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« Temperature questions | Main | On Syria and climate change »

Unbalanced - Josh 344


On Wednesday the BBC's Newsnight interviewed Emma Thompson on the newsworthy topic of left wing activists protesting about drilling for oil in the Arctic. And refugees. And voting for Jeremy Corbyn.

Emma clearly did not have a clue what she was talking about - even Richard Betts, from the Met Office, said she was wrong (good on you, Richard). Ed Hawkins, Climate Scientist, also tweeted "what Emma Thompson said was scientifically inaccurate & implausible." 

Sadly Emma had not got the memo on coal not being the 'dirtiest' fuel. It isnt, biofuels and wood burning stoves are worse - the Guardian is not very keen on them either.

Newsnight's Emily Maitlis suggested Emma get herself arrested. Hmm.

Cartoons by Josh

[Update: added Ed's Tweet]

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Reader Comments (80)

Blow wealthy Ms Thompson! I intend to keep using my woodburner through the winters, especially when the blackouts come & the heating goes off!

Sep 4, 2015 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

"you look at the science - our temperature will rise 4 degrees Celsius by 2030"

Alex has transcribed it all here:

"No, because we've been negotiating with Shell for years, and there's been so much obfuscation and so many lies, actually, and so much greenwash. They've absolutely put lip service to - "Yes, yes, we're interested in renewables, yes, yes, yes", but they've continued without cessation to extract, and they've continued their plans to drill in the Arctic. They have plans to drill until 2030, and if they take out of the earth all the oil they want to take out, you look at the science - our temperature will rise 4 degrees Celsius by 2030, and that's not sustainable. "


"Our refugee crisis - which, let me tell you, if we allow climate change to go on as it's going, the refugee crisis we have at the moment will look like a tea party, compared to what's going to happen in a few years' time. Because if we allow climate change to continue, there are going to be entire swathes of the Earth that will become uninhabitable, and where are those people going to go? Where do we think they're going to go? We're looking at a humanitarian disaster of proportions we simply can't imagine. "


why/how does a celebrity Greenpeace activist/spokeperson, get to go on the BBC and attack Shell, without any balance (from Shell) anyway... let alone talk about what the science says...

we are racist as well..

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Alan the Brit, using the internet, request all the free Green propaganda you can, via the post. It will give the Postman a bit of weight training, and burns ok in a woodburning stove. The glossy brochures do not ignite so readily, and generally produce more ash, but every little helps when it is freely delivered to your front door.

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Poor Emma - why does a talented actress (and screenwriter) get suckered into representing something she knows nothing about by people who simply want to exploit her? You'd think Nanny McPhee would know better...

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:12 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The Grauniad might not like wood stoves now, but it was all in favour a few years ago.. :-)

Curse you, Internet!

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:17 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

@golf charlie: I already use the stuff through the post appart from the glossys. I hadn't thought of doing that though I have to confess, sounds a good idea. I am simply putting back into the atmosphere what the tree took out!

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

And Richard Betts gets told off by the usual suspects.

My favourite comment was from Victor Venema who did seem to favour correcting Thompson but wrote "But Emma Thompson does not have an industry behind her to amplify message. This is just a blip." What part of her being an internationally renown actress with the power to generate news articles and footage does he not understand? What part of her being on Newsnight does he not think is amplifying her message? What part of her being a key voice for a huge multinational activist charity does he doubt is influential?

Rabett seems to think lying is ok.

The big question is - why after decades of 'education' on AGW is everyone still so ignorant of the facts?

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Emma has Greenpeace behind her.. - she was on BBC newsnight as greeenpeace activist/spokesperson, getting free publicity for their anti-Shell protest.

Did Shell get a chance to respond to her (and Greenpeace's) accusations...

did anybody get to correct the science...

Where was the BBC's balance, Lawson actually agreed with Hoskins, on the science question that the presenter asked them, about current UK flooding, yet he has been banished after activist complaints

but here we have Emmaa/Greenpeace saying, science says 4C by 20390 - If Shell extract arctic oil!!

and in a 'few' years - whole swathes of earth uninhabitable, and humanitarian crisis..


