BBC Bias: What influence does E.U. money have on Climate and E.U. reporting?

Posted: October 30, 2013 by tallbloke in Accountability, climate, Legal, media, People power, Politics, propaganda, Robber Barons

bbc_logo1I sent a complaint to the BBC today about their bias in climate reporting, text below the break. First though, a viewpoint from Karl McCartney, MP for Lincoln, on revelations about how much money the BBC has been taking from the E.U. It seems to me the two issues may not be unconnected:

MANY people who believe in the need to ensure the impartiality of the BBC, particularly in respect of its news and current affairs coverage, will be shocked by the corporation’s EU loans and grants.

There has long been concern by many at what can only be described as Left-wing reporting, particularly, though not solely, in matters relating to Britain’s relationship with Europe.

I, and many others I know, have the BBC complaints line on speed dial on our mobiles.

Even Mark Thompson, the BBC’s director general, has accepted the corporation had previously been guilty of a “massive” Left-wing bias. Mr Thompson has also admitted that the BBC’s coverage of Europe had been “weak and rather nervous”.

Genuine impartiality, however, is vital to the taxpayer-funded BBC maintaining its reputation as the cornerstone of UK public service broadcasting. The BBC claims to be aware of people’s concerns, and I gather that the organisation has recently implemented “annual impartiality reviews”, along with “impartiality seminars” for staff.

However, in the light of these EU loans, and the BBC’s often one-sided coverage of EU matters, it is now incumbent on the BBC to explain very clearly to the British people how it intends to ensure the organisation’s impartiality, in respect of its Left-leaning reporting, in the future.

Until such time, I think people will quite rightly continue to question what influence the EU exerts, financially or otherwise, over “our” BBC.


Here’s the text of the complaint I sent to the BBC today:

The BBC has a ruling which enshrines its bias against those with a contrary view on the issue of CAGW (catstrophic anthropogenic climate change) as policy. This ruling was made on the basis of the judgement of 28 people the BBC misrepresented as “climate experts”. It has been subsequently revealed that these people were in fact activists working for well financed lobbying organisations such as greenpeace, not ‘climate experts’ at all.

The BBC spend over £20,000 of license fee payers money to resist attempts to discover the identities of of the activists it used to advise it to be biased against people with well reasoned positions on the CAGW issue.

The average January temperature int he UK has dropped 2.5C in the last decade. 25,000 excess deaths due to cold related illnesses occurred last winter. Climate scientists are now admitting that natural variation may be a bigger factor in climate change than previously thought.

The BBC’s own meteorologist Paul Hudson recently interviewed professor Mike Lockwood who now believes there is a strong possibility that the Sun may cause a strong cooling of the climate. Obviously if the quiescent Sun can cause cooling, the more than averagely active Sun 1934-2003 is likely to have caused a significant proportion of the late C20th warming too.

But the BBC still maintains a heavy bias in regard to reportage of climate change. This is unjustifiable.

  1. Joe Public says:

    Well done.

    If there is a very minor change to temperature, climate etc, logic dictates that it should result in nearly 50:50 disadvantages to benefits.

    It would be interesting to discover the proportion of BBC climate-related reports and stories that have negative vs positive connotations.

  2. edmh says:

    In support of your assertion that cooling in the CET is occurring, the world does indeed face a dire and truly urgent threat from Climate Change.

    In the context that the last millennium 1000 – 2000 AD has been the coolest of our current benign Holocene interglacial and was a full 1.5 °C lower that the earlier Holocene optimum according to ice core records.

    But since the year 2000 a further significant change has been occurring: the UKMO official Central England Temperature CET record has shown an annual decline of ~ -1.0°C and a winter (DJF) decline of ~ -1.5°C. These declines are as much or even more than the total CET gains in the period 1850 – 2000.

    However, this year 2013, has seen a more extreme temperature decline in the UKMO official Central England Temperature CET record. In the first half of 2013, UK Met Office CET temperatures were a full 1.89°C lower than the monthly averages of the previous 12 years.

