Hypocrisy of the BBC


BBC: loves Gore, hates Lawson

BBC: loves Gore, hates Lawson

Censorship now rules at the British publicly funded broadcaster, the BBC.

On a current affairs programme in February of this year, Lord (Nigel) Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) was brought in to debate Sir Brian Hoskins of the (ultra alarmist) Grantham Institute, home of the odious Bob Ward.

Subsequently, a Greens activist (naturally) complained that the BBC was guilty of giving ‘false balance’ to the flat-earthers. Hugh Muir of the Grauniad takes up the story:

It still sends a frisson down the spine of certain producers to give airtime to the former chancellor Lord Lawson so that he can chip away at the widespread scientific agreement over the causes and impact of climate change. The temperature is always a little higher with a heretic in the room. And yet this route towards excitement has its dangers. As the go-to guy in the thinktank of his own creation, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Lawson was called in February to the studios of the Today programme for debate with Sir Brian Hoskins, a climatologist from Imperial College London.

Things did not go as they should, and the broadcast became the subject of a complaint from Chit Chong, a Green party activist. Reviewing the broadcast, the BBC’s head of editorial complaints, Fraser Steel, took a dim view. “Lord Lawson’s views are not supported by the evidence from computer modelling and scientific research,” Steel says, “and I don’t believe this was made sufficiently clear to the audience … Furthermore the implication was that Lord Lawson’s views on climate change were on an equal footing with those of Sir Brian.”

And they aren’t. Sceptics have their place in the debate, Steel says in his provisional finding, but “it is important to ensure that such views are put into the appropriate context and given due (rather than equal) weight.” Chong is only partially satisfied. He’d like a right of reply and perhaps a balancing programme. And others say “due weight” should mean not having Lawson on at all. Still, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Furthermore, the Telegraph reports:

Lord Lawson wrote that Fraser Steel, head of the unit, apologised to Mr Chong “for the fact I was allowed to appear on the programme and to make clear this will not happen again”.

In other words, they won’t be inviting Lawson back, effectively censoring his contribution to the debate.

But let’s look at whether the BBC sticks to its own rules, and, guess what? Surprise! The ‘false balance’ argument only applies to sceptics.

A Google search of “Al Gore” and climate on the bbc.co.uk site reveals nearly 12,000 hits, and top result is from just three days ago! Didn’t they get the memo? You can’t have unqualified people speaking about climate! We all know that Al Gore has no science qualifications and therefore has no right to speak on climate change, apart perhaps from having made a ludicrous and inaccurate propaganda video in 2007.

But that doesn’t stop the BBC giving Gore a platform to spout yet more propaganda, unchallenged.

See? It’s not a question of false balance, it’s a question of getting the right message out – the alarmist message. As Lawson rightly says:

“If there is to be a ban on non-scientists discussing climate change issues (which I do not, of course, support), this should in the best BBC tradition be an even-handed one. That is to say, they should also ban non-scientists such as energy secretary Ed Davey, Ed Miliband, Lord Deben (chairman of the government’s climate advisory committee), Lord Stern (former adviser to the government on the economics of climate change and development) and all the others who are regularly invited to appear.”

Let’s have a look at the ABC (the Australian Bolsheviks Collective) here in Australia. Top of the list must be cracked-crystal-ball-wielding Tim Flannery, he of the many and varied dud predictions. A Google search of his name on the ABC web site reveals nearly 7,000 hits with ‘climate’. Just last week, the ABC spruiked Flannery as a ‘climate scientist’ (see image).

Flannery a 'climate scientist'?

Flannery a ‘climate scientist’? [click to enlarge]

He is nothing of the sort, of course. He’s a mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist (whatever that is), and… ta da! … ‘global warming activist’. Thus spake Wikipedia. So it doesn’t matter if you’re not a climate scientist, global warming activist will do just as well.

We can add to our list other favourites of the ABC, Stephan Lewandowsky (psychologist), Clive Hamilton (no idea, but certainly not climate science), Robyn Williams, etc etc. So it’s all fine and dandy for our public broadcaster to drag in unqualified persons to rattle on about climate change, as long as it’s the approved message they’re spouting.

But think about the reverse – if engaging Lawson to debate Hoskins is false balance, how about the BBC get on the phone to Dr Roy Spencer, or Pat Michaels, or Richard Lindzen? They are as distinguished climate scientists as you could hope to get, so that should satisfy the ‘false balance’ conundrum, right?

