Climate Change

BBC media action ‘spends 500k on climate alarmism’.

BBC media action ‘spends 500k on climate alarmism’.

BBC Media Action   has spent an astonishing £500,000 on a cod survey in Asia that is designed to spread alarm about climate change among some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Its methodology is so laughably inept that it doesn’t bear a moment’s scrutiny: how can lay respondents know with certainty (as the survey asked them) how much local climate has changed?

For the uninitiated, BBC Media Action was set up in 2011 to work alongside the BBC World Service in delivering desirable change in developing countries. It claims to be an ‘independent body’, but  is funded  by taxes because much of its money comes from  the Department for International Development and the EU. Further, at least half its board of Trustees is actually nominated by the BBC. The current chairman, Peter Horrocks (a former editor of Newsnight)  is also in charge of the BBC World Service broadcasting operation.

News-watch has been investigating Media Action (and its predecessor body, the World Service Trust)  for several years. News of the Asian surveywas posted  two months ago on the News-watch website, and it has also been noted that its activities were likely to be intensified with the influx of £20m of funds from backers such as the EU – and also because the World Service is expanding massively. The goal is to double the audience in five years.

That may well presage more of the Asian style surveys.  If so, it will amount to blatant climate change alarmism on an unprecedented scale.

Most appalling s is that Media Action is deliberately targeting vulnerable young people, with the effect of inculcating a hugely negative worldview and a deep loathing for capitalism. The Asian report is full of unmitigated gloom and threatens famine, drought and disease on a massive scale. Despite the mental damage it causes, targeting the impressionable young has always been regarded as legitimate by those with extreme political causes because – like Prince Charles – they believe they are ‘saving the world’ and that validates any tactics, no matter how repugnant or morally questionable.

John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Commons media and culture committee, the main parliamentary BBC watchdog, professes that he is ‘astonished’ that the survey was authorised and claims it is a waste of money. But with respect to this very fair-minded man, it seems  that he and his committee colleagues have been fast asleep on their watch.

The reality is that Media Action works as it does because it has the backing of the highest levels of the BBC. Here’s the evidence:

Alison Hastings,  the Trustee who chairs the editorial standards committee (ESC),  the internal editorial watchdog, issued a Trustee statement four years ago which, in effect, said that those who disagree with climate change alarmism would get only very limited exposure because there was a ‘consensus’ that they were wrong.

Diana Coyle, the current Trustees deputy chairman, who is hoping to become the next chairman, is a stakeholder advisor to EDF Energy, a company which is working systematically to harvest as much cash as possible from the government for renewable and green energy provision.

Richard Ayre, a colleague of Ms Hastings on the ESC, was a career BBC journalist before becoming a quangocrat. He is also is a former chairman (2003-5) of a body called Article 19. This fights for freedom of expression, but like many such leftist organisations, also has a major climate change alarmist agenda. Its website declares:

At the national level, greening the economy will include improving fiscal policy reform, reducing environmentally harmful subsidies, employing new market–‐based instruments, and targeting public Investments to “green” key sectors.

Finally,  the most recent recruit to the ESC and the Trustees.Is Nick Prettejohn, His career is in the financial services sector, and he has recently also been appointed chairman of Scottish Widows Group. His new company website states:

Fundamentally SWIP believes that strong climate policies from governments are the essential pre-requisite to addressing climate risk. Without strong climate policies we will fail to mitigate climate change.

So, to recap. The BBC has been caught red-handed spending half a million pounds on a project specifically designed to spread climate change alarm and panic among some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

But, chilling as this is, the evidence is not actually hidden, nor is it new. It is going on blatantly in broad daylight, aided and abetted by Trustees who are seemingly hell-bent on a climate change crusade.

So when is  Mr Whittingdale, and his committee going to wake up and intervene? The BBC itself won’t change because the rot is in the inside from the very top downwards. The only hope is that Parliament will act with the teeth it sadly only sometimes bares.  BBC Media Action   has spent an astonishing £500,000 on a cod survey in Asia that is designed to spread alarm about climate change among some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Its methodology is so laughably inept that it doesn’t bear a moment’s scrutiny: how can lay respondents know with certainty (as the survey asked them) how much local climate has changed?

For the uninitiated, BBC Media Action was set up in 2011 to work alongside the BBC World Service in delivering desirable change in developing countries. It claims to be an ‘independent body’, but  is funded  by taxes because much of its money comes from  the Department for International Development and the EU. Further, at least half its board of Trustees is actually nominated by the BBC. The current chairman, Peter Horrocks (a former editor of Newsnight)  is also in charge of the BBC World Service broadcasting operation.

News-watch has been investigating Media Action (and its predecessor body, the World Service Trust)  for several years. News of the Asian surveywas posted  two months ago on the News-watch website, and it has also been noted that its activities were likely to be intensified with the influx of £20m of funds from backers such as the EU – and also because the World Service is expanding massively. The goal is to double the audience in five years.

That may well presage more of the Asian style surveys.  If so, it will amount to blatant climate change alarmism on an unprecedented scale.

Most appalling s is that Media Action is deliberately targeting vulnerable young people, with the effect of inculcating a hugely negative worldview and a deep loathing for capitalism. The Asian report is full of unmitigated gloom and threatens famine, drought and disease on a massive scale. Despite the mental damage it causes, targeting the impressionable young has always been regarded as legitimate by those with extreme political causes because – like Prince Charles – they believe they are ‘saving the world’ and that validates any tactics, no matter how repugnant or morally questionable.

John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Commons media and culture committee, the main parliamentary BBC watchdog, professes that he is ’astonished’ that the survey was authorised and claims it is a waste of money. But with respect to this very fair-minded man, it seems  that he and his committee colleagues have been fast asleep on their watch.

The reality is that Media Action works as it does because it has the backing of the highest levels of the BBC. Here’s the evidence:

Alison Hastings,  the Trustee who chairs the editorial standards committee (ESC),  the internal editorial watchdog, issued a Trustee statement four years ago which, in effect, said that those who disagree with climate change alarmism would get only very limited exposure because there was a ‘consensus’ that they were wrong.

