The BBC Endeavours to Provide More Biased Coverage on Climate Change

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”

The BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, has released a report on its coverage of climate change, that is based partly on “an independent review” by Steve Jones, a Genetics Professor at University College London (UCL).

The report states that “Professor Jones describes incidents of what he calls “false balance” and suggests there may sometimes have been “an over-rigid application of the (editorial) guidelines to what is essentially a fact-based field. This can produce an adversarial attitude to science which allows minority, or even contrarian, views an undue place. The BBC has tried hard to find a suitable balance.

There will of course be occasions when a scientific story should be presented as a debate purely and simply within the scientific community. There will be others when it is appropriate to broadcast a range of views, including some from non-experts, because science cannot be divorced from the social, political and cultural environment in which it operates”

“The Trust notes the Executive’s plans for ongoing monitoring of impartiality and accuracy in science coverage. The results of the Editorial Standards Board review that the Executive plans to carry out in a year’s time should be shared with the Trust. The Trust expects this report to measure the accuracy and impartiality of BBC science coverage, using the findings from this Trust review as its benchmark. The report should include an account of:

• The effect of the new “due weight” stipulation within the editorial guideline on impartiality in relation to BBC science coverage

• The influence of the Science Editor on the quality of BBC News science journalism and content

• The impact of the Science Editor and the pan-BBC science forum on connections between BBC divisions, in-house access to science expertise and the standard of BBC-wide science coverage”

In the associated July 20, 2011 press release by the BBC it states that “the report concludes however, that in particular the BBC must take special care to continue efforts to ensure viewers are able to distinguish well-established fact from opinion on scientific issues and to communicate this distinction clearly to the audience.”

“When considering ‘due impartiality’ under the new Editorial Guidelines, the BBC needs to continue to be careful when reporting on science to make a distinction between an opinion and a fact. When there is a consensus of opinion on scientific matters, providing an opposite view without consideration of “due weight” can lead to ‘false balance’, meaning that viewers might perceive an issue to be more controversial than it actually is. This does not mean that scientists cannot be questioned or challenged, but that their contributions must be properly scrutinised. Including an opposite view may well be appropriate, but the BBC must clearly communicate the degree of credibility that the view carries.

The BBC Executive will establish a new training programme for journalists on impartiality as it applies to science and will run seminars with science journalists to debate current issues and coverage in the media.”

The BBC’s oxymoronically and euphemistically named “BBC Trust – Review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science” page can be found here.

The BBC’s existing biases are apparent, for example in this 27 May 2011 BBC News article “Unlocking the secrets of the Arctic’s melting ice”, it states that “A scientist hopes that a better understanding of what is happening beneath the Arctic ice will offer an insight into why summer sea ice is melting at rate that is alarming experts. Unlocking the secrets of the Arctic’s melting ice”

“As a scientist, the reason I am prepared to come out here and be cold is because of the desire to learn and answer burning questions I have about what is going on up here, why the ice is melting as fast as it is” she told the Earth Reporters programme.

“My theory is that this organic matter absorbs the Sun’s energy, making the ice melt faster.

and this 7 April 2011 BBC News article “New warning on Arctic sea ice melt” states that “scientists who predicted a few years ago that Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2013 now say summer sea ice will probably be gone in this decade.”

“Since the spectacularly pronounced melting of 2007, a greater proportion of the Arctic Ocean has been covered by thin ice that is formed in a single season and is more vulnerable to slight temperature increases than older, thicker ice.”

This is biased reporting by the BBC, because these articles imply that the decrease is Arctic Sea Ice is mysterious, that it will continue to decline at an accelerating rate and that the decline is caused primarily by warming in the arctic. Whereas there is ample evidence that, “perennial sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean decreased by 23 percent during the past two winters as strong winds swept more Arctic ice than usual out Fram Strait near Greenland. The study relied on 50 years of data from the International Arctic Buoy Program, currently directed by Ignatius Rigor of the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory, and eight years of data from NASA’s QuikScat satellite, a review of which was led by Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”

“The most important thing about this paper is that it foretells this summer’s record minimum ice extent in the Arctic,” Rigor, a research scientist and co-author on the paper, says. “While the total area of ice cover in recent winters has remained about the same, during the past two years an increased amount of older, thicker perennial sea ice was swept by winds out of the Arctic Ocean into the Greenland Sea. What grew in its place in the winters between 2005 and 2007 was a thin veneer of first-year sea ice, which simply has less mass to survive the summer melt.”
University of Washington September 28, 2007 fact sheet: “Perennial ice, sometimes thick enough to defy icebreakers, may be key to predicting Arctic thaw”.

In this October 01 2007 NASA article,
“Nghiem said the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.

“The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century,” Nghiem said.”

The 2007 paper “Rapid reduction of Arctic perennial sea ice” by Nghiem, Rigor, Perovich, Clemente-Colo, Weatherly and Neumann states that, “Perennial-ice extent loss in March within the DM domain was noticeable after the 1960s, and the loss became more rapid in the 2000s when QSCAT observations were available to verify the model results. QSCAT data also revealed mechanisms contributing to the perennial-ice extent loss: ice compression toward the western Arctic, ice loading into the Transpolar Drift (TD) together with an acceleration of the TD carrying excessive ice out of Fram Strait, and ice export to Baffin Bay.”

This 2011 paper, “Recent wind driven high sea ice export in the Fram Strait contributes to Arctic sea ice decline”, submitted to The Cryosphere by L. H. Smedsrud, et al.;

used “geostrophic winds derived from reanalysis data to calculate the Fram Strait ice area export back to 1957, finding that the sea ice area export recently is about 25 % larger than during the 1960’s.”

In 2010 the Guardian reported that, “Much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is down to the region’s swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming, a new study reveals.”

“About half of the variation in maximum ice loss each September is down to changes in wind patterns, the study says.”

Here’s the associated study, “Influence of winter and summer surface wind anomalies on summer Arctic sea ice extent” by Masayo Ogi, Koji Yamazaki and John M. Wallace, published in Geophysical Research Letters.

