Climategate 2 – “Impartiality” at the BBC

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1f/TCF.jpg/240px-TCF.jpg

The famous BBC test card F, probably the only unbiased content left on the BBC - Image: Wikipedia - Click for details

Guest post by Barry Woods

It was only last weekend that the BBC’s Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin and Dr Joe Smith of the Open University made headlines in the Mail on Sunday newspaper. This was because their jointly run – Cambridge Media and Environment Program – (CMEP) that had organised seminars at the BBC between 1996 and 2009 had been revealed to have received funding from the Tyndall Centre (UEA) from 2002 -2006.

These facts alone seems to be a significant conflict of interest that should concern the BBC Trust.

The new emails reveal that not only was the CMEP being sponsored by the Tyndall Centre (UEA) to promote its agenda in the media, but at the same Roger Harrabin was on the Advisory board of the Tyndall Centre! (from 2002 until at least the end of 2005)

“1. We invite three more members to our AB:

Roger Harrabin (media; Radio BBC) – reserve Paul Brown (The Guardian) Bill Hare (NGO; Greenpeace) – reserves Mike Harley (English Nature)” (email 1038 – Hulme)

Tyndall archived webpages courtesy of the wayback machine are here: Advisory board 2002, and here Oct 2005. The Tyndall website changed after this date and no longer shows a link to membership of it’s Advisory Board. The release of the second batch of climategate emails – (2496), gives one reason why the Tyndall Centre funded the Harrabin/Smith seminars – the Real World seminars of the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme

Mike Hulme:

“Did anyone hear Stott vs. Houghton on Today, radio 4 this morning?  Woeful stuff really.  This is one reason why Tyndall is sponsoring the Cambridge Media/Environment Programme to starve this type of reporting at source.” (email 2496)

Mike Hulme clearly did not like this program and clearly sponsors CMEP to use its influence with it BBC seminars to change reporting at the BBC, with an apparent intent to suppress any sceptical voices. A commentator at the Bishop Hill blog tracked down the ‘woeful’ program, where Prof Philip Stott and the IPCC’s Sir John Houghton debate the “uncertainties” of climate change”, it is mentioned in a 25 Feb 2002 article by Alex Kirby, BBC online environment correspondent, there is an audio link in the article to the radio program (probably UK only, well worth a listen)

Alex Kirby in the article quotes Stott as saying:

“The problem with a chaotic coupled non-linear system as complex as climate is that you can no more predict successfully the outcome of doing something as of not doing something. Kyoto will not halt climate change. Full stop.” - BBC

I might agree with Mike Hulme that Sir John Houghton performed poorly, but here were 2 scientists talking about uncertainties, nearly ten years ago. I see nothing wrong with that program, it appears to present balance, with views from scientists with different opinions. In fact that quote of Stott appears to be almost directly from the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment report (the one with the ‘hockey stick’ graph in) around the time of the interview,

“The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system,
and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states
is not possible.” – IPCC 2001 TAR (pg 771)

Looking back at Stott’s quote now, and the now, near total failure of the Kyoto agreement, we can perhaps see with hindsight whose argument is treated more kindly by the passage of time.

CMEP – Climate Change A Challenge to Broadcasting seminar

The most controversial seminar that CMEP organised was in January 2006,  in conjunction with IBT, it was entitled – Climate Change – A Challenge to Broadcasting in January 2006.  At this event it was effectively decided that the science was settled and sceptics should receive less airtime by the BBC. And in 2007, the BBC issued a formal editorial policy document, stating that:

‘the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’

This seminar only came to light, when it was mentioned in a BBC report about impartiality. It took FOI requests from Tony Newbery (Harmless Sky blog), Andrew Montford (Bishop Hill blog) to reveal the name of the seminar and eventually CMEP Dr

BBC journalist Roger Harrabin

BBC's Roger Harrabin - Image via Wikipedia

Joe Smith and Roger Harrabin involvement.

David Holland also pursued the activities of Dr Joe Smith and a copy of his Open University complaint is here, which is well worth a read for more background and detail.

“It is utterly unreasonable to suggest that the Tyndall
Centre at the University of East Anglia would hand over to CMEP funds unless it was believed Dr Smith and Roger Harrabin could, through the CMEP seminars, change BBC reporting policy in the direction the Tyndall Centre wanted.” (David Holland OU complaint)

To this day the BBC will not release the names of the those that attended this event which changed the BBC’s reporting of climate change and a FOI request for a list of attendees is pending a FOI decision (so much for transparency). The journalist Richard D North who was invited had this to say about it

“I found the seminar frankly shocking. The BBC crew (senior executives from every branch of the corporation) were matched by an equal number of specialists, almost all (and maybe all) of whom could be said to have come from the ‘we must supportKyoto’ school of climate change activists.

So far as I can recall I was alone in being a climate change sceptic (nothing like a denier, by the way) on both the science and policy response.

I was frankly appalled by the level of ignorance of the issue which the BBC people showed. I mean that I heard nothing that made me think any of them read any broadsheet newspaper coverage of the topic (except maybe the Guardian and that lazily). Though they purported to be aware that this was an immensely important topic, it seemed to me that none of them had shown even a modicum of professional journalistic curiosity on the subject. I am not saying that I knew what they all knew or thought, but I can say that I spent the day discussing the issue and don’t recall anyone showing any sign of having read anything serious at all” (BBC Submission)”

Andrew Montford and Tony Newbery made a submission to a BBC review of science reporting where they go into greater detail of the issues and the further background to this seminar (here). Yet, the BBC does seem to have taken a ‘side’ in the climate change debate a very long time before this. In 1999 we have this, again to Mike Hulme at UEA. The BBC seeking to find ‘information’ on sceptics what their ‘vested interest’ might be and instant rebuttals to the arguments.

“… Thanks for taking part in the Global Warming thing yesterday morning. I’m sorry the treatment is always so superficial on these occasions, but that I suppose is the level of the public debate.

Nevertheless, the item did bring one sceptic out of the woodwork.

Have you come across him? If you know where he’s coming from, any vested interests, etc, I would be very grateful … indeed, I would be interested in any list of sceptics you may have.

Do you have, or have you ever thought of producing, a rebuttal document outlining in simple terms the fallacies in the various arguments that the sceptics use?  I’m sure weather forecasters, specialists journalists, etc, would be very grateful to lay their hands on something like that.” (email 4689)

The gentleman that came out of the ‘woodwork’, they refer to, was later subject to some ‘investigative’ journalism by The Times and was ‘outed as a sceptic’  in the media.

The BBC environment/science team clearly felt more aligned with the climate scientists at UEA, in 2004 Alex Kirby wrote to Phil Jones, making it quite clear his contempt for ‘sceptics (ie loonies) at a time when the BBC as a whole seems to try to have some impartiality for ‘balance’ but it is clearly failing.

“Yes, glad you stopped this — I was sent it too, and decided to
spike it without more ado as pure stream-of-consciousness rubbish.

I can well understand your unhappiness at our running the other piece.

But we are constantly being savaged by the loonies for not giving them any coverage at all, especially as you say with the COP in the offing, and being the objective impartial (ho ho) BBC that we are, there is an expectation in some quarters that we will every now and then let them
say something.

I hope though that the weight of our coverage makes it clear that we think they are talking through their hats”  (email 4894)

Note this in the run up to a climate conference (political), so that an attitude like this seems to prevailed at the BBC for a number of years, and the facts that many people even perceive that the BBC has a culture of ‘bias’ should be of a serious concern to the BBC Trust. The emails do seem to support the views of a few BBC journalists that have discussed this publically.

