Joe Smith: Dangerous News – TwentyEightGate begins to hot up

Posted: November 13, 2012 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

The BBC recently won its case against Tony Newbery, denying him his FOI request for a list of attendees at the infamous BBC Seminar. The list has now been found on the wayback machine by talkshop regular Maurizio ‘omnologos’ Morabito, who got Anthony to break the story over at WUWT. Maurizio says

This is for Tony, Andrew, Benny, Barry and for all of us Harmless Davids.  

Well done Maurizio! 🙂

Joe Smith of the Open University was one of the 28 ‘specialist’ attendees at the IBT ‘Seminar’  described by the BBC Trust as “a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts”. Have a read of the paper he wrote in 2006. Joe’s Open University page says:

Dr Joe Smith
The Open University

My research and teaching interests centre on the politics of environmental change. This is explored through three discrete strands of work:

  • the politics of consumption, pursued through a study of biographies of food in Poland and the Czech Republic
  • media representations of environmental change, centred on a programme of action research in collaboration with the BBC
  • experimental reframings of environmental change, pursued mainly through the Interdependence Day project

Through the course of my CRASSH fellowship I will be drawing on more than a decade of working with media and other organisations to offer an account of the cultural work demanded by our unfolding understanding of human-induced climate change. I will also take the opportunity to reflect on the distinctive roles and responsibilities of social science and humanities researchers in helping societies to make sense of and act on climate change.

From the paper:

News media professionals have often been
charged with suffering from a “myth of detachment.”
Specialist participants have challenged editors’ tendencies
toward simplistic deployments of terms such
as objectivity, neutrality, impartiality, and truth on several
occasions (Sustainability, 1998, 2002; Risk, 2003).
In these discussions the daily practice of news production
was often described as the pursuit of truths: “it’s
our job to find the facts and to present them to the
public” (working groups, Risk, 2003). The confident
assumption that there are facts to be found and
communicated leaves editors poorly equipped to understand
and negotiate the character of uncertainty
within climate change science and policy, let alone
facilitate exploration of the “postnormal” model of
science and public participation that is increasingly
emerging as an orthodoxy in science communication
and that is proposed in Lorenzoni and Pidgeon’s
(2004) review of the literature on climate change and
Disagreement about facts does not bar a story
from getting on air. Far from it: but it will have to
then conform to a rigid formula of presenting claim
and counterclaim that is unsuited to the slowly unfolding
exploration of narrowing bands of distribution of
opinion that the science and policy of climate change
implies (May, 2000, p. 18). This is in pursuit of another
professional obligation: a commitment to balance and
impartiality. As one experienced news decisionmaker
puts it:
the trick with the BBC. . . is that we can say “here are
the facts—unadulterated.” Where there is a political
argument then we’ll try to make clear what the political
arguments are. (working group, Risk, 2003)
The BBC is not unusual in insisting on its journalistic
impartiality, but Schlesinger’s (1987) study of the
organization showed how the claim is deeply founded
in its culture and history. Recent statements of purpose
by the corporation emphasize this impartiality

(BBC, undated, 2005). In the context of an issue with
any degree of uncertainty, there are particular rituals
of journalistic balance that are repeated again
and again. Boykoff and Boykoff (2004, pp. 125, 134)
showed how reporting practices result in “balance as
bias.” Their work concluded that “[t]he failed discursive
translation between the scientific community and
popular, mass-mediatized discourse is not random;
rather the mis-translation is systematic and occurs for
perfectly logical reasons rooted in journalistic norms,
and values.”