Diana Coyle, the current Trustees deputy chairman, who is hoping to become the next chairman, is a stakeholder advisor to EDF Energy, a company which is working systematically to harvest as much cash as possible from the government for renewable and green energy provision.

Richard Ayre, a colleague of Ms Hastings on the ESC, was a career BBC journalist before becoming a quangocrat. He is also is a former chairman (2003-5) of a body called Article 19. This fights for freedom of expression, but like many such leftist organisations, also has a major climate change alarmist agenda. Its website declares:

At the national level, greening the economy will include improving fiscal policy reform, reducing environmentally harmful subsidies, employing new market–‐based instruments, and targeting public Investments to “green” key sectors.

Finally,  the most recent recruit to the ESC and the Trustees.Is Nick Prettejohn, His career is in the financial services sector, and he has recently also been appointed chairman of Scottish Widows Group. His new company website states:

Fundamentally SWIP believes that strong climate policies from governments are the essential pre-requisite to addressing climate risk. Without strong climate policies we will fail to mitigate climate change.

So, to recap. The BBC has been caught red-handed spending half a million pounds on a project specifically designed to spread climate change alarm and panic among some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

But, chilling as this is, the evidence is not actually hidden, nor is it new. It is going on blatantly in broad daylight, aided and abetted by Trustees who are seemingly hell-bent on a climate change crusade.

So when is  Mr Whittingdale, and his committee going to wake up and intervene? The BBC itself won’t change because the rot is in the inside from the very top downwards. The only hope is that Parliament will act with the teeth it sadly only sometimes bares.

Photo by ToastyKen

BBC complaints ruling: ‘Is major threat to free speech’

To the Guardian and presumably its diminishing band of readers, the issue of climate change alarmism is settled. We are all going to fry and they know it beyond doubt. They have an army of correspondents who tell us so.

Many disagree strongly, but the Guardian is entitled to its views. That’s the reality of a free press:  a newspaper can choose its own editorial policy, no matter how biased or against the odds.

Not so the BBC. It’s governed by a Royal Charter which dictates that on matters of public controversy, it must be even handed and balanced in its coverage of events.

But it appears that any pretence of this has gradually been abandoned by the liberal elite that now run it – as the latest ruling by the Corporation’s head of complaints, Fraser Steel has vividly and chillingly shown.  The Corporation is now acting like its own version of Big Brother, dictating what we should think about key issues of national and international debate. And guess what? Its army of publicly-funded staff are uncompromisingly pursuing a leftist agenda.

Back in February, Lord Lawson – who became so concerned about climate change alarmism that he has set up the Global Warming Policy Foundation – appeared on the Today programme to react to the appallingly cack-handed official response to the Somerset floods. Many believed they had been greatly made worse by the Environment Agency’s green and alarmist approach to flood management, and Lord Lawson said so. That in itself was a miracle – for once, the Today programme allowed an opponent of its worldview to put a different perspective.

On the programme with him was Sir Brian Hoskins, a well known alarmist, who is so fervent in his views about the topic that he believes that billions of pounds must be spent on combating the environment dragons he sees in every temperature change. He is also hugely active in pursuing his cause, a one man-band of propaganda who has huge resources behind him, regular unchallenged access to BBC microphones, and the ear of government.

After the programme, one Chit Chong, a member of the Green party, wrote to the BBC and complained that allowing both men too put their views was totally unfair, because  a consensus of scientists believed that Lord Lawson was wrong and Sir Brian was ‘right’. He argued that the BBC had given too much airtime to Lord Lawson’s views. The greenie warrior stated that the Corporation had, in effect, legitimised the illegitimate.

Enter Fraser Steel, the BBC’s complaints chief. And in jaw-dropping, nakedly Orwellian fashion, he has now ruled that Chit Chong was right. According to a leaked report of his findings in – surprise, surprise, the Guardian – Mr Steel has said that Lord Lawson’s views on climate change alarmism  ‘are not supported by computer modelling and scientific research’ and ‘this was not made sufficiently clear to the audience’.  He reportedly concludes:

“I don’t believe this was made sufficiently clear to the audience… it is important to ensure that such views are put into the appropriate context and given due (rather than equal) weight.”

If this is true, let’s not mince words. What this means is that because the BBC has decreed that climate change alarmism is proved by ‘consensus’, Lord Lawson, and those who doubt the BBC’s alarmism,  should not ever be given equal airtime to put their case, if at all. And it also raises the ludicrous prospect that before any such broadcast involving an opponent of alarmism, there should be editorial comment that such views are not supported by consensus.  So in future, this, in effect, is what must happen (if Lord Lawson is ever asked to appear again, which now must be in doubt):

John Humphrys: “With me now is Lord Lawson. I have to tell you first that the BBC has decided that the point of view he is expressing is not backed by scientific facts because a consensus of scientists tell us that this is the case.  Now Lord Lawson, what do you think about this matter?”

This, surely,  is a chilling assault against the concept of free speech.  It’s hard to discover anything about Fraser Steel or his background because the BBC website says nothing about him other than that he is head of the complaints unit. But what we now appear to have in place have is an army of BBC bureaucrats armed with a set of  cock-eyed, right-on rules; they use their own brand of prejudice in measuring every damn piece of BBC broadcasting  to see if it measures up to the Corporation’s Own Version of The Truth.

BBC Glastonbury Extravaganza: Why and at what cost?

BBC Glastonbury Extravaganza: Why and at what cost?

Headline of the week about the BBC is that they are sending 300 staff to cover the Glastonbury festival to deliver around 80 hours of coverage on their main channels on television and radio.

Heading the junket are those brilliant broadcasters Fearne Cotton and Lauren Laverne. Several newspapers have focused on the story because the total is higher than the 272 being sent to cover the World Cup in Brazil.

Actually, the total at Glastonbury for the BBC is probably significantly more because almost certainly there will be a further freelancers and contractors supporting the Corporation presence.

