BBC Bias: Spends £519,000 on campaigning climate ‘survey’ while gagging sceptical voices

Posted: June 30, 2014 by tallbloke in alarmism, Big Brother, climate, Legal, propaganda, Uncertainty, weather

Excerpts from David Rose’s Mail on Sunday article, plus a couple of tweets from Richard Betts:

BBC spends £500k to ask 33,000 Asians 5,000 miles from UK what they think of climate change: Corporation savaged for ‘astonishing’ campaign survey on global warming
David Rose – Sun 29th June 2014

bbc-greenpeace-medThe BBC has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money asking 33,000 people in Asian countries how climate change is affecting them.

The £519,000 campaigning survey by little-known BBC Media Action is designed to persuade the world to adopt more hard-line policies to combat global warming.

It was immediately condemned yesterday as a flagrant abuse of the Corporation’s rules on impartiality and ‘a spectacular waste of money’ by a top academic expert.

Every year, BBC Media Action gets £22.2 million from the taxpayer via the Foreign Office and Department for International Development.

BBC Media Action has a £40 million annual budget, and the proportion not funded by the taxpayer is paid  by the European Union, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the US government.

Richard Tol, professor of economics at Sussex University and a leading authority on climate change impacts, said the BBC ‘would have been better advised to invest this money in proper research’.

He said the survey’s assertions are often contradicted by more reliable sources. He said: ‘Objective data  do not corroborate the survey’s reported impacts on health, droughts, predictability of rainfall, and crop yields. Attribution of any of these effects to climate change  is by and large beyond the current level of scientific knowledge.’

Prof Tol was one of the ‘co-ordinating lead authors’ of a report on the consequences of warming by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in March.

Lord Lawson, the chairman of sceptic think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, was invited to discuss last winter’s floods on the Today programme in February.

He argued that there was no evidence to prove that the violent storms were caused by global warming – a conclusion later endorsed by the Met Office.

However, Bob Ward, a climate change spokesman from the Grantham Institute, complained that the debate created a ‘false balance’ between scientists and sceptics.

And in his ruling, Mr Steel said: ‘A false balance should not be created between well-established fact and opinion.  Lord Lawson’s views are not supported by evidence from computer modelling.’

Mr Ward responded to the ruling by calling for ‘necessary precautions’ to ensure that experts are on hand to ‘correct any errors’ if climate change sceptics are allowed on air.

But Lord Lawson said Mr Steel’s ruling was ‘completely absurd’, adding: ‘The BBC’s position is quite extraordinary. They are now saying that only alarmism is acceptable.’

And Dr Richard Betts, head of the Met Office Climate Impacts section, said: ‘Unlike the person who complained to the BBC, I don’t have a problem with Lawson or anyone else being given air time to voice their opinions.’


Betts also said on Twitter the other day:

In a tweet he later deleted, he also said:

  1. Er, what did Richard Betts say in a tweet he later deleted? Those words appear missing – though what I assume is David Rose’s response is provided.

  2. tallbloke says:

    Hi Richard,

    To the best of my recollection (I should have screenshotted it) Richard Betts said something very similar to my reprise in the followup tweet.

    “human influence on CO2 rise…people agree the future effects of these are massively uncertain”

    He quite definitely used the words in quotes, because that is my cut and paste, my gloss on the preamble is in parentheses

    (whatever the theory says about human influence on CO2 rise on the climate system) “people agree the future effects of these (theoretical outcomes) are massively uncertain”

    You can see why he deleted it can’t you?

    I’ve DM’d David Rose to see if he saved it for posterity. 🙂 🙂

  3. ‘This tweet left intentionally blank’? 🙂

  4. tallbloke says:

    Richard just tweeted me. It was a comment at BH that contained the quote:

    “Climate science and climate policy should both be discussed in the media, but the difficulty comes when it is assumed (or claimed) that one automatically leads to the other.