Yet Boykoff and Boykoff (2004) and others that
have pinpointed the origin of the disproportionate
representation of climate change skeptics/contrarians
need to go further than the rituals of balance to understand
editors’ reactions to climate change. When
challenged about the limited nature of their climate
change coverage editors are quick to see that the
kind of purposeful social action demanded by the
science and policy community carries them quickly
out of questions about “good science” and into messy
and editorially hazardous ethical-political terrain. In
this terrain “facts,” claims, public interests, and values
merge into one another. This was a persistent theme
in working groups during seminars that explored the
nature of the reporting challenge implied by the concept
of sustainable development (Sustainability, 1998,
1999, 2001; WSSD, 2002).
The symbiotic relationship between the career of
climate change and the concept of sustainable development
presents obstacles in the minds of editors.
Discussions have shown a fear of being captured by
the normative agenda implicit in sustainability discourses
via, e.g., ethical commitments to future and
distant generations, and the nonhuman natural world.
As one journalist put it, to nods of assent from media
colleagues: “you’ve got to understand this—we’re
not here to tell the public how to behave—we’re there
to tell them what’s happening” (MP, working group,
WSSD, 2002).
Following climate change and sustainable development
debates demands patience from observers
and commentators. These issues are run through with
uncertainties across time and space, and interconnections
between science, policy, and public and political
reactions. Many of these characteristics are at odds
with the daily practices of news journalism. This provokes
those editors who accept they need to cover
these issues more fully into a degree of frustrated resignation:

Journalists have demanded
to know what facts there are—or to demand
“when are we going to get to the truth on climate
change” (working group, Risk, 2003), and do not carry
with them a sense that science is primarily a process of
contestation. The journalists acknowledged that the
dramatic device of presenting two contrasting opinions
within a piece where disagreement exists as to
facts is followed less consistently in the scientific realm
(working groups, Risk, 2003).
Nevertheless, the balanced presentation of “pro”
and skeptical climate change scientists was a persistent
feature of climate change coverage into the late
1990s in Britain, and is still intermittently applied in
the casting of broadcast news. Boykoff and Boykoff’s
(2004, p. 125) research shows it to persist in the U.S.
prestige press, arguing that “[t]he continuous juggling
act journalists engage in often militates against meaningful,
accurate, and urgent coverage of the issue of
global warming.” This has been explained in workshop
discussions by the fact that journalistic decisionmakers
can look at the spread of seats for different
political parties, or the size of a business sector or
union membership to gauge whether their coverage
is “balanced” and “appropriate,” but rarely have the
levels of scientific literacy required similar judgments
about stories founded in scientific discourses. Specialist
journalists from both broadcast and print media
who may have the relevant experience and contacts
to make fuller judgments complain of how implicit
newsroom priorities are reflected in investments
of time and human resources (Brown & McDonald,
2000, pp. 67–73; Harrabin, 2000, pp. 59–61). This
problem is mirrored in the related field of health

coverage, explored in Harrabin et al. (2003) and Seale
Hence the machinery that supports strong coverage
of mainstream politics and economics can work
to squeeze out science, environment, and developing
world coverage in the earliest hours of a news production
cycle at the planning meetings. Even when such
stories get through to get a slot on a program, they
are some of the most exposed items when breaking
news emerges demanding space. Editors have consistently
defended themselves within the workshops
and plenary discussions by suggesting that they have
a responsibility in their decisions to represent public
expectations and priorities about the most relevant
news of the day: “an issue may be important as you
say. . . but that doesn’t make it news” (MP, working
group, Risk, 2003).
The resulting treatments of climate change have
made the climate science community, which might
act as a critical resource of depth and understanding
for news producers, less rather than more likely
to work with the media in their interpretation and
representation of climate change dangers across time
and space. They acknowledge that this reluctance to
act as sources carried costs. One NGO media specialist
noted that, on account of the weak understanding
of science, there are now instances of coverage
that exaggerate the risk of climate change,
for example, associating specific flood incidents with
climate change in circumstances where no such association
is justified (interview, NGO press officer,
Oct. 2004). The respondent’s point supports a line
of argument put by one specialist environment journalist
that such editorial inflections, based on misunderstanding
and overstatement of climate change
dangers, could prove as costly in terms of public engagement
with these issues as the previous insistence
upon giving balanced coverage to skeptics and climate
change scientists (personal communication J2,
Feb. 2005).


Clearly, Joe is an academic with honestly held beliefs of his own. We will see how he fits into the decision making picture as matters develop over the next few days. Looking at the rest of the attendee list, the BBC has some ‘splainin to do. On it we find an interesting mix of NGO reps, advocates, academics, campaigners and even a couple of Arctic experts.

