13 Jul 2007, Comments Off on A great global warming night’s entertainment

A great global warming night’s entertainment

Author: Helen

With a houseful of teenagers having a sleepover, plus two little boys doing the same (accidentally double booked), and a nasty head cold, the obvious thing to do was to slam the bedroom door on the lot of ’em– Ginger tea in hand, ignoring the various thumps, Muuuuummmm!!s, and muffled screams from the other side of the door– and watch the ABC special: The Great Global Warming Swindle, with a panel discussion afterward, audience free-for-all and grilling of Martin Durkin by Tony Jones.

Sorry about that sentence – it’s the cold.

The GGWS was entertaining enough– I mean, I thought the Sex Pistols/Malcolm McLaren reference in the title was pretty random, but apparently, not so! It was all part of the same Thatcherite cultural melange. Who’d have thought that way back then, Maggie Thatcher, because of her disaffection with both coal suppliers and coal unions, decided to make a case for nuclear power by inventing a thing called global warming? and that she gave out enough cash to get practically the whole scientific establishment onside, to this very day?! Diabolical! I forget which one of Durkin’s creatures came out with that explanation – obviously, one of the handful of scientists with enough integrity to resist Maggie and her limitless cash handouts.

While the video itself was toe-curlingly awful, I was really looking forward to the discussion afterward, which I knew would be hugely entertaining. I wasn’t disappointed. Half the audience were genu-wine, frothing, barking wingnuts of the type seldom seen in the flesh. Some highlights:

Tony Jones relentlessly slicing, dicing and julienning Martin Durkin in the after-show interview, and serving his arse up to him lightly dressed with a nice vinaigrette. Durkin was as pathetic as he was in a recent Michael Duffy (Counterpoint) interview, where he was allowed a free-form whine about the terrible treatment of his documentary by Teh Leftist media, while Duffy clucked sympathetically. Jones allowed him no such escape. Really, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

The guy in the audience with a Breughel-looking beanie, who began by saying: “I’ve studied astrophysics…
(Me: Oh, that sounds impressive, maybe he’s just a scruffy but brilliant undergraduate)
“and classical music”…
(Me: Oh dear, that sounds irrelevant, probably a crank after all)
“…with Lyndon La Rouche!”)
(Me: “…”

The two anti-environmentalist women in the audience, who I think were LaRouchies as well, who both appeared to be prepped with talking points to try to trap scientists on the panel into saying they wanted to kill all humans in the service of the environment. Global warming = eugenics. Oh, can’t you see it, people?

Arm-waving Audience guy, who spluttered something about “Carbon 14!!!!” No, none of the people commenting on it the next day understood it, either.

Ray Evans of the Lavoisier group, looking like an old Western District grazier with a furry white beard, club tie and tweeds, the dear old thing, looking increasingly miserable while taking a right pounding from the charmingly geeky Professor David Karoly. A bit like having his leg chewed off, slowly, by a terribly friendly whippet.

Michael Duffy (how did MD ever get onto a panel of “climate change experts”?) looking increasingly sulky and petulant outside the comfort zone of Counterpoint, where he can just shake his head about the monstrous dishonesty of THE LEFT and his guests will echo that and so on until they have a cup of tea and a biscuit. This time he was forced to listen to a detailed account of the many falsifications in the GGWS, instead of sitting inside the echo chamber. At one point, he waved a book –by who I don’t know– about the supposed profit motive behind environmentalism. Of course, the book would have been written without a thought for the profit motive. Sheer desperation.

Phil at LP has kindly put up a YouTube of the merriment. There is another discussion thread here. If you’re after a more serious wrap-up, don’t go past John Quiggin.

My question is: when do we all get our cheques from the Baroness Thatcher?

[Update:] Tim Sterne’s classic takedown.
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

Comments (0)

  • kate says:

    I couldn’t watch it until after my Ecologist best friend had gone home. I didn’t want her to throw something through the telly. (Sadly I don’t think she has received any large cheques for her point of view)

  • Zoe says:

    Oh, bless that was a marvellous post and some top links.

  • Laura says:

    Wasn’t it lovely. I think Breugelhead there actually had studied ‘under’ Larouche. Like you said, “…”

  • Brian Bahnisch says:

    Helen, I heard James Lovelock interviewed by Phillip Adams today. Lovelock says Thatcher had a background as a scientist, used to call him in regularly for a chat, bought the Gaia concept etc.

    It turns out she was a research chemist and “was a member of the team that developed the first soft frozen ice cream. “

  • david tiley says:

    I found myself in another place today writing about the two denialists on the panel. “They started off by being patronising, but by the end they looked like a pair of old horses tethered in the rain.”

    I laugh at my own jokes, and that one tickled me enormously.

  • Helen says:

    Brian, that is intriguing. So she did have some scientific credentials. I’ll never look at a soft serve quite the same way again.

  • Helen says:

    …And it’s gold, gold, gold! for Tim Sterne.

  • paul walter says:

    So, those nutters in the audience, eg the odd middle-aged woman disguised as a hippy are, “Larouchites”. Will google like crazy in a minute.
    As it happens, I thought the youngish bloke in the straight suit with the vague unsmiling exprssion that started up on about greenie conspiracy theories a bit later; who looked like a cross between a bible-basher and a neoliberal, was amazing.
    If the “audience” was supposed to represent a cross section of the public all this writer can suggest is, “Cuckoo’s Nest” and Foucault combined feel doomed. Except, looking at what Ruddock did to that Indian doctor , suspect it is true anyway.
    Hieronymous, here we come!

  • Neil says:

    So she did have some scientific credentials

    Thatcher was Dorothy Hodgkin’s honours student – Hodgkin was a pioneer in chemistry and Nobel Laureate. Many of Hodgkin’s peers were communist sympathisers; how this shaped Thatcher’s view of science is open to speculation 😉

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    Thank you BalconyWoman.
    That post was great in 14 different ways, so I’ll just say
    Get Well Soon!

  • Helen says:

    Thanks Ms O’Dyne – sorry I had to fish you out of the spamulator – won’t happen again ma’am.

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    You’ll have to fish yourself out of the spamulator over at Quiggins – while there I thought I would get to you via his link … but it doesn’t work.
    As a blogger, I am not sufficiently ‘alpha’ to point this out to him …

    re Harry & Reg and Hermione:
    For the Very Widely-read bloggers, there is an exchange of comment going on
    (at Pavlov’s I think),
    about the characters names referencing other books

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