Er, no. Roy Spencer manages a tad over 300 mentions on bbc.co.uk, and only one in the last 12 months… and a fair amount of those hits may also be reader comments.

Surely Lindzen will do better?

Nope. The learned professor manages just over 200 mentions, and in the last four years, just three…

How about Pat Michaels?

Zero. Nada. Zilch. Zippo.

Clearly the BBC isn’t trying very hard to find any kind of balance on climate, and would rather censor debate in its own Stalinist fashion.

BBC’s shameful climate propaganda seminar exposed


Activists, all of them...

Activists, all of them…

I wonder how much of the same goes on at our own publicly funded broadcaster? Probably all of it.

Whenever there is a climate change story to be covered, the ABC will rush to its favourites: David Karoly (alarmist), Matthew England (alarmist), Clive Hamilton (Green, activist), Stephan Lewandowsky (“scepics are conspiracy theorist fruit cakes”), Will Steffen (alarmist), Tim Flannery (alarmist), and the list goes on.

After lawyering up and spending thousands of licence fee payer’s cash on opposing Freedom of Information requests, the story is finally out, as the Daily Mail reports:

The BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds over six years trying to keep secret an extraordinary ‘eco’ conference which has shaped its coverage of global warming, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The controversial seminar was run by a body set up by the BBC’s own environment analyst Roger Harrabin and funded via a £67,000 grant from the then Labour government, which hoped to see its ‘line’ on climate change and other Third World issues promoted in BBC reporting.

At the event, in 2006, green activists and scientists – one of whom believes climate change is a bigger danger than global nuclear war – lectured 28 of the Corporation’s most senior executives.

Then director of television Jana Bennett opened the seminar by telling the executives to ask themselves: ‘How do you plan and run a city that is going to be submerged?’ And she asked them to consider if climate change laboratories might offer material for a thriller.

A lobby group with close links to green campaigners, the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT), helped to arrange government funding for both the climate seminar and other BBC seminars run by Mr Harrabin – one of which was attended by then Labour Cabinet Minister Hilary Benn.

Applying for money from Mr Benn’s Department for International Development (DFID), the IBT promised Ministers the seminars would influence programme content for years to come.

The BBC began its long legal battle to keep details of the conference secret after an amateur climate blogger spotted a passing reference to it in an official report.

Tony Newbery, 69, from North Wales, asked for further disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The BBC’s resistance to revealing anything about its funding and the names of those present led to a protracted struggle in the Information Tribunal. The BBC has admitted it has spent more than £20,000 on barristers’ fees. However, the full cost of their legal battle is understood to be much higher.

Read it all, then go and visit Tony’s blog: Harmless Sky

The ABC’s Charter


Leans to the Left

Leans to the Left

Pinched from Biased-BBC and tweaked remarkably little:

  1. The BBC ABC is an institution that must always be part of the public sector & funded by the licence fee taxpayer,
  2. Any criticism of the BBC ABC is simply the result of politicians attempting improper influence,
  3. High public expenditure is good: the public sector is preferable to the private sector, which by seeking the profit motive, is inherently evil,
  4. Margaret Thatcher John Howard was an evil woman man whose policies ruined Britain Australia [and Tony Abbott is likewise an evil man whose policies will ruin Australia]: BBC ABC spokesmen should, wherever possible, use the word “Thatcherite Howard Era” disparagingly and contemptuously,
  5. The Murdoch empire is inherently evil and must be shown to be such at every opportunity, The Guardian, Observer and Independent The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald are fine newspapers, whereas the others are beyond the pale.
  6. Left wing comedians such as Jeremy Marieke Hardy, Mark Steele, David Mitchell and Jo Brand Catherine Deveny, the Chaser Boys and the team from The Hamster Decides are to be hired as much as possible by the BBC ABC: the more obscene and offensive their output, the better the BBC ABC likes it,
  7. Christians who openly wear a cross are suspect (Israelis are similarly suspect) whereas Muslims must always be granted craven levels of deference,
  8. High levels of immigration are good, and anyone seeking to limit uncontrolled mass immigration is racist,
  9. The EU UN is ” A GOOD THING” and people opposing it should have their views ridiculed and disparaged,
  10. Global warming due to man’s activities is a fact: it cannot be disputed,
  11. Public and Grammar Private schools are inherently bad whereas comprehensive public schools are inherently good. Failing comprehensive public schools do so because of lack of funding, political interference or being located in areas of deprivation: however their failings can never be blamed on the teaching profession,
  12. The state must always protect all people from any harm or misfortune irrespective of cost to the taxpayer, or their behaviour.

