Countdown to alarm

Climate_change_numbers_scrPosted by Josh 

For UK viewers, last night’s BBC 4 programme ‘Climate change by numbers’ started well (I am a big fan of Hannah Fry). But sadly it descended into the usual climate change innuendo and alarm.

The first number was fine – 0.85˚C is not scary and not catastrophic.

The second number, 95%, was, as ever, vague and hand wavy. So the 50% of the warming since 1950s we’ve caused amounts to… maybe 0.3˚C? So not that much after all. And the pause continues. And Arrhenius was wrong about the ice ages. And there’s lots of uncertainty. How is Chelsea doing?

Worse was that by the third number (1 trillion) the programme had left the planet and decided that the 0.3˚C warming had magically turned into 1˚C warming and we simply Must Do Something about it. Or else.

Nice try BBC, great start by Hannah, but it needed a medic by the end. At this rate I’m not sure the patient will make it all the way to Paris.

The number 63 comes from here.

Cartoons by Josh

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172 thoughts on “Countdown to alarm

    • Does BBC typically make its TV shows viewable for free all over the world? Can I watch Top Gear for free on YouTube? Or is it only this particular show that’s being freebie-ed for some reason?

      • Get a VPN provider, move your IP to the UK, & then use the BBC iplayer (google) to view most BBC output 🙂

      • @PiperPaul
        I am not an expert in this area but my understanding is that it is a very complicated area, but the following is a reasonable summary.
        – If a UK broadcaster has bought in the product (e.g. the BBC showing an American programme or a film) then they will almost certainly only have the rights to show it in the UK.
        – If a UK broadcaster is showing something they have made themselves that does not use actors, and so there are not residuals involved, then they probably can let it go anywhere in the world. Most Radio 4 factual programmes will fall into this category and I assume this BBC 4 programme.
        – If a UK broadcaster is showing something they have made themselves that _does_ use actors then it gets even more muddy.
        – If the programme was made recently then contracts either will or will not allow wider broadcast. If they are allowed then there will be some extra payment in lieu of a bit of the residuals. In either case the limit on programmes being available on the catch-up service (e.g. BBC iPlayer) is to minimise the extra payments necessary.
        – If the programme was not made recently then the contracts will not cover internet broadcasting. So to allow this the broadcaster has to contact everyone concerned (or their estates) and come to an arrangement with all of them. The longer ago the programme was made the harder this becomes. A decision has to be made as to if it is worthwhile.

      • Normally all TV programs are prevented from transmission overseas via iPlayer even if the BBC recognises your computer. If it is available on Utube that may not be from the BBC but a third party.

      • It is good to see another Stainless Steel Rat fan reads this blog besides me.
        We need you slippery Jim.

    • Thanks for the link. I watched on YouTube. I was especially interested because it was presented by mathematicians, my field.
      I would ask these mathematicians to address a related question, that of the claims of a 97% consensus. As mathematicians they must surely be aware that a statistical survey can be affected by how questions are phrased. So if you ask, “Are humans causing climate change”, most climate scientists would say yes because the phrasing can be taken to mean to any extent at all.
      But if you ask instead “Are humans the PRIMARY cause of climate change”, then the answers would likely be different. And actual surveys have borne this out. When it is asked if humans are the primary cause of climate change the percentage of climate scientists who say yes drops to only 50%.
      Bob Clark

      • Were you to ask, “Are humans the cause of catastrophic climate change”, what do you suppose the percentage would be?

      • Robert Clark
        Your mathematician buddies seem pretty dainty haggling over phrasing of the questions like goat entrails. I would have thought data quality might have reared its ugly head. The claimed 97% consensus was derived by a grad student conducting an informal poll of 10,000 scientists, around 3,000 of whom responded, and all but 78 were rejected (for some obscure reason). Of the 78,97% “concurred”.
        The fact said grad student didn’t ask very precise questions is the least of the worries about the claimed “consensus”.
        This doesn’t even begin to address “consensus” in science; you guys need to read Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”. Now.