Oh, and some financial interest – Follow the money:

The UK’s policy lines on World Bank and IMF issues are formally decided by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Treasury, respectively. Within DFID, the International Financial Institutions department (IFID) leads in devising the organisation’s position on these institutions (see below). In the Treasury, the International Finance department is responsible for preparing advice on the policy issues and specific country programmes brought before the Board of Directors in Washington.

The top UK representatives at the IMF and World Bank are the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osbourne MP, and Secretary of State for international development, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP. They are known as UK governors to the Fund and Bank, sitting on the ministerial committees which meet in Washington twice a year to decide on overall strategic direction for the institutions. The UK is the fourth-largest shareholder in both the World Bank and the IMF, holding 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent of votes, respectively. For comparison the US is by far the largest shareholder with 16.4 percent and 16.85 percent vote shares, respectively.

Climate Frameworks and Carbon Markets

Jos Wheatley: Team Leader

January 26th 2006,
BBC Television Centre, London
Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director,
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia
BBC attendees:
Jana Bennett, Director of Television
Sacha Baveystock, Executive Producer, Science
Helen Boaden, Director of News
Andrew Lane, Manager, Weather, TV News
Anne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBC
Dominic Vallely, Executive Editor, Entertainment
Eleanor Moran, Development Executive, Drama Commissioning
Elizabeth McKay, Project Executive, Education
Emma Swain, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual
Fergal Keane, (Chair), Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Fran Unsworth, Head of Newsgathering
George Entwistle, Head of TV Current Affairs
Glenwyn Benson, Controller, Factual TV
John Lynch, Creative Director, Specialist Factual
Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy
Jon Williams, TV Editor Newsgathering
Karen O’Connor, Editor, This World, Current Affairs
Catriona McKenzie, Tightrope Pictures
Liz Molyneux, Editorial Executive, Factual Commissioning
Matt Morris, Head of News, Radio Five Live
Neil Nightingale, Head of Natural History Unit
Paul Brannan, Deputy Head of News Interactive
Peter Horrocks, Head of Television News
Peter Rippon, Duty Editor, World at One/PM/The World this Weekend
Phil Harding, Director, English Networks & Nations
Steve Mitchell, Head Of Radio News
Sue Inglish, Head Of Political Programmes
Frances Weil, Editor of News Special Events

  1. Doug Procgtor says:

    It all comes down to whether the science is settled and the outcome of CO2 is certain. If both these aspects are true, then a balanced view is definitely inappropriate (as in a disagreement whether gravity works or the Earth simply sucks). CAGW is neither settled nor certain, hence the dissonance: the skeptics can’t be shown stupid because they point out that the “evidence” is modelling, not observation. And the warmists can’t be shown brilliant … for the same reason.

    The MSM journalists are not science educated. They have a real problem with things that are not black or white, i.e. settled and certain.

    Which is funny, because the liberal arts hold that man is neither settled nor certain. The good can become bad, and the bad, good: the expression of man is not in his genes, not in his environment but in a combination of both. Determined today, not yesterday or tomorrow.

    I guess in a world of anxiety you need to hold on to something hard and unmoving. Too bad it doesn’t exist.

  2. Zeke says:

    “I will also take the opportunity to reflect on the distinctive roles and responsibilities of social science and humanities researchers in helping societies to make sense of and act on climate change.” ~J. Smith

    Quite so. This is how the funding from National Science Foundation is now flowing:

    “The Sustainability Research Networks include combinations of social sciences that will guide the future of our efforts to create a sustainable planet.”

    “NSF SEES SRN: Sustainable Climate Risk Management Strategies:

    Human beings live in a new age, many scientists believe, one called the Anthropocene, in which human effects on Earth’s systems are powerful regulators of how those systems function. Or how they are beginning to break down.”

    Armies of social scientists (psychology and political science majors, along with artists), are being enlisted in the effort to scare the wits out of you about the water, cattle, crops, air, gasoline, and electricity you use. The Precautionary Principle provides political cover for halting and reversing progress, as if science could be settled by a vote!

    Sustainability science is, after all, “using science for the public good.” Welcome to the Anthropocene Age.

  3. michael hart says:

    BBC-“We don’t employ scientists, so how else are we supposed to understand all this hard sciency-stuff about global warming due to carbon dioxide in a computer-thingy?”

