Voyage Of The Damned Fools

The BBC reports today that a US ice-breaker, the Polar Star, has now been called in to rescue not only the trapped Akademik Shokalskiy, but also the Chinese rescue ship, the  Xue Long, which transferred those passengers from one to the other, and is now itself trapped. In other words, the ship which rescued the passengers from the trapped ship by flying them in a helicopter to another ship, which nearly got trapped, is trapped. There’s a Monty Python sketch in there somewhere.

The reality is that two ships, along with their crew (22 on the Russian ship, and 111 on the Chinese vessel), have gotten trapped in the ice due – allegedly – to the negligence of Prof. Chris Turney, who was out there to prove that the ice was, er, melting. I say “allegedly” because it’s pretty obvious that there will be legal repercussions from all this, and I’ll let all our lurking lawyers and journalists and non-lurking journalists go threaten Anthony Watts and others for prejudicing court proceedings instead of wasting our time. This post is about the BBC’s coverage (and cover-up in process) of the whole fiasco.

Yes, I know the ice melting was only one part of the official research reasons for the trip, which included studies of various wildlife and marine habitats. But the focus was on how Climate Change – which they all believe is caused by human activity – is affecting those things, just like the supposedly melting ice. Curiously, as some here have noticed, that purpose came and went throughout the BBC’s coverage of the story.

The Aurora Australis has finally been told it can head home with its new passengers, and will eventually be allowed to go back and finish what it was supposed to be doing: resupplying Australia’s research base, Casey Station. Hopefully nobody else in the area will need rescuing by an icebreaker, because the Xue Long won’t be able to help. The US Coast Guard icebreaker is similarly abandoning its own proper mission, as even the BBC reports, to resupply the US research station on Ross Island. 133 people are stuck, and who knows how many more actual scientists and their research have been severely inconvenienced by this tourist trip. Or was it a research trip? We’ll see.

The BBC is currently describing the Akademik Shokalskiy as a “Russian research vessel”. If and when it gets freed eventually (there’s still the possibility that the ice will crush the hull), its next scheduled task is to take a group of tourists around the Antarctic Peninsula. See, it originally was an actual research vessel, so the BBC is being “accurate” as usual. Only it’s retired from that and has been refitted as a tourist ship. The Expeditions Online website lists it as an “Expedition Ship”, and the amenities look appealing.

The Akademik Shokalskiy is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research. This class of vessel is world renowned for polar exploration, because of its strength, maneuverability and small passenger numbers. The Shokalskiy provides comfortable accommodation in double and twin cabins with private facilities. All cabins have outside windows and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room, where the science team and expedition staff will present a programme of talks.

Check out the website and you’ll see its “NOTICE TO REPORTERS” that they’re not the operators of the ship and are merely a booking agent. They know there will be legal ramifications and want to make sure nobody includes them as a defendant in any lawsuit.

Before we get to the inevitable legal repercussions, let’s examine just how cavalier with the truth the BBC has been during this whole saga. Aside from who is at fault here, there’s the question of the overall purpose of this little adventure. The official reason we’ve been fed by the BBC is that it was to retrace the footsteps of Douglas Mawson’s original tremendous scientific expedition to the region. We’re meant to ignore Turney’s own “Science Case” for the trip is all about the melting ice, and how Climate Change (and we all know there’s only one kind and one cause for these people) affects the wildlife and ocean habitats. All the other stuff is a sideshow, an aegis under which to do this.

Turney has written a book about Mawson (a free signed copy goes to anyone who sends him $400. A measly $200 will only get you the t-shirt. Hopefully all “expedition members” who paid $8000 minimum will at least get one of those for their trouble.). Mawson, of course, deserves all the respect in the world for his achievements. His truly scientific exploration essentially opened the world’s mind up to Antarctica. There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to retrace his steps and sort of duplicate his tests in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his pretty amazing expedition. When one considers that he barely survived the ordeal but through his own strength and initiative lived to tell about it, and compares his experience to the whining from certain members of today’s expedition, there’s much to discuss about what’s become of us as a species.

Unfortunately, Turney, who has done some proper science and is an experienced expedition leader, he set off expecting to find less ice. In addition to the terrific and often amusing coverage from Anthony Watts, Paul Homewood has been following this silly saga, and he too notices some BBC dishonesty. In this case, he’s calling out both Turney and the BBC:

BBC In Warmist Fantasyland

There have been various attempts to blame the debacle on global warming, but this one really is nonsensical.