“People who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that [global warming] is the consequence of our own behaviour. I assume that this is why the BBC’s coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago” – Jeremy Paxman

“For me, though, the most worrying aspect of political correctness was over the story that recurred with increasing frequency during my last ten years at the BBC — global warming (or ‘climate change’, as it became known when temperatures appeared to level off or fall slightly after 1998).

From the beginning I was unhappy at how one-sided the BBC’s coverage of the issue was, and how much more complicated the climate system was than the over-simplified two-minute reports that were the stock-in-trade of the BBC’s environment correspondents” – Peter Sissons

The BBC and  broken Hockey Stick?

In March 2006 the BBC aired a program called Meltdown, (Youtube here) where the presenter posed as a mildly sceptical individual, trying to resolve the arguments for and against man-made climate change. The culmination of the program was the hockey stick graph, with the intention to show clear and unprecedented ‘dangerous’ climate change and that previous warm periods like the Medieval Warm Period were minimised.

The fact that the ‘hockey stick’ had been discredited seems lost on the BBC, and they go to a scientist very clearly on one side of the debate to explain it to the viewer. No mention of the controversy, no mention of McIntyre & McKitrick’s papers and in fact the BBC producer is telling Briffa what he must do to convey the message of the program, to discredit sceptical ideas and convince the viewer of the consensus scientific arguments.

Hi Keith, [Briffa]
Good to talk to you this morning. Just a few thoughts to reiterate what we’re hoping to get out of filming tomorrow.

1) Your interview appears at a crucial point in the film. Up until now our presenter (Paul Rose, he’ll be there tomorrow) has followed two conflicting thoughts. On the one hand he’s understood that the world is currently getting warmer.

But on the other he’s discovered lots of historical stories (the Bronze Age, the MWP, the LIA) which tell him that climate changes naturally all the time. In trying to resolve this paradox he’s come across this thing called the hockey stick curve, and he’s come to you to explain it to him.

2) Your essential job is to “prove” to Paul that what we’re experiencing now is NOT just another of those natural fluctuations we’ve seen in the past. The hockey stick curve is a crucial piece of evidence because it shows how abnormal the present period isthe present
warming is unprecedented in speed and amplitude, something like that.

This is a very bigmoment in the film when Paul is finally convinced of the reality of man made global
warming.

3) The hockey stick curve shows that what Paul thought were big climate events (the Bronze Age maximum, the MWP, the LIA) actually when looked at in a global context weren’t quite as dramatic as he thought. They’re there, but they are nothing like as sudden or big.

4) Paul can question you on things like: How reliable is the hockey stick curve? How do you work out past climate (cue for you to talk about proxies)? What drives all the “natural”
fluctations in climate (this can be answered in very broad terms eg it’s down to changes in the sun’s output, volcanoes etc)

5) In terms of filming my first choice is to do it as a projection in Zicer, where you show the Mann curve, then flick up as many other ones as you think are important (within reason!) and elaborate the point that what’s happening now is unprecedented compared to these historic records. In my ideal world, you walk right up to the projector image and
point things out on the screen, with parts of the projected image falling on your heads and shoulders. Stills of tree rings or anything else climate related eg ice cores, corals,
would also work as powerpoints, because you could talk about them as egs of proxies.

Hopefully this makes it clear what I’m trying to achieve.” (email 1683)

Looking back on this I wonder how Keith Briffa felt about this request, as in the original emails, he was disagreeing with other scientist and saying he thought it might be as least as warm a thousand years ago.

In the second tranche of climategate emails we again see  a debate about the problems with various  hockey stick reconstructions, and debate about the Medieval Warm Period and McIntyre and McKitrick’s role are discussed and acknowledged privately.

“… How should we deal with flaws inside the climate community? I think, that “our” reaction on the errors found in Mike Mann’s work were not especially honest…”

(email 1656 -Mauran)

extract: “I thought I’d play around with some randomly generated time-series and see if I could ‘reconstruct’ northern hemisphere temperatures. [...] The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the phenomenon that McIntyre has been going on about.” – (email 4241 – Wilson)

extract: “I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year
“reconstruction” (email 3373 – Bradley)

“Is the PCA approach robust? Are the results statistically significant? It seems to me that in the case of MBH the answer in each is no” ( email 4241-Wilson)

The importance of the Hockey Stick type graph as a climate change icon of the IPCC, are that they ‘show’ that modern temps are ‘unprecedented and dangerous, and that previously thought warmer periods like the MWP were not comparable to now. Of course if they were as warm, what caused the warming would be unexplained predominantly natural processes, this is why certain members of the ‘hockey stick team’ seem to defend it almost beyond rationality. Candor expressed privately to Phil Jones below

“In all candor now, I think that Mike is becoming a serious enemy in the way that he bends the ears of people like Tom with words like “flawed” when describing my work and probably your and Keith’s [Briffa] as well. This is in part a vindictive response to the Esper et al. paper. He also went crazy over my recent NZ paper describing evidence for a MWP there because he sees it as another attack on him. Maybe I am over-reacting to this, but I don’t think
so.” – (email 4101 – Cook)

If the BBC is just using the same small group of scientists very much on a core IPCC consensus side of the debate, are they even aware of the issues, or just convinced by their trusted contacts explanations?

Have the BBC ‘gone native’ in the reporting of Climate Change?

I believe the climategate email correspondence between the BBC and UEA scientists, demonstrate an occupational hazard for all journalists, especially those that specialise in a subject over may years.  That journalists become part of the ‘bubble’ ie economics, business, environment, science and especially politics. The danger is being too familiar with their sources over many years and sometimes reliant on the same names again and again and generally trust that ‘voice of authority’.

And especially in a subject like ‘climate change’ and environment, as journalists who are  interested in the environment, perhaps easily drift into becoming advocates for an environmental message instead of being reporters of it and ultimately, perhaps this leads championing ‘the cause’.

An environmental journalist wrote an interesting article last year, that demonstrates the reaction amongst non environmental journalists in news organisations, including the Guardian and BBC: 

“here’s how some senior journalists described what it was like in their newsrooms after hacking:

“dirty looks”

“sense of betrayal”

thought we’d “gone native”

“you told me the science was settled – and it isn’t!”

“Climate-gate was extremely damaging in many ways. It gave the impression that journalists had been duped.”

ABC – Margot O’Neill

This bubble effect was very apparent in the UK’s Member of Parliament’s expenses scandal, where the political journalists were very slow to react, going to their usual sources, with responses of concentrate on catching the leaker (hacker) and nothing to see, just a non-story. Credit was mainly due to Heather Brookes who investigated for 5 years pursuing (with FOI) to get to that story.

“Heather Brooke is an award-winning writer, journalist and activist. Her unprecedented five-year campaign for the full disclosure of MPs’ expenses led to a full-scale reform of the Parliamentary expense system.” – Heathers blog

I mention Heather Brookes, as she felt the weight of the University of East Anglia attempts to control the media message again, when they complained to her Guardian editor, for mentioning them (just one sentence) in a piece about the University of Stirling.

They’d had a complaint – not from Stirling University, the subject of the piece, but from the University of East Anglia which occupied a whole ONE SENTENCE of my article. The offending section reads thus:

[Guardian] “This is not the first time a university has tried to hide from FoI. The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act when handling requests by climate change sceptics (the university escaped prosecution because the case came to light outside the six-month time limit for cases to be brought). – Heather Brookes

Heather Brooke wrote about the shear gall of UEA in complaining about this and her amazement at UEA attempts to seek a correction, in light of what even the enquiries found about FOI and UEA’s, Heather writes about it in some amusing detail on her blog.(here)

This is not the first time that the University tried to media manage a climate message and the idea that scientists were exonerated by a number of enquiries. James Delingpole  fought off and won against, a UEA press complaint a little while back on similar themes ( FOI and email deletion) which also prompted a concern about scientists ‘Lawering Up’ at Prof. Judith Curry’s blog, Climate Etc.