  1. The great thing about science is that whether you are an ardent believer in group-think or the best possible scientist … we are all eventually dragged by the evidence to accept the same basic facts.
    The only difference between sceptics and alarmists, is that sceptics readily embrace the science, whilst some like the BBC are dragged kicking and screaming all the way before they finally accept the evidence …

      • icouldnthelpit
        I don’t know why there are still flat-earthers, creationists, anti-vaxers etc… so I would be grateful if one of that ilk such as yourself would tell me.
        Richard

      • Then why are there still… creationists….
        Because there is a problem in viewing the mechanical universe as eternally self-existent.

      • icouldnthelpit
        Your question about my age is off-topic and impertinent. However, I will answer it if you kids who comprise the icouldnthelpit troll each provide your names and ages.
        Richard

      • icouldnthelpit
        Do any of you kids who comprise icouldnthelpit know what “Clear off” means?
        Richard

      • People who won’t face facts may well like this programme.
        It is comforting to be told the models predicted the pause. It’s untrue but who cares, right?
        How assured we can be that the land and sea and sky can all be understood as simply as pulling cotton. We haven’t validated the model but why worry about that, right?
        95% certainty is as certain as you can get, really, and that’s proven from a volcano the models were tuned on – they read that year so well – they are bound to be able to get right the next century right too because of that, you see, and the imperfect inputs to the starting conditions are bound to cancel out more and more as time goes on, obviously, right?
        The programme was entertainment for the unquestioning who like to feel clever. It had squiggles that looked like equations in. And he said it was a ratio that shows T follows CO2 straight up; a funny thing that looked “ln”.
        Personally, I was not a fan.
        The BBC should repeat Ghostwatch if they want to show scary fake documentaries.

      • AGW models are based on, if you like; a ‘Flat Earth’ there is also no day and night. Just like the real world?
        So no good coming here calling people names.

      • @I Could the Pit, I personally believe evolution happens but that dosnt mean we are not here by design. However what “Jaun” said apply’s as well to not believing in evolution. Your binary thinking appears to expose a limited “IQ”.

      • It’s because there is a genetic fault in the majority of human DNA causing the carrier to believe in things without evidence. Some scientists call it the dim gene.

      • M Courtney March 3, 2015 at 7:48 am
        Here is Luboš on 95% certainty in a post on The Reference Frame entitled ‘Brian Cox’s incompetence’:

        But there is a gem in the next paragraph:
        Cox, a physicist who works on the Large Hadron Collider where the Higgs boson was discovered, said that 95% certainty in science is effectively total.
        Wow. If he actually were a competent particle physicist rather than a pathetic environmentalist clown pretending to be a caricature of a scientist, he would know that the 95% confidence – also known as 2-sigma evidence – is almost equivalent to no evidence at all. Moreover, even this figure 95% is vastly exaggerated and all papers that claim this level of certainty (there are not too many such papers) are fraudulent or they are not scientific papers at all (like the IPCC reports’ summaries where politicians just made these numbers up).
        As all actual particle physicists would agree, 95% is just an insignificant hint. The hints only become evidence worth discussing when the confidence approaches the 99.7% or 3-sigma level and an effect is only claimed to be discovered when the confidence reaches 99.9999% or 5-sigma. This convention of hard science is no excessively demanding dream. If a new effect is actually there, collecting the 5-sigma evidence takes just slightly (6.25 times) more data than accumulating the 2-sigma evidence. If a 2-sigma hint refuses to grow to 5 sigma for a decade or two, you may be pretty sure that it was a fluke and the effect doesn’t exist. And indeed, most effects that are, at one point, observed to be there at the 95% confidence level ultimately go away.

        http://motls.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/brian-coxs-incompetence.html

