The central part of BBC reporting of climate change is an unquestioning acceptance of the tenets of the green religion. Here David Shukman – enlarging his size nine BBC carbon footprint with a nice trip to Texas in advance of Cancun – admiringly tells us that there are more wind turbines in the southern state than almost anywhere else. Breathlessly, too, he trots out their output as if, without a doubt, these monstrosities are going to be a replacement for the nasty coal and oil and gas. True, he talks to a few of those who oppose both the turbines and the concept of climate change; but his condescending tone implies strongly that these are right-wing Republican nutters.

I note, too, that Mr Shukman omits key issues which I would have regarded as important in a longer-form background story of this kind. He has not a scintilla of curiosity about whether wind farms are actually efficient, or whether they are – as T.Bone Pickens clearly believes – “green”. Matt Ridley (writer of the book The Rational Optimist) posted on this very issue yesterday, and Mr Shukman, had he been at all objective, could have dug it out. What he says is devastating:

Every wind turbine has a magnet made of a metal called neodymium. There are 2.5 tonnes of it in each of the behemoths that have just gone up to spoil my view in Northumberland. The mining and refining of neodymium is so dirty (involving repeated boiling in acid, with radioactive thorium as a waste product), that only one country does it: China. This year it flexed its trade muscles and briefly stopped exporting neodymium from its inner Mongolian mines. How’s that for dangerous reliance on a volatile foreign supply?

Besides, wind does nothing to reduce carbon emissions. As Robert Bryce shows in his book Power Hungry, even Denmark, which can switch off imported Norwegian hydro power when the wind spins its many turbines, has failed to save any significant net carbon emissions through wind. The intermittent nature of the wind means that fossil-fuel power stations have to be kept going, or inefficiently powered up and down. Besides, the total power produced from even the biggest wind farms is so small that, as a strategy for reducing carbon emissions significantly, wind power is a failure


This lack of inclusion of such key facts is deliberate bias by omission and shows this story up for what it really is – yet another part of the BBC’s endless no-expense-spared green crusade.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Umbongo says:

    Before any greenie tries to trash Ridley’s comments, he admitted on the Bishop Hill blog here to overstating the rare-earth requirement (should be about 0.7 tonne rather than 2.5 tonnes).  No matter, his comments are indeed devastating but, there again so is almost every other piece of evidence contrary to the AGW myth.

    Unfortunately, nothing seems to make a difference to the zealots.  BTW, I wonder if human sacrifice (rather than just burning money) will be part of the ceremonial at Cancun.  After all weren’t the pre-conquest inhabitants of Yucatan also given over to irrational displays of conspicuous consumption and inordinate spilling of human blood in the name of their religion?


  2. Ron Decline says:

    I was pretty annoyed at this feature too. It’s great the way these people talk about how much revenue turbines can generate, but fail to mention that the Feed In Tariffs which Utility companies are forced to pay are funded from everybody’s fuel bills. 
    Minister for Energy Charles Hendry recently wrote to me after I had complained to my MP about the government’s energy policy. Much of his letter was taken up describing what a great opportunity green energy is for people who invest in the technology, but forgot to mention that the poorest and most vulnerable people in society will be the one’s hardest hit by the rise in fuel prices needed to fund the subsidies.


  3. Martin says:

    None of these green technologies will amount to anything until they can offline store the energy not needed (like hydro electric can).

    Wind turbines like the electric car have no future, the new breed of diesel cars like the VW Polo and Golf Bluemotion are far more energy efficient and practical.

    Nuclear Fusion is the long term solution, funny that the yanks are pushing ahead with their first working reactor and we in Europe are still pissing around with windmills.


  4. Guest Who says:

    @dpcarringtonDamian CarringtonThe brilliant Richard Black will indeed be only BBC journalist in #cancun for#climatechange talks – Shame on BBC cf story, new tweet (via the sisterhood at the Graun)… what the brilliant Mr. B will be covering it all with would probably power an energy from waste facility until doomsday.Not sure most commenters were that convinced.


  5. Deborah says:

    Of course, as reported on Today – this is the second hottest year ever (had nobody told them to look at the white stuff outside).  Obviously preparing the audience for Cancun too precedence over reality.


  6. Deborah says:

    Sorry – hadn’t realised posting below


  7. George R says:

    ‘Daily Mail’ reports this; will BBC-Greenpeace?

    “‘Hypocrisy’ of Huhne at the eco summit with personal Jacuzzi in each £240-a-night suite”

    Read more:


  8. Andrew says:

    I thought this was an amusing report as I watched the BBC twist themselves in knots on how to report this.  Here was their beloved green agenda being adopted by the evil empire known as Texans (aka Republicans).  They didn’t know what to do.  Do they run this story along the lines of Republicans finally grasp the need to address global warming?  No.  They still couldn’t bring themselves to say nice things about the republicans so they have to put a twist on it.  The republicans are only doing it because it’s a way to make money.

    Trouble was they inadvertantly blew the lid off the whole GW thing by doing this.  I have never heard the beeb in the past make any reference to the vast sums of money being made by manufacturers and onwers in prior reports.  Yet here we had a report with a clear narrative of an idea being used as a front to siphon cash into individuals pockets.    I even think there was some reference to the turbines dominating the skyline with the suggestion that these were somehow ugly things in the hands of Republicans as the reports slapped the machine.

    Oh how I laughed.


  9. George R says:

    “Why I now deeply regret my last post” 

    (by James Delingpole)


  10. Cassandra King says:

    The ONLY thing the windmills/bird manglers(thanks RSPB) are meant to produce are kickbacks for grubby bent politicians and carpet baggers by stealing money from those least able to afford it.

    Windmills were never meant to generate electricity, they are meant to generate money and this they are doing for a select few rich and connected people/vermin/profiteer scum. this fraud is nothing more than organised crime.

    Who is going to pay the price WHEN the windmill pyramid scam comes crashing down? and it IS a pyramid scheme because those who profit most will be rich while those unwitting mugs who are swindled into taking part will lose everything WHEN the fraud crashes and it WILL crash just like every other pyramid scheme. Bernie Maddof and ENRON were penny anti scams compared to the windmill fraud, it is the big beast scam that fraudsters dream of.

    The subsidies cannot continue and when they cease those who invested at the top end(just like any scam)will lose their shirts(just as they are meant to)and those at the core will walk away with tens of billions each and their bought off stooge politicians will walk away multi millionaires for their base treachery.

    Ask youselve this, would any of you knowingly steal off the poorest in our society to feed a greed for wealth? Real people are being priced out of the energy they need to live and this winter will see them die by the thousands to feed the selfish base craving and greed of a few.

    The people who could do this have no soul and no humanity, they shall be judged in this world or the next of that I am sure.