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The BBC on climate, circa 2007

While trawling through my archives last night I came across a dead link, which I was fortunately able to resurrect through the Internet Archive. Well worth a look.

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Reader Comments (51)

The BBC dummies guide to the greenhouse effect. No doubt produced by Harradin.

Feb 28, 2015 at 8:11 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"What makes it especially interesting is that we have included changes to the Sun's output, based on what it has done over the last century; and we find it doesn't make much difference.

"The idea that such changes could influence climate over and above the human influence we don't find very likely."


Well that's OK then.......

Feb 28, 2015 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

One of the stories there is by an artist and is about living in a carbon neutral home.

"The EcoHouse is a showhome but I lived there is if it was my real house and it was inspiring to see how easy it was to live like this."

I bet it was easy. The EcoHouse is a former park wardens house, with its own grounds, located in a 175 acre park. If only we all had to put up with such hardships.

"The thing about the EcoHouse is that it isn't that different from a normal house"

You mean apart from the size and the 175 acres?

"In the bathroom there is a compost toilet. Moisture and any smells are sucked away by a fan and the rest is kept in a container where it turns to dust. Every three months or so you can empty the dust into your garden."

I hope you weren’t throwing your decomposed sewage into the public park.

"The only thing I would say is that the wind turbine on the roof was a bit noisy. I would recommend people think carefully where they put them if they buy one."

Don't say that you will branded a denier. Wind turbines are SILENT.

"I could see a future where homes like this are common."

You just need to get rid of 99% of the population and we can all have our own 175 acres.

The EcoHouse might have been ecological but it doesn't seem to have been economic. The charity that ran it and was based there went into liquidation in 2013.

Feb 28, 2015 at 8:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

What is so laughable is that it is not possible to model the fluid dynamics in a few metres of pipeline, yet these (and other) folk appear to eagerly accept that it is possible to model the fluid dynamics of an entire atmosphere! How long before those paragons of the BBC wake up to reality?

Feb 28, 2015 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

The results are in from the world’s largest climate experiment. Thousands of you took part in this extraordinary project launched by the BBC early last year in association with Oxford University scientists. UK temperatures are set to rise 4°C by 2080, leading to hotter summers and increased winter rainfall. How might this impact you?

Much has changed and so may it continue.

Feb 28, 2015 at 9:11 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Save all that you find interesting. The way back machine deletes content the original owner doesn't want you to see

Feb 28, 2015 at 9:19 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

BBC/Greenpiss/UKMO guide to stupids.

Feb 28, 2015 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

I'm afraid there is no evidence with which to support the hypothesis that the public will be exposed to significantly different work from the fabulists who authored those articles from 2007. The BBC should be very, very proud of their accomplishments. The past burns fiercely.

Feb 28, 2015 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Ha, yes. I was looking back at the BBC's Ethical Man the other day. Pity the BBC never listens to some of it's own stuff because he concluded that cutting CO2 was next to impossible. Though maybe they did because from what I can see they never put their CO2 where their mouths are.

Feb 28, 2015 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Lord Monckton on the case today: (long read)

Hopefully this brings into clear view the absolute criminal nature of alarmist climate change. Stuff is sure unravelling quick!

Feb 28, 2015 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

Lord Beaverbrook, I remember that attempt at cloud computing. It had only been going about a month when they had to stop and change the software because they hadn't set the effect of aerosols high enough. Many of the model runs turned into runaway warming, that didn't even match reality at that time. After some tweaking, they started again, although many volunteers didn't rejoin. So, even back then they were making their models work by turning up the effect of aerosols. Modellers swear they don't tune their models but each modified or abandoned model provides experience for the next one and is a form of tuning.

Feb 28, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

Feb 28, 2015 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Very interesting was the article giving a lot of stick to the Stern Review and featuring Richard Tolls critique. I bet you won't find this there now. What had me ROFLMAO was this;

"accusations that all is not well at the heart of climate science and that censorship is rife in organisations which award research grants, the editorial boards of journals and the committees of the IPCC, should be examined seriously"
Well RICHARD BLACK was spot on there, unfortunately this was a prelude to HIM "examining it seriously" and finding the "accusations" baseless. But even better was;

"If you dissent from the consensus you take the view that public opinion and much of politics has embarked on a wild decarbonising goose chase which will break economies, restrict personal movement and distract resources from other important societal challenges.".

How prophetic - I take my hat off to him.

Feb 28, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Some of the models are so accurate that they are used to verify other models.

It is wonderful to know that science now relies on computer games to simulate the earths climate. A pity that they are not realistic simulations though, for the money spent we might have hoped for something more useful, than computer games for adults.