This type of story is not really new. Back in 2009, it was noted that there were more BBC workers at the festival than there had been at the Beijing Olympics the previous year, at an estimated cost to the corporation of £1.5m. What price today?

Those who usually attend include the BBC’s creative director Alan Yentob.  He has held a reception for festival goers at licence-fee payers’ expense at his nearby Somerset home.

The BBC claims with customary intransigence that every one of their contingent is needed because this is a ‘major cultural event’.

Says who?  Well, of course, the BBC itself. Over the years the corporation’s massive presence there has elevated awareness of the festival to stratospheric levels.

And why?  The event actually accommodates just 135,000 people and costs £210 for a ticket, so it’s not exactly mass market. And this year’s headline acts – who include Dolly Parton and Robert Plant – are not exactly at the cutting edge of musical innovation or taste (though obviously enjoyed by many).

So the real reasons probably lie elsewhere. Is it that the BBC likes what Glastonbury stands for? The festival started life as an icon of the drug-taking counter-culture and the suspicion must be that in the BBC’s collective eyes remains at its centre. And – probably more crucially – it’s also a platform for charity sponsors who share the BBC’s values on issues such as climate change alarmism. One of them is Greenpeace, which says:

“This year there will be a new centrepiece the massive  Aurora the giant polar bear!… a messenger from the Arctic reminding Festival goers that it’s an area under threat like never before. Attendees can hear her stories, and join in with the children’s workshops where everyone is welcome. All around the field are Greenpeace campaigners who can bring Festival goers up to date with their campaigns like the Arctic, giving the facts about things like fracking, flooding and even what’s behind the climate chaos that threatens us all.”

Major eco-activism is thus centrally on the agenda, including terrifying children and telling us that we are all going to die. That’s exactly the propaganda that the boys and girls at the BBC love spreading so much, and is endorsed at the highest levels.

Meanwhile, as saturation-level Glastonbury and Brazil football coverage looms, the 8,000 strong BBC news division continues to practise bias by omission over news issues that truly matter. This weekend, the EU has announced a new health and safety law framework that, as many commentators note, will usher the dawn of both a Draconian new regime and severely further erode national sovereignty. So what do the battalions of BBC news staff make of this alarming new development? On the BBC website, there’s not a peep.

Photo by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer

BBC  in new World Service Propaganda Push

BBC in new World Service Propaganda Push

Be afraid, be very afraid.

James Harding, the director of BBC news and current affairs, has delivered a speech in which he has said the BBC’s ambition is to double the reach of the World Service in the next eight years: He stated:

“Internationally, Sir Howard Stringer has been looking at how we can take the BBC’s global audience of roughly 250 million people to 500 million by 2022. He will report his findings next month. It has made me feel extremely privileged and proud to see the way in which the return of the World Service to licence fee funding has prompted us to reaffirm our commitment to delivering news to audiences of need around the world, to commit to a protected and, preferably, growing budget and to explore how to deliver more of the World Service’s journalism to audiences at home.”

To be sure, the World Service is enjoyed by many, and is thought by some to deliver an important United Kingdom perspective on world events.  But in recent years, it has transmuted into something very different:  an integral part of the ‘development culture’ which sees providing aid and services to the developing world as a mission founded four-square on liberal political objectives.

Sweeping claims – what evidence is there to support them? The framework is actually well established and not hidden, as we have previously noted on this site. The World Service operates hand in glove with its charitable arm BBC  Media Action, an organisation which its website shows works flat out with NGOs and other sundry agitators around the world (under the guise of working for ‘human rights’). It attracts bucket loads of cash for its objectives from both the EU and the government Department of International Development. Among its main aims is  to spread the primary ‘climate change’ message, essentially that we are all going to die unless we stop burning fossil fuel and mend our wicked capitalist ways.

In that respect a main cheerleader alongside Mr Harding is BBC Trustee Richard Ayre, a former BBC news executive who was also for many years involved in Article 19, an international campaigning organisation which sees as a major part of its goals the enforcement of international environmental law – in essence, the climate change agenda.

An example of this work by the BBC’s Media Action arm  is this survey. They have set in train an ‘education’ project across six major countries in Asia which is about spreading the word about ‘climate change’ and aims to trigger people to take action against it.  What this means in practice is that the BBC are providing propaganda tools to reach and terrify schoolchildren on a massive scale. In Nepal, for example, young kids are being systematically trained as militant activists.This is described as foillows:

Project: “Child Voices: Children of Nepal Speak Out on Climate Change Adaptation” by Children in a Changing Climate and Action Aid.

Objectives:The purpose of the project was to make children’s concerns heard, and to persuade decision-makers to incorporate children’s adaptation needs into policy-making.

Target Audience: Target audiences included local communities for awareness raising; local decision-makers, NGOs and UN agencies for advocacy; and policymakers for policy change.

Project Design: Poor children in rural and urban areas of Nepal were supported to make short films about how climate change is being experienced by their communities. Making these films allowed children to explore how the changing climate is impacting them and their families, how they are coping, and what they need in order to adapt.

Communication: Messages centred on the need for advocacy on children’s adaptation needs.

Partners: Children in a Changing Climate is a coalition of leading child-focused research, development and humanitarian organisations

Channels & Formats: The films were shown in local communities, featured on TV and are available online. A report was also produced based on the findings of the participatory video project.

Impact: The use of participatory video (1) helped children in Nepal better understand climate change impacts (2) helped prioritise their adaptation needs, and (3) helped advocate for change. The children successfully used their videos to gain adaptation funding, for example for a bridge to help children get to school during the monsoon season. At the national level, the report and videos supported an ongoing dialogue with the government on child rights and climate change where it was agreed that children need to be a priority group in Nepal’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).”

Of course, anything that genuinely improves the lives of the poor is Nepal is to be welcomed; the bridge was no doubt needed. But they also desperately need access to cheap energy and fuel, the most effective way of ending deprivation – and the climate change  movement does not want that; they insist that the only acceptable energy generation is via vastly expensive ‘green’ schemes.