One more added in the comments:

  • No government was in power between 2007 and 2013. All the bad things happening to Britain Australia are entirely attributable to the Tory-led coalition after 2010 Abbott government since September 2013 or to Thatcher Howard (see 4 above).

And one of my own:

  • A highly doubtful story about a conservative politician allegedly punching a wall in the 1970s (but which nobody actually saw) will be afforded widespread and continual coverage, whereas a well documented alleged fraud of union funds in which a bunch of Labor goons appear to have been in it up to their necks, and which is currently before the courts, will be suppressed as not being newsworthy.

Please feel free to add to the list in the comments!

Group-think described


Group-think rules…

Group-think rules…

Christopher Booker, writing in the UK Telegraph, points to a fascinating extract from a book entitled “The Blunders of our Governments” by Anthony King and Ivor Crewe. The extract in question refers to the work of an American psychology professor in the 1960s, Irving J. Janis, who studied the cultural phenomenon of group-think.

When reading the following paragraphs, keep in the forefront of your mind the following:

  • the ABC (and its ideological twin the BBC);
  • John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli of Skeptical Science;
  • Stephan Lewandowsky and his psychology mates, and
  • the majority of the ‘consensus’ community in climate science

and see how much of it can be applied to them.

Janis became intrigued by a sequence of unfortunate episodes in modern American history that seemed to him to display a number of common characteristics: the Roosevelt administration’s faiure in 1941 to prepare for a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; the Truman administration’s rash decision in late 1950 to invade North Korea; the launching of President John F. Kennedy’s clownish Bay of Pigs expedition in 1961; and Lyndon B. Johnson’s escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War during the mid-1960s. To that original list, he later added President Richard M. Nixon’s attempt to cover up his own and his henchmen’s complicity in the notorious Watergate break-in of 1972.

According to Janis, whose views are now almost universally accepted, group-think is liable to occur when the members of any face-to-face group feel under pressure to maintain the group’s cohesion or are anyway inclined to want to do that. It is also liable to occur when the group in question feels threatened by an outside group or comes, for whatever reason, to regard one or more outside individuals or groups as alien or hostile. Group-think need not always, but often does, manifest itself in pathological ways. A majority of the group’s members may become intolerant of dissenting voices within the group and find way, subtle or overt, of silencing them. Individual group members may begin to engage in self-censorship, suppressing any doubts they harbour about courses of action that the group seems intent on adopting. Latent disagreements may thus fail to surface, one result being that the members of the group come to believe they are unanimous when in reality they may not be. Meanwhile, the group is likely to become increasingly reluctant to engage with outsiders and to seek out information that might run counter to any emerging consensus. If unwelcome information does happen to come the group’s way, it is likely to be discounted or disregarded. Warning signs are ignored. The group at the same time fails to engage in rigorous reality-testing, with possible alternative courses of action not being realistically appraised.

And the following paragraph could have been written for our friend Professor Lewandowsky:

Group-think is also, in Janis’s view, liable to create “an illusion of invulnerability, shared by most or all the members, which creates excessive optimism and encourages taking extreme risks”. Not least, those indulging in group-think are liable to persuade themselves that the majority of their opponents and critics are, if not actually wicked, then at least stupid, misguided and probably self-interested.

Denial, conspiracy ideation, extreme free-market adherents – add those to the list and we’re done! It continues:

Irving Janis’s own conception of group-think is tightly bounded. It refers only to situations in which members of a face-to-face group feel, consciously or subconsciously, a need to maintain the internal cohesion of the group. It is, in that sense, a purely psychological concept. But of course the notion of group-think can be extended and used more widely to refer to a variety of situations in which there exists such widespread agreement among the members of a group about the desirability of a given course of action that no threats to the group’s internal cohesion ever arise. Because there really are no dissenters in the group, no one in the group ever expresses dissent. There are no nay-sayers. Everyone is agreed. But such situations can be just as dangerous as the ones Janis describes. The decision-making processes associated with unforced agreement may be just as defective as the ones associated with suppressed dissent.

