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The BBC goes dark - Josh 267

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Hunter: glad you think that "most skeptics have been lukewarmers".

Unfortunately, any cursory examination of WUWT, Bishop Hill etc shows that you are wrong.

For instance, thinkingscientist (sic) a couple of posts above said "AGW is not a proper hypothesis and is totally reliant on modelling".


Mar 23, 2014 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMonty


Much of that is trivially true, cf Lindzen. But for goodness sake do not lose perspective. Modern man lives in a brief interglacial, where warm periods are historically named optimums for good reason, with bumper crop seasons. Cold winter spikes produce disaster, like the great Irish famine of 1740, made even worse by potato blight. Rejoice if the climate warms a little, and atmospheric CO2 rises again toward the pre- Ice Age levels plants evolved in and are physiologically tuned toward for optimum growth. The only climatic crisis humanity faces is the onset of the next full glacial. This, unfortunately, is geologically predictable and virtually inevitable, and we have no real idea whether it has already started, or is hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of years hence. It is a telling dereliction of duty for climate science research to fail to address the causes and timing of the next full NH glaciation, for that is the only credibly serious climatic threat to humanity. It exposes the fundamental political rather than scientific dimension pursued by present day political policy dominated research.

Mar 23, 2014 at 11:20 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Monty has a few things to say. Lets just take them one at a time...

Hi thinkingscientist (Great name BTW....and immediately falsified by your post!).

Well, not really. I am a scientist. And I do think.

What hiatus? 2005, 2010 and 2007 were all warmer than 1998. Right?

Unfortunately for your argument, some very well known climate scientists, including Ben Santer, acknowledge there is a hiatus and its a very serious problem for them to explain. Try reading the APS Workshop transcript. As for your highlighting certain years as warmer, the hiatus is defined by a lack of statistically significant temperature gradient, not by temperature highs and lows. The hiatus is a period without statistically significant trend for around 17 years, something that does not occur in climate models, except below the 5% CI.

And models don't deal with stochastic events (like a cool sun). Right?

So with this statement you appear to tacitly acknowledge there is a hiatus, but then claim that it is due to a "stochastic" event which you seem to assert is due to a cool sun. Perhaps you would like to provide a reference for this? It seems to contradict the explanation of many mainstream climate scientists. And of course, solar TSI is known for the last 17 years and does not seem to be the cause. Unless of course you know different?

And you do accept the basics of climate science (C02 is a GHG, C02 is rising and it's all human; the climate should warm etc)? Right?

CO2 is a ghg. Fred Singer, the well known and competent atmospheric physicist, estimates that a doubling of CO2 will increase temperature by 0.6 degC. I think he is probably correct. As for "its all human", no I disagree here. CO2 lags temperature at all time scales and the contribution of human CO2 is only a few percent of the natural flux. It is a contribution, but is likely small. Negative feedbacks such as clouds may negate the effect completely. Time will tell.

And sea levels are rising. Right?

Of course sea level is rising. At about 1.7 mm/yr, according to IPCC. Anyone pushing sea level rise as evidence of AGW clearly has not read IPCC properly. Sea level is rising steadily over a long period. In the last 30 years there is an increase in the rate, but the IPCC also notes that there was a similar rate increase up to the 1940's, so the sea level increase cannot be distinguished from natural causes, and the long term trend is just business as usual such as thermal expansion in response to long term recovery from the LIA.

And ice is melting? Right?

All the time. And water is freezing all the time. The arctic has lost sea ice in the last decades, similar to how it lost sea ice in the early part of the 20th Century. At the same time Antarctica has been gaining sea ice. Not sure what your point is. Net global sea ice is currently increasing, not decreasing.

And the deep oceans are warming? Right?

Well, the models say so. But as there are no actual measurements to support this assertion, I'll defer judgement until there is some actual data.

And this is all consistent with what climate scientists have argued for two centuries?

Two centuries of climate scientists? I must have missed that! And there's me thinking climate science is quite new.

You do accept all of this?

Well I think I have laid out the facts fairly clearly. You are clearly well out of your depth on the science, but hey, ho, never let the facts get in the way of strong belief.

