An interview with Nigel Calder...
Calder is the former editor of the New Scientist and was featured prominently in the documentary, the Great Global Warming Swindle.
LBR: Do you think that there has been a change in the debate on climate change recently? Is there a greater willingness to entertain alternative views on the causes of climate change?
NC: A local victory for free speech has occurred in the BBC, where an internal report on impartiality (June 2007) picked out climate change as a subject where dissenting voices really should be heard. That verdict is already having some effect, although BBC reporters still tend to assume that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change must be right. More generally there's a contrast between a hardening of attitudes on the part of the scientists, politicians and journalists in the 'man-made global warming' camp, which contrasts with more open scepticism among the general public. One reason for the latter may be horror fatigue, about all the scare stories. Another is a suspicion that politicians are glad of a new excuse to raise taxes. But most importantly there is plain common sense about the weather's variability. If you're told that a warm UK April 2007 is foretaste of hotter times to come, you cannot but ask what a cold and wet June portends. And while some of the media and greenhouse scientists have fiercely attacked The Chilling Stars and Henrik Svensmark's theory, I've not heard a single complaint from friends, or friends of friends. It was the same when I appeared in the Channel 4 documentary 'The Great Global Warming Swindle'.
LBR: Given the controversy over 'The Great Global Warming Swindle?, do you think your decision to take part was a wise one?
NC: Yes. I was in distinguished company with a string of prominent scientists to demonstrate that critics of the man-made warming hypothesis are not just a bunch of crackpots. There's been almost no attempt to rebut what we interviewees said individually and criticisms were focused on some linking narrations and explanatory animations, which some of us might have scripted a bit differently. By the way, Al Gore's movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' is applauded by greenhouse scientists even though they know know it contains misleading statements. To be inaccurate in a politically correct cause seems to be OK in their ethos.