The other danger for large corporations like the BBC, is they will seek the advice of their own specialist correspondents or analysts for other areas of programing and the views can become ingrained in the organisation (like a groupthink effect).

An example perhaps is shown here, a BBC journalist writing to The Tyndall Centre and Mike Hulme with respect to advice about – Reinventing Economic Coverage

“My colleague Roger Harrabin suggested I contact you.

I am about to spend several months attempting to answer the following question for senior BBC managers: If we were to reinvent economics coverage from scratch, TODAY, incorporating what we now know (or think we know) about global environmental and economic trends… what would it look like?

In recent years, I have watched an environmental undertow beginning to tug at economies around the world..” (email 1428)

At the time of writing this, was the BBC journalist aware that Roger Harrabin’s CMEP was being funded by Tyndall Centre to comunicate its thoughts to the media and at the BBC? And that her BBC colleague that recommended the Tyndall Centre and Mike Hulme as a contact, was actually on the Advisory Board of the Tyndall Centre and Mike Hulme was signing the invoices for funding CMEP.

Did she realise, or even care, that this relationship puts the BBC Trust in an impossible position in defending it’s impartiality to the general public? The CMEP seminars seem to have been very succesful in persuading the BBC to change it stance and policies in the reporting of ‘climate change’ as described by Dr Joe Smith’s in his OU profile: (h/t DAvid Holland)

“The seminars have been publicly credited with catalysing significant changes in the tone and content of BBC outputs across platforms and with leading directly to specific and major innovations in programming,” - Dr Joe Smith

“It has had a major impact on the willingness of the BBC to raise these issues for discussion. Joe Smith and I are now wondering whether we can help other journalists to perform a similar role in countries round the world” – Roger Harrabin

In defence of the BBC

In the original climategate emails one email gave a glimpse of the ‘hockey stick’ teams apparent thoughts on their relationship with the BBC. When the BBC’s Paul Hudson wrote an article – Whatever Happened to Global Warming, it drew some interesting responses. not least this one from Michael Mann:

“extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC.  its particularly odd, since climate is usually Richard Black’s beat at BBC (and he does a great job). from what I can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office.

We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what’s up here? -“email 0248 – Mann)

(note, this email was released in both sets of climategate emails,)

I thought at the time, the relationship between the BBC and a group of climate scientist was perhaps too close, if they felt that the BBC did a good job and I wondered if Steve Mcintyre, for example, had this sort of access or relationship.

In defence of the BBC, they are not exactly the only media group or journalists that have perhaps stepped from reporting ‘climate change’ to being advocates of ‘climate change’. I am totally convinced that all at the BBC are honestly motivated and sincere in their reporting (no conspiracies here), they have just succumbed to the ‘catastrophic man made climate change’ cutural phenonmen, as it could be argued have very many public and private organisations and of course the political establishment (especially in the UK) over many years.

I imagine, if I was in their position over a number of years, of meeting very many scientists, government scientific advisors, heads of scientific institutions, politicians attending climate conferences, reporting on scientific institution with a position on climate change, what would I think? All whilst in a surrounding popular culture where ‘climate change’ has become the environmental concern of the day.

Would I have paid much attention, to a retired Canadian mining engineer, or a former USA weatherman with a blog. Very probably not, especially in the early years. Ultimately my concern IS NOT with any of the individuals mentioned in the emails or this article, I do believe ALL of them have acted with the very best intentions and are totally sincere.

Ie, Roger Harrabin who has received much criticism recently, must be given credit for being intellectually honest and professional in reporting this encounter after a press briefing:

“On the remaining point – Mr Gore’s implication that ice core records prove that CO2 rises drove shifts in Ice Ages – the judge is spot on.

“…..I challenged Mr Gore about this in an interview for the BBC’s Newsnight programme in March.

He responded, accurately, that scientists believe that CO2 is now driving climate change – but that was not what his misleading historical graph showed…….”

“…. And after the interview he [Gore] and his assistant stood over me shouting that my questions had been scurrilous, and implying that I was some sort of climate-sceptic traitor….. ” – Roger Harrabin Oct 2007

This demonstrated to me  Roger Harrabin is a professional,  if someone was intentionally promoting a cause, they would not have reported it. (this incident was also referred to in the BBC’s Uncertain Climate, recently)

I believe, if there is one theme to come out of the new emails, I think it is of the increasing pressure on climate scientists over very many years, to provide a  simple message to the media, lobbyists and politicians, whilst many of the ‘sceptical’ issues are discussed privately.

Perhaps the BBC and the entire media should pause a moment to reflect on just these two climategate emails and take a fresh look and re-evaluate:

Michael Mann, talking about sceptics, ref the Realclimate blog

“….but the important thing is to make sure they’re loosing the PR battle. That’s what the site is about…..” (email 1485)

“…but I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.”  (email 3066)

Perhaps all ‘climate scientists’ and ‘climate change scientists’ (ref) should also now consider whether RealClimate really represents their best interests, or just a very small group of scientists.

It is very easy to be angry with the BBC, or individuals. I do believe it is more productive to be patient and civil and try to encourage the media to take a fresh look at their own pre-conceptions.

I would no doubt be considered partisan myself, a sceptic, writing for a sceptical blog, but I think any reasonable observer would consider the points made, as of concern and should be looked at afresh.

I do hope that the BBC trust takes a serious look at all the issues raised, again, about the perception of bias in the BBC’s  reporting of climate change.

(Note – I have purposely not linked to the emails, just quoted a reference number, should any link get broken in the future)

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65 thoughts on “Climategate 2 – “Impartiality” at the BBC

  1. so now that it can be shown that the BEEB received funding and was given specific ‘blurbs’ to use (I read that somewhere) to counteract skeptics….. can we find proof that the ABC was receiving the same kind of assistance? I am fairly sure we all feel this to be the case but is there evidence to prove it?

  2. Imagine if a “Wegman report” was done on the BBC. It would be an enourmous spiders web, with a big spider in the middle.
    Who would be the spider in the middle?

  3. there is an audio link in the article to the radio program (probably UK only, well worth a listen)

    Works for me in Canada. BBC Radio usually does.

  4. Should be…

    “there is an audio link in the article to the radio program (probably UK only, well worth a listen)”

    Works for me in Canada. BBC Radio usually does.

  5. If you trust Think Progress you aren’t thinking.
    Thanks for the emails. I hadn’t ever paid attention to the climate change info. I’ve learned much after reading the emails and a bit of research.

  6. What is most important to me isn’t any of the specific incidents shown here so much as it is the entire scope of what has been going on. There is a certain management of information to government and to the public going on that is sickening. It isn’t limited to indoctrinating BBC in how to properly propagandize the issue, either. It is much wider in scope and includes management of information globally, global intimidation and suppression of contrary opinion in academic circles and in academic publications, management of public access information though such venues as “Real” Climate.

    We, through these emails, have only insight into the goings on with UEA and perhaps by luck from some other institutions where emails were exchanged. That we are only touching a small part of the elephant is what I find shocking. What was Mann doing with US press organizations here in the US? Are there “centers” similar to Tyndall doing much the same things here for US state and local governments attempting to comply with regulations? To what extent do they also indoctrinate members of the press in the “correct” view of things?

    It doesn’t seem to matter where in the world someone might come from who presents a questioning view of things, they are always branded as “extreme” or ignorant or not worth noticing, etc. Simply the act of publicly questioning the “consensus” is reason to risk having your career destroyed or one’s academic institution threatened with loss of stature.

