Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Top trolling from the Sun | Main | Follow the money »

Hidden advertising on the Today programme

The shale gas revolution is having its effect, and Shell has decided that drilling in the Arctic no longer makes economic sense. Radio 4's Today programme saw this as a valuable opportunity to give an environmentalist some airtime (audio below). Interestingly, the man chosen was Jeremy Leggett, best known as the author of a book about peak oil. I suppose we should recognise the BBC's chutzpah in choosing such a character to discuss the results of oversupply in the oil market.

Leggett was introduced as chairman of the "Carbon Tracker Initiative" and expounded at length about oil companies setting up renewables divisions. He also told us that it was not controversial to say that "droughts and floods and other horrors" are heading our way. More renewables are required.

With host James Naughtie listening on in docile fashion, the whole episode rather gave the impression that the people involved had something to sell. Certainly, Jeremy Leggett did, since as well as being involved in Carbon Tracker, he is also the director of a solar energy company.

The BBC forgot to mention that though.


Leggett Today

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (20)

He's quite certain that 'global warming' will raise temperatures by at least two degrees, though. This would be the global warming that nobody has clapped eyes on for nineteen years. It's all going to change in Paris, you know - the climate control knob will be tweaked once again, to no avail. Is two degrees temperature increase going to kill us all, one wonders?

Sep 29, 2015 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat

Didn't we discuss Jeremy Leggett on another thread recently? He is a chief trougher through his company SolarCentury, the UK's largest solar power company.

According to Wikipedia "He researched, among other things, shale deposits, funded by BP, Royal Dutch Shell and other energy companies (1978-1989)." That was before he threw away his background training and his integrity, when he could see the money to be made at the renewable energy subsidy trough.

And he also a supporter of the Green Party's Caroline Lucas. That says it all and it accounts for his appearance on Today.

Sep 29, 2015 at 9:22 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Legget also well invested in solar energy devices, via his company Solar Century.

Sep 29, 2015 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterrms

If he was introduced only as "Chairman of the Carbon Tracker Initiative" and not as "founding director of Solarcentury, the UK’s largest independent solar electric company" then surely the BBC will have breached their own guidelines?

His position in Solarcentury is relevant since he was pushing for more renewables.

Sep 29, 2015 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Yes, the BBC did a full Hari Kiri on this one.

The misunderstanding about why the oil price has dropped was also seen on the Guardian's coverage of the story. They seemed to think it was due to campaigning rather than fracking too.

In fact some of the commenters below the line were astounded that anyone thought the oil could ever be used at all - they actually believe in the Put the Poor in the Ground campaign.

It seems the BBC have uncritically read the Guardian as their only source.

Sep 29, 2015 at 9:45 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Link to Guardian story for comparison:

Sep 29, 2015 at 10:07 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Yet when James Naughtie interviewed Owen Paterson on ecomodernism last Thursday, the BBC invited Greenpeace's Doug Parr on as well so as to allow him to rubbish everything Paterson said. Doug Parr was even allowed to have the last word. Yet it is just fine this morning to allow Jeremy Leggett to preach the green agenda unopposed and attack Shell. Why did they not ask Shell for a response? How come anyway Jeremy Legget knows for certain that temperatures will rise by 4C this century since the IPCC admit they don't ?

I also noticed this morning a similar one sided BBC bias regarding Syria. Why not invite the Russian ambasador on, or heaven forbid even a spokesman from the Syrian government? In the end the only solution now can be political and that unfortunately means listening to both sides.

Certainly the BBC has consistently demonstrated it is not prepared to listen to both sides on certain topics.

Sep 29, 2015 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

Leggett is just doing what he thinks will be good for his business interests, and that seems legitimate to me if not impressive from any 'full and frank disclosure' perspective. It is the BBC in general, and Naughtie in particular who come out badly from this little episode, as the Bish, and Clive Best and others have pointed out.

Is there a case to be made for some mechanism to refresh the leadership and the leading commentators in the BBC? The descent to smugness, insularity, and the blatantly partisan is awful to behold. Letting them fend for themselves, and not live off a de facto tax could do the trick, or failing that, some time limit on how long people like Naughtie can be employed at our expense for. 5 to 10 years maybe?

Sep 29, 2015 at 10:47 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

You have about a week left to let the government know what you think of the BBC.

Sep 29, 2015 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I thought the BBC was not allowed to broadcast advertisements.

If it had been on ITV, the Advertising Standards Authority might have a comment on misleading advertisements, false claims etc.

Green washing powder, washes your claims, a crappy shade of pale.

Sep 29, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Leggett started his enviro life with Greenpeace,

"Climate Change and the Insurance Industry", May 1993, He was then Scientific Director of the Greenpeace International Climate Campaign.

From 22 years ago, we read:
 The threat posed by the human-enhanced greenhouse effect to economies and ecosystems has led to more than 150 governments signing a Climate Convention setting the international community on track for limitation of greenhouse-gas emissions to the atmosphere.
 The world's major climate-forecasting centres now predict that if current rates of greenhouse-gas emission are maintained, dangerous rates of warming - unprecedented during human history - will occur in the decades ahead.
 Furthermore, there are worrying indications that some of the kinds of climatic phenomena to be expected if these forecasts are correct may already be occurring. 1990 was the hottest year since records began more than a century ago. 1991 was the second hottest, despite the significant cooling effect of the Mt Pinatubo eruption. The seven hottest years have all been since 1980.
 Coral reefs are beginning to bleach and die, in waters of unprecedented warmth in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian oceans.
 Hurricanes of record strength are hitting the Caribbean. Cyclones of record strength are hitting the Pacific.
 Anomalously intense droughts have struck southern Africa, northern Brazil, California, SE England, and other places.