    Science nerd/geek-“Then, for-crying-out-loud, try employing a philosopher first, who might tell you how to recognise a properly functioning scientist.”

  4. Hans Jelbring says:

    Thanks for presenting this paper where every word is worth reading. For sure it points to one reason why scare mongering is here to stay. It was harder to use it before TV became available and the news to the public only came by newspapers and radio.

    Media is not my prime interest. Old fashion science is. Very little of that type can be found in the contemporary work by “climate” scientists that believe in CAGW and the work of IPCC. The article (commentary) in Nature by KIevin Tranberth (More knowledge, less certainty) is a masterpiece in defending biased science and especially the work performed by IPCC.

    Back to Joe Smith who made my produce the following trains of thoughts.
    A. Climate change is a fact and has always existed
    B. Climate change caused by human impact is a fact locally (LA area, London etc.)
    C. Climate change caused by CO2 is an unproven hypothesis
    D. B can be shown to be a fraction of natural climate change (historical records)
    E. C can be proven wrong by scientific methods (incremental impact in relation to observed historical climate change)
    F. Global climate change caused by humans is a myth based on invalid reasoning (see C and E) which has been promoted by some scientists and IPCC and promoted by media who loves scare mongering.

    Let´s assume that the points A-F are all true.
    G. It is almost impossible to transfer this truth through media to the public since it has no value as “News” and does not increase the number of viewers.

    Accidently, I happen to watch a “documentary” produced by BBC (in a Swedish noncommercial TV channel promoting science) some nights ago. It was named “A Drowning World” (translated from Swedish) including comments from a number of professors plus James Hansen. In many ways it was worse than “The Inconvenient Truth”. I sent an angry mail to the the responsible board of editors and wondered how they reasoned when they sent a science fiction movie pretending it was at a scientific standard. I haven´t got any response yet. Joe´s article makes me understand why. Scare mongering attracts viewers. Complex truth is hard to sell to the pulic.

    A simple truth might be possible to sell though. Global and regional climate change have always existed and that is true regardless if humans exist on the surface of earth or not. Climate change do exist on Mars. We should be careful about climate change impact on human cilization but we should never accept that we are responsible for changing global climate. We should not feel any guilt about climate disasters that hit our societies. We should just reduce the consequencies of them.

  5. Hilarious. The missing link, Big Oil connection is found at last.

    Iain Wright, CO₂ Project Manager(!), British Petrol International

  6. Are these guys losing control or what? It is high time to take direct Minitrue action against the Wayback Machine. Everyone can be bought with enough (taxpayer’s) money, can’t they?

    “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”

  7. Hans Jelbring says:

    Berényi Péter says: November 13, 2012 at 7:44 am

    A long time ago I read Orwell´s Nineteen Eighty-Four with great interest. At that time 1984 seemed to be far away in the future. Orwell saw in 1948 what was to come or part of it was already at hand. There might be a general egotistic need for a state power structure to keep truth, at least some it, from reaching citizens in any society. Just think of the name of the major propaganda newspaper in Russia, Pravda.

    The BBS refusal to submit the names of experts and decision makers attending conferences that shape its policy is beyond my understanding as a Swedish citizen. Organizations funded by the public should be as transparent as possible and that rule should be especially critical for media companies like BBC and its Swedish counterpart SVT to follow. It is really amazing to me that a court can rule in favour of BBC´s refusal. The FOI act seems to lack power when applied.

    Today news in our biggest Swedish newspaper reveals that “A crisis of confidence is shaking BBC”
    Yesterday both Helen Boaden and Steve Mitchell had to leave their positions at the company, the reason being they were responsible for not having checked the identity of a person.
    Unfortunately, people at BBC reporting faked science seem to stay in their positions but who knows,
    the Orwellian part of BBC might be diminishing. The bloggosphere seems to be a threat to the established news media. A hope might be that Orwell did not mention that phenomenon, so 1984 might not be a good prediction of the future in UK or EU.

    Freedom of the press shouldn´t be the freedom to suppress (information).

  8. Geoff Cruickshank says:

    “My CRASSH fellowship”

    Still trying to decide if that has an extra ‘s’ or a redundant ‘h’.