So what Mr Harding actually means when he talks about World Service expansion  is that BBC journalists are gearing up to indoctrinate ever-larger audiences with BBC-NGO values that include as a central component climate change alarmism.

Photo by R/DV/RS

Today editor Jamie Angus: Voice of Prejudice?

Jamie Angus was appointed editor of  Radio 4’s flagship Today programme almost a year ago, in May 2013. Monitoring by Newswatch has shown that a highlight of his tenure to date is that the programme devoted 83 minutes to items on Nelson Mandela on the day of his death – the highest total for any single topic since the introduction of euro notes and coins on January 1, 2002.

Under his watch, too, his main and highest-profile presenter, John Humphrys, has declared that he believes the Corporation has been guilty of ‘bias by omission’ –  that is, excluding key figures from appearances in the debate about key topics such as the EU and immigration.

So who is Mr Angus? He  had previously worked for the BBC World Service, where he held ‘senior editorial roles’. He was also editor of  R4’s World at One, and briefly – in the wake of the Savile and McAlpine debacles  – acting deputy editor of BBC2’s Newsnight.

But the web in general  – and the BBC’s own website –  is curiously silent about him. He seems to have risen without a trace through the BBC’s ranks. Apart from a spasmodic and rather boring BBC blog, he has virtually no web profile at all. That must be through choice and careful management.

In fact, his only public recorded utterance was on his appointment  to Today, when he said the programme was at the heart of Radio 4 news and central to what the BBC offered its audiences.

Whatever his background, behind the scenes  he is now making rulings that nail his colours to the mast.  The Biased BBC website reports that, in effect, he has declared that the debate over ‘climate change’ is over. The background is that listeners were worried that those who challenge climate alarmism hardly ever appear on his programme, as was evidenced by a recent very rare interview with the widely-known sceptic, the former  Chancellor, Lord Lawson on February 13. Mr Angus wrote in response:

‘The BBC’s reviewed its coverage of climate change and climate science, and it has set out some admirably clear guidelines for us to follow. We are able to put on air people who take a differing view from the majority view of climate science. However, that coverage should be proportional, and I think that any reasonable listener who listened to Today’s coverage of climate change, across the past three months, would probably find that Lord Lawson was the only climate sceptic, if you like, who’d appeared in that period. And I think, you know, when Justin and I and the programme team discussed that interview, we thought we’d allowed it to drift too much into a straight yes-no argument about the science. And of course the settled view of the expert scientists is just that – settled, and I believe that our coverage reflects that, over the long term.‘

Put another way, Mr Angus says that he, his fellow editor, the BBC  as a whole and his programme team, have  decided:

·         The issues around ‘climate change’ are known and decided because that’s what the majority believe and because it’s ‘the settled view’ of ‘expert scientists’.

·         It’s a big favour putting on Today anyone who disbelieves the science is settled, because such appearances should be ‘proportional’ to point 1.

·         Climate change debates on the programme, on the very rare occasions they do occur, should not allow a simple  ‘no’ perspective – because yet again, the science is settled.

What this actually means is that anyone who disagrees with the party line, if they appear at all,  will be pushed to the margins of Today and not allowed to argue, especially if it against the majority verdict.  Of course, the BBC Trustees, in their infinite wisdom,  have already separately and definitively decided that climate science is settled. The only surprising element of Mr Angus’s unquestioning obeisance is the Orwellian, mechanistic, dictatorial tone. And, whoever Mr Angus is,  he appears not to have the faintest glimmering of an understanding that science is not, and never has been,  decided by ‘majority views’ but by the facts.

That, as Christopher Booker notes, may be the BBC groupthink, but it’s not the real world.

Bias by Omission…again

Bias by Omission…again

John Humphrys, as has been reported here, has pointed out that the BBC has been guilty on a systematic basis of ‘bias by omission’ – that is, ignoring core stories that would ensure audiences are kept in touch with the key facts and developments in controversial areas.

This report, by Andrew Montford, of the Bishop Hill site, and published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, assembles devastating evidence that many schools are now bombarding on a massive, systematic scale pupils with propaganda about climate change alarmism.

It raises important points to the extent that Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has said that such activities are illegal. He states explicitly that on matters of scientific debate, pupils must be given a balanced picture.                                                                                  

This is a cracking story, and it was covered extensively by the national press                                                              

And what has the  BBC made of it? Well, nothing, nothing at all. So far, they have not published a word on the website about the report, preferring instead to continue to push their own propaganda angle for millions of pounds to be spent on subsidising wind farms.

Their approach fits exactly with what John Humphrys warned about – and with their own alarmist climate change agenda, which means that those who disagree with the BBC orthodoxy are banished to the outer edges of news coverage, or are not reported at all.

Photo by woodleywonderworks

Drowned Out: Balanced BBC Reporting of Climate Change

Drowned Out: Balanced BBC Reporting of Climate Change

With predictions that this winter’s run of gales may finally be coming to an end (February 16), the BBC’s ‘climate change’ propaganda deluge has reached a perfect storm level.

High prominence on the BBC website is given to Labour leader Ed Miliband’s claim – made in the Observer, part of  the corporation’s favourite newspaper stable – that ‘climate change’ is now an issue of national security. He demands the spending of billions of pounds on ‘decarbonisation targets’ and attacks the Conservative party for daring to doubt elements of his green fanaticism.

The story, of course, fits perfectly with the corporation’s own strongly pro-climate change agenda, endorsed at the highest levels of the BBC and – as the evidence lower down this page shows  – is pursued with vigour on a daily basis by programmes such as Today.

In consequence, you will search in vain on the BBC website for any mentions of the numerous stories also running on February 16 that provide clear evidence that this winter’s storms – though unusual – are not exceptional, and that the role of the Environment Agency in possibly making the flooding worse is under increasing investigation.

Christopher Booker, for example, argues strongly that the ‘climate change’ theory about the cause of the storms is mired in political axe-grinding by the Met Office, politicians, and the academic community that is paid billions to support such views.