According to the expedition report, filed by the Guardian:

“Direct access from the sea has been impossible for the past four years, however, ever since a 75-mile-long iceberg called B09B grounded itself in the entrance to Commonwealth Bay. A thick band of sea ice has since built up around the iceberg, sticking fast to the land and blocking ships from getting to Boat Harbour, where Mawson moored the Aurora in January 1912.”

And Chris Turney, leader of the expedition states that:

“The thick chaotic surface we see around the Shokalskiy is consistent with the idea that this ice is several years old and is considerably more difficult to break through by icebreaker than single year ice.”

NSIDC are quite clear just what sea ice is:

Sea ice is frozen seawater that floats on the ocean surface. Blanketing millions of square kilometers, sea ice forms and melts with the polar seasons, affecting both human activity and biological habitat. In the Arctic, some sea ice persists year after year, whereas almost all Southern Ocean or Antarctic sea ice is “seasonal ice,” meaning it melts away and reforms annually.

A scientist ignored other scientists, because of his own religious beliefs. And the BBC is enabling him to cover it up.

On Dec. 26, BBC journalist Andrew (Bad) Luck-Baker reported on how the science was continuing while they were stuck in the ice. In a moment of honesty, he admitted the Warmist intent of the expedition:

The goal of the modern day Australasian Antarctic Expedition is to repeat many of the original measurements and studies, to see how facets of the environment have changed over the past century. This passage of time coincides with warming and climate change in Antarctica.

Then we get to another level of spin. There’s also the question about who are all those other passengers who were not crew or scientists or PhD students or Guardinistas or Beeboids (or Google marketing mavens or Turney’s own family). Further down there’s this:

In addition to the Russian crew of 22, the expedition team consists of 18 professional scientists from Australia and New Zealand, and 22 volunteer science assistants. They are members of the public, ranging in age from their 20s to their 70s. They paid to join the scientific adventure.

So not eco-tourists, but “volunteer science assistants”.

A report on Jan. 2 stated that one of the goals of the expedition was “to track how quickly the Antarctic’s sea ice was disappearing”. So let’s not have any more denial that this wasn’t a Warmist expedition with a goal of “proving” their theory, rather than a simple historical retracing of Mawson’s journey.

On Dec. 28, it was a “scientific mission ship”. No mention of tourists, although they quoted one of them as a “science volunteer”. Actually, it was the same guy and the same quote (Bad) Luck-Baker included in the previous report. Didn’t he have time to speak to anyone else? Or were they all too busy with the yoga and knot-tying and songwriting?

Two days later, either he or the other BBC contributor (pulling double duty for the Guardian as well, naturally), Alok Jha, filmed “Expedition Member” Terry Gostlow telling the folks back home that they it was all “good fun” and they were hoping to get back home soon. Gostlow is not listed as either a Science Leader or a PhD student on the Spirit of Mawson website, so one assumes he’s another one of those paying volunteers.

On the same day, either (Bad) Luck-Baker, Jha, or a desk-bound editor filed a report when they learned that the Xue Long was on its way with the helicopter.

The Russian-flagged research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck in ice for nearly a week. It is carrying 74 scientists, tourists and crew.

Oops. On the same page, there’s an inset extra commentary from (Bad) Luck-Baker, where he refers to “research volunteers”. A different BBC report from the same day also refers to tourists.

On rescue day Jan. 2, though, the BBC reported that “the scientists and tourists were now all aboard the ship Aurora Australis.”

Oops again. So we’ve gone from “science volunteers” to “expedition member” to “research volunteers” to “tourists”, all in the space of a week.

I’m sounding sarcastic about this because the BBC’s inconsistency is rather telling. If they were true paying field assistants, actually involved somehow in helping the scientific work, nobody would dream of calling them tourists. I’m saying the BBC seems uninterested in letting you know much these paying customers were contributing in between attending lectures and praying to Gaia, not because there’s no such thing as science volunteers, paying or otherwise. In fact, I’m well aware that this is a very common thing in a number of scientific disciplines. Many archaeology and palaeontology projects simply wouldn’t be possible without lots of people paying their own way to help sort artifacts, spend hours in the heat painstakingly brushing away dirt, and even make the tea. These things are advertised regularly things in science and history magazines.

