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« Stocker in Oxford | Main | RealClimate on Yamal »
Friday
May112012

BBC attempts to outdo Heartland

Is this an attempt to outdo the Heartland Institute? On Thought for the Day, BBC Radio 4's prime time religion slot, John Bell, a church of Scotland minister, discussed men, and in particular their badness:

However the notion that men are inherently superior doesn’t stand up to empirical proof. While in physical strength they might usually have the advantage, in terms of moral fibre and human decency men don’t always come out on top.

No indeed. One aspect of their badness that is of concern to John Bell is of course, climate change:

...the people who are most vocal in denying human responsibility for the disastrous effects of climate change are mostly male.

That's bad, I must say. But there are other equally bad men around, sinners to rank alongside those who are a bit doubtful about whether we are all about to fry. Can you guess what they are?

  • people who control factories of wage slaves in the developing world
  • the commanders of terrorist regimes
  • leaders who threaten or declare war
  • those involved in paedophile gangs
  • networks of men who organise systematically the abuse of children

Crazy guy.

(H/T Graham)

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Reader Comments (74)

Oh, look.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_L._Bell

No surprise there then.

May 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterfrostbite

It is a completely unhinged piece of writing.

"It was men - who hugged their wives and kissed their children - who herded human beings into Nazi gas chambers."

Really? You sure about that?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_guards_in_Nazi_concentration_camps

It's one thing to be a bigot, but there's no excuse to be an ill informed bigot. Since he's so wrong about this I wonder what else he's wrong about?

May 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

The vast majority of those most vocal on promoting catastrophic anthropogenic global warming are men too.

May 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

The BBC never learn so it would seem, Bell and BBC previously had to apologise for racism.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1483775/BBC-apologies-for-Thought-for-the-Days-soldier-story.html

May 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

Thought for the Day is my cue to rouse myself from torpor and scramble frantically to hit the off button on the alarm radio. I would be late for work habitually if not for the terror of being subjected to the blatherings of BBC-approved clerics.

May 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

The whole gender issue in climate further proves how far climate science (as promoted in the MSM anyway) is simply another cause celebre for lefties. Next they'll say it's mostly WHITE males. Then white PROTESTANT males. Then white HETEROSEXUAL protestant males. Then white heterosexual protestant males WHO VOTE TORY, read the Telegraph, drive BMWs live in a monogamous marriage, send their children to private school.. bleh blah....

At some point they'll have exhausted all of their betes noires.

May 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Oh, look.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_L._Bell

No surprise there then.
May 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM frostbite

The picture alone speaks louder than words.

He looks a bit like a climate pscyientist.

May 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

What disastrous effects of climate change?

It should be called Strawman for the Day. There is little evidence of any thinking being done.

May 11, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

This is an audio record worth saving (and I'll transcribe it as well, for good measure) - it is the sort of thing that, in the post-climate-scare world, will be a useful reminder of just how bad the media could be, even after the height of the scare.

May 11, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

I consider that hate speech.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech

May 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

It is trivialisation isn't it? He, and by implication, the Beeb have reduced all these other known unarguable transgressions and crimes to be equivalent to a badly understood scientific controversy that they, the faithful believers themselves, can barely remember how to define on a day to day basis.

So now they contemplate comforting victims of those other real crimes by assuring them that they have added some "equivalent" half visible "crime" on their radar that may take up equal time in their concern depending on their mood.

I think that is the definition of decadence.

May 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

A geuine religious zealot/fanatic...

May 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

...the people who are most vocal in denying human responsibility for the disastrous effects of climate change are mostly male.

Isn't he saying only men think for themselves or speak up and women are sheeple? Isn't that a little sexist?

>;-)~

May 11, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Registered Commentermangochutney

Don't really think anyone should be in the slightest bit surprised about Bell's comments on climate change. This is not the first time he has been on the BBC Thought for the Day. Every time he goes on about the evils of climate change which is obviously why he's always invited back. Perfectly suited for the BBC. All climate zealots together.

May 11, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterWoody

Don't really think anyone should be in the slightest bit surprised about Bell's comments on climate change. This is not the first time he has been on the BBC Thought for the Day. Every time he goes on about the evils of climate change which is obviously why he's always invited back. Perfectly suited for the BBC. All climate zealots together.

May 11, 2012 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterWoody

Judy Curry, Donna Laframboise, Jo Nova...

May 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJay Currie

Don't forget Tamsin!

May 11, 2012 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?’ .. is a song from a previous era, but a sentiment which does not go away

Only a humourless, literal minded fool would take "A Hymn To Him" as a starting point for a rant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Doz5w2W-jAY

May 11, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

This also caught my attention this morning, but those of us who are connoisseurs of TFTD have known John Bell for a long time. I find it difficult to defend the BBC, but they do not have editorial control over TFTD. The saving grace is the existence of "platitude of the day" at http://www.platitudes.org.uk/platblog/index.php who satirise every day's offerings. Well worth visiting daily!

