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« An unbalanced panel | Main | Bob spurned »

In which a BBC presenter reveals what balance means

Hat tip to Barry Woods for pointing me to this Twitter exchange, in which the BBC's Helen Czerski reveals what the corporation understands "balance" to mean in the context of the climate debate:

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Reader Comments (120)

Gillette are designing a new razor blade, especially for bearded climate scientists.

It shaves close, AND removes egg from faces. Even if it is rubbish, climate scientists will still buy it, and continue to ignore any adverse criticism, no matter how constructive and well intentioned.

Mar 28, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

I would guess that you already know the answer, so quite why you're asking me is beyond me (well, it's not, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt). A few things to consider: precipitation; persistent GHGs; if something seems obvious and yet many don't agree, maybe it isn't obvious?

Mar 28, 2015 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Micky H Corbett your right central to lots of the issues seen in climate 'science' is a lack of accuracy in the data , especially in historic data hence the use of proxies such has tree rings . In reality much of this area depends on the 'better than nothing' idea , even temperature measurements for if we where to sit down to write the parameters to have a scientifically valid measurement of the earth' average temperature, we find that currently we are no where near meeting those parameters instead what we use is in effect 'better than nothing '

Its really basic stuff that if you cannot accurately measure something , then any judgement you pass on that something is effect and certainly is not something you could call 'settled science'
Climate models fail becasue our knowledge and skills in this area are not complete , far from 'settled' there is still much to learn.

Mar 28, 2015 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Another ironic tweet from Czerski:

"Any edict that gives the tools to censor when it's convenient for them is a worry"

Mar 28, 2015 at 3:44 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

NCC: I hate to be picky (honest!), but surely ALL real scientists are sceptics?

Vernon: I like to keep things simple, too much detail can be counter-productive.

Mar 28, 2015 at 3:49 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Oh dear. Now she's at Breitbart.

Mar 28, 2015 at 3:51 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

@Radical: agreed, which means Climate Alchemists are not Scientists.

Mar 28, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

ATTP: You are starting to sound a lot like Nick Stokes, creating obtuse argument and defending the indefensible. And is your twitter moniker @theresphysics?

Mar 28, 2015 at 10:03 AM | thinkingscientist
Ignore him. He's not a well man (pathologically obsessive). Throw rocks at him, and he just makes even more noise. Like monkeys do. Leave him alone in his misery.

Mar 28, 2015 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Climate "scientist". Hmmphhh. Even in quotes. My preferred term is "Climate Jihadi".

Just saying. Let's not beat about the bush eh?

Mar 28, 2015 at 4:37 PM | Registered Commenterjeremypoynton

I see that Ms Czerski has a professionally designed web page: (not typical for an academic or scientist) and that she worked at Scripps for 4 years.

Scripps have demonstrated their commitment to the concepts of ecology and sea level rise by building a massive concrete structure on the coast in La Jolla, destroying wildlife and views in the process:

Mar 28, 2015 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

'if something seems obvious and yet many don't agree, maybe it isn't obvious?'

Such as the fact that we've been through all kinds of climate change and never once headed in the direction of venus?

Well it is pretty obvious to skeptics.

Mar 28, 2015 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterOtter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

Memorable words from commenter Henrietta at the Breitbart (Clarkson) link given above by Philip Bratby:

"The BBC, lost in its Hall of Mirrors, can no longer tell truth from its own opinions and propaganda, and has cut itself off from the British people. This is the Maria Antoinette moment: 'let them eat cake,' (which I know she probably never said.) 'Let them watch Bake Off' - put on by Comic Relief, that bastion of unfunny, talentless has-beens, who use the BBC to parade their right-on credentials."

Mar 28, 2015 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Where is the real Ken Rice and what have you done with him? His comments are now deleted from the Ringberg15 twitter stream, as is mention of the Florent Brient(20??) paper. Tweets from Gavin Schmidt and Andrew Dessler have been selectively deleted.

The pertinent discussion missing is settling on an ECS of 2-5 deg. C for doubling of CO2 from baseline. Curious.

Mar 28, 2015 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Kim, maybe aTTP and Gavin have had to attend the funeral pyre for Rahmstorf and Manns latest science busting paper. In the absence of Global Warming, it was never going to set the world on fire. I just hope they can justify the carbon footprint caused by its creation and timely demise.

This does of course mean that the Hockey Team are running out of time to fabricate something before the party in Paris. No doubt some science mag will, obligingly, rush through the pal review process, to get a climate porn centrefold, seductively placed, on the front page of the worlds leading newspapers.

Otherwise, 2016 could be a very happy new year, unless you are an unemployed climate scientist, remembering Trenberth's 'missing' bleats.

Mar 28, 2015 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

...and Then There's Physics makes the same mistake as the Guardian true believers.

He confuses knowledge from religious faith with knowledge from scientific inquiry.

