The Royal Society’s response to the documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle”

March 14, 2007 at 4:48 am | Posted in Britain, Climate change, Environment, Global warming, Royal Society | 5 Comments

The Royal Society’s response to the documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle”

9 Mar 2007

In response to the documentary ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’, screened on Channel 4 on Thursday 8 March, Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, said:

“Global temperature is increasing. This warming threatens the future health and wellbeing of many millions of people throughout the world. This is especially true of those in the developing countries who are the least able to adapt and who are likely to be the worst affected. Many factors play a part in global warming but there is significant scientific evidence that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2, are responsible for most of the temperature rise. If present trends continue the projected climate change will be far greater than that already experienced. Greenhouse gas emissions are something that we can and must take action on.

“Scientists will continue to monitor the global climate and the factors which influence it. It is important that all legitimate potential scientific explanations continue to be considered and investigated. Debate will continue, and the Royal Society has just hosted a two day discussion meeting attended by over 300 scientists, but it must not be at the expense of action. Those who promote fringe scientific views but ignore the weight of evidence are playing a dangerous game. They run the risk of diverting attention from what we can do to ensure the world’s population has the best possible future.”

That is the full text of a Press Release issued by The Royal Society last Friday. I am sorry that it has taken me until now to post this, and I even missed the programme on Channel 4 myself due to more pressing concerns (Hello, Mr. Dumbra!)

I have checked to see if another blogger on WordPress has promoted Martin Rees’ statement already: it seems not.

So … for those who

  • question the validity of the IPCC and its assessment reports, because you distrust the motives of the United Nations
  • question the motives of the world’s scientists †, yet you listen attentively to “those who promote fringe scientific views but ignore the weight of evidence” and even believe what such climate change contrarians say and promote their misleading arguments vigorously
  • question the tiniest of insignificant points on a graph*, while missing an obvious and significant trend that children can see and grasp in an instant
  • tell others to remove the speck from their eyes so they can see plainly, but cannot see the tree trunk obscuring your own view

… please read what Martin Rees has to say above, again, and reflect on the dangerous game you play. You may not be around long enough to see the trouble you have the potential to cause for the world’s population in the future, but you will be remembered as having diverted attention from dealing with our climate challenge in a timely and effective fashion, and will be recognised as having done this all for your own selfish reasons.

Here’s the most comprehensive post (peppered with useful links of nitty-gritty supporting documentation) I can find, by RealClimate of course, on the subject of:


Finally, here is an excellent post by tamino entitled:


that draws attention to the way in which Carl Wunsch, one of the scientists featured in ‘TGGWS’, was duped into offering his knowledge and expertise for the programme and found his words turned against him, thus damaging his reputation, in the selected quotes and clever editing that ensued.

P.S. To John Cross, although I have been out of the climate change picture for the past week, I concur with your comment about the irony in play in the title of ‘TGGWS’, as reasic can tell you (Hello reasic! I am a stickler for weasel words and clever twists as you know) 😎

† and claim that “significant scientific evidence” is a myth, a lie, a hoax, untrue, unproven, incorrectly modelled, bogus, or simply outrageously arrogant of humans to think we can study and predict to any useful degree of accuracy—let alone act upon any results—this is how bizarre it gets.

* The pattern used by sceptics is all too familiar: try to discredit one insignificant point, assert that the entire body of global warming research must be a sham (whether that questioning was successful or not), then go on to challenge scientists to defend well-established facts repeatedly, thus wasting time and gaining valuable momentum for your anti-action cause.



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  1. Outstanding!

  2. Excellent post, inel – and excellent supporting links, too (thanks tamino). Hopefully, the Web is starting to help science sidestep editorially-biased media in communicating with a wide audience, and to help all of us identify (and discourage) media misrepresentation.

  3. Nicely done, inel. Yet another new perspective on this mess. I’m glad to see you’re back in the saddle. 😛

  4. We have not been here long enough to measure & assume we are the problem. One large volcano spews out more C02 than mankind (as a whole) could produce in 10 years. Let’s put this in perspective. In three to five thousand years we may have enough data to assume we are a major contributor, but until then let’s just go with the flow. We could be in a 10,000 year cycle, no one on Earth has enough information to conclude we are the bad species. I bet history will look back at this time and say “what were they thinking?” We may be killing other species at a great rate, but as for us creating greenhouse gases that would affect the global balance, I don’t think so….

  5. Hello Matt,

    Why do you trust and choose to believe the suggestions of swindlers and fringe scientific views instead of the research of the vast majority of scientific experts?

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