It found that, “based on a statistical analysis incorporating 925‐hPa wind fields from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalyses, it is shown that the combined effect of winter and summer wind forcing accounts for 50% of the variance of the change in September Arctic sea ice extent from one year to the next (DSIE) and it also explains roughly 1/3 of the downward linear trend of SIE over the past 31 years.”

“We have shown results indicating that wind‐induced, year‐to‐year differences in the rate of flow of ice toward and through Fram Strait play an important role in modulating September SIE on a year‐to‐year basis and that a trend toward an increased wind‐induced rate of flow has contributed
to the decline in the areal coverage of Arctic summer sea ice.”

This 2004 paper “Variations in the Age of Arctic Sea-ice and Summer Sea-ice Extent” by Ignatius G. Rigor & John M. Wallace, states that “The winter AO-index explains as much as 64% of the variance in summer sea-ice extent in the Eurasian sector, but the winter and summer AO-indices combined explain less than 20% of the variance along the Alaskan coast, where the age of sea-ice explains over 50% of the year-to year variability. If this interpretation is correct, low summer sea-ice extents are likely to persist for at least a few years. However, it is conceivable that, given an extended interval of low-index AO conditions, ice thickness and summertime sea-ice extent could gradually return to the levels characteristic of the 1980′s.”

This 2001 paper, “Fram Strait Ice Fluxes and Atmospheric Circulation: 1950–2000″ by Torgny Vinje published in the American Meteorological Society Journal of Climate found that “Observations reveal a strong correlation between the ice fluxes through the Fram Strait and the cross-strait air pressure difference.”

“Although the 1950s and 1990s stand out as the two decades with maximum flux variability, significant variations seem more to be the rule than the exception over the whole period considered.”

“The corresponding decadal maximum change in the Arctic Ocean ice thickness is of the order of 0.8 m. These temporal wind-induced variations may help explain observed changes in portions of the Arctic Ocean ice cover over the last decades. Due to an increasing rate in the ice drainage through the Fram Strait during the 1990s, this decade is characterized by a state of decreasing ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean.”

As such, the BBC’s reporting is currently biased, because they are not accurately informing the public that a significant portion of the recent decrease in Arctic Sea Ice is due to natural wind variations versus warming due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, the BBC is now planning to increase the bias of its reporting to prevent “false balance”. As such, the BBC is not a trustworthy source of information on Earth’s climate system.

This BBC article offers an interesting look back at when the BBC was still capable of reporting facts, uncertainties and countervailing hypotheses about why Earth’s climate changes.

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81 Responses to The BBC Endeavours to Provide More Biased Coverage on Climate Change

  1. j ferguson says:

    Regrettably, the real problem is how to report fairly when you yourself are clueless.

  2. Oliver Cromwell says:

    “As such, the BBC is not a trustworthy source of information on Earth’s climate system.”

    The BBC ceased to be a trusted source of any information in about 1997. Since then its bias has become something the old soviet governments would have been proud of.

  3. miket says:

    Yes, I read about this. I suspect that the Trust will use this report to give short thrift to and deny a hearing to my recently submitted appeal to them on a complaint of general bias in the reporting of climate science. And it has taken me over two years to reach this point too! They are just not set up for looking at more than an individual complaint. I believe that I’ve taken a balanced approach, but will they? Don’t answer that!

  4. stevefb says:

    Speaking as a Brit I can confirm the BBC’s science output is mostly appalling, dumbed-down drivel.

    Looking at the regular output of their science and environment correspondents – many of whom are arts grads – it’s hard to imagine how their coverage of this issue could become any more biased.

  5. Ian W says:

    The approach of the BBC would put its reporting heavily on the side of the papacy against Galileo. But perhaps they see that as being ‘unbiased’.

  6. pat says:

    These people are morons. Their vanity in their own belief in their intelligence carefully stoked by Warmists.

  7. Don Horne says:

    Fox, meet Henhouse!

  8. j ferguson says: July 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Regrettably, the real problem is how to report fairly when you yourself are clueless.

    Very incisive. I am impressed by your ability to argue without the benefit of facts.

    When you have a few minutes try reading the post, as you might actually learn something…

  9. stevefb says:

    Nice piece on this topic in the Telegraph

    http://tinyurl.com/3hll2dc

  10. Ken Harvey says:

    BBC. In the inimitable words of Mickey Spillane – “I the jury.”

  11. Justa Joe says:

    This Professor Jones is a very outspoken partisan lefty. Why was this guy selected by the BBC to do their “independent review”? As part of his review Jones determined that the BBC was not biased pro-AGW. That should let you know where this guy is coming from.

  12. Keith says:

    I think the ‘you’ who has the problem reporting fairly in J Ferguson’s comment is the BBC rather than yourself, JTF. At least, that’s the way I read it.

  13. Luther Bl. says:

    > “Professor Jones describes incidents of what he calls “false balance”…”

    Professor Jones is an expert on metaphor as well as fruit flies?

  14. Keith says: July 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I think the ‘you’ who has the problem reporting fairly in J Ferguson’s comment is the BBC rather than yourself, JTF. At least, that’s the way I read it.

    Can you, or J Ferguson, cite something within my post that you disagree with? For example, can you cite a factual inaccuracy?

  15. peter Miller says:

    The BBC is all too often only concerned with trendy science. This is a quasi government organisation whose programs vary from the sublime to the ridiculous.

    The era of fat cat salaries may be coming to an end for the senior executives of the BBC, so in order to curry favour with their political masters seeking new ways of tax generation,they will only produce ‘science’ which pleases their masters.

    As a Brit, I can only apologise when the BBC does this type of thing.

  16. Archonix says:

    jtf, step back a moment and think. TKeith and J Ferguson are saying that the BBC reporters are clueless, not you. Is it fair to be so quick to assume you’re being attacked here?

  17. P Walker says:

    I believe that Keith and j ferguson both agree with you , JTF .