BBS had no place to give her/Greenpeace this platform, without some response from Shell and/or science

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Where is she getting her misinformation from? Who told her that
"you look at the science - our temperature will rise 4 degrees Celsius by 2030"?

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:52 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

It could have been worse. They could have interviewed Lawson.

Sep 4, 2015 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterCeed

Greenpeace get free advertising on the BBC when luvverley luvvie Emma appears.

Her father wrote and narrated a far more coherent message on the Magic Roundabout.

Emma is a great actress, so I am never sure whether she really believes in the rubbish she dumps for Greenpeace.

Sep 4, 2015 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Ignorant celebrities - the world is full of these idiots with IQs in the single digits. It shows the lack of intelligence (or extreme bias) in the BBC that they give them air-time.

Sep 4, 2015 at 4:17 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Phillip- you mean "air-head" time.

Sep 4, 2015 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Our Emma is so left wing that she sent her daughter, Gaia (!!), to a private school.

Miss Thompson caused a stir last year when she revealed that she sent her daughter to a private school near their home in West Hampstead, North London.

The Oscar-winning actress, who has been a renowned supporter of Left-wing politics, said at the time she hoped Gaia would attend sixth-form at the state-run Camden School for Girls. However it is not known if she will still do so.

The 55-year-old star of Saving Mr Banks was educated there herself when it was still a grammar school. It remains a favourite of wealthy Left-wing parents, with alumni including actress Tamsin Greig and the children of several Blairite cabinet ministers.

But apparently that is still not good enough for her. Emma now schools het at home and thinks 'I think we should just teach Latin and free-form dance. Really.

Sep 4, 2015 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

So the Actress finally gets her comeuppance at the Bishop's place.

I'll get me coat...

Sep 4, 2015 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Who is Emma Thompson? (I don't watch movies or TV much).

Sep 4, 2015 at 5:36 PM | Registered Commentershub

Emma is an actress - has 2 Oscars - so quite successful

Sep 4, 2015 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Despite my initial annoyance at the BBC for broadcasting this piece of ill-informed green propaganda, I do wonder if this sort of thing isn’t simply feeding these zealots sufficient rope with which to hang themselves?

Let’s face it, much of the general public has been fed these scare storied for so long now that they probably don’t bother listening. However, I’m also sure that much of the general public will feel very insulted when someone like Ms Thompson tells them they’re racist!

As I’ve said before, with friends like these, who needs enemies :-)

Sep 4, 2015 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Jush has captured Bjorn perfectly.

Sep 4, 2015 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Your link about reduced use of wood-burning stoves has the following:

"Deaths among men fell by 11.4 per cent, particularly from cardiovascular causes, which saw a decline of 17.9 per cent, and from respiratory causes, which retreated by 22.8 per cent. There was no statistically significant fall among women, a question that was not addressed by the study."

This is the sort of study that William Briggs (rightly) complains about. One can safely conclude that whatever it was (if anything) causing the drop in mortality, it was certainly nothing to do with stoves.

Sep 4, 2015 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kennedy

michael hart. - groan.

Russell - take more water with it.

Sep 4, 2015 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I saw the interview. It was like listening to a naive teenager. It really was pathetic but then like must celebrities any right-on cause will do as they suit the only real cause they care about - themselves. You see if you're not in the limelight or not doing any work you can show up on telly for no real effort, spout nonsense about a cause and at the same time increase your profile.

Sep 4, 2015 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered Commentercd

Hamas have joined Emma in endorsing Jeremy!

Sep 4, 2015 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

As I said at WUWT:

ET - faux gnome!

Sep 4, 2015 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

This strange woman has corn chips for brains.
She thinks we don't invite migrants from Syria because we're racist.
Has no one pointed out to her Britain's welcome to 60,000 people of Indian descent, in 1972, who had been living in Uganda?
No sign of racism there.

Sep 4, 2015 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

That must be why she has also called for Britain to accept as many "refugees" as we can.

Absent fossil fuels, we will need to return to a more old fashioned power source - slave labour!

Sep 4, 2015 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterWFC

She still thinks she's Florence living in some fantasy land. Some people never grow up.

