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« +++BBC Climate 28 revealed+++ | Main | Deja vu »

Boaden comes clean

The BBC's Helen Boaden recently gave what I believe is the first written confirmation from the BBC that the statement made by the Trust - that the CMEP seminar attendees were "the best scientific experts" - was false. In her written evidence to the Information Tribunal she characterised the attendees as follows:

...representatives from business, campaigners, NGOs, communications experts, people from the 'front line', scientists with contrasting views and academics...

It's good to have this confirmed. I wonder if the Trust would like to issue a correction and an explanation of how the public came to be misinformed.

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Reader Comments (28)

Why am I not surprised at this?

Nov 12, 2012 at 9:33 PM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

Best time to attack an enemy is when they are preoccupied.

Nov 12, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

I'd noticed this before but as the BH spotlight falls on it ...

people from the 'front line'

That depends on a battlefield analogy. But Boaden mentions only one front line, not two.

I think we have it all in that moment. The BBC had already taken sides.

Nov 12, 2012 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Front line in this context, means climate victims seeking climate justice, ie someone from bangladesh, africa, etc. It is the exact phrasing of environmental activists.

Nov 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Why were only 'scientists' having allegedly "contrasting views" invited?

Perhaps Ms Boaden would defend the truth (if any) of her statement, by releasing the names of the attendees.

Nov 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

The 'trick' of course is known what result you want from the meeting before you decided who to invite to it has your experts. What may prove as interesting as who was there was why they were picked in the first place , the rational of choice may tell you much about what they hopped to get out of meeting in the first place .
In this case if their claiming is was based on 'the best scientific experts' you like to know how they defined that to begin with and who made that choice . I guess you will find the usual BBC suspects are behind the selection , with Mr Black and his buddies offering 'guidance'

Nov 12, 2012 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Barry: you may be right, because you tend to read such language more than I bother to do.

Even so it's a horribly biased phrase, perhaps even more so this way. Unless the seminar included those working with the poorest of the poor who think climate policy burdens are an anathema in that context.

(Paul Collier makes the point that NGOs are few and far between in really poor situations. They prefer to drive round in their four-by-fours in places that have decent infrastructure. When the Central African Republic asked him to come and help them with their dire problems, when Collier was doing a stint for the World Bank, he was amazed to be greeted by TV cameras when he arrived and to be on the national news that night. Because nobody else bothered to come. Problems too big. NGOs not interested.)

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

This was in my report:

The BBC disagreed and, at great expense, continues to refuse to disclose the names of the participants. All we know is that in Boaden's words, the 28 "external invitees" were "representatives from business, campaigners, NGOs, communications experts, people from the 'front line', scientists with contrasting views and academics". (p1)

Newbery asked what she mean by 'front line' - Boaden told a story about a village that confused me - she didn't say where this village might be.

I suppose all villages look the same.

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Orlowski

As per my comment last night

Juicy stuff thanks to the IBT. It seems the BBC has lied all along:

A one day event was held in London on January 26 2006, focusing on climate change and its impact on development. The brainstorm brought together 28 BBC executives and independent producers, this time including several from BBC News, and 28 policy experts. It was chaired by Fergal Keane and looked ahead to the next 10 years, to explore the challenges facing television in covering this issue. Several delegates attended from developing countries, including Ethiopia, China and Bangladesh."

Remember that organiser Joe Smith had already published the year before his methodology, where he candidly wrote that In the small group workshops, [...] the specialist contingent usually combines senior NGO figures (in a minority) with scientists and policy actors rooted in evidence-based practices...

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Helen Boaden took an axe,
Gave George Uncurious 40 whacks,
When she saw what she had done,
She gave Chris Patten 41.....

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

This document by IBT actually clearly shows the Chatham House Rules were not meant to apply to the CMEP initiatives, at least not concerning the names of the people in attendance.

In fact, you can read plenty of names peppered around, and there is even a quote with a name stuck to it.

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:25 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

" Ms Boaden regrets she's unable to lunch today . . . "

h/t Cole Porter

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:29 PM | Registered CommentermikemUK

Massive news day for the BBC. This won't be noticed.

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff
Nov 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

It all started at this (broken) link the IBT claimed to provide "more information and background about the brainstorms to date, and a list of all delegates..."

This, I thought, would be the Holy Grail for Tony N's case. A quick trip to the Waybackmachine revealed two snapshot of that PDF saved on 8 Nov 2007.

I wonder when was the very first date whe Tony asked for the list?

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I'll leave to others to peruse through the names.

What's so explosive about them that needed to get Boaden trotted out to court?

How many hundreds of thousands of pounds have been wasted to protect information available on the Waybackmachine?

Who and when deleted that document (in haste, I presume, as they forgot to check if anything linked to it)?

Why did people claim protection under Chatham House Rules when asked for the information, even if they did not follow Chatham House Rules when publishing it first?

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:51 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

If you open the document you will find every name of every participant at every Seminar between 2004 and 2007. So much for Chatham House Rules indeed.

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Maurizio, you're a genius - well done! Shame the money the BBC hosed up the wall defending their lies was actually ours, once more.

When's it going to stop? Resignations are too expensive for us mere licence fee payers to keep on funding.

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

I count only three scientists, none of them known sceptics. That hardly fits with the BBC's description of the make up of the participants.

Nov 12, 2012 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered Commenteradamskirving

Nov 12, 2012 at 10:29 PM | mikemUK


Nov 13, 2012 at 2:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

It's ages since I listened to Ella singing "Miss Otis Regrets" so, for mikemUK, and everyone else:

Nov 13, 2012 at 3:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

"scientists with contrasting views"
3 scientists.
I suppose 2 of them thought we should shut down modern society and depopulate the planet by 90% and the other one thought it's too late for that, we're doomed.

Nov 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Dunford

Best time not to attack an enemy is when they are making a mistake.

Nov 13, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterLuther Bl't

'Best time not to attack an enemy is when they are making a mistake.
Nov 13, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Luther Bl't'

I don't agree. They have *already made the mistakes and it's now time to attack on both flanks and in the centre. When one can read that even the heads of comedy, CBBC, and drama were present, you realise how infected and corrupt this organisation has become, intending to inflitrate their views in to *every aspect of BBC programming, not just what they (laughably) call their 'science coverage'. They wanted to make it completely stitched-up propaganda for their noble cause. Corrupt and decadent, the BBC should be dismantled. Full bloody stop.

Nov 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichieP

I also meant to say - congratulations Maurizio! A brilliant coup de main.

Nov 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichieP

I almost choked on my caviar when I read the quote "scientists with contrasting views".
Had to quickly gulp some Dom Perignon to clear the obstruction.

At least my "Big Oil" funding was put to good use.

Nov 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Airwaves : Yes it was the predictive keyboard
- I don't waste time with ridiculous questions
97% of the hyping heads the BBC air are not climate scientists, as the BC can't see, to find any suiting there dogma, they just take anybody. They try to steal authority by using "scientists" like biologists and genetecists who have no technical expertise, who just express extrapolated opinions like quacks and call that science.
.... Funny how green campaigners gdon't call for those unqualified to be banned .. They Only want skeptics banned even well qualified experts who have written technical books on the subject.

Feb 17, 2014 at 9:18 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Oops wrong thread

Feb 17, 2014 at 9:35 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

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