    Taken as a whole, this is sickening. I think this time, rather than sweeping everything under the carpet as was done last time, some people at the head of this need to lose their jobs. Off hand I would say Hulme, Jones, and Mann at a very minimum need to be shown the door. UEA should be investigated to see to what extent it directly profited from the UEA research through the policy decisions that came as a result of that research and its influence on the IPCC and UNFCC.

    Other news organizations need to be looked into as well to see if they were subjects of this sort of indoctrination by UEA or other academic institutions. I believe Tyndall Centre should be completely shut down as it’s main functions are apparently propaganda and the profiting from it.

  7. The BBC is controlled by UK leftists. While ignorant, its broadcasters are easily manipulated by other bureaucrats. Frankly, I doubt they even are aware that they sound like sincere simpletons to rationale people.

  8. I hope that Climategate 2 will finally cause the BBC to take a cold, hard look at itself, but I rather doubt it, as it is an organisation which never admits, in my experience, to having got things wrong.

  9. Its worth remember that Roger Harrabin ‘sat on ‘ the leaked e-mails rather than reported on them , until it became clear the issues was not going away. Sometimes it not what people do but what they don’t do that is most telling , in this case its the blind eye and deaf ear was turned to the situation until it was no longer possible to ignore. And don’t forget Black is the ‘Teams’ bag boy at the BBC has the e-mails show trusted to sell the ‘right story ‘ , it was no accident he tired to miss-sale the divergent problem recently . Basically if you looking for good reporting on this issue forget the BBC they just pass on what ever the IPCC, CRU and the ‘Team’ is currently telling them in the name of ‘the cause ‘

  10. muckdog says: November 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    The folks at Think Progess says that these emails are just a bunch of old emails taken out of context and that they don’t mean anything.

    Quite the opposite is the case. The recent tranche of emails have been particularly helpful in putting things in context, mainly because they refer to a much wider range of people than did the original emails. And, not least because the “claim du jour” of warmists has been “out of context”, there are at least two accounts that are specifically directed to disprove this judgement, and show deep context.

    One is the story of attacks on Chris de Freitas and the corruption of peer review; the other is my own extracted story of UEA’s Dr Alan Kendall and the very telling breakdown over time of his relationship with UEA “Team” members. Dr Kendall kept his integrity while his colleagues all lost theirs, as the emails reveal. This means, of course, that Dr Kendall is an excellent candidate for whistleblower – though I still favour the “miracle” hypothesis – but if he were the whistleblower, then I would like to see this man rewarded for services rendered to humankind.

  11. Oh, holy crap, apparently it’s here in the US, too. I didn’t even know we HAD such an agency here:
    The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) http://www.globalchange.gov/about

    From 3212.txt

    I was given a set of very useful documents which I am sending round. Their deliberations on strategy, approaches to climate scenarios and socio-economic scenarios have mirrored ours but they have produced different outcomes. Basically they are less worried about methodology,
    integration,coherent structure and precedents and more concerned to get things moving.(This may lead to problems down the line when they try and put reports together although a data management group has produced guidelines and templates for studies.) Their approach can be characterised as an informal, CCIRG type exercise undertaken at a regional level by stakeholders, led by a local university, and driven from a policy and communications perspective. They have an on-going time frame and will prepare synthesis reports as when required using what information is available at that time.

    I wonder which “local university” that might be?

    3) They are trying to get ‘stories’ developed for different areas around the main priority issues and key findings to attract public interest. Some ideas already have been developed for some areas, more
    were due to be developed at a mega workshop 2 weeks ago (National Assessment Workshop in Monterey, CA ).

    I’m kinda getting tired of all the “story development” going on.

    6) They seem to have got the US business community involved at a regional level rather more successfully than we have so far which is counter-intuitive. They play a greater stress on climate variability, emphasise the exercise has nothing to do with Kyoto and that there is a need to cope with the climate change which is occurring.

    Yeah, we’re pretty good at that when money is involved. So who is benefiting from this? (note, this is 1998)

  12. ok, another name to dig for in the US ( 4823.txt )

    This email arose from a discussion I first had with Granger Morgan who has master-minded the US approach on socio-economic scenarios.

    Ok, and from 0470.txt, here we go:

    I think we should make contact with 2 other international centres:
    a) Pew Center for Global Climate Change – increasingly important business-sponsored grouping
    b) Carnegie Mellon University: Dept. of Engineering and Public Policy. Granger Morgan and Dowlatabadi are important figures on the IA front.

    Anything “Pew” means “progressive” politics. For example: http://www.pewenvironment.org/

  13. I had to laugh at the picture of the BBC testcard with the subtitle: “The famous BBC test card F, probably the only unbiased content left on the BBC” – its rather ironic that the bbc girl is dressed in red and the clown is green!

  14. Excellently researched and written article, thanks Barry.
    The BBC has a lot of its pension fund invested in green tech via Deutche Bank’s enviro portfolio. This no doubt has an influence on their evident reluctance to wake up and smell the coffee…

    Someone at the top needs to move the investment fund which is affecting the BBC’s balance and credibility. They got taken for a ride by the Tyndall Centre. Can they admit it and re-assess?

    One sign that things may be changing a little is the news that David Attenborough had his pro AGW views restricted to one episode of his Arctic series, and it won’t be a compulsory part of the package when the series is sold abroad. This is primarily a commercial decision, but it demonstrates that there is inceasing awareness that the public is so sick of the charade that they will switch channels when someone starts pontificating about global warming.

    It’ll be interesting to read the viewing figures for the series and how the final AGW episode fares.

  15. I am totally convinced that all at the BBC are honestly motivated and sincere in their reporting (no conspiracies here), they have just succumbed to the ‘catastrophic man made climate change’ cutural phenonmen, …

    Read about where some of the BBC Pension Scheme money has been invested. Yet you are
    “totally convinced that all at the BBC are honestly motivated..” I beg to differ.

    http://www.iigcc.org/about-us/members

    Where are you the “Great Global Warming Swindle”. All is forgiven.
    (Channel 4 UK, 8 March 2007)

  16. With respect to objectivity, as a tax payer funded body the bar for the BBC to hurdle is of the highest order. They have to attempt to represent the interests of all citizens (as opposed to only a few). The CBC in Canada, the ABC in Australia, PBS in the USA, and the BBC in Britain have all failed in this regard.

    The original purpose of these bodies was to provide a third voice (i.e. neither left or right) to any discussion at a time it was expensive to publish and disseminate information. With the net, this is no longer the case. Today public broadcasters are seen to act as a voice for the technocracy. Perhaps it’s time to wind these organisations up.

  17. Tallbloke
    This is primarily a commercial decision, but it demonstrates that there is inc[r]easing awareness that the public is so sick of the charade that they will switch channels when someone starts pontificating about global warming.

    I can’t find it (can’t be bothered) but I recall that this phenomenon is based on actual media research. People are pi$$ed off and change channels at the very mention of “global warming”, “climate change” etc. People have been sold a lie on the back of a scam and they want their money back.

  18. Well, I guess not. All links to foia2011.org/index… were changed by wordpress, I guess, to wuwt and this post. Just trying to make it easy for the readers but guess there is no way.

  19. I think it is of the increasing pressure on climate scientists over very many years, to provide a simple message

    Yes, but who is providing that pressure and how?

  20. crosspatch

    One reason for the rise of the climate blogs is because most of the press have given up on investigative journalism in regards to AGW. The blogs are now taking over the ‘rightful’ job of the media as the press continue down their genteel decline. The future will show them the error of their ways.

  21. Barry,

    Thanks for providing a clear insight into the well-known (at least to independent and objective observers) biased alarmist reporting of the BBC on climate and environmental issues over the years.The evidence is now available for all to see. I do hope that your closing advice is taken seriously by those in the media (including the BBC) reporting on climate and environmental issues.

