Swindled by the swindle

by Cindy Baxter

July 21, 2008

The UK TV watchdog, Ofcom, is the watchdog for the UK broadcasting industry, keeping an eye on how broadcasters carry out their duty to the public to be both fair and accurate and not cause harm.

Ofcom ruled today on a complaint against the polemic documentary about global warming, The Great Global Warming Swindle.    

It upheld complaints by the former UK Chief Scientist, Sir David King, the IPCC and oceanographer Carl Wunsch, stating that the filmmakers had treated them unfairly, misquoted them or misled them into being interviewed.  However, it managed to cleverly dodge the complaint about accuracy or misleading the public, to the fury of some scientists

The film itself has been sold around the world, and the DVD viewed by thousands online. 

What those viewers still haven’t been told is that at least 10 of the 16 interviewees are  central to the denial industry – directly associated with – or even paid by – think tanks funded by ExxonMobil. 

And yes, we have a map showing you just how that all works.  Total funding to these groups since 1998?  $11,335,600

But of course even Exxon is apparently walking away from them – if you believe the latest statements from the company.  

The issue isn’t over yet – the complainants are now considering appealing the decision.  But meanwhile the UK public has been swayed by the film – a staggering 60% are now sceptic about climate science – a shift that has been squarely blamed on the Swindle by the UK’s leading polling company, Ipsos MORI, as George Monbiot mentioned in his column. 

The best interview I’ve seen of the problems with the programme was by ABC Australia’s Tony Jones, which is well worth a watch.

Part I

Part II 


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