    That is pretty significant and it really matters. That marked decline has lead to significant crop failures and serious loss of agricultural productivity. The effect has been seen throughout the Northern hemisphere and cooling effects are also clear in the Southern hemisphere.

  3. oldbrew says:

    They won’t abandon the sinking warmist ship until it becomes imperative to salvage their own necks i.e. reputations. When that might be probably depends how bad the next few winters are.

  4. Cheyne Gordon says:

    16 years of no warming.
    This is known as “La Nada” effect . . . . .

  5. michael hart says:

    Related proselytising:
    The BBC world service trust has five “themes” that it decided to focus on: Humanitarian, Governance & Human Rights, Health, Education & Livelihoods, and, of course “Climate change”
    top of page 5

    The climate-thingy seems to be largely rolled up into “Climate Asia”:
    For example:

    and which appears to this cynic to be about asking poor people what bad weather problems they have had, all the better to frighten other people with by amping up the climate confirmation bias.
    To be fair, the first three worthy themes are prioritised, but I think most third world farmers don’t actually need lecturing about the importance of saving water if it is in short supply.

  6. Stephen Richards says:

    The CEO has recently announced the result of their impartiality review and they are not biased in any way shape or form, so there.

  7. Is the Global temperature record correct? Looking at the CET you would expect to see the large increase in global temperatures showing to some degree but it hasn’t.

    Check this graph of temperature vs monitoring stations.

    Perhaps this can explain the standstill. The cull takes out stations in the colder regions so the global temperature record shows a rise. After the cull the situation is relatively stable and the stations are reflecting the true global temperature which is not rising. This would explain why we had a massive step in the global temperature record and the current pause.

    It would also explain why the increase in storms etc. that might be expected from a large rise in global temperatures never happened. The Earth just did not warm as per the records, the warming is artificial, a product of poor science.

  8. Tenuk says:

    I think the BBC has long outlived its shelf life. Much as I enjoy watching TV without the disruption of commercial breaks, I can think of 1000’s more important things to spend the license fee on, rather than watching endless biased and factually incorrect propaganda.

    If government needs a propaganda machine, at least create one that would pass muster and doesn’t assume its audience had the intelligence of a gnat. I feel almost embarrassed for the presenters having to read out so much ‘green drivel’ and politically correct nonsense whenever I turn on the news.

  9. JohnM says:

    Quite simply;Turn it off, change channel, get a hobby?
    I admit to watching BBC programmes, via iplayer. I watch very few advert-packed progammes.
    I watch no “current” affairs, nil politics, could not really give a monkeys about most of the crap TV produces. You want a channel dedicated to truth and the English way of life?
    Who’s gonna watch it?
    Global warming.
    Global cooling.
    Global temperature standstill.
    Bit ‘f this, bit ‘f that.
    People are not getting “wise” to a global warming scam, they’re getting bored with the constant switching from one to the other.
    Think you’ll save money if the BBC is sold?
    No. The licence is to watch broadcast television, most European countries have one. the money “saved” will go into the govs coffers.
    You need to change your “channel” somewhat.
    Do I believe in global warming?
    Let you know after winter (gas has just gone up here by 8.3%…but it is still cheaper than most of Europe).
    If I’m not one of the winter statistics!

  10. Graham Green says:

    The point here is a lot bigger than the cagw scam.

    The BBC was invented to serve a certain purpose and work by certain rules.

    The elite have wilfully circumvented those rules in order to support an agenda totally outside their remit. The fact is that the BBC is the mother ship of the chattering class; governed by a scientifically (and mathematically) ignorant species who are utterly certain that they know what’s best for the ants.

