Thought Provoking words for the BBC and the Guardian – from a Podcast by the BBC’s Michael Buerk

Buerk presenting the BBC 10 O'Clock News in 2000 - Image: Wikipedia

Guest Post by Barry Woods

The respected BBC journalist, Michael Buerk has a short podcast entitled Michael Buerk on the Climate Summit at a new blog that I have just come across called The Fifth Column. It has some thought-provoking and challenging concerns for the BBC Trust, the Guardian, media and politicians with respect to the reporting of ‘climate change’. Some extracts below, with thoughts very rarely heard from the BBC:

And actually there has been no significant rise in global temperatures for more than a decade now.” – Michael Buerk, 16 December 2011

What gets up my nose is being infantilized by governments, by the BBC, by the Guardian that there is no argument, that all scientists who aren’t cranks and charlatans are agreed on all this, that the consequences are uniformly negative, the issues beyond doubt and the steps to be taken beyond dispute.” – Michael Buerk, 16 December 2011

“You’re not necessarily a crank to point out that global temperatures change a great deal anyway. A thousand years ago we had a Mediterranean climate in this country; 200 years ago we were skating every winter on the Thames.

I would just like to highlight and comment on a couple of extracts from the podcast.  A full transcript of the podcast is included at the end of this article. I would hope that it reaches a wider audience, so that the public, media and politicians may consider a respected BBC broadcasters concerns about reporting of climate change. Which seems to many people to be more about driving an environmental cause, to the detriment of serious critical journalistic analysis of the more catastrophic AGW environmentalist claims.

“I want a genuine debate about the assumptions behind the more apocalyptic forecasts.

As recently as 2005, for instance, the UN said there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010.

That was last year.

OK – so where are they?

I would like to hear a clash of informed opinion about what would actually be better if it got warmer as well as worse.” – Michael Buerk, 16 December 2011

So who is Michael Buerk

Michael Buerk is a very well know figure in the UK, a senior BBC journalist and currently the chair of the BBC Radio 4 program – The Moral Maze and arguably one of the most respected BBC broadcasters of his generation.

He is perhaps most well-known for his series of reports of the Ethiopian famine in Africa 25 years ago and as the main presenter of the BBC’s flagship evening news program (BBC Nine O’clock News 1976 – 2000, BBC Ten O’clock News  2000 – 2010). Earlier this year Michael Buerk expressed a number of concerns about the BBC, whilst reviewing the memoirs of a fellow BBC journalist Peter Sissons.

“The veteran presenter accuses staff at the Corporation of an inbuilt ‘institutional bias’ and warns that they read the left-wing Guardian newspaper as if it is ‘their Bible’.

Reviewing a memoir by his former colleague Peter Sissons, Buerk endorses his view that the BBC is warped by the prejudices of its staff.”

“… This year Michael Buerk in his review of a fellow BBC journalists Buerk also accuses BBC reporters of an ‘uncritical love affair with environmentalism’.  – Daily Mail, April 2011

Anyone who has followed the debate about climate change for any length of time, will have come across the argument put forward, that the older generation don’t care about ‘climate change’, because they are selfishly in denial of the damage their lifestyle will cause future generations. Michael Buerk expresses his resentment of this accusation in his Fifth Column podcast.

“I resent the implication that the exercise of my reason is “inappropriate”, an act of generational selfishness, a heresy.

I want a genuine debate about the assumptions behind the more apocalyptic forecasts.” – Michael Buerk, 16th December 2011

It is very much my personal opinion that anyone expressing these thoughts of  ‘generational selfishness’ to Michael for his concerns, should take a moment’s pause and ask themselves why he is saying this, what are his motivations.  A quarter of a century ago (1984), Michael Buerk made a series of groundbreaking reports about the famines in Ethiopia for the BBC, one of those video reports inspired Bob Geldof to start the Band Aid and Live Aid Campaigns for famine relief. Those readers in the USA, of a certain generation may remember the CBC ‘The Famine Video’ using video footage from Ethiopia, forever now associated by the Cars song ‘Drive’.

Michael Buerk has reported first hand on famine, death and suffering on a truly biblical scale caused by droughts in Africa and man actions (war, drought, politics not climate change) In light of this, the following extracts from Michael’s podcast that refer to droughts and Africa particularly drew my attention.

“….Droughts aren’t increasing. There are fewer of them, and less severe, than a hundred years ago….”

“….Where do you see reported the extraordinary greening of the Sahel, and shrinking of the Sahara that’s been going on for 30 years now – the regeneration of vegetation across a huge, formerly arid swathe of dirt poor Africa….”

I can only imagine Michael’s thoughts on those that would accuse him and others of ‘generational selfishness’ for raising concerns about the media reporting of climate change and would perhaps seek to label him as some sort of uncaring old climate sceptic for expressing his concerns about his perception of the BBC’s ‘culture of environmentalism’.

I wonder what Michael Buerk’s thoughts are, for those in the media, or politicians, or media climate scientists who advocate for the ‘climate change cause’, that seize on any natural disaster, drought, famine, flood. Then instantly pronounce it as proof of man-made climate change, then seek to use these disasters to push for climate policies, despite expert opinion that it is not possible to attribute these current extreme weather and climate events to man-made climate change.

It is perhaps a sad reflection on the BBC the fact that he is broadcasting these thoughts at a new media blog – The Fifth Column – and not at the BBC. As I would think it a perfect topic for the BBC’s –  The Moral Maze.

The Fifth Column – About

Welcome to The Fifth Column

The name implies a spirit of subversion.. .

Yes, but not in the predictable, ultimately tiresome, sense of arguing with everything and everybody.

