Newspaper prescribes "the Swindle" for schoolchildren

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The editorial then finishes off with the absolutist view of science by propping up one scientist, MIT’s Richard Lindzen, as proof that the “consensus” about the human contribution to climate change is not unanimous. Of course, The Province fails to mention the overwhelming agreement in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that global warming is a real and pressing concern; that humans have caused it and humans must fix it. Instead, the editorial writers cling to the public relations efforts and populist (which is to say, NOT peer-reviewed) journalism of people like Lindzen and letter-to-the-editor king Tim Ball.

As for putting the shock-doc The Great Swindle in front of our high-school children, I’m completely in favour. But let’s first rustle up a brochure outlining the inaccuracies and outright falsehoods contained in the work. The DeSmogBlog could provide background on the oil-inudstry connections of the “skeptical” scientists, starting here.

A fair document might also include some information on the director, Martin Durkin:

In 1998 the Independent Television Commission found that, when making a similar series, Durkin had “misled” his interviewees about “the content and purpose of the programmes”. Coincidentally, Carl Wunsch, an MIT professor who appeared in this video, has complained that he was misled on this occasion and is considering legal action. In the words of Dr. Wunsch: The Great Global Warming Swindle, was “grossly distorted” and “as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War Two.”

Also in 1998, Durkin submitted a documentary proposal to the BBC making the claim that silicone breast implants were far from harming women, and were in fact beneficial, reducing the risk of breast cancer. The BBC rejected his proposal based on the finding that Durkin had entirely ignored a powerful body of evidence contradicting his claims. So Durkin took the proposal over to Channel 4, and they aired it.

Durkin’s own researcher, a biochemist, also quit in disgust, saying, “My research was being ignored. The published research had been construed to give an impression that’s not the case. I don’t know how that programme got passed. The only consolation for me was that I’m really glad I didn’t put my name to it.”

In a 1997, Durkin compared environmentalists to Nazis in a Channel 4 series called Against Nature.

In 2000 , Durkin produced another Channel 4 documentary on genetic engineering called Modified Truth. Even before the show was aired one of the interviewees, a geneticist named Dr Mae-Wan Ho stated: “I feel completely betrayed and misled. They did not tell me it was going to be an attack on my position.”

As for Channel 4 itself, it’s good to them returning to their usual programming, including such current classics as “Celebrity Wife Swap” and “Wank Week,” an entire week dedicated to masturbation-themed programmes.

The Province seems to be suggesting that An Inconvenient Truth falls short of presenting the whole truth. But if you want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we regret that Martin Durkin’s work will be left in a dark and lonely storeroom – where it belongs.

 

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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