18 January 2006 Independent Online Edition "Bracing the world for the day when the oil runs out"
By Michael Harrison, Business Editor

"Dr Jeremy Leggett, an oil industry geologist turned environmental campaigner turned chief executive of a solar energy company, paints an even more apocalyptic scene. He believes that peak oil will occur some time this decade.

That will not only produce "horrible economic pain" as oil prices rise to choke off demand but it will also precipitate environmental disaster as oil-consuming countries switch to coal and hasten global warming.

"The shortfall between current expectations of oil supply and actual availability will be such that neither gas, nor renewables, nor liquids from gas and coal, nor nuclear, nor any combination thereof will be able to plug the gap in time to head off economic
trauma," he warns."

Sep 29, 2015 at 12:50 PM | Registered Commenterdennisa

dennisa, interesting to note that the unprecedented use of the word "unprecedented", was in already in maximum turbo diesel thrust mode, by Greens back in 1993. I thought I had previously never seen anything like it, but it seems Green Blob hysteria doesn't just sound like a stuck record, that keeps saying the same thing, over, and over, and over, and, and over, and over and over, .............

Sep 29, 2015 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

No conflict of interest then?

Methinks a complaint to the BBC "Trust"- what a misnomer- is in order.

Sep 29, 2015 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&twisted

Noxious diseases killing 60,000 / year in the UK alone.

Energy poverty killing 15,000 each winter.

Ecocrucifixes blighting the landscape and killing thousands of birds.

Steel and chemical workers unemployed as their jobs are forced overseas by climate taxes.

When will the self-righteous ecoterrorists be held to account for their sins.

Sep 29, 2015 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterrogue

Noxious diseases should be Noxious Diseasels (h/t Thomas the Tank Engine).

Story comes from work done by Frank Kelly at King's College

Fuel poverty deaths due to cold homes vary run about 7,800, excess Winter Deaths are 27,000

This article confirms an average of 7,800 fuel poverty over 5 years with a peak of 30,000 Excess Winter Deaths in 2012-13.

Car manufacturers fiddle emissions tests whilst topping Global Corporate Social Responsibility reports:

Mercedes, BMW and Peugeot models consume 50% more fuel than official results

But until now car manufacturers get a pass because of the focus on better CO2 efficiency of diesel & investment in Corporate Social Responsibility:

Global CSR - BMW #1, Daimler #3, VW#11

Presumably this is used to justify a break in car taxes for diesel cars.

Propaganda about CO2 is just a distraction from real problems with a misallocation of taxpayer resources.

Meanwhile Climate Change propagandist are lining their pockets:

The Shukla institute’s purpose is “to provide society with weather and climate information.” It has received more than $US16 million in government funding over just the past four years.

Sep 29, 2015 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterrogue

There's now a transcript of this morning's interview, here:

Sep 29, 2015 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Jeremy Leggett: Well, you know, hopefully now Shell will join some of the other oil companies that are, you know, showing encouraging signs of going with the Paris agenda - so Total, for example, has invested hugely in solar, StatOil set up a renewable energy division, um, last month. But what we fear is that actually they haven't changed their game plan, and their game plan is to have as much gas as they can in the mix, and as much oil as well, and, you know, they talk, for example, in their commission that they're setting up, of a study to find out whether, you know, we can have 50% renewables in the electricity mix by 2050. Well, you know, that's completely inadequate - that would give us a world of 4 degrees Celsius, way above the danger ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius for global warming, a world in which, you know, we'd be finding it difficult to feed ourselves or have enough drinking water, amid all the droughts and floods and wildfires and all the other horrors.

James Naughtie: Well, of course this is, you know, a controversial area, inevitably, but - politically as well as anything else.

Jeremy Leggett: That's not controversial, Jim, what I just said. That's the best advice that governments are getting from all their scientific bodies, governmental and academic.

Seems a rather definite outcome that the governments scientific body, the Met Office, are advising the government will happen. Perhaps someone from there would be willing to provide a comment on this nationally released statement if they would care to maintain a scientific integrity!

Alex Cull you provide an amazing service, many thanks.

Sep 29, 2015 at 9:54 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Same story with Lord Drayson being given a regular platform to press for electric vehicles.

Oct 1, 2015 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Surely the best claim comes from John Gummer in 1996.

The developed world must cut its carbon emissions a cause of global warming by up to 10% by 2010 he said. Otherwise "the Garden of England will move by the year 2020 from Kent into Yorkshire" & there will be droughts in Spain in 25 years warned Mr Gummer. The Environment Secretary is attending a world climate conference in Geneva.

Global emissions actually increased by 44% since 1996.

Oct 1, 2015 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

Looks like the usual peas and thimbles game to me:

Lord Drayson, whose own business invests in clean energy, now wants the current government to act to change driver behaviour again.

Drayson Racing Technologies LLP, the low-carbon motorsport and electric vehicle R&D business, today announced that it has entered into a wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) licence agreement with Qualcomm Incorporated to include Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology in its products.

Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology enables the wireless charging of electric vehicles via a pad in parking space. It is a technology that is likely to radically improve EV infrastructure and uptake. Revolutionary dynamic wireless charge-on-the-move systems are also being developed.

Oct 1, 2015 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>