Rather in what will be the refreshing sense of saying the un-sayable or asking the un-askable when nobody is saying it or asking it because of behind-the-scenes’ deals, old pals’ agreements, eyebrow-raising scruples, or an unwillingness to offend or to be offended.

Our business will be stories, issues, controversies in the public consciousness. Which deserve more, sometimes deeper, investigation. Truth, after all, is hard to find – it’s usually subjective, and always complex.”

The Fifth Column Blog is apparently only a couple of months old, and at time of writing has only a 113 Twitter followers:

“Thought provoking podcasts on topical & controversial issues, with contributions from some of the most respected names in UK journalism as well as new talents.”  Twitter Bio:

I wrote an article recently at WUWT – ‘Climategate 2.0 – Impartiality at the BBC’ explaining how I believed that the culture of environmentalism has perhaps taken hold at the BBC. It is easy for the BBC to dismiss a sceptical blogger (writing at an obviously easily perceived partisan sceptical blog) concerns about the impartiality of the BBC’s reporting on climate change.

I would just hope that The BBC Trust and the senior management at the BBC would seriously reflect on the concerns expressed about the BBC reporting on climate change, from such an experienced and respected journalist as Michael Buerk.

Podcast – Michael Buerk on the Climate Summit

Podcast Transcript – The Fifth Column –

 Michael Buerk on the Climate Summit

The latest so-called Climate Summit, that’s been taking place in Durban, hasn’t made many waves. It could be because global warming seems less daunting if you can no longer afford heating bills. It could also be that we’re getting fed up with the bogus certainties and quasi-religious tone of the great climate change non-debate.

Now, I don’t know for certain that man’s activities are causing the planet to heat up. Nobody does. We simply cannot construct a theoretical model that can cope with all the variables.

For what it’s worth, I think anthropogenic warming is taking place, and, anyway, it would be a good thing to stop chucking so much bad stuff into the atmosphere.

What gets up my nose is being infantilized by governments, by the BBC, by the Guardian that there is no argument, that all scientists who aren’t cranks and charlatans are agreed on all this, that the consequences are uniformly negative, the issues beyond doubt and the steps to be taken beyond dispute.

You’re not necessarily a crank to point out that global temperatures change a great deal anyway. A thousand years ago we had a Mediterranean climate in this country; 200 years ago we were skating every winter on the Thames.

And actually there has been no significant rise in global temperatures for more than a decade now.

We hear a lot about how the Arctic is shrinking, but scarcely anything about how the Antarctic is spreading, and the South Pole is getting colder.

Droughts aren’t increasing. There are fewer of them, and less severe, than a hundred years ago. The number of hurricanes hasn’t changed, the number of cyclones and typhoons has actually fallen over the last 30 years.

And so on.

There may be answers, I think there probably are – to all these quibbles – I would like to hear them.

I don’t want the media to make up my mind up for me.

I don’t need to be told things by officialdom in all its forms, that are not true, or not the whole truth, for my own good.

I resent the implication that the exercise of my reason is “inappropriate”, an act of generational selfishness, a heresy.

I want a genuine debate about the assumptions behind the more apocalyptic forecasts.

As recently as 2005, for instance, the UN said there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010.

That was last year.

OK – so where are they?

I would like to hear a clash of informed opinion about what would actually be better if it got warmer as well as worse.

Where do you see reported the extraordinary greening of the Sahel, and shrinking of the Sahara that’s been going on for 30 years now – the regeneration of vegetation across a huge, formerly arid swathe of dirt poor Africa. More warming means more rainfall. More CO2 means plants grow bigger, stronger, faster.

I would like a real argument over climate change policy, if only to rid myself of the nagging feeling that sometimes it’s a really good excuse for banging up taxes and public-sector job creation.

It’s not happening. It’s a secular issue but skepticism is heresy.

They talk the language of science, but it is really a post-God religion that rejects relativist materialism.

Its imperative is moral.

It looks to a society where some choices are obviously, and universally held to be, better than others.

A life where having what we want is not a right and nature puts constraints on the free play of desires.

To reinvent, in short, a life where there is good and bad, right and wrong.

As with all religions, whether the underlying narrative is true, has become beside the point.” – Michael Buerk, 16 Dec 2011 Transcript

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91 thoughts on “Thought Provoking words for the BBC and the Guardian – from a Podcast by the BBC’s Michael Buerk

  1. What was it bob dylan once sang…?
    ‘you don’t have to be a weatherman
    to know which way the wind’s blowing..’
    Rest assured when the likes of Buerk think it’s safe to stick their heads out…
    it’s nearly over.
    Phew!

  2. Is their server getting slammed? Or is it me…probably me…I can’t get any of the links to work. I tried msft and chrome.

  3. I want to impose authoritarian socialism on you because I have contempt for free people and how much better they are than me at many things. It’s called schadenfreude. But I also want to make sure the West’s hegemony of the global economy stays intact.

    So I’ll control your carbon footprint, make you live on a carbon ration, charge you for extra carbon credits, make you pay carbon taxes….and then use some of that money for welfare payments to less developed countries to make sure they stay poor and environmentally friendly.

    I hope you got that clear now and I don’t have to bullshit you with all that science malarky.

  4. The fear of immediate reprisal is waning….

    the New World Order lie is losing steam… Don’t be fooled Obama has already set in motion the final collapse of the US… YOUR freedoms are almost totally gone… the media coming out is the signal that the damage has been done.. what can we do to reverse it?

