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« Integrity and the climate scientist | Main | Charities are not what they were »

The BBC's week of lies

The tsunami of environmentalist disinformation, naked campaigning and outright lies coming from the BBC this week is quite extraordinary. It's impossible to keep up with it all and I'm not even going to try. I'll leave this as an open thread for anyone who wants to post stuff. Feel free to transfer things from unthreaded too.

As a starter for ten, in an email Tony Newbery notes Nick Robinson's frantic attempts to make sure that all the listeners knew that Matt Ridley is not a scientist and compares this with the introduction given to Britt Basel in a segment the same day about Vanuatu: the lady in question was introduced as "a climate change adviser". However, this is not how she describes herself:

I’m an adventurer, a socio-environmental scientist, and a storyteller. Challenge, learning, and exploration fuel me. The diversity and richness of our world fascinate me. I am driven by a conviction that there is a more sustainable and satisfying way of living of our daily lives. My passion and my work have brought me to more than 30 countries. My camera is my constant companion.

And that, ladies and gentlemen is why the BBC should be closed.

Amusingly, Ms Basel has posted the adaptation plan she developed for some of the Solomon Islanders. Seriously.


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Reader Comments (106)

What happened to this?

'The BBC is required to deliver duly impartial news by the Royal Charter and Agreement and to treat controversial subjects with due impartiality. The Trust is committed to making sure that the BBC fulfils this obligation.'

Who are they kidding?

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered Commenteroldbrew

I was rather hoping that mumblings of earlier from the HMG & No 10 that the BBC were going to be curtailed somewhat, with some statements seemingly anti-BBC. Clearly, the old left-guard are still clinging on!

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

My main concern was that both Nick Robinson and Matthew Price made false claims about increasing extreme weather events.

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:48 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Price also says that people in Vanuatu are going to have to be relocated.

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Interesting to know that a PhD in zoology doesn't qualify you as an environmental scientist. Meanwhile Gavin Schmidt, the head of NASA Giss, has a Phd in Maths (and his predecessor in Astrophysics) yet they are treated as climate experts. By that standard any computer programmer or gatherer of empirical data must be a scientist too. Meanwhile Nick Robinson, with a mere PPE degree, can falsely declare without challenge that 'scientists' can directly link current droughts and floods to a climate change that has even been absent for 18 years.

However I thought Ridley made his points well. Only a blind zealot can fail to see the futility of the entire enterprise and that the cure is obviously worse than the putative disease. Alas ignorance is the new black.

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Unless they get a climate change episode on Strictly come dancing, X factor or East Enders I doubt that anybody is listening to them anyway.

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

We should not forget the "Matt Ridley owns a coalmine" canard, repeated by Nick Robinson yesterday.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:02 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

So Vanuatu waterfront properties will drop in price. Yeah right!

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

and we're only at day 3 of COP21 ...

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

I thought this was interesting:

"I am driven by a conviction that there is a more sustainable and satisfying way of living of our daily lives."

Not a more sustainable way of living my daily life, oh no, the rest of us are going to have to be drafted into her green utopia as well.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

Look on the bright side, with the BORG in full swing this week the environmental budget will be used up and we should expect a long quiet period from the BBC on climate change, especially when COP21 fails to provide for them.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Here is a picture tweeted by Matthew Price himself. It doesn't look to me as though Vanuatu is about to disappear under the sea.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:10 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

The BBC's coverage of the climate change conference is so desperate and OTT that I doubt anyone with a modicum of common sense will take it too seriously; anyway, a clip of Prince Charles or Charlotte Church soon redresses the balance nicely. As for Matt Ridley I marvel at his patience, good humour and courtesy. He deserves a medal.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterMitcheltj

"Talk with village about moving houses back"

That is so hilarious. How could this level of intelligence possibly pass through the sieve of natural selection?

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterrokshox

And in almost perfect comedy timing from the bbc.

No tropical storms anywhere on earth at the moment.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustAnotherPoster

If you work hard enough in creating a situation where the man or woman on the street is so incredulous as to not question authority, even when the proposition is so detrimental and counter intuitive, you win. It's a masterstroke of political activism and I have no doubt it's been long in the planning. We need an Edward Snow, an insider, someone from within who can join the dots. I can't believe the things Obama is saying in the face of the real problems this world is facing. This can't be coincidental. It's quacking like a duck. Call me a conspiracy nut….

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterCeetee

All credit to her. She clearly likes to travel and has undoubtedly found a good way to do it on the cheap or even get paid for it!