  22. Jimbo says:
    November 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    The problem (as I see it) is that the blogs are “pull media” in that the user must know that a particular blog exists, actively decide to go there, and choose to read the content. Radio, TV, and newspapers are more of a “push” media in that it simply arrives at your doorstep, in your car, or in your livingroom. You don’t have to actively select a story in order to hear it, it is simply spoon fed to you. Most people generally know what is on the 5 minute newscast on the half hour that they hear on the drive time traffic channel and that’s about it. For many Americans, if an issue does not make that newscast, it doesn’t exist. Only a tiny portion, less than 1%, are going to read climate blogs. 99% of the people are going to be informed by “push” media sources and it is those sources who tend to be the worst in reporting this story.

  23. reply to Lucy at 3.19 pm.

    Your email extracts about Alan Kendall in a previous thread also made me think whether he had been the whistle blower?
    I also wonder whether it might also involve the FOI officer Dave Palmer, as I think he has access to their emails. From what I have read Dave Palmer was a bit taken back by what was reported at Climate Audit.

    But again just because these people disagreed and took no part with what was going on doesn’t mean they are the whistle blowers. I don’t know if I was in such circumstances that I would have the courage to stand up against such overwhelming power. It really needs someone who is very passionate about a cause (possibly world poverty or scientific integrity) to pull this off.

  24. A very good and comprehensive article, but I would partly disagree on the last point in defense of the BBC because of climategate 1.

    The reaction then and particularly the lack of criticism of the failed and flawed inquiries, given all the evidence from McIntyre and others, is not defendable.

  25. It’s interesting to learn of the mechanisms for proliferating a dogmatic prescriptive climatology. Somethiing similar seems to be going on at PBS. –AGF

  26. This is an example from the Guardian (UK):

    Edward Markey, a Democrat congressman from Massachusetts who has long advocated for political action on climate change, called on the “US intelligence community” to assist the “British and others” in finding the perpetrator.

    “If this happened surrounding nuclear arms talks, we would have the full force of the western world’s intelligence community pursuing the perpetrators,” he said. “And yet, with the stability of our climate hanging in the balance with these international climate treaty negotiations, these hackers and their supporters are still on the loose. It is time to bring them to justice.”

    Look at what they are doing here. You have absolute hyperbole in comparing internal climate discussions where scientists actually disagree and are making the sausage of “consensus” to nuclear arms talks. That is absolute lunacy but goes to show you how they think. This release of emails will not make “global warming” any better or worse. Nothing has been done to date that has changed global CO2 emissions by any measurable amount so there is nothing that can be undone that would change it by any measurable amount. In other words, as nothing has actually been accomplished except moving cash around to all the right people, the only thing this stands to impact if it is all undone is stopping the movement of that cash.

    The entire continent of Europe could go all solar electric for all its household power needs tomorrow and it would not make any measurable difference in global CO2 emissions. They simply don’t understand the scales involved here. China alone was not so long ago adding an entire UK worth of CO2 emissions every 18 months. So if they shot every single Brit and scraped the country to bare earth, global CO2 emissions would be right back where they were at the start in 18 months time.

    Now why would a US Democrat from Massachusetts attempt to enlist the US intelligence community to track down a university prankster in the UK? How much would THAT cost and is he going to foot the bill personally?

    Here is what I suggest: Since we are broke, lets stop spending money on this issue for a while. I mean completely stop. Since it has made absolutely no measurable difference to date, we won’t exactly be doing any harm. Lets wait until we are rolling in cash again like we were in 1998 and running a budget surplus. Also, since these programs have no impact on CO2 and aren’t expected to show any measurable impact in the foreseeable future, the shutting down of all these international conferences will save tons of CO2 from people flying all over the place. How many non-commercial aircraft are flying in to Durban? Can someone take a picture of an airport and get a load of all the Gulfstreams that have arrived?

    Lets just stop the cash flow to the politically connected, please?

  27. When the UN wants countries to pony up money to “fight” global warming, exactly who actually gets that money? It must go into someone’s pocket. Whose?

  28. Whoever it was had to have a login on the backup server, not the mail server. These files were apparently taken from the backup server (the server where backups of other machines are stored). In most organizations, only IT personnel have access to the backup server unless something has been grossly misconfigured (e.g. every user also has an account on the mail server [NIS?] and every user is also in the backup group and the backups have group read privs. In that way a user could log into the system and access all backups if they knew where they were located. Now that is all speculation but I have seen such things before when a user is allowed to retrieve a backup of their stuff on their own but the admins don’t notice that they also have access to everyone else’s backups in addition to their own.).

  29. muckdog says November 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    The folks at Think Progess says that these emails are just a bunch of old emails taken out of context and that they don’t mean anything.

    That is the 21st century equiv to being told the 19th century phrase: “Nothing to see here, move along now.

    You’ve been brushed off and didn’t recognize it!

    What happened to Nullius in verba (Latin for “Take nobody’s word for it”)?

    Has critical thinking been subcontracted-out to unaccountable ‘others’ as ‘TP’ won the bid?

    .

  30. crosspatch says:
    November 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm
    /////////////////////////
    Fully agree.

    I have made this point several times. For whatever reason, there is a hiatus to the warming such that we have much more time to save the world (if it truly needs saving) and we should take advantage of this hiatus especially given the severe economic problems being faced by the west. Halting the money spent on all this cAGW madness would go along way to solving the present economic problems and I consider that it is a dereliction of public duty for the politicians not to avail themselves of this revenue saving and boost to industry that would follow from a reduction in energy costs etc

  31. Stop all onshore wind farm constructions now and let the investors pay for all maintenance. The money saved can boost our economy via small company funding.

    Off shore wind farms will stop of their own accord if investors refuse extra cash for repairs and in a matter of months the blades will stop killing migrating birds and the RAF can use the structures as targets for their Fast Jet crews in training! :-)

  32. I admire your patience with the BBC Barry but the fact that they will still not release the names of the people that attended the seminar that CMEP organised still makes my blood boil. That seminar made it possible for the science reported since to be biased and goes entirely against the BBC Charter and the BBC Trust should have been at the forefront in stating so! Its links with the Guardian newspaper should also be investigated. Have you ever seen an employment advert for a position at the BBC in other newspapers?

    It is not simply in climate where the BBC is found to be wanting. Many U.S. readers will possibly not understand how the BBC is funded and the rules that govern its reporting. In reality, its time the taxpayers of the U.K. were freed from overpaying these biased people.

  33. Nice piece Barry.

    You’ve been significantly kinder than i would be (i also notice Richard Black didn’t get much of an outing- he’s domemonstratable ‘spun’ stories for a pro-cAGW bent on more than one occasion).

    The BBC have frankly, lost my trust as a unit as a whole over this whole debacle. Granted, in the begining you’re right- they reported what was shown as ‘the current scientific thinking’. BUt the abject refusal and to report climategate and the desperate spin put on it by people like Mr Black just ruined their reputation for me.

    If they can be that partisan in one arena, it errodes their credibility in all. It’s such a shame, but if i could, i’d opt out of the license fee.

  34. Check out the Biased BBC Blog, which details all the mistermeaners of the BBC.

    http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com

    .

    Including this piece by Richard Black (who else), who says that a ‘poll for the BBC says there is little public support for nuclear power’.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15864806

    The Poll was not made by one of the usual polling companies, but by GlobeScan.

    http://www.globescan.com/affiliations.htm

    GlobeScan is 100% powered by Green electricity and fully offsets all its travel by planting trees (which does nothing for CO2, by the way). And GlobeScan is also the founder of Com+ Alliance, an organisation described as: “a diverse global alliance of organisations committed to bringing sustainable development closer to the people… “.

    http://www.complusalliance.org/Templates/COMPLUS/COMPLUS5/layout.asp?MenuID=2

    So when the Biased Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) wants a poll, is goes to the Biased Polling Corporation. Stands to reason, really.

    http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2011/11/no-nukes-is-no-power.html#comments

    .