  5. One wonders, however, if the BBC is frantically backpedalling to cover their asses over the BBC-related content of Climategate 2. Yes, it is good that somebody associated with them is speaking out. But Climategate 2 reveals that the CRU was more or less running the BBC’s “show” with respect to climate issues, and if anything was more zealous than some of the CRU-linked scientists. I believe I recall Briffa being more than a bit miffed at the interview where they staged a fake “conversion” of a “skeptic” following a strict hockey-stick script.

    I’m guessing that CYA or not, the BBC is due for a trip behind the woodshed. Expect to see more balanced treatment of the climate from them as they seek to put distance between themselves and CG2’s damning content. Climategate 2 ain’t over. It has hardly begun.

    rgb

  6. I’ve solved the problem of the missing climate refugees. As with so many other critical variables, formulae, and projections, they got a sign reversed somewhere in the works. So actually, those warming areas have attracted 50 million more people! Reverse refugees.

    :)
    ;p
    :D

  7. Looks like his server is being inundated. I am yet to be able to load the page. I’ll have to check it out in the morning after the WUWT Tsunami subsides.

    Great article. Thanks for the link.

  8. Well, wait and see. He may turn out to be another Richard Muller, the pseuso-skeptic who “recanted” a position he never held.

  9. ““The veteran presenter accuses staff at the Corporation of an inbuilt ‘institutional bias’ and warns that they read the left-wing Guardian newspaper as if it is ‘their Bible’.”

    I’ve seen a similar phenomenon while working in Hamburg. For the Hamburgers, it is of course Der Spiegel and not The Guardian that is their bible.

    In NYC, it would be the NYT.

    It is something about these cities that drive the people there mad; I would assume that they develop a hyperactive amygdala, a tendency for panic attacks and an increased risk of shizophrenia.

  10. “Thought Provoking words for the BBC and the Guardian”

    I did not have that response at all. It was more like stunned silence, and sheer respect for his insight, experience, and courage to say what he has said.

    But if he is concerned that England not chuck “so much bad stuff into the atmosphere,” he should take a look at the nearest 250′ – 400′ tall wind turbines. Soon.

  11. I detect some common sense starting to seep in. I believe once the Climategate emails were released and reasonable thinking people saw what was going on, they had a sick feeling that maybe the emperor had no clothes after all. And I think once one reaches that point in their mind and begins to see the behavior of those blindly following the AGW theme, it begins to look a little embarrassing.

  12. I think you just crashed his blog Anthony. (not intentionally anyway, this goes by many names. My favorite is “farked”)

  13. “Where do you see reported the extraordinary greening of the Sahel, and shrinking of the Sahara that’s been going on for 30 years now – the regeneration of vegetation across a huge, formerly arid swathe of dirt poor Africa. More warming means more rainfall. More CO2 means plants grow bigger, stronger, faster.”

    Here’s more reporting on the non-desertification of the Sahel:

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/01/03/der-spiegel-the-ground-zero-of-climate-change-is-becoming-green-expanding-sahara-is-a-myth/

    Another perfectly good crisis gone to waste. Alas for the Warmista. Three cheers for the population of the Sahel.

  14. I remember the BBC coverage of the Ethiopian famine well, and there was no mention of AGW and/or man-made climate change. We now live in times when people like Bob Brown (Green party leader, Australia) can make statements like (Paraphrasing) “…buring coal caused the floods in Queensland…”

  15. Unfortunately, the trump card in this matter is neither the science nor the truth, because those are readily and facilely manipulated by the corporate-owned mainstream media, which amount to little more than a propaganda ministry for the MIC and TPTB, who hold that trump card in the form of our MSM.

    The lies need only be plausible for awhile.

    The trick is to baffle, and frighten, the masses with BS, while keeping the educated people arguing about the details. We may indeed win all the battles, in detail, but lose the war.

    The fact that there is no CAGW will prove to have the same relevance as the lack of WMD in Iraq. By the time the cold, hard truth becomes apparent, it’s already a done deal – a fait accompli.

  16. DirkH says:
    January 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    “It is something about these cities that drive the people there mad; I would assume that they develop a hyperactive amygdala, a tendency for panic attacks and an increased risk of shizophrenia.”

    You nailed it. Eventually, they believe that they are the “avant garde” of the The Party and that the future of humankind depends on their actions. Definitely schizophrenic.

  17. “The fact that there is no CAGW will prove to have the same relevance as the lack of WMD in Iraq. By the time the cold, hard truth becomes apparent, it’s already a done deal – a fait accompli.”

    Ah but then the internet came into full power…

  18. I have no idea if Michael Buerk is sincere in what he wrote but I have to agree with the entire content. He does a good job of spelling out what most of us here feel.

    Let him show his colors now and time will tell, but I will remain skeptical. It may be possible that CG 2.0 was a wake-up call. The question is; what was the wake-up call about.

  19. I wonder what Michael Buerk’s thoughts are, for those in the media, or politicians, or media climate scientists who advocate for the ‘climate change cause’, that seize on any natural disaster, drought, famine, flood. Then instantly pronounce it as proof of man-made climate change…

    Like the recent articles about a “hybrid shark” and the rush to proclaim it an adaptation to (inferred anthropogenic) “climate change,” such as this one:

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/world-first-hybrid-shark-found-off-australia-070347259.html

    Quote from the first paragraph:
    “Scientists said on Tuesday that they had discovered the world’s first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, a potential sign the predators were adapting to cope with climate change.”

  20. Let him show his colors now and time will tell, but I will remain skeptical. It may be possible that CG 2.0 was a wake-up call. The question is; what was the wake-up call about.

