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.

Flannery still pushing alarmist bullshit


Failed fortune teller

Failed fortune teller

At least the Climate Council is not being paid for by the taxpayer, so he can say what he likes.

Mammalogist Failed End-of-the-Pier fortune teller Tim Flannery is up to his old tricks, spouting alarmist claptrap about bush fires:

In October, huge bushfires devastated communities, property and livelihoods in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Tragically, two lives were lost. As the Climate Council’s first major report makes clear, our changing climate is increasing the chances of similar events in future.

Yes, bushfires are part of the Australian experience, but large and severe bushfires in October are unusual.

There has been considerable discussion in the media around the link between climate change and bushfires. So let’s get the facts straight.

Hot, dry conditions create conditions favourable for bushfires. Australia has just experienced its hottest 12 months ever recorded, and September 2013 was the hottest September on record. (source)

As Jo points out, the reality is far different. Fractions of a degree changes in average temperature have made little if any difference to bush fire frequency or intensity and rainfall hasn’t declined.

So what can it be that is causing such intense fires? Oh yes, I remember. The extreme Greens who have insisted for decades that there should be no back burning, resulting in massive fuel loads just waiting to go up in smoke. That or a few shells exploding on an army range. Or fires being lit by arsonists.

Flannery conveniently ignores all of those. Wonder why?

Flannery fired


Pack yer bags, mate

Pack yer bags, mate

The Herald Sun reports:

PROFESSOR Tim Flannery has been sacked by the Abbott Government from his $180,000 a year part time Chief Climate Commissioner position with the agency he runs to be dismantled immediately.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt called Prof Flannery this morning to tell him a letter formally ending his employment was in the mail.

Public service shake-up as heads go

In the letter, Mr Hunt tells Prof Flannery: “The Climate Commission does not have an ongoing role, and consequently I am writing to advise you that the Climate Commission has been dissolved, with effect from the date of this letter.

He thanked him for his personal contribution and then said “The Department of the Environment will soon write to you concerning administrative arrangements for finalising your engagement as Chief Climate Commissioner.”

All other climate commissioners will also be sacked with the move to save more than $500,000 this financial year and $1.2 million next financial year.

The Coalition will now take advice on climate change from the Department of the Environment. (source)

The Climate Commission didn’t have one single climate realist on board, and was stacked with Australia’s worst alarmists, Will Steffen, David Karoly and Flannery himself. Far from being an independent climate body, it was a mouthpiece for Labor government propaganda and shameless scaremongering.

Good riddance to the lot of ‘em.

UPDATE: Commission’s Twitter account (@ClimateComm) has vanished already! Sad to see the website still there… not for long, however.

UPDATE 2: The ever-warmist ABC (Anything But Conservatives) gives Flannery space to gnash his teeth and wail about the injustice of it all:

Professor Flannery, who is also a former Australian of the Year, has defended the commission’s role.

“We’ve stayed out of the politics and stuck to the facts,” he said. [BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! - Ed]

“As a result we’ve developed a reputation as a reliable apolitical source of facts on all aspects of climate change. [Stop it!! Stop it!! My sides are splitting!!!!! - Ed]

“I believe that Australians have a right to know – a right to authoritative, independent and accurate information on climate change. [Er, I think I just wet myself... - Ed]

“We’ve just seen one of the earliest ever starts to the bushfire season in Sydney following the hottest twelve months on record.” [And, Flannery goes out true to form, with a ridiculously alarmist statement... See ya' later pal. Glad we won't have to hear from you any more - Ed]

(h/t Baldrick)

Celebrate! Climate Commission to be abolished!


The Climate Commission

The Climate Commission

The hopelessly politicised Climate Commission, the function of which was apparently to spin government propaganda as “science”, is to be abolished, along with a raft of other pointless climate organisations.

Here’s how ACM reported some of the worst Climate Commission excesses:

Time for Tim Flannery and Will Steffen to pack their bags and ship out. The party’s over, as The Australian reports:

PUBLIC servants are drawing up plans to collapse 33 climate change schemes run by seven departments and eight agencies into just three bodies run by two departments under a substantial rewrite of the administration of carbon abatement schemes under the Coalition.

Coalition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt briefed public servants on the dramatic restructure of the federal climate change bureaucracy before the election was called and yesterday confirmed the Coalition was committed to proceeding with the plan.

Under the simplification, the Department of the Environment and the Department of Resources and Energy will run all of the climate change programs under the Coalition’s direct-action program.

The move is forecast to save the government tens of millions of dollars. The Coalition budgeted for savings of $7 million this financial year rising to $13m in each of the next three years for a saving of $45m across the budget period.

The changes will see all carbon abatement schemes run by three bodies: the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which will be overseen by the Department of Resources and Energy; and the Clean Energy Regulator and Low Carbon Australia, which will be run by the Department of the Environment.

The Climate Change Authority, which sets emissions caps, the Climate Commission, which has conducted research into climate change, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which funds renewable technologies, are all slated to be abolished under the plans. (source)

At last, the Green madness is being unwound. Australians should breathe a heavy sigh of relief.

