Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What a sad BBC documentary about Global Warming.

I just watched this documentary in 3 parts:
(BBC) Earth The Climate Wars (video)

And I could barely finish watching the first episode, without feeling deeply disappointed. I was hoping to find some intelligent discussion about how do we know that global warming is happening, and how do we know it is caused by our CO2 emissions. Both things were clearly central in the documentary's plot.

Personally I don't believe in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and I am more or less convinced that there is a warming trend.
I would have loved to see an honest discussion among the different factions and presenting pros and cons of the various possible positions on AGW. I don't mind learning some new facts that show I was ignorant or simply biased, so if the show was about concluding that AGW is true, at least the should provide some good explanations.

Instead, sadly, the presenter simply connects things that have nothing to do with each other, and is a fan of AGW, and introduces few alternative views and when he does they immediately are dismissed as stupid. Sad way of arguing for your favorite theory :(
An example: after discussing how we know that the climate has changed in rapid ways in the past (1) and that CO2 is a green-house gas (2), the presented jumps to the conclusion than humans are causing climate change. But 1 and 2 are not connected, actually if the climate is capable of changing a lot even without human intervention, there is even more need to be sure that this time it is our fault.

Why is it important to know if AGW is true or not?
The way I see it: suppose that we starve some people to death and kill some more for lack of electricity in hospitals, in the effort to reduce CO2 emissions.
What happens for instance if we have a wrong model of the situation, and after all the efforts we discover that high C02 levels are better for the climate of the next 50 years?

Moreover, the documentary present the history of the idea of global warming in such a linear and flat way, that they can easily point out and name the main bad guys in the story.
And to me, finding a single bad person that is responsible for a global-scale phenomenon is normally very very difficult and makes the discussion sound childish to the extreme.

I also dislike the tone of the documentary: the entire discussion is carried on using the past tens. Clearly the presenter things that the climate wars are over, and that now justice has triumphed :(

As an AGW non-believer , I actually sat and watched the whole documentary with Gore, which I also find too political and Gore-centered to be of any interest.
Why, if the man has a good point, does he not explain it as simple as possible? Instead the political left-wing tones are so evident, that it is not possible to separate what Gore says from a liberal view of history. Again: an example of sad rhetorical decision. I can disagree with an argument but understand and sympathize for an honest speaker. But Gore's documentary was simply political propaganda and self-promotion.

Here are some more opinions on the BBC documentary: link.

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