      • Despite the existence of a couple of “flat earth societies” with maybe a few hundred members, I’m not convinced that an actual “flat-earther” exists. I’ve certainly never encountered one in real life or on the internet. But if there are some out there, I imagine there are probably more people who believe that they themselves are the risen Jesus Christ than there are people who believe the earth is flat. I HAVE met one or two of those. The flat earther is a boogeyman, and I’m sick of hearing about him.
        Not one myself, but I do know quite a few creationists. Many of them believe what they believe for many of the same reasons so many people are terrified about global warming. They’ve been told it was true by people they respect, and told and told and told, and social pressure and fear of venturing into evil prevents them from even considering the possibility that it’s false. They won’t look at the evidence because the evidence is basically satanic. Others understand their belief is not a scientific one that can be objectively prove to others, and self categorize it as religious faith. I would say most of the ones I know fall into that second category.
        Is being anti-vaccine anti-science? I mean anti-vaxers (as you disparagingly call them) empirically observed a sharp uptick in the number of diagnosed autism cases (a hockeystick, if you will) and correlated that with a similar uptick in vaccinations. I think most of them are aware deep down that correlation doesn’t prove causation, and that there may be flaws in their historical recreations of global autism rates, but an abundance of concern for the children, and a correct understanding of the precautionary principle helps them push all that aside. After all, it’s possible that vaccinating their children won’t cause them to become autistic, but why not err on the side of safety? Vaccines aren’t natural, and contain poison ingredients, so we’d surely be best off without them even if the vaccine to autism forcing ratio isn’t quite as high as their model implies. So is that anti-science? It sounds like a pretty close analog for what I understand settled science to be.
        There are so many other crazy things you could have listed: what about believing in ghosts, spirits, ESP, the healing power of crystals, homeopathic medicine, undetectable “frequencies” and “energies”, auras, Gaia, the benefits of organic food, the harms of genetically modified food, lost atlantis, the age of aquarius, astrology, palm reading, transcendental meditation, body chakras, body thetans, the power of the pyramid? etc, etc, etc.
        I don’t think scottish sceptic is unaware that some people hold some of these beliefs. He was probably speaking more, sort of…in general?

      • icouldnthelpit
        March 3, 2015 at 7:11 am
        “Really? Then why are there still flat-earthers, creationists, anti-vaxers etc…”
        Poorly thought out comment here.
        First while i completely agree with your sentiment you choose wholly wrong targets.
        Flat-earthers barely exist… alot of people believe in the myth of the round earth though even though its been long since proven wrong. So round-earthers would be a better fix for the argument.
        Creationists are people who are hanging on to the old science theories of the past…. that were replaced by evolution… they pretty much have every right to hang onto this as creationism has been debunked just as often as evolution has. Whats scary is the blind belief in evolution which has been debunked and rewritten a number of times. Neither argument is currently correct and both exist solely as a popularity contest at this point.
        Anti-vaxers whats wrong with this argument? Vaccines throughout history have been questionable. This along with huge numbers of other doctor tested and approved treatments, cures, etc. Its been well proven a number of times that vaccines don’t work, don’t work as well as first thought, don’t work as claimed, have fraud involved in creating, approving, etc to get them to the market.
        I always find it funny how even though vaccines throughout history are more snake oil then medicine the blind acceptance of them without question… yet funny enough I look at other research and find a fun pattern…
        You ever ask yourself what causes cancer… if you read “science” everything causes cancer. Yes everything, breath in dust, causes cancer, eat food, causes cancer, use any type of tech, causes cancer…. funny though that you never ever hear that vaccines cause cancer…. makes you wonder.
        If you wish to cite massively disproved science you should cite things like socialism, communism, belief in experts and a host of others that are common place today and generally accepted yet well known to be wrong.

      • You do realize that members of the “Flat Earth Society” don’t actually believe the Earth is flat, right? Sort a like the Pastafarians. They claim to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but they don’t ~really~ believe it exists.

      • Billy Liar, I agree and I do understand. In my line I need to know about 2sigma deviations and 95%s.
        But, weak as it is, it’s still inappropriate to even get to assuming we are centring around some real guesstimate when we are so ignorant in our guessing.
        It’s too woolly for words. And far to woolly for numbers.