  18. j ferguson says: July 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Regrettably, the real problem is how to report fairly when you yourself are clueless.

    Keith says: July 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I think the ‘you’ who has the problem reporting fairly in J Ferguson’s comment is the BBC rather than yourself, JTF. At least, that’s the way I read it.

    Archonix says: July 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    jtf, step back a moment and think. TKeith and J Ferguson are saying that the BBC reporters are clueless, not you. Is it fair to be so quick to assume you’re being attacked here?

    P Walker says: July 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I believe that Keith and j ferguson both agree with you , JTF .

    Apologies, I am so used to be attacked by trolls that my knee jerk has become to assume as such. I will take care not to do that again. JTF

  19. Dave Dardinger says:

    JTW

    Can you, or J Ferguson, cite something within my post that you disagree with?

    Huh? They’re agreeing with you (and so am I). I’m not sure what the grammatical usage of “you” is in this case but it’s not directed at you the writer of this thread, but the clueless BBC.

  20. 1DandyTroll says:

    A government owned and operated news agency has to be objective and unbiased as can be under the current EU legislation. And if I’m not mistaken any local government aren’t allowed to own and operate news agencies otherwise.

    So, essentially, the BBC might just be another illegal criminal enterprise.

  21. Chilli says:

    With respect, this article misses the main story entirely: The main issue is the aggressive and abusive language Prof Jones adopts in the report. He refers to “Deniers” and “Denialists” seven times in the global warming chapter. What next: A BBC report on racial programming that uses the N word? Or a BBC report on the Israel using the Y and K words? Prof Jones’s report should have been rejected by the BBC on the grounds of its insulting and aggressive language. Needless to say his arguments are garbage too – full of appeals to authority and one-off weather events – the usual tosh. But frankly when such unacceptable bias and hate speech are used, it’s not even worth reading his opinions. Shame on the BBC. I hope GWPF take legal action against the Beeb over this report – for breach of their Charter.

  22. TinyCO2 says:

    I think Professor Jones needs to pull out of the climate debate since he’s not even grasped that ‘hide the decline’ doesn’t mean ‘doctoring a graph to hide global cooling’ p69.

  23. Marty K says:

    It’s not only the BBC that are clueless, climate science as it sits right now is in it’s infancy.
    The models produced to date have no chance of survival due to so many missing inputs, which allows gross weighting applied to those that they do use. Mankinds ability to understand our environments and climate are achieved with our intelligence coupled with curiosity and imagination.
    Wacking down those that don’t agree with you is the stuff wars are made of. Unknowling, many are forcing their ideas upon Mother and Human Nature, which neber works out.
    The planetary ocean and air currents have a coupling with all that happens in the troposhere, mesosphere, stratosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere, including the chemical and magnetic properties that act upon the constiuents molecularly in the lower spheres and atomically in the upper spheres. Our sun’s influence is large, but its extent is unknown. From the ebb and flow of the polar ovals and Vanallen belts to the bouyancy and source attraction seen in the plasma aprticles, we are very much in a learning curve with miles to go.
    Cheers!

  24. Lars P says:

    stevefb says:
    July 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm
    “Nice piece on this topic in the Telegraph”
    Thanks, it is indeed spot on, was really interesting to read

  25. Edward Bancroft says:

    Chilli: “The main issue is the aggressive and abusive language Prof Jones adopts in the report. ,,,”

    Yes, it is Prof. Jones, the ‘independent’ reviewer, who should get the flack on this report.

    Jone’s position on this is strange. He is a virulent anti-Creationist, on the grounds that creationism flies in the face of science. Yet by advocating that we should automatically accept the AGW consensus as proclaimed by the anointed experts, he is promoting a faith-based approach to science.

    In both creationism and AGW there is a requirement to follow an entirely infallible source, whose word must be accepted without question.

    As a regular BBC presenter, not only is Jones an odd choice for an independent BBC reviewer, but he cannot see his own inconsistent and glaring philosophical contradictions in the matter.

  26. I agree with Chilli’s comment that the real story is that a report supposed to examine and define impartiality repeatedly used the highly offensive terms “denier”,”denial”, “denialist”, “denialism”.

    Those terms show that Steve Jones is totally biased, and therefore unfit to produce a report on impartiality. If proof were needed that the BBC is not impartial on this issue then one needs only to see that the Trust considers a report using these inaccurate and prejudiced words to be helpful to BBC in determining how to be balanced.

    This report will turn out to be good news for sceptics and bad news for those who want to maintain the existing bias on this issue at the BBC.

  27. clipe says:

    “There will be others when it is appropriate to broadcast a range of views, including some from non-experts, because science cannot be divorced from the social, political and cultural environment in which it operates”

    Paging the Al Gores, the David Suzukis etc.

  28. “an over-rigid application of the (editorial) guidelines to what is essentially a fact-based field”

    “the BBC must…ensure viewers are able to distinguish well-established fact from opinion on scientific issues”.

    “the BBC needs…to make a distinction between an opinion and a fact. When there is a consensus of opinion on scientific matters, providing an opposite view without consideration of “due weight” can lead to ‘false balance’.”

    The last sentence is a non sequitur based on the penultimate sentence. The ‘layman’, and no doubt the journalists, will interpret this as ‘consensus of opinion’ = ‘fact’; alternative view = mere opinion.

    This shows that the BBC Trust and Professor Jones haven’t really got a clue about what science is, what it is about, and what is its referent.

    Science is not a ‘fact-based field’, since fact implies what is certain and can never be superseded, i.e. no possibility of scientific progress; and of all the scientific fields, climate science is one of the least fact-based (though astronomy is worse).

    Science is not about ‘facts’, it is an idea about the interpretation of ideas and ‘data’. If we are dealing with ‘facts’ then we are entailing ‘knowledge’, and the issue is an epistemological one. Facts and knowledge belong to what is universal, necessary and certain. This is the domain of theology and logic. Science operates in a different realm, that of the particular, contingent, hypothetical, corrigible, probable, context-dependent and historical.

