E-mail exchange between Bob Ward and Martin Durkin (September 2007)

From: Bob Ward
Sent: 20 September 2007 10:57
To: Martin Durkin

 

‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’: Misrepresentations of scientific evidence and researchers’ interpretations in the DVD version

 

20 September 2007

 

Dear Martin,

 
In April, I and 36 leading scientists wrote to you about your plans to distribute a DVD version of ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’, a version of which was broadcast on Channel Four and More4 in March. We stated that it would be “very much against the public interest to distribute the DVD without removing the major misrepresentations that appeared in the broadcast versions of the programme in early March”.

 
I have learned that the DVD version of the programme has been available for purchase through Amazon since 23 July. I have now obtained a copy of the DVD myself, and have checked whether you removed the major misrepresentations that appeared in the broadcast version.

 
I have been glad to discover that you removed two of the major misrepresentations that I outlined in my complaint to Ofcom, namely the false claim that volcanoes currently emit more carbon dioxide than human activities each year, and the comments by Professor Carl Wunsch that he claimed you edited to give a false impression of his views about the contribution of the oceans to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.

 
However, I have been disappointed to discover that five of the major misrepresentations that I outlined in my complaint to Ofcom also appear in the DVD version of the programme. I have outlined these misrepresentations in the accompanying document. Although you have made some minor changes to the programme with respect to these five misrepresentations, you have not corrected the major underlying factual inaccuracies.

 
I note that the DVD case describes the programme as “a documentary”. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a documentary as “a film or television or radio programme giving a factual account of something, using film, photographs, and sound recordings of real events”. Given that the DVD version of the programme contains five major misrepresentations of the scientific evidence and researcher’s interpretations, it appears to me that you have misrepresented the programme itself by describing it as a documentary.

 
Climate change is an important issue and the public have a right to expect that the information they receive is accurate. The DVD version of ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ contains major factual inaccuracies. You were told of these inaccuracies before copies of the DVD were available for sale, so your decision to distribute them anyway constitutes an attempt to deliberately mislead the public about climate change.

 
I appeal to you to now act in the public interest by withdrawing the DVD from sale and recalling all copies of it that have been distributed in the past two months.

 
Yours sincerely,

 
Bob Ward
 

 
From: Martin Durkin
 

Sent: 20 September 2007 14:31
 

To: Bob Ward
 


 

Bob,
 
Are you on drugs or something?