Got a link to this in my email the other day…and finally had a chance to glance at it the other night. Obviously, I’ve never been convinced that man-made carbon dioxide output is the principle cause of global warming. So I was biased upon watching it; as I was biased before watching Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, It didn’t take a lot of clicks on the Internet to find the flaws in that.
From a scientific standpoint I’ve always been suspicious that the sun had more to do with it…(and being a former amateur–very amateur–student of stellar evolution I’ve always known the sun had more control over our lives than most people really understand). The component that this plugs in is cosmic radiation and clouds and how sunspot activity interacts with these to affect temperature.
From a political standpoint, it’s pretty well documented on this site that I’m extremely suspicious of anything that comes out of the U.N., and that would include, of course, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
Now, although, I’m obviously being paid by the “Sun Lobby” to spread this sort of propoganda. I recommend taking the 85 minutes to watch the whole thing through. A couple of notes, though:
A very critical part (unfortunately) is the section from about 30 minutes to 37 minutes in where some very impressive charts show correlation between sunspot activity and temperature, and cosmic rays and temperature. It takes an equal number of clicks as it did for Truth to find the flaws in these charts. It appears the numbers have been manipulated and the charts have been manipulated and this came out years ago. It’s very sad when agendas (even ones I tend to align with) get in the way of facts.
Speaking of, there are a couple critiques of this documentary: here’s one. and here’s another. The former only critiques one part of the film (the aforementioned manipulation of charts) and then ignores almost all of the rest. It’s basically a “these guys aren’t real scientists, so nothing to see here” critique. The second one is a video of a Powerpoint of a lecture (yep) by a non-climatologist, which basically goes through all of the scientific sections of the film and dissects the logical fallacies. Although I’m a big fan of dissecting logical fallacies, it was sort of incomplete. Neither of the critiques addressed many of the social and political issues and scientifically usually they refer the reader to the same document that’s being critiqued in the film: the IPCC Summary for Policy-Makers. This one attempts towards the very end but falls short. Here are some of the sociopolitical issues talked about in the film that have an element of truth in them (and no critique I’ve read has addressed them):
1) The connection between the Global Warming movement and Margaret Thatcher’s fight with the and coal and oil industries.
2) The hypocrisy of expecting Africa to use more expensive sustainable energy when even the richest countries are unwilling to take on the extra expense.
3) “Green Language” and anti-capitalism (the best spokesperson for that in the film was Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace who knew things had gotten bad when “outlawing chlorine worldwide” became the in-thing–“Chlorine is on the periodic table; I’m not sure that’s in your jurisdiction.” Anti-humanism is a term he uses.
4) research–even the anti-capitalist kind–is not free of monetary interest. $170 million/yr to $2 billion/year funding for climatology since global warming became the key issue.
5) media is exceedingly capitalist, and their ratings are more successful
6) models assume carbon dioxide output of double the current carbon dioxide increases.
7) long-term prediction lack consequences for the predictors, but the short-term benefits of media fury are undeniable.
8) precautionary principle–risks of using a technology without looking at risks of NOT using technology.
Either way, creative editing seems to rule the day in this documentary. Although it does a great job of showing Truth for what it was, it turns around and does similar things and thus fails in proving it’s core alternative theory. A better documentary is this one. It leaves out most of the political implications, focuses on the science, however it doesn’t try to prove an alternative theory other than that natural forces (the sun, clouds, etc.) have decidedly more sway than man-made ones.