  9. tallbloke says:

    “Organizations funded by the public should be as transparent as possible and that rule should be especially critical for media companies like BBC and its Swedish counterpart SVT to follow.”

    Nail on the head as usual Hans. It’s about tie citizens insited on this. We’ve been quiescent for too long. Witholding the license fee should change things fairly fast. 🙂

  10. I have made a copy available, just in case the Wayback Machine experiences pressure from the funding side. Or is that inconceivable?

    Real World Brainstorm Sep 2007 background

  11. oldbrew says:

    Good idea to invite ‘Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy’…

  12. tallbloke says:

    Andrew Montford (Bishophill) was on the case in 2008

    You can get some great background from him for £0.75UKP

    The live thread:

  13. tallbloke says:

    Peter, I wonder if you can submit the wayback URL to webcite?

  14. tallbloke says:

    Here’s a much more informative page on Joe’s academic profile

  15. tallbloke says:

    oldbrew says:
    November 13, 2012 at 10:55 am (Edit)

    Good idea to invite ‘Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy’…

    He and Joe are buddies:

    “Research Interests
    1 Mediating Change

    Mediating Change is the umbrella for a bundle of loosely related projects, comprising events, media outputs and publications. They have been rooted in very productive partnerships, including with the School of Architecture at Sheffield University (primarily Renata Tyszczuk) and the new economics foundation (Andrew Simms, Vicky Johnson).

    Other valued partners and collaborators have included the Geographical Association, BBC Comedy (Jon Plowman), BBC World Service, BBC World, the IBT (Mark Galloway), the Ashden Trust (Robert Butler), Cape Farewell and Tipping Point. Funders of the work are acknowledged in a later section.

  16. oldbrew says:

    Re ‘media outputs’: Andrew Simms writes a monthly column in the Guardian called something like ‘100 months to save the world’. No prizes for guessing what that’s about.

  17. tallbloke says:

    [Bruce Hoult in a Bishop Hill comment] This is incredible. In Jan 2006 the BBC held a meeting of “the best scientific experts” to decide BBC policy on climate change reporting (t)
    The BBC has been in court blocking FOI attempts to get the list of the 28 attendees, but it’s just been discovered on the wayback machine (t)
    It turns out that only 3 were current scientists (all alarmists). The rest were activists or journalists (t)
    The BBC sent four low level representatives: Peter Rippon, Steve Mitchell, Helen Boaden, George Enwistle. All have since risen to power. (t)

    Amazingly, those are also the exact four who have thus far resigned this week over the false paedophilia accusations against Lord McAlpine. (t)

    Not so low level actually

    Entwistle was ‘Head of TV Current Affairs’,
    Boaden ‘Director of News’,
    Rippon ‘Editor World at One,/PM’ – the main radio news and current affairs programme’
    Horrocks ‘Head of Television News’.

  18. oldbrew says:

    ‘the exact four who have thus far resigned this week’

    Aren’t they on ‘gardening leave’? Although it’s hard to see how they can get their credibility back, if that counts for anything at the BBC.

  19. Paul Matthews says:

    I had a brief brush with Comrade Joe Smith on twitter yesterday. It’s interesting that he claims to be interested in communications, but curiously his blog (linked above) does not allow comments. It seems that ‘communication’ is a one-way process as far as he’s concerned.

  20. tallbloke says:

    Paul: indeed. I emailed Joe this morning and invited him here to ‘communicate’

    Hi Joe,

    Just to let you know you are welcome to write a reply or comment at my blog here

    We don’t bite, and I moderate comments to keep things civil. Engagement is
    encouraged and fostered.

    Best regards

    Roger Tattersall
    BA(hons) Hist/Phil Sci R.Eng.

    Here’s the response:

    Hi Roger

    Feel I’ve explained my view on the issues raised in your blog in places already

    Best wishes


    Unfortunately he didn’t ‘communicate’ which ‘places’ he was referring to.

    So I’ve replied with this:

    Hi Joe,
    In your 2006 paper you say

    “The confident
    assumption that there are facts to be found and
    communicated leaves editors poorly equipped to understand
    and negotiate the character of uncertainty
    within climate change science and policy, let alone facilitate exploration of the “postnormal” model of
    science and public participation that is increasingly
    emerging as an orthodoxy in science communication”

    Did you know Jerome Ravetz has written a couple of posts on my blog and occasionally comments there?