As Booker concludes:

[Janis's] account of “the illusion of unanimity”, and how group-thinkers regard anyone daring to question their belief-system as an “enemy” to be discredited, superbly characterises the mentality of that small group of “climate scientists” at the heart of driving the warming scare. This was never more clearly brought home than by those Climategate emails, showing how they were ready to fiddle their data to promote what they themselves called “the cause”, and to suppress the views of any scientists they saw as a threat to their illusory “consensus”. We all casually use the term “group-think”, but I had not known how comprehensively Janis explains so much that is puzzling about this world we live in.

Perhaps Cook, Lew, Nuccitelli and the rest of the “consensus” crew should take a good, long, hard look in the mirror now and again, instead of applying pseudo-psychology to their critics.

ABC bias apes BBC


Leans to the Left

Always leans to the Left

The ABC is the taxpayer-funded, hermetically-sealed bubble of poisonous green/left ideology masquerading as an impartial media outlet, following closely in the footsteps of the UK’s BBC.

Just as Maurice Newman, former chairman of the ABC has railed against the corporation’sgroupthink“, former BBC news head, Roger Mosey, uses remarkably similar language in describing his own organisation:

“The BBC Trust speaks the language of diversity but in its edicts it promotes conformity, whether its about an agreed approach to the science of climate change, ‘correct’ terminology in the Middle East or the way a documentary about benefits [welfare] should be constructed,” he said.

He added: “On the BBC’s own admission, in recent years it did not, with the virtue of hindsight, give enough space to anti-immigration views or EU-withdrawalists; and, though, he may have exaggerated, the former director general Mark Thompson spoke of a ‘massive bias to the left’ in the BBC he joined more than 30 years ago.

“I share Mark’s view that there was more internal political diversity in recent times, but that isn’t enough unless it’s evident in a wider range of editorial views on air.” (source – h/t Bishop Hill)

We all know “ABC” is short for “anything but conservatives”, a motto which is adhered to strictly, without a single conservative presenter or editor of a mainstream current affairs show, and a string of lefties to present shows like Media Watch. Not only that, but other areas, like science, are stuffed with green/left activists, think Robyn Williams, Bernie Hobbs, “Doctor” Karl to name but three…

Defund Restructure the ABC now.

Warmist Monbiot at risk of defamation claim


Defamatory tweet?

UPDATE [19 Nov]: The Guardian has confirmed it will not be paying Monbiot’s legal fees if he is sued:

“George Monbiot is not a member of the Guardian staff and was tweeting in a personal capacity,” he said.

“George has acknowledged that his tweets were wholly inappropriate and a serious error and has posted a comprehensive apology on his own blog.

“The Guardian cannot and will not take responsibility for comments that were made by a contributor in a personal capacity, however we have taken this opportunity to remind our journalists and freelancers, including George, that they should apply the same ethical and legal standards to what they say on social media as they do to what they write for the Guardian.”

The UK’s BBC, otherwise known as the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, last week made an unfounded accusation of child abuse against a senior Conservative figure in its flagship Newsnight programme. As Boris Johnson writes, this was just too good to be true in the eyes of the lefty Beeb, and the victim, Lord McAlpine, was forced out of retirement to defend himself:

It was not just wrong: it was a slander more cruel, revolting and idiotic than anything perpetrated by the News of the World. The programme makers hadn’t taken account of the real anxieties about the reliability of their witness, as expressed by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, who led the inquiry into Bryn Estyn. They hadn’t shown him a picture of McAlpine. They hadn’t even put the allegations to McAlpine! Unbelievable! And why not? It was, as they say, a story that was too good to check. It wasn’t just that it showed Newsnight taking up the cudgels against paedophiles, after the embarrassment of the axed Savile exposé. It went one better. It pushed all the buttons. It was like a dream come true for any vaguely resentful and Left-of-centre BBC producer. It was a chance to pour unlimited ordure on a man who – in their book – jolly well had it coming. He is rich, he is a toff, he is a Lord, he is a Tory, and – joy of joys – he is an EX-AIDE TO MRS THATCHER.