Sep 5, 2015 at 6:32 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"Deaths among men fell by 11.4 per cent, particularly from cardiovascular causes, which saw a decline of 17.9 per cent, and from respiratory causes, which retreated by 22.8 per cent. There was no statistically significant fall among women, a question that was not addressed by the study."

This is the sort of study that William Briggs (rightly) complains about. One can safely conclude that whatever it was (if anything) causing the drop in mortality, it was certainly nothing to do with stoves.

Sep 4, 2015 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered Commenter Alan Kennedy

I assume this study also looked at the indirect effects of wood burning stoves? Sawing and splitting wood is hard work and good exercise, hence the cardiovascular benefits - and it is the men who tend to do this this work, in this household at least.

Sep 5, 2015 at 7:34 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

As for Emma Thompson, another West Hampstead champagne socialist and hypocrite (I bet her household monthly gas bill is twice the national average) who I am sure means well but knows nothing about science, nothing about energy, nothing about the Arctic and nothing about the Earth's climate history. Hence an ideal person for the BBC to interview with softball questions on climate change, on what was once their flagship news and analysis programme. Didn't Paxman quit Newsnight because he was fed up having to front an agenda set by the new editor who was still in his twenties, and used to work at the Guardian?

Sep 5, 2015 at 7:56 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Does there come a point in this instance where an official complaint against the BBC is justified, and if not, why not?

Emily Maitliss sat there nodding sagely and uttered not a single questioning word while Thompson was given unchallenged centre stage to assert that there would be 4C warming by 2030. Put simply, that is a lie. It goes without saying the BBC chose not to allow ANY alternative viewpoint from another guest. Strange, is it not, how Lord Lawson is denied BBC exposure due to his 'not being qualified' yet a f*****g actress is given carte blanche to spout utter drivel that by omission of challenge by the interviewer is implied as being wholly accurate, ie a fact.

By refusing to even question that absurdly exaggerated assertion Maitliss was complicit in offering tactic approval, and by extension that makes the BBC culpable.

The falsification of Thompson's claims would be straightforward. This would appear to be an open goal.

Sep 5, 2015 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

ATTP completely misses the point AGAIN.

He grumbles that we're making much of Emma Thompson's mistakes. He grudgingly admits they were mistakes and then goes on to justify them. The issues is not whether some celeb wildly gets her facts wrong but that everyone involved failed to correct her. Why did she think her figures were right in the first place?

Too often in the past, mistakes have gone unmentioned. The warmists have been happy to let the public worry about the highest exaggerations. All bad news is good news as far as they were concerned. Kudos for Dr Betts for trying to set the picture straight but his warmist buddies make it clear that lying for a good cause isn’t just ok, it’s beneficial.

Trust me I’m a scientist? Whatever for?

So for those who have a loose relationship with honesty, I’ll spell one lesson out. Some people will hear Emma Thompson or someone like her in a way they'll never notice a real scientist. They’ll ‘learn’ her facts. Then when we whistle up to 2030, they won’t think ‘Emma Thompson is an idiot or a liar’ they’ll think ‘those climate scientists are idiots and liars’. You will be judged by the company you keep. Unless you expect her to be vindicated in the next 15 years, you’d better try and disassociate yourself from her ‘helpful’ alarm calls.

ATTP etc have the idea that we still need alerting to the danger of CO2. Just for them I’ll say WE KNOW! What we’re not sure is what to believe or not. Lying to us puts another mark in the disbelief column.

Sep 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

He grudgingly admits they were mistakes and then goes on to justify them.

No, I didn't. Why are you lying? Not that I particularly care, given that being dishonest appears to be the norm here, but I just hadn't quite pegged you as being quite this dishonest. What she said was wrong. She should avoid saying such things in future if ever asked about this topic again. Ideally, we shouldn't really be interviewing celebrities. Of course (unlike our host) I would expect Emma Thompson to learn from this and not make the same mistake again, assuming she does ever get the opportunity to discuss this publicly again.

The issues is not whether some celeb wildly gets her facts wrong but that everyone involved failed to correct her.