    They hold up their icons such as Brian Cox for the unwashed to worship as though they had their own incarnation of Feynman when in fact they’ve been blagged in to buying a Simpson (Homer). He has his Gaia agenda that they can buy into. They like fuzzy, girly notions. It’s all emotional nonsense presented as gospel – it’s Cake Science delivered by pretty rent boys.

    The BBC are completely unequipped to produce science programming.

  11. JohnM says:

    They’re not “unequipped”, there is little point in it.
    All broadcasters are equipped for it, or they can buy-in the talent needed. Most programming is not in-house anymore it is purchased from those who manufacture it, albeit to order.
    There is however no “market” for it, the larger proportion of the audience just don’t want it. Thinking is not in fashion. Now, how to put it……….the government pays the money and calls the shots. In commercial tele, the advertisers pay the money.
    The government incidentally already knows that AGW is rubbish, but it helps them on their way to the real agenda.
    And while I do not buy-into the scam, I see that change is necessary…..I don’t happen to believe that modern windmills are the answer, but a move has to be made in the direction of less dependence upon fossil-fuelled power generation.
    The public, meanwhile, are walking along avoiding the two drunks arguing on the footpath.

  12. Roger Andrews says:

    JohnM. You say: “a move has to be made in the direction of less dependence upon fossil-fuelled power generation”.

    Care to tell us why?

  13. JohnM says:

    Because, eventually, it will be too expensive to extract.
    My viewpoint is not based upon any climate change theory, but is based solely upon cost.

  14. Roger Andrews says:


    Thanks for your response. I wasn’t trying to get you to incriminate yourself or anything like that, it was just that I don’t remember coming across anyone who thought we should kick our fossil fuel habit purely because of economic considerations before.

    But the question is, when will fossil fuels become too expensive to extract? It could be a while. Fossil fuel consumption continues to increase, but proven oil and gas reserves are increasing faster and so far there’s no sign that higher prices are having any significant impact on demand. As for coal, we already probably have more that we could ever burn, and the same goes for uranium.

  15. J Martin says:

    Oil and NG too expensive to extract, although that did once look to be the case, it will now be no time soon thanks to fracking, allowing plenty of time to see it coming and develop alternatives, such as Thorium. The very long term problem, but not for hundreds of years may be liquid energy, to run vehicles if no one has invented a battery with sufficient energy density by then. If not, then we’ll be grappling with that tricky gas called hydrogen.

  16. Kon Dealer says:

    Roger, I too have complained to the BBC Trust about a pro-AGW bias.
    See correspondence below and draw your own conclusions.