Feb 28, 2015 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

By chance Steve Goddard has an even older bit of BBC journalism highlighted, 1974 and Global Cooling. A piece written by Nigel Calder*

Co-author of The Chilling Stars

Feb 28, 2015 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The BBC have some very interesting results from their climate experiment carried out in 2007.
The UK’s temperature is going to increase at an alarming rate
They predict ‘hotter dryer summers’
The UK should expect a 4°C rise in temperature by 2080 according to the most likely results of the experiment.
Heatwaves are on the rise and, by 2080, summer temperatures of 40°C will be common. Winters will also be warmer.
On the other hand, following the wet summer of 2013,
we get a headline

“Britain has a higher chance of wet summers for up to the next ten years, the Met Office has predicted”

So, which is it?

Feb 28, 2015 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeB

Although ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica could be affected by warming temperatures, it isn't thought that they will melt significantly enough to contribute to sea level rises. If they melt over the coming one thousand years, though, due to increased temperatures, oceans could increase in depth by a number of metres. Land glaciers will continue to melt over the coming century which will increase the level of the seas.

The IPCC have stated increases for the 2080's of from 9cm to 48cm in the 'Low Emissions Scenarios'. This rises to 16cm to 69cm in the 'High Emissions Scenarios'.

Feb 28, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

How close is the MO to Keynsham, That's K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M, Bristol?

Feb 28, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Andrew, I'm surprised that with Spock's death you haven't highlighted this video:

In Search Of... The Coming Ice Age

Narrated by Leonard Nimoy 1977. RIP

It must be very similar to the one shown on British TV.

Feb 28, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

You're showing your age again!

Feb 28, 2015 at 11:19 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

A lot of guesswork, particularly for 2080 which is already proving unrealistic.
The warmest recorded year by 2/100ths.of a degree centigrade is not an earth shattering rise.
It is statistically insignificant.

Feb 28, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

MikeB: "The BBC have some very interesting results from their climate experiment carried out in 2007."

If we are talking about these "experiments" whereby a lot of people let their computers be taken over by software ... let me assure you this was not designed by some scientist but instead was a pure marketing gimmick to spread global warming alarm.

Because, one would naturally be sceptical of work done by other people - when you are part of the "work" you tend to "buy in" to the result so you are much much more inclined to believe the result of the failed climate model if it is run on your PC, than if it is run for a fraction of the cost on the Met Office PC.

This is also the ploy the government use with "consultations". The purpose of a consultation is not to listen to anyone. Indeed it is doubtful whether any but a few submissions ever get read. Instead, if people believe their submissions have been read - irrespective of whether they agree with the result - the mere fact they think their view has been listened to means they will accept the decision made before the consultation started.

So, likewise the purpose of allowing us sceptics to submit to the Clmategate inquiries - was not to listen to us. Indeed, I strongly doubt any of our submissions were read by anyone on the inquiry. Instead, they hoped that the process itself would cause us to accept the findings they had decided before the inquires started: vindication for the guilty and a "move along nothing to see" for expert and largely altruistic sceptics.

In other words, whatever it is, whether voting for a choice between donkeys as primeminister or a computer model, if people feel they are part of the process, they tend to be far more willing to accept the result. So
all those screen savers did was to make people more convinced the model was right (whose main results as in "it will warm massively" was already known - because why would they have done a mass "experiement" like this that didn't come up with the right result?)

Feb 28, 2015 at 12:26 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

MikeB said:

So, which is it?

Whatever we're getting now but more extreme.

Their projections say so much they can pick the claim that suits the current conditions. If we're in a mild winter we'll get milder ones and children just won't know what snow is. If we're in a cold winter we'll get colder ones and we'll have to be told to get winter tyres. If it is a wet summer then summers will get wetter and flooding will be worse. If it is a dry summer then heatwaves will kill loads more people.

Feb 28, 2015 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

MikeHaseler, that might have been the intention but it had something of the opposite effect. It probably attracted as many people interested in cloud computing than potential warmists. Its early withdrawel soured a lot of feelings towards it and belief in their ability to model accurately. The final 'barn door with a bulldozer' results were unimpressive too. The program couldn't even create a reasonably narrow estimate for past temperatures, never mind the future. By the time the results came out, most people had forgotten about it.

Feb 28, 2015 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

BBC propaganda. Point, laugh, disregard.

Feb 28, 2015 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

"Our love affair with flying".

That would be "their" love affair with flying. If it wasn't for the BBC, "climate scientists", Greenpeace execs commuting across Europe and senior greens generally, the airlines would go out of business.