What do you think has been happening for the last day? She's been corrected by almost everyone who could possibly correct her. Do you mean "why wasn't she corrected before she said it". That might be because we haven't yet invented a time machine. There are many things that - in retrospect - were the wrong thing to have said or done. Having done them, though, the arrow of time means that we can't go back and not do them.

So for those who have a loose relationship with honesty

Talking about yourself again?

What we’re not sure is what to believe or not. Lying to us puts another mark in the disbelief column.

I certainly don't care what you believe or not, and I'm certainly not going to take advice about honesty from some of the most dishonest people I've ever had the misfortune to enounter. Maybe stop assuming that everyone else is as dishonest as those with whom you choose to associate.

In the interests of honesty, it is possible that I may have vowed not to comment here again. If so, I've broken that vow. However, I do find people making stuff up about me - or what I've said - irritating. I expect nothing else from a site like this, but - now and again - I do like to at least defend myself somewhat. I don't intend to come back and respond to any of the responses to this, as I fully expect them to be as appalling and dishonest as is the norm here. Feel free to prove me wrong, though.

Sep 5, 2015 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics


The BBC haven't corrected her or published counter-views from even the climate-onside Met Office that have rubbished her 'opinion'. It was gratuitous alarmism, nothing less, and is flat-out wrong. What's more, the BBC must KNOW it's wrong, too.

Sep 5, 2015 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

ATTP, I know you think everything revolves around you but there was an entire BBC team involved before any of us heard the programme. They could have corrected her. Was the interview live? No. Did they discuss what she was going to say? Probably. Was there a correction on the programme or iplayer? No. Did they make a point of saying she was a Greenpeace activist or just "She was up at 4 o'clock this morning, helping bring life to a giant polar bear, Aurora, which she and some 60 other Greenpeace campaigners..." What a nice fluffy into.

"What do you think has been happening for the last day" Well it didn't happen yesterday did it, it was the day before? Or can you point to a warmist tweet or comment that proves me wrong? It wasn't until sceptics highlighted it that anyone batted an eyelid. Some thought it was no big deal, others were more concerned. Your attitude was that she's only an actress. No, she's a voice for a major environmental charity talking on a respected news programme. The BBC made a rule that they were not going to allow amateurs speak on issues unless their view was countered by an expert. Where was that expert? On any of the issues? When did Bob Ward etc berate the BBC? I'm assuming given your outrage that you've sent the BBC a complaint?

If this was just a one off, then I'd be dismissing this as a blip. It's not, it's common practice and you guys think it does no harm. Heh, heh, heh. Keep it up.

Sep 5, 2015 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

aTTP Everyone is entitled to an opinion, no matter how wrong or right it is.

The BBC has long prided itself, on having world wide impartiality.

The BBC has officially decided not to criticise anyone spouting about climate change.

The BBC has officially decided not to give airtime to anyone criticising anything about climate change.

Emma Thompson gets free airtime to advertise Greenpeace's view on climate change on the BBC, and despite criticism from ALL sides (apart from Greenpeace) no apology or correction is forthcoming.

The BBC has no problem, because the BBC has decided not to listen to any problems with its coverage of anything the BBC has linked to climate change.

Sep 5, 2015 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What do you think has been happening for the last day? She's been corrected by almost everyone who could possibly correct her.

What a ridiculous statement, even for ATTP. The whole point is that she has NOT been corrected in any of the places that matter. She broadcast her wholly inaccurate Greenpeace propaganda on the major UK TV News Opinion Programme which has ca 500,000 viewers. No correction or caveats were offered by the dimwit presenter and there has been neither an apology, correction or retraction by the broadcaster nor AFAIK any coverage in the MSM.

Thus 500,000 people, together with those that they may have communicated this tripe to, now believe what Greenpeace wanted them to believe. Professor Betts appears to be the only Climate Scientist with any integrity (why is that not a surprise) by putting the record straight, but even he has only tweeted the information and the Met Office is, as usual, completely silent

Sep 5, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Arthur Dent, and Ed Hawkins. My bad for forgetting Ed.

The important part of this is that we are now at least 10 years into celebs and politicians getting clmate science wildly wrong (I even concede it's both sides). Why is it still happening in 2015?