Flannery, your days are numbered


The Climate Commission, 15 September 2013

The Climate Commission, 15 September 2013

Ah, the sweet satisfaction of seeing that government propaganda mouthpiece the Climate Commission shut down, and all its staff sent packing into the night.

Tim Flannery will, with luck, disappear and never be heard of again, except in reference to his laughably hopeless “predictions”. Will Steffen can go back to being an obscure academic, and we won’t have to suffer his endless alarmism on an almost daily basis.

And most importantly, the taxpayer will breathe a sigh of relief.

Here’s hoping:

A COALITION government would dismantle the climate change bureaucracy and put commissioners including Tim Flannery out of a job, Tony Abbott predicted yesterday as a report painted a gloomy picture of the future.

The Opposition Leader, who vows to remove the carbon tax if elected in September, said there would be no further need for the bureaucracy that supports it.

When the carbon tax goes all of those bureaucracies will go and I think you’ll find that particular position you’re referring to will go with them,” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott will consider dumping the Howard government’s renewable energy target, which he says is “significantly increasing the cost of power”. [yes, finally - Ed]

Speaking to Sky News last night, he equivocated on his previous support for the scheme, which aims to ensure 20 per cent of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. “There is going to be a serious review of this, should there be a change of government,” he said. “We’ll wait for the review before deciding what we do, but I take your point that renewable energy is increasing the price of power.”

The report, The Critical Decade: Extreme Weather, suggests worsening weather exacerbated by global warming is inevitable in coming decades, even if action is taken immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Report lead author, climate commissioner Will Steffen, and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet warned against complacency. “The action we take now in terms of getting emissions down . . . will have a big effect on what these extreme events will look like in the future,” Professor Steffen said in Sydney. (source)

Yes, that’s right Will, Australia’s 20% reduction of our 1.5% of global emissions (total, at absolute most, 0.3%) will really have a “big effect”… case closed.

Glass jaw: don't criticise Flannery with 'vicious' attacks, says Steffen


Rapidly losing credibility

Advice to Climate Commission: when you’re in a massive hole of your own making, best stop digging. But they are so horribly compromised that such painfully obvious action is impossible.

The Climate Commission’s sole purpose is to “spruik the government’s case for tackling climate change” as the Sydney Morning Herald article puts it (somewhat too honestly in fact!), so what else are they supposed to do?

Anyone with half a brain (even Steffen and Flannery when they are alone with their consciences) knows that nothing Australia does alone will make any difference to the climate, so the Commission has to rely on blatant and shameless alarmism to scare the public into believing the government’s pointless carbon tax will actually make some discernible difference to the climate.

The latest chapter in this never-ending saga of alarmism from the Climate Commission was released on Monday and predicted dire consequences for New South Wales. Not surprisingly, many regarded the report as hysterical. And when the Commission gets called out for it, they have no response, except to attack their critics:

Climate commissioner Will Steffen has called on critics to stop their “vicious” attacks against the body’s chief Tim Flannery and rejected suggestions the federal government-created commission is alarmist.

Flannery, Steffen and the Climate Commission have a glass jaw. Note how, just with the ANU “death threats” non-story, criticism or disagreement of any kind is immediately emotionalised and exaggerated by being branded “vicious”. The report was described by various commentators and politicians as “alarmist” and “fear mongering”. Which of those terms are “vicious”, Prof Steffen? Maybe he was referring to the bloke in the penguin suit…

Flannery has a track record of making hopeless end-of-pier style crystal-ball gazing prophecies, as Gaia’s self-appointed incarnation here on Earth, which have been wrong virtually every time – and paid very nicely for by taxpayer dollars, lots of them. If he can’t take the heat, maybe he should get out of the kitchen, or take the criticism without resorting to this kind of whining:.

“Climate scientists take exceptional care to be absolutely straight,” [Steffen] told AAP in an interview on Wednesday.

“We don’t use inflammatory language, we don’t overplay and we don’t underplay.” [ACM editor snorts coffee all over the screen - Ed]

The ANU researcher compared climate scientists to the family GP.

While you wouldn’t want them only to give dire warnings, “you certainly don’t want them to underplay the risks you might face and can do something about”. (source)

But this is patently nonsense, and exposes Steffen’s impossible position of having to defend a pointless policy through alarmism. Because there is nothing we can do about it, even if you believe CO2 is the main driver of climate, unless China and India decide to do something about it as well. Otherwise, it is utterly pointless.

Claiming not to overplay the seriousness of the issue is verging on incredible, since the only way the government’s policy can possibly be sold is through fear. Here is what the report says (p10) about health risks:

  • increasing mortality due to heat
  • heat related injuries like dehydration
  • increased cardiac, respiratory and mental health problems and death
  • increased air pollution that would affect asthma, hay fever, lung cancer and heart disease
  • decrease in rainfall would “increase the suicide rate by 8%”
  • behavioural and cognitive disorders increase during heat waves
  • electricity outages due to “extreme weather” may cause refrigerators to fail and cause illness from improperly stored foodstuffs
  • damage to sewage systems may contaminate water supplies
  • droughts will increase algae and contaminants in dam water

It goes on and on. And the report is punctuated by scary graphics like this:

Just in case you weren't scared enough

And that’s just health, let alone all the other issues like sea level rises of a metre by 2100 washing thousands of houses into the sea, despite actual data showing sea level rising at the same rate (about 3mm per year), leading to a rise of perhaps 25cm by the next century. And many, many more.