    ======

    I wish to retract this statement in my post above. He apparently had a similar viewpoint or serious questions with regards to the BBC early in 2011 as noted in the Daily Mail, April 2011.

  21. In a detective story of Donna Leon’s, her principal character tells us that he had “always been afraid of people in possession of what they believe is the truth. They’ll do anything to see that the facts are changed and whipped into shape to agree with it.”

    Sums up the BBC totally.

  22. There is no doubting Michael Buerk’s sincerity. He’s an old-school reporter (generational?) in that he reports on what he sees, not what he’s told to see. For American readers, here is that BBC News report of 10/23/84′. How times have changed, there isn’t a warning to the viewer of the distressing content, and Buerk allows space in his commentary for the images to show the horror.

  23. The absence of CAGW TV debate in the UK is almost deafening. Especially the BBC, with numerous debating and public affairs programmes, where ‘global warming’ seems to be firmly out of bounds. It is NEVER discussed.

    The most we ever get is an unexpected swipe at the issue from a panellist (either way) but the discussion is quickly bustled along to the next topic.

    Some global catastrophe when we cannot even have a debate. It is a good sign.

    The BBC still tries to slip-in some good old fashioned pro-CAGW nonsense when it gets the chance.

    An example was the final chapter in the “Frozen Planet” series, presented as a personal opinion which never actually said “man made” global warming.

    But there was no opportunity given for a 1 hour peak-viewing slot for personal opinion in reply. And ‘global warming’ was not clearly expressed as “natural”, leaving the viewer to assume cause.

  24. I think the debate will happen in coffee houses and on street corners as folks who can not pay their heating bill huddle together or bustle to/from shared warm places… It is rather hard to sell people on climate guilt when they are freezing cold…

  25. “Richard111 says:

    January 4, 2012 at 12:11 am

    I take my hat off to Michael Buerk.

    I hope he doesn’t lose his pension.”

    I have heard that the BBC pension fund relies on the global warming myth, and it tied up with environmental companies. If it was ever proved that man made climate change was junk, the BBC pension fund would follow, too. If it is indeed true. Can anyone confirm this?

  26. “Paul says:
    January 3, 2012 at 11:49 pm”

    Brings back painful memories for my wife. That region has been long in dispute and is normally arid. It’s not too far from the Afar region, which is very dry and hot.

  27. In BBCspeak, Michael Buerk’s words are apostasy.

    Either he will be forced to recant or be cast out into the wilderness. The masses cannot be allowed to see there is anything other than the one true faith.

  28. This has been picked up today by The Daily Telegraph.
    I wonder if this is the beginning ……………… .

  29. Robert Brown says:
    January 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm
    “One wonders, however, if the BBC is frantically backpedalling to cover their asses over the BBC-related content of Climategate 2.”

    Yes, Robert, it IS interesting. On the BBC’s Today programme this morning, I almost fell off my chair when I heard presenter Evan Davis discussing with a representative of the British Medical Journal the desirability of having all publicly-funded research data made freely available.

    The discussion was about drugs research and how some peer-reviewed journals did not publish research which showed ‘negative’ or ‘uninteresting’ results. Davis enthusiastically put forward the idea that perhaps all scientific research data should be made freely available on the internet. His comments were typical of the BBC’s generally sceptical stance towards drug companies and other commercial organisations – but, of course, he unwittingly opened the net to include ALL scientific research.

    He must have felt pretty pleased with himself but I could imagine the Phil Jones’ of this world screaming “NOOOOOOOO!” and hurling themselves, slow-motion style, at the phone to upbraid Roger Harrabin and their other BBC mates to get to Davis and explain the error of his ways.

    Like other contributors to Anthony’s excellent blog, I doubt whether the BBC has had a conversion or realised that it needs to correct the bias that has so damaged its journalistic integrity and reputation these last few years. More likely that this is just an Evan Davis ‘gaff’ and even now the thought police have the hapless presenter in front of them, waving a copy of Animal Farm at him and explaining patiently that some researcher disciplines are more equal than others and he really must exercise more care in the future.

    We will see. But I applaud Michael Buerk’s brave stance and wait to see if he is cast into the outer darkness or if this is the start of a wider BBC repositioning exercise.

  30. While we are on the subject of thoughtful media coverage, check out the Daily Telegraph’s comment piece on the Eurofanatics.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8990067/The-Eurofanatics-should-join-the-Marxists-in-the-dustbin-of-history.html

    The author, Bruce Anderson, makes the point that the massive errors made at the start of the European project – which now threaten global financial instability and recession, were caused by a RELIGIOUS-style persuasion that the proponents were right in their assertions…despite the fact that they were self-evidently not.

    Neither me nor most of my friends – ordinary joes like me who are builders, printers, training professionals etc. – could understand how the Euro project could possibly work in practice. Common sense showed that a unified Europe and democracy could not co-exist together – and that a single currency for all nations would end in disaster because individual countries would not have the safety valve of being able to deflate their economies.

    Anderson shows that even though ordinary people had these fears, we were overridden by the mainstream media who were swept up in the religious fervour or the Euro proponents who utterly convinced that they were right.

    There is a direct read-across to the global warming “the science is settled” debate. The Euro project and the global warming scam are closely-related in the way that they both depend on religious-type fervour to override the commonsense practicalities of real-world observation.

  31. “As recently as 2005, for instance, the UN said there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010.

    That was last year.

    OK – so where are they?”

    Come on people. Haven’t you been paying attention? They’re hiding in the deep ocean.

