David Rose: BBC boss gags ‘sceptics’ from climate change debates

Posted: March 23, 2014 by tallbloke in Accountability, government, media, propaganda

From GWPF’s summary of David Rose’s article in the Mail on Sunday:

bbc-greenpeace-medA BBC executive in charge of editorial standards has ordered programme editors not to broadcast debates between climate scientists and global warming sceptics.

Alasdair MacLeod claimed that such discussions amount to ‘false balance’ and breach an undertaking to the Corporation’s watchdog, the BBC Trust.

Mr MacLeod, head of editorial standards and compliance for BBC Scotland, sent an email on  February 27 to 18 senior producers and editors, which has been obtained by The Mail on Sunday.

It reads:

When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics. If a programme does run such a discussion, it will… be in breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality.

Two weeks before the email was sent, Lord Lawson, chairman of the sceptic think-tank the GlobalWarming Policy Foundation, was invited on to Radio 4’s Today programme to debate with Sir Brian Hoskins, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change Research at Imperial College, whether this year’s storms were the result of climate change.

In fact, as Lord Lawson made clear, he is not a climate ‘denier’ and accepts that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases have warmed the planet – but he believes their effects will not be as serious as some people argue.

However, his appearance sparked protests from green groups, which said that such debates should not be broadcast.

Mr MacLeod wrote that the reason the Trust decided that there should be no attempt by the BBC to give equal weight to opposing sides on climate change was that sceptics’ views were ‘based on  opinion rather than demonstrablescientific validity’.

Last night a Trust spokesman said:

We agreed that there should be no attempt to give equal weight to opinion and to evidence in science coverage, but we said specifically that this does not mean that critical opinion should be excluded. We did not specify that the BBC should not broadcast debates/discussions between scientists and sceptics.

A BBC spokesman added: ‘All viewpoints continue to be given due weight in our output.’

Asked  whether the BBC was prepared explicitly to disavow Mr MacLeod’s email, both officials failed
to comment.

GWPF director Dr Benny Peiser said BBC coverage of climate change has been:

far too biased for far too long

Comments
  1. tallbloke says:

    “debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics. If a programme does run such a discussion, it will… be in breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality.”

    Censoring one half of the debate is being impartial in the looking glass land inhabited by BBC executives.

  2. Stephen Richards says:

    I think the poster is great but should say “… ask greenpiss what that should think”

  3. mkelly says:

    As long as folks like Lawson accept as fact thatbCO2 warms the planet we are arguing on their turf. Bad idea and factually wrong given last 17 years of no warming but increasing CO2.

  4. I think it despicable that BBC Apollo coverage has not given equal time to the fact that it was all filmed in Hollywood.
    I think it despicable that the BBC does not give equal airtime to the fact that vaccines are causing autism.
    I think it despicable that the BBC does not preface all palaeontology programmes with back to back equal time to the fact that the earth was created 6000 years ago.
    Why do they not preface every travel programme with warning about falling into the void at the edge of the world.

    Is fairness is required to all theories who expounds them even if they are loopy – for who is to say these cannot be correct

    These programmes are watched and listened to by children who could easily be lead down the wrong path into stupidity. There has to be some significance paid to the overwhelming scientific theories as these are the best we have.

  5. Joe Public says:

    I too love the JoNova poster.

    Perhaps she could add: “And ask RSPB for a second opinion.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26553117

    “Harry Huyton is head of energy and climate change at the RSPB ….told BBC News: “We have found that there are serious potential risks to the environment from fracking.

    There are risks associated with ……. lots of well pads all around the landscape. All of these could have an impact on wildlife.”

    To whom do I apply for a grant to investigate the implication that Climate Change appears to have increased wildlife’s intelligence, enabling it to now distinguish between well pads and turbine pads?

  6. Bryan says:

    The BBC 4 radio news today (8am) that the IPCC will soon admit that biodiesel is more harmful to the environment than diesel despite earlier endorsement of the practice.
    Skeptics have been pointing this out now for years.
    Banning healthy debate is once again shown to be disastrous.

  7. tallbloke says:

    But Joe, weasels and stoats love turbine pads. Always plenty of carrion to be had at their base.

  8. michael hart says:

    Ford, sometimes “the best we have” is not good enough, and is sometimes worse than useless.
    If someone points this out, then it is not “false balance”.

  9. p.g.sharrow says:

    When you believe you have won the battle or argument it is not wise to allow a rematch. If you won by default or ambush you most certainly don’t to have a real go at it.

    As W.C. Fields once said ” You never give a sucker an even break” pg

  10. Hans Jelbring says:

    I offer BBC to participate in discussing Global Warming, CAGW and Climate Change based on a strict scientific foundation. BBC should admit that I am a scientist (hopefully more than a sceptic) because of extensive academic qualifications. Ph.D. thesis “Wind Controlled Climate, Stockholm University.
    Probably I am also a sceptic according to the BBC definition since I have proved that the impact of CO2 on climate has to be miniscule (base on first principal physics). I challenge any scientist (preferentially with a proper qualified education) appointed by BBC who believes in the impact of CO2 on climate. Hence, it would allow BBC to arrange a debate between two scientists which shouldn´t be any ”breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality”. There is no wish from my side to debate with a person(s) expressing opinions instead of established facts and tested theories.
    Advise to BBC before arranging the debate to avoid too much BS. Please study:

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/hans-jelbring-the-greenhouse-effect-as-a-function-of-atmospheric-mass/ and

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/hans-jelbring-an-alternative-derivation-of-the-static-dry-adiabatic-temperature-lapse-rate/

  11. Stephen Richards says:

    thefordprefect says:

    March 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    The idiot’s fell out of his tree. Bonjour Ford, il y a longue temps que n’est pas ici.