The fact that the BBC – an organization known to have the promotion of Warmism as a directive from the top – sometimes refers to the paying customers as tourists tells us that it’s not quite the same thing as people paying their way to help excavate some dinosaur bones or catalog a mind-numbing amount of 5000 year-old ostracons.

The reason I’m looking at these paying passengers is because this appears to be the deciding factor in what happened. Now that people are becoming aware that hell and lots of money will be paid, and the lawyers are sharpening their pencils, blame is being placed on Turney not only for an apparent lack of preparation (it seems that he didn’t make sure they had adequate weather reports), but for indulging his paying eco-tourist customers instead of heeding the ship captain’s warnings and getting out of harm’s way while there was still time, the BBC has rushed in to help with his defense.

Meanwhile Prof Chris Turney, co-leader of the AAE 2013, has defended the scientific value of the expedition and rejected claims it was a “tourist trip” hampered by poor preparation.

Writing in the UK’s Observer newspaper, he said the trip had been struck by bad luck as opposed to human error. He said it was an important scientific expedition and its success would ultimately be measured by peer-reviewed studies.

I’m sure Turney is very eager to reject those claims. Whatever he publishes from this expedition will only be reviewed by peers who already agree with his conclusions, but that’s neither here nor there. The problem for him is that it’s not just people the BBC will claim have a vested interest in damaging the reputation of Warmists saying it was due to human error: one of his own passengers has said it. The Australian Green politician, Janet Rice, said this on her own blog (h/t WUWT):

The third drama of the day is the one which is still unfolding. Because of the Argo mishap we got off late, and had one less vehicle to ferry people to and fro. I’m told the Captain was becoming rather definite late in the afternoon that we needed to get everyone back on board ASAP because of the coming weather and the ice closing in. As I write we are continuing to make extremely slow progress through what looks like a winter alpine snow field – it’s yet another surreal part of this journey that we are in a ship trying to barge our way through here! I’m sure the Captain would have been much happier if we had got away a few hours earlier.

In other words, Turney ignored the advice of his captain – someone who is an experienced  professional and knows the area and its conditions very, very well – in favor of indulging his science volunteers/research volunteers/expedition members/tourists. Read the whole blog and you’ll see that, while at least one actual scientist was taking seal tissue samples, the paying customers were there to commune with the penguins and have nice day out. Turney also wrote at a few days before this that he was surprised to see some ice move in so quickly. A pretty cavalier approach from start to finish is in evidence in other blog posts collected by one of Watt’s readers here.

The Argo to which she refers is one of three amphibious all-terrain research vehicles, which they damaged by towing it back in haste. Who’s going to pay for that? And who do you think paid the way for a Green politician? She sure wasn’t there to help constituents. She’s a Warmist and was there to support the cause.

There were others there not for science but to support the cause. Google did one of their Google Doodle competitions, and awarded two free trips to teachers whose students sent in the winning entries. They were there to do lesson plans and video chats to promote Warmism to children. No lesson plans have been published yet. Google also sent along their Australia/New Zealand branding and marketing manager (listed as part of the Science Team!). For Warmism.

To sum up, we have evidence that the expedition leader had a pre-conceived notion to expect less ice, wasn’t completely prepared for everything, and had a lot of tourists on board to complicate matters and placed an apparently undue burden on the expedition itself. Allegedly, of course. Notice, though, that the BBC has reported precisely none of this. They have, however, reported Turney’s surprise and excuses for the ice trapping them.

The BBC has been misleading about the reasons for the trip, the nature of many of the passengers, and the underlying as well as overt cause of their predicament. All in the name of supporting their Warmist agenda. They assigned two journalists, including World Service senior science editor (Bad) Luck-Baker, to follow the scientists around to tell you how the wildlife and environment was responding to climate change. Period. They say so  right here.

Alok Jha and Andrew Luck-Baker continue to follow the scientists on the ongoing Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013. They go out on fieldwork trips with the researchers studying how the wildlife that lives in this inhospitable environment is responding to climate change.

All the history stuff and retracing of Mawson’s footstep was window dressing for the Warmist agenda. In case there are any lingering doubts, the top listing on the Supporters page of the expedition website is Turney’s own Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales. I imagine not a few Australian citizens are going to question their government’s handing out taxpayer money for this as well.

You know what the BBC isn’t reporting? That the ice is, in fact, not melting the way they claim, and Global Warming isn’t ruining it. It turns out that the models predicting the horror show were not based on proper data, and so overestimated everything. You know that iceberg that Turney blames for trapping them? The one which AGW was supposedly causing to calve? In reality, actual scientists have discovered that it’s been ground away on an underwater ridge. Even what he blames for what he wrongly blames is wrong. BBC Science editor Jonathan Amos wrote about that underwater ridge once, but I think he got away with it. I can’t even find it now.

