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.

Delingpole on the Finkelstein report


JD

James Delingpole has devoted his column today to Australia’s teetering on the brink of a Finkelsteinian Nightmare. He argues that we must suffer the full totalitarian reality of the progressive Left in order then to comprehensively reject it:

But as far as I’m concerned, the man’s a total bloody hero and when I come to Oz in mid-April I’d like to buy him a pint. Why? Because thanks to good old Raymond I’m going to sell loads more copies of my book Killing The Earth To Save It: How Environmentalists are Ruining the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Jobs (Connor Court).

Raymond – or Pinkie Finkie, as I’m sure he’d preferred it if I called him, because the Aussies do love a bit of informality, don’t they? – has produced a report on media regulation in Australia so terrifyingly authoritarian it makes the Leveson Enquiry look like a model of balance, sanity and restraint. (According to Mark Steyn – via Jo Nova – the Chinese have been eyeing Pinkie Finkie’s report with gobsmacked admiration, wondering whether they could ever get away with producing something quite so extreme…)

But let’s allow lefties like Pinkie Finkie and Gillard and Tim Flannery and Bob Brown their hour in the sun because the longer they stay there, the more damage they do and the more damage they will be seen to have done. This is important. (The same applies to Obama’s US; sadly it’s not going to work here, not with Cameron poisoning the wells for Conservatism for ever). If Australia is to get the government it needs (and deserves) it must first experience the full horror of the government it doesn’t deserve. The more easily ordinary people can see just how authoritarian, petty-minded, bullying, meddling and grotesquely biased the left can be when it holds the reins of power, the more enthusiastic they’ll be about throwing the bastards into the croc pit come 2013. (Or sooner, if we’re lucky). (source)

Read it all. And just to repeat, James’ excellent book is here. Full review to follow.

Media report recommendations 'would make any communist dictator proud'


Finkelstein

An excellent examination of the potentially draconian powers of the News Media Council is undertaken at Kangaroo Court of Australia and is well worth a read:

Former Federal Court of Australia judge Ray Finkelstein QC has handed down his report into the media which having a quick read seems to have been co-signed by Julia Gillard and Craig Thomson.

Make no mistake, it is a political document designed to protect corrupt politicians and dodgy policies from scrutiny and outing by the media. If The Fink’s recommendations had already been in effect we would not of heard about a lot of the dodgy dealings of the politicians because the reporting would have been closed down in record time.

The recommendations by The Fink would make any communist dictator proud.

When complaints are made against media organisations they will be denied natural justice and procedural fairness in their attempt to defend themselves against the compliant. Yep, you guessed it, just like a Kangaroo Court.

The new laws would also apply to bloggers so it is from this perspective that I mainly write about as I am what is considered a blogger. (source)

I am too. It’s a frightening read.

Censorship comes to Australia


The Australia of the future?

UPDATE: Regarding jurisdictional issues, the following extremely concerning paragraph stands out:

11.69 Another aspect of jurisdiction concerns how the News Media Council will exercise its power over all internet publishers. Foreign publishers who have no connection with Australia will be beyond its reach. However, if an internet news publisher has more than a tenuous connection with Australia then carefully drawn legislation would enable the News Media Council to exercise jurisdiction over it. 

“More than a tenuous connection” with Australia? Wow. This is really scary stuff.

——-

Reposting from Menzies House email from Timothy Andrews:

Late yesterday afternoon, I read something that sent chills down my spine.

Mr. Ray Finkelstein QC, a left-wing former Federal Court Judge with no media experience, at the request of the Gillard Government, issued a 400 page report which calls for a Big Brother Super-Regulator to ‘regulate’ political speech and – among other things – impose new laws with the power to stop climate change realists from speaking up.

Its “recommendations” will sicken every single Australian: They actually call for a Big Brother Super-Regulator to censor not just the newspapers and TV, but websites, personal blogs, and even what you say on Twitter!

This is a proposal that would seem right at home in North Korea or Zibmabwe. I never thought – as dark as things seemed- we could stoop this low here in Australia.

It is clear from the report, in particular paragraphs 4.31-4.42, that silencing climate realists is a major reason for these regulations: it is unashamedly explicit in this (and even uses the dirty trick of using polls from – wait for it – 1966 as evidence the media is pro-climate skeptic, and that – wait for it – only the ABC is unbiased!)