Obviously, he can't know that the pause is temporary and won't be followed by cooling. Just as he couldn't know that the pause would happen at all. But he has the right to take a leap of faith. It's irrational but acceptable.

And so he has faith that the next change will be up (when it happens... even he isn't foolish enough to guess when that is). And then he can ignore the awkward fact that the world committed heresy by pausing at all.

Faith is fine. He is welcome to his religion.
But I object to a public service broadcaster banning people who do not share his religion.
That is not balanced.

Mar 28, 2015 at 6:44 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The BBC uses the guardian for its recruitment and as its policy bible according to ex BBC newsreader, Peter Sissons.

The lefty, Hampstead socialists recruit in their own image, so people who support the Conservatives or UKIP or have doubts about climate change are weeded out immediately. In the BBC normalised atmosphere, questioning climate change is not comprehended, it makes no sense. The science is settled and only a lunatic or someone funded by Big Oil would think otherwise.

It is no longer a question of impartiality. The BBC considers sceptics to be lunatics and a nuisance. Good, that is settled. Of course, different alarmists have different views on rates of warming, temperature targets and how government should act. That is treated with the utmost balance and impartiality.

The BBC has considerable experience in delivering impartial output and climate change simply follows the same model as other controversial topics such as immigration and EU membership.

Complacent and satisfied within the BBC bubble, the staff of the Corporation has its own narrow scale of opinions and where “normality” lies. Impartiality involves presenting a distribution of views around that position.

Mar 28, 2015 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Over @ Judy's AK points out that Gavin's tweets still appear on his twitter stream as is mention of Florent Brient. It doesn't thoroughly explain why Ken Rice's inputs and other stuff is now missing from the Ringberg15 twitter stream.

Obviously, climate sensitivity is a very delicate topic, and subject, from uncertainty, to gross narrative manipulation.

I still like Gavin's tweet about it, and the image of Graeme Stephens running out of blackboard space and time trying to chalk out cloud feedbacks.

The handwriting on the wall.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

As I said before, I have no idea what you're talking about; my tweets still exist. So, I don't know where they've been deleted from or why. I also have absolutely no idea why this matters.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

@kim: COs Climate Sensitivity is kept exactly zero by the water cycle. The estimates are for heating from ENSO and the real AGW, Asian aerosols decreasing cloud albedo; the same mechanism amplifies Milankovitch at the end of ice ages.

The paper proving the latter exists but was rejected in 48 hours with no review by Nature Climate Change, suggesting it be published in a front line Physics' Journal. The editor daren't touch it because he'd lose his job.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Whew, what a relief, Ken. Still talking, and believe me, I'm glad. Your comments no longer appear on the Ringberg15 twitter stream.

I wouldn't be surprised, NCC; it would explain a lot, like the difficulty of discovering sensitivity from observations or paleontology.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

While Golf Charlie can read any physicist's bibliography , the Freedom of Information Act does not give golf skeptics access to his mulligan count.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Where is the ringberg15 twitter stream?

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

But since you've revived, Ken, would you like to discuss sensitivity?

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Why don't you start with this one from NCC 1701E

COs Climate Sensitivity is kept exactly zero by the water cycle.

where - I assume - COs should have been CO2. I'll join in if you need any help.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Ken, the Bish had the Ringberg15 twitter stream on the earlier Ringberg thread. The content has changed from yesterday to today. Missing now is your comments, mention of the Florent Brient(20??) paper, and worried comments from Gavin and Andrew Dessler about ECS.

AK has pointed out that Gavin's comments remain on his twitter stream. I've no idea of the meaning of this, but am amused at the hesitance to reveal all about sensitivity.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

My discussion is above, Ken. Try to follow it and respond. The alarmists are checkmated; we cannot burn enough hydrocarbon bonds to hurt us.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

@ATTP: COs meant CO2. If you want help with your bad Physics, I do offer Home Tuition having taught at a Russell University when Physics was real, not made up by Activists to confuse Politicians and Public.

Getting rattled? I am deadly serious - the Hearse is arriving to take our new Lysenkoism to its lonely political grave, there to join its predecessors in our Society; the Ozone Hole, the New Ice Age, Accelerated Evolution.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Mar 28, 2015 at 2:45 PM | TinyCO2

I assume Tamsin wants to work more in the media (BBC?), so I would expect some defence of the Beeb position and the people working for it. It is pretty clear what Helen meant by what she wrote.

Mar 28, 2015 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

It's pretty simple, Ken. With an ECS of 2-5 deg C for doubling of CO2 from baseline, do we quadruple or octuple the baseline to avert glaciation? And in the meantime, with energy going into the oceans(I hope) or radiated back to space(I believe) then we cannot burn enough hydrocarbons to hurt us. Continued fossil fuel use for cheap energy is a Win-Win.

And There It Is.