What you will find on the BBC website, linked prominently to the claims by Mr Miliband, and therefore to buttress it,  is this story in which John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, calls for ‘climate change action’ and this guide to ‘climate’ change’ which puts the case for disastrous anthropogenic causation with a missionary zeal that first exactly with the corporation mindset.

John Kerry’s intervention was being delivered in Indonesia – where the BBC’s campaigning arm, Media Action, is particularly active in pursuing a ‘climate change’ agenda.  Without doubt, the main objective throughout Asia is to brainwash the maximum number of people  into alarmism, and to demand that billions are spent in averting the threat – as defined by the BBC.    Their climate change survey, funded by foreign office and EU grants, runs to hundreds of pages with sub reports for each major country, including Indonesia. It has dozens of alarmist sub-themes, and a primary methodology is asking people if they think weather is changing – and then using that data to ‘prove’ that climate change is real.  Astonishing.

A deluge of BBC coverage of the floods continues, so much that it is impossible to keep detailed track. But one thing is for sure: bias against what are increasingly dubbed ‘climate deniers’ continues. Never mind that those who say that the floods are not caused by ‘climate change’ claim they have a strong case; what is clear is that BBC journalists are continuing the battle to swamp or ignore their arguments.

Take Lord Lawson’s appearance on the Today programme on February 13. The full transcript is below.  The BBC has resolved, that only ‘due impartiality applies to such climate-related interviews. The sequence shows very clearly the practical consequences of this.

a)       Any advocate of climate change is treated with respect and deference by the interviewer

b)      Supporters of climate change are almost invariably given clear space to make their case, no matter how unsupported or controversial their claims are

c)       The interviewer sides with the advocate of climate change and ensures that the audience have heard and grasped the key points.

d)      The interviewer interrupts the guest who is a ‘denier’ to the maximum extent, through tone of voice, stopping he or she finishing points, cutting them off, and interrupting as many times as possible.

In this case, the interviewer was Justin Webb. He ensured that Sir Brian Hoskins, a political activist advocate of climate change who is paid to advance arguments in its favour, was not only given the lion’s share (by a ratio of approximately 2:1) of the sequence to advance his arguments, but also failed to challenge any point he made.  A moment’s analysis of Sir Brian’s arguments shows them to be highly contentious and woolly, lights years away from convincing scientific evidence.

But when Nigel Lawson’s turn came, Mr Webb’s tone and approach changed entirely. Everything he said was suspect, and not only that, Mr Webb was clearly straining to put across – irrespective of what Lord Lawson wanted to say – his own (the BBC’s?) main point, that money must be spent on climate measures because there was a more than a 50% chance of it happening.

In response, Lord Lawson had a brief opportunity to outline that he thought that such spending (on shemes such as wind farms) was a waste of money and that there was a need instead to pursue cheap energy policies and create adequate flood defences.

But the overall framework and approach was clearly designed to allow Sir Brian Hoskins to put across his climate change advocacy; what is clear is that when, rarely, ‘deniers’ such as Lord Lawson  are invited on to BBC programmes they are treated in almost exactly the same way as those who are against the EU: with disdain.

Source: BBC Radio 4: Today Programme

URL: N/A

Date: 13/02/2014

Event: Sir Brian Hoskins on the missing heat: “Oh yes, it’s there in the oceans”

Credit: BBC Radio 4

People:

  • Sir Brian Hoskins: Head of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change
  • Lord Lawson: Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby, Chairman of the Board, GWPF
  • Justin Webb: Presenter, BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Justin Webb: Is there a link, Sir Brian, between the rain that we have seen falling, in recent days, and global warming?

Brian Hoskins: There’s no simple link – we can’t say “Yes” or “No, this is climate change”. However, there’s a number of reasons to think that such events are now more likely. And one of those is that a warmer atmosphere that we have can contain more water vapour, and so a storm can wring that water vapour out of the atmosphere. And we’re seeing more heavy rainfall events around the world, and certainly we’ve seen those, here.

Justin Webb: So it’s the heavy rainfall, it’s the severity of the event, that points us in this direction?

Brian Hoskins: Well, in this event, we’ve had severe rainfall but we’ve also had persistence, and that’s where I say: we just don’t know whether the persistence of this event is due to climate change or not. But another aspect is sea-level rise, that the sea level has risen about 20 centimetres, over the 20th century, and is continuing to rise, as the system warms, and that of course makes damage in the coastal region that much greater, when we get some event there.

Justin Webb: But can a reasonable person, possessed of the evidence, as it is known to us at the moment, say “Look at the rain that we’ve had recently”, and say “Look, I do not believe that the evidence exists, that links that rain to global warming”?

Brian Hoskins: I think the reasonable person should look at this event, they should look at extremes around the world, the general rise in temperature that’s well recorded, reduction in Arctic sea ice, the rise in sea level, a number of extreme rainfall events around the world, the number of extreme events that we’ve had – we’ve had persistent droughts, we’ve had floods and we’ve had cold spells and very warm spells. The number of records being broken is just that much greater.

Justin Webb: Lord Lawson, it’s joining the dots, isn’t it?

Nigel Lawson: Now I think that Sir Brian is right on a number of points. He’s right, first of all, that nobody knows. Certainly it is not the case, of course, that this rainfall is due to global warming, the question is whether it is marginally – global warming has marginally exacerbated it. He’s right, and nobody knows that. Though, he’s right, too, to say that you have to look at the global picture. And, contrary to what he may have implied, in fact, people who have done studies show that there has been no – globally, there has been no increase in extreme weather events. For example, tropical storms, which are perhaps the most dramatic form of weather events – there’s been, in the past year, there has been an unusually quiet year for tropical storms. And again, going back to the “nobody knows”, only a couple of months ago the Met Office were forecasting that this would be an unusually dry winter. So –

Justin Webb: Do you accept that, Sir Brian? Just on that point, that important point about the global picture. Do you accept, Sir Brian, we haven’t actually seen the kind of extreme conditions that we might have expected?