The size and scope of the proposed Super-Regulator is breathtaking. They will have the power to impose a “code of ethics”, force you to print views you don’t agree with as part of a ‘right of reply’, take you to court, and even make you take pieces down! Even personal blogs that get only 40 hits a day will be covered! To make matters worse, the SuperRegulator “would not have to give reasons for its decisions” and the decisions “would not be subject to appeal.” Even climate change websites in other countries like Watt’s Up With That will be covered by this!

We need to speak out now – while we are still allowed.

This is why I just created www.FreeSpeechAustralia.com so we can work together to help stop this nightmare from becoming a reality. .

It includes an online petition, which I STRONGLY urge you all to sign and to pass onto all your family and friends, as well as an “Action Centre” detailing what other activities you can take, a resource toolkit, and links to a Facebook page and Twitter account.

It certainly looks like we should be very concerned by this move. Commenter Baldrick kindly pointed me to some key sections of the report, namely this on bias:

4.25  To deal with the difficulties of identifying and measuring bias the polls reported here attempted to measure bias as diversions from fairness and diversity of opinion, on a scale presenting bias as a polar opposite to ‘balance’. On this basis:

  • bias is much more commonly perceived to exist in the conduct of newspapers than in television or radio
  • the ABC is perceived to be the least biased media organisation in Australia, and
  • there is perception of persistent bias against the Labor Party particularly in pollsconducted in the earlier years of the period covered by this analysis. 

If ABC is perceived as balanced, then the report’s authors must be more deluded than we could possibly give them credit for. Balanced if you’re a lefty ex-judge, I guess? It also reports favourably on criticism of News Ltd’s tabloids on climate change issues:

4.33  One of the conclusions reached in the report was this:

The two biggest News Ltd tabloids—the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph—have been so biased in their coverage that it is fair to say they ‘campaigned’ against the policy rather than covered it. 

Furthermore, and in a clear indication that the report is horribly skewed, it cites Robert Manne, a well known alarmist and sympathiser towards the climate consensus when discussing the coverage of climate issues in the media:

4.40  For instance, the Inquiry heard from Professor Robert Manne who, earlier in 2011, had written an extensive critique of The Australian newspaper in Quarterly Essay entitled ‘Bad News: Murdoch’s Australian and the Shaping of the Nation’ that examined seven case studies of the newspaper’s coverage of issues.
4.41  One of his case studies concerned coverage of climate change policy and his findings mirrored those of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism. Professor Manne’s research found that articles unfavourable to action on climate change outnumbered favourable articles by a ratio of four to one.
4.42  In his response to Professor Manne’s work, Paul Kelly who is The Australian’s editor-­‐at-­‐large, did not refute Manne’s statistics. Instead, he argued that Manne’s position was based on a ‘rejection of debate’ about the science of climate change:

One reason for the public’s backlash making carbon pricing so unpopular was the precise attitude [Manne] took. While pretending to be rational his rejection of debate was really faith-­‐based dogmatism and the Australian public didn’t like being told what to think by patronising experts. 

All this will amount to little short of censorship of views which criticise the Government, and it will apply to blogs as well. I highly recommend getting behind the Menzies House campaign if you wish to see free speech remain as a fundamental right in Australia.

I haven’t yet had a chance to read it in full, and I won’t be doing so in the near future, but there are jurisdictional issues here which I would be very interested to understand further. Despite what is said above, the Australian government cannot legislate regulations to take effect over media organisations outside Australian jurisdiction, without bipartisan agreements between those other states. I do not foresee this happening – for example in the US, the First Amendment prohibits any law infringing on the freedom of speech or the press.

I therefore would have thought that overseas organisations, or blogs hosted overseas, cannot be subject to domestic Australian legislation. Further information required to determine its precise effect.

The report is online here.

Activist website targets sceptical US TV weathermen


Forecast the propaganda

This says more about the website’s creators, seeking yet again to demonise and silence anyone who dares question the global warming consensus, than it does about the TV weathermen speaking their opinions. From the site, forecastthefacts.org:

Intense droughts, fierce storms, increased flooding. Scientists have been predicting for years that human-induced climate change would lead to a future of increasingly dangerous extreme weather events. That future is now upon us.

But when most Americans tune into their local weather report, they won’t hear a peep about climate change. Why? Because the majority of TV meteorologists don’t believe in it. That’s right: the professionals most responsible for informing the public about the weather are systematically missing the most important weather story of our lifetime.

With over 1,000 TV meteorologists across the country, the level of denial varies widely. Some TV meteorologists spout outright falsehoods on air–like the idea that the earth is actually cooling, or that global warming is caused by sunspots (not Co2 and other greenhouse gasses.) In other cases, they cover increasingly extreme weather events like droughts, wild fires, flooding, and winter storms, without ever mentioning the scientific consensus that climate change is making these events more likely and more intense. It’s the equivalent of a news anchor reporting on a string of murders without saying that there is a suspect in custody. (source)

LOL! Where’s the evidence that we’re seeing more extreme weather events again?