    Much modern science is conflicted concerning its referent, pursuing methods that are empirical (i.e. particular, contingent, hypothetical, corrigible, probable, context-dependent and historical), whilst claiming that such experimental methods can penetrate experience to reality (the universal, necessary and certain). That is a definite ‘bust’ from an epistemological perspective.

    If the BBC is “to ensure viewers are able to distinguish well-established fact from opinion on scientific issues” it will find this a task that cannot possibly be achieved. Trying to enforce such a policy is guaranteed to mislead the viewers even more of what science is about.

  29. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Another clueless twit who has jumped on a bandwagon that is going over a cliff.
    Bye-bye.

  30. Steve from Rockwood says:

    My previous comment was in reference to the BBC’s governing body, the BBC and Professor Jones. Nice post JTF!

  31. Anton says:

    The BBC has five billion in retirement funds invested in carbon trading. If they and others can’t keep the AGW scare going, their stock, already worth muss less than it cost, will become worthless. That’s five billion reasons to do what they’re doing.

  32. son of mulder says:

    And since I have reminded us of a particularly bad piece of BBC science and bearing in mind that phone hacking is a crime (and much in the news at the moment) may I remind us that just after 6:20 in the embedded BBC video

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8418356.stm

    the former UK Government chief scientist (Professor King) makes allegations of phone hacking. Has he reported this to the police yet or has the BBC apologised for reporting such tosh? Or is it not only the decline that had been hidden?

  33. R.S.Brown says:

    It should be interesting too see how Dr. Jones advises the BBC to deal with
    the soon-to-be released results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN.

    In the US, NASA and NOAA have both put out recent statements that soften
    their organizational positions on solar (including electromagnetic variations
    effecting incoming cosmic rays) influences on the earth’s atmosphere.

    They’re ready to play a new tune or even switch bandwagons to continue
    to be a relevant factor in the study of all things climate.

    This autumn Phil Jones’s name will be tossed around again in some of the
    e-mails forced out of hiding by a successful FOI request to the University
    of Virginia for the stuff they retained from/to Mike Mann.

    What Professor Jones decries as “false balance” this summer may
    be seen to be a pitifull and pitiable effort to stop the clock by this time
    next year.

  34. Tom says:

    It’s been said before in many places but it needs repeating – they (the BBC) are nowadays truly not to be trusted for honest reportage on many levels.

    The group think inside the BBC and The Guardian Newspaper (two cheeks of the same backside as some are fond of saying) is a thing of wonder. As others have remarked almost all the correspondents have no skill set related the subject they report on (and the same goes for editors who are supposed to weed out / catch whoopsies) and many on the science and environmental staff are essentially militant activist eco alarmists / propagandists (on rather fat state salaries)

    Simple, howling errors in geography abound in news reports, eco scare stories routinely are not fact checked or even sanity checked – it would seem from what I’ve seen and heard that not only are they ignorant, they have difficulty counting aloud past their fingers. It’s mostly about presentation without messy truth rearing it’s ugly head.

    The breathless theatricality of it all is nauseating (as is the music they slap all over science programs) and when they’re actually brought to book about basic, pivotal factual errors, I’ve actually heard a producer say “oh, getting a few numbers wrong didn’t affect the story at all”

    It’s embarrassing – getting an egotistical media struck self publicising geneticist who’s on the payroll to pontificate on the institution’s climate science coverage… pheweee…. yep, the Galileo / Pope thing … there’s something in that. Prof Jones should be led to Richard Feynman’s pronouncements on scientists pontificating off specialty.

  35. SSam says:

    “Trust” is earned. You don’t stick that table on yourself and expect anybody to trust you. If you do you’re an idiot.

    “Board” … yet another layer of B/S buerocratic tripe.

    BBC – All the news that’s fit to flush.

    You would think that if someone was so overly concerned with the dissapearance of the ice, that they would question the practice of intentionally breaking it up and increasing the available surface area. This enhances melting, wey they keep driving icebreakers through it and then complain that it melts.

    Go figure

  36. polistra says:

    This sort of thing happens on all sorts of subjects. When the media get into “soul-searching” mode, it means that they’ve detected someone in their midst who is only 99.9999% orthodox, someone who may have appeared to twitch the far end of one hair of one eyebrow in the wrong direction while reading the pure 100.0000% Gramscian doctrinal statements that constitute “news”. After the soul-searching and self-criticism sessions, the guilty party goes on a year-long Apology Tour, and everyone else gets fresh Botox injections.

  37. SSam says:

    “In the US, NASA and NOAA have both put out recent statements that soften
    their organizational positions… … ready to play a new tune or even switch bandwagons …
    to be a relevant factor…”

    With NASA, that’s a laugh. A functional defunct space organization is a functionally defunct space organization. They do still have that “outreach” program… maybe they can find a purpose in life with that.

    Ref my last post: “label” vs “table” and “but” vs “wey”, How “wey” is a autocorrect version of “but” is beyond me… but that’s what the phone wanted, that’s what the phone got. Thank you phone, now go burn in hades.

  38. tango says:

    in australia our slogan is AXE THE TAX log onto our website please http://www.galileomovement.com.au/science_futility.php#P thank you

  39. pat says:

    Hide the decline actually has to do with the correlation between tree ring size and temperature in the temperate region of Russia that Briffa focused on. Briffa assumed that smaller ring size represented colder climes. So ring size should have increased as the world heated up. It did not. This was a vastly important finding, perhaps obvious to botanist and tree farmers. But it meant that much of the paleo-climatic science was now questionable. So it was hidden. Later Steve McIntyre would show the cover up was far worse than was imaginable. And in fact the mainstream media in America and the BBC continue the fraud.

  40. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    The BBC Endeavours to Provide More Biased Coverage on Climate Change

    I did not know that was even possible.

    The Law of Diminishing Returns has been well and truly invoked. How much effort will it take to squeeze one more drop of blood-like substance from that shriveled turnip?