  12. “A BBC spokesman added: ‘All viewpoints continue to be given due weight in our output.’

    This guy seems to be working his socks off, but to do so appears to use the exact same template guff every single time.

    Is it not about time ‘the BBC’ appreciates that anonymous BBC anybodies spouting ‘the BBC thinks the BBC is just super’ is hardly going to cut it any more, especially as the minute a detail challenge goes in, Helen Boaden and a raft of on-staff FoI exclusion lawyers are there to ensure it all stays the BBC’s latest dirty little secret.

  13. Anything is possible says:

    War is peace
    Slavery is freedom
    Monologue is balance

  14. tallbloke says:

    Ford: I think it despicable that BBC Apollo coverage has not given equal time to the fact that it was all filmed in Hollywood.

    You’re a bit of a jerk these days Ford. Has losing the debate got to you?

  15. colliemum says:

    Not really a surprise, this BBC memo, especially not to those of us who’ve noticed that this same attitude permeates the whole of the BBC. After all, as thefordprefect so charmingly pointed out above – ‘children are listening/watching’, and to the BBC, we are all children who have to be protected from the bad news out there, and our tiny minds must never be burdened with doubts or with invitations to think for ourselves, God forbid …

  16. Bryan says:

    The Independent ‎- 21 hours ago

    Headline

    Exciting new British Energy Breakthrough

    ‘Heat pump system about which, as we report today, Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, is so excited. It seems too good to be true that this technology can take the latent heat from Thames river water and concentrate it to produce domestic hot water.’

    Now any scientist could have told Ed Davey that this is far from new technology .
    It must be about 100 years old.

    By banning skeptical scientific comment , Ministers like Ed Davey are made to look like fools.
    The only input they listen to is from half educated agenda driven so called climate ‘scientists’

  17. oldbrew says:

    ‘When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics.’

    They can then run the standard climate cliches on the autocue so their warmist pundit doesn’t make any embarrassing ‘mistakes’ 😉

    Notice the snide ‘between scientists and sceptics’ wrongly implying nobody can be both – another fail.

  18. tallbloke says:

    Bryan: latent heat from Thames river water

    This is known to increase shortly after kicking out time on a saturday night.

  19. michael hart says:

    Bryan, Ed Davey is more than capable of doing that himself and other ministers without any help…

  20. Konrad says:

    thefordprefect says:
    March 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm
    “There has to be some significance paid to the overwhelming scientific theories as these are the best we have.”
    ————————————-
    Overwhelming was it? I would have chosen “decidedly underwhelming” but that wouldn’t quite cover the true snivelling inanity of claiming that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability.

    Ford, you and yours have lost. Global warming was in effect a global IQ test with results permanently recorded on the Internet. The BBC’s “Shut up! They argued…” approach cannot work. The lame stream media are no longer the gate keepers of opinion or record. It’s too late to save the hoax or any of its fellow travellers. All will wear the rotting albatross of shame forever.

    Attempting to delay the inevitable is pointless and counter productive. There can be no hope that there will be a “sciencey” sounding excuse that will provide a face saving exit strategy or that the record of inane claims and vilification of sceptics will fade with time. Soon everyone will know just how stupid the basic mistakes of the climastrologists were. Imagine not being able to work out that the oceans needed a radiativly cooled atmosphere to cool them? No excuse can cover that up. Every day, every hour, every minute and every second this hoax is kept alive just adds to the weight of shame waiting to crush the fellow travellers.

    You can keep playing if you like, but you’re just making it worse.

  21. tom0mason says:

    “We agreed that there should be no attempt to give equal weight to opinion and to evidence in science coverage…”
    I’m sorry but surely this statemaent only says what has always happen. Except for the two occations when they slipped up and allowed someone called Lawson speak-up without asking the Labour party, Greenpeas, and WWF focus groups for the officially sanctioned public opinion position.
    The bias BrokenBiscuitCompany continues to splutter it’s nonsense to the ever receptive sheeple.

  22. Gail Combs says:

    The BBC is fighting a rearguard action. Al Gore has already deserted the sinking ship and traded his Green Energy portfolio in on Natural Gas Pipeline stock.

    Al Gore Walks Away From Green Energy

  23. tchannon says:

    Is Blood still handling Gore?

  24. Hans Jelbring says:

    Bryan says: March 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm (about heat pumps)

    This techology is generally applied in Swedish private homes.. Heat is taken from air, soil, solid ground rocks or water.
    Our system takes heat from the air using two heat pumps. The house needed 3,5 m^3 oil/year which now would cost about $ 5500 per year. The cost for electricity is now about $3000.Most houses just use one such heat pump.

    The investment 8 years ago was around $5000 and it is not more today. To take energy from air is the cheapest investment. The water source is preferable for bigger bouldings.or whole areas of buildings. Several of our neighbours take the energy from the ground rock.

    You can also tell the warmers that the technology also diminish “Global Warming”.since the air gets cooler outside the house. They will believe probably you!