Australia's ABC (= PBS, BBC) has shown The Great Global Warming Swindle - a documentary 180 degrees from its political bias - and instead of simply showing it and moving on they just had to have a dirty, great bash session afterwards.
Once TGGWS was aired, Tony Jones showed an interview he conducted with the film's maker, Martin Durkin.
The first tactic of the ABC was to discredit Durkin, which it did by showing previous documentaries he had worked on including one on silicon breast implants that quite unnecessarily showed footage of naked women. They then launched an attack on Channel 4 for commissioning the program, describing them as having a history of producing controversial material. Incredibly, a couple of snippets from that first class socialist clown George Monbiot were included, which really set the scene for what was to come.
Jones then very aggressively questioned Durkin about the accuracy of what was presented. He was clearly well briefed by pro-AGW scientists within the ABC, as well as, I'm guessing, by David Karoly. I thought that his questions were quite legitimate and were the type that should be asked. However, he never let Durkin answer them properly, which was problematic from a balance perspective.
I don't mind aggressive, probing questions but it's hugely unfortunate that the ABC's bias prevents it from taking the same tack with pro-AGW liars (there's no other term for them) such as Al Gore and Tim Flannery (and even its own Robin '100 metre sea level rise' Williams).
After the interview with Durkin was over Jones then attacked the scientists featured in TGGWS, particularly Fred Singer who has questioned the relationship between sunlight and melanoma (I have no opinion on that one) and second hand smoke and cancer (if you believe there's a correlation here then you should look at how the empirical science was done, which will shock you to the core).
The panel 'discussion/debate' was fairly predictable and I'll summarise as best as I can given my notes (I haven't got all of the panellists listed):
Andy Pittman - Believer - Claimed the world has a "natural balance" of C02, that we can measure CO2 exactly, understand the process and know it's us that's made the difference. Anyone who claims that there's a "natural balance" of CO2 is a grade-A ass-clown if you ask me, as it's completely unprovable.
Robin Williams - Believer - If Pittman is an ass-clown then this fellow is the circus ringleader. He referred to Richard Lindzen as having smoked three cigarettes in a twenty minute interview and that Fred Singer was a "serial complainer". So what? Does that make their science wrong? Later in the program Williams defended the Hockey Stick, claiming that the National Academy of Sciences had supported it a couple of years ago when it took a look at the subject. As Williams knows, this is an untrue statement. Their support was quite equivocal and they referred to uncertainties in the results. Subsequently, the NAS' own Chair of their Statistics Committee, Edward Wegman, supported the McIntyre and McKitrick criticisms of the statistical flaws in the Hockey Stick, which is why it's now completely discredited and has been derogated in the recent Fourth Assessment Report from its prominent, smoking-gun position in the Third Assessment Report. Williams came across as a profoundly shallow, immature thinker of the type you encounter with people who have never had a real job outside of academia.
Michael Duffy - Blasphemer - Attacked Tony Jones for not being so harsh when he interviewed Nicholas Stern about six months ago. Jones ignored the criticism but it's completely valid, as at that time the economics of the Stern Report had been not only challenged but profoundly debunked by economists across the political spectrum.
David Karoly - Believer - Professor Karoly is a climate scientist with his snout firmly in the global warming money pit. To me, his input was the most disturbing because he used real science to deflect legitimate queries in order to impress a viewing audience that lacked the scientific knowledge to question his statements. That Jones deferred to him so often I think gives away the fact that he was the one behind the questions to Durkin, as mentioned above. Karoly's claim that the IPCC "reviews science fairly and openly" is a remarkable statement to make given that it is so far from the truth, as anyone who has followed the IPCC's shenanigans over the last ten or so years can attest.
Nick Roley - Believer - Tony Blair's Climate Change advisor, a good speaker and a truly political player. He didn't say anything with any depth other than support the position that we need to do something and do it now.
Dr Nicky Williams - Believer - CEO NSW Minerals Council - I don't know if she's a Believer or just a Blasphemer that can see a huge pile of cash sitting on the table that is there for the taking as long as the coal industry wants to side with the IPCC orthodoxy. Didn't make a very profound impact.
Greg Bourne - Believer - Former businessman and now CEO of the World Wildlife Fund. Beclowned himself spectacularly when he wouldn't deny that there are too many people on the planet, pretty much promoting the standard environmentalist's anti-humanity leanings. Looked quite a zealot, really.
The most amusing part of the show was when Tony Jones asked the audience questions and, being unable to understand what was being asked by them, simply moved on. The first question was quite legitimate and related to the presence of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere, which seriously calls into question the persistence of CO2 - a major requirement if the catastrophic claims are to hold true. Some young student asked a question that Jones also couldn't understand and a couple of people mentioned that the modern environmental movement grew out of the eugenics movement. Most people don't know what that is so Jones simply moved on again. Apparently it's OK to question the motives of those opposed to the 'consensus' but not those in favour.
The program lacked any discussion about the problems with the climate models themselves, which I'm sure was deliberate, as it's a huge weak spot for the Believers and they wouldn't have wanted to argue against the fact that the models have not been right even once. Ever. It was poor form by the Blasphemers to not bring the issue of model accuracy up.
In summary, a fun time was had by all. Regardless of which side of the debate you are on your mind was not changed by the debate, though TGGWS itself might have got you thinking a bit, particularly about the morality of expecting Africa to forgo the use of electricity.
I'm sure other bloggers will have more in the next day or so.