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered Commenter|David Johnson

Talking to the villagers is Fred's job. Planting the mangroves in Michael and Joseph's job.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:21 AM | Registered Commentershub

ceetee, that's right. When people just shake their heads and hope the stupidity would just vanish you've won. 'Cause you know you're not going away any time soon, or going away at all.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:23 AM | Registered Commentershub

Ceetee: The problem is that what we see fed to us on our telescreens, we take as accepted truth. The vast majority of people immediately see Obama as a reckless incompetent fool, but with no opportunity for collective reinforcement of their take - and a countervailing narrative shoved down their throat - there is no purchase for reality to take hold.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterrokshox

Didn't Obama's speech make reference to 'saving the planet'?

This is the problem - it doesn't need a conspiracy when it's all tangled together in a combination of 'common knowledge', deification of the 60s counter-culture and a Messianic complex amongst political and environmental leaders.

As for BBC inaccuracies, I heard someone (while briefly flicking around the radio a couple of days ago, so only got a snippet and don't know who it was) claiming that there was a direct feedback loop in CO2 warming, in that as the atmosphere warms, the direct greenhouse effect from atmospheric CO2 increases. Not something I've ever heard argued before, but my assumption was that whoever was speaking had mis-understood the water vapour feedback (i.e. indirect greenhouse effect) argument, and also had never heard that the effect of CO2 is logarithmic.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan Blanchard


It's a mania - building on what's gone before, recycling (?) the more evocative bits and generally scampering about being self important , while indulging oneself in oh, so many ways...

It would be positive to see the liars and serial failed fantasists (Erlich etc.) ejected from their sinecures for repeated failure but the mutual reinforcement effect predominates and failure's reward looks like continuing to supply more of the same hysterical bilge indefinitely.

This is one house of cards that's bizarrely still standing - although even if it fell down the BBC would still be showing archive footage until it was rebuilt.

I'm still scratching my head as to exactly what "climate justice" is...... although Mann, Bob Ward , Nick Stern and / or Gummer struck by lightning would be among my favorite outcomes

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:36 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Or better still St. Mary Robinson being struck by lightening!

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

"And that, ladies and gentlemen is why the BBC should be closed."

I don't have any problem with the BBC broadcasting eco-porn to eco-wkers. But I really don't see why I should pay for it.

And you will never realise just how much brainwashing they output - unless or until you break the habit of watching their continuous output of puerile campaigning and eco-drivel.

(Estimated selling price of BBC: £7billion - which would help nicely to reduce the public debt their anti-industry/commerce culture has helped create)

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

- direct link to Vanuatu segment ..... direct link to Ridley segment

Note the difference in treatment :
The ACTIVIST - Welcomed and given an open door : not called out
- Gets the primetime slot

The SKEPTIC - Hostility - has his expertise played down, is called journalist (not SCIENCE journalist), called "not a scientist" twice .Has false assertions thrown at him e.g. 'authorities like IPCC' say "it's an urgent problem"
- Gets the graveyard slot right at the end of the prog when everyone is already at work, and when you can pull the "out of time" trick.

To be fair they did allow a fair amount of time, the interview could have been far worse

Ivor Ward is right no neutrals listened : 15 angry activists tweeted against Ridley and most of them hours later showing that they didn't listen at the time
Alarmism has Attenborough, Charlotte Church and Right Charlie on primetime,
whereas skeptics like Johnny Ball, and Bellamy are banned

Other BBC tricks like James Cameron on Farming Today are listed over on Unthreaded

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:47 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

'Saving the planet'

If you have never heard of George Carlin; watch this video on Saving The Planet ^.^ The F word is used a few times but only to add to the humour.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:51 AM | Registered CommenterDung

I recently sent an email to assorted politicians and others which I think sums it all up, see

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Brodie

I always thought Matt Ridley *is* a scientist.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Nicholas Ridley is a failed banker, wrong about some things, dangerously wrong about others.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Yes, it's a bunch of crazy hippies, nothing to do with the trillions of dollars of dormant carbon credits in the bank accounts of the world's corporations.

Shell executive touts carbon tax or cap-and-trade at UH forum - By Jordan BlumNovember 10, 2015

A carbon tax or cap-and-trade system in the U.S. - and globally - would serve the energy industry better than the current slate of piecemeal state and federal regulations, Shell Oil Co. President Marvin Odum said Tuesday.

He acknowledged that Congress won't take action soonin gridlocked Washington, but said that people should move beyond sound bites. Odum spoke at the University of Houston's energy symposium focusing on whether now is the right time for a carbon tax.

He argued for a global approach, be it a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, aimed at all industries in an effort to fight against climate change threats. "I don't know that I really care which it is. It just has to be a very well-designed system," Odum said. "I think it's important to have a level playing field."

