Saturday, March 10, 2007

Another Durkin swindle?

Uh oh! A leading US climate scientist says he was duped into appearing on the iconoclastic Channel 4 documentary 'The Great Global Warming Swindle'. Such charges against the programme maker (Mark Durkin) are beginning to seem habitual. Over on the Socialist Unity Blog Andrew Newman has written a comprehensive critique of the programme.
Durkin was behind a similarly iconoclastic series attacking the Green Movement, 'Against Nature', which was shown on Channel 4 back in 1997. All manner of complaints, including distortion by selective editing were made - and upheld by the Independent Television Commission - about the series.
Durkin is linked to what was The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) which officially shut up shop in 1998 when its organ, LM magazine, lost an expensive libel battle against ITN (an article in LM claimed that ITN had fabricated its 1992 discovery of prisoners held by Bosnian Serbs).
Such a chequered history does not inspire confidence in Durkin's latest effort. That's a shame because some of The Great Global Warming Swindle's points definitely hit the mark.
The fashionable Green agenda is accepted with all too little criticism by the mainstream press. Opportunist politicians and silly celebrities have leapt on the Environmentalist bandwagon (or should that be huskie driven sledge?) and given it a credibility far in excess of its merits. The Green Movement does have a shoddy track record of scaremongering and extremism. Sharp-thinking politicians like Lord Lawson with a background in the rigours of financial journalism have criticised the Stern report on climate change as 'fraudulent'.
If it does turn out that The Great Global Warming Swindle was just another hatchet job Durkin et al stand condemned not for heretical thinking but for f***ing up a primetime opportunity to critique Environmentalism and open up a much-needed debate on its claims and philosophy.


Blogger Liz said...

I blogged today about this, thanks for drawing it to my attention.

As for Spiked/LM, I quite like them in some respects. I saw a video a while back which was claiming that they were right about ITN in Bosnia - that the photographs were leaked. It's not impossible, especially considering that LM were strapped for cash while ITN are an enormous company. It's worth thinking about whatever one's view is about the Bosnian conflict. If LM did lie about ITN, on the other hand, then it's not good but I still don't think they should have been closed down, being such a small publication anyway.

3/11/2007 12:13 PM  
Anonymous a very public sociologist said...

I'm not fully conversent with the science behind global warming, and while I agree the programme was right to point out how climate change has become something of an industry, it was clear they were polemicising against a straw man. See Monbiot's response in the Grauniad today, for instance.

3/13/2007 1:44 PM  

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