Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

Appendix C: Backgrounds of the Contributors to the Programme

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Appendix C: Backgrounds of the Contributors to the Programme




The Reason for Including this Section

It is extremely important to note that this section is not an ad hominem attack on the contributors. An ad hominem consists of replying to an argument by attacking or appealing to the person making the argument, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument. An ad hominem attack is a logical fallacy – see; although the technique was used extensively by the programme makers (see for example Comment 136, page 114 and Comment 137, page 115).

The fact, for instance, that many of the contributors to the Channel 4 programme were not climate experts does not necessarily make their statements on climate wrong. The ideas they put forward must stand and fall on their merits, and the extent to which they reflect the scientific evidence. It is for this reason that we have assessed each of the interviewee statements on a detailed, individual basis – regardless of the interviewee.

However, in judging technical and scientific matters, relevant qualifications and backgrounds are important. One does not employ unqualified car mechanics, doctors, or electricians – for good reasons. Thus, by greatly exaggerating the credentials of some of the contributors, by implying that the scientists on the programme were climate experts when almost all of them are not, and by apparently intentionally misleading the public about the links that many of them have to the fossil fuel industry and associated lobby groups, the public was purposely misled into giving much more weight to the interviewee statements than they would have given them otherwise. Misleading the public in this way is in clear breach of the provisions of the 2003 Communications Act regarding Channel 4s remit for its programmes to be educational and therefore not to be intentionally misleading; and is also a clear breach of section 5.7 of the Broadcasting Code regarding not misrepresenting facts.


Exaggerated or Misleading Credentials

According to the Channel 4 web page about the The Great Global Warming Swindle at

The film brings together the arguments of leading scientists who disagree with the prevailing consensus that carbon dioxide released by human industrial activity is the cause of rising global temperatures today.

And on the following page, (, Channel 4 states that:

The film features an impressive roll-call of experts, in climatology, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science, biogeography and palaeoclimatology, from such reputable institutions as MIT, Nasa, the International Arctic Research Centre, the Institut Pasteur, the Danish National Space Center and the Universities of London, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Winnipeg, Alabama and Virginia.

Continued …

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Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007