    Most people (including our host, and Lawson) agree on the basic points of the greenhouse effect and human influence on CO2 rise, and most people also agree that the future effects of these are massively uncertain. Trying to justify or criticise climate policy primarily on the basis of science is therefore futile – it all comes down to a matter of opinion on how much risk is acceptable from climate change and whether this justifies the policy.

    Unlike the person who complained to the BBC, I don’t have a problem with Lawson or anyone else being given air time to voice their opinions. If I were to have an issue with the debate on the Today programme, it would be that it kept being framed in terms of whether the science does or does not justify a particular course of action, instead of recognising the uncertainties and the different approaches to dealing with this (the presenter did make an attempt to start this line of discussion, but failed to get it going and didn’t pursue it).”

    Jun 26, 2014 at 11:13 PM | Registered Commenter Richard Betts

  5. Doug Proctor says:

    Hasn’t Gore said that the science doesn’t matter, that people can see the effects of climate change all around them, in other words anecdote and opinion are more worthy, i.e. useful, than facts?

    This is why polls generatre more headlines than scientific observation: what the people feel rather than know, what they believe rather than know, determines who they support at election time.

    Political wisdom is that getting everyone walking in the same direction is more important than getting them going in the right direction, for the direction – carbon tax, no carbon tax, solar, nuclear etc. – can be changed at any time. But it can’t be changed if everyone is milling around and whining about being confused.

    Diversity is claimed to be desirable, but if you exhibit diversity, you discover that the amount of diversity considered desirable is about a thumb’s thickness.

    We are a strange species. We start out and end up with a great tolerance, indeed blindness, for the differences of people, but in between we place many, many boundaries on what is acceptable, and work very hard to fit everything and everybody into its own, separate box. The Us vs Them isn’t in our genetics, but it seems to be in all successful (via deadly competition) systems of social governance.

    No wonder we need to invent a heaven and hell after life: there is no peace, harmony or justice anywhere without them.

  6. tallbloke says:

    Doug: Swimming against the tide is hard work, but you get to see plenty of interesting flotsam.

  7. michael hart says:

    “Doug: Swimming against the tide is hard work, but you get to see plenty of interesting flotsam.”

    But be careful what you swallow. 🙂

  8. J Martin says:

    And in his ruling, Mr Steel said: ‘A false balance should not be created between well-established fact and opinion.

    Santer (AR4 ?)
    Mann (Tijander & ice hockey)
    Doran Zimmerman Anderegg (97%)
    Cook (who ?)
    Lewandowsky (97% which turned out to be 0.3%)
    The pause

    Plainly the judge is not very knowledgeable in what passes for well estalished fact in the area of climate science.

  9. michael hart says:

    J Martin, the reason Fraser Steel is not very knowledgeable about climate science is because he is the head of BBC complaints unit, not some judge seeking the truth!

    So they will plough on publishing articles like one today relaying a “warming threat” to Antarctic penguins because of changes in sea ice. The fact that Antarctica isn’t warming as expected and sea ice isn’t changing as expected does not trouble them one jot. The article actually notes that ice is increasing but still asserts that it is expected to decrease. [Elsewhere, in recent years the total number of penguins reported has doubled by some estimates because they admitted just how bad they are at counting them.]

    So the computer models are wrong, but Fraser Steel says the BBC should ignore anyone like Lawson because he says something different from these wrong models, about which he knows nothing. And Steel doesn’t want to know. And he doesn’t want anybody else inside the BBC to know about them either. Nor does he want anybody outside the BBC to know about them.

    The BBC cannot and will not properly inform or educate either themselves or their viewers/listeners/readers. This means they are refusing to perform 2/3 of the instructions in the original BBC charter.

  10. Regarding manipulation and control of the media.
    There are a few articles emerging for control of internet content .
    .Saw one such push the other day of the UK govt wanting to control internet and another being discussed in the USA from the link below

    Bill of rights for the internet

  11. hunter says:

    The ‘settled science’ is so infantile and circular. No wonder media types depend on it so much.
    Do not accept anything regarding free speech coming out of a democrat US Senator these days.
    They are seeking a rewrite of the US Constitution because of one family’s support of political causes democrats dislike.