it.

Posted by: erp at March 10, 2007 3:43 PM