Klaus asked to apologize for showing biased film

Pavel Baroch
22. 7. 2008 14:25
Global Warming Swindle screened by right-wing think-tank
Czech President Václav Klaus
Czech President Václav Klaus | Foto: Tomáš Adamec, Aktuálně.cz

Prague - The Hnutí Duha (Rainbow Movement) environmental group has criticized last year´s screening of the British film The Great Global Warming Swindle, sponsored by the Czech president and a right-wing think-tank.

Hnutí Duha is now asking President Václav Klaus and the think-tank Center for Economics and Politics (CEP) to apologize for screening the film in their institute.

Hnutí Duha is referring to a decision made by an independent British media regulator Ofcom that ruled the film treated scientists who were interviewed for the film "unjustly and unfairly".

According to Ofcom, the film's producers misinterpreted the experts' opinions, and thus having "misrepresented views and facts of major political and industrial controversy."  

British TV that broadcast the film now has to apologize.

Read more: Klaus in Berlin: Freedom, not climate, is under threat

"It is not only a British channel, the Czech president and his Center for Economics and Politics also owe viewers an apology," said Vojtěch Kotecký from Duha.

Swindling the Global Warming Swindle

The CEP was founded in 1998 by Václav Klaus and is widely believed to be closely associated with the ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS), of which President Klaus is an honorary chairman. Klaus founded ODS in the early 1990s.

Although Ofcom is not entitled to judge whether a film explains a controversial issue correctly, in the case of "The Great Global Warming Swindle" Ofcom found that the link between human activity and global warming has been proved sufficiently at the time the film was broadcasted.

According to Ofcom, the filmmakers failed to include a wide enough range of viewpoints, as required by the British Broadcasting Code, because the program concerned "major matters of political or industrial controversy or major matters relating to current public policy."

Embarrassing manipulation

One of the scientists interviewed in the documentary was Carl Wunsch, a world renowned oceanographer and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, who complained that his appearance in the film "was grossly distorted by context."

The interview with Wunsch was edited in a way that makes it seem as if the oceanographer is saying exactly the opposite of what he himself believes.

"My appearance in the Global Warming Swindle is deeply embarrassing, and my professional reputation has been damaged," wrote the professor in his official response to the film.

"I believe that climate change is real, a major threat, and almost surely has a major human-induced component," added Wunsch.

"Controversial doesn't equal bad"

It was also the UK Government's former Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office of Science, Sir David King who became a victim of the filmmakers´ distortions. He was criticized in the film for words he is said to have never uttered.

The harsh criticism voiced against the film does not mean the film is not good, believes CEP Executive Director Petr Mach.

"For us, the film is not discredited," said Mach to Aktuálně.cz a few days before the film was screened. He added that there was a positive response to the film as well. 

The film intensified the discussion on the topic of global warming, says Mach, and he would like a similar debate to emerge in the Czech Republic.

 

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Zdroj: ČTK
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