More recently, just as the whole expedition coverage was kicking off, Amos managed to report that satellite data showed ice loss in West Antarctica, nowhere near Mawson’s Hut, in order to reinforce the dogma that we were all going to be doomed by rising sea levels. He wisely refrained from openly blaming AGW there. He’s done more reports on the new satellite data showing a microscopic rise in sea levels due to a little melting Antarctic ice, but doesn’t remind everyone that it’s not due to AGW, which he ought to be doing at every opportunity so that people don’t get the wrong idea. Of course, that wrong idea is the correct one the BBC wants their audience to have.

The entire thing was expected to give a boost to the whole Warmist agenda, so the BBC eagerly assigned two people to go along, and spent who knows how much of your license fee to do it. Once the whole thing went wrong and everyone started to find out it was half science, half eco-tourism, all with a dedicated agenda, they played around with the truth in order to keep the image of historical reenactment going. I fear that information will not be available via FOI requests, because journalism. In any case, it’s your license fee hard at work.

I suspect Prof. Turney might get thrown under the bus by people who see this foolish voyage as damaging to the cause. Let’s see how the BBC covers it.

 

 

REAPING THE WHIRLWIND

Putting the BBC in charge of a project to arbitrate the accuracy of weather forecasting organisations in the UK is a bit like Josef Mengele running research into the science of eugenics. They (from the Trustees down) long since made their collective mind up that man-made global warming is definitely happening, and that the warmist fanatics at the Meteorological Office are therefore to be believed in their fantasist modelling. Nevetheless, Roger Harrabin persuaded his bosses to shell out a bucket-load of our cash on such a project, no doubt spurred on by the corporate missionary zeal to prove wrong the hated “denialists” who dare to question warmist weather orthodoxy. Last month, as the linked report shows, Mr Harrabin announced that his pet scheme was on the verge of going ahead, and he listed an impressive array of weather organisations and forecasters who were poised to take part.

But, as the Mail reports today, they aren’t. If the report is accurate, all of the forecasters on Mr Harrabin’s list who might reasonably called sceptical about warmist zeal – including the impressive but deeply sceptical Jo Bastardi and Piers Corbyn – are instead turning their fire on the BBC for their pre-determined political views on the topic. Independent forecaster David King is quoted as saying the BBC organisation is “factional”.

Irrespective of what actually happens, it does not take a genius to work out that the project will struggle to persuade anyone that it is objective or valid. The BBC has been outrageously partisan on the subject of the weather so systematically and for so long that the corporation’s credibility in this arena is entirely shot. Andrew Montford’s masterful analysis of the warmist hijacking of the Royal Society emhpasises yet again the key role in the spreading of warmist propaganda played by Roger Harrabin – as does Autonomous Mind here. As you sow, so shall you reap.

Ignorant US People Astonish Katty Kay

Check out Katty Kay – taking over for Matt Frei as alpha Beeboid at BBC World News America since he left for Channel 4 – telling Mayor Bloomberg of New York that she is “astonished” to learn that more and more people in the US are turning away from Warmism.

“What is it with the American public opinion that seems to fly in the face of all the scientific evidence?”

Calm down, dear. Substitute any other political issue and the Beeboids are usually equally astonished by American public opinion. But never mind.

First of all, it’s not that the people don’t believe the climate changes. That’s BS Number One from the Warmists. Of course the climate changes; we all know that and it’s not in dispute. The question is whether or not it’s caused mostly by human activity. The science on that is being debated all the time, yet the BBC acts as if it’s not, and only whackos don’t get it.

The reason I call this BS #1 is that the very euphemism the Warmists have forced into the discussion – “Climate Change” – is disingenuous. What they all really mean is Anthropogenic Global Warming. The “science” of AGW, invented by people whose careers and fortune depend on it becoming fact, is what Katty is talking about, and not about whether or not the earth’s climate changes or was in a warming trend for a while. But because the Warmists have already won the argument – if you’re using their terminology, they’ve already won the argument, even if you’re still talking – Katty and the BBC can get away with saying that people like me don’t believe in “Global Warming” when in fact it’s that we don’t believe that building one more clean coal plant will sink the Maldives. The recent record cold temperatures around the US probably don’t help. But that’s only weather, yeah.

