The Great Global Warming Swindle was aired on Channel 4 last night. Of course, I had to watch it, even despite it being billed against one of the 3 shows I am currently hooked on.*
I was hooked right through the first 40 minutes, fell asleep during the next 20, and got bored waiting for the next 30 minutes to conclude. I’m not sure if this was wholly down to the programme itself, or if my tendency to fall asleep after watching the TV for more than an hour automatically came to the fore.
My reaction to the show is this: I don’t want to believe them. Now, here is the truth – I have no real scientific understanding of the facts for or against human causation of global warming. I don’t know what made me interested in the subject in the first place. I’ve always thought I was somewhat shallow in my beliefs – going on gut feel rather than deep analysis. I’m for peace. I’m against injustice. I want fair trade. I’m pro equality. I’m against nuclear. I’m pro organic. I’m for vegetaria. I’m against globalisation. Why? because it’s what I feel is the right thing.
As a layperson of reasonable intelligence, I find it difficult to measure Swindle against Inconvenient Truth, for instance – on the basis of the science. For the science, I need to rely on the evidence presented to me by the experts. Can I be bothered reading dossiers? Not really, though I know I should** – I don’t like apathy. So, if I have two sets of scientists presenting contradictory evidence, who am I to believe?
The contributors came across as credible last night. And there were some issues, I have to agree with – I do feel the media presents a very biased case for human causality of global warming – I know I’m gullible. I think the non-practising middle classes are looking for something to fill the void that religion previously filled in their lives*** and that worshipping the earth is seen as “worthy” substitute.
The one aspect I think that disturbed me most about last night’s show
was the conclusion that I’m killing babies in Africa with my actions -
that really doesn’t sit well me – I must do my research here and formulate a response. I did ask myself what behaviour I would change even if last night’s show converted me from a mild eco-activist to a non-believer. The truth is – I wouldn’t really change anything much. I think I have to go with my gut here, and come down on Al Gore’s side. Meantime, I will try and read more of the evidence and arguments from both sides to make sure I’m not blindly following.
** Martin took Organikal Child to visit our MP with our manifesto. I stayed home in my jammies. Well – it was 10am on a Saturday morning and I needed some chill time. In response to our stated annoyance at the Blair Govt going ahead and trying to inflict nuclear power on us all – without asking, our MP has sent us a pile of papers to read telling us how eco friendly nuclear power is. I haven’t read them yet. I’ll try and get round to it soon…
*** I see religion as a tool to help people make sense of the daily grind. I love the rituals and the spiritual side, but essentially for me it is just a tool. I generally find I don’t adhere to much of the formalised religion in its daily representation and involvement in the real world (and all the very bad things executed in its name throughout history) though – so I don’t attend many services.
**** My mate mo0k uses footnotes and I was inspired to use them here – thanks Alex!
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