    Original Complaint
    Dear Sir,
    I am writing to you about a serious concern regarding the BBC’s reporting of climate change science and associated issues.
    From the detail emerging in the aftermath of Mr. Tony Newbery’s F.O.I case (EA/2009/0118) it is absolutely clear that the BBC is in breach of its Charter, which requires it to be impartial.
    Furthermore it knowingly and wilfully breached its Charter in this regard and has since tried to hide this fact from the Public and license fee payers, at the Publics’ expense.
    In June, 2007, the BBC Trust published a report entitled “From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding impartiality in the 21st Century”. That report, which is fully endorsed by the BBC Trust, contains the following statement (page 40):“The BBC has held a high‐level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.”
    This statement forms the basis for the BBC’s decision to breach its Charter and abandon impartiality on the subject of climate change and instead provide a highly biased and alarmist presentation of the science of climate change, without any attempt at counterbalancing argument, let alone “equal space”.
    Since then attempts have been made, via FOI requests, to find out the identities of the so-called “best scientific experts” who attended the “high level seminar” which thereby provided the justification for the BBC to abandon its principle of impartiality in this area. To my best knowledge, the BBC has not abandoned its impartiality in this way, even in wartime.
    Tony Newbery, a pensioner, clearly felt the same way and has gone through a long series of FOI requests and processes, culminating, earlier this month, in a tribunal at the Central London Civil Justice Centre (case no. EA/2009/0118). The FOI request was for the identities of the “best scientific experts” who attended the seminar. In order to conceal this information, the BBC fielded a team of 6 lawyers, including barristers, at an estimated cost of £40,000 per day, to prevent the list of names from being published. Whilst they were successful, it was a pyrric victory, as it transpires that this information, that the BBC had tried so hard to conceal, had been in the Public domain for some time.
    So who were these “best scientific experts”?
    It turns out to be a motley collection of climate alarmists, activists, environmental advocates and those with vested financial interests:
    Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
    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.
    Not one of these could be described as “scientific”, let alone an expert.
    The remainder:
    Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
    Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
    Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
    Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
    are scientists, but were misleadingly described in court by Helen Boaden (of Jimmy Saville infamy), as “scientists with contrasting views”. In fact all are unashamedly alarmist. Pointedly, not one of these scientists deals with attribution science, or the atmospheric physics of global warming.
    So where are the real experts? Scientists from the Met Office, or the Hadley Centre, one of the foremost climate research centres in the world? Where are the names of Dr. Chris Landsea, World expert on hurricanes, or Dr. Nils‐Axel Mörner, World authority on sea level rises? Or Professors Richard Lindzen, or Murry Salby, World experts on atmospheric physics? Why are there no experts from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia?
    It now crystal clear why the BBC went to such great lengths and expense to withhold the names of those attending. They are not the “best scientific experts” but rather a group overwhelmingly comprised of environmental activists and NGO’s, with no scientific training, whatsoever, or those with a vested interest, often financial, in keeping climate change alarmism firmly in the Public eye.
    In conclusion I put it to the BBC Trust that:
    1. The BBC and, by endorsing the report, the BBC Trust, have lied to the public that
    they organised and/or attended a seminar at BBC Television Centre involving the
    “best scientific experts” on climate change.
    2. That its change of policy to no longer be impartial on the subject of climate
    change was not based on scientific evidence, or the views of the “best scientific
    experts”, but in fact was as a result of listening to the views, advice and lobbying
    from inappropriate and biased individuals, groups and organisations including Greenpeace, Tearfund, US Embassy, BP, IIED, IBT, AsRia, E3G etc.
    3. That the BBC and the BBC Trust are in breach of the charter and acting
    unlawfully. The following quotations are taken from the website
    1.2.1 Trust
    Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest. We are committed to achieving the highest standards of due accuracy and impartiality and strive to avoid knowingly and materially misleading our audiences.
    1.2.2 Truth and Accuracy
    We seek to establish the truth of what has happened and are committed to achieving due accuracy in all our output. Accuracy is not simply a matter of getting facts right; when necessary, we will weigh relevant facts and information to get at the truth. Our output, as appropriate to its subject and nature, will be well sourced, based on sound evidence, thoroughly tested and presented in clear, precise language. We will strive to be honest and open about what we don’t know and avoid unfounded speculation.
