soundtrack by brian eno
About thirty years ago, a British science program screened what they claimed to be was an investigative documentary (soundtrack by Brian Eno) on a super-secret, joint American-Soviet moonbase project called "Alternative 3". According to the filmmakers, scientists on both sides of the Iron Curtain came to the conclusion that massive overpopulation and climate change had doomed the planet, and drastic measures needed to be taken: the first two "alternatives" - cut consumption and population reduction, or explode nuclear bombs to "release" the pollution into space - were deemed impossible. What was left was Alternative 3, a mission by the Soviets and the Americans to restock the human species with the elitest of the elite on a lunar base on the far side of the moon.
It was a hoax, every last bit.
Thirty years later, Channel 4 has put out a program that, while hardly as mindbendingly fictional as Alt3, is nevertheless pretty damn phony, "The Great Global Warming Swindle."
Brendan O'Neil has a contrarian read (that is to say, a mostly worthless evaluation, but take a look for yourself) on the program, while George Monbiot doesn't bother to even do a takedown - he just checks the facts the documentary's purportedly based on:
The problem with “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, which caused a sensation when it was broadcast on Channel 4 last week, is that to make its case it relies not on future visionaries, but on people whose findings have already been proved wrong...
The film’s main contention is that the current increase in global temperatures is caused not by rising greenhouse gases, but by changes in the activity of the Sun. It is built around the discovery in 1991 by the Danish atmospheric physicist Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen that recent temperature variations on earth are in “strikingly good agreement” with the length of the cycle of sunspots.
Unfortunately, he found nothing of the kind. A paper published in the journal Eos in 2004 reveals that the “agreement” was the result of “incorrect handling of the physical data”. The real data for recent years show the opposite: that the length of the sunspot cycle has in fact declined, while temperatures have risen. When this error was exposed, Friis-Christensen and his co-author published a new paper, purporting to produce similar results. But this too turned out to be an artefact of mistakes they had made – in this case in their arithmetic.
So Friis-Christensen and another author developed yet another means of demonstrating that the Sun is responsible, claiming to have discovered a remarkable agreement between cosmic radiation influenced by the Sun and global cloud cover. This is the mechanism the film proposes for global warming. But, yet again, the method was exposed as faulty. They had been using satellite data which did not in fact measure global cloud cover. A paper in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics shows that when the right data are used, a correlation is not found.
As Dr Gavin Schmidt of NASA has shown on www.realclimate.org, five missing steps would have to be taken to justify the wild claims in the press release. “We’ve often criticised press releases that we felt gave misleading impressions of the underlying work”, Schmidt says, “but this example is by far the most blatant extrapolation-beyond-reasonableness that we’ve seen.” None of this seems to have troubled the programme makers, who report the cosmic ray theory as if it trounces all competing explanations.
This goes on and on for a couple of paragraphs. You get the picture.
Anywho, the problem again for us over here is that this piece of shit will be choked and beaten into bulleted talking points (I can picture it now..."That's right, Bill, this is the real story the mainstream media in THIS country won't let YOU SEE.") for whichever sciencey-looking-denier gets hauled out to present "the other side" in the "debate" on global warming. Unlike "An Inconvenient Truth", few people will bother to actually check out the "Swindle" (fewer still probably know who George Monbiot is, sadly). This is bad, very bad for enviros or people who are down with air and eating and a planet with animals that aren't penned up on it, because we're still not at the tipping point yet. Every little bit counts, and I don't think I'd be willing to watch another coastal city drown just so Fox News devotees can get the fucking point.
Oh, and Ann Coulter is utterly insane.