  41. DirkH says:

    “Professor Jones describes incidents of what he calls “false balance” ”

    This should obviously have read “False consciousness”. We must have a serious word with Professor Jones when he reports back at the Kanzlerbunker. ;-)

  42. wat dabney says:

    False balance is certainly a concern in journalism generally, but in this case a complete red herring. The problem of the BBC is one of complete journalistic failure: years of shocking revelations glossed over or gone entirely unreported. And unfortunately Prof Jones is apparently entirely ignorant of these huge ongoing scandals (not a crime in itself, unless you are writing a report on the subject…)

    Perversely, had the BBC done a better job of examining and reporting the subject over the years, rather than just cheerleading the lies and spin of state-appointed charlatans, Jones would have been rather better informed and perhaps less inclined to pre-emtively and sneeringly dismiss the damning criticisms.

    Whilst the failings of the BBC in the regard are not unique, its positions as state (and statist) broadcaster with huge artifical market dominance makes this report a scandal in its own right.

    I quite like Prof Jones, and have a couple of his books, but he has embarrassed himself severely over this.

  43. Dawn Weaver says:

    The BBC hasn’t been a reliable or trustworthy source of information on much of anything for many, many years. Ever since journalism schools stopped teaching journalism in favor of advocacy.

  44. TomRude says:

    Indeed many mainstream journalists claim ignorance on the question as a convenient way to excuse their “consensual” reporting. As much as this could have hold some ground at the beginning, such position is simply untenable since climategate. When a journalist or a newspaper publishes on climate, their selection is deliberate as I have never seen any balanced information, for instance discussing one paper one year and its later refutation, as revisiting the issue.

  45. Jeremy says:

    JTF, always engage 1 beer before moderating. Relax. Find the Zen. Just a tip from an old moderator back in the olden internet days. Trolls will always be there, but sometimes they actually have a point worth listening to.

  46. LazyTeenager says:

    And no explanation of why we should have year after year after year after year of trend in increasing polar wind speed with very little random variation superimposed on that trend.

    So if we plot the wind speed trend against the ice extent trend what do we get? I am betting no relationship and the “just the facts theory” will then be in the toilet.

  47. William says:

    The BCC employees have created their own imaginary paradigm. Unfortunately or fortunately, we live in the real world or alternatively we are not gods and are limited to the physical world. It is awkward as the BCC has significant influence if the BCC lobbies and promotes policies that are fundamentally flawed, based on scientific theories that are also fundamentally flawed. (Note there are two problems:

    1) Proposed action is irrational and ineffective. The proposed action will not solve the problem(s). The lack of critical discussion is a direct result of the propaganda effort. Well meaning people will follow the paradigm or push the paradigm assuming intelligent people how understand the details are in agreement.

    2) Problem is not a problem and therefore no action is required.

    The Medieval warm period and the Little Ice Age occurred for a reason. The glacial/interglacial cycle occurred due to a physical reason. The past abrupt terminations of the last 22 interglacial periods occurred for a physical reason.

    There are three significant issues:
    1. The plans advocated for reducing CO2 will waste trillions of dollars and will not significantly reduce atmospheric CO2. Western governments are trillions of dollars in debt and must immediately start very difficult expenditure cuts to avoid multiple currency collapses. The liberal press typically do not understand scientific issues and economic science and assume that if expenditures are labelled “green”, “progressive” or for third world governments those expenditures must be “good” and should be supported by the press. Look at the consequence in Greece, Ireland, or Spain of 35% unemployment of the youth.

    2. The planet’s feedback response to a change in forcing is negative rather than positive. A doubling of CO2 will therefore result in less than 1C in warming with most of the warming occurring at higher latitudes. As plants eat CO2 and higher latitude forests are limited by temperature the increase in atmospheric CO2 and higher latitude temperatures will result in an expansion of the biosphere which is win from the environmentalists standpoint.

    3. There is in the paleoclimatic record peculiar abrupt climate changes that correlate with peculiar abrupt geomagnetic field changes that occur with a periodicity of roughly 10,000 years which in the past has ended every interglacial period. Cyclic 24 appears to be the lead into the once in 10,000 year driver for the geomagnetic field change. Optimistically there has been at least three recent peer reviewed papers published that connects the cyclic abrupt climate events with cyclic abrupt geomagnetic field event. We can worry about and take action concerning issue 3 later.

  48. Chris Smith says:

    Chocolate rations were increased…

  49. PiperPaul says:

    “The BBC ceased to be a trusted source of any information in about 1997.”

    I don’t know about that; TopGear has been pretty good.

  50. Titus says:

    My suspicions were raised a few years ago when the BBC created a page for SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT (Sci/Environment). It used to be Science & Technology and Nature and Environment which IMO go very well together as they feed the other.

    Sci/Environment IMO is a garbled mess of articles that have little or no connection. I have complained a number of times and once got a reply that I was not the only one with this opinion but no reasoning as to why.

    If you feel the same as I do then please add your voice here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

  51. Blade says:

    DISCLAIMER: I’m not in the UK, just a curious American.

    How the BBC is not compared to Sovet era Pravda or Izvestia is beyond me. And this thing is piped right in to living rooms of the Proletariat and Bourgeoisie alike, fees automatically billed to the taxpayers. Marx must be ROTFIHLHAO (rolling on the floor in hell laughing his ass off).

    To be sure, the leftists here in the USA tried something similar but came up short. We have PBS (Public Broadcast Service), partially subsidized by USA taxpayers and it has pretty deep penetration on over-the-air and cable (don’t know about satellite). But they are smart enough to not push the propaganda too far, or else the peasants like myself are likely to show up with pitchforks.

    If we can finally manage to wrest control of the government from the Socialists infesting the District of Criminals, PBS will be severed from the taxpayers and billed for all prior contributions. Then it can survive or die, I don’t care, but by standing on its own (with help of course from all the liberal foundations that are already involved).