    1.2.3 Impartiality
    Impartiality lies at the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences. We will apply due impartiality to all our subject matter and will reflect a breadth and diversity of opinion across our output as a whole, over an appropriate period, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented. We will be fair and open-minded when examining evidence and weighing material facts.
    1.2.4 Editorial Integrity and Independence
    The BBC is independent of outside interests and arrangements that could undermine our editorial integrity. Our audiences should be confident that our decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or any personal interests.
    Each and every one of these guidelines has been knowingly breached.
    This is a scandal that is, in its own way, more disturbing than the one over the Jimmy Savile affair, as it has implications for the whole population. Interestingly the key players is this scandal, George Entwistle, Helen Boaden, Peter Rippon and Steve Mitchell, are also key players in the Savile affair. However whilst the Savile scandal is being looked into by a series of inquiries, this has been ignored.
    I look forward to hearing from you in due course on this matter. Please also be advised that I have sent a copy of this letter to my Member of Parliament the Rt. Hon. Julian Huppert, MP.
    Yours faithfully,
    BBC Trust Reply
    Thank you for your email to the BBC Trust. I am responding as a member of the BBC Trust Unit which supports and advises the Chairman and Trustees.
    I note your concerns about the impartiality of the BBC and in particular the recommendations of the Bridcut Report of 2007.
    I can assure you that ensuring the impartiality of the BBC is a key priority for the Trust; it is essential to its independence that the BBC retains the public’s trust as an impartial purveyor of news and programming. The BBC is required to deliver duly impartial news by the Royal Charter and Agreement and to treat controversial subjects with due impartiality. The Trust is committed to making sure that the BBC fulfils this obligation.
    The seminar to which you refer was held on 26 January 2006 under the Chatham House Rule. It was organised in partnership with the Cambridge Media and Environmental Programme (CMEP) in conjunction with BBC News and BBC Vision. It pre-dated the Trust and was not a BBC Trust event. I understand that the Seminar was a one-day event focusing on climate science and the possible implications for businesses, individuals and international diplomacy looking ahead to the next 10 years and exploring the challenges facing the BBC in covering the issue. The event brought together 28 BBC representatives and 28 external invitees including scientists and policy experts including representatives from business, campaigners, NGOs, communications experts, people from the ‘front line’, scientists with contrasting views and academics. It is important that, in order to achieve an understanding of where due weight might lie in an argument, the BBC establishes what the prevailing consensus on an issue is and I understand that the seminar was part of that effort.
    The Bridcut Report itself was commissioned by the BBC Governors and the BBC Executive but was an independent report by Mr Bridcut. He concluded that the Seminar included ‘some of the best scientific experts’. His report was presented to the BBC Trust, which accepted the report, agreed the principles outlined within it and approved the recommendations for the Trust.You have quoted from the Bridcut Report on the seminar but you will also be aware that the Report went on to make the following point: “But these dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. They cannot be simply dismissed as ‘flat-earthers’ or ‘denier’, who ‘should not be given a platform’ by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view: for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space.”
    New editorial guidelines were published in 2010. The current BBC Guidelines state that, “Impartiality does not necessarily require the range of perspectives or opinions to be covered in equal proportions either across our output as a whole, or within a single programme, web page or item. Instead, we should seek to achieve ‘due weight’. For example, minority views should not necessarily be given equal weight to the prevailing consensus.”
    The Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee has explained its position in some of its findings on the subject in recent years. The Committee decided that its position was that there is a broad scientific consensus that climate change is definitely happening and laid out some of the reasons for reaching that decision, which included the statement by the Royal Society that, “Our scientific understanding of climate change is sufficiently sound to make us highly confident that greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming”. The Committee also noted that all three of the larger British political parties, as well as the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, have accepted man-made climate change as a reality.
    However, if you feel there are specific instances where the BBC has not met expected standards of impartiality then you can of course raise them using the BBC complaints process. Details of the process are available online at
    I hope this is helpful.
    Yours sincerely
    John Hamer (BBC Trust Unit)
    My Response to BBC Trust
    Dear Mr. Hamer, thank you for your reply.