May 11, 2012 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ

Well done chaps, you've spotted a nutter. There really is no end to your talents!

May 11, 2012 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

May 11, 2012 at 6:19 PM | Michael

Well done chaps, you've spotted a nutter. There really is no end to your talents!

Yeah, but he's not where you'd expect, sitting at the back of the bus dribbling down his shell suit, he's doing it on the BBC! ;)

The Bee Bloody C!

May 11, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

"He has also authored a number of collections of sermons and meditations, is an occasional broadcaster on radio and television, and manages to survive without the benefit of a wife, car, cell phone, camera, or ipod."

As they say, there's nowt so queer as folk.

May 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Well done Michael. You've missed the point.

He's a nutter and an anti-Israeli who the BBC like so much they keep asking him back. Must be all that 'truthiness' he spouts.

May 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

I think Mr Bell is overlooking the glaring fact that he's (at least ostensibly) a man. Or rather a dick head.

May 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn in cheshire

It's a shame, I was about to go a record 24 hours before getting another dose of misandry from the media in some form before I saw this. Now of course I must continue to hang my head in shame at being born a man.

Excellent work BBC! Without you guys I might have grown some self-respect today, and we can't have that happen.

May 11, 2012 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Pray tell me, how many of the Hockey Stick Team are female?
It fails to be a valid distinguishing characteristic if the control population has a similar profile.

John Bell - based on Iona, has been one of the leading leading hymn writers of the last 40 years. His theology is "liberal". That is a lot of talk of non-sectarian spirituality and social issues viewed through Nu Labour eyes.

May 11, 2012 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

"Well done Michael. You've missed the point." - hardly. You spotted a nutter in the daily nutter spot! Genius.

May 11, 2012 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

May 11, 2012 at 7:02 PM | Michael

You spotted a nutter in the daily nutter spot! Genius.

Mike. You don't like to acknowledge this is mainstream climate nuttiness leaping around, but you realise you can safely label all religious content as nutty. Job done! Genius.

May 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Of course - believing in fairies, angels, ghosts, virgin birth, dragons, little green men, climate conspiracies, gods - ALL NUTTERS!

May 11, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

May 11, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Michael

Of course - believing in fairies, angels, ghosts, virgin birth, dragons, little green men, climate conspiracies, gods - ALL NUTTERS!


Jeez! Have they all been on TFTD too!? I never listen myself. Calm down Mike. I'm an atheist too, you're in a safe place - breathe in... breathe out....

May 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The only person who does not produce a completely fatuous or outright bigoted like Rev Ball, 'thought for the day' is, or more correctly was, Rabbi Lionel Blue. A simple, acceptable and usually life-affirming moral wrapped in Jewish wit.

May 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter C

Is this an attempt to outdo the Heartland Institute?
I don’t think so, given that the Heartland / Unabomber story interests no-one except a few thousand sceptics, and a few tens of thousands of Leo Hickman readers. And both sides are unanimous in condemning it. So, no story.
John Bell is merely quoting the official scientific point of view (and the official psychological point of view on the profile of sceptics). He is therefore normal. It is we who are the nutters.

May 11, 2012 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

He was offended some time ago by books about Scottish history being published in England.

He is a fool and has that peculiar tone of victimised sanctimony unique to some scots which makes you wish to slap him until your hand bled.

May 11, 2012 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

@Martin A

"He has also authored a number of collections of sermons and meditations, is an occasional broadcaster on radio and television, and manages to survive without the benefit of a wife, car, cell phone, camera, or ipod."

... a wife, car, cell phone, camera, or ipod. Or other useful appliance.

May 11, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

Perhaps John Bell would be happier if there were more women like Lucy Skywalker around. I would be too. She has done an excellent job of exposing flaws in the CAGW hypothesis but I am sure most readers of this blog wish there were more female voices like hers.

Men have also been responsible for the great majority of advances in science and almost all (with a small number of exceptions) advances in engineering. Although Harriet Harman has not been particularly vocal in urging women to pull their weight in science and engineering perhaps the Rev. John Bell would urge them to do so.

May 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

'However the notion that men are inherently superior doesn’t stand up to empirical proof.'

If we paid some downmarket university in say, East Anglia, enough cash I'm sure they could come up with the empirical proof required - of anything at all.

May 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterpete

Has someone been slipping psychotropic drugs into the champagne glasses of those attending climate conferences?