The journalism was so shoddy, so cretinous, so ready to let the wish be father to the thought that the Beeb really now has to show that Newsnight was not acting with malice. The BBC cannot minimise what the programme has done. There will be people out there who will continue to believe that there is no smoke without fire, that Newsnight would never have broadcast such allegations unless there was something in it. The BBC owes it to McAlpine to grovel and keep grovelling until the public gets the message. Everyone associated with the “paedophile” segment on Newsnight should be sacked instantly.

Unfortunately, it transpires that Lord McAlpine will be suing not only the BBC for defamation, but also certain Twitter users who gleefully published his name, including left-wing warmist George Monbiot:

George Monbiot, the Guardian columnist, and Sally Bercow, the Lefty wife of the Speaker, may soon be getting stern letters from m’learned friends about their online smearing of Lord McAlpine. They were in the thick of the online lynch mob that used Twitter last week to wrongly identify the former Tory treasurer as a paedophile.

As Boris Johnson points out this morning, it’s hard to envisage a more damaging accusation against a man. Yet Monbiot and Bercow were happy to encourage this appalling falsehood, doubtless finding the very idea of a top Tory paedophile simply too irresistible to ignore. There has never been a more graphic illustration of the way Twitter can be used quite casually to destroy someone’s good name. When the truth emerged, Bercow’s apology was hardly steeped in contrition: “Final on McAlpine: am VERY sorry for inadvertently fanning flames. But I tweet as me, forgetting that to some of u I am Mrs bloody Speaker”. It is not easy to fathom what she’s on about, but that sounds like the response of a naughty schoolgirl caught telling a whopper.

In contrast, the achingly self-righteous Monbiot produced the most abject mea culpa in living memory: “I have helped to malign an innocent man. I have done a few stupid things in my life, but nothing as stupid as this. The tweets I sent which hinted – as I assumed to be the case – that Lord McAlpine was the person the child abuse victim Steve Messham was talking about were so idiotic that, looking back on them today, I cannot believe that I wrote them. But I did, and they are unforgivable. I have helped stoke an atmosphere of febrile innuendo around an innocent man, and I am desperately sorry for the harm I have done him.”

If Monbiot has put as much thought into his original tweets as into his apology, he might not now be facing the possibility of costly legal action. More importantly, the McAlpine affair may finally force those who use Twitter to realise they can’t write vile untruths about people and expect to get away with it.

Hope he’s got good lawyers…

BBC: seawater sprays to stop 'planetary emergency'


Yeah, that'd work

More bonkers geoengineering proposals from the UK, puffed by the ever willing Richard Black at the BBC. Reading the BBC is like reading Fairfax or the ABC. All the environmental journos have drunk the climate change Kool-aid and are fully paid up members of the alarmist community.

So we shouldn’t be surprised when Richard Black plugs some crazy geoengineering idea to “save the planet”:

An eminent UK engineer is suggesting building cloud-whitening towers in the Faroe Islands as a “technical fix” for warming across the Arctic.

Scientists told UK MPs this week that the possibility of a major methane release triggered by melting Arctic ice constitutes a “planetary emergency”.

The Arctic could be sea-ice free each September within a few years.

Wave energy pioneer Stephen Salter has shown that pumping seawater sprays into the atmosphere could cool the planet.

The Edinburgh University academic has previously suggested whitening clouds using specially-built ships.

At a meeting in Westminster organised by the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (Ameg), Prof Salter told MPs that the situation in the Arctic was so serious that ships might take too long.

“I don’t think there’s time to do ships for the Arctic now,” he said.

“We’d need a bit of land, in clean air and the right distance north… where you can cool water flowing into the Arctic.”

I love this bit:

In summer, seawater would be pumped up to the top using some kind of renewable energy

Which kind? Sunbeams? Wind? And then the alarmism just piles on:

“With ‘business-as-usual’ greenhouse gas emissions, we might have warming of 9-10C in the Arctic. [might - Ed]

“That will cement in place the ice-free nature of the Arctic Ocean – it will release methane from offshore, and a lot of the methane on land as well.”

This would – in turn – exacerbate warming, across the Arctic and the rest of the world.

Abrupt methane releases from frozen regions may have played a major role in two events, 55 and 251 million years ago, that extinguished much of the life then on Earth. (source)

It’s amazing that even with the BBC spinning such climate astrology, the public are still more sceptical than they were five years ago. Fail.

And while we’re on the subject of Richard Black, there’s a new blog dedicated to exposing his climate alarmist agenda: Black’s Whitewash. Add it to your bookmarks. 

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