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What next for greenery?

Could biodiversity loss be the next big thing for scientific scaremongers and their allies in Big Green? It certainly looks that way from the BBC's latest seminar. Richard Black, the Beeb's online green PR guy was in the chair, alongside a guy from London Zoo and another environmental consultant from PriceWaterHouseCoopers. The video is here and there's an associated blog posting here.

It's Richard's slack-jawed acceptance of the premise of the piece that I find so interesting. I mean, don't we pay the guy to question what greens and scientists are telling us? Do you think a seminar in which the views of the biodiversity crisismongers were challenged might illuminate things more than what we see here?

To me, this looks very much like the BBC staff being briefed on the next narrative. There is no sense of BBC journalists being asked to consider different sides of a scientific debate, no sense that the assembled journalists are meant to question anything. We simply have one scientist saying what he thinks the problem is and another telling the journalists how to convey that scientist's message to the public.

The planning of a propaganda campaign in full public view? What do you think?

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Reader Comments (67)

Richard Black sent me a polite reply admitting error in response to my (polite) email querying his article.

Aug 12, 2010 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoddy Campbell

2010 is the UN Year of ... Biodiversity. Just saying.

Aug 12, 2010 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterShugNiggurath


2010 is the UN Year of ... Biodiversity. Just saying.

Yeap, probably so. Right up there with "multiculturalism" and "ebonics."

Whatever did happen to the "Acidification of the Oceans"? I was rather looking forward to the great and wonderful studies of the effect of whale pee on the oceans and how it countered the effect of human waste washed into the oceans by polluted rivers, and therefore killing all the whales was going to destroy the world.

Frankly, I would have been happy with the argument that we should leave the whales alone because they were 1) doing us no harm and 2) were fun to watch. But I guess that is not dramatic enough. While living in Silly Con Valley, I often went to Monterrey and when out to watch them swim by twice a year. They are wonderful and magnificent animals doing us no harm and basically of little use to us except as sushi in a certain country in the Far East.

But then I am a romantic.

Aug 13, 2010 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Black and co should be taking note of what the real power brokers are thinking , not the stupid little side shows

Aug 13, 2010 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

kkloor -
of course biodiversity issues are not new. however, from anonym's June link - France and Japan propose an 'IPCC for nature' - -
it is clear it has been elevated to a prominent position for CAGW alarmists in the media to push, which they have dutifully done.

the Guardian sub-head: Biodiversity crisis – species loss could cost us the Earth

Guardian also suggests more funding opportunities:

"The proposed new body might also encourage more research into links between biodiversity and climate change"

Aug 13, 2010 at 1:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Is a reduction in biodiversity a problem to species not reduced? And I suppose to those that ate the departed species?

E O Wilson, referred to above, inventoried the species, i suppose mainly the visible ones, on a very small island in the Florida Keys. Then they tented and fumigated the place killing all the fauna.

Wilson and company came back when things got going again and found the species mix was different.

Somehow to my limited imagination biodiversity sounds good so it must be good. Surely there must be more to it.

Aug 13, 2010 at 3:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Second sentence above change to "And those not directly dependent in some way on the departed species?

Aug 13, 2010 at 3:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

The Beeb's bias is endemic, unfortunately:

Now, would he have got a grant if GW hadn't been implicated? Not a question that occurred to the reporter, of course...

Aug 13, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Nature is on to the campaign too

Last time I looked at recent recorded actual extinctions, they peaked out in late 19th -early 20thC for the N hemishere and have fallen since, the more recent ones mostly confined to Pacific islands or rare exotic species with much uncertainty whether they are extinct or not. As far as I know, none has yet been positively linked to climatic change. Its mostly preditor competition and habitat loss, with the human causes due to accidental or deliberate introduction of competitors, land development or rampant hunting. Its the big natural risks every species faces- food supply, not being eaten before reproducing, uninterrupted water oxygen and warmth (animals) plus CO2 and sunlight (plants) and not being frozen or boiled!