    I only watch the BBC for the comedy nowadays. That’s not the comedy programs, you understand, just the hilarious news items. And getting the truth from BBC News is simple – just note what they say and take the opposite view, and voilla ! … The Truth.

    .

  35. >>crosspatch says: November 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm
    >>What is most important to me isn’t any of the specific incidents shown
    >>here so much as it is the entire scope of what has been going on. There
    >>is a certain management of information to government and to the public
    >>going on that is sickening.

    Indeed.

    When we get to the state where a scientist in Wiltshire County Council has to put his job on the line, because he does not agree with AGW, there is something desperately wrong in the world. And why were Wiltshire County Council being pressured so in the first place?? This is not exactly the center of the universe, which just goes to show how far the tentacles of AGW have reached. (Scan to the last paragraph for a summary.)

    .
    {{ This is some office clerk called Laura Lang writing to a scientist, asking why Wiltshire should withdraw from the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change – Err, why does Nottingham have a Declaration on Climate Change? And on what basis does it have it? }}

    From: Laura Lang [REDACTED]
    Sent: 11 September 2009 22:02
    To: Eaton, Rod
    Subject: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement

    Dear Mr Eaton

    It would be helpful if you explain the rationale for withdrawing Wiltshire Council from the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in the face of compelling scientific evidence on the need for urgent and drastic reduction of carbon emissions.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Laura Lang

    .

    {{ And this is Mr Eaton’s (MBA, DMS, MCMI, FIET) considered reply – most of which went right over the head of the intellectually challenged Ms Lang. }}

    From: roderick.eaton [REDACTEDREDACTED]
    Sent: 13 September 2009 10:17
    To: Laura Lang
    Subject: Fw: Bid to withdraw Wiltshire Council from Carbon-Cutting Agreement

    Dear Ms Lang

    Thank you for your email. As promised, I am writing to explain the position regarding the group bringing this issue to council. For about three years, I have been researching the climate change theories from an analytical and scientific point of view. Each person must of course come to his/her own conclusions with or without a clear understanding of the facts but I hardly think that the media has covered both sides (natural and man-made) of the scientific debate in equitable measure. ‘There’s nothing like a good crisis (real or imaginary).’

    There has been no increase in global average temperature since 1998 and temperature started to reduce in 2005 and has continued to do so. The UN IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) models failed to predict this and carbon dioxide emissions have continued to increase year on year (I have the figures and will send them if you require). Could the models, based on a positively weighted conversion factor of CO2 forcing (not applied to solar forcing), be barking up the wrong tree? I think this likely.

    IPCC scientists themselves include many strongly worded caveats in their reports and some oppose the IPCC conclusions altogether. As was accepted from Dr Richard Lindzen’s (IPCC Lead Author) evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee (2005): those who dissented from the ‘anthropogenic cause’ (Man-Made Climate Change) theory were not given a full hearing by the IPCC organisation. I would recommend reading the works of Lord Lawson (‘An Appeal to Reason’) and articles by Lord Monckton (former scientific advisor to the UK government) together with peer review papers by perhaps Dr Larry Vardiman (Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Missouri) on Dr Henrik Svensmark’s work (Dr Svensmark is the Head of the Danish National Space Centre). You will quickly realise that the science is by no means ‘settled’ on the MMCC theory. The cosmo-climatological theory is very powerful and based on natural phenomenon relating to radiation effects on cloud formation.

    Over 31,400 science-based professionals signed up to the ongoing Oregon Petition and 800 to the International Manhattan Declaration. I have details of 130 scientists listed in my own database who oppose the MMCC theory e.g. Drs Fred Singer (the founder of the US weather satellite program), Timothy Ball, Vincent Gray (IPCC expert reviewer and graduate of Cambridge University) and Tim Patterson (Professor of Geology at Carleton University – Canada) et al, not to mention Dr McKintrick who worked with Steve McIntyre to flaw the IPCC’s hockey stick curve (subsequently withdrawn by the IPCC as it omitted the Mediaeval Warm period and the mini ice age in the past 1000 years to over emphasise the half a degree Celsius global temperature rise of the 20th century). After Mann’s Hockey Stick Curve was withdrawn, I noted that the IPCC 2001 report made quite a startling admission as follows:

    Chapter 1; page 97, concludes: “Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the observed change may be natural.”

    Having carried out considerable research on the topic, I am firmly of the opinion that the balance of probability is that man-made emissions do not constitute any significant effect on climate. In particular, there is a very poor correlation between man made carbon dioxide emissions and global average temperature. The anthropogenic emission of all GHGs is well below half a percent of the total greenhouse effect (which is predominantly natural) and the greenhouse effect itself is but one aspect of the overall climatic system (one example is El Nino warming caused by tectonic movement below the ocean).

    The costs of Kyoto (Carbon Credit scheme) and the ‘green obligation’ for electricity companies is passed on to the private, commercial and industrial consumer, of course. Together with VED increases, fuel and other so called green taxes the costs are very high but excusable on the back of the MMCC tenet. The support and furtherance of a belief in MMCC at a local level is demonstrated by the Nottingham Declaration. We are unable to support this ‘blind science’ approach, which, as the Lords select committee stated should be based on evidence. What I have seen is IPCC scientists properly placing caveats on their findings in the Climate reports and their expert reviewers who dissent from the ‘orthodoxy’ often being ignored. This is not so much by other scientists but rather by the government officials who write the ‘Summaries for Policy Makers’. These have a strong tendency to omit the caveats and promote a ‘done deal’ on AGW despite the evidence. The Stern Report (Nicky Stern is an economist) and more obviously, Al (alarmist) Gore exaggerate further the IPCC conclusions. Perhaps the following quote from Dr Benjamin Santer (a leading climatologist and author of the last IPCC Report’s chapter on the detection of greenhouse warming) will give you an insight to the lack of consensus in the scientific community:

    “It’s unfortunate that many people read the media hype before they read the (IPCC report) chapter “on the detection of greenhouse warming.” I think the caveats are there. We say quite clearly that few scientists would say that man-made climate change was a done deal.”

    Energy efficiency is a prudent and cost saving approach and, provided one continues to be free to make one’s own choices, one may indeed save oneself some money. I fully support that of course. If some choose to change their lifestyles in terms of what they eat, riding a bike or where they may take their holidays, then that is their own personal preference. I simply do not believe that any government or council should be pushing these things on people who have their own way of life and ideas on climate. If global warming were to return for whatever reason, it could well be an encouragement for people to holiday in the UK (rather than go abroad for the sun) and I would expect air conditioning sales would increase. As Nigel Lawson writes:

    “As to health, in its most recent report, the IPCC found only one outcome which they ranked as “virtually certain” to happen – and that was “reduced human mortality from decreased cold exposure”. This echoes a study done by our own Department of Health which predicted that by the 2050s, the UK would suffer an increase in heat-related deaths by 2,000 a year, and a decrease in cold-related mortality of 20,000 deaths a year – something that ministers have been curiously silent about. All in all, given that global warming produces benefits as well as costs, it is far from clear that the currently projected warming, far from being “catastrophic”, would do any net harm at all.”

    Being signed up to the Nottingham Declaration gives government much opportunity to introduce draconian measures, to tax, control, interfere and regulate on the back of reducing CO2 emissions. I do not believe that withdrawal from it would do other than free people to follow their chosen lifestyles and put the emphasis back onto council providing services rather than control measures.