  32. This seems to come from June 2008.
    “The BBC Pension Fund stands to gain from a big investment in wind and solar power as demand for conventional energy outstrips supply. A recent report issued by the fund shows that six of its 100 biggest investments are in companies that specialise in the manufacture of wind turbines or solar panels. ”

    http://www.schemexpert.com/My-Scheme/Documents/(view)/40573

    (I found out the date via a comment on another blog – these schemexpert people are no friends of telling you how old their writing is, it seems)

    Vestas was at 87 EUR in June 2008 and is at 7.8 EUR now, so that money is probably lost.

    Might explain the 2 bn GBP hole in the funds reported a year ago.

  33. There seems to be a bit of a losers’ attitude to anti-AGW, anti-EU, anti-one-world-order folks this new year.

    They all seem to be saying: ‘we all know it’s rubbish, but it’s going to stay’.

    Let’s see now:
    1. The Americans don’t have to vote for Obama – they may decide to though.
    2. Financiers don’t have to bail out the Euro – they may choose to though.
    3. Governments don’t have to continue funding the IPCC – they may choose to though.

    The will of the people is with those lacking faith despite being in the ascendancy.

    What is it that these proponents of freedom, democracy and interdependency have to lack faith about, eh?

  34. There have been too many false dawns and too many tipping points for me to get really excited about this particular opinion. Michael Buerk is entirely correct of course, but that just means yet another heretic gets insulted as part of some vast “right-wing fossil-fuel-funded denial machine” that we know doesn’t exist.

    What I’d like is the password to the all.7z archive and then I can write the real story of the Hockey Stick and the wholesale corruption of scientific ethics and the collapse of peer review. When people lose confidence in science and the scientific method, they won’t just disbelieve everything, they’ll believe in anything.

  35. With regard to Fifth Column’s Places We Like sidebar. Having looked at that short list I think I prefer to take whatever is being said on the website with a large pinch of salt even if Michael Buerk is speaking sense. There’s a lot of mainstream leftism represented on the list including New Statesman (an ailing Marxist rag), BBC and Guardian’s Comment is Free. RSA has a warmist bias as does the Frontline Club. The inclusion of the Spectator on the list might be for purposes of sceptical legitimacy. I can’t speak for the other two sites because I’m unfamiliar with them.

    So, in my opinion, it’s less fifth column and more Trojan horse, A space to watch for sure but not for reasons they might expect.

  36. Apologies for pedantry, but “…the public, media and politicians may consider a respected BBC broadcasters concerns about reporting of climate change.” has a missing apostrophe:

    The concerns are those of respected ex-BBC reporter Michael Buerk, so it ought to read “…the public, media and politicians may consider a respected BBC broadcasters concerns about reporting of climate change.” Please amend and then delete my pedantic little note.

    Best wishes for 2012.

  37. Michael Buerk is a formidale intellect and a much respected journalist. I was bowled over (though not surprised) by his words. They reflect pretty exactly what I have thought for many years. For the first time we hear a top BBC person speak out boldly. Does this presage the beginning of the end for AGW? I doubt it. But maybe we can expect a bit more honesty and openness in the debate. I doubt it!
    One aspect Buerk does not directly address is the way the AGW ideology (religion) is used to promote the sinister agenda of the Global Governance and Post-national international elites and environmental activists.

  38. This will never get on to mainstream BBC (Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation)

    Peter Sissons is of the Liverpool persuasion like myself and he would have thought the Guardian Newspaper a splendid platform for “fish and Chips”, but little use otherwise.

  39. Well said Michael Buerk. It’s refreshing to be reminded that there are still real journalists at the BBC, despite everything they have become in recent years. And thank you Paul (11:49 pm) for that link to Buerk’s BBC report of a quarter century ago – a reminder of why we were as proud of the BBC then as we are ashamed of them now.

  40. Steve P is absolutely correct. Us sceptics and real scientists may win the odd battle but the war has already been won. In the UK a total blackout on anything other than the alarmist view in virtually all MSM (especially the BBC: one morning recently 4 programs – none to do with science – all peddled the AGW line) has already convinced the vast majority of the population that AGW is catastrophic.

    I see no change to this scenario other than on blogs like this where delusion reigns supreme – not delusion about the science for here lies good sense but about the politics of knowing CAGW is false and the changes that will follow: we know but the rest don’t, they don’t care about Climategate, they believe in CAGW and won’t listen to us.

    Buerk’s opinion is interesting and confirms what we all thought but is ultimately irrelevant: the war is over. Unless the politicians and MSM (not The Team) are tackled head on that will remain the status quo. The one promising chink in the curtain is Canada so let’s see what happens there (I’m not optimistic).

  41. Chris says:
    January 4, 2012 at 12:30 am
    “Richard111 says:
    January 4, 2012 at 12:11 am
    I take my hat off to Michael Buerk.
    I hope he doesn’t lose his pension.”
    I have heard that the BBC pension fund relies on the global warming myth, and it tied up with environmental companies. If it was ever proved that man made climate change was junk, the BBC pension fund would follow, too. If it is indeed true. Can anyone confirm this?

    I have also heard this for some time. I will see what I can find out but frankly if it true, Pension Fund Trustees have legal obligations in the UK to invest such monies in the interests of the Pension Fund members, NOT a political ideal or policies!

  42. Michael Buerk is an heir to Raymond Baxter and his generation – the era in which the BBC (and the UK for that matter) did REAL science. It was the BBC generation after Burke’s (and mine) that lost the plot, and presumed that the world was made of candy, lions cuddles antelopes, money grew on trees, and consumer good arrived magically in metal containers, without anyone having to get their hands dirty.

