Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

1. Complaint Summary

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The programme presented graphs and interview statements from Eigil Friis-Christensen regarding the link between solar activity and temperature over the last 100 and 400 years. The programme fails to mention that Friis-Christensens apparent Sun-temperature correlation breaks down after 1975, indicating that another agent (such as greenhouse gases) must be subsequently at work to warm the globe. Ignoring this, the film makers go on to erroneously rule out a contribution to warming by man-made CO2 – a conclusion that Friis-Christensen himself states cannot be drawn from his work. Finally, the film makers failed to mention that other researchers have challenged the research of Friis-Christensen, and find a weaker correlation which indicates a lesser contribution of the Sun to past climate changes (see Comment 59, page 53; Comment 60, page 55; Comment 62, page 57; and Comment 63, page 57).


The programme suggests that anthropogenic global warming theory is promoted as a means for environmentalists to reverse industrial growth. This is achieved in part by showing only extremist anti-capitalist viewpoints and implying that their views represent the views of mainstream economists, political scientists and environmentalists, who are mostly not anti-capitalist and who believe that climate change can be mitigated with current and future energy technologies, and without catastrophic economic consequences (see Comment 75, page 68; Comment 76, page 68; Comment 77, page 69; Comment 78, page 69; Comment 80, page 71; Comment 81, page 71; Comment 82, page 72; Comment 120, page 100; and Comment 136, page 114).

The programme also gives a highly distorted and factually inaccurate account of the medias coverage of climate change and of the contributors to the programme, in an apparent attempt to portray their views as having been given insufficient coverage and thus to justify the programmes existence. As shown in Appendix E: page 158, the contributors to the programme have enjoyed privileged access to some of the most influential news publications in the UK and US. See Comment 11, page 16Comment 13, page 18; Comment 33, page 26; Comment 66, page 61; Comment 82, page 72; Comment 96, page 80; Comment 97, page 81; Comment 98, page 81; Comment 100, page 84; and Comment 107, page 87.


The programme presents a distorted view (in the narration, and unchallenged interviewee statements) of the science of climate modelling.

Firstly, it suggests that because weather cant be predicted accurately, climate cant either. This is incorrect, as it confuses weather and climate, which are subject to different constraints (see Comment 88, page 74); and because climate scientists do not in any case make predictions, they make projections (see Comment 92, page 77).


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Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007