    I don’t see what our brothers and sisters in the UK can possibly do at this point. Or am I mistaken?

    Anton [July 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm] says:

    “The BBC has five billion in retirement funds invested in carbon trading. If they and others can’t keep the AGW scare going, their stock, already worth muss less than it cost, will become worthless. That’s five billion reasons to do what they’re doing.”

    Wow. If that doesn’t violate every written and unwritten law on Conflict of Interest, I don’t know what does. When I hear of these types of examples of business as usual, I fear for the future. It may be that prosperity in the west has just bred stupidity and we are simply marked for darwinistic de-selection.

  52. Elizabeth (not the Queen) says:

    I think the general public would be better served if the media stopped treating scientists as gods.

  53. Al Gored says:

    The only reason to watch the BBC is to see how they are spinning the propaganda.

    On the AGW front they were relentless until Climategate. Daily climate crisis story, with dire AGW warnings. Now they have become more subtle. Just relentless weather porn that is supposed to subliminally convince us of climate disruption or wierding or whatever.

    The BBC currently hits bottom with Richard Black’s blog and articles. Like Monty Python’s Black Knight, he just keeps coming back with the same old tune no matter how many times new evidence chops off more of it.

  54. Allen says:

    To paraphrase an associate from another lifetime, BBC doesn’t know “$h!t from shinola” when it comes to climate science. Much like the CBC in Canada, ABC in Oz, and NPR in the US. This lot of taxpayer-funded broadcasters share something in common with the likes of NASA and the Met Office – when Big Government writes your cheques you tend to list to the lefty way of thinking, i.e. a love of social engineering and a disdain for those very same taxpayers who fund their socialist fantasies.

  55. DDP says:

    What is it with geneticists talking out of their arse to/at the BBC? It was bad enough with Paul Nurse claiming we annually produce seven time more CO2 than global natural emissions. Science isn’t about facts, it’s about interpretation of observable data and increasing knowledge and understanding of why something happens. Knowledge is changeable, facts are not. If it was about facts then warmists would take into account 4.5 billion years of the unpredictable, unstable natural variation of the planet’s climate. If it was about facts there wouldn’t be a need to alter datasets to fit your argument. Wasn’t it a ‘fact’ that the Earth was flat?

    I sometimes wonder if scientists know what they do any more, other than get paid. Of course, the more crap you talk the more the liberal elitist MSM takes note, the more the MSM takes note the more money you make due to obviously being an ‘expert as you’ve been on TV.

  56. Peter Plail says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    July 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm
    “And no explanation of why we should have year after year after year after year of trend in increasing polar wind speed with very little random variation superimposed on that trend.

    So if we plot the wind speed trend against the ice extent trend what do we get? I am betting no relationship and the “just the facts theory” will then be in the toilet.”

    Ah, at last you seem to understand. Both weather and climate are the consequences of chaotic events, so attempts to derive predictable relationships are doomed to failure. Variability in wind speed, wind direction, ocean and atmospheric circulation, sun’s output across the full electromagnetic spectrum, radioactive decay, volcanism, proportions of atmospheric gases and vapour (both natural and anthropogenic) all conspire to challenge our efforts to predict the future and even explain fully the causes of observed (past) climate changes.

    I compliment you on seeing the light.

  57. Rhys Jaggar says:

    The question Professor Jones should be forced to answer, under oath, before the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, is this:

    ‘Name one climate scientist whose professional career will not be adversely affected by expressing skepticism about the veracity of carbon dioxide-driven global warming yet still does so in public in on-the-record briefings’.

    Then he should be asked the same question replacing the words ‘climate scientist’ with ‘Higher Education Institution employing climate scientists’ and the words ‘professional career’ with ‘financial health’.

    Ditto with the words ‘venture capitalists with investee companies dependent on carbon dioxide theories for their credibility’.

    Etc etc.

    Professor Jones should be told in no uncertain terms that scientists are not dispassionate observers in this matter. They are financial participants.

    And if that is beyond his powers to understand he should be told to stand down immediately from any position involving climate science.

  58. John Marshall says:

    This in fact changes nothing. The BBC either ignores or repeats the normal stupid platitudes by way of reply to any comment or complaint on climate change inaccuracy or lie.

    Prof. Jones should be ashamed of himself especially since he is not a specialist in the eare of climate, being a geneticist, and since he himself has had problems getting truth out within his own area of expertise.

  59. John Marshall says:

    Sorry ‘area’ not as typed. My brain is working faster than the fingers today.

  60. roger says:

    Not just in Climate matters do the BBC exhibit their left of centre proclivities. Being somewhat of a night owl I watch both the BBc and the Sky TV rolling news channels at 11.20 pm and 11.30 pm respectively as they divulge and discuss the headlines from the next morning’s national daily papers.
    It is quite remarkable how regularly the reviewers, usually senior journos from the national press, are those from the Guardian, Independent, and left wing red tops ( often being a pair of pinkos together), on the BBC resume, whilst BSKYB with it’s almost identical format invariably has press people with opposing perspectives.
    Needless to say the BSKYB review is much more lively and informative in it’s disection and analysis, whilst that of the BBC is dull self evident left wing propaganda.

  61. Roger Longstaff says:

    “Anton says:
    “July 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    The BBC has five billion in retirement funds invested in carbon trading. If they and others can’t keep the AGW scare going, their stock, already worth muss less than it cost, will become worthless. That’s five billion reasons to do what they’re doing.”

    Anton, do you have a reference for this? I am pursuing a formal complaint against the BBC and this would be useful ammunition.

  62. Dave Baker says:

    Justa Joe is right about Prof Steve Jones. He is also a militant atheist in the mould of Richard Dawkins, yet can’t see that his pro-AGW stance of stifling opposition to AGW and vilification of any heretical opposing view, even in the face of proper scientific findings, is quite analagous to religious belief that he so despises.

