Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

1. Complaint Summary

Page 1



Complaint Summary



The documentary film The Great Global Warming Swindle was broadcast on Channel 4 television on March 8, 2007, and was re-broadcast on More4 on March 12.

This complaint details the ways in which we believe the film makers and Channel 4 have contravened the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and the Communications Act in both versions of the broadcast, by presenting misinformation and misleading the public. The complaint has been led by three concerned citizens with either professional or amateur interest in anthropogenic global warming science and policy. We have received additional contributions and reviewing by numerous professionals in the climate science, policy, and related fields.

We document a total of 137 apparent breaches of the Broadcasting Code, 105 of which were also apparent breaches of the Communications Act. For organisational purposes we have grouped certain similar, repeated breaches – and therefore report 67 transgressions (see see section 1.7, page 6, section 1.8, page 9 and Appendix A.4, page 122 for details).

The Great Global Warming Swindle presented the thesis that the science of anthropogenic global warming is wholly incorrect, and is perpetuated to serve anti-capitalist and anti-growth environmentalist interests. As detailed by this complaint, this was done by displaying erroneous or artificially manipulated graphs, and presenting incorrect, misleading, or incomplete opinions and facts on the science of global warming and the related economics. It seems from the format and tone of the programme that its objective was to sway public opinion on global warming science – and to oppose action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Public statements by film maker Martin Durkin confirm this view (see for example The Daily Telegraph: and Life Style Extra:

Subsequent to the broadcast, Durkin acknowledged that the programme contained some inadvertent errors (see for example The Independent:, but has denied that this wrongdoing was intentional, and stands by the programmes arguments and overall thesis.

Regardless of whether the errors were intentional, the sheer number of transgressions indicated in this complaint highlight that the film makers and Channel 4 completely failed to ensure that the programme complied with the Broadcasting Code and the Communications Act. Over the course of the programme, the programme-maker systematically failed to ensure that individual facts and graphs presented were correct, that interviewees individual opinions were indicated as such, that narrator impartiality was maintained, and that the consequent overall message of the programme was an accurate reflection of the scientific facts. Most seriously, this was done in the context of a matter relating to current public policy, in breach of Section 5 of the Broadcasting Code (

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Last updated: 11 Jun 2007