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C4ís debate on global warming boils over
Times Online ^ | March 15, 2007 | Sam Coates, Mark Henderson

Posted on 03/21/2007 7:56:56 AM PDT by cogitator

Two eminent British scientists who questioned the accuracy of a Channel 4 programme that claimed global warming was an unfounded conspiracy theory have received an expletive-filled tirade from the programme maker.

In an e-mail exchange leaked to The Times, Martin Durkin, the executive producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, responded to the concerns of Dr Armand Leroi, from Imperial College, and Simon Singh, the respected scientific author, by telling them to “go and f*** yourself”.

The tirade has caused Dr Leroi to withdraw his cooperation from another Channel 4 project with Mr Durkin on race, The Times has learnt.

The programme, broadcast by Channel 4 last Thursday, featured a number of scientists who disputed the consensus on the causes of global warming.

Dr Leroi was particularly concerned about a segment that featured a correlation between solar activity and global temperatures, which was based on a 1991 paper in the journal Science by Eigil Friis-Chris-tensen. He was surprised that the programme failed to mention that while these findings look convincing superficially, they have been revealed as flawed by subsequent research by Peter Laut.

Dr Leroi e-mailed Mr Durkin about his use of data, concluding: “To put this bluntly: the data that you showed in your programme were . . . wrong in several different ways.” He copied Mr Singh into the exchange.

Mr Durkin replied to both later that morning, saying: “You’re a big daft cock.” Less than an hour later, Mr Singh, who has worked for the BBC, intervened to urge Mr Durkin to engage in serious debate. He wrote: “I suspect that you will have upset many people (if Armand is right), so it would be great if you could engage in the debate rather than just resorting to one-line replies. That way we could figure out what went wrong/ right and how do things better/ even better in the future.” Mr Durkin replied nine minutes later: “The BBC is now a force for bigotry and intolerance . . . Since 1940 we have had four decades of cooling, three of warming, and the last decade when temperature has been doing nothing.

“Why have we not heard this in the hours and hours of sh*t [edited by poster] programming on global warming shoved down our throats by the BBC?

“Never mind an irresponsible bit of film-making. Go and f*** yourself.”

Last night Dr Leroi said that he was amazed at the rudeness of Mr Durkin’s reply.

“It was rather a shocking response,” Dr Leroi said. “It was my intention to make a film with Martin Durkin and [the production company] Wag, but that is something I am seriously reconsidering now. I am no climate scientist, but I was very concerned at the way that flaws in these data were brushed over.”

He said that the global warming film had glossed over flaws in data that it used to make its case, and that it was critical that a documentary about a subject as controversial as race and biology did not make similar mistakes.

“As the subject of our proposed film was race, it is such a sensitive topic that it requires great care and great balance. That he has shown so little respect for scientific consensus and such little nuance is a cause for great concern. I cannot imagine it will go ahead now.”

The film would have addressed Dr Leroi’s thesis that race is a biologically meaning-ful and medically valuable concept, a view that is highly controversial among scientists.

Last night Mr Durkin apologised for his langauge. “As far as I was concerned these were private e-mails. They arrived when I was quite tired having just finished the programme in time for transmission,” he said.

“Needless, to say, I regret the use of intemperate language. It is so unlike me. I am very eager to have all the science properly debated with scientists qualified in the right areas and have asked Channel 4 if they will stage a live debate on this subject.”

Where Channel 4 got it wrong over climate change

Claim: Ice core data shows that carbon dioxide levels rise after temperatures go up, not before

Fact: This is correct, but climate scientists have a good explanation. There is a substantial feedback effect – initial small rises in temperature lead to substantial release of carbon dioxide from natural reservoirs in the oceans, which then produce much steeper warming later on

Claim: Temperatures in the troposphere, the lower part of the atmosphere, have not risen as predicted by the models

Fact: This was once the case, but it has been resolved now that initial measurement errors have been corrected

Claim: Temperatures rose for the first part of the century, then cooled for three decades before warming again. There is no link to carbon dioxide

Fact: Temperatures did follow this pattern, but again there is a good explanation. The mid-century effect fall came about chiefly because of sulphate aerosols – particles that have a cooling effect on the atmosphere. These are no longer produced so heavily by industry because of environmental regulations to combat other problems, such as acid rain


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: change; climate; climatechange; globalwarming; media; science
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Apparently the show also erroneously said that volcanoes emit a lot more CO2 than human activities. See point 1 in my profile about that. Regarding the first point in how Channel 4 got it wrong, I'm working on that point in my profile. There is no good reference to this anywhere on the Web (even such that posters to RealClimate are appealing to the managers of the site to make one!)
1 posted on 03/21/2007 7:57:01 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

ping


2 posted on 03/21/2007 7:57:28 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
telling them to “go and f*** yourself”.

From a scientific standpoint, isn't that pretty much impossible? :)
3 posted on 03/21/2007 7:59:03 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40

Not if you're Gumby, dammit!


4 posted on 03/21/2007 8:01:08 AM PDT by JZelle
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To: P-40

"From a scientific standpoint, isn't that pretty much impossible? :)"


well it does show that global warming alarmism is based on solid scientific evidence and not pure emotion.


5 posted on 03/21/2007 8:01:43 AM PDT by Scotswife
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To: P-40

Well you can get yourself f***ed, but not necessarily go and f*** yourself. If you could, you'd be pretty well f***ed anyway.