    If anyone has a hankering for the days when the BBC stood for everything that was virtuous, pioneering and preeminent about the UK (including its science and technology), here is a trip down memory lane (the Tomorrow’s World theme tune):

    .

  43. >>Paul says: January 3, 2012 at 11:49 pm”
    >>Brings back painful memories for my wife. That region (Ethiopia)
    >>has been long in dispute and is normally arid. It’s not too far from
    >>the Afar region, which is very dry and hot.

    And which has trebled its population in 35 years. Don’t complain to the West that your people are starving, if you simply use food-aid to treble your population.

    The rational are under no moral duty to continually assist the terminally stupid.

    .

  44. >>John V. Wright says: January 4, 2012 at 1:50 am
    >>Common sense showed that a unified Europe and democracy
    >>could not co-exist together – and that a single currency for all
    >>nations would end in disaster because individual countries would
    >>not have the safety valve of being able to deflate their economies.

    Well the Euro could have worked – just like the United States dollar does – but only if they had organised it correctly and had a controlling authority with real teeth and a will to use them. But NO, in their liberal dream-world they just presumed every nation would be honest and stick within their borrowing limits, and when they found out some were not so honest they just kicked the whole rotten can down the road a bit further. But the can has now met a brick wall, and is proving difficult to kick any further.

    .

    I knew the Euro would not work when they produced the coinage. Here was a brand new currency with 50 years of potential inflation ahead of it, and they produced a 1/2 cent coin and a 1 cent coin that were worthless on the day they were first minted. If you have a financial organisation that cannot even set the initial value of its new currency at the right level (to allow for inflation), there was no hope that that same organisation had the common sense and determination to make the system work.

    It was only a matter of time.

    And this is not 20:20 hindsight, I predicted this when the Euro was first coined, back in 2002. I also forecast that we would have a financial crash, back in 2005, and was told by a senior London economist that I was a defeatist twat with no understanding of economics. Unfortunately, our politicians and economist (and climate scientists) are not only cerebrally challenged, they are also very reticent to look critically and dispassionately at the system that they created, or the system that pays their wages.

    .

  45. B H says:
    January 4, 2012 at 2:53 am

    “Come on people. Haven’t you been paying attention? They’re hiding in the deep ocean.”

    And they’re keeping warm from Trenberth’s heat…

  46. Well, I think we have won this war when the BBC has turned on the church of Global Warming.

    Unfortunately we now has “Ocean Acidification” and “Fracking Induced Earthquakes” as the new anti-oil, anti-industry narratives.

    I have come to the conclusion that the Western nations, at their liberal core (in the good sense of the term) are suffering from a cultural version of Hypochondriasis. We are doing so well that we are convinced that we are sick.

  47. DirkH says:
    January 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm
    “““The veteran presenter accuses staff at the Corporation of an inbuilt ‘institutional bias’ and warns that they read the left-wing Guardian newspaper as if it is ‘their Bible’.”

    I’ve seen a similar phenomenon while working in Hamburg. For the Hamburgers, it is of course Der Spiegel and not The Guardian that is their bible.

    In NYC, it would be the NYT.

    It is something about these cities that drive the people there mad; I would assume that they develop a hyperactive amygdala, a tendency for panic attacks and an increased risk of shizophrenia.”

    Harken back to Sodom and Gomorrah. Cities breed dependency and deviance, they always have. Just look at the left wing vote in the US and where it was strongest in recent elections. Europe is, in many areas and many ways, like a city due to its population density. In the old often quoted experiment, when rats are subjected to high density population situations they begin to kill and eat one and other. I have often wondered what form the act of gomorrahmy might take?

  48. Michael Buerk
    “Droughts aren’t increasing. There are fewer of them, and less severe, than a hundred years ago. The number of hurricanes hasn’t changed, the number of cyclones and typhoons has actually fallen over the last 30 years.”

    He must be a secret reader of WUWT ;>)

    There must be others within newsrooms who think the same way as Buerk but know they have to tow the party line. Sissons made his views known (though after he left).

  49. Sissons, Paxman, and now Buerk. All three highly respected and distinguished journalists. If Dimbleby were to also publicly express similar concerns, then that might start to cause others within the BBC to question their own spoon fed beliefs in co2 catastrophe.

  50. RE: BBC Investments

    Shortly after CG 1.0 there were numerous atricles written regarding BBC retirement investments in the ‘green agenda’. Look back 18 – 20 months. or so. It will likely be necessary to copy any relevant material found as it may soon ‘disappear’ if it hasn’t already done so. I will check to see if I saved any links or articles.

    I would have no issues with the collaspe of the BBC retirement program as then the players for whom it would effect may then attack the perpetrators of the numerous schemes that have played out. They are hoping for a recovery from past mistakes / agendas and when it becomes obvious that no recovery is forthcoming then maybe there will be some truth come from the BBC rank and file. The way I see is that they were all part of a gamble in a scheme that they lost out on. Placed a bet, pitched an agenda, and lost. They should not be ‘too big to fail’. Their agenda has cost millions their retirement nest so why should they be protected, especially since it is the results of their own actions. They should not be protected but rather be subject to their abuse of ethics.

  51. I hope that Mr Buerk has no need of his BBC income because publishing subversive material could mean that his coat will soon be hanging on a shugglie nail.

    This will be a pity because the BBC badly needs journalists of Buerk’s calibre which he convincingly demonstrates in the insight he offers contained in the last 5 short sentences of this expertly crafted piece.

    Mr Buerk is not alone in seeing that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is a belief system rather than science but unlike most he has got a reasonable grip on the underlying reason. I expect that comes from his years of mind wrestling training on the Moral Maze.