The reason they switched terms is because “Global Warming” can mean all things to all people. There is no cause or effect implied. Yet we know the BBC and all Warmists believe the cause is human activity, as the topic of this discussion between Kay and Bloomberg proves. As the term itself is dishonest, this BBC segment is dishonest and Katty and Mayor Mikey are dishonest for using the term.

Mayor Bloomberg, of course, is a committed Warmist and an über-Nanny Statist. Don’t even get me started on the behavior he’s banned against the wishes of New Yorkers. Hell, even the fact that he’s mayor right now is undemocratic, because he went against the voters – and his own promise – and twisted enough arms to change the term limit rules so he could buy a third election run for mayor a third time (and I speak as someone who happily voted for him the first time, knowing full well that he was a RINO Nanny). So this guy is the perfect example of an elite ruling class forcing his own personal wishes on a helpless public. No wonder the BBC wanted to talk to him. As soon as Bloomberg says “reduce consumption”, you know where he and the BBC stand. All your personal freedoms are belong to us.

I’m not going to bother getting into more details of Katty’s interview with the mayor, because it’s beyond the point. The BBC – as admitted by Jeremy Paxman in the sidebar – long ago took sides in the debate, and actively works to pursue a specific political agenda. Carbon emission regulations, coal plant permits, government subsidy/investment in various technologies, and the regulations for the entire automotive industry are all political issues. Even if we’re talking about seat belts in cars or helmets for motorcycles, creating a law about any of it is a political issue. No matter which side one is on, it’s done in the legislature by – in theory – democratically elected representatives, and these laws can be changed or repealed entirely by the next batch of democratically elected representatives if that’s what the voters want.

It doesn’t matter which side of the Warmism debate one is on. Legislation is political, full stop. The BBC always takes sides in this specific political issue, and deliberately chooses disingenuous language to support it. And as seen here, they do political advocacy posing as news and information.

Earth Hour vs Human Achievement Hour

On Radio Five Live’s Morning Reports today Nick Bryant ended a piece about Earth Hour with a quick reference to the Competitive Enterprise Institute counter campaign, Human Achievement Hour. The response from the newsreader in the studio (Vicki Sperrey?) amused me. Just in case listeners were in any doubt whose side the BBC is on…

OMG Global Warming!!!

BBC environment correspondent Richard Black, quoted by Robin Horbury yesterday:

I’m not surprised at the level of UK scepticism as the main impacts of climate change are decades away and in other places. The problem is poor science awareness. We need to improve science education so people properly understand climate science.

So it’s the sceptics who need educating is it?

http://twitter.com/alexporter82/statuses/9733582968
http://twitter.com/Meggyyyyy/statuses/9733330327
http://twitter.com/JamesG29803/statuses/9731734871
http://twitter.com/shine2u/statuses/9742357989

http://twitter.com/A_n_gel/statuses/9743615199
http://twitter.com/RexRayFan/statuses/9752321618
http://twitter.com/justthemo/statuses/9746625752
http://twitter.com/MichelleMichie/status/9746011386
http://twitter.com/Penguinchic1/statuses/9770095174
http://twitter.com/IshaSG/statuses/9768322179

http://twitter.com/Bibhuti_Bhusan/status/9765934744

http://twitter.com/iamanushka/statuses/9765786835
http://twitter.com/rjscheiwillerr/statuses/9765581299
http://twitter.com/hdnyc/statuses/9765292555
http://twitter.com/senoritamayra/statuses/9764404410
http://twitter.com/bineshbharath/statuses/9752728734
http://twitter.com/VitoFun/status/9740331086
http://twitter.com/camillabraine/statuses/9750411050
http://twitter.com/EllissaP/status/9749480794

There’s lots, lots more like that. At least they’re not uneducated idiots like those sceptics.

Update 17.30
. Let’s not overlook the fact that it’s probably all about oil too.

Won’t You Listen To The Children?

The dust has long settled over Hoaxenhagen and we are all still alive. 50 Days To Save The World turned out to be merely alive in a combination of Gordoom’s head and the hand-wringing siren call of the Warmists. Despite ClimateGate and a growing body of evidence to the contrary, rather like a George Romero zombie, the hysteria of AGW just won’t die.

Consider this BBC “look back” over the conference – when schools around the world shared their views through Climate Change Interactive, a BBC World Class project with the British Council (which means you funded it both ways! Bonus!).