6 posted on 03/21/2007 8:04:00 AM PDT by lovecraft (Specialization is for insects.)
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To: cogitator

bttt


7 posted on 03/21/2007 8:05:04 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: cogitator
Claim: Ice core data shows that carbon dioxide levels rise after temperatures go up, not before

Fact: This is correct, but climate scientists have a good explanation. There is a substantial feedback effect – initial small rises in temperature lead to substantial release of carbon dioxide from natural reservoirs in the oceans, which then produce much steeper warming later on

Only a child would believe this.

8 posted on 03/21/2007 8:06:07 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: facedown
Only a child would believe this.

Which Part?

9 posted on 03/21/2007 8:07:53 AM PDT by TheBattman (I've got TWO QUESTIONS for you....)
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To: cogitator
Apparently the show also erroneously said that volcanoes emit a lot more CO2 than human activities

Actually, the show contends that volcanoes result in more CO2 emissions than industrial emissions, not human activity. And they didn't use the words a lot, they claimed it was simply more.

10 posted on 03/21/2007 8:08:46 AM PDT by GreenAccord
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To: cogitator

[He said that the global warming film had glossed over flaws in data that it used to make its case, and that it was critical that a documentary about a subject as controversial as race and biology did not make similar mistakes.]


It's always a traumatic moment when a person first realizes that most journalists are full of crap.


11 posted on 03/21/2007 8:11:12 AM PDT by spinestein (There is no pile of pennies so large that I won't throw two more on top.)
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To: cogitator; All
"Since 1940 we have had four decades of cooling, three of warming, and the last decade when temperature has been doing nothing."

Is this true about the last decade? All I ever hear is that each year broke another record for warmest. Can someone point me to the data for this? Thanks.

12 posted on 03/21/2007 8:13:50 AM PDT by avacado
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To: xcamel

Might want to check this one out.


13 posted on 03/21/2007 8:16:41 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 (Snakes can't be taught to walk.)
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To: facedown
Only a child would believe this.

Check my profile next week for (hopefully) a comprehensive explanation of why that point is correct and is widely misunderstood. It has taken me awhile to comprehend it sufficiently, and I had to discard some of my convenient misconceptions, too.

14 posted on 03/21/2007 8:19:32 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

Apparently the show's claim that cosmic rays play a role in the creation of the cloud layer was also based on older science which has subsequently been shown to be faulty.

I'm still a GW skeptic, but I recognize that this film is not an iron-clad refutation of the science promoting the belief in anthropogenic GW.

My hope is that the overall science is STILL too new, poorly understood and misinterpreted to be definitive.


15 posted on 03/21/2007 8:19:53 AM PDT by agooga (When boyhood's fire was in my blood, I read of ancient free men...)
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To: P-40
" > telling them to “go and f*** yourself”.

From a scientific standpoint, isn't that pretty much impossible? :)"

Well, I would certainly want to see any such data peer reviewed, and Ch 4 appears be an ideal venue...

16 posted on 03/21/2007 8:21:01 AM PDT by M. Dodge Thomas
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To: GreenAccord
the show contends that volcanoes result in more CO2 emissions than industrial emissions,

the point is still very, very wrong. See point #1 of my profile.

17 posted on 03/21/2007 8:21:11 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: avacado

See point #4 in my profile.


18 posted on 03/21/2007 8:21:40 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: Scotswife
Hardly. You will note that where they contend to have Explanations for the Claims, they say they are Facts. So much of science today is just this. Saying an Explanation (hypothesis) is actually fact. This is not to be mistaken for Fact.

It never seems to occur to the media, etc. their explanation could be wrong. They usually are. Almost all of the "Humans cause Global Warming" science is pure emotion.

The best correlation I've seen to warming is sunspot activity. Ten years from now, when temps are down, one of two things will happen. Everyone in the GW crowd will claim victory, though nothing substantial was done worldwide, or everyone will quietly forget what they claimed about Global Warming and move on. What should happen is to expose these people as frauds and have them repay all of the government research dollars they will have spent on this foolishness.
19 posted on 03/21/2007 8:23:57 AM PDT by jps098
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To: cogitator

I noted that those that are criticizing are not climate scientists.

I also noted in the so-called responses to the claims that 'explanations have been found'. Finding 'explanations' to defend against other explanations is not science. That is argument.

Science is about experiment and reproducibility of results. In much of this global warming debate, science is often trampled on by politics.

Science is not easy. It is in fact quite hard. It takes work, focus, patience and funds to get it right, and even then there may be 'explanations=opinions' without conclusive results. Normally when results are inconclusive, the experimental design is changed and a new study is undertaken. It can take decades to get a result. In the meantime, opportunistic politicians such as Gore come along to demagogue the science into law and policy, and that means a claim on taxpayer funds.

I can't stress enough how hard science can be. Years without adequate sleep can be spent trying to meet a deadline, or trying to sift through data to get real results that will be accepted in peer reviewed journals. It's hard work whereas I find politicians to be extremely fat and lazy, mouthing off whatever sounds good for the moment. Hence, the level of vitriol launched by Murkin against non-climate scientists is entirely understandable.


20 posted on 03/21/2007 8:25:29 AM PDT by Hostage
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