    Having said all that perhaps Mr Buerk has a fine sense of timing and thinks that expressing these views is no longer carreericide at the BBC. I really hope so.

  52. UK Sceptic says: January 4, 2012 at 4:39 am

    With regard to Fifth Column’s Places We Like sidebar. Having looked at that short list I think I prefer to take whatever is being said on the website with a large pinch of salt even if Michael Buerk is speaking sense. There’s a lot of mainstream leftism represented on the list including New Statesman (an ailing Marxist rag), BBC and Guardian’s Comment is Free… So, in my opinion, it’s less fifth column and more Trojan horse…

    I see another option / possibility.

    If Buerck had started off by putting anything remotely like WUWT in his sidebar at this stage, he’d have instantly frozen out all True Deniers. They’d get him moved out of his prominent position like they did David Bellamy. Anyone here seen the film A Very British Coup? Maybe Buerck has – or at least grasps its inherent truths.

  53. Bursting the AGW bubble would make great news, much potential for witch hunting and politicians squirming in their seats as they try to pass the buck. The journalists must be straining at the leash, but not wanting to risk fat salary cheques at the moment. OTOH they must also be aware a juicy feeding frenzy could start at any moment and they will not want to miss out by being unprepared. You can’t tell me they didn’t update Prince Phillips obituary the moment he went to hospital with chest pain. The AGW dirt has probably been collected. It may get too tempting to resist, especially as it approaches it’s sell by date. Thanks to Anthony et. al. we see a big head of water behind a rather leaky dyke. The holes are currently plugged with innocent reputations and great wads of cash, but can this last? Maybe it can.

  54. Lucy Skywalker you could be right. However, the UK politics scene is heading into V for Vendetta territory. The main difference is that the tyrants live outside our borders (Brussels) but control what is within with more powers being ceded to them on a daily basis even as our Prime Minister lies through his teeth about “repatriation of powers” from the EU. However, the movie’s ending doesn’t offer a solution. The actual destruction of the Houses of Parliament would be symbolic only because the real power now resides elsewhere thanks to the succession traitors and useful idiots (with one notable exception who fiercely battled the UK’s corner and who’s like will probably never see again for a long time) we’ve elected into office over the last four decades who have done their utmost to strip away our sovereignty without any mandate from us. The suicidal AGW agenda is but one of our worries. People are starting to become very angry as they finally wake up to what is happening :0(

    It’s not just central government that is the problem. Local government is also dragging us deeper into an abyss of stupidity and authoritarianism. This story of a local council overstepping its authority and apparently threatening to criminalise someone over a tiny dog playing with a rubber duck in a garden is an all too familiar event these days. The final quote from the spokeswoman says it all. She carefully avoids any mention of the squeaky rubber duck incident. Perhaps even she was too embarrassed to admit that council lackeys tried to illegally ban a pensioner from giving his dog a toy that can’t possibly create a serious noise nuisance. What’s next? Banning babies rattles?

    Sigh…

  55. Steve P :-
    the same con men who call for AGW deny the WMD, that 100% for sure did/ do exist in or near Iraq

  56. Chris Edwards says:
    January 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm
    Care to be a little more precise, and intelligible, with your comment, Chris?

  57. Interesting – for those who didn’t see the climate section of the series Ice Planet, it’s coverage of the Antarctic was absurdly biased with the total focus being on the warming antarctic peninsula, with no discussion at all on areas of cooling. Surely they know, but decided to report only the facts that supported a particular perspective. No wonder, objective reporters are beginning to ask questions. Reminds me of the old maxim – “You can fool some of the people all of the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”.

  58. Jim G says:
    January 4, 2012 at 8:33 am
    “Harken back to Sodom and Gomorrah. Cities breed dependency and deviance, they always have. Just look at the left wing vote in the US and where it was strongest in recent elections. Europe is, in many areas and many ways, like a city due to its population density.”

    Re deviance: There is the so-called drift phenomenon; simply meaning that persons with certain special interests agglomerate in cities that provide them with what they seek.

    Re Europe as a city: We don’t have as much sprawl as the US due to zoning regulations. So even in Germany, densely populated with 200 inhabitatns/km^2, you can find a stark contrast between the megacities and the rest of the country. Due to the drift phenomenon, the smaller cities lose their deviants to the larger ones; keeping them a little (well actually a lot) saner than they would otherwise be.

    Hypothesis: The drift phenomenon is self-accelerating, leading to a power law distribution of cities on the scale of insanity. So in a given nation, the most insane city should be expected to be twice as insane as the next insane one, and three times as insane as the third. (I don’t have the resources to prove that, but the succession for Germany would be Berlin – Hamburg – …)

  59. In honor of this, I did a search of the F.O.I.A.-2011 emails for BBC.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/foia-bbc-index-and-false-hits/

    One interesting bit? Ok, but only one (out of many)

    4663.txt: BBC) is generally one-sided, i.e. the counter argument is rarely made. There is, however,
    4666.txt: us. Please see e.g. the reporting by the BBC:
    4666.txt: from BBC (6/23/06 “Backing for ‘Hockey Stick’ graph”)

    4894.txt: being the objective impartial (ho ho) BBC that we are, there is an

    Working through the entire email one bit at a time. There's a link to an online archive in the article for folks interested in seeing the whole thing. Just click on it, then pick the email number you want to see.

  60. We’re dealing with zealots and sheep. It wouldn’t matter if Jamaica started getting a foot of snow in July, the zealots would claim it was STILL AGW, and the sheep that are following them will still most likely follow them. I do understand that we’re trying to get a few of the sheep to wake up and rub the wool from their eyes, but it gets depressing how the media just hums along to the tune…

  61. Some people are under the mistaken belief that Roger Harrabin has left the BBC. He has not. He is now their “Environmental Analyst”… whatever that is.

