Extracts from Ofcom Complaint, by Category: Falsification/Manipulation

4. Falsification/Manipulation by Quoting Selectively

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It should also have disclosed that Frederick Seitz is a condensed matter physicist, and has never been a climate scientist or ever been involved with the IPCC. Moreover, it should have disclosed that at the time of writing the letter to the Wall Street Journal, Seitz was the Chair of the fossil-fuel industry–funded George C. Marshall Institute (see page 149 [of the full complaint]), as well as being Chairman of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (see page 155 [of the full complaint], and see also S. Fred Singer, Appendix C.10, page 135 [of the full complaint]).

Seitz has also worked as a consultant to the tobacco industry (http://tinyurl.com/j5dpp [Guardian]), and was described in an internal memo by Phillip Morris Co. in 1989 (7 years before the WSJ letter) as quite elderly and not sufficiently rational to offer advice. (http://tinyurl.com/ytymym [Tobaccodocuments]). He was later instrumental in organising a petition project of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine or OISM: a petition that has been heavily criticised for its misleading nature (see the entry about the OISM on page 154 [of the full complaint] for details).

Moreover, the revisions to a draft chapter of the IPCC report were made by the authors (i.e. the scientists) themselves, in response to review comments, as they are obliged to do under the normal peer review process. None of the authors complained about the changes, and forty signed a letter to the Wall Street Journal (see http://tinyurl.com/yr3ozf) stressing that the scientific content of the report was unchanged, and that uncertainties were still discussed in the final version.

They also noted that Seitz:

… was not involved in the process of putting together the 1995 IPCC report on the science of climate change. He did not attend the Madrid IPCC meeting on which he reports. He was not privy to the hundreds of review comments received by Chapter 8 Lead Authors. Most seriously, before writing his editorial, he did not contact any of the Lead Authors of Chapter 8 in order to obtain information as to how or why changes were made to Chapter 8 after Madrid.

An open letter of support for the IPCC was also written by the American Meteorological Society and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (see http://tinyurl.com/yr3ozf). See also Appendix G: page 165 [of the full complaint] for further context provided by Bert Bolin, the IPCC Chairman at the time of this controversy.

By quoting selectively an article by someone who has never had any involvement with the IPCC, who is not a climate scientist, and whose article in the Wall Street Journal has been shown to be so highly misleading, the film maker was apparently setting out to mislead the audience and to misrepresent the facts.]

(In breach of the 2003 Communications Act Section 265, Ofcom 5.4, 5.5, 5.7, 5.11, 5.12)


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Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007