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Doug: "I recently sent an email to assorted politicians" - the one thing the BBC are good at, is knowing who is in power and pretending to be "impartial" to them. Moreover, the BBC go out of their way to broadcast the carp we get from politicians so that the only other thing they really do apart from eco-drivel and general "PC-culture" is to push the pet projects of those in the political class.

Which also explains why the political class are so out of touch - because the BBC is nothing but that "mirror mirror on the wall who's the most electable of them all" ... to which the BBC mirror always reply: "YOU DEAR POLITICIAN ARE JUST LOVED BY THE PUBLIC".

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:57 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

"The BBC's week of lies"

If it was only a week then Christmas would indeed have come early.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Is carbon trading poised for take-off? - Carbon pricing is set to raise $22bn this year, as Vietnam adopts its own carbon market and China tightens cap-and-trade regulations

By Jocelyn Timperley | 03 Nov 2015

Carbon pricing mechanisms around the world will raise approximately $22bn this year, as more countries and businesses launch national carbon markets in efforts to control emissions.

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

This lady seems to see these islanders as her playthings, like some simplified version of Jeffrey Sachs. Or is she merely an agent in the pay of Big Green? They know, for example, how to make money by evicting people, or should I say 'moving them back a bit' - scroll down in that linked post to see an example.

As for the BBC, it is dramatically doubling-down on its fanatical advocacy for the shonky case for alarm over our impact on climate. I guess it ties in with their hatred of our society, of capitalism in general, and their 'useful idiot' level of faith in the United Nations and anything emerging from it such as UNEP and the IPCC. Others see it as more of a cess-pit of corruption and deceit. The destiny, I fancy, of the BBC on its current trajectory.

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:03 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

I'm surprised (not) that the BBC didn't go full retard on an obit for Maurice Strong. The man behind the curtain at the UN who above all other we can thank for this ridiculous global political monster we are now battling:

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

The Vanuatu and Kiribati real-estate scams[1,2] comes round each year at COP time. It's brilliant, but it's hardly novel: merely the scale, audacity and corruption.
The structure has been known for well over a century. As a property developer you (a) see scope for economic development for a plot of land currently used for something else and owned by somebody else (b) buy it cheap from the owner (c) develop it and sell it to the new owners. The key step is at (b), where you need to convince the current owner that the value of their property is small and going to go down, so they should sell now. But this is small beer if applied to marginal land, brown-field sites or (in the US) site with mineral deposits underneath. To really hit the big time what better ruse could you come up with than to convince an entire country (or rather, whoever owns the land in it) that it is about to be submerged? You buy their land in an anticipated "flood damage" sale, and move the population to another location. You then build luxury hotels, marinas and air-ports to cater for rich jet-setters on what previously just marginal farming land.

But it gets better! Moving people is expensive. What better scheme than to first to make the move compulsory, and then get other people in the world to chip in to their removal expenses?
Moving say 250,000 people would cost perhaps a billion pounds, plus "inconvenience" compensation. Small beer for the Soroses, pension fund managers and socialist governments.

It's the sort of scheme and scale that only Maurice Strong and the UN could have devised. I look forward to sailing my yacht to Vanuatu marina (of flying my privatte jet) and resort in 2050.

[1] COP21: Residents on Vanuatu 'must be relocated'
[2] COP21: People of Kiribati 'may have to relocate'

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterSuffolkBoy

Carbon trading offers the prospect of carbon taxing; the ability to tax the wind and the waves would make chancellors weep with pleasure; decarbonisation offers streams of revenue that might save the necks of the social-democratic ponzi governments, who otherwise inevitably face the same fate as Greeece. Thats whats behind the state support for 'global warming'

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Saturday, I was driving home and listening to R4, the programme was about the Band ELO and a particular track "mr blue sky" released by them. Thought that this should be safe. :) First off, some artistic type guests gave their views and then someone introduced themselves as a science communicator and launched into how last year they had journeyed to the Arctic in order to measure Methane releases. <press seek button>

Is nothing safe from their missionary zeal?

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

Here's the segment from yesterday's Today with Britt Basel:

Matthew Price: Vanuatu's a country spread out over hundreds of miles of this part of the Pacific Ocean - there are more than 80 islands that make up the nation, and I'm travelling between two of them at the moment, on a small launch painted bright orange. This was already an impoverished and isolated country, even before the problems associated with climate change started to hit.

Britt Basel: What they're suffering, right now, is what the Western world in our age [or "our days"?] is doing - it's our emissions that have created this situation for them.

Matthew Price: Britt Basel is a climate change advisor, working in Vanuatu. The big threat, she says, is not the rising sea levels - it's the increase in extreme weather events that scientists believe global warming is causing, and their impact on resources.