    We are currently co-writing a paper.

    I really hope you change your mind and interact with us.
    You could prove you are a science communicator rather than an ivory tower propagandist.

    Best regards


    Well this is more hopeful. Joe has responded more positively now:

    hi Rog

    I’ve got an absolutely stinking couple of wks ahead with home and wk obligations

    I’ll put it in the diary to try and get to the blog and respond if i can say something more than what I’ve said in the past. I.e. not sure yet if i have anything new to add at the mo, but not enough time to look closely at yr blog and my past things



    Dr. Joe Smith
    Senior Lecturer in Environment
    The Open University

  21. Hans Jelbring says:

    This thread for sure expose an intricat net of mutual interest which BBC is supposed to find out, analyse and report about to the public. Instead it is part of the “special” (money making) interest themself. I have just learnt that such a “story” is called breaking news. Which TV channel will pick up this “story”? BBC has a duty to do so as far as I can understand since it is funded by the public or lose even more credibility. Who else will follow the 4 and be forced to quit? I doubt that we have seen the end of revelations.

  22. oldbrew says:

    There was also an earlier meeting at New Hall College, Cambridge in July 2005. One of the listed attendees was from the IIED whose website explains they basically want rich countries to pay poor countries for ‘climate change’.

    Joe Smith, Roger Harrabin and Jon Plowman were also there among a long list, even including a senior food and drugs administrator from Nigeria and the director of the Caribbean Council for the Blind. You couldn’t make it up.

    Find the link here.

  23. Paul Matthews says:

    Roger, he may be referring to
    in which he claims that the meetings were held under the Chatham House rule, “so individuals attend in response to a private invitation rather than to represent their organisations, and their comments cannot be reproduced in such a way as to allow attribution.”

    The document unearthed by Maurizio, or even the one currently available from the IBT,
    shows that he is not telling the truth, since that has a direct quote of a speaker at the 2007 meeting.

  24. Paul Matthews says:

    (I was responding to a comment Roger has since deleted).

  25. tallbloke says:

    Paul, Joe has responded again more positively, and promised to find some time to visit, so I’ll keep comms private for now.

  26. oldbrew says:

    @ Hans Jelbring 1:48 pm

    As the BBC has spent a lot of money in court trying to suppress these details, any of their employees trying to draw attention to the story would surely be committing career suicide, at the BBC at least.

    Delingpole at the Telegraph might bite. He has a track record of putting the boot in given the chance.

  27. oldbrew says:

    Richard D North who describes himself as ‘the only climate change sceptic’ at the 2006 meeting, commented later:

    “I was frankly appalled by the level of ignorance of the issue which the BBC people showed. I mean that I heard nothing that made me think any of them read any broadsheet newspaper coverage of the topic (except maybe the Guardian and that lazily). Though they purported to be aware that this was an immensely important topic, it seemed to me that none of them had shown even a modicum of professional journalistic curiosity on the subject.”

    No further comment needed.

  28. As I said in an 11/10 TallBloke comment ( ), the BBC 28 would either have direct ties to enviro-activists who’ve been pushing the smear of skeptic climate scientists, or would at least be enslaved to regurgitating the talking points of those old enviro-activists.

    How utterly predictable, Dr Joe Smith repeats the names “Boykoff & Boykoff” in his paper, who happen to be the guys I detailed already in my June 2011 article ” ‘Media Too Fair to Climate Skeptics’, say reporters who’ve been unfair to skeptics”

    All around the world, any time the topic of skeptic climate scientistsand the advice to ignore them comes up, all paths apparently lead to US anti-skeptic book author Ross Gelbspan.

  29. oldbrew says:

    The Guido Fawkes blog has picked up on it, some hilarious as well as some serious comments. That bills itself as a parliament gossip forum so maybe some MPs will ‘tune in’?

  30. Billy Liar says:

    centred on a programme of action research

    Universities are becoming corrupted as centres of paid activism.

    I have no problem with voluntary activism but I think using research funds to pay for activism is disgusting and should be unlawful in universities.

