Perhaps I shouldn’t even joke about my theory that if more scientists had significant interactions with women there might actually be less sciencey stuff being done in the world. I shouldn’t say such a politically incorrect thing of course, so allow me to retract that now and instead present to you the video below which is a recent Channel 4 documentary by Martin Durkin about how global warming is a huge swindle, a conspiracy if you will!

TiVo picked up the documentary the other night and I watched it yesterday evening over a cup of tea and some stolen chocolate that’s been stashed in my fridge for a few weeks now. Titled ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle‘ I was somewhat tempted to simply delete it without giving it so much of a chance to get passed the opening credits, not because I’m closed minded on the subject of global warming, but because TiVo currently has about seven thousand hours of CSI recorded for me and if I’m going to get through that then I really have no time for anything else.

However, after the opening sequence I decided that the documentary was interesting and engaging enough for me to stick with it. Personally the whole global warming debate is simply a lot of hot air, if you pardon the pun. It seems logical to me that burning oil and coal is a rather foolish thing to continue to do when we have the technology and know how to harness the earths clean and renewable resources. Exploration and development of such energy is surely not only good for our environment, but also for our global political stability. After all, it’s hard to envisage a war for oil if oil was in no way as central to our every day lives as it is right now.

It was, however, an interesting documentary. A televisual rebuttal to Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth.’ Featuring a lot of fuzzy haired science types whom I have never heard of (and frankly, why would I have heard of them) telling us all that this theory was wrong and that hypothesis was flawed. They sounded very convincing to me, but regardless of whether their view was right or not, the result was never going to mean that I rush out and buy an SUV, leave every light on in my apartment, and crank the central heating up to full power around the clock. As I said before, the issue of global warming is interesting, but not nearly as pressing as the issue of what I term ‘responsible living.’

Perhaps unsurprisingly the documentary caused somewhat of a stir. Flying in the face of the popular opinion it seeks to discredit, the director, Martin Durkin, surely expected to come under serious fire.

A few days after the documentary was shown The Independent newspaper in Britain called Durkin’s film “flawed with major errors which seriously undermine the program’s credibility.”

Dr Armand Leroi, from Imperial College, and Simon Singh, the respected scientific author, are two eminent British scientists who questioned the accuracy of Durkin’s documentary. Durkin’s response didn’t rely heavily on science when he called one of the “a big fat cock” and told them both to “go and f**k yourself!”

After being criticized regarding the origins of a graph of global temperatures in recent years that was crucial to his argument recent film Durkin is quoted as saying “The original Nasa data was very wiggly-lined and we wanted the simplest line we could find”.

Had I have known how controversial and unbalanced Durkin’s work is reputed to be, I might not have sat through the one and a quarter hour documentary. In the past Durkin’s films have received similar complaints about being biased and misrepresentative of the facts and opinions of the participants. One such documentary, again shown on Channel 4, argued that silicone breast implants were in fact beneficial to a woman’s health.

Notwithstanding the evidence that suggests I simply wasted one and a quarter hours of my life, I would still say that it’s a documentary worth watching if only to hear what those who still argue that we should carry on as we always have might to say. Either way it makes little difference to my opinion that we should all think carefully about how our lives impact not only the environment, but perhaps more importantly the lives of those around the world whom are not as fortunate as us. For me responsible living is more about the moral and ethical implications of the individual decisions we make. It would seem to me that this kind of thinking automatically encompasses much of what is often called ‘environmentalism.’

For example, knowing that Coca-Cola have caused formerly lush farmland to dry up and become arid due to their use of essential groundwater at Indian Coke plants, should lead us to make a choice as to whether we want to support this kind of behavior or not. Like any such ethos, such thinking could be taken to the extreme and drive you mad. But in essence my idea of responsible living is nothing more complicated than the biblical principle of ‘loving thy neighbor’ and no one ever called that a foolish notion did they?

[Video] The Great Global Warming Swindle
Clips from the documentary
Channel 4’s website about the documentary
A comedic response
The real global warming swindle
C4’s debate on global warming boils over