Have a nice day!

Mar 24, 2014 at 12:04 AM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Monty - please look at the ice core temperature proxy data for some climate context:

Lappi / Alley GISP with Hadcrut4 gl appended.
(source data:

Vosktok ice core, Antarctica, 420,000ya to present

Enjoy the Holocene while it lasts.

Mar 24, 2014 at 12:13 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

does anyone feel that Monty is the latest version of BBD/Bitbucket/EntropicMan...? sloths clinging onto the collapsing vines of their faith...

Mar 24, 2014 at 1:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Monty, you cite the clerk in the patent office as having published ground-breaking papers. What you are missing is that, under your logic, his opinions have no weight, as he is only a clerk in the patent office. (“Ah, but that was then and this is now,” do I hear you say?)

And you chide us for irony…. Sheesh!

Precisely what science is settled, anyway?


Mar 24, 2014 at 1:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent


Nooo, you've got it all wrong, that patent clerks papers weren't peer-reviewed*, thereby instantly and irrevokably making his life's work meaningless. Apparently.

*It's worth asking who Einstein's peers could conceivably have been, isn't it? 'Peerless' is supposed to be a compliment - but if you're one of the losers who could only dream of getting into the C minus stream at GCSE and then compounded your failure by buying a 'degree' from the risible UEA, clearly finding your equals doesn't present much of a challenge.

Mar 24, 2014 at 1:49 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

If you are still with us, try telling us what you believe, instead of telling us how stupid and wicked we are.

Mar 24, 2014 at 2:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

"And you do accept the basics of climate science (C02 is a GHG, C02 is rising and it's all human; the climate should warm etc)? Right?"

Interestingly, the 1970s "Coming Ice Age" climate scare was based on a similar type of reductionist logic. Human activity produces soot, and soot blocks sunlight (it's physics!) therefore human activity is responsible for cooling the planet.

Plus ça change...

Mar 24, 2014 at 3:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke in Central Illinois

So Monty you've decided to come out of the closet as a hiatus denier. Sad, but some distributions have outliers.
Is it OK if we Chebyshev you and get a bit sense back into the debate.


Mar 24, 2014 at 4:18 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

Adolescent monty:
You twist wording, select (cherry pick) parts of sentences and then mash them together to mean something altogether different than the author writes.

You dismiss, demean, denigrate broad groups of scientists, analysts, engineers and Doctors in broad vague swipes.

Basically, you argue against facts utilizing a two year old's tantrum shriek complete with floor spinning, flailing and kicking.

Early in your flailed flawed posts you insist that many people have no published works; actually you insist that these people have no 'peer' reviewed published papers. Apparently nationally published books and articles have no bearing with you as your revered 'pal reviewers' are unable to 'redefine peer review' in those venues.

Taking just one of the many people you wronged, Lord Christopher Monckton. Lord Monckton not only has 'Peer Reviewed' climate articles to his credit; but he also has many published works and articles.

Since you desperately need some education, you can search for which ones are the 'peer reviewed' ones.

More montyisms and flails:
"...What hiatus? 2005, 2010 and 2007 were all warmer than 1998. Right?

And models don't deal with stochastic events (like a cool sun). Right?

And you do accept the basics of climate science (C02 is a GHG, C02 is rising and it's all human; the climate should warm etc)? Right?

And sea levels are rising. Right?

And ice is melting? Right?

And the deep oceans are warming? Right?

And this is all consistent with what climate scientists have argued for two centuries?

You do accept all of this?

I suppose you already have the 'primer' with the 'correct' answers?

Shame on you!

Your false pretense at argument is simply a front for shouting down anyone who disagrees. You absolutely refuse to stand behind any of your arguments and provide proofs. Instead you shriek an ad hominem, mutter some weak argument from authority and insist everyone here is incorrect in their science and analysis; yet you offer nothing more than preaching fanaticism.

"...What hiatus? 2005, 2010 and 2007 were all warmer than 1998. Right?

