Monday, January 13, 2014

The BBC: less trustworthy, more dangerous than a cannibal polar bear – Telegraph Blogs

The BBC: less trustworthy, more dangerous than a cannibal polar bear – Telegraph Blogs

The first was the BBC’s betrayal of its statutory obligation to report on the world with ‘impartially’. In its own mind it got round this by creating its own definition of the meaning of the word.

 The IPCC, the scientific and political establishments, Al Gore, the developers of wind turbines and heaven knows who else were all so unanimously convinced that man-made global warming was an unchallengeable fact that the BBC decreed that these were the only people who should be listened to. Anyone who dissented from this orthodoxy could be ignored as belonging to just a tiny minority of cranks, or venally corrupted hirelings of Big Oil, whose views it would be improper for the BBC to publicise.

The problem was that, outside the ‘bubble’, all sorts of things were beginning to contradict this cosy scenario. Ever more serious scientists were beginning to question the orthodox theory of what was influencing the world’s climate. It emerged ever more clearly that the projections made by over-simplistic computer models no longer matched up with the observed evidence of what was actually happening to the climate. Ever more evidence came to light to suggest that the IPCC was not the unimpeachably objective and honest scientific body it was claimed to be.

It was all this which helped to illuminate the extent of the second ‘betrayal’ in the BBC’s coverage of the story, the way it betrayed the principles of professional journalism. So committed to the cause were its journalists that, when important questions began to be raised as to whether the story was really as unarguable as it was claimed to be, their only real response was simply to dig in their toes to defend it. They could no longer step outside the ‘bubble’, as independent-minded journalists should have been able to do, to consider all these questions in their own right. They could only stay within the mindset they knew, talking only to those within the orthodoxy who could provide them with the answers they needed to fend off all these tiresome ‘deniers’ appearing from outside the ‘bubble’ to ask awkward questions – such as how genuinely scientific were the methods used to create the ‘hockey stick’ graph?

One of the impressions it is hard to avoid in reviewing the BBC’s coverage of this story is that its journalists, and those shadowy figures behind them in the BBC hierarchy, are not particularly well-informed about many of the issues they report on. This point was made as long ago as 2006 by the journalist Richard D. North, when he described his experience in attending that day-long seminar organised by Roger Harrabin, As North observed:

I was frankly appalled by the level of ignorance of the issue which the BBC people showed …I heard nothing which made me think any of them read any broadsheet newspaper coverage of the topic (except maybe the Guardian and that lazily) … it seemed to me that none of them had shown even a modicum of professional curiosity on the subject … I spent the day discussing the subject and I don’t recall anyone showing any sign of having read anything serious at all.

This may help to explain the third of the three ‘betrayals’ to which I referred at the start, the consistency with which the BBC’s coverage of this story has shown so little understanding of the basic principles of science. We have seen how again and again they have put out programmes designed to promote their cause which have contained quite rudimentary scientific errors. They have loved to wheel on front men such as Sir David Attenborough, Dr Iain Stewart or Sir Paul Nurse, claiming to speak with all the authority of being ‘a scientist’ – but who have then been shown, on matters outside their own disciplines, to be out of their depth. These people have been used to lend the prestige of ‘science’ for the purposes of what amounted to no more than clumsy exercises in propaganda.

Perhaps the most revealing example of all of this misuse of the prestige of science was that truly bizarre report produced in 2011 for the BBC Trust by Professor Jones, arguing that, far from being too biassed, the BBC’s coverage of the story should in future become even more biassed still.

The sheer Alice in Wonderland dottiness of this report might serve as a suitable epitaph on what has been one of the saddest chapters in the BBC’s history. Here is a hugely important and far-reaching issue on which for years it has been comprehensively misleading the audience from which it derives its funding. Yet the tragedy is that it seems so incapable of recognising just how badly it has failed us that there is little realistic prospect of it ever being likely to change its ways.


Add the E.U. to developing nations that are all too happy to get what they can from wealth redistribution, and you get a majority of nations that then try to fascistically bully and shame remaining countries to relent, e.g. India, China, U.S., Canada.

The last few days of the conference, particularly the overtime on Saturday, made it all too clear that this is all about global wealth redistribution, probably with an element of a thieves' cartel via. Brussels (and the U.N.), rather than anything to do with science or the environment.
Let's remember these classic quotes:

Emma Brindal, Friends of the Earth, 2007 UN climate conference:
"A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources”

Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair IPCC WG III (and a lead author)
"First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole."

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