This story begins with Ofcom, the public authority that enforces broadcasting legislation in the UK, telling me that Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) is not a ‘factual documentary’, and ends with them deciding that climate change - the subject of the film - is not a matter relating to current public policy. You may well wonder how this could have happened, and it will take some time to explain.
To start with, we need to go back to March 2007, when Channel 4 broadcast a film called The Great Global Warming Swindle (GGWS). This was Martin Durkin’s take on the arguments underlying global warming scepticism and it caused a furore in the environmental movement. In response, a group of warmist scientists and activists, including Sir John Houghton, William Connolly, Joe Smith, and Bob Ward, lodged a 176 page complaint with Ofcom. After sixteen months of deliberation, the regulator published a decision that made a couple of token criticisms of the film, but threw out most of the grounds for complaint. The warmists were very disappointed, but the decision made sense.
There were two sections of the Broadcasting Code, that GGWS risked falling foul of: