Richard Black [email protected] @markpmcc Leveson… ‘a cultural tendency…to practice journalism which on occasion is deliberately, recklessly or negligently inaccurate’
On Sunday I posted this:
It was meant to add some context to a post I intended to write up looking at a BBC piece on the Today show, Is there a Green hush?, which claimed that climate scientists, green lobbyists and the media were being bullied and intimidated into silence by climate sceptics….but a look at the Today interview had to be put off because the more I looked into climate scientists’ claims and their theories the more I realised they just don’t have a clue.
However here we go…..
Is there a green hush?
First the technical issue…just how was the piece set up?
We had Evan Davis, who volunteered that yes, climate sceptics were vitriolic, so no bias there, and then we had Mark Lynas and Rowan Sutton…both pro-man made global warming.
And that was it. No sceptical voices, neither to defend sceptics against the charges or to put the other side as illustrated by my post, nor to debate the ‘science’ when Davis asked if the recent floods were the result of climate change.
There was absolutely no mention of ‘vitriol’ from the pro-AGW side…nor any other reasons given as to why there might be a ‘silence’ from the alarmist side of things…or even if there is a silence….can’t say I’ve noticed such a thing.
What we did get was firstly a denial that there is a link between floods and climate change…but then we had ‘But physics says’…then it was ‘yes ‘….but you can’t claim a particular event…but….you have to look at the world as a whole and at patterns over many years.
So….that’ll be a sneaky yes then…they are claiming a link.
Prime Minister climate change opinion not backed up by science, says Met Office
Nicola Maxey from the Met Office said the Prime Minister failed to draw the crucial distinction between weather and climate change.
“What happened at the end of December and at the beginning of January is weather,” she said.
“Climate change happens on a global scale, and weather happens at a local scale. Climate scientists have been saying that for quite a while.
“It’s impossible to say that these storms are more intense because of climate change.”
She added: “In real terms we had a low depression over the Atlantic which deepened, which caused the swell, and that combined with the spring tide caused the coastal waves.”
Paul Davis, chief meteorologist for the Met Office said that very strong winds much of the UK experienced which was caused by jet stream.
“December has been the windiest spell since 1969, but unprecedented perhaps not. It probably feels unusual because the last few winters have been fairly settled and cold and we haven’t had the story conditions that just experienced.”
Direct from the Met. Office: There’s currently no evidence to suggest that the UK is increasing in storminess.
Still…we’ll just ignore all that.
Carry on…and panic.
Davis then gets onto the ‘vitriolic’ sceptics…..asking ‘Just how bad is it on Twitter…why would that deter you?’
Apparently sceptic reaction to ‘alarmist claims’ by scientists and environmentalists, is instant and overwhelming….and has everyone looking over their shoulders…from politicians, to scientists, to the media itself all worried about being attacked by the Sceptics.
Terrible thing isn’t it that lack of deference to assumed authority…but isn’t that what the 60’s was all about? How the tables have turned now ‘they’ are the Establishment.
Then paradoxically it was claimed that it was a strong lobby, powerful voices from politics, who silenced the scientists et al…such as the Tories….em…like who?…Tim Yeo?
Apparently the Science is being misrepresented and used for political purposes by the Sceptics, and that is putting off people from engaging with climate change.
Ironically Lynas said that he would ‘love it if we could just talk about the science…it would be very useful for society.’
The Sceptics would also love to talk about the science but shutting them out of that debate has been the aim of the likes of Harrabin, Joe Smith and Steve Jones….this very interview was part of the plot to malign Sceptics and silence them.
Then apparently you can’t be too alarmist….it’s such an important subject with such serious consequences that you have to grab people’s attention….however that doesn’t include the Science of it all…just the dramatic and dire consequences must be publicised so that all those drastic new green policies can be implemented.
So all in all a pretty dire interview, bias all round from presenter to guests, and a definite narrative trying to smear and vilify Sceptics.
However if you’ve read that previous post you will have seen that it is the Sceptics who have been at the receiving end of extreme abuse and threats…even climate scientist Phil Jones runs scared of the pro climate lobby:
“The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. Okay it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”
The BBC has often been the cheerleader for the abusers giving the nod and a wink to them by its own denigration and dismissal of the sceptics.
Richard Black was a prime suspect in this…here is a classic example where he questions the sanity of sceptics…smearing them either as being conspiracy theorists or abused in childhood:
[One view is that] climate scepticism has psychological roots; that it stems from a deep-seated inability or unwillingness to accept the overwhelming evidence that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads “climate hell”. As one climate advocate said…
“I’ve been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn’t be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood”.
And then there is Professor Steve Jones…fanatical climate change advocate who wants to silence the sceptics…..just why was a man so clearly biased allowed to review the BBC’s science output and advise the BBC on impartiality? Just who was it at the BBC that recommended Jones for the job? Harrabin?
Why then are Sceptics so sceptical you might ask?
Not such a puzzle…..Harrabin’s mate, Dr Joe Smith, can provide the answer perhaps…..
Perhaps it shouldn’t puzzle us that that the promise of rapid environmental and social change is greeted with a ‘gloom of inattention’.
Much of the current discussion about climate change falls between the overstated rhetoric of jeopardy, which is now having a diminishing public impact, and more sober and open-ended discussions of risk and uncertainty, which are largely unreported because they do not readily fit into media conventions.
Most of environmentalism has done little new work in over a decade, and its tendency towards hyperbole, and its reliance on a narrow stock of fear-based narratives appears to have left portions of the public apathetic and fateful, and others hostile.
And a bubble of alarmist environmental hype…..
Lord Stern suggests that ‘The quantity and quality of coverage of climate change has undoubtedly declined’.
Joe Smith: Climate contrarian voices are having a very good run of it I’d agree with that too. But should we be surprised? The last quarter of 2009 saw an inflated bubble of (monotonous) climate-worrying stories. Even in June of that year you could more or less book a ticket to watch the media bubble bursting in the days that followed COP15 that December. It didn’t require an intriguing Climategate or a disappointing Copenhagen conference: editorial and public boredom would have dished the news value of climate change with no further effort from anyone.
In 2009 Joe Smith said they needed a new angle, a new narrative…..don’t scare the punters…
What have been the achievements of the environmental community over the last 20 years?….The generation of fear, concern and anxiety….now we need a different set of emotions to get a working majority to engage people and change policies….creativity,, innovation, imagination, even passion.
Ironically he didn’t follow his own advice about not being alarmist…here in 2012 he signed a letter to the Guardian, natch, saying we had 50 months to save the Earth (that’ll be 35 now then)
‘On current trends, there are around just 50 months left before we cross a critical climate threshold. After that, it will no longer be ‘likely’ that we will stay on the right side of a 2 degree temperature rise.
Now we call on the government and opposition to say what they will do in the same time frame to grab the opportunity of action and prevent catastrophic climate change.’
‘Climate change must break out of its left-wing ghetto. Communicators need to drop the language and narratives of environmentalism that have only ever appealed to a minority of people.’
‘Here was a crime with international ramifications – the theft and release of more than 6,000 e-mails and other documents that lit a fire under mainstream climate science, perhaps contributing to the torpor in the UN climate process and raising the level of doubt in public minds…… the tsunami of doubt that “ClimateGate” spewed into the court of public opinion on climate change……in the folklore of the sceptical blogosphere, it’s achieved cult status; no doubt about that.‘
Possibly scepticism might just be the result of climate sceptics coming to realise that the climate scientists just don’t have a clue what is going on……the BBC’s Roger Bolton on Feedback said this:
Roger Bolton: Hello. BBC journalists are required to be impartial, as is the presenter of Feedback. But should one be impartial where the facts are clear?
Well that’s one question but another might be ‘are the facts clear?’ Is the science really settled?
Harrabin and Joe Smith of the CMEP have worked out a devious scheme to sideline sceptics…don’t talk about the science…talk about risk or how to stop the world warming…..