These are selected excerpts from the BBC site which make for scary reading in their drone-like rote. Of course these children are all being drip-fed with this nonsense by their respective education authorities, but as all 29 contributions are slavishly pro-AGW one has to ask: Were no non-conformist views submitted for this list? If none, were the BBC asking a balanced question or was a question framed to deliver these responses? Were the responses filtered to remove any sceptical input? And why does the BBC not inform children that there is a contrary school of thought…as a neutral news source should?

We believe that we’re affected by climate change because it seems like winter starts earlier.
Sleepy Hollow High School, New York State, USA

Many dust storms blow in the area where I live. There is dust everywhere. Mostly it is very hot, sometimes exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. The duration of summer is increasing.
Government Boys Middle School, Kamboh Nagar, Khanewal, Pakistan

I’ve noticed the water getting further up the side of the pier and the banks.
Sanday Community School, The Orkneys, Scotland

Bournemouth’s main industry is tourism and the wet, drab, grey summers we have been having recently, as well as our beaches are getting washed away with the storms are seriously affecting our income as a town.
Avonbourne School, Bournemouth, England

We are affected by climate change, because in winter it gets colder than before and hotter too in summer.
Al Baihani High Model School, Aden, Yemen

There are a couple of gems though. You’ve got to admire this entry:
There are no ‘seasons’ in our country; it’s just hot, hot, and hot!
Dhahran Ahliyya Schools, Dhahran, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

Erm, yep. “Saudi Arabia” was my clue. Steering into dangerous BBC waters we also have:

The only one who controls it is God.
Njad School, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

How did that one sneak past the BBC anti-Christian censors?
This continuous AGW propaganda is nonsense with a hat on.

Hat-tip to G.O.T. for the graphic, and this post crossed with John Horne Tooke mentioning it on the previous thread.

END OF THE WORLD UPDATE… (Pt 2)

Having read David Vance’s post on Gordon Brown’s maniacal prophesies of impeding doom it seemed rude not to take a further look.

Not bias, but to be filed under General Hilarity. Sometimes story placement is just too good to ignore.

PM warns of climate ‘catastrophe’  right next to Millions tricked by ‘scareware‘. Brilliant.

Tactical change of climate

The above video shows what could be called the power of nightmares- a form of Governmental abuse. The BBC yesterday published an article questioning the reality of global warming. One of the sickening things about the BBC is its ability both to change the climate of opinion, and use its journalistic license and political antennae to change course and retain its reputation. When will we get the apology for the rush to declare the debate on warming over? When will they admit they played a part in creating the hysteria which politicians like eager and brainless vampires feed on? Is it ever right to “abandon the pretence of impartiality” as Paxman claimed the BBC had? Now will they be returning to a semblance of impartiality? Why was this only a “pretence” in the first place? Will they not now still hanker after being proved right and keep pushing the MMGW hypothesis as “news”? The BBC’s coverage of climate, and its consequences in the political discourse of this country, represent one of the most powerful arguments against the BBC’s existence.

Sunhats off

Yes, sunhats off to Tyler at Burning our Money who draws something to my attention: the reason the BBC are biased on the “climate change” issue is because they decided to be two years ago. This decision may be rather more controversial now than then, as sceptics are more organised and data more negative for the AGW hypothesis. DV mentioned a related study last week.

I can’t have been reading the excellent Mr Tyler’s blog back then, or if I did I missed it; certainly Jeremy Paxman seemed to have missed it when he said that “People who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that [global warming] is the consequence of our own behaviour. I assume that this is why the BBC’s coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago” (as chronicled in our sidebar). He assumed correctly (in a sense), but he needn’t have assumed. [in fact I think Paxman may have been having a dig here: a long time ago being well before it became official BBC policy]

Tyler reported in ’07 (and I missed) that the BBC in their report called, ahem, “safeguarding impartiality”, said that “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.”

So that was that: by fiat the BBC decided the narrative had changed; what numerous people from scientific and non-scientific backgrounds either refused to be convinced by or actively disbelieved had actually to be promulgated.

This is excellent evidence that the “impartiality” meme on which the BBC base their public service justification is unworkable, at least if they are also to “educate and inform”. To do these they need to know “the truth” about newsworthy issues, which is oxymoronic really- they wouldn’t be news if they were as predicable as “truth” (for want of a better word) needs to be. Apple falls from tree- shock, disbelief!