Feb 28, 2015 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

That was the same year, April 2007 actually, that Dr Yvo de Boer (executive secretary of the UN convention on climate change - the post now occupied by the lovely Cristiana Figueres) said that there would be 50 million environmental refugees by 2010. Where did they all go to? It almost goes without saying that Dr de Boer is now in another highly paid, publicly financed post now.
I've lost the reference, but a few years prior to that (2003/4?) I read that environmentalists predicted that if we didn't stop flying "everywhere" the sky would be permanently obliterated by contrails within ten years. What a pity that the pillory has been abolished.

Feb 28, 2015 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Spilligan


I love Star Trek, I love that era of scifi, which was optimistic, future looking and knew mankind was full of infinite possibilities, most of which are amazing. Therefore I loved Leonard Nimoy, in what he portrayed. But on his own he was pretty much a Californian fruit case. What did Chandler write? As much personality as a paper cup.

Feb 28, 2015 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

"Our love affair with flying".

That would be "their" love affair with flying. If it wasn't for the BBC, "climate scientists", Greenpeace execs commuting across Europe and senior greens generally, the airlines would go out of business.


A couple of years ago the Brussels Broadcasting Corp showed a £ 10.000.000 charge for travel.

Now that's IMPRESSIVE. Isaw the other day that a UK poli wants the TV permit to charged to everyone through taxation. VOTE UKIP you BRITS. Don't be stupid.

Feb 28, 2015 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

We should ask the BBC and the Met Office to comment on the accuracy of their predictions from 8 years ago and ask them to explain their reasoning behind their forecasts/predictions for the next 8 years.

Feb 28, 2015 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

Looking forward to...

Feb 28, 2015 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterOioi

"we have included changes to the Sun's output"

Including turning it down to zero? It wouldn't surprise me if the models still returned a warming scenario, but it would be interesting to know!

Feb 28, 2015 at 4:41 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Right at the bottom of the page

"Overselling climate change
Do extreme claims on climate change risk discrediting the real story?"

Feb 28, 2015 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Richard Tol and Nicholas Stern were not on best terms in 2007 then?

Stern accused of overestimating and double counting economic consequences.

In years to come, Stern will blame climate scientists for over egging the consequences, but double counting seems to be an accountancy error.

If it was about Tesco finances, people would call it fraud. As it was about global warming, it is not fraud, because .............?

Polar bears are cuddly?

Peerages were being discussed?

Rear previews of admin ladies were looking promising?

His new calculator had bigger buttons?

Feb 28, 2015 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Their own evidence Shucklebugh to parliamemt shows that they have screwed it up but they don't understand this evidence and call for reporting to more alarmist .

". Trust in all authority groups to give correct information on climate change has fallen in recent years (see figure below) and there has been a significant increase in the percentage who say that they trust none of the groups to give correct information on climate change. In 2011, 10% trusted the government, 13% government scientists6. A significant minority believe that the seriousness of climate change has been exaggerated: 44% in 2011 "
7. People most commonly believe climate change is caused by a combination of human activity and natural processes (46%), with 28% considering it to be mainly or entirely human activity and 20% mainly or entirely natural process (Shuckburgh et al, 2012).
8. There has been a trend of decreasing concern about climate change in the UK over recent years, from 82% at least fairly concerned in 2005 to 63% in 2011

"Television documentaries can provide critical background information to later engage people in news reports. Features of a news report that make it more interesting to people include: a) relevance (stories related to UK future projections, to UK extreme weather and to UK wildlife were preferred); b) a strong narrative; c) “new” information, which could mean a new angle ... passionate delivery of the information"

Feb 28, 2015 at 5:40 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

srewgreen, do you think the decreasing concern over global warming, is largely due to the fact that after all the scaremongering, nothing has happened? The public are beginning to work it out for themselves.

Feb 28, 2015 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Jeremy Paxman's famous statement that

"..the BBC's coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago."

Was reported in January 2007. Even the Grauniad reported it.

Feb 28, 2015 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I found this page amusing the one where it shows the now discredit Climate Models predictions of warming as if it were a fact.

We have all seen the Roy Spencer Models vs reality version of this.

Feb 28, 2015 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterc777

Golfcharlie says: "If it was about Tesco finances, people would call it fraud. As it was about global warming, it is not fraud, because .............?"

Quite right. I often felt that it was strange that Apple were lionised for making ~$10B profit in the last quarter, whereas, is British Gas (for instance) had said the same thing they would have been pilloried!

Feb 28, 2015 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

I went to one of Piers Corbyn's "Climate Fools" events a few years ago.

At Imperial College, lecture theatre booked for the afternoon.

Black and Harrabin were there. They sat well back and against the wall. Not sure whether they had BO, or the rest of us were malodorous. Piers invited them to speak. They declined.

Mid-afternoon tea break. Coffee, tea and biscuits on the big table outside. B & H beetled off to the hot drinks machine at the other end of the room, stayed there and chatted, no interaction with others. Perhaps they thought that accepting such largesse would compromise their impartiality.