May 11, 2012 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

John Bell on TFTD (18 Jan) "
Scotland….that is where I want to end up, because it seems to me that the debate about whether Scotland should be independent of or integrated within the United Kingdom is about more than a nationalist or a unionist agenda.
I have grown up in a nation where the interplay between land and history and politics and religion has been and still is a constant. A country which is surrounded on three and a half sides by water with no one living more than 50 miles from the sea makes one aware of physical limitations and of a bigger world beyond. A history which witnesses more political and cultural subjugation than glorious liberty affects both personal and national self-confidence. A religious culture which, for all its petty censoriousness, has prized the public good of education, philanthropy and social welfare produces a people who are more sensitive than others to the excesses of unfettered capitalism.
I sometimes wonder what people of my age in the South East of England would have felt if their school history books had been written in Aberdeen. Or if their accent, religion and culture was regarded as the stuff of comedy. Or if the area which they consider their heartland was spoken of as if it were a far-flung outpost of the Empire.
So when the opportunity comes to consider the future of Scotland, the primary issue is not whether there should be one or two options on a voting slip. We are dealing with something much more mysterious. I would even say holy. We are dealing with the dawning of a liberated self-consciousness. We are dealing with how a people can best fulfill their potential to prosper according to their own lights, to live peaceably with others and to be responsible stewards of the earth. And that - from a biblical perspective - can only happen when a distinct people in their distinct land are free to determine their own future.
We are dealing with a very different heavenly charter from that which requires guardian angels to sing Rule Britannia."

May 11, 2012 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteerage

Stuck record said: It is a completely unhinged piece of writing.

"It was men - who hugged their wives and kissed their children - who herded human beings into Nazi gas chambers."

Really? You sure about that?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_guards_in_Nazi_concentration_camps

It's one thing to be a bigot, but there's no excuse to be an ill informed bigot. Since he's so wrong about this I wonder what else he's wrong about?

Are you claiming that the female guards had wives?

May 11, 2012 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurboblocke

@ Neil McEvoy

Thought for the Day is my cue to rouse myself from torpor and scramble frantically to hit the off button on the alarm radio.

Same here. I'm no fan of the supernatural.

May 11, 2012 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

Turbobloke.

No. Merely that it requires either an enormous ignorance of history or an enormous effort to be ignorant of history to imagine that the holocaust was perpetrated exclusively by men. Mr Bell is clearly capable of either.

The 'hugging' part isn't really the point, is it? It's the herding into gas chambers that's the point of the sentence and therefore the accusation.

May 11, 2012 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

May 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Peter C

"The only person who does not produce a completely fatuous or outright bigoted like Rev Ball, 'thought for the day' is, or more correctly was, Rabbi Lionel Blue. A simple, acceptable and usually life-affirming moral wrapped in Jewish wit."

Entirely agree. Always worth listening to Blue. One of the very few people to appear on Today and talk sense.

May 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Bell will know all about badness...

The Church of Scotland doesn't exactly have a history of tolerance. In the 17th century soldiers persecuted people who did not attend Church of Scotland services from lists provided by Curates.

After an old man was roasted with branding irons by soldiers a rebellion ensued. The rebellion was suppressed and 120 people who refused to accept the Church of Scotland's teaching were hanged and dismembered. And that was just the start.

It was a religious/political conspiracy against those who opposed the official creed.

Seems familiar to something.....

May 11, 2012 at 11:22 PM | Unregistered Commentermfo

Andrew, thanks for bringing this up.

A letter has been sent from SCEF on behalf of Scottish Sceptics to John Bell to let him know that his comments were unwarranted, upsetting and asking him not to repeat this. It has been copied to the Today program in lieu of a complaint.

May 11, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSCEF

Blue is awful, but nothing surpasses the horror of Ann Atkins and the meaningless drivel she spouts with such passion and the typical Oxbridge presumption of her own knowledge and intellect. God she is awful.

May 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

A worthy heir to the bigotry of John Knox!

May 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDizzy Ringo

At some point they'll have exhausted all of their betes noires.

Here I must respectfully disagree. The Left can never run out of betes noires or it would cease to exist.

May 12, 2012 at 2:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

I just saw his picture in Wiki.

Is there a goatee shop somewhere that gives discounts to high profile warmists? Or are they just all chinless?

Inquiring minds (OK, this i.m.) wants to know.

May 12, 2012 at 2:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

From Bell's wikipedia entry

"In 2005, the BBC apologised for a broadcast by Bell in which he suggested that a Muslim corporal conscripted into the Israeli army had been jailed for refusing to shoot Palestinian children."

Not that the Israeli army conscripts muslims.

May 12, 2012 at 3:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan

"...the people who are most vocal in denying human responsibility for the disastrous effects of climate change are mostly male"

Ok, Mr. Bell, now would you please tell me just how long it has been that you've been hearing these..ummmm...as you describe them..."voices"?

May 12, 2012 at 7:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJPeden

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