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Review Of The Great Global Warming Swindle

1599 words - 7 pages

The Great Global Warming Swindle has been the most widely watched documentary critical of the scientific consensus that climate change is due to anthropogenic activities. Aired in 2007 in the United Kingdom, the documentary claimed to debunk the “myth” of manmade global climate change, exposing it as a vast conspiracy designed to gain funding for research and push an environmental agenda that is especially harmful to the developing world. Directed by British producer Martin Durkin, the documentary includes discussion with a number of scientists who are skeptical of anthropogenic global warming and claim that there viewpoints are being deliberately censored in favor of the politically correct consensus.
While critical of global warming alarmism, this documentary does not doubt that the earth is warming. Instead, they claim that scientific evidence demonstrates that such warming is but a natural variation in earth’s climatic history, similar to the Medieval Warm Period of the Little Ice Age. The documentary uses several lines of evidence to back up this claim, including ice core data that they claim when rightly interpreted shows carbon dioxide as having a lag time when earth’s climate has warmed in the recent and distant past, making it doubtful that it could be responsible for the increase in temperature that has been observed recently. The timing of the recent warming, which was most pronounced in the late Nineteenth Century through World War II, stopped and reversed to a cooling trend in the mid-Twentieth Century, and then rapidly warmed again in the past three decades, is dissected. Since this warming began before the advent of major human sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the period of most dramatic industrialized growth around the world (the postwar economic boom) actually witnessed a decrease in global temperatures, the scientists interviewed claim that it is not likely that human emissions could be responsible for warming, which incidentally are only a small percentage of total greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The fact that warming has been more pronounced at the earth’s surface, rather than several miles in the atmosphere as many models would predict should greenhouse gases be the cause, is also used as a claim against the climate change consensus. Using historical data, the movie claims that solar activity in the form of cosmic rays and sunspot activity is probably the most likely determinant of global climate change, both today and in the past, eclipsing the impact of human activities.
The moviemakers attack the supporters of the accepted global warming theory, claiming that they are generally pursuing a radical environmental agenda, which would be detrimental to the developing world. They claim that many scientists have been railroaded into accepting global warming as a fact because of peer pressure or in order to get scarce funding for their research projects. Using a number of ad homenim attacks, supporters...

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