    Unfortunately it is entirely unresponsive to my main criticisms, namely that;

    (1) you stated that the report was “independent”, whilst omitting to mention that Mr. Bridcut had previously worked for the BBC for a period of 12 years.

    (2) the qualifications of Mr. Bridcut, who concluded that the Seminar included “some of the best scientific experts”.
    You have not made any attempt to explain how Mr. Bridcut’s specialist knowledge of English 20th Century composers in any way qualify him to pronounce
    on matters of science, or scientific expertise?

    In relation to these two complaints it is significant that the BBC declined to name these “experts”, defending this position in court at great Public expense..
    What is absolutely clear that the BBC has acted in a less than transparent manner and has failed in its statutory obligations to the Public to be impartial.

    Once again, I ask you and the BBC to justify its position on these matters.

    BBC Trust Reply
    Thank you for your email.
    I note your further comments. I am afraid there is little I can add to my previous response other than assuring you that ensuring the impartiality of the BBC is a key priority for the Trust; it is essential to its independence that the BBC retains the public’s trust as an impartial purveyor of news and programming. The BBC is required to deliver duly impartial news by the Royal Charter and Agreement and to treat controversial subjects with due impartiality. The Trust is committed to making sure that the BBC fulfils this obligation.
    Certainly it would be wrong for the BBC to suppress sceptical theories and ideas and that is not what the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines support. In the 2011 impartiality review into the BBC’s coverage of science, the accompanying report encouraged the BBC’s programme makers to look deeper into the scientific literature in sourcing stories. We hope this will improve the BBC’s programme makers’ access to the best and widest evidence as it arises and changes – an inevitable aspect of science, as you rightly point out – allowing them to report important stories as accurately as possible..
    Yours sincerely
    John Hamer (BBC Trust Unit)

  17. Kon Dealer says:

    And what was worng with my comment?

    [Reply] Don, Now approved, sorry for the delay.

  18. Kon Dealer says:

    No problem- thanks!

  19. JohnM says:

    Roger Andrews says:
    November 1, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I am aware of the increases in available hydrocarbons Roger. I am also aware of the increases in extraction costs, it is the high market price for oil that drives the present extraction even though costs are increasing. I am looking at the short life of present shale gas wells before further drilling/fracing is required. At present, in the US, it seems that low gas prices are hindering extaction activities. In the EU we are shortly to have a rather onerous environmental risk assessm
    ent procedure to go through for each bore, mandated.
    I look at the volatile hydrocarbons market, worldwide, and consider a situation where the oil/gas is available but at a price that is unaffordable.
    So, we are proceeding (at a pace slower than that of a legless turtle nailed to the ground) to our energy utopia of cheap shale gas/oil in the UK. the people are, of course, unaware that the price in this country will be high from the start because of imposed tax. Even less are they aware of the governments intention to export most because of the taxes. Keeping it “in house” is less likely because of EU policies, even supposing that the EU allows extraction anyway. Don’t forget that the EU is a hotbed of green placemen and “people are the scourge of mother/father nature”-ists.
    We could, easily, reach a position where we produce more, much more, oil/gas than we need but still not be able to afford to buy/use it!
    The intention, unannounced as always, of the UK government/politicians (all parties), is to price consumption low.
    Bearing in mind that our energy prices in the UK are among the lowest in the EU NOW.

  20. Roger Andrews says:


    The law of supply and demand still seems to be working in the oil patch, although these days it does tend to get screwed up by government intervention, especially on your side of the Pond. But when we reach a “situation where the oil/gas is available but at a price that is unaffordable” we have run out of oil/gas. The term “reserves” implies economic viability, and if the oil/gas left in the ground isn’t economic we have none.

    Predictions of the imminence of this situation have of course been around for many years but have yet to materialize. Since the oil shock of 1973/74 – which was supposed to make a big dent in consumption but didn’t – demand has continued to increase, but reserves have increased even faster and inflation-adjusted prices have remained reasonably stable (they’re higher than they were ten years ago but still lower than they were in the early 1980s) and if there are no fundamental changes I would expect this situation to continue well into the future.

    But on the other hand there are maybe a billion people in the developing world who want a car but don’t have one. What happens when they all get one? A massive increase in oil demand, or will their cars be advanced hybrids getting 200 mpg? Too many imponderables for me. I’ll probably be long gone by the time it happens anyway. 🙂

  21. […] BBC’s Leanne Bennett has (inadequately) responded to my complaint about their 28gate climate reportage bias, but have failed to address the points I raised. […]

  22. james griffin says:

    It is quite simple really, just ask the BBC News and Newsnight production teams to produce records of studio interviewees over the last 15 years in relation to Climate and AGW matters.
    That will reflect the bias or impartiality.
    I guess we know the answer…..