Brian Hoskins: I think we have seen these heavy rainfall events around the world. We’ve seen a number of places breaking records – Australia, with the temperatures in Australia going to new levels, um…

Justin Webb: Trouble is, we report those, and we’re interested in them. There is an effect, isn’t there, that is possibly an obfuscatory effect, actually, on the real picture, and you accept that that might be the case.

Brian Hoskins: Absolutely, and we have to be very careful to not say “Oh, there’s records everywhere, therefore climate is changing”. But we’re very sure that the temperature’s risen by about 0.8 degrees, the Arctic sea ice has reached a minimum level in the summer, which hasn’t been seen for a very, very long time, the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet have been measured to be decreasing. There’s all the signs that we are changing this climate system. Now as we do this, as the system warms, it doesn’t just warm uniformly. The temperature changes by different amounts in different regions. And that means the weather that feeds off those temperature contrasts is changing and will change – it’s not just a smooth change, it’s a change in the weather, it’s a change in regional climate we can expect.

Justin Webb: Lord Lawson?

Nigel Lawson: Yeah, I think we want to focus, not on this extremely speculative and uncertain area – I don’t blame the climate scientists for not knowing. Climate and weather is quite extraordinarily complex, and this is a very new form of science. All I blame them for is pretending they know, when they don’t. But anyhow, what we want to focus on is what we’re going to do. And I think this is a wake-up call. We need to abandon this crazy and costly policy of spending untold millions on littering the countryside with useless wind turbines and solar panels, and moving from a sensible energy policy of having cheap and reliable forms of energy to a policy of having unreliable and costly energy. Give up that – what we want to focus on – it’s very important – is making sure this country is really resilient and robust to whatever nature throws at us, whether there’s a climate element or not. Water storage, when there’s drought –

Justin Webb: Surely the wise thing… Can I just put this to you –

Nigel Lawson: – flood defences, sea defences – that’s what we want to focus on.

Justin Webb: Can I just put this to you though: if there is a chance – and some people would say there is a strong chance – that global warming, man-made global warming, exists and is having an impact on us, doesn’t it make sense, whether or not you believe that that is a 95% chance or a 50% chance or whatever, does it not make sense to take care to try to avoid the kind of emissions that may be contributing to it? I mean, what could be wrong with doing that?

Nigel Lawson: Everything. The – first of all, even if there is warming – and there’s been no recorded warming over the past 15, 16, 17 years –

Justin Webb: Well, that’s – oh yeah, there is a lot of controversy about that.

Nigel Lawson: No, there’s not – that’s a fact. It’s accepted even by the IPCC. No measured warming –

Justin Webb: No, no measured warming , but… Well, all right –

Nigel Lawson: No measured warming, exactly, well, that’s –

Justin Webb: We’ll get back to that.

Nigel Lawson:  – measurements are actually not unimportant. The – but what  – even if there is some problem, it is not able to affect any of the dangers, except marginally. What we want to do is to focus on dealing with the problems that there are, with climate – which there are, with drought and floods, and so on. These have happened in the past – they’re not new. And as for emissions, this country is responsible for less than 2% of global emissions. Even if we cut our emissions to zero – which would put us back to the, sort of, pre-Industrial Revolution, and the poverty that that [inaudible] – even if we reduced and did that, it would be outweighed by the amount of the Chinese, China’s emissions’ increase, in a single year. So it is absolutely crazy, this policy –

Justin Webb: Sir Brian?

Nigel Lawson: – it cannot make sense at all.

Justin Webb: Sir Brian?

Brian Hoskins: I think we have to do – to learn two lessons from this. The first one is that by increasing the greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide, to levels we’ve not seen for millions of years on this planet, we’re performing a very risky experiment. And we’re pretty confident that that means – if we go on like we are – that temperatures are going to rise somewhere 3 to 5 degrees by the end of this century, sea levels up to half to one metre rise –

Justin Webb: Lord Lawson was saying there, there has been a pause, which you hear a lot about – a pause in what, 10, 15 years, in measured rising of temperature. That is the case, isn’t it?

Brian Hoskins: It hasn’t risen much, over the last 10 to 15 years, if you measure the climate from the global averaged surface temperature. But during that time, the excess energy has still been absorbed by the climate system, and being absorbed by the oceans, which are warming up.

Justin Webb: So it’s there, somewhere.

Brian Hoskins: Oh yes, it’s there in the oceans. And the oceans –

Nigel Lawson: That is pure speculation.

Brian Hoskins: No, it’s a measurement.

Nigel Lawson: No, it’s not, it’s speculation, with respect.

Justin Webb: Well, it’s a combination of the two, isn’t it, as is this whole discussion. Lord Lawson, and Sir Brian Hoskins as well, thank you both very much.

Brian Hoskins: Thank you.

The transcript of a Today programme item on February 5 about new methods of controlling floods in urban areas speaks volumes about the BBC’s attitude towards the subject of climate.

Two years ago, the BBC decided at Trustee level that dangerous man-induced ‘climate change’ was definitely happening and that climate issues must reported on that basis. Impartiality, that is, balanced referral to those who thought otherwise, was ruled out.

Alison Hastings, the Trustee for England, who – off the back of once working as editor of a minor provincial newspaper and as a member of the Press Complaints Commission – is now in overall charge at regulatory level of BBC editorial issues, explains why here. The report on which she based her findings, by Steve Jones, who Ms Hastings says was ‘independent’ despite being a frequent BBC contributor, is here.

In consequence, the BBC slavishly and enthusiastically follows any story that it believes ‘proves’ climate change. A good topical example is this based on alarmist remarks from Julia Slingo at the Meteorological Office, who has claimed that the ‘clustering’ of the current wave of UK storms is a firm indication of ‘climate change’. Many genuine climate experts think otherwise, for example in this analysis which puts into perspective the Dawlish railway line collapse, but you won’t see their perspective on the BBC  Their version of ‘balance’ does not allow that.