      • Nancy C.

        “…Vaccines aren’t natural, and contain poison ingredients,…”

        A statement that is completely incorrect.
        Edward Jenner back in the late 1700’s noticed that milkmaids who had previously contracted cowpox, did not contract smallpox. The old adage, “a milkmaid’s complexion”, references this lack of ravaged faces among milkmaids.
        Edward Jenner innoculated people with cowpox that serves as a vaccine against smallpox.
        Vaccines are some version of biological extracts that cause the human immune system to initiate defenses against an illness. Excellent vaccines cause minimal disturbance to the body while providing maximum protection against the illness. Lesser vaccines, think influenza (flu shots), are an educated guess toward which versions of influenza will circulate that year.
        Ignore the frantic over the top cries about dangers of vaccines. Focus on the dangers of the illnesses themselves; their side effects and mortality rates are well documented through history.

      • icouldnthelpit says;
        “How old are you?” to Richard.
        I don’t know how old Richard is but I am guessing he is old enough to take your video game privileges away for a while.

      • Nancy C, speaking of creationists : “Others understand their belief is not a scientific one that can be objectively prove to others, and self categorize it as religious faith. I would say most of the ones I know fall into that second category.”
        It seems most creationists you know are aware that events of the past are not subject to scientific testing and therefore can not be proven by scientific means. Admitting this displays integrity on their part.
        If evolutionists were honest they would admit that their belief in evolution is equally faith based as the past cannot be scientifically tested. Recapitulation, Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, were taught in my school long after they were known to be in error, or even outright hoaxes. Bogus evidence is not needed if there is real evidence. Its use displays a lack of integrity on the part of evolutionary theory proponents.
        Next, Miller-Urey gas experiment, homologous morphology, were presented as if they proved natural evolution even though they clearly do not. Bogus evidence is not needed if there is real evidence. Its use displays a lack of integrity.
        Now the teaching methodology is conflation. Claim that variation of relative population numbers of related species in response to environmental variation is actually evolution (peppered moths). And, do a fake study to prove it. Or change the theory to match the facts: Proteins will decompose within 1 million years! Whats that, proteins found inside T-Rex bones? – OK, proteins won’t decompose even after millions of years!
        Note that the propaganda methodology used by evolution proponents compares with that used by CAGW proponents. Bogus evidence propagated due to lack of real evidence. In fact, deny the real evidence when it contradicts the consensus.
        SR

      • @Nancy
        Most literal flat-earthers are Amish, as is the head of the society.
        (He’s a warmist, BTW.)

      • Juan:
        There is a big difference between imagining that the universe was designed with physical laws that allow subatomic particles, elements, stars, planets, galaxies and life to develop within it, and supposing that each and every species of living thing on earth was specially designed.

    • icouldnthelpit
      No. They should have asked scientists instead of propagandists.
      Richard

    • The ‘Square and Stationary Earth’ shown above under BFL post by “Prof Orlando Ferguson from Hot Springs South Dakota” now makes things much clearer. I’ve always wondered why journalists and others always talk about the “Four corners of the world” when its a sphere (approx) and has no “corners”. Well there’s the answer each corner has an guardian Angel . Not sure what’s holding it up – Turtles I guess. I’d like to read the text beneath titled “Scripture that condemns the globe theory”.

      • Frank, you can see the enlarged version by removing “/thumb” and “/800px-Orlando-Ferguson-flat-earth-map_edit.jpg” from the web address(use the mouse (+) to magnify.