Hiatus is a 'period of years', not cherry picked years. Across all of those so called 'warmest' years there is no statistically significant warming trend. Not even the fanatic true CAGW believers have shaken this fact; many including the IPCC acknowledge the hiatus.

"...And models don't deal with stochastic events (like a cool sun). Right?

I don't believe the models handle any unexpected conditions, period. Does this question mean you believe the sun is responsible for the hiatus you are admit the models fail to 'model'?

"...And you do accept the basics of climate science (C02 is a GHG, C02 is rising and it's all human; the climate should warm etc)? Right?

Duh! CO2 is a GHG, period.
CO2 is not all human! Man's contribution is miniscule at worst. Nor has anyone found a way to 'prove' man's CO2 contribution, only estimate. Adding twenty to thirty molecules of CO2 per million gas molecules in the atmosphere over the last half century with only about 5% attributable to humans (1-2 molecules of CO2).

Temperatures should rise. Perhaps climate will warm too. I am awaiting proof that CO2 with an infrared absorption/emission ratio that is less than two will have climatic long term residual effect. Warming when the CO2 absorption/emission rate is high, but not on days when that IR rate is lower. So far all climatic CO2 effects I seen are assumed yet unproven. For that matter, actual open sky CO2 IR absorption/emission impacts to atmospheric conditions are also unproven. Acceptance is not proof!

"...And sea levels are rising. Right?

Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last major ice advance. In fact, if you bother to check the sea level rise since the ice age you'll notice that seal level rise has dropped to just above nil. Sea level rise right now is so low that it is almost indistinguishable with all of the other sea level and land level noise. It will probably take a century or two of serious sea level measurements to truly determine an accurate rate.

"...And ice is melting? Right?

Only if you seriously cherry pick where.
The Arctic is beginning to recover. Yes the Arctic 'minimum' is on the lower end since satellites have been doing accurate measurements, but that 'minimum' is still a seriously large amount of ice that does not melt! Arctic ice recovery is coming within standard deviations of 'normal', even for alarmists.
Antarctic ice coverage has been growing and is now well above 'normal'.
Add Antarctic and Arctic ice levels together for a 'global' view and the Earth's Polar ice caps are above normal! Even for alarmists.

"...And the deep oceans are warming? Right?

Globally? No!
Small areas of deep ocean have been identified as warming fractions of a degree. Hundredths and thousands of a degree which are well below our ability to measure temperatures.
The current claim for 'warming deeps' depend on statistical manipulation to extract what would normally be truncated or rounded away.
Overall again, the claim for warming is for small areas other areas of the world's deep oceans are cooling, not warming.

"...And this is all consistent with what climate scientists have argued for two centuries?

Two centuries? Two centuries ago a climate scientist predicted that the world would suffer catastrophe from CO2 warming? You need to prove this. And prove that that claim has been maintained, researched, verified and proven for two hundred years.
A chemist or physicist determining that molecules absorb certain frequencies of radiation and are themselves at a higher energy level until they emit photons and drop to a lower state does not make for a climate prediction. Nor does that scientist demonstrating that a rise in temperature may occur under closed conditions make for a climate prediction.

"...You do accept all of this?

A true scientist should never 'accept' pre-conditions, beliefs and assumptions; nor should they ever pander to personal preferences, authoritative assumptions or mob rules.

Throughout history:
Life and mankind flourishes during every warm period. If CO2 causes warming, that is far better than Earth undergoing another ice age or even a brief chill.
Every cold period in history is accompanied by famine, disease and war. Cold is disastrous for humans.

CO2 is good for plants! Theory holds that under a certain level of atmospheric CO2, plants suffer; and this has been demonstrated under controlled conditions. When plants suffer, mankind suffers. When plants thrive, mankind thrives!

Greenhouse growers have simulated CO2 atmospheric conditions above 1000PPm. Those greenhouse tomatoes that look so good are grown in greenhouses with high CO2 levels.

Mar 24, 2014 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

I've learned not to to engage with trolls, or get sidetracked into discussions about them.
So, back to the original topic - the BBC.

I suppose we should now properly call it the "BPC". (In case it's not immediately clear, it's "P" for "Propaganda".

