Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Channel 4 and Global Warming

In this month's edition of the Socialist Standard is a somewhat indignant letter from a Mr. William Reid in response to an article on (British TV) Channel 4's documentary on climate change. The response from the editors can be supplemented.

It turns out that one of the people used in the Channel 4 documentary has been highly critical of its use of data:

Eigil Friis-Christensen, director of the Danish National Space Centre, has issued a statement accusing the film-makers of fabricating data based on his work looking at the links between solar activity and global temperatures.


Dr Friis-Christensen, a physicist, believes that solar cycles play an important role in climate change and that not enough effort has gone into addressing the theory. The fabricated data did not, he said, make any difference to the overall view he takes but he is still critical of the way the film handled the scientific evidence. Asked by The Independent whether the documentary was scientifically accurate, Dr Friiss-Christensen said: "No, I think several points were not explained in the way that I, as a scientist, would have explained them ... it is obvious it's not accurate."

Friis-Christensen is not alone in criticising the misrepresentations of the science in Durkin's documentary. Read the rest of the Independent report here.

Writing a paper on non-anthropogenic causes of climate change is an OK research topic. It goes without saying, though, that a student handing in a paper which fabricates research and which misrepresents an interviewee's opinions would get a resounding F, not to mention a pretty stiff word, from their teacher. Durkin's documentary simply fails to meet standard, basic requirements of research.


BTW: The Socialist Party will be holding a talk on Global Warming ("Global Warming: Who's to Blame?") on 23 May,starting 7:30pm, at: The Plough, 1st floor, 27 Museum Street, London WC 1. The venue is opposite the British Museum; the nearest tube stations are Tottenham Court Road and Holbern.

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