Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

1. Complaint Summary

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A total of 13 breaches fell into this category, although we have grouped the non-sequiturs into one breach as they seemed less serious than the Straw Man arguments and ad hominem attacks; so for the purposes of this complaint we consider them to collectively constitute 10 serious breaches: see Appendix A.1.3,page 117 for details.


Recycling of Long Discredited Myths which the Contributors and Film Makers Should have been Aware are Myths

Several well-known myths, that are frequently propagated by individuals and lobby groups critical of greenhouse gas emissions reductions policies, but which were discredited in the scientific literature many years ago, were given considerable air-time. It is difficult to understand how the contributors and the film maker could all have been unaware of the literature on these subjects (and they were billed as leading scientists and an impressive roll-call of experts – see Appendix C.1.2, page 126); and this therefore appears to have been an attempt to deceive the public. One example of this is the lengthy air-time given in the film to the idea that the presence of vineyards in Britain in medieval times tells us anything meaningful about global average temperatures at that time (see Comment 38, page 31). Other similar myths were also given significant air-time (see Comment 68, page 62; Comment 99, page 82; and Comment 101, page 84).

A total of 4 breaches fell into this category: see Appendix A.1.3,page 117 for details.


Groups of Breaches in which Multiple Interviewee and Narrator Statements, Taken Together, Constitute a Highly Misleading Narrative

Such statements failed to present the true state of the science, economics or other topic being discussed; or presented extraneous facts which misled the viewer as to the true state of the current knowledge. In many cases, these statements did not directly concern the science of global warming but were indirect attacks on environmental objectives, climate policy, and the IPCC, based for the most part on misleading or inaccurate statements.

Some examples:


The programme suggests that measures to mitigate climate change are preventing developing countries from using their own fossil fuel resources, and forcing them to use expensiverenewable energy sources. The only evidence they produce to support this claim is a single rural hospital in Kenya which uses a tiny solar panel to provide refrigeration and lighting. The programme fails to mention that developing countries do not have any requirement to reduce their emissions under the current Kyoto Protocol (see Comment 123, page 104).


The programme narration, combined with misleading and inaccurate statements from Paul Reiter, criticises the IPCC review of the scientific literatures conclusions about the potential impact of climate change on malaria in temperate regions – asserting that malaria is not dependent on temperature, and thus that climate change is of no concern in this regard. This is achieved using a mix of factually inaccurate statements (see Comment 111, page 92), and misquoting the IPCC (see Comment 112, page 92). In addition, Reiter claimed falsely to have resigned from the IPCC, and to have been an author; and made other false claims about his relationship with the IPCC (see Comment 115, page 96) and about the contents of the IPCCs reports (see for example, Comment 113, page 94). It is perfectly legitimate to criticise a body such as the IPCC if one has evidence to support ones allegations, but to do so using misrepresentations of facts is unacceptable.

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Section 1.6.5 / Section 1.7]


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Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007