What he says makes perfect sense while the criticisms, including the comments by Prof Carl Wunsch, seem completely incoherent to me. If I had to guess, I would guess that Prof Carl Wunsch is being blackmailed by the environmentalist advocacy groups right now. There is a lot of vague talk by Wunsch et al. about the impression one gives etc.
Jesus Christ, the main question is not about impressions - at least outside the anti-greenhouse religion, it is not about impressions. The main question is whether the set of hypotheses referred to as "man-made global warming" are right or wrong, whether the underlying facts are right or wrong, and the documentary has presented arguments that the answer is almost certainly Wrong.
Incidentally, Durkin also talks about the hockey stick graph - a scandal that was not discussed in the documentary - and some extra hogwash in Gore's movie such as the phony correlation between warmth and malaria.
What one should question are the arguments and facts, not impressions. I think it is clear that the temperature has been the driver and the concentrations of other gases, including CO2, were its product. The main reason why temperature changes the gas concentrations in the atmosphere is connected with the oceans, and Carl Wunsch helped to explain it even though he was certainly not the most comprehensible scientist in the documentary. If the causation is how Durkin's documentary says - the same relation between CO2 and temperature that we described last summer exactly in the same way as Durkin did - the idea that the data supports the influence of CO2 on temperature is a falsified idea, and any attempt to create a different "impression" is simply fraud.
Dr Sallie Baliunas (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) has quite a cool talk about the 16th century superstition about extreme weather, precautionary principle, and post-normal science. Imagine that back in the 16th century they thought that weather events were supernatural and caused by special humans - witches - that had to be eradicated.
We have made a lot of progress in the last 500 years. It's hard to believe now in the 21st century when we already know the strength of nature and its laws, which are much greater than the strength of humans and their wishes, and when we enjoy a full tolerance in which it is inconceivable that weather events could be blamed on people, especially not specific people. Could you imagine that someone would demonize selected groups of people today, blaming these groups e.g. for hurricanes? Well, we have made a huge progress in the last 500 years. Well, at least some of us have. ;-)
Incidentally, the 16th century version of the scientific method wasn't too different from the contemporary IPCC template. Click to see a modern analysis of that method.
Baliunas mentions that there were also skeptics in the 16th century who thought that the witch hunts were a problem. Some of the bravest ones argued that it was physically impossible for the Satan to operate through the witches and weather-cookers. But the consensus had a different opinion: the skepticism had to be wrenched out of the society. Any country that tolerates these skeptics will be struck by plagues, famine, and wars, they figured out.
She ends up by saying that the only method to deal with weather and othre things sensibly is science but it needs a special societal protection - otherwise it will be replaced by myths such as weather-cooking. Very well said!
It's a part of States of Fear with Michael Crichton etc.
Via Greenie Watch.