Britt Basel: If the rains don't come, and they can't get a big enough crop, they're not going to eat. Or if they have to fish too much, to be able to sell those fish to be able to buy rice because they're not producing enough crops, it destroys the entire system.

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

On the anti-Ridley front, there's a new Lewandowsky article at the Graun
and eight of the first dozen comments fantasise about the death of Ridley.
I don't think there's been anything quite like this in the "serious" media since - I don't know - the 1930s?

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:25 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

@ Phil Clarke

was the Moonbat quote an attempt at ironical counterpoint or are you a visitor from planet Gurdian?

The mention of Guardian contributors / O2 larcenists serves to remind that these two outfits are in orbit around each other. I'd have included the Onbiot in my climate justice outcomes wishlist - but lightning is too quick for George.

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Registered Commentertomo

If you thought the Beeb was bad, Sky was even worse. I have never heard so much lies and disinformation being reported as fact.

It seems our political 'leaders' are all shameless and compromised.

They certainly dont represent us...

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Smith

In any case, tomo, lightning doesn't work on zombies.

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

O/T - Australia BoM computer hacked -Chinese blamed. Another Climategate imminent?

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterCHarlie

No offence intended, but this thread is like a group of ten year olds having a serious, whispered discussion behind the bike shed about ..... the fact that grown ups tell lies.

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

It looks like "climate change" is pretty far down the list of Vanuatu's problems.

Vanuatu's population (estimated in 2008 as growing 2.4% annually) is placing increasing pressure on land and resources for agriculture, grazing, hunting, and fishing. Some 90% of Vanuatu households fish and consume fish, which has caused intense fishing pressure near villages and the depletion of near-shore fish species. While well-vegetated, most islands show signs of deforestation. The islands have been logged, particularly of high-value timber, subjected to wide-scale slash-and-burn agriculture, and converted to coconut plantations and cattle ranches, and now show evidence of increased soil erosion and landslides.

Many upland watersheds are being deforested and degraded, and fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce. Proper waste disposal, as well as water and air pollution, are becoming troublesome issues around urban areas and large villages. Additionally, the lack of employment opportunities in industry and inaccessibility to markets have combined to lock rural families into a subsistence or self-reliance mode, putting tremendous pressure on local ecosystems

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpeed

Tomo - The theme of the post is 'lies'

He says that “no significant error has come to light” in Bjorn Lomborg’s book The Sceptical Environmentalist(17). In fact it contains so many significant errors that an entire book – The Lomborg Deception by Howard Friel – was required to document them(18).

Ridley asserts that average temperature changes over “the last three decades” have been “relatively slow”(19). In reality the rise over this period has been the most rapid since instrumental records began(20). He maintains that “eleven of thirteen populations” of polar bears are “growing or steady”(21). There are in fact 19 populations of polar bears. Of those whose fluctuations have been measured, one is increasing, three are stable and eight are declining(22).

He uses blatant cherry-picking to create the impression that ecosystems are recovering: water snake numbers in Lake Erie, fish populations in the Thames, bird’s eggs in Sweden(23). But as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment shows, of 65 global indicators of human impacts on biodiversity, only one – the extent of temperate forests – is improving. Eighteen are stable, in all the other cases the impacts are increasing(24).

Care to deal with Ridley's 'reliability' rather than throwing around ad-homs?

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

How could Britt Basel blandly put these two sentences together????

"I am driven by the conviction that there is a more sustainable and satisfying
way of living our daily lives. My passion and my work have brought me to more
than 30 countries."

What a carbon footprint this bimbo has!!!!

Britt, you twit, If you really cared about a sustainable lifestyle you would stay at
home!!! You truly are a worthless bloat!!!!

Eugene WR Gallun

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterEugene WR Gallun

The BBC is beyond the pale.
Not only is the bias and lack of balance on radio and tv, it infects children's television and their web site. Once I had great respect for the BBC now it has become a talking shop between their own journalists and their mates in the eco facist movement.
They seem to have almost closed down completely the opportunity to comment on the environmental garbage spawned on their web site, is that because on the whole commentators tried to bring some sense to the debate.
Imagine if the majority of the BBC's output was only showing people against austerity measures there would be an outcry ;-)
I'm not sure if the above is venting and contributes to AGW :-)

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

I see that the CFACT film "Climate Hustle" - will premiere on 7th in Paris.

"The film is the first climate documentary to profile scientists who have reversed their views from supporting the so-called “consensus” position to a conversion to skepticism. The film also profiles politically left scientists who have now declared themselves skeptics of man-made global warming and United Nations scientists who have now turned against the UN for “distorting” climate science"

I expect the BBC/Guardian have already written their scathing reviews....................

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

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