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Booker report

Christopher Booker's report on the BBC and climate change is now available here.

Tony Newbery has related thoughts here.

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Reader Comments (26)

BBC and it's press office respond :-

Some OU guy has the skinny on the reason Frozen planet was right :-

Here's a taster 'Longer summers with no ice are probably the main reason why many polar bear populations are dropping.'

I'll let the experts laugh, point or shake their head.

Dec 8, 2011 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

As I said the other day, I can't wait for this to be discussed on the BBC news, not to mention on their analysis programmes. ;-)

Dec 8, 2011 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I love their mantra that the Beeb has been giving sceptics too much airtime. When was that, exactly?

Dec 8, 2011 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Done my first read through but will probably have another look tomorrow.

My first impression is it was well written and therefore very readable. I am familiar with much of what it covers and nothing leapt out at me as being clearly wrong within the content which for me is a good sign.

I think it does a good job of linking BBC coverage to the evolving climate discussions as addressed by various blogs and does demonstrate clear bias within the BBC.

However I did find that the report is a bit lengthy and could not really pull out a strong punchline where the bias is clearly shown to be damaging to the public interest in a practical sense. An example would be with UK energy policy where the bias is potentially very damaging. The report does go there but it is the kind of issue which for me needed to be drawn out more strongly..

Dec 8, 2011 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterclivere

Not sure how long they'll keep it, but if you go to this page:

and click until you reach the last picture, you'll see a nice photie of a wind turbine up in flames at the Ardrossan wind farm.

Another wind turbine is in trouble at Coldingham with homes being evacuated:

Welcome to Scotland's New Energy Surge!

Dec 8, 2011 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

BBC Question Time tonight:

David Dimbleby is joined in Stoke-on-Trent by Claire Perry, Tristram Hunt, Constance Briscoe, Lord Simon Wolfson and Mehdi Hasan

Mehdi Hasa n believes absolutely and totally in climate alarmism.

Claire Perry is obsessed about climate change

Tristram Hunt is MP for Stoke-on-Trent and will support the pottery industry - industry experts have warned firms will leave UK over CO2 policy, and this particularly impacts the pottery industry. He has also written a book about The Climate and Weather of Australia

Mr Huhne’s ex-wife Ms Pryce is being counselled and supported by Constance Briscoe , one of Britain’s first black female judges

Lord Simon Wolfson has just announced a prize worth 250,000 pounds for the one person who can come up with the best plan to effectively wind up the euro in an orderly way. He is also against the HS2 rail link and also thinks that the cheapest means of reducing CO2 is being ignored.

Should be required viewing.

Dec 8, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Its a bit long.. and really needed more of an executive summary with key issues...

Not sure, smartphone today.
But did RogerHarrabin's Tyndall Centre advisory board role get a mention.

Ie as Tyndall were using CMEP (roger) to get sceptics off air waves, at the same time. As BBC Challenge to Broadcasting seminar

Dec 8, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Excellent work. The sorry state of the BBC deserves study in all sorts of ways and areas, but this report is a corker on the climate one. Will it get a cavalier ('ho-ho') reaction, a blethering reaction (cf Harrabin's recent effort), or a 'silence is the best policy' one, or something else? What we know it won't get is an honest, frank, and open appraisal. More shame on them.

Dec 8, 2011 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Should be required viewing.
Not by me, matey! Anyway, I stopped watching QT when I realised it had become 'The David Dimbleby Show, with special guests ...'

Dec 8, 2011 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Andy and others.

No need to click all the way to the last photo. Just use the backwards arrow on the left of the 1st image and you see a glorious sight of a burning turbine.

And the other shots are great too.

Dec 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

Nice report but who is going to read so many pages?

The message needs a soundbite and a compelling reason to wake people up.

Dec 8, 2011 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Booker article on the same subject in the Spectator- and it's shorter.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Yes, Messenger, and the sole comment at the moment is classically complacent, deluded and insulting:

"Don't be ridiculous. The science is hotly debated in peer-review journals. Science is about debate and precision from the start.

People who are sceptical are, no doubt, welcomed in such debates if they have the chops to back themselves up - but the problem is they rely upon previously trashed pseudo-evidence - peddled by idiots.

No point in debating with the insane."

I take it this is intended to be ironic.

Dec 8, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

There follows the text of an e-mail I sent today to the Daily Mail following their article written by Christopher Booker:

I completely agree with Christopher Booker’s assessment of BBC bias on climate change.

Between October 2006 and February 2010 I entered into correspondence with the BBC on this very subject. I wrote directly to Mark Thompson, Director General, in the hope that I would get some straight answers. What a pious dream that turned out to be!

Until I enlisted the help of my MP, Nick Harvey, in June 2009 the only responses I received were from various ‘Managers’ in BBC ‘Complaints’ and ‘Information’ (Propaganda) departments. Each of these was arrogant, patronising and completely self-centred and served only to perpetuate what I came to call the ‘Principle of Circular Denial’. In other words: covering each others’ backsides.

Even the responses from Thompson covered the same ground and were addressed directly to Nick Harvey who copied them to me. During this period I also wrote to the BBC Trust … and got exactly the same type of reply. I even exchanged letters with Sir David Attenborough … and got exactly the same type of reply!

The common theme throughout this farrago was the BBC’s slavish reliance upon the utterances of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It was the IPCC which spawned the Kyoto Agreement on tackling climate change. Two years ago ‘Climategate’ exposed that the IPCC was peddling what amounted to nothing more reliable than Voodoo Science dreamt up by the usual ‘environmentalist’ suspects. Currently ‘Climategate 2’ is showing that the BBC was complicit in fomenting bias in favour of the argument promoting Anthropogenic (Man-made) Climate Change but is not giving it any air time … surprise, surprise!

