Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Global Warming - more than one swindle going on

As a recent letter to the South Wales Evening Post showed, almost as many people were taken in by Martin Durkin's Channel 4 documentary (also shown on S4C) entitled "The Great Global Warming Swindle" as believe entirely the word of Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth".

While virtually no climate scientist will state that all the global warming which started in the late 20th century is caused by man's efforts alone, few - unless they have a vested interest - will say that man has not contributed and is not contributing to the increase in greenhouse gases and thus global warming.

Al Gore may have over-simplified the case against carbon dioxide, but Durkin, through using misleading graphs, turning a blind eye to some data which came in after 1991 and selectively quoting a respected scientist (who considered suing as a result), presented a dishonest case for the defence.

Durkin has form. A previous documentary of his had been found to distort the truth. Chris Huhne, the LibDem environment spokesman, felt strongly enough to ask for Channel 4's comments on green campaigner George Monbiot's view that it was distinctly odd for Durkin to be commissioned again, in view of the ITC's earlier findings against him.

There is an even more trenchant criticism of the 2007 programme which suggests a far-left political motivation.

Those of us who can afford the time and money for broadsheet newspapers as well as watching TV are able to take in a broader and more objective view of the climate debate. Unfortunately, there has been no significant attempt on TV to put the various films and documentaries into context.

Carbon footprint

I am grateful to a scientist member of the Liberal Democrats for the following survey of carbon footprint calculators:

"I did some Googling on carbon calculators and came up with the following:

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.html
covers household fuel usage and travel

http://www.carboncalculator.co.uk/
has both a carbon calculator and a shopping calculator but requires you
to register

http://www.mycarbonfootprint.eu/
is the European Commission's version

http://www.foodcarbon.co.uk/
just calculates the carbon from the food you eat

http://www.clevel.co.uk/homecalc.html
covers all the areas but fairly crude on food &waste

https://www.edfenergy.com/climatebalance/edf-energy/calculator.do
only covers house heating

http://www.resurgence.org/carboncalculator/
covers everything apart from food

http://www.esd.rgs.org/link6.html
links to 10 different calculators

http://www.safeclimate.net/calculator/
only covers travel and home energy use

Quite a few local councils have a link to carbonfootprint.com, and it
looks quite comprehensive apart from ignoring food; combined with
foodcarbon.co.uk it is probably the best for an overall estimate."
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