The BBC have also not reported claims in the Mail on Sunday  and the EU Referendum website that the Somerset levels floods are directly the result of EU directives which stipulate that more  should be done to drown, rather than dredge, wetland areas.

The February 5 floods sequence is important because it is a prime example of the BBC’s approach to this topic. One report is never evidence of cumulative bias, but this one shows graphically elements of the BBC’s entirely one sided approach.

It was news, of course, that a new flood dispersion schemes was being trialled, and the processes involved were well explained. This part of the sequence was fine.

But then Roger Harrabin’s report took an altogether different turn towards being a propagandist – exactly as the Alison Hastings ruling has facilitated. He said:

“Well, Welsh Water think this scheme is applicable not just here, but right across the country, they think it will save water companies money, and they think it will be more effective at preventing floods.  And the children at this school will learn, unlike their parents, that climate change is predicted to bring more extreme weather in the future and to raise the sea levels, so they may consider using the land differently to the way their parents did.”

Pardon?  Suddenly, the report is in a different dimension. The correspondent is no longer a reporter of events, but the direct purveyor of futurology – and it’s not a small point. He says directly that children in schools must consider changing ‘land use’ because ‘climate change’ (whatever that may be) will probably bring more rain in future.

And hey presto, at hand is someone to ram home this point. Back in the studio, Justin Webb interviewed Lord Krebs, an Oxford professor and part of Parliament’s committee on climate change.  Why was he chosen to appear? Presumably, it was because he is a member of that committee. It’s certainly not because of particular expertise, because Professor Krebs’ academic works have focused on bird behaviour. He is, however, a political activist with regard to ‘climate change’ – he is chairman of the national network of Science Learning Centres, which has a major role in spreading climate alarmism.

Professor Krebs did not disappoint. Justin Webb’s first question provided an open goal for him bs to say what he wanted. He duly delivered, culminating in his main point that most of the problems related to flooding were due to man-made climate change, and this meant that there had to be a massive diversion of expenditure – and changes in our way of life – to accommodate that. Greenpeace would have been proud.

Overall, this item vividly shows that the BBC has an overt and deliberate political agenda in this field. There was no attempt to provide a contrasting opinion to those of Professor Krebs, because the Trustees have said that such normal journalistic balance is not required. The corporation has become the mouthpiece of propagandists.

The full transcript is below:

Transcript of BBC Radio 4, Today, 5th February 2014, Climate Change, 8.36am

JUSTIN WEBB:       We’ve built homes and superstores on floodplains, we’ve paved gardens and drained bogs which used to catch water, and replaced woodlands with sheep farms which compact the soil and straightened winding rivers, we’ve made them flow faster.  And all of this, we are told, is contributing to flooding.  We are told this by the Committee on Climate Change and we’re also told by them today that it has to stop.  The Committee says we need to catch water in upstream areas, it warns that half a billion pounds of extra funding needs to be spent in the next four year period to keep pace, just to keep pace, with the risk of climate change affecting the UK.  We’ll speak to the Committee in a second, first let’s hear from our environment analyst, Roger Harrabin, who’s been to Llanelli in South Wales, where they’re spending £40 million on reengineering the streets to prevent flooding.

ROGER HARRABIN:               I’m near the centre of Llanelli, and as you might expect it has been raining and I’m here to see a scheme where Welsh Water are digging up the pavements to prevent floods.  I’m joined by Steve Wilson from Welsh Water.  Steve, can you explain to me what you’re doing?

STEVE WILSON:     We’re trying to take the surface water, the rainfall that comes off the house roofs, the roads, out of the sewerage network, find ways back into the environment, to really prevent flooding.

RH:          So, what exactly are you doing here behind us?

SW:         So, we’ve hollowed out the ground, put a depression in the ground, we’re going to fill that with soil, and that will soak the water in that would run down this hill, and instead of going into the sewer network, it will soak it into the ground.

RH:          And it looks like you’ve made holes in the curb so the water will come sideways out of the gutter and into this, this sort of holding system that you’ve built.

SW:         Exactly, you can imagine with the heavy rain here in Wales it pours down the roads, and if we can get it to pour off the road into this planting area and soak into the media that we’ve put in the ground there.  This scheme here should take out 22,500 cubic metres of rainfall every year out of the sewers.

RH:          How can you be confident of that?

SW:         The flow monitors and the design work that we’ve done is already showing us that actually some of the schemes we put in taking out more water than we actually first envisaged.  This is the answer for us, building more bigger pipes or bigger, deeper tanks, that we are reaching the capacity of them too soon, this is a much more sustainable way of preventing flooding.

RH:          I’ve now come up to Stebonheath School, just round the corner where they’ve got another innovative flood management scheme.  And I’m joined by . . .

DYLAN DAVIES:     Dylan Davies.

RH:          And . . .

CAITLIN THOMAS:                Caitlin Thomas.

RH:          What have you been doing here guys?

CT:          We’ve been, we’ve been, we’ve been making a swale, to stop all the floods from the drain.

RH:          What’s a swale?

CT:          The . . .the grass . . .

RH:          This grassy dip in the ground here.  So what happens, the water runs off the playground . . .

CT:          Yeah.

RH:          . . . into the dip.

DD:         Yeah, and it comes from, when it rains it goes onto the roof, then all the rain comes off the roof down into the swale, and the swale all the water and like, and pushes it off into the drain gently (words unclear due to speaking over)

RH:          And is there a big difference, can you see the difference when it rains?

BOTH:     Yes.

CT:          A lot of difference.

RH:          What did it used to be like?

CT:          It used to be all flooded, this area . . . we weren’t allowed to come by here, because it was all wet and puddles everywhere.

RH:          And it looks good as well.

BOTH:     Yeah.

DD:         Definitely.

RH:          Well, Welsh Water think this scheme is applicable not just here, but right across the country, they think it will save water companies money, and they think it will be more effective at preventing floods.  And the children at this school will learn, unlike their parents, that climate change is predicted to bring more extreme weather in the future and to raise the sea levels, so they may consider using the land differently to the way their parents did.

