In 2008 the BBC released a documentary called Earth – The Climate Wars. In this 3 part television documentary the Scottish geologist Dr. Iain Stewart covers some aspects of the theory about global warming, the battle between the scientists who believe that climate change is caused by humans and the sceptics scientists, and challenge of predict the effects of global warming. It is a really good documentary.
In the first episode Dr Iain Stewart traces the history of climate change from its very beginning and examines just how the scientific community managed to get it so very wrong back in the Seventies. Along the way he uncovers some of the great unsung heroes of climate change science, as for example the secret organisation of American government scientists, known as Jason, who wrote the first official report on global warming as far back as 1979. He shows how – by the late 1980s – global warming had already become a serious political issue. It looked as if the world was uniting to take action. But it turned out to be a false dawn. Because in the 1990s global warming would be transformed into one of the biggest scientific controversies of our age.
In the second episode Dr Iain investigates the counter attack that was launched by the global warming sceptics in the 1990s. The sceptics attacked almost everything that scientists held to be true. They argued that the planet wasn’t warming up, that even if it was it was nothing unusual, and certainly whatever was happening to the climate was nothing to do with human emissions of greenhouse gases. Iain interviews some of the key global warming sceptics, and discovers how their positions have changed over time.
In the third and final episode Dr Iain looks at the biggest challenge now facing climate scientists. Just how can they predict exactly what changes global warming will bring? It’s a journey that takes him from early attempts to model the climate system with dishpans, to supercomputers, and to the frontline of climate research today: Greenland. He discovers that scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that their models are actually underestimating the speed of changes already underway.
I also found very interesting the point raised by Penn and Teller at episode “Environmental Hysteria” of their Tv show Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. The first minutes of the program are dedicated to attack the theory of human made global warming, but at the end of the program they make a very interesting confession. What is interesting about this video is the new eco-guilty and how the people are dealing with it. Also, they mocked Al Gore, which is really funny.
A more political approach is the book The climate war from Eric Pooley. In this book, Eric talks about the fight behind the scenes between the campaigners who have dedicated their lives to inform the world and the sceptics. He wrote about how big companies were involved in the process of disinformation about global warming.