    In context, if Wiltshire Council hit its target emission cut (50% in five years) right now, China would have produced sufficient CO2 in 3 minutes to make up for it. If the whole UK carbon economy shut down right now, it would take under 6 weeks for China to fill the gap. Climate is a very complex subject and I hope that this will help you understand that the drastic measures you mention will not have any effect at all on climate but just bring more drastic negative changes to our lives here and now.

    Kind regards
    Rod Eaton, MBA, DMS (Leeds), MCMI, FIET

  36. Good to see that you are reporting this.

    I did include an email (in a previous post) that the BBC sent me because I asked for clarification of the Mail report. Their blacking of my comment was unnecessary. All it needed was a denial or an explanation of what was really happening(?). Their reaction only goes to increase suspicion of an already dodgy organization. I have gone through the appeals procedure from which I expect zero.

    Keep up the pressure!!!

  37. Thanks Barry.Much kinder to the BBC than they deserve.I object strongly that my compulsory licence fee supports such a biased organisation.
    Crosspatch has nailed the problems several times!
    There does seem to be a wider concerted effort by the MSM to ignore the latest damning e-mail releases, only the Mail and a bit from Booker but otherwise silence.
    It really makes one think….

  38. Jimbo says:
    November 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Read about where some of the BBC Pension Scheme money has been invested. Yet you are
    “totally convinced that all at the BBC are honestly motivated..” I beg to differ.

    http://www.iigcc.org/about-us/members

    I totally agree Jimbo. There are huge conflicts of interest in many areas due to those and similar investments by a large number of organisations round the world. Check the following for the massive amounts of money dependent upon the CAGW scam beng maintained.

    http://www.iigcc.org/_data/assets/pdf_file/0019/15283/2011-Global-Investor-Statement-Press-Release.pdf

    19 October 2011: World’s largest investors, worth $20 trillion step up call for for urgent policy action on climate change

  39. Thanks for this excellent post, Barry.

    One point I disagree with is the one you make about being patient with the Beeb.

    The time for patience has run out. The economy in the UK – and not just there – is on it’s knees, and we do not need any more money spent to the detriment of our country by following the propaganda provided for years by the BBC.
    Old people did die last winter, and with much higher energy costs due to green taxes thanks to AGW more will die this winter, regardless of temperatures.
    So for me, the time for patience is over – especially in view of the fact that they have been propagandising for the last ten years, as your compilation shows so clearly.

  40. In 1926, during the runup to Britain’s last National Strike, the “Powers that Be” were worried about the potentially disruptive influence which the newly constituted BBC might have on the situation. They consulted its Great Leader, Lord Reith, whose dictum about the BBC’s duty to “inform, educate and entertain” is oft-quoted to this day as an example of How Broadcasting Ought to Be. Reith reassured them that

    “The BBC poses no threat to power.”

    Nothing changes.

  41. It’s worse than we thought!

    The test card hasn’t been shown on the BBC’s normal TV channels for over a decade (except during annual technical tests on analogue, and they’ll stop soon). One reason is that such a high contrast, static image is a good way to destroy a plasma TV.

  42. JustMEinT Musings says:
    November 28, 2011 at 12:59 am

    someone should tell Tasmania (Australia) about NO GOOD WINDFARMS………….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-28/20111128-new-windfarm-planned-for-central-highlands/3699210?section=tas

    IF nothing else remind them of all the ABANDONED wind mills in the USA. WHO will be responsible for taking down these eye sores??? The over paid corporate executives and stock holders??? Or will it be like the USA and the Superfund fiasco where the company bankrupts and leaves the tax payer to pay for the clean up or the land owner who got a pittance for his lease????

    This from Natural News

    ‘Green’ debacle: Tens of thousands of abandoned wind turbines now litter American landscape:

    Literal beacons of the “green” energy movement, giant wind turbines have been one of the renewable energy sources of choice for the US government, which has spent billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing their construction and use across the country. But high maintenance costs, high rates of failure, and fluctuating weather conditions that affect energy production render wind turbines expensive and inefficient, which is why more than 14,000 of them have since been abandoned.

    Before government subsidies for the giant metals were cut or eliminated in many areas, wind farms were an energy boom business. But in the post-tax subsidy era, the costs of maintaining and operating wind turbines far outweighs the minimal power they generate in many areas, which has left a patchwork of wind turbine graveyards in many of the most popular wind farming areas of the US….. http://www.naturalnews.com/034234_wind_turbines_abandoned.html

    You might suggest they get the book:

    WIND POWER FRAUD: WHY WIND WON’T WORK
    by Charles S. Opalek, PE
    Everyone believes alternative energies are the answer to all our power problems, with wind power leading the way. The truth is: Wind power is unsustainable and a total waste of resources. http://windpowerfraud.com/

    Many articles at http://www.wind-watch.org/

    – not clean – not cheap – not green

    Large-scale wind has been shown to cause significant harm to wildlife, people, and the environment. And because of its intermittency and high variability, it does next to nothing to reduce carbon and other emissions or dependence on other fuels….

  43. Incidentally, as a public corporation, the BBC is also obliged to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

  44. Barry – an excellent post, However, I think you’ve missed something, Last year the BBC trust commissioned Professor Steve Jones to review the evidence for and against climate change. I have nothing against Professor Jones in fact I read his articles in the Daily Telegraph regularly. He is however a Professor of Genetics with little exposure to climate science. He concluded that the consensus was correct and that the science was proved ( no doubt fed with nonsense from the UAE). Therefore he reported to the BBC trust that there was no need to be impartial and the BBC was justified in continuing their pro AGW bias. The BBC science editor is Susan Watts ( she’s had a ” run in” with Chris Brooker ( Telegraph) on climate change in the past (2009) and I believe that one of her roles is to keep the BBC on message as approved by the BBC Trust. Consequently, I don’t believe that Harrabin has much independence and must be subject to editorial control from within the management structure. So the BBC is deliberately biased towards AGW and this is actively supported by the BBC Trust. The only way to change this is to pressure the Trust with the climategate information. I would suggest that Barry sends his excellent analysis directly to the trust and see if it encourages reflection and honest re-analysis. I wouldn’t hold my breath though :>(

  45. Great display of the facts and your analysis of them, Barry! But in defense of the BBC you ask:

    I imagine, if I was in their position over a number of years, of meeting very many scientists, government scientific advisors, heads of scientific institutions, politicians attending climate conferences, reporting on scientific institution with a position on climate change, what would I think?

    You’d think exactly what you were supposed to think, and act the way you were supposed to act, or else you wouldn’t be there.

    So does the “bubble” process, etc., simply select for the allegedly “good intentioned” people who are simply not up to the task of being good intentioned? But if so, then what is the quality of their “good intentions”? I say, Zero, and would instead charitably call them “useful idiots” because at best they don’t know that they don’t know and never consider that as a possibility.

    Or would you truly honor them as “good intentioned”? In fact, they sound more like the Climate Scientists, especially as to dedicatedly producing a manipulative and destructive “perception is reality” reality. At which point, who cares about their “good intentions”, which are only their words and some feelings, as opposed to their actions?

    Except for sociopaths, who are often accorded good intentions anyway, and the extremely mentally deficient and the untreatably psychotic, Everyone has good intentions.

  46. No one should consider the BBC’s impartiality without consideration of their court action (at licence-payers expense) to hide the contents of the Balen Report.
    The duplicity of the BBC when it comes to FOIA is legendary.

  47. Here’s the dissembling Jonathan Renouf in the Guardian:

    “All I can say is that I wish the bloggers could have been there as we made the series. I think that had they been with us they would have been reassured at the level of scrutiny that all the scientific claims in the series were subjected to. And as some of the more thoughtful blogs have noticed, we were determined to give credit to the sceptical arguments where and when they were justified. In fact, to some scientists we gave them a bit too much credit. (The examples are more in emails we’ve received than on blogs.)”