  63. Bloke down the pub says:

    stevefb says:
    July 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm
    Nice piece on this topic in the Telegraph

    http://tinyurl.com/3hll2dc

    —————————————————————————————————————-
    ‘His successor, Sir John Beddington, an applied population biologist, is only the latest of those held up as ”scientists” to pronounce on climate. Yet, outside their own specialism, the scientists have no more authority than the proverbial man in the pub.’

    Recognition from Booker is praise in itself.

  64. Billy Liar says:

    Roger Longstaff says:
    July 24, 2011 at 3:19 am

    http://www.iigcc.org

    In their News, Press and Events section you will find a document announcing the appointment of the current chairman on 2 June 2009. Before that time the chairman was Peter Dunscombe, BBC Head of Pension Investments. Short bio:

    http://www.spsconferences.com/our_speakers.asp?spkid=386

  65. Robert Stevenson says:

    Steve Jones was an engineering apprentice in shipbuilding before converting to biology and genetics. However as a scientist he just follows the establishment view on global warming in the UK which has always followed the biased view of the IPCC.

  66. Tom says:

    @Roger Longstaff at 3:19 am

    There was a a good thread over at Bishop Hill blog on the BBC pension fund (with good links). They are “Not Guilty” unfortunately – I would have loved them to have put their eggs in the windmill subsidy farmer basket – truly….

    To falsely accuse the BBC of having an overiding financial interest via the pension funds – is to gift them something they really don’t deserve and makes critics look bad – I wish the accusers would actually make the effort to confirm the veracity of their claims before slinging mud..

    The wage bill for dishonest alarmist activists with unequivocal connections to eco loon political movements and parroting their catechisms is bad enough – it doesn’t need varnishing.

  67. Dave says:

    Anyone who does not think the BBC is biased towards the warmistas clearly does not watch their programmes.

    On the media: it should also be asked to what extent the Murdoch media have influenced matters? After all Rupert Murdoch has been in close cahoots with the warmers Blair, Brown and Cameron whose collective efforts and carbon taxes are slowly ruining the British econolmy and really hurting poor disadvantaged people, the worst off who will not be able to both keep warm and eat properly this coming winter.

    The most worrying thing is that those who trumpet global warming most loudly know next to nothing about the climate system – and that includes chief scientific advisers, past and present, to government, to say nothing about the pathetic Steve Jones (what a mighty shot in the foot!).

  68. Billy Liar says:

    Tom says:
    July 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

    You forgot the link:

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/7/19/bbc-review-of-science-coming.html

    Maybe you were Brownedoff?

    Doesn’t look good if your pension manager is chairman of an international group of investors in AGW and you have a grave institutional bias in the same direction.

  69. Filbert Cobb says:

    Steve Jones, as a self-confessed “media tart”, has merely acceded to his client’s wishes. Job done. Kerching!

  70. J Martin says:

    @ william

    Can you provide some links for your item no, 3 please.

    In all of this AGW nonsense the thing that interests me most is which one of the minimums will we not bounce back from. The one we are entering now ? or the one due in 200 years or a still later one. There seems to be some evidence that suggests that this one may be it. I am intensely interested in anything that provides information in this direction.

  71. anticlimactic says:

    I live in the UK and 90% of my TV viewing is BBC programs. I do not know how the BBC can be more biased against the skeptical view!

    It is not just the failure to acknowledge any science contradicting the AGW dogma, it is the outright propaganda which is most repulsive.

    Recent examples are ‘Meet the Skeptics’, which turned out to be a 1 hour hatchet job on Lord Monckton, with no right of reply.

    Another was in a series about the effects of geology of human development. The presenter was the guy who fronted the ‘Climate Wars’ farce. In this series he said that the interglacial should be a lot cooler by now, and, smirking to the camera, he said the lack of cooling stemmed from the period when humans started farming! [I didn't watch any more so not sure how he justified it]

    The news clip about methane in water as an argument against fracking showed flames coming from a tap – but no water! The guy had to turn the tap off to shut off the flame – obviously a stunt.

    The recent studies in to the possibility of the Sun becoming dormant and causing global cooling was presented [web only] as being at a small unimportant meeting by advocates. At the same time a report suggesting drastic destruction of ocean life by ‘Climate Change’ was presented as being by ‘scientists’ [web and TV], not the eco-activists who feed off the rotting corpse of AGW that they were.

    With the Gulf oil spill a TV reporter at the scene said a SMALL patch of oil had landed at a pelican colony, and ONE pelican had dived in to it. A picture of this pelican became the backdrop picture for this story for the next several months! Interestingly they did have one expert on who said that natural oil spills were a regular feature in the Gulf, and so the local bugs were adapted to eat oil. This was never referred to again.

    In addition there are all the wildlife series, usually with some propaganda, included. The worst being ‘South Pacific’ where a whole program is given over to propaganda : eg. Coral atolls sinking beneath the waves [there was an excellent article on WUWT some time ago explaining how atolls by their nature are ALWAYS at sea level, whether the sea is level is rising or falling]; Ocean ‘acidification’; etc.

    There may be some poetic justice in this : If, as I suspect, the costs of renewables will destroy the UK economy, there will be be very few funds to support the BBC. It may very well disappear completely. I would be sad at this as the BBC CAN often produce some truly excellent programs.

  72. anticlimactic says:

    Dave says: July 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

    “On the media: it should also be asked to what extent the Murdoch media have influenced matters?”
    ___________________

    In the MSM the few papers that have any kind of skeptical view are often owned by Murdoch : The Australian, South China Daily, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and others. Indeed, it did cross my mind that part of the drive behind the recent feeding frenzy against Murdoch and News International was because of this. If he can be ousted then perhaps this chink of skepticism can be closed.

  73. anticlimactic says:

    `I think the main problem is that ‘environmental correspondents’ will usually be from the Green Movement, either as members or with strong affiliations. To be objective with regards to the science which contradicts AGW risks alienating them from friends, and even a whole lifestyle, should they be ostrasized.