      • Thanks BFL and for anyone interested (sorry mod for this diversion):
        SCRIPTURE THAT CONDEMNS THE GLOBE THEORY And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun—Ex. 17: 12. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed.—Joshua 10: 12–13. The world also shall be stable that it not be moved.—Chron. 16: 30. To him that stretched out the earth, and made great lights (not worlds).—Ps. 136: 6–7. The sun shall be darkened in his going forth.—Isaiah 12: 10. The four corners of the Earth.—Isaiah 11: 12. The whole earth is at rest.—Isaiah 14: 7. The prophecy concerning the globe theory.—Isaiah: 29th chapter. Woe to the rebellious children, sayeth the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me.—Isaiah 30: 1. So the sun returned ten degrees.—Isaiah 38: 8–9. It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.—Isaiah 40: 22. He that spreads forth the earth.—Isaiah 52: 5. That spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.—Isaiah 54: 24. My hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth.—Isaiah 58: 13. Thus sayeth the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the moon and stars for a light by night (not worlds).—Jer. 31: 35–36. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood.—Acts 2: 20.
        The footnote on the right reads: Send 25 cents to the Author, Prof. Orlando Ferguson,for a book explaining this Square and Stationary Earth. It Knocks the Globe Theory Clean Out. It will Teach You How to Foretell Eclipses. It is Worth Its Weight in Gold.
        Ahh – so it comes originally from Isaiah 11:12 “The four corners of the Earth”

  2. Friends
    I copy to here the footnote to my post supporting the great Willie Soon that is here.
    He may be interested in a BBC TV program broadcast yesterday that explained attribution studies for AGW reported by the IPCC. Willie’s work provides very different results and the explanation provided by the BBC showed the IPCC method gives wrong indications (see my footnote).
    Footnote
    The attribution method was demonstrated by applying it to analyse the performances of Premiership football (US translation: soccer) clubs as indicated by the points they each won in each year. This analysis showed the “wage bill” of each club was the single most important factor affecting the points won by a club, and it was said that, “If a club increased its wage bill by 10% then it can be said there is 95% confidence that this would increase its points by one”.
    The finding is wrong.
    The main factor affecting the points won by a football club is the standard of its players, and the reason that “wage bill” seems to indicate the points is because the best players tend to be payed most.
    Increasing the wage bill (e.g. by giving all employees a wage rise, or by employing additional players to ‘sit on the bench’, etc.) would have no affect on the points.
    The standard of players was not a variable included in the analysis and, therefore, the analysis could not indicate the correct ‘attribution’. Climate attribution studies also don’t include every factor – both known and unknown – which affects climate. But the BBC did not say that.
    Richard

    • It’s a lot like the graph I show in a class on quantitative methods for business decisions. The graph indicates that shoe size has a high positive relationship to scores on a standardized math test. First student to tell me why this is true gets a free copy of the Tiny Elvis app. The reasons range from the silly to the bizarre, until someone realizes that shoe size relates to age, and math skills increase with age. After that example I’ve found that there is a uniformly high understanding of spurious correlation.

      • Oh, my God! You have Tiny Elvis? That was one of my favorites from back in the day. “Look at that pixel. It’s HUGE.”
        I want a copy. I’m going to go out right now and see if I can find one.

      • Wow, this is such a techno-nerd forum. I have to admit, I had Tiny Elvis too. Great comment. That was a triumph, I’m making a note here. “Huge success.”

    • The finding is wrong.
      ==========
      the wrong-headed BBC/IPCC logic crops up all over the place. Smarter employees tend to be paid more. Therefore if you give me a raise it will tend to make me a smarter employee.
      Rich men tend to have good looking girlfriends. Therefore if I can get a good looking girfriend I’m likely to become rich.
      Something is affecting climate. We can’t think of anything other than CO2 that could be doing it. So therefore it must be CO2.
      Something created the universe. We can’t think of anything other than god/chance/physics that could have done it. So therefore it must have been god/chance/physics.