    From what we now know (email 1683), this man is a liar. The BBC Trust need to investigate and explain to me why I am not entitled to demand reimbursment of license fees on the grounds of breach of contract.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/02/climatechange.television?commentpage=last#end-of-comments

  48. You guys crack me up.

    The BBC are unbiased, it’s just you yourselves are bias, and disagree with what they say. Therefore, it’s easier for you to denounce the BBC as some sort of liberal Satan rather than accept that your own views are full of crap.

    Sorry that global warming was too difficult for you all to get your heads around. I’m sure your children will be enthralled at the world you have left them (not to mention the un-payable debt you’ve helped rack up! Thanks again.)

    What the BBC report is generally considered to be scientific fact. More to the point, all this bickering has basically led to a situation where it doesn’t matter what anyone says any more because it’s all too late. I understand that the cold, hard facts aren’t as comforting as the right-wing media. After all, humans are predisposed to believing the easy lies than the hard truth. Or do I need to bring up religion?

    So, go right ahead. Pick holes where there are none, believe James Dellingpole is a more trustworthy source of information than NASA, spend your time filling up blogs with your bollocks views that don’t benefit anyone.

    It ultimately doesn’t matter.

    The point of no return went by a long time ago.

  49. Greg

    The whole basis of our secular law is “innocent until proven guilty”. Essential to the process of assessing proof of guilt, is to hear the witnesses (the best witnesses) of BOTH sides.

    The basis of our spiritual law is “love thine enemies” and “love thy neighbour as thyself”.

    Are you just a name-calling drive-by, who gives climate skeptics no fair chance to defend themselves? Or have you time to actually enter into the debate and hear our side of the story, our research into the evidence? If so, answer on a fresher thread than this one.

  50. Gregg Bayes says:
    November 29, 2011 at 8:46 am
    You guys crack me up.

    The BBC are unbiased, it’s just you yourselves are bias, and disagree with what they say. Therefore, it’s easier for you to denounce the BBC as some sort of liberal Satan rather than accept that your own views are full of crap.

    You’re conflating two separate ideas here, bias and viewpoint. The BBC is biased because it pushes its viewpoint, to the extent of malpractice as the emails show, and by denigrating the opposing view without allowing the opposing view fair airing. For the BBC to have a viewpoint is against its charter.

    Moreover, the people who are forced to pay a licence fee to support it have to pay this for watching any live tv, not just the BBC productions. That in any other context would be classified organised crime.. The very least that those forced to pay the BBC protection money to watch even non-BBC programmes are entitled to is un-biased coverage of a situation/subject as per its charter/contract. Clearly the BBC is no different from those media run by others which introduce their own biases when it is moved to present bias for one reason or another, on someone or other’s authority, government or head of BBC, but it is different in that no-one is forced to buy the products, tv, press etc., from the other owners of media.

    So there are two distinct aspects here, the government sanctioned organised crime of forcing people to pay a crime syndicate money to watch live programmes produced by others, and, that a punter having agreed to a contract with this crime syndicate is denied the legal obligation the BBC has given to produce unbiased coverage.

    As for the second, punters should be aware that although they are dealing with an organised crime syndicate this has been ‘legally’ sanctioned, paying the licence fee brings the punters into legal contract with the BBC and in this they have a right to demand unbiased coverage and fair airing of opposing views. You’ll find somewhere the wording used by the BBC to justify its bias, it does admit it, this is where you’d have to argue the point if you were in contract with them.

    As for the first, that it is an organised crime syndicate is proved by its demanding protection money payment, the licence fee, under threat of punishment for access to products it does not even own. Though ‘legally’ sanctioned by the government this does not actually mean it is LAWFUL. In Common Law it is a crime. In Common Law government is a servant, there to protect your freedoms from bullying criminals, and in Britain this is acknowledged by various statements from Parliament. Parlimentary legislation, acts, do not trump Common Law, that is, the government has no right in Common Law to become itself a bullying criminal, so, an act of parliament is limited by its acceptance by the individual. As far as I know, but you would have to check for yourselves as to the accuracy of the following extrapolated from this, there are several options. One does not have to be party to this crime, demanding money with menaces, disturbing one’s peace, and one becomes party to this crime by buying a licence or in any way acknowledging that this entity issuing the demand has a right to demand money from you. Any acknowledgement from you that you recognise this entity, such as a signature, can be deemed recognising its legitimacy (tricky point this and one could argue that deeming it so is itself unlawful), so for example, sending one’s licence fee demand back with a scrawl saying the Beeb can go stuff itself can be deemed recognising that it has a right to demand said licence fee and so could take this to the next step of court appearances. (See the arguments from those refusing to pay the private company the IRS demanding money with menaces in the US..). If one wanted to make a stand against this, rather than not paying the licence fee and moving the tv away from the window.., which itself shows that’s one’s peace is being disturbed by this intimidation, one could I suppose, first fully inform one’s local council and member of parliament etc. of the action one was taking, ignoring the demand completely, giving the reasons why, that it is an unlawful demand disturbing your peace. One could say one will not watch live BBC productions, or, offer to pay the BBC for this access, even though this might be calculated by the BBC to be the same as the cost of the licence fee.., but that at least would put it on a lawful footing. Or.., one could ask pounds of what?

    Sorry that global warming was too difficult for you all to get your heads around. I’m sure your children will be enthralled at the world you have left them (not to mention the un-payable debt you’ve helped rack up! Thanks again.)

    What was difficult to get my head around was that I had to explore different areas of science to understand the arguments, I can only speak for myself here, but what I found, because there were arguments from both sides, was that I could find no actual science showing any rational basis for the Anthropogenic Global Warming claim. What I did find, and very quickly the pile grew bigger and bigger, was manipulation of real physics and un-scientific behaviour from those claiming they were real scientists. I’m no longer confused about this..

    What the BBC report is generally considered to be scientific fact.

    That is what they said in justifying their bias.

    More to the point, all this bickering has basically led to a situation where it doesn’t matter what anyone says any more because it’s all too late.

    If it’s all to late, then why waste trillions on solutions that won’t make any difference?

    I understand that the cold, hard facts aren’t as comforting as the right-wing media. After all, humans are predisposed to believing the easy lies than the hard truth. Or do I need to bring up religion?

    Until you can show there is real physical fact as basis for the AGW claim then all you are touting is religion.

    So no thanks, I’m not interested in you and your ilk shoving your religious beliefs into my life by creating legislation limiting my freedom and stealing my money through added taxation etc. That this is all still being done when you say it is now too late shows the utter paucity of rational thinking on your part. Even if you’re firmly convinced AGW is true, you would better serve your fellow man by arguing against all these impositions. Or don’t you care for example that the poorer are being denied readily available cheap energy and many will struggle, if not die, in having to make the choice between heating and food in cold winters? Which has actually already happened in Britain.

    So, go right ahead. Pick holes where there are none, believe James Dellingpole is a more trustworthy source of information than NASA, spend your time filling up blogs with your bollocks views that don’t benefit anyone.

    Which NASA? The NASA which used to teach real physics that the heat we get and feel from the Sun is the invisible thermal infrared or the new AGWScienceFiction NASA which teaches that visible light heats land and oceans, which in real world physics is impossible?

    It ultimately doesn’t matter.

    The point of no return went by a long time ago.

    Then do tell that to those still pushing for control of our money and lifestyles, and, do something about all the theft of our money and restrictions on our lives which have been put into place already by those promoting this AGWScience Fiction and which continue to be expanded upon this fiction*.

    *It remains fiction unless and until you can show real scientific proof that it is real. I haven’t found any area in which those making this AGW claim have produced any such proof. You have a go at finding it.

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