Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

Appendix C: Backgrounds of the Contributors to the Programme

Page 127





Several of the main contributors were not scientists at all, and furthermore, are well known for having very little background in contemporary climate science research; and yet they talked extensively about the science of climate change on the programme.


The credentials of many of the scientists, and also of some of the other contributors, were greatly inflated during the programme itself, in order to give the misleading impression that they were leading experts in the fields they were discussing, when most of them were not.


The implication given, in the promotional text on the Channel 4 website; in the trailers for the programme; and in the programme itself, was that the contributors were experts in the specific subjects that they were discussing – and in large part the subject was the current state of climate change research.

Yet very few of them are climate scientists. To give two pertinent examples: being an expert on weather does not necessarily make one an expert on climate (see and; and being an expert in astronomy does not necessarily make one an expert on climate. Most viewers would not have made this distinction, and certainly none of the press coverage of the programme made the distinction – see for instance Yet it is a crucial distinction to make. A scientist (however distinguished in his or her field) who is not a climate scientist is not necessarily any more an expert in the physical science of climate change theory than an intelligent and well-informed layman is – and yet the public was given the clear and highly misleading impression that they were almost all experts in the current state of science regarding climate change.

As a result of this deception, the public almost certainly gave the contributors' statements far more weight than they would otherwise have done, which was the programme makers apparent intention. This is in breach of the provisions of the 2003 Communications Act regarding Channel 4s remit for its programmes to be educational and therefore not intentionally misleading; and a clear breach of section 5.7 of the Broadcasting Code regarding not misrepresenting facts.


Links to the Fossil Fuel Industry

There are several serious reasons why the links that many of the contributors to the programme have to the fossil fuel industry are important in terms of public interest, accuracy, and impartiality; and why these links should have been made clear to viewers of the programme:


Parts of the fossil fuel industry regard any action to reduce CO2 emissions (which are caused primarily by burning fossil fuels) as a potential threat to their profits and shareholder value. Some of the companies have therefore invested in campaigns against such policies.

[Bookmarks on this page: Click the following link to go to that bookmark. You can then copy and paste the bookmarks url from your address bar, and send it to someone as a link straight to that bookmark:
Appendix C.1.3]


Page 127 of 176

Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007