Anyway, yesterday Roger Harrabin started criticising the Met Officefor failed forecasts- the same Met Office which has been teaching the Beeb all about global warming. Is this preparatory for what could be known as the BBC’s Great Climate Trackback?

BBC Climate Blog

The extent of the BBC’s faith in the global warming mantra was in evidence today as they worked up an articleto claim that- contrary to all the actual trendlines of temperatures in existence- we are facing a greater threat from climate change than so far believed.

It really feels like a flame-war between blogs- the more the BBC find their tendentious theory challenged by reality and by the people who inconvenientlly notice it, the more they ramp-up the rhetoric.

Well, this is perhaps not totally fair to them- but earlier this week there was a report released by the Met Office and covered by the Guardianwhich criticised global warming exaggeration. I didn’t hear anything about it on the BBC, and couldn’t find reference to it on the BBC website- showing perhaps that the BBC are not afraid to diverge from their climate mentors when a sacred cow is threatened. Yet when one scientist squeals that global warming is underestimated, it adorns the Sunday morning frontpage of the BBC website.

As the excellent Wattsupwiththat? website says, the BBC misreported the issue raised and misrepresented the qualifications of the scientist featured. Ignorance and bias going hand in hand, unsurprisingly.

Meanwhile, back at the batcave …

… Peter Rippon, editor of Newsnight, has responded to the complaints about how an audio clip of President Obama’s inaugural speech was spliced, had its order altered, and then was rejoined to make a new sentence never actually spoken by Obama.

The original post in Harmless Sky can be read here. My B-BBC post on the subject is here.

Mr Rippon writes,

We did edit sections of the speech to reflect the elements in it that referred to Science. The aim was to give people an impression or montage of what Obama said about science in his inauguration speech. This was signposted to audiences with fades between each point. It in no way altered the meaning or misrepresented what the President was saying.

I don’t think Mr Rippon’s response answers the objections raised.

Point one: fades, what fades? Listening to the audio clip there is a change in the quality of the background sound at the first splice point, which I initially heard as a faint sound but now think is just a discontinuity. No one who was not listening specifically for the break point would ever think it was anything other than a continuous flow of speech. Fades are meant to, you know, fade.

Point two: there is not even that at the second break point – it runs smoothly on.

Point three: what about the alteration of the order? Someone just offering up a montage of phrases doesn’t mess with the order such that a new, coherent (but never actually spoken) sentence is created.

Point four: the meaning was altered and TonyN’s original post in Harmless Sky explained very clearly why. He wrote, “Paragraph 16 does not refer to climate change in any way, but to economic and infrastructure problems. The reference to harnessing the sun, wind and soil could as easily refer to energy security as global warming.” But in the BBC version it does appear to refer to global warming.

I would add that in the original sentence as spoken by Obama, “We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost”, the fact that science being restored to its rightful place is immediately followed by a reference to healthcare gives me the strong impression that it was meant to refer to lifting restrictions on the federal funding of research into embryonic stem cells. The BBC version, “We will restore science to its rightful place – roll back the spectre of a warming planet”, makes it sound as if the restoration of science to its rightful place refers to President Bush’s alleged scepticism over global warming. This interpretation is reinforced by the whole tone of Susan Watts’ blog post and video essay: “But in climate change and other key challenges of science, Bush wouldn’t listen to the scientists. He didn’t like their view of the world, and he didn’t like what they were saying.”

Blimey, that sounds like something aimed at ten-year olds. I am not Obama’s biggest fan, but at least when speaking in his own words he sounds like he is addressing adults.

BBC spliced and joined separate parts of President Obama’s speech in order to make it appear to take a stronger line on global warming.

Steve T in comments pointed out this post by TonyN of “Harmless Sky”.

TonyN links to an audio clip of Obama apparently saying, “We will restore science to its rightful place, [and] roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”

But, as TonyN writes:

I didn’t seem to remember him saying that at all.

When the program [i.e. Newsnight – NS] was over, I went back to the text and this is what I found.

It would seem that someone at the BBC had taken the trouble to splice the tape so that half a sentence from paragraph 16 of the inauguration speech was joined on to half a sentence from paragraph 22, and this apparently continuous sound bite was completed by returning to paragraph 16 again to lift another complete sentence.

Read the rest of his detailed analysis. Incidentally, I couldn’t hear an “and” at the first splice-point of the audio clip, just an unidentifiable noise.