Climate change should not be responded to as a body of ‘facts’ to be acted upon (with the IPCC acting as prime arbiter). Instead it should be considered as a substantial and urgent collective risk management problem. Projecting climate change as a risk problem rather than a communication-of-fact problem helpfully deflates ‘debates’ about whether climate change is or is not a scientific fact.
My point is: lets not get stuck on the science. Climate change is a vast and widening body of investigation and debate: science is now barely the half of it, and in terms of political outcomes it is not the thing that counts.….a line that is designed to work for people who have ideological wax blocking their ears: ‘don’t get het up about communicating science – talk about clean American energy and jobs in a new efficient, competitive economy’.
But that’s the whole problem…..the facts are far from clear and becoming less clear as more is known…..the newspaper cutting illustrated at the top of the page shows that there was warming in the Arctic in the 1920’s, we also know that there was ‘Global cooling’ in the 1970’s….and then we have these types of claims….such as we’ll never see snow again….
This from 2012:
Decreasing amounts of ice in the far north is contributing to colder winters and drought, chief scientist Julia Slingo tells MPs
She added that more cold winters mean less water, and could exacerbate future droughts. “The replenishment of aquifers generally happens in winter and spring … a wet summer does not replenish aquifers. So we are concerned if we have a sequence of cold winters that could be much more damaging,” she told the committee.
Last month the environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, warned farmers that drought might become “the new normal” for the UK, because of climate change.
“Two very dry winters – this may be the new norm,” the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.
Laughably Harrabin doubts the Met. Office when they don’t toe the Green line:
“The trouble is that we simply don’t know how much to trust the Met Office.”
And then there’s this:
The ice is growing.
And today from WUWT we have this from the Green scientist’s Bible, ‘Nature’:
The journal Nature embraces ‘the pause’ and ocean cycles as the cause, Trenberth still betting his heat will show up
Read the article and you will see they smash the CO2 link to climate change…..but they can’t agree….one scientist claims one thing…others the complete, dare I say Polar, opposite:
‘There are two potential holes in his assessment. First, the historical ocean-temperature data are notoriously imprecise, leading many researchers to dispute Cane’s assertion that the equatorial Pacific shifted towards a more La Niña-like state during the past century. Second, many researchers have found the opposite pattern in simulations with full climate models, which factor in the suite of atmospheric and oceanic interactions beyond the equatorial Pacific.’
Here is that feedback programme with Roger Bolton…where the presenter is happy to label sceptics as ‘Deniers’…Bishop Hill was not impressed:
BBC Radio 4’s Feedback programme looked at the space given to global warming sceptics in the period covering the release of the Fifth Assessment Report.
The programme was shameless, stupid and dishonest.
What was so dishonest about the programme?…well for a start the so-called ‘callers’ were in fact people with vested interests in maintaining the green hoax…not mentioned by the BBC……merely calling them….‘some Feedback listeners’.
Source: BBC Radio 4: FeedbackURL: N/A
Date: 18/10/2013Event: Steve Jones about “passionate climate deniers” – “no point in talking to them”Attribution: BBC Radio 4Also see: Sep 27, 2013: BBC Radio 4: Bob Carter: the IPCC’s 95% probability is “hocus-pocus science”
Dr. Anjana Ahuja: Science writer and author
Roger Bolton: Presenter, BBC Radio 4: Feedback
Professor Bob Carter: Palaeontologist, stratigrapher and marine geologist
Roger Harrabin: BBC’s Environment Analyst
Professor Steve Jones: Emeritus Professor of Genetics, University College London
Simon Sharp [?]: Feedback listener
Peter Verney [?]: Feedback listener
Roger Bolton: Hello. BBC journalists are required to be impartial, as is the presenter of Feedback. But should one be impartial where the facts are clear? The World at One gave airtime to a climate change sceptic, a geologist. Right or wrong decision? Many Feedback listeners think: the latter.
Male listener: This person was not a climate scientist, and he was clearly not qualified to speak on the subject.
