Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

Appendix C: Backgrounds of the Contributors to the Programme

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Two good examples of this are the advertising campaign that was run in May 2006 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), titled: CO2, we call it life; and the CEIs lawsuit against the US Federal Government to suppress two major scientific reports concerning the current state of knowledge about global warming. For more details, see the CEI entry on page 146.

According to a 2007 report by the highly regarded Union of Concerned Scientists, this disinformation campaign is reminiscent of, and even uses some of the same people as, the earlier campaign by the tobacco industry that for many years misled the public into believing that there is no link between smoking and lung cancer – see the PDF report at:, especially Table 3: Key Personnel Overlap between Tobacco and Climate Disinformation Campaigns.

In addition, four US Government briefing papers released under the Freedom of Information Act have shown that ExxonMobil, and an industry-funded lobby group, The Global Climate Coalition (now disbanded), together played a major role in influencing the US Government not to sign up to Kyoto. For more details see The briefing papers themselves can be downloaded from that web page.


The programme attempted to give the viewer the highly misleading impression that the only people who have criticised the links that some of the programmes contributors have with the fossil fuel industry, are extremist environmentalists (Comment 119, page 99). In fact, such criticisms have come from many distinguished scientists (e.g., see:

So for all these reasons, the programmes failure to declare the links many of its contributors have to the fossil fuel industry and to lobby groups funded by the fossil fuel industry is in serious breach of the provisions of the 2003 Communications Act regarding Channel 4s remit for its programmes to be educational, and therefore not to be intentionally misleading; and in serious breach of section 5.7 of the Broadcasting Code regarding not misrepresenting facts.


Links to Lobby Groups

To use an analogy, had a scientific documentary had, as one of its main contributors, a scientist who was also a leading member of Greenpeace; and had the documentary not declared that scientists involvement with Greenpeace, there would have been a justifiable outcry, on the basis that the omission would have misled the public about the perceived impartiality of that scientist.

The failure of the Channel 4 programme to mention that most of the contributors work for lobby groups (most of which are funded by the fossil fuel industry) that are actively lobbying governments and the public against taking any action to reduce CO2 emissions, and which in some cases are also spending millions of pounds on advertising campaigns that use misinformation to convince the public that there is no need to reduce carbon emissions (e.g. see, and, was in clear breach of the 2003 Communications Act, and of sections 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code.

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Appendix C.1.4]


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Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007