    There is also the obvious question as to whether they would even want to be objective. It is no surprise that they would want whatever the green movement dictates to be regarded as the only truth. The surprise is how successful they were at the BBC, but I have no knowledge of the backgrounds of those they convinced so easily, or their reasons for agreement.

    I do not know if environmental correspondents are ‘gullible idiots’ who simply believe what they are told to believe, or more knowledgeable people who simply want to push propaganda ‘for the good of the cause’. It would take someone brave to be objective as the consequences on their lives could be far reaching.

    The same must also be true of climate scientists who, if they were ‘too objective’, could lose friends, research grants, their job, any future career, etc.

  74. anton says:

    Roger Longstaff says:
    July 24, 2011 at 3:19 am
    “‘Anton says:

    ”The BBC has five billion in retirement funds invested in carbon trading. If they and others can’t keep the AGW scare going, their stock, already worth muss less than it cost, will become worthless. That’s five billion reasons to do what they’re doing.’”

    “Anton, do you have a reference for this? I am pursuing a formal complaint against the BBC and this would be useful ammunition.”

    Yes. And the BBC has not been cleared, as claimed by one of the posters above. It most certainly IS guilty.

    Here a few links to get you going:

    http://climateresearchnews.com/2010/02/bbc-pension-funds-linked-to-climate-policy/

    http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2010/02/bbc-pension-fund-invested-in-climate-companies/

    http://www.abeldanger.net/2010/04/bbc-pension-trust-carbon-laundering.html

  75. bushbunny says:

    This is a big big problem of those that went in head first into this carbon trading con. Even the
    World Bank got into it, on June 1st this year, to say, carbon trading was failing and if they didn’t get more investments – the climate would plunge into a 3 – 4 C increase by 2020. This is why that
    as I have always surmised, that the truth of the fact AGW is a myth will cause great harm to not just bankers but also those who have trusted their pension funds in this con. Can they have any
    recourse to save their investments? I consider they can by calling those who promoted this climate change fraud and that is what it is, be called to court. That’s why many of the foremost
    alarmists are now saying that the data could be corrected and up dated. 5 billion pounds? In a
    shonky investment. They should be called to explain why those in charge of investments are not
    held to account! It’s a repeat of the 18th Century, South Sea Bubble. Shall we rename it the 21st century Carbon bubble. People will be hurt financially. Sell their shares now before they become
    valueless. The government in UK just cashed in 8% of theirs? Maybe they know something is blowing in the wind, eh? Maybe Al Gore could finance some of those who have lost out?

  76. Besides (a) computer projections (which are often more wrong than right) based on woefully inadequate global climate models using dubious initial conditions, (b) unrelated anecdotal information, (c) daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly changes in weather, and (d) strong beliefs, give me one piece of irrefutable evidence that CO2 concentration over centuries, millenia and beyond leaves its fingerprints on climate. JUST ONE! (Hint: ice core data won’t work, since CO2 increases occur about 800 years after the temperature increases.)

  77. Richard S Courtney says:

    Friends:

    Several commenters in this thread seem to have ‘lost sight of the ball’.

    The issue is;
    “The BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, has released a report on its coverage of climate change, that is based partly on “an independent review” by Steve Jones, a Genetics Professor at University College London (UCL).”

    The BBC could not be more biased in its coverage of AGW and this has induced many complaints at this coverage. Meanwhile, the present UK government is making expenditure cuts and has repeatedly stated it is mindful of making severe cuts to expenditure on the BBC. The accusations of BBC bias could be used as one of several possible justifications for severe cuts to government spending on the BBC. Hence, the BBC needs justification for its bias.

    The “independent review” by Steve Jones is one such needed justification. And similar so-called “independent” assessments are commonly used by organisations seeking a justification.

    A classic example from some years ago of such an “independent review” was when the then UK government wanted to justify construction of a light-railway to the Docklands area of London. The light-railway would be a hi-tech showpiece to publicise the development of the Docklands area. And the then government thought a light-railway was so obvious a need that any review would recommend one to be built. Hence, a truly independent review of the need was commissioned. But the resulting report of the review said bus routes – not a light-railway – were needed. Bus routes and numbers of buses needed no new infrastructure and could be altered as and when circumstances changed so would be cheaper, more flexible, and more reliable than a light-railway as a transport system for the developed area. The then government ignored this report – which it had commissioned – and established a new “independent review” by a committee of true-believers in light-railways. This second report of course reported that a light-railway was needed, and it was acted upon.

    In all such cases, the “findings” of the “review” are pre-determined by the choice of reviewer.

    A truly “independent” review of BBC bias on AGW would have utilised several reviewers with opinions that are known to differ concerning the alleged bias. The Steve Jones “review” is merely an excuse for the BBC having its blatant bias in all its reports on AGW and mentions of AGW.

    Richard

  78. Jeremy says: July 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    JTF, always engage 1 beer before moderating. Relax. Find the Zen.

    Agreed

    Trolls will always be there, but sometimes they actually have a point worth listening to.

    Also agree, but it is not the points that bother me, it is the tone… :)

  79. LazyTeenager says: July 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    So if we plot the wind speed trend against the ice extent trend what do we get?

    It is a combination of wind direction and wind speed.

    I am betting no relationship and the “just the facts theory” will then be in the toilet.

    I certainly get no credit for what appears to be sound and reasonably established science. Credit seems to belong to

    Torgny Vinje;
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=no&u=http://www.polarhistorie.no/personer/Vinje,%2520Torgny&ei=a0YyTsrQHvS10AGA4tSgDA&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCAQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3DTorgny%2BVinje%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3Dbfg%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26prmd%3Divnsbo

    Ignatius Rigor;
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/people/staff_pages/Rigor_Ignatius/home.php

    and Son V. Nghiem;
    http://radar.jpl.nasa.gov/people/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowPerson&pplID=12&Pubs=All

    among many others.

  80. Sea Ice Extent in the Greenland Sea is trending above average this year;
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02186/plots/r07_Greenland_Sea_ts.png
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.5.html

    which may limit ice transport through the Fram Strait as compared to recent years.

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