Roger Bolton: The author of a BBC Trust report into accuracy and balance in science reporting, Professor Steve Jones, is also critical of the World at One’s decision. But should voices which challenge the consensus be silenced? Isn’t that censorship?
Steve Jones: The problem with passionate climate change deniers out there is that whatever the evidence, they will not accept that they are wrong. So, under those circumstances, there’s no real point in talking to them.
So just who were those ‘Feedback listeners’?
Peter Verney, “Darfur’s Manmade Disaster,” Middle East Report Online, 22 July 2004.
Simon Sharp ‘I am the Director of Green Route Energy and have been working in the renewable energy sector for over 10 years. We take great pride in giving honest, jargon free advice on the various products and services on the market.‘
Hardly what you might call impartial callers….highly dishonest of the BBC to present them as such.
The whole point of the CMEP seminars and other work was to ‘improve the communication of climate change’….not to help you understand…but to get you to believe….to change the public’s behaviour…here we are explicitly told why:
Nick Pidgeon, Professor of Environmental Psychology at Cardiff University, told us that ‘communication is vital for the narrative. If the emerging evidence about the impacts of climate change – extreme weather events, floods, heat waves etc – are not communicated and not connected to climate change, then it won’t be possible to change behaviour or the public will not see it as a priority to adapt.
If the communication isn’t there, the lifestyle changes won’t happen.
Far from being ‘silent’ the BBC has been working hard to push that narrative…happily linking the floods to climate change…..
Battered Britain: Storms, Tides and Floods
After weeks of devastating weather across the UK, Sophie Raworth presents a special programme in which BBC News correspondents report on the scale of the damage, what caused it, and how those affected by it are coping.
Well..it wasn’t weeks of devastating weather…. a few days of powerful storms followed up by many days of rain….much of the damage was actually done by high tides.
‘The oldest man living does not remember such great floods and so much water. Everything beyond Bridgwater is like a sea.’ 1809
Here the BBC dishonestly concentrates on the Somerset Levels…a clue in the name there…just why do they flood? The BBC didn’t bother to reveal that they always flood, and have done for thousands of years.
The Somerset Levels, or the Somerset Levels and Moors as they are less commonly but more correctly known, is a sparsely populated coastal plain and wetland area of central Somerset, South West England, running south from the Mendip Hills to the Blackdown Hills.
One explanation for the county of Somerset’s name is that, in prehistory, because of winter flooding people restricted their use of the Levels to the summer, leading to a derivation from Sumorsaete, meaning land of the summer people.
We have had the new narrative from Harrabin about why we get more floods now apparently….we get the same rainfall but it comes in shorter more intense bursts….
Is the perceived rise in flooding real?
‘Could it be that this is more a function of urbanisation and flood plain development, than any significant increase in high intensity rainfall events?
And the media could have played their part in making us think that flooding is on the increase.
100 years ago we would have no idea if there had been flash floods in some parts of the country, but 24 news has changed all that and within hours pictures of floods from around the world are beamed into our living rooms.
This all adds to the perception that the frequency of serious floods are on the increase when it could be that its simply the awareness of flooding that has changed – coupled with the extensive flood plain development that we have witnessed in the last few decades.’
As this official plot shows there doesn’t seem to have been much change in rainfall patterns at all…and the earliest date must be around 1720…there is a distinct 50 year pattern:
The BBC continues to make dramatic headline linking floods and climate change:
Lack of research linking climate change and floods is a ‘scandal’
But hang on the BBC’s Matt McGrath says this:
Scientists expect rising emissions of carbon dioxide to weaken the temperature contrast between the Poles and the Equator leading to potentially weaker storms.
But aren’t the floods caused by global warming, caused by CO2, and which forced extreme cold air down from the Pole to meet very warm air from the South…the contrast generating the Polar Vortex in the US and the ‘extreme’ storms here? Now we’re told global warming will bring us weaker storms.
Very complicated all this. Just can’t keep up with all the great ideas.