The front page splash asks:

“Do you believe there is solid evidence the earth is warming?” Yes or No

If yes, then you’re a goody two-shoes. If no, you’re a filthy denier. The question is ridiculous of course, because most climate rationalists, including myself, would answer yes when faced with such simplistic options. But that seems to be the puerile level of the whole exercise, setting up straw men to bravely blow them over. The site’s authors obviously have so little understanding of the real issues that they have demonstrated themselves, on the front page, incapable of even asking a vaguely sensible question about climate change.

One of the site’s partners is the extreme environmental advocacy group 350.org, which believes that there is a mythical level of CO2 below which the planet will be safe:

Three years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2remained above 350 parts per million. Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist [by which I guess they must mean railway engineer Pachauri – Ed] has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster.

Don’t anyone tell them that there were floods, hurricanes, tornados and plenty of other weather-related disasters when CO2 was way below 350ppm. Any organisation associated with transparent nonsense like that has immediately lost any credibility it may have had. Furthermore, Watts Up With That claims to have found alleged shady funding links, and since Watts himself was once a TV weatherman, he lets rip at these cheap tactics (see more here).

And even the Washington Post is embarrassed by the schoolyard bully tactics:

“… a sincere effort to respectfully make science-based arguments and carry on a dialogue sure beats the tactic of denigrating those who disagree with you.” (source)

The warmist desperation grows apace. Maybe you’d like to send them a tip: tips@forecastthefacts.org.

Wikipedia: MWP page "locked" due to "vandalism"


Censorship at work

And by “vandalism” it means honest attempts to remove the fraudulent and discredited hockey stick graph. William Connolley, climate editor in chief at the ‘pedia (and coincidentally Green party activist), still up to his old tricks, and since Lawrence Solomon’s article earlier in the week (see here), the plot has thickened further, as Solomon reports again:

With the hockey stick graphs so thoroughly discredited, you’d think they would become a footnote to a discussion of the Medieval Warm Period, or an object of amusement and curiosity. But no, on the Wikipedia page for the Medieval Warm Period, the hockey stick graph appears prominently at the top, as if it is settled science.

Because the hockey stick graph has become an icon of deceit and in no way an authority worthy of being cited, fair-minded Wikipedians tried to remove the graph from the page, as can be seen here. Exactly two minutes later, one of Connelley’s associates replaced the graph, restoring the page to Connelley’s original version, as seen here.

Battles like this occurred on numerous fronts, until just after midnight on Dec 22, when Connolley reimposed his version of events and, for good measure, froze the page to prevent others from making changes — and to prevent the public, even in two-minute windows, from realizing that today’s temperatures look modest in comparison to those in the past. In the World of Wikipedia, seen as here, the hockey stick graph, and Connolley’s version of history, still rules. (source)

Let’s look at Wikipedia’s own definition of “vandalism” in respect of content:

Vandalism is any addition, removal, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia. Vandalism cannot and will not be tolerated. Common types of vandalism are the addition of obscenities or crude humor, page blanking, and the insertion of nonsense into articles.

Any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism. Even harmful edits that are not explicitly made in bad faith are not vandalism. For example, adding a controversial personal opinion to an article once is not vandalism; reinserting it despite multiple warnings is (however, edits/reverts over a content dispute are never vandalism, see WP:EW). (source)

And the following is listed as an example of what is not vandalism:

Repeated deletion or addition of material may violate the three-revert rule, but this is not “vandalism” and should not be dealt with as such.

So by labelling such attempts at editing “vandalism,” Connolley isn’t even complying with Wikipedia’s own editorial guidelines. But Connolley has the final say anyway, and has the power to disable editing of pages where such edits don’t fit with his personal views.

So the moral is: you still can’t trust Wikipedia on climate.

Wikipedia: Don't trust it on climate


Don't go there

Why? Because over 5000 articles have been tampered with by UK Green Party activist William Connolley so that they all neatly fit in with the IPCC agenda (bit like the temperature records, really):

Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement. (source – h/w WUWT)

WUWT is now reporting that Connolley has been ditched by Wikipedia. However, are you starting to detect a theme here? Anything to do with the alleged “consensus” has to be doctored, tampered with, fiddled or manipulated in order to keep it afloat. Hardly the sign of “settled science”.

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