Besides Piers, there were (amongst others) Joe D'Aleo (Satan's weather forecaster), and David Bellamy. I wonder why these BBC climate "mavens" wanted to avoid them?

They slunk off at the end.

How was the BBC's report on the talk? Non-existent. What a surprise!

Feb 28, 2015 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterjolly farmer

2008 Article on 2 types of focus group : Normal people.
.. Ones who aren’t writers or minor celebs or politicians or the sort of metropolitan bien-pensants who think tootling round town in electric cars magically negates the carbon footprint they make flying to their farmhouse in Tuscany three times a year.

Mar 1, 2015 at 2:27 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

[snip O/T]

Mar 1, 2015 at 7:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

What a collection of crap.

A comment on this:
'The warmest recorded year by 2/100ths of a degree centigrade is not an earth shattering rise.'

If you get a 0.02K record every second year, that is just 0.1K/decade. Not really what BBC advertises.

One of the funniest parts is promising +40C heat waves in Britain. In their dreams. Touted +2C is not nearly enough for that, it is more likely that the winter +5C changes to +8C, and that's just nice.

Mar 1, 2015 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterOptimist trying not to smile

The internet is forever....hopefully. If the documentary evidence of climate obsessed lies can avoid being round filed, the climate fanatics will not be able to hide the way eugenics fanatics did.

Mar 1, 2015 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Richard Black wrote back then,

We find the IPCC criticised along the lines that it is " artfully constructed presentation of just the science that supports the fear of human-induced climate change. It is as one sided as a legal brief, which it resembles."

Yet he didn't mention the UNFCCC's raison d'etre... which is to find evidence of man's impact on the climate.

The claim was justified back then, already. And he mocked the claim despite that.

Richard Black was dishonest or incompetent in those days.

Mar 1, 2015 at 10:18 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The BBC on climate, circa 1974:

"Next Wednesday, 20 November, BBC2 presents a 2-hour special programme, The Weather Machine. It shows how our day-to-day weather and changing climate are the product of a vast machine with three working fluids: atmosphere, sea and ice. It suggests that the climatic changes we have experienced in our own lifetimes are systematic and that the trend is downwards. The most startling conclusions of the programme are that a new ice-age is imminent, and that when it comes the ice could spread very quickly".

Reported in New Scientist, 14 Nov 1974.

Mar 2, 2015 at 9:11 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

The New Scientist article starts on page 504.

Mar 2, 2015 at 9:31 AM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

In fact there's not one but two BBC climate programmes this week. In addition to the 'Climate change by the numbers' discussed previously, there's another one on Wednesday:

Climate change a Horizon guide covers 40 years of BBC Horizon programmes - so it will apparently mention the Weather Machine that I mentioned above ["These have covered things such as an imminent ice age (all the rage around 1970) " ].

Renouf is involved again, the formula will be his usual one - a caricature of a sceptical argument will be presented and then knocked down. As the blurb says, "although the sceptics get their moment in the spotlight, there’s no doubt about the conclusion."

Oops, too slow, Bish has a new post on this!

Mar 2, 2015 at 9:37 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

The proposition that the UK could warm by 4degC by 2080 is patently absurd, since it overlooks the fact that the UK is a small island surrounded by oceans, and it is the oceans that dominate UK temperatures.

For the UK to warm by 4 degC there would have to be a very substantial increase in ocean temperatures, but in view of the latent heat capacity of the oceans, it would be quite impossible for them to warm even by 1.5 degC in 100 years.

These rash claims simply serve to demnonstrate why climante science is not a hard science and is plagued by a lack of critical thinking.

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

FAO TinyCO2,

Ah yes that BBC crowdsourcing computer power experience is what dropped the scales from my eyes. I had always been a bit suspicious of the claims in the late 80s/early 90s but was taken in by the general noise that grew throughout the 90s/00s that this was a real problem. So I joined the crowdsourcing experiment and then I saw Myles Allen on Newsnight (I believe) showing his golf analogy and Myles admits on camera, which was broadcast, that the experience was tuned to get 3C of warming.

"Ah" I thought, "its complete BS, thank you Myles" and stopped the programme and removed it from my hard drive. I wasn't wasting my computing power and electricity on GIGO. It drove me to search more about the issue and I got into Climate Audit where I saw further BS behaviour in the form of Michael Mann etc. This wasn't confident science at all.

As I learnt, I became more and more lukewarm about the issue to today where I don't consider atmospheric increases in CO2 concentration a serious problem. I do consider the policy responses to be a major problem because they hurt the poorest in society and transfer wealth from the many to the few which as an old leftie is a bit of a problem for me.

So I have to thank the BBC and Myles Allen for opening my eyes.

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterLiT

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