Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

2. Complete Transcript and Rebuttal

Page 62



[Cut to film clip from 1974 BBC documentary The Weather Machine]

The weather satellite depicts a planet that grieves for its lost harvests.


Doom laden predictions about climate change are not new. In 1974, the BBC warned us of impending disasters which might seem strangely familiar.

[Cut to film clip from The Weather Machine]

Again and again the newsreels have been showing us disasters of the weather. The American mid-west suffered its worst drought since the 1930s. Tornados were on the rampage.


And what was going to be the cause of these disasters? The man behind the series was former New Scientist editor Nigel Calder.

[Nigel Calder]

In The Weather Machine we reported the mainstream opinion at the time, which was global cooling and the threat of a new ice age.

[Comment 68: Calder and the narrator are referring to discussion that took place in the 1970s about the possibility of future global cooling and a new ice age. This is often used by critics of global warming to imply that, since climate scientists were wrong before, they may be wrong now. However, this argument overstates the level that this was a mainstream opinion in the scientific community. William M. Connolley from the British Antarctic Survey ( undertook a survey of the scientific publications in the 1970s, where the experts would have made their predictions. He found that there were two strands to the discussion of the global cooling: one which discussed it in terms of changes in the Earths orbit, and another that discussed the impacts that anthropogenic aerosols were having on the climate. Yet none suggested that a catastrophic cooling or new ice age was imminent and unease was expressed in the scientific literature about projecting any trend into the future. This idea of catastrophic cooling was only discussed in the popular media (such as in Nigel Calders Weather Machine programme, and in Newsweek,; and not in the scientific literature).

There was never a scientific consensus on whether this cooling trend would continue (see the American Institute of Physics:, and Realclimate:

Continued …

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Comment 68: Recycling of global cooling myth]


Page 62 of 176

Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007