  62. The BBC’s charter requires it to be politically neutral. But the BBC does not believe that it is required to be neutral as regards climate change (where it acts as a propaganda machine for AGW), the European Union (where Eurosceptics are still sometimes referred to as Europhobes), the Euro (although it is beginning to prepare for the inevitable withdrawals and possible collapse), the USA (which can do no right and where Democrats are always good and Republicans always bad), Israel (where daily rockets aimed at civilians in cities such as Beer Sheva, Ashdod and Ashquelon are routinely ignored but a single airstrike in response gets headline treatment or where all TV pictures of Gaza show the appalling living conditions of its poorest citizens but never the well-stocked shops in the fancy Mall(s), the swish villas and posh hotel). These are some of the more permanent biases but others, some temporary, include anti smoking, healthy eating, anti hunting, against cutting public expenditure, pro any demonstrations and sit-ins which support the same biases as the BBC while ignoring or playing down any counter demonstrationtion.

    Michael Buerck has showed tremendous courage.

  63. UK Sceptic says: January 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Agree with much, but think it will get worse before there’s a hope of it getting better. What matters is that we use our energies to keep sound commonsense principles, look the monster in the face, speak the truth clearly, try and cooperate with Great Spirit / God, and stay unfailingly courteous. Like our host here. As I understand it, this is what builds up the requisite power skills – and enables what I can only call Grace to appear – as did FOIA in our case. It takes time – but well-prepared long-suffered reform is infinitely preferable to revolution.

  64. DirkH says:
    January 5, 2012 at 12:27 am

    “Hypothesis: The drift phenomenon is self-accelerating, leading to a power law distribution of cities on the scale of insanity. So in a given nation, the most insane city should be expected to be twice as insane as the next insane one, and three times as insane as the third. (I don’t have the resources to prove that, but the succession for Germany would be Berlin – Hamburg – …)”

    Dirk,
    I like your theory in general but here in the US, not so much. LA with about 12mm folks is probably at least 2x as insane as NYC with about 20MM people. This is, of course, my personal evaluation as I am also lacking in the resources to prove this. Most informed and sane people would agree, however, that San Francisco is by far the most insane city in the US with perhaps only 1-2mm population. Parts of California are, as you probably know, badly infected with insanity by the movie industry and the Hollywood thing. So that may account for it not following your linear progression. In any event, your analysis is much more scientific than much of what I see from the Warmistas.

  65. I wait to hear criticism of the AGW narrative. Tie pure negativity and doomsday prophesy. The Man-Made Global Warming scam becomes evident when one looks at the narrative that spews from the alarmists. Only evil and suffering can come from a warmer Earth.
    Why can’t it be :
    “Congratulations children, The Energy sources that fuel our economies and our prosperity, give us long life and comfort, these fossil fuels will also cause our planet to warm gently, about 4 degrees over the next century. What luck!
    With the warmth and extra CO2 for plant life, millions of acres of tundra will become forests. Millions of acres of frozen steppe will become arable. Starvation will end. Prosperity will reach even the poorest people. We must keep searching for and burning oil and coal so we can improve our climate and prosper. Humanity will become wealthy. With this wealth we can preserve habitat for animals, protect the rain forest. We will clean the oceans and the land. Our future is bright. We are entering the age of abundance. “

    The Earth is not warming of late though. Too bad.

  66. The Man-Made Global Warming scam becomes evident when one looks at the narrative that spews from the alarmists. Only evil and suffering can come from a warmer Earth.
    Why can’t it be : “Congratulations children, The Energy sources that fuel our economies and our prosperity, give us long life and comfort, these fossil fuels will also cause our planet to warm gently, about 4 degrees over the next century. What luck!
    With the warmth and extra CO2 for plant life, millions of acres of tundra will become forests. Millions of acres of frozen steppe will become arable. Starvation will end. Prosperity will reach even the poorest people. We must keep searching for and burning oil and coal so we can improve our climate and prosper. Humanity will become wealthy. With this wealth we can preserve habitat for animals, protect the rain forest. We will clean the oceans and the land. Our future is bright. We are entering the age of abundance. “

    The Earth is not warming of late though. Too bad.

  67. “I want a genuine debate about the assumptions behind the more apocalyptic forecasts.

    Exactly: open, public, legally adjudicated debate between scientists: presidential style, not Oxford smart ass rhetoric!
    In Australia the cowards in govt and their lackey scientists refuse debate because the science is settled.

    My God. .. Blind leading the dumb in white coats.

  68. Hi Barry Woods,
    Thanks for the above, Hi this is James from the BBC World Service programme “World Have Your Say”.

    We’d like your thoughts on this topic today.

    What sort of reaction do you have to this story?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4250264a4560.html

    Posters of a newborn baby have provoked controversy in Italy because the infant is shown wearing a wristband name tag with the word “homosexual” written on it.

    The poster is part of an anti-discrimination campaign launched by Tuscany’s regional government.

    Some gay rights groups have welcomed the campaign – but conservative politicians have condemned it.

    Is this kind of campaign going a step too far in confronting prejudice? Or are shock tactics the only way to confront prejudice? And, should we confront prejudice?

    How do people tackle prejudice in different parts of the world: racism, homophobia, prejudice against disabilities?

    Come and take part in our interactive discussion show – email me james.harrod@bbc.co.uk or call +44 207 557 0635.
    Keep up the posts!

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