All, allegedly, from an increase in global average temperature of less than 1 degree in the last 200 years, much of which was likely due to natural variation. And Steffen has the gall to claim that they take “exceptional care to be absolutely straight”.

Steffen also claimed in several interviews that it was like “the climate on steroids”. That’s not inflammatory language? If not, what is, pray?

May I offer the Climate Commission a little more advice. If you want people to start listening again (because right now they are switching off in droves), you must cut the emotionalising, acknowledge areas of doubt, cut the arrogance, display a little more humility, cut the alarmism and stop trying to silence your critics and perhaps, just perhaps, you may be able to regain some credibility, because right now, your credibility is running on empty.

But there’s no chance of any of that – the Climate Commission is hamstrung – the inevitable result of an organisation having to defend the indefensible – a government climate mitigation policy that will do nothing for the climate.

Climate Commission's unceasing alarmism and spin


Climate activism

Why should we be surprised? Tim Flannery is a “climate activist” (thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald for confirming that – see screen grab here in case it gets posted down the memory hole) and Will Steffen is one of the most committed alarmist climate scientists on the planet. Although I was under the impression that the Climate Commission was supposed to be independent, it is actually anything but. A quick read of their terms of reference reveals that it’s nothing more than a mouthpiece for implementing government policy (my emphasis):

Purpose

The Climate Commission (the Commission) has been established to inform Australia’s approach to addressing climate change and help build the consensus required to move to a competitive, low pollution Australian economy.

Tasks

The Commission will provide information and expert advice to:

  • Explain the science of climate change and the impacts on Australia.
  • Report on the progress of international action dealing with climate change.
  • Explain the purpose and operation of a carbon price and how it may interact with the Australian economy and communities.

Like I have said on previous occasions, organisations like this are a shambolic kangaroo court: a crazed lynch mob pummelling the poor victim (CO2 and the Australian public) without any defence. Just the prosecution, with free rein to say precisely what it likes, and no opportunity for cross examination or presentation of an opposing viewpoint. Judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one.

And the inevitable result of all this is the kind of laughably alarmist nonsense spruiked all over the media yesterday, which concentrated (bizarrely) on Western Sydney:

NSW is becoming hotter and drier. Record-breaking hot days have more than doubled across Australia since 1960 and heatwaves in the greater Sydney region, especially in the western suburbs, have increased in duration and intensity.

This is the critical decade for action. To minimise climate change risks we must begin to decarbonise our economy and move to cleaner energy sources this decade. The longer we wait the more difficult and costly it will be. (source)

They must genuinely think we are complete morons. How will decarbonising the economy of Australia help Western Sydney? Extrapolating this kindergarten logic, maybe if I don’t use my coal fire in winter, my garden won’t get so hot in summer. In case they hadn’t noticed (and even if one assumes the significant effect of CO2 on the climate they claim), it requires co-ordinated global action to make any reduction to CO2 and therefore, allegedly, to climate. This kind of call to action is ludicrous when China will continue to increasing its emissions fast enough to wipe out any possible domestic reduction hundreds (thousands?) of times over?

But it’s the psychology of this kind of announcement that is so fascinating. The alarmists must realise their message has lost its impact, so instead of taking the correct course, namely backing off from their entrenched position, reducing the fear mongering, acknowledging doubt, a little more contrition perhaps in the delivery, rather than the arrogance and contempt for dissent to which we are all accustomed, they do the precise opposite: more alarmism, more ridiculous quotes, more nonsensical crystal ball gazing. Steffen yesterday used the term “climate on steroids” without any hint of irony. Is it any wonder that the public have utterly disengaged from such pronouncements?

Flannery was interviewed on 2GB yesterday afternoon by Ben Fordham. He was challenged about his prophecies about rainfall and refused to back down even an inch. It was painful to listen to. Instead, he should have said, “On reflection, some of my comments displayed a little too much certainty given the complexities of the climate system” or something like that. But no, he pressed on, defending his failed fortune teller impression in the typical “just you wait and see, I was right all along” type way.

Not only is the tone of delivery all wrong, but the methods used are decidedly suspect. Jennifer Marohasy shows how data has been cherry picked to show a recent trend in hot days, despite the existence of records going far further back, which, if included, would have shown far less of a trend.

UPDATE: The Australian reports that the Commission cherry picked certain locations to show more warm days, whereas other sites show fewer warm days. Note that “attempts to contact the Climate Commission were unsuccessful.” Why? Has the phone been cut off? Not paid their bill? 

Why do they have to be so dishonest?

All I can hope is that when a Coalition government is finally elected and the current corrupt bunch of incompetents are swept into the dustbin of history, the Climate Commission will be one of the first organisations to be abolished.

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