Mar 24, 2014 at 7:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

The BBC's actions demonstrate, better than any interview with a skeptic could, that the cAGW hypothesis is dead. Only the indefensible requires protection through censorship. Notice the number of alarmists who now claim it is not worth debating this issue because of the certainty of their case and that it would be a waste of their time. If they had a track record of successfully defending their hypothesis in public debate they might have a point. However, running away and leaving their foot soldiers to screech away on blogs like BH is their favoured approach.

Mar 24, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Thanks, Level Gaze and Steve Jones
Would other commenters please stick to the topic of the post - BBC censorship. -or take their opinions to the discussion pages.

Mar 24, 2014 at 8:41 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

This BBC position is not new nor is it unique to the BBC. The secretive BBC panel on how to report on AGW was well reported on here and elsewhere. The faux claim of no academic skeptics has been taken down many times. AGW promoters, academic and political, have been running away from discussions with skeptics, academic or otherwise, for years.
NPR, America's BBC-lite, and most so-called independent American media, have carefully avoided discussing problems with the AGW movement or acknowledging that many AGW predictions have been proven wrong for years. Few if any major media bother to report on climate issues by way of offering viewers/listeners/readers skeptical points of view. This 'three monkey's style' of reporting (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) is typical of a lazy, dependent agenda controlled press.
Sadly, in retrospect, I think that the idea of an aggressive hard hitting media willing to report things as they are in a frank manner is possibly as big a myth as the idea of apocalyptic AGW.

Mar 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

BH 8:41 - I've opened a discussion 'I was Monty's Double'.

Mar 24, 2014 at 9:35 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

On Sunday morning on BBC radio 4 there was an interesting Point of View by Sarah Dunant, called "Heavy Weather". You can download the podcast. She talks about a new film "Noah", and linked the biblical and modern association of our sins with apocalypse. She also talked about the 17th century Little Ice Age and mentioned this book by Geoffrey Parker. Although she is clearly a believer (she uses that word), there were several things she said that some devout believers would not like.

Just noticed Richard D has set up a discussion post on this. He also found the transcript.

Mar 24, 2014 at 9:38 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Hi thinkingscientist (sic)

Nice example of cherrypicking and failing to respond to my questions.

Let's start:
The hiatus: only if you cherrypick from the late 1990s. How about using the longer record? How does your 'hiatus' look like then (hint: it doesn't exist).

Models and stochastic events: you clearly don't know what models do. Current GCMs and ESMs model atmospheric responses to changes in forcings and changes in feedbacks. However, over short timescales unforced variability is as high as forced variability, and stochastic events (like a cool sun, volcanos etc) are important. Over longer timescales these are drowned out by changes in boundary values (including GHG). Please read WG1 to educate yourself.

C02 as a GHG: you're not really using Singer as a competent scientist in this are you? You could at least have used the well known 'skeptic' Richard Lindzen, who disagrees with Singer!
Doubling C02 without triggering feedbacks results in warming of around 1.2C. The available evidence all suggests that feedbacks are net positive which is where ECS of around 3C comes from.

All the recent rise in C02 is from humans.

Sea levels. Recent rates are around 3mm per year. What do you mean the rise is associated with "thermal expansion in response to long term recovery from the LIA". The temperature can't rise unless it is forced to. What's causing the rise in T from the LIA (which wasn't global anyway?).

Ice loss: are you saying that the GIS and WAIS aren't losing mass? Mountain glaciers all round the world are in recession. Do you disagree? Arctic sea ice is at an historic low (proxy data says for thousands of years...see Miller et al 2013). Antarctic sea ice (a very different thing) is high but probably caused by freshening of salt water as Antarctica melts (which you would expect, right, as a 'thinkingscientist (sic)). SAM is probably also causing this.

Climate science isn't new. You've clearly forgotten the works of Fourier, Tyndall etc. in the 19th century.

So thinkingscientist (sic) a little less cherrypicking and a bit more critical thinking.


Mar 24, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterMonty

Is this memo a kind of "stop it!" to those producers / presenters who have had The Bisp (and others) on ?

I can't see Andrew Neil taking much notice, thankfully.