  31. Arthur Peacock says:

    You don’t need to pay the licence fee if you watch programmes via iplayer after they have been broadcast. (However, you do need to pay the licence fee if you watch programmes while they are being broadcast.) This is according to the TV Licensing website. I don’t know how they are able to tell whether you are watching a programme ‘live’ or after transmission.

    If the public get wise to this, licence fee income will dry up and the BBC will be broke!

  32. tallbloke says:

    Paul Homewood says:
    November 13, 2012 at 11:51 am
    The International Broadcasting Trust, who organised the seminar, have infiltrated the BBC and Channel 4 much more than just this one seminar would indicate.

    They even boast “We have continued to work in partnership with Channel 4 and the BBC, holding regular meetings to discuss how they plan to implement the international aspects of their remits. We have also worked with other broadcasters including Sky News. “

    Supposedly the BBC is an independent organisation.

    The IBT’s funders include the usual suspects, like WWF, Oxfam, CAFOD and UNICEF.
    More info below.

  33. tallbloke says:

    Helen Boaden has been replaced by co-attendee Fran Unsworth

    Fran Unsworth has replaced Helen Boaden as head of BBC news. Like her predecessor, Helen Boaden, Ms Unsworth was in attendance at the climate seminar.

    Readers might also be interested in this transcript of a conference called NewsXchange 2005, which featured Channel Four’s Jon Snow and the Guardian’s George Monbiot discussing global warming’s potential to wipe human life off the face of the planet (I don’t remember that bit of the IPCC report, do you?). Fran Unsworth was also in attendance and had some interesting things to say. You can sense the development of some of the ideas that later reappeared in the seminar.

  34. Brian H says:

    ” Craig M says:
    November 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” ”

    From the same source, paraphrased: Voters don’t decide elections. Vote counters decide elections.

    The methodology of the Left never fundamentally changes.

  35. Any idea why 30 persons are listed in the APPENDIX of the 28Gate document for the 2006 Jan 26 seminar under heading “Specialists”?

    At the same time main body of text says there were 28.

    “A one day event was held in London on January 26 2006, focusing on climate change and its impact on development. The brainstorm brought together 28 BBC executives and independent producers, this time including several from BBC News, and 28 policy experts.”

    It does not even claim they were “specialists” but “policy experts”. Are folks at the International Broadcasting Trust really that sloppy or something more is lurking in the background?

  36. This is how one counts them properly.

    [ber@nimis IBT-BBC]$ grep -n . experts_2007-11-08_15\:39\:39 | sed -e ‘s/:/: /g’
    1: Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
    2: Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
    3: Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
    4: Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
    5: Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
    6: Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
    7: Trevor Evans, US Embassy
    8: Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
    9: Anuradha Vittachi, Director,
    10: Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
    11: Claire Foster, Church of England
    12: Saleemul Huq, IIED
    13: Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
    14: Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
    15: Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
    16: Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
    17: Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
    18: Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
    19: Matthew Farrow, CBI
    20: Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
    21: Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
    22: Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
    23: Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
    24: Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
    25: Joe Smith, The Open University
    26: Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
    27: Anita Neville, E3G
    28: Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
    29: Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
    30: Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia

  37. tallbloke says:

    25: Joe Smith, The Open University
    26: Mark Galloway, Director, IBT

    These two guys are the organizers, so maybe they weren’t included in the count. As we’ve already seen in the Joe Smith thread, he is a driving force behind the whole media climate policy advocacy effort however.

  38. I see. So Joe Smith & Mark Galloway are specialists, but not policy experts. Is it necessary to kill the language?

  39. Yokel says:

    Paul Matthews says on November 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm:

    … claims that the meetings were held under the Chatham House rule, “so individuals attend in response to a private invitation rather than to represent their organisations, and their comments cannot be reproduced in such a way as to allow attribution.”

    Common Purpose are great users of the “Chatham House Rules” in order to keep their activities under wraps. Could there be any connection?

  40. […] activists in false flags is of course second nature to the BBC since the 2006 ’28gate’ event where they touted climate activists as ‘climate experts’ and subsequently spent […]

  41. […] is a followup to yesterdays post on 28gate, an emerging scandal at the […]