(Added later.) To make one sentence out of two widely separated half-sentences would be shabby and manipulative enough for a broadcaster. To then interfere with the order in which things were said, so that the sentence fragment about “a warming planet” has been falsely interposed between other phrases to which it had no real link, is yet worse. The BBC has gone beyond “dowdification” into something else. “Beebification”, perhaps.

(Another update.) You can hear the spliced audio clip directly from the BBC in the “video essay” at the base of this blog post by Susan Watts, Newsnight‘s science editor. Quite apart from the splicing, the Susan Watts post itself would provide material enough for another B-BBC post (“Scientists have grown used to attempts to silence them”) – but I have to be gone.

UPDATE 24 JAN.: There is a further post discussing the response of the editor of Newsnight to complaints about this here.

Not a peep

You probably don’t know that Slovenia (that little country between Austria and Croatia) has just experienced its lowest recorded temperatures – 47 degrees below zero. Even were it the case that other news sources had no interest in this information due to global warming enthusiasm, the BBC is supposed to compensate for the innate bias of non-public funded media- so it is usually argued. In fact, the Beeb is married to the Met, which does a nice line in giving global warming advice (but is rather poorer at getting the weather right). Corporate socialism you see- shielded, funded, its interests well and truly vested in convenient paradigms and worldviews. This is also known as b-i-a-s, and it’s what this website is concerned with.

The climate inquisition continues…


I hope Umbongo will forgive my posting his comment here, but it’s rather good. The glee with which criticism of The Great Global Warming Swindle was publicised by the BBC was noted, for instance here on EURef. Little wonder then that this point of view is amplified and repeated, just in case we missed it (actually, I think we did fail to mention it “up top” so to speak…), today on the BBC:

“Another landmark in “impartiality” was reached today in Lisa Jardine’s “A Point of View” Radio 4 at 8:45 this morning. In slagging off anthropomorphic climate change scepticism she shows her deep misunderstanding of the origins of legal process in England by claiming that the English confrontational system of trial is a direct descendant of the Roman Republican system epitomised by the trials starring Cicero. That England’s system derives from development of the Common Law brought here by our Anglo-Saxon and Viking ancestors escapes her. But, of course, she is trying to make another rather more serious and controversial point. That point is that the system of finding the “real” truth by setting out the opposing “truths” epitomised by “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Global Warming Swindle” might confuse the punters.

For her the “closely argued” and consensually accepted truth of the Gore film (although she admits that in a court of law – ah you see where she’s coming from – some of the “facts” were found to be . . . er . . lies) is contrasted with the outpourings of a “vocal tiny minority” through the Channel 4 documentary. She doesn’t claim that any of the facts contradicting AGW in the “Swindle” were lies but relies on the finding that the warmist scientists quoted/interviewed were misled into taking part in a polemic. She likes polemics but not if they contradict her “truth”. So we have on TV a simulacrum of (to her) the discredited English system of getting at “legal” truth opposed by her preferred “false but accurate” argument of the BBC impartiality mind-set of which she is such an enthusiastic proponent. She closed the programme by wondering if the vocal non-consenting minorities should (a la Hansen) be silenced – if not prosecuted – for daring to oppose the consensus.

Lisa Jardine is the daughter of Jacob Bronowski. The final image of Dr B, in his “Ascent of Man”, standing in the mud at Auschwitz is implanted in my brain. He wept and said that Auschwitz and, by implication, all the other hell-holes constructed by Man, is the unavoidable destination reached by the denial and silencing of truth. Were he still alive I don’t think Dr B would be proud of his daughter.”

Who ate all the pies?

More nonsense reporting from the BBC. A generous portion of the BBC’s bias lies in giving credence to outlandish leftist notions- such as that the cause of food shortages is obesity.

Why exactly the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is calculating the costs of John Prescott’s sad “condition” is one of many unanswered questions from this report.

Let’s just consider some real news shall we? How about Alistair Darling’s attack on EU grain tariffs, which actually do keep food prices high? I couldn’t find a BBC story on it or the backlash. Or how about the story mentioned in this report of how the UK Treasury is dealing with its debt problems by raking in from the high fuel prices which make food so expensive?

How about a bit more on the impact of biofuels on food production? Some number crunching there would be more than welcome.

The war on fatties is pure diversion from the machinations of politicians. The BBC is entirely complicit in these. Politics, statism, and the manipulation of the populace is the BBC’s stock in trade.