Mar 24, 2014 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

It shouldn't be English Lit grad against scientist in the studio says Monty. So Ironically he has brought the discussion full circle back ontopic to BBC deliberately rigging the debate

- Strangely that is the what the outrageous BBC situation is .. In the studio there are 2 people : the clueless English Lit,/humanities grad JOURNALIST..being unable to challenge the assertions of the climate activist scientist the producer has selected from the white list of the unbanned.
- I posted more in Discussion : I was Monty's Double

Mar 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Monty (Mar 23, 2014 at 6:10 PM) said "I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about. Why would the BBC have a 'debate' between a warmer and a 'skeptic'. There is no debate really (about from the minutiae of cloud feedbacks or something). The science is settled I'm afraid."

There are quite a few climate scientists who would disagree with you; Dr Judith Curry being just one example (

The fact that you trivialise cloud feed-back merely underlines your apparent lack of understanding, which means you're posting out of ignorance or simply to inflame (i.e. you're a troll).

Mar 24, 2014 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Alasdair MacLeod said:

When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics. If a programme does run such a discussion, it will… be in breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality.

I’m sorry but surely this statement only says what has always happen.
Except for the two occasions when they slipped up and allowed someone called Lawson to speak-out without asking the Labour party, Greenpeas, and WWF focus groups for the officially sanctioned public opinion on their position.
The bias BrokenBiscuitCompany continues to splutter it’s nonsense to the ever receptive sheeple.

Mar 24, 2014 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

The BBC's Alasdair MacLeod has just announced that from now on only when Fracking is discussed only registered fracking engineers should be allowed on air.

Is that OK with the raving Greens ?

When a topic comes up how does the producer decide who should comment.
- The topic must be probed to get to the truth, and unless a presenter us well experienced they would not be able to challenge assertions properly, so often there is a case for bringing on people who think they can counter the assertions, but who ? Producers tend to be lazy and uneducated so they do tend to look for authority figures for experts. Secondly if activist organisations are calling 4 times/day or eating at the same dinner parties as the producers then they get a head start.

- Anyone have any idea of how a producer should select ?

Yes you should listen to the government and the political parties.
- What if the issue was sould we go to war and all the parties were in support, who would you look to then? If a blogger/writer appeared to have a lot of public support and pro-comments would you consider them ?

"only experts comment" - tosh , says the small boy who had the guts to shout "the king has no clothes"
... The BBC would have course banned him.

Mar 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Looks like we are being treated to the full Monty. Except in this case, he's only exposing his ignorance.

Mar 24, 2014 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

And the deep oceans are warming? Right?

really and your actual evidenced for that is what ?

Mar 24, 2014 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Monty, why cherry-pick the last 2 centuries? Take it a bit further – say, the last 2 millennia (that’s 2,000 years), and you will find the trend is pretty much a flat line (perhaps slightly downwards); so, what’s to worry about?

As for Arctic sea ice, why pick proxies, contentious as they may be, when you can have recorded data: 80 years ago, Russian survey ships were sailing in ice-free waters within 500 miles of the North pole; the Swedes and Norwegians were seeing glaciers retreating at “unprecedented” rates; these have since regrown, and are not yet retreating at the same rate.

Are you really saying that a sea-level rise of 3mm is recordable? Hint: try measuring a 3mm rise in your bath.


Mar 25, 2014 at 1:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

On the subject of fracking, this is about as close to a balanced article you will get from the BBC:

2 out of 2152 wells had suffered failure. I make that 0.093% or, put another way, a 99.907% integrity level. This is way in excess of the magic 97% that, apparently, is the gold standard for proof. Therefore, fracking is safe.

I liked this bit at the end of the article,

' "As a society, we're not good at longterm thinking. We need to plan now for keeping track of wells and making sure there is enough money to plug and monitor them for at least 50 years." '

Maybe the BBC will do a follow up article about how provision for the dismantling and disposal of windmills has been put in place. Given the much shorter lifespans predicted for windmills this is a problem that is going to come home to roost very quickly.

Mar 25, 2014 at 8:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

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