This is a film to make “An inconvenient truth” (AIT) look like a model of
Unlike AIT it does not engage in a bogus one-eyed scientific approach in which any fact that contradicts the man-made global warming thesis is ignored and claims ranging from the highly contentious to the objectively false, eg, the “hockey stick” temperature graph, are presented as fact. Instead it relies almost entirely on an appeal to emotion. Nowhere was there any questioning of man-made global warming, not even to examine the other side’s claims to dismiss them. Rather, it accepted man-made
global warming as an unquestionable fact, a supposed fact sanctified by the bogus claim that “99% of climate scientists support the view”. (Note that it is not 98% or 96% but the propaganda figure of 99%).
The film revolves around an ancient French mountain guide lamenting the shrinking of a favourite glacier over the past 50 years, a diatribe against oil companies in the Niger delta and a preternaturally wet English environmentalist called Piers and his disciple wife who first met at a party where they immediately spent absolutely hours talking about wind farms. (Note to party givers: don’t let this couple anywhere near your parties).
The one really enjoyable scene in the film involved Piers trying to get planning permission for a large windfarm in the home counties and losing the planning application by 10 votes to one. Cue much shaking of head and sighing from Piers as he pondered the reckless folly of everyone who opposed the plan.
To add to the general green jollity , Pete Postlethwaite acts as a narrator from the year 2055 who is living in a man-made global warming ruined world. He spends his time looking back at our own time and sententiously asking why nothing was done and adopting varying expressions denoting mystification at the sheer blindness of the mass of humanity who had refused to swallow the man-made global warming propaganda wholesale and had instead, horror of horror, carried on living their lives as normal.
At the end of the film there is trotted out the green mantra that “Americans use 50 times the energy of those in Africa, Europeans 25 times the energy of those in Africa ” etc. These figures are meaningless because they are based industrial output and energy consumption. The only countries which have even halfway reliable approximations to such statistics are of course the advanced industrial economies in Europe, North America and Australasia plus Japan. Figures from the rest of the world are either not available or cannot be treated seriously because they are produced by totalitarian regimes such as China. (Ask yourself who is likely to be causing more carbon dioxide to go into the atmosphere, those who use electricity which is produced in modern power stations either with efficient filters or in the form of non-emitting nuclear power and transport fitted with efficient filters or the individual living in the Third World who simple burn fossil fuels every day without any filtration and run ancient vehicles without filters or trains using coal).
There is also the little matter of methane. This is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide because it remains in the atmosphere far longer. The UN website which deals with climate change admits that the estimates of greenhouse gas emissions considerably understate the amount of methane produced, especially in rice producing countries – vast amounts of methane are produced in paddy fields. This of course, is an impossible question for the politically correct to address because rice production is overwhelmingly in the Third Word.
The elephant in the green room – population in the Third World – went unaddressed. Whether or not those in the Third World do produce as much greenhouse gases as official estimates say, there is the stark fact that of an estimated world population of 6.5 billion, at the most generous estimate only a billion live in the First World. Thus even if the First World reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% – a most improbable thing – and the rest of the world increased their emissions to match those of this new First World emission total – an even more improbable thing – global emissions would increase from their present level.
The film ended with a sinister green utopian vision of everyone in the world having the same energy consumption by 2050 with – wait for it – a right to the same amount of energy.
I saw the film at the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square and afterwards there was a Q and A with the director Lizzie Gillett. There were around 60 people in the audience.
I asked the first question by describing the mediaeval warm period – when Europe was several degrees warmer than it is now, so warm that Greenland was settled by Scandinavian farmers who survived there for centuries until the world cooled – and several other ups and down of climate in more modern times, including the fact that mean global temperature has stabilised since 1998. I then asked in view of this variation, most of which could not even in theory be blamed on human emissions, why we should believe that man-made global warming existed? This was met by a hostile silence eventually broken by Gillett who announced that “I am not interested in getting into a debate”. Further prodding by me produced such gems from Gillett as “I don’t understand the science, but 99% of scientists says it exists and that is what I believe”and, in response to my suggestion that the film was crude propaganda a startling “We need such propaganda”. She also made the revealing statement addressed to the audience generally that she was surprised by my intervention because during other Q and As after film showings “there has been very little climate-change denial”. The other interesting thing was the response of the audience. There was not a single other person questioning man-made global warming but there were many standing up and becoming “born again” believers in man-made global warming in true revivalist meeting fashion. Quite a few hurled climate-change denier at me and some of the more seriously precious spoke about how my views were frightening and dangerous.
Robert Henderson 21 4 2009