The IPCC is currently running the 2011 version of its ‘Jolly-Boys Outing’ in Durban which is why the timing of ‘Frozen Planet’ is so important as far as the Beeb is concerned. Until and unless the BBC is subject to the chill winds of competition instead of being feather-bedded by the pernicious tax known as the ‘Licence Fee’ it will be due to the continuing efforts of Christopher Booker and his supporters to try to raise public awareness of what this unaccountable organisation is up to.

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

Is Accuracy Being Frozen Out of the BBC's Climate Change Coverage?

by Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

The BBC: less trustworthy, more dangerous than a cannibal polar bear

Not by Bob Ward.

Dec 8, 2011 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

A fair-minded person, reading the Booker / Mountford / Newbery analyses of BBC behavior, would surely conclude that there is prima facie evidence that the BBC has been systematically in breach of its statutory obligation to report and behave objectively and impartially on Global Warming / Climate Change issues. But where do we go from here?

Since failure to comply with a statutory obligation is involved, is there any redress in law against the BBC as an organisation, and/or the employees and managers concerned, for not doing so?

What would be the prospects for a Judicial Review, seeking admission of error from the BBC and undertakings from it regarding future compliance with its charter obligations? Or for censorship of it by Parliament? Is there any provision for financial penalties against the BBC for failing to comply with its charter obligations? Should GWPF or other bodies be lobbying for the censorship / disciplining / summary dismissal / loss of pension rights of BBC persons judged to be complicit?

Time to go on the offensive? Even if a Judicial Review was unsuccessful, the opportunity to have the BBC's dirty linen on its handling of Climate Change issues washed in court, under legal privilege, must be tempting to someone of the "sceptical" persuasion with the necessary financial clout.

Dec 8, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian E

Geez! Some polar bear populations are decreasing because they are gettiing shot!

Incidentally, the bears that are not getting shot are doing well.

Population models project that 4 of 13 subpopulations (including approximately 28% of 15,500 polar bears in Canada) have a high risk of declining by 30% or more over the next 3 bear generations (36 years). Declines are partly attributed to climate change for Western Hudson Bay and Southern Beaufort Sea, but are MOSTLY DUE TO AN UNSUSTAINABLE HARVEST in Kane Basin and Baffin Bay. Seven subpopulations (about 43% of the total population) are projected to be stable or increasing. Trends currently cannot be projected for 2 subpopulations (29% of the total population). Bears in some subpopulations show declining body condition and changes in denning location linked to decreased availability of sea ice. For most subpopulations with repeated censuses, data suggest a slight increase in the last 10-25 years.

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

I've just finished reading it in all its glory and it was worth the effort - a calm, measured argument.

There seems to be a curious omission, which I assume is deliberate:

If I understand correctly, some mastermind or other at the BBC decided to sink a monumental slab of the BBC Pension Funds into the 'carbon' racket, so there must be a strong conflict of interest angle against the sceptical viewpoint simply on a mercenary basis.

Dec 8, 2011 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommentermikemUK


You may be alluding to the fact that the BBC has signed up to the The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC);

The IIGCC brings investors together to use their significant collective influence to engage in dialogues with policymakers, investors and companies to accelerate the shift to a low carbon economy.

Dec 8, 2011 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

O/T Sent to Jonathan Amos

Dear Sir

Your attempt to link polar bears killing cubs with climate change is completely false.


"Male polar bears, like males of other ursids, will kill and eat dependent cubs (Hansson and Thomassen 1983; Larsen 1985; Taylor et al. 1985; Derocher and Wiig 1999). Although this activity does not account for a large percentage of the mortality, it is a curious cause of death in young bears. A male bear that kills cubs fathered by another probably confers some survival advantage to cubs he fathered by eliminating possible competitors for resources. Also, female bears undergo a lactational anestrus. By killing her cubs, a male interrupts that anestrus, and theoretically could breed with the female, inducing her to have his cubs rather than the cubs of some other male. Infanticide, therefore, is a mechanism by which males can increase their relative fitness"

Please make a correction.

Thank you

Dec 9, 2011 at 5:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMangoChutney

The fact that the BBC has not made any mention of this important report by the GWPF shows just how biassed the BBC is. A report of this type by Greenpeace, WWF, FoE or any of the taxpayer-funded NGOs would be making headline news throughout the day.

Dec 9, 2011 at 7:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

A good read, which will be useful to historians of the era.
Spotted one typo "forth IPPC report" should be ' fourth' about page 51.

Dec 9, 2011 at 8:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Cruickshank

I mean IPCC of course.
IPPC is the International Pocket Pissers Convention.
Same thing really.

Dec 9, 2011 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Cruickshank

Footnote 8 could be better. See both pages of the "Mann vents" comments.

Dec 9, 2011 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered Commenteranonym

Phillip Bratby,

The BBC doesn't, currently, have enough space on its Science/Environment page for a story on the GWPF report. At the moment they are conducting a propaganda blitz and running every pro-AGW story they can get their hands on. Wouldn't be trying to influence any important meetings, would they? The content at the moment looks pathetically desperate and biased.


Dec 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Brian E , Dec 8, 2011 at 9:06 PM
I am not familiar with judicial review, but it sounds promising. Perhaps as a step towards applying for one, funds could be raised to pay for a QC to make an initial study of the case that might be made?

Maybe just some well-heeled TV-licence payer might just like to sue the BBC to get their money back on grounds of fraud or deception?

Dec 9, 2011 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

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