I reckon we are now highly responsible in efforts to preserve diversity.

Aug 13, 2010 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos


I reckon we are now highly responsible in efforts to preserve diversity.

You have no idea how crazy it is. I have a salmon stream in my back yard. Really, I do, according to California law. Salmon swim up the Sacramento River, then the American River and its tributaries to spawn. Since the salmon are over fished, which they are, there have been efforts to protect their spawning grounds, which means all possible places.

Now for my "salmon stream". There is a gully in my backyard which leads to a stream, which is one of those tributaries. About once a year, in fall when the rains come, water drains off of several yards and into my gully, and so water flows down it during spawning season. Maybe for an hour or so every several days. Because of that I am restricted from using fertilizer and planting non-native plants within 50 feet of the water course. And god strike me dead if I use any sort of weed killer or insecticide within those 50 feet.

And yes, I have been informed of this by Fish and Wildlife in a registered letter about five years ago.

Maybe I should open a fishing lodge, hire a couple ghillies and go into business.

Aug 13, 2010 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo

We (or rather the Environment Agency) seem to have a different solution to prevent chemical runoff. They never get out of their 4x4's to clear out culverts and gullies. So they're mostly blocked. It allows them to claim steadily increasing evidence for increasing flooding, due to you've guessed.

Aug 13, 2010 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Great thread. Great comments. And it triggered my own response.

Aug 14, 2010 at 1:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank Davis

Frank Davis

Your blog was an interesting read and well thought out, but may have gotten more reaction here.

As for smoking, I have no problem with people giving themselves lung cancer, although it killed my mother 35 years ago. It was her decision. However, I do have problems with people smoking in the space I wish to use, and have a right to use.

Aug 14, 2010 at 5:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Richard Black has posted on his blog, a sort of apology, but insists the headline is correct, because of 'projections' of rice yield. !!!!

Imagine, as an analogy..
If the BBC business section had written an article titled.

House Prices ‘to fall’

When in fact the rate INCREASE of house price had fallen slightly….. ( they have increased, but only by say, for example, 4% this year compared to, say, for example 5% the previous year)

Imagine, if it had been pointed out to them, this was factually wrong, and they issued a minor correction and left the same title, and bulk of the story/spin..

The BBC would be (rightly) accused of spinning a headline against the facts, as a political statement, and there would be trouble (lots of it, poltical and otherwise – ie markets)..

(remembering, at all times, the BBC is publically funded, and has a charter that say it should be impartial and accurate, and provide an apolitical public service. It is not some sort of newspaper or media channel with a party line, or political bent)

So prior to the correction, ‘sloppy’ journalism….. possibly?
Following the correction, the facts having been spelt out to them by many people.
Then deliberate ‘spin’ to keep that headline, and not rewrite the article to get it accurate……. Totally unacceptable for the BBC

Aug 14, 2010 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Don Pablo,

I think it was rather too long to have posted here. And while it was inspired by a couple of comments I read here, it was much more about my own continuing train of thought than that of Bishop Hill.

But I see that, while it appears that you are a sceptic about the supposed dire effects of minute amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, you are clearly a True Believer in the supposed dire effects of minute amounts of tobacco smoke in the atmosphere. I can almost imagine that you might even say that 'the science is in' and 'the debate is over' about the latter, but not the former.

Aug 14, 2010 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank Davis

Frank your comment to Don Pablo was uncalled for in my opinion. You can have no knowledge of Don Pablo's understanding of the science that has led governments to ban smoking in public places.
Don Pablo like everyone else is entitled to express a preference as to whether he would like people smoking in his immediate vicinity.

Aug 15, 2010 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Frank Davis

Tell that to my mother. Have you seen someone with throat cancer with it ripped open by the doctors? I have. Have you watched someone you love die of lung cancer because she smoked three packs day? I have. You are welcomed to do what you wish to yourself in private. But not in public -- I much prefer that you not play with my health or of that of anyone else who values their life more than their need for an addictive drug,

Aug 15, 2010 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

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