Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

Appendix C: Backgrounds of the Contributors to the Programme

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The programme misled viewers into thinking that the only contributor to it who has any links to the fossil fuel industry is Professor Michaels, and that even he only has a link to the coal industry (see Comment 118, page 98, and Comment 119, page 99). This was a clear case of misinformation by omission.


The programme misled viewers into thinking that one would have to be prejudiced (see Comment 119, page 99) in order to be concerned about the links that some of the scientists in the programme have to the fossil fuel industry.

In fact there are two very serious public interest reasons why it is quite legitimate to be concerned about such links, and why they should therefore have been revealed. These are:


With regard to some scientific research into global warming having been funded by the fossil fuel industry (see Comment 119, page 99), there is considerable peer-reviewed evidence that studies funded by corporations that have a financial interest in the studys outcome are much more likely to reach the desired conclusions than those which arent – see, for example, Okike et al 2007 (PDF available at:; Vartanian et al 2007 (; and Peppercorn at al 2007 (

Good science involves testing (and accepting or rejecting) a proposed hypothesis based purely on the evidence, rather than starting with a predetermined conclusion and then trying to find evidence that appears to support that conclusion. Wherever there is a risk that the latter might be happening, the integrity of the entire scientific process is put at risk. This potential for corruption – or even for unconscious bias – is clearly against the public interest; and to point this out is clearly not to be guilty of prejudice, as the narrator of the programme claimed that it was.

More importantly, most of the criticism of funding by the fossil fuel industry has not been of their funding of research projects, as the programme claimed; but rather of their funding of a huge, and very well–funded misinformation campaign, as is well-documented by media and scholars (see 3.2 below). The deliberate efforts of this misinformation campaign was perpetuated and greatly raised in profile by the Channel 4 programme (see for example The Vancouver Sun, April 23, 2007,


There is very strong and growing evidence (see, and that a well-funded disinformation campaign costing tens of millions of dollars is currently being run by a large number of lobby groups that are funded by the fossil fuel industry, many of these lobby groups being directly linked to contributors to the Channel 4 programme; and that the aims of this campaign are: to mislead the public about the existence of a link between CO2 and global warming; to convince the public that increasing the atmospheric level of CO2 is good for us; and to convince the public that there is much less consensus about the science of man-made global warming than there really is – all in order to confuse the public and decrease public support for government action to reduce emissions.

Continued …


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Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007