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Look at it another way. At an ECS of 2-5 degrees C for doubling above CO2 baseline, would you rather approach impending glaciation with a set point 4 or 8 degrees higher or 10-20 degrees higher. These would be the results for quadrupling or octupling CO2 from baseline, unobtainable theoretical numbers only(We haven't access to even this much hydrocarbon bonds).

Please, Gaia, let the heat be going into the oceans where it will only come out when the surface cools and we'll need it desperately.

And then there's physics, which makes it more likely the heat's been lost forever, radiatively, albedically.

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

And There It Is.
Brilliant, Kim! In my native Klingon, it translates to So F*&*~g what! (there is some dispute in Star Fleet as to the exact translation of 'F*&*~g')

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Can't really be bother to argue the toss with a closed mind like ATTP.
So why don't you just go and stick your head in an oven?

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Sorry, these would be the numbers for quadrupling the doubling range of 2-5 degrees C for ECS. Still unobtainable.

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

@Bitter&Twisted: be kind to ATTP; he/she is the product of an Education System that has taught incorrect physics. Not his/ her fault that they were brainwashed.

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Kim, pleases correct me if I am wrong:
Is this the same "...and Then There's Physics" who has a whole Anthony-Watts-hate-site that has gone missing?

aTTP, please accept my apologies in advance if it was not you. We all make mistakes on the internet, and I am confident there are some I have not yet apologised for.

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

It would be illogical to dispute the high warp factor of NCC1701E's physics.

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Yep, Michael, that's Ken Rice in a former existence. How'll he moult now?

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Jolly good Russell. Now keep calm, and carry on.

Mar 28, 2015 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Nope, I was right the first time. The numbers are for quadrupling or octupling from baseline. Very unobtainale.

I missed a log the second time through from the mote in my eye.

Mar 28, 2015 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

michael hart,
I would dispute the "hate site" characterisation, but that's more for you to judge than me (I have discovered that many who are happy to vitriolically criticise those with whom they disagree, get very sensitive when anyone criticises someone with whom they agree). For a while my blog name was wottsupwiththatblog. Then I changed it to andthentheresphysics. The original blog still exists and is public. All the posts on the original blog are also duplicated on the new blog. You can judge for yourself as to whether "hate site" is approrpiate or not. Also, I am not wottsupwiththat.

Firstly, if you don't dispute NCC 1701E's CS estimate then a discussion with you about CS probably isn't worth the bother. Also, preventing an impending glaciation would require maintaining CO2 levels at around 280ppm. We don't need to keep CO2 levels rising to prevent something that isn't happening. It's as if you think we should average an Earth with falling CO2 with an Earth with rising CO2. There is only one Earth.

Mar 28, 2015 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Ken, the higher the sensitivity, the colder we would now be without man's effort. You'd better hope that the recovery from the coldest depths of the Holocene have been predominantly natural, 'cuz if man's done the heavy lifting of warming, we can't keep it up much longer.

Re your diversion about NCC. I note that sensitivity has not been measured and seems indistinguishable from zero by our present understanding.

Mar 28, 2015 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

And I see you haven't understood my argument about sensitivity. Shall I go once more into the breach?

Mar 28, 2015 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim


I appreciate the difficulty caused by apparent censoring of discussions within Ringberg15

What is even more unsettling, in my view, is that we are dependent upon a censored, @##$$@&& twitter stream for even incomplete information. Where are the on-going, measured, informative articles and posts - those with more substance than 160-character twit-head burbles ?

It's not at all difficult to see censorious propaganda at work. The activists regard this as their greatest achievement

Mar 28, 2015 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterianl8888

I can sometimes get as much mileage out what they don't want to talk about as from what they do want to talk about. The going is treacherous, though, the ice thin.

Mar 28, 2015 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Michael Mann, See the important update over on Biased BBC, Doctor Michael Mann has managed to get next weeks program blurb 'doctored'

So now there are 2 extra articles that reference and build apun this BH post

- TheBreibart article doesn't have them, but does list the Twitter Exchange
..and already has 524 comments

Mar 29, 2015 at 7:40 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

BBC Monkeys solves the problem of 'skeptics' for the public
- They can't see skeptics
- They can't listen to skeptics
- They can't question skeptics
..there's a cartoon in that somewhere

Mar 29, 2015 at 7:41 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Agree with @Micky H Corbett ...Mar 28, 2015 at 2:09 PM |
- If you can spot weakness in any part of the evidence chain then doubt in the complex theory is justified, without having to understand the whole theory.

Mar 29, 2015 at 8:05 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

BBC monkeys "..there's a cartoon in that somewhere" stewgreen

Does it involve flinging poo?

Mar 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

If you can spot weakness in any part of the evidence chain then doubt in the complex theory is justified, without having to understand the whole theory.

Of course. However, if a large number of people who understand the theory better than you do regard this weakness as being irrelevant or as having minimal impact, maybe you should consider that your doubt is unfounded?

Mar 29, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

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