[Coral-List] The Great Global Warming Swindle

Hansen, Lara Lara.Hansen at WWFUS.ORG
Sun Mar 25 13:21:29 EDT 2007

 I think one issue in this conversation is that there are several key
audiences that need, and yes I mean need, to understand climate change.
There are the scientists and policymakers for which there are the IPCC
documents, as well as the original peer reviewed literature from which
those grand review documents come. Then there is the general public for
which the IPCC documents will be fairly daunting with their scientific
and jargony language. The people that Alina talks about below are not
going to even visit the IPCC website, and if they do they won't go much
farther because it isn't very slick. For this audience we need materials
that are in the mass media or popular culture vernacular. This means we
need things like the "hollywood" movie that Al Strong refers, we need
PBS specials and if we are really lucky some more mainstream offerings,
that take the science and explain it to people who would otherwise not
be compelled to seek it out. And really this is a necessity because if
we are going to do something to limit the rate and extent of climate
change it will require that society want a solution. And in order to
want a solution, you have to understand the problem. 


Lara Hansen, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist
WWF Climate Change Programme

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Szmant,
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2007 1:23 PM
To: William Allison; Coral Listserver
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] The Great Global Warming Swindle

Hi All:
I will jump in here because, as Bill astutely points out, the intent of
the TV program was not to convince our community of scientists that we
are wrong to think anthropogenic CO2 pollution is a driver behind global
warming, but to convince an innocent, rather undereducated public, that
the CO2 effect claimed by climate scientists, NGOs, some governments etc
is not supported by all the data.  And in fact the program is being
effective in that goal.  I got an email from a playwrite friend, who is
totally apolitical ("I don't have time for those kinds of things") and
she was so taken by the program that she emailed a whole bunch of her
friends that we should see the program on the internet.  She (and her
husband) sat through all 1 hr 15 min of it and took in the message it
delivered.  Matter of fact, I replied to her email with some info about
different groups of scientists and some who doubted global warming, and
she replied that the program had not tried to debunk global warm
 ing, just that CO2 was the cause of it.  So Bill is correct:  the
information/perception damage is occuring at the level of the public
eye.  While I did direct her to the IPCC report and several blog sites
that tried to debink the program, I am sure the doubt will remain in her
Alina Szmant
Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Coral Reef Research Group
UNCW-Center for Marine Science 
5600 Marvin K. Moss Ln
Wilmington NC 28409
Tel: (910)962-2362 & Fax:  (910)962-2410
Cell:  (910)200-3913
email:  szmanta at uncw.edu
Web Page:  http://people.uncw.edu/szmanta


From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of William
Sent: Sat 3/24/2007 6:51 AM
To: Coral Listserver
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] The Great Global Warming Swindle

This message should not be interpreted as critical of well-intentioned
responses to my initial posting on this issue. I wish to make my
clear and to indicate why we should be paying attention to the
and other communications like it.

The intention of my initial posting was to bring the documentary to the
attention of the list because from where I sit, it seems to be
public opinion. I have since managed to download and view the
It is clearly a polemic, often employs the same emotional bag of tricks
alleged climate-change conspiracy is accused of using, and the charge
scientists and activists discerning climate change are are motivated by
vested interest cuts both ways, to say the least. Ignoring the
rhetoric, it presents some aspects of the problem that are not addressed
the on-line available IPCC Summary for Policy Makers for Working Group I
"The Physical Science Basis". Particularly noticeable by its
near-absence in
that section of IPCC report is empirical evidence about solar forcing.
the documentary this issue is convincingly presented with supporting
evidence as a coherent sun-based explanation for global warming that
to relegate CO2 to a minor role at best. Regardless of whether it is
or not, it is easily grasped by, and therefore is in principle appealing
a general audience. It is effective communication, even if perhaps it is
good science; I'll leave that to the experts to decide, and doubtless it
covered somewhere in the IPCC report. Even so, it does not seem to have
widely or effectively disseminated at this point in time, rather is the
perspective of the documentary that is being effectively communicated to
public. If the perspective presented in the documentary is being more
effectively marketed (a deliberate choice of words) than is the IPCC
perspective, then it should be a matter of concern to those seeking
rational, fact-based public discussion.



> From: Mark Eakin <Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov>
> Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 16:09:00 -0400
> To: Coral Listserver <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] The Great Global Warming Swindle
> It continues to amaze me when reputable scientists rely on partisan
> or opinionated sources as reliable references for scientific
> discussions.  NGOs and politicians on both sides of this, and most
> other, debates often use selective data to make their points.
> Journalists may go even farther to maximize their draw.
> I suggest that you skip the opinion web sites and read the IPCC
> report.  The 4th assessment report is now coming out.  It was
> developed by more than 2,000 scientists from more than 100
> countries.  This is an intergovernmental body, meaning that
> scientists involved were cleared by their governments.
> The Summary for Policy Makers for Working Group I "The Physical
> Science Basis" was released in February and is available from http://
> www.ipcc.ch/.  If you really care about the issue, you can manage to
> read the 13 pages of text plus figures.
> Working Group II on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability will be
> released on 6 April.
> Cheers,
> Mark
> ------------------------
> C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
> Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
> National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
> Center for Satellite Applications and Research
> Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
> e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
> url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov
> E/RA31, SSMC1, Room 5308
> 1335 East West Highway
> Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
> 301-713-2857 x109                   Fax: 301-713-3136
> The contents of this message are mine personally and do not
> necessarily reflect any position of the Government or the National
> Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
> _______________________________________________
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