The Great Global Warming Swindle

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Contributors to the programme

The film includes appearances from the following individuals:

Durkin's response to his critics

On 17 March 2007, The Daily Telegraph published a response by Durkin, 'The global-warmers were bound to attack, but why are they so feeble?'[3] In it, he rejected any criticism of the close correlation between solar variation and temperature change, saying that 'No one any longer seriously disputes the link between solar activity and temperature in earth's climate history'. He accepted that the time axis of one graph was incorrectly labelled when the programme was first transmitted, but said that this does not change his conclusions. He concluded by saying that the 'global warming wrong, wrong, wrong'.

Commenting at a Cannes film festival press conference on 17 April 2007, Durkin noted: 'My name is absolute mud on the Internet; it's really vicious', adding 'There is no good scientific basis for it but the theory continues to hold sway because so many people have built their careers and reputations on it'.[4]

The Armand Leroi correspondence

The Times reported that Durkin had seriously fallen out with a scientist who had been considering working with him. Armand Leroi, a geneticist, was concerned that Durkin had used data about a correlation between solar activity and global temperatures which had subsequently been found to be flawed. Leroi sent Durkin an e-mail in which he said that he thought the programme 'made some good points (the politics of the IPCC) and some bad points (anthropogenic global warming is a conspiracy to keep Africa underdeveloped)' but said what had most interested him was some of the scientific claims about solar activity and global temperature; he said he looked for citations of the 1991 Friis-Christensen scientific paper used in the programme.

While Leroi acknowledged 'I am no climate scientist' he said that after reviewing criticisms of the paper, he had become convinced that: 'To put this bluntly: the data that you showed in your programme were wrong – and may have been deliberately faked... it does show what abundant experience has already taught me–that, left to their own devices, TV producers simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth'.[5]

Leroi copied the e-mail to other parties including The Guardian journalist and Bad Science columnist Ben Goldacre and science writer and mathematician Simon Singh. Durkin replied to all with the single sentence: 'You’re a big daft cock'. Singh then sent an email to Durkin that said: 'I have not paid the same attention to your programme as Armand has done, but from what I did see it is an irresponsible piece of film-making. If you can send me a copy of the programme then I will examine it in more detail and give you a more considered would be great if you could engage in the debate rather just resorting to one line replies'.

Durkin responded: 'The IPCC's own figures show the hottest year in the past ten was 1998, and the temp has been flat-lining now for five years. If it's greenhouse gas causing the warming the rate of warming should be higher in the troposphere than on the surface. The opposite is the case. The ice core data shows that temperature change causes the level of atmospheric CO2 to change — not the other way round. Why have we not heard this in the hours and hours of shit programming on global warming shoved down our throats by the BBC?', and concluded with, 'Never mind a bit of irresponsible film-making. Go and fuck yourself'.[5] Durkin reportedly 'apologised for his langauge. 'As far as I was concerned these were private e-mails. They arrived when I was quite tired having just finished the programme in time for transmission,' he said.

'Needless, to say, I regret the use of intemperate language. It is so unlike me. I am very eager to have all the science properly debated with scientists qualified in the right areas and have asked Channel 4 if they will stage a live debate on this subject.'[6]


See Also


  1. NR+EFC Statement Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 20 June 2008
  2. Heartland Institute S. Fred Singer
  3. Martin Durkin Martin 'The global-warmers were bound to attack, but why are they so feeble?' Daily Telegraph 17 March 2007.
  4. Alison James Swindle' goes global – Australia, Sweden buy docu Variety 17 April 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Email correspondence between Armand Leroi, Simon Singh and Martin Durkin 9 March 2007
  6. Mark Henderson C4’s debate on global warming boils over The Times 15 March 2007.