Sep 5, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

In the post BBC-driven Global Warming era, expect new TV shows.

"It's a Pro-Celebrity Climate Change Cock-Up" could run for days, without repeating itself. They could even film it "On Ice", due to the surplus in the Arctic.

Sep 5, 2015 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

TinyCO2, they could throw in some politicians, especially if they find any open water in the Arctic. It would be great for ratings, and gratuitous laughter, as demonstrated with "Ice bucket challenges". Politicians would love to demonstrate that being cold is not fatal. Many of us would like to see them try.

Sep 5, 2015 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

" is possible that I may have vowed not to comment here again. "

Bugger off then. Disgusting.

Sep 5, 2015 at 2:34 PM | Registered Commentershub

Emma Thompson and Russell Brand Newsnight bringing in the celebrity big guns, Ian Katz desperate bid to avoid budget cuts and remain in the schedules.

How long before BBC 2, 3 and 4 go online only,

Sep 5, 2015 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

jamspid, are the people who would listen to Emma Thompson and Russell Brand a natural Newsnight audience? Might their real customers be a bit annoyed by the dumbing down?

Sep 5, 2015 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2, jamspid referred to Ian Katz of Newsnight, one of the Grauniads finest examples of destroying credibility and ratings. His first achievement, was to drive out Jeremy Paxman, which was met with cheers at Grauniad central control.

His next achievement has been to drive out accusations of dumbing down, by bringing in Russel Brand and Emma Thompson. This has been another triumph, because people capable of determining the dumbness of dumbing down, have given up watching Newsnight.

Sep 5, 2015 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

TinyCO2 and jamspid

I think Ian Katz got the job at Newsnight, because of his ability as a 'journalist' to be at the centre of so many problems, and disasters. See Wikipedia for edited highlights

Sep 5, 2015 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Our Emma was on the Andrew Marr show a year back promoting Sweeney Todd in the West End.And she had also comeback from some Greenpiss Frozen Arctic Expedition

Funny thing there was Emma family photos standing about on a frozen Arctic Pack Ice in minus 30 degrees in full thermal survival suits and studded boots and goggles prattling on about melting Glaciers.

and then classic Youtube Andy Marr concluding with the lovely Emma asked her to sing and she could only manage a few lines and made a right tit out herself.

Similar Andy Caulson ,Steve Hilton photo op with Cameron in the North Pole with the Huskys dog sled that one didn't work either.The message got lost our Dave was gonna a bit more CO2 to melt two entire continents.Green Crap of his own making.

Last week Obama,s press team picked Alaska and brought fully clothed Bear Grills along . Unfortunately no snow no ice and no sense of place either so an ineffective photo opportunity.The Pres could have easily been standing on the prairies not on the Alaskan Tundra .

Mean while back in the real world the Huff Post, New York and Washington Times ,CNN and MSNBC are having to sideline the Obama footage and instead defend Black Live Matter against accusations of encouraging Cop Killing.

So are we betting on rioting Immigrants and Greek demonstrators or Islamic Extremists snatching away the headlines from our world leaders when they finally meet in Paris.

Sep 5, 2015 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

[snip: manners]

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

jamspid, if any climate refugees make it to Paris by December, loads of people will welcome them. But they are unlikely to hand over the keys to their luxury hotel rooms, even though they won't have paid for them.

It could be turned into a really cheap TV stunt, that BBC/Greenpeace would normally stoop low enough to contrive.

Sep 5, 2015 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I wonder if she was paid the same $350.000 the other celeb in the jungle was paid a year or so ago. Can't remember the silly tart's name though. Black hand trick with oil.

Sep 5, 2015 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

jamspid, I remember. Then there's that Westwood waste of space. I know why they do it. Any publicity is good publicity. Well they're wrong. Most businesses learnt that lesson after Ratner and the Hoover Flights cock up.

The BBC should have learnt not to be too chummy with the celebs through their own mistakes but they keep right on.

Sep 5, 2015 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

It must be upsetting for Earth Mother Emma, that Mother Earth has rejected global warming theory.

Everything was super whizzo Jolly Hockey Sticks, before reality kicked in.

Sep 5, 2015 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

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