JW:         Hmm.  Roger Harrabin in Llanelli.  Lord Krebs is chair of the Adaptation Subcommittee, part of the Committee on Climate Change, and is on the line from Oxford, good morning.

LORD KREBS:         Good morning.

JW:         I don’t know how much of that report you heard, you would say, would you, presumably, that what they’re doing in Llanelli ought to be a model for the whole of the rest of the country?

LK:          I thought that it was a wonderful project that your reporter Roger Harrabin described in Llanelli.  The fact is that what we are experiencing now in terms of flooding and extreme weather is likely to become more common in the future as a result of climate change, and it’s time now to plan ahead, to make our country more resilient, to move from cleanup and the dreadful damage that occurs to people’s homes and livelihoods, to prevention, to make our country more resilient.  And at the moment, we’re not really doing that, we’re going in the wrong direction.

JW:         Does that mean though, for instance, that you ban people from paving over their front gardens?

LK:          Well, the fact is that the hard surfaces in our towns and cities have increased hugely, almost doubled in the last decade or so because people are paving over front gardens.  You can, of course, use absorbent paving surfaces, so it’s not actually the case that just because you pave over, you’re going to have more water run-off, but if we, it’s really a choice that we as a country have to make, if we want to make our country more resilient we’re going to have to make some difficult decisions to prevent the kind of thing that’s happening now happening more frequently in the future.

JW:         But just to make it clear, you’re saying to the government, it is time to make those difficult decisions, it’s time to say to people, ‘We are going to enforce planning regulations’, whatever they be, about saving your gardens and the various other things that might be discussed, it’s time to enforce them centrally because this matters so much.

LK:          Well, we are building in floodplains, 13% of all new developments in the last decade or so has been in floodplain areas.  The Environment Agency has a responsibility, a statutory responsibility for advising on whether development should go ahead, so there are regulations in place.  The problem we have identified is that in about a third of cases, the Environment Agency never finds out whether their advice has been followed, so it’s not necessarily about new regulations it’s about ensuring that existing rules are being enforced properly.

JW:         (speaking over) Yeah, but the onus is also put on developers now, isn’t it, rather more than on the agency, and that’s been something that the government has consciously done, and you’re saying now should consciously undo?

LK:          Well, as I say, there is a regulatory framework in place, the Environment Agency is the statutory consultee for any development, and it can comment on the potential flood risks.  However, these decisions about risk now and risk in the future, and if the government wants to say to people, look, we are just going to be exposed to more flooding risk and you’re going to have to experience this, that’s fine, but I think we need to be transparent and have an open discussion about how these decisions are made.  There’s also a role, of course, for individual householders because if people do live in a flood risk area there are measures that they can take to make their house more resilient by having, for example, flood resistant ground floor fittings, fitting water guards front of doors and over air bricks and so on.  So there are measures that individuals can take, that local authorities can take, and central government decisions can help too.

JW:         Are you frustrated that so much of the discussion in the last few days has been about dredging and whether or not there had been enough dredging in Somerset, in other words is the focus on that taking our mind, in your view, off what we should be focusing on?

LK:          I think dredging may be part of the story but there is, as I say, a much bigger picture about do we want to make our country more resilient to the kind of weather that we’ve experienced in the last month or so that is likely to get more common as a result of climate change.

JW:         The trouble is, you use that word lightly, and an awful lot of people would say, well yes, it may happen, but it may not as well and weather is, you know, unpredictable we may well go into a period where none of these things that you’re suggesting happen do happen, and we’ll have spent an awful lot of money and then wasted it?

LK:          Well, all we can do is go on the best available science, and the climate scientists who’ve looked at this, using the best models and the best evidence available suggest to us that the weather is likely to become more stormy, more predictable in the future and the kind of extreme weather events that we are experiencing now, rather than being perhaps, one in a hundred year event may become a one in twenty year event.  We can’t be absolutely sure of detail, but it’s sensible in my view to take precautions.

JW:         Lord Krebs, thank you very much.

Photo by MattysFlicks

BBC ‘Enmeshed in Comic Relief’

BBC ‘Enmeshed in Comic Relief’

A BBC Panorama investigation into Comic Relief has shown that the charity invests in tobacco, arms and alcohol, despite its ‘holier-than-thou’ ethical claims and telling the public that every penny it raises goes to the developing world.

The real issue here is not solely Comic Relief’s hypocritical investment policy, but rather the close relationship between the charity and the BBC – something which Panorama or subsequent coverage of its investigation has failed to spotlight or explain.

Every year or so, the corporation clears its schedules for Comic Relief. This is an extraordinary facility and it has led to the charity raising the staggering sum of £909m. It has become so wealthy that it can afford salaries of £130,000+ for senior staff.

The BBC supports Comic Relief not because it is an exceptional charity doing outstanding work, but rather because the corporation regards providing aid to developing countries as the ultimate good. Another reason is that Comic Relief is a cheerleader for schemes that they claim tackle ‘climate change’ – something which the BBC also intrinsically supports, in general reporting, at Trustee level and especially through the BBC World Service, which for decades has staunchly championed both overseas aid and measures to
tackle the perceived threat of ‘climate change’.

The BBC has worked assiduously behind the scenes over the years to support Comic Relief. An example of the cross-fertilisation and BBC cheerleading is that Lord Hastings, a former head of Corporate Social Responsibility at the BBC, was active for almost a decade in promoting the climate change agenda while sitting on the board of Comic Relief.

This rat’s nests cross-over continues to this day. On screen, the BBC doggedly – with clear disregard for normal rules of impartiality – pursues its climate change agenda; at the same time Tim Davie, who was acting Director General of the BBC before Lord Hall assumed the role in the summer, and is now chief executive of BBC Worldwide, has recently been appointed chair of the Comic Relief Trustees. One of his colleagues is another veteran BBC senior executive, the former Controller of BBC1 Peter Salmon.

Photo by KaiChanVong