  3. Josh,
    I had to look up your reference to ‘canvas bucket’.
    So it is used mostly for hand tool storage and transport. The mann-like image in the canvas bucket is a useful tool, heh heh heh . . . .
    John

  4. They managed to prove 1 = 2 to the innumerate.
    1 x 0 = 0.
    2 x 0 = 0.
    Therefore 1 x 0 = 2 x 0.
    Cancelling out the zeroes …
    1 = 2
    Spot the rule that stops such mathematical nonsense in our current framework, but of course it’s equivalents don’t apply in climate science.
    Pointman

  5. The programme was ludicrously bad.
    But the very worst part wasn’t the “We know the models are right because they predict the tropical hotspot” or the “Models can predict controlled changes to highly tested F1 cars so how complex can a planet be?”
    The worst part was “As you see the Models all predicted this Pause would happen”.
    The remarkable fact about this misinformation is that the producers know they are not telling the truth.
    So they know they are lying for their jobs – not to save the planet.
    Ignoble cause corruption.

    • I came across this program by mistake, continuing to watch was another mistake. I could not watch it to the end because it was too smug and too irritating to know that millions of a middle ground people would be further convinced that the science was settled. When I see programs like this I realise how powerful the media is, and how big a task it is to defeat people who have the media in their pockets.

      • In the US it is why Progressives are intent on getting control of the free internet via FCC heavy regulation, and also handing over root domain addressing functions to the UN ITU.

    • M Courtney: As I said (in terms) in a comment over at BH – and I have not heard anyone tell me I misheard it in the piece – they not only claimed the models had predicted the pause but that the pause would only happen in a warming world (ergo: the planet is still warming) and not in a cooling one.

      • Harry Passfield, Yes, you did. And you were right.
        But I couldn’t respond to you on BH as I was using the thread to relieve stress and avoid screen-kicking.
        The programme was riling me somewhat and I feared being inelegant in conversation.

    • I don’t remember it being phrased that way. What I heard by the first presenter was short term fluctuations were to be expected. The question remains though if a 17 year fluctuation counts as “short term”. Actually since this was a mathematical discussion, this could have been something they discussed.
      What is the probability of a pause this long occurring purely by chance alone?
      Bob Clark

      • Robert
        As I recall (anecdotally), warmest first defined “long enough” as about 7 years; then it got bumped to a larger number (still less than 21 years); then it got bumped to an even larger number…
        I suppose this can go on forever (warmest never seem to lose credibility with the media), but it sure doesn’t smell like settled science.

    • The remarkable fact about this misinformation is that the producers know they are not telling the truth. So they know they are lying for their jobs – not to save the planet.

      That would make it disinformation, not simply mistaken misinformation.

  6. I always find it infuriating that the CAGW alarmists try to insinuate that all of the approximate 0.80C of warming since the end of the LITTLE ICE AGE has been caused by manmade CO2, irrespective that even the IPCC only attributes 50% of total warming to CO2, or aprroximately 0.4C over the past 164 years….
    Because 30% of ALL manmade CO2 emissions since 1750 have been emitted over just the last 18 years, with absolutely no warming trend over the past 18 years, it’s becoming Increasingly and painfully obvious that even the IPCC’s tiny 0.4C of CO2 warming over the last 164 years is an overestimate (just a 0.024C/decade trend)…. Oh, the humanity…
    It’s incredible the CAGW hypothesis is still taken seriously.

    • Maybe change in CO2 concentration is more important at low levels.
      It is a log scale with additional saturation from water vapour masking any effects.
      I agree though that the Pause is very inconvenient for the reality based climateer.

      • The missing tropospheric hotspot at tropical latitudes is just as fundamental a problem for CO2 AGW theory.

      • But the fact the models predicted the tropospheric hotspot at tropical latitudes is now evidence they work.
        According to this programme, anyway.

      • I think it was the upper tropical tropospheric hotspot that was predicted and is missing. IGPOCC’s AR5 glided over this by omitting “upper”–and also, IIRC, “tropical.” The BBC has just done likewise, it looks like.

  7. That piece showed all the smart technology there is…buoys being casually bunged in the sea, satellites combing over the planet. Odd folk looking into ground instrumentation boxes perhaps more than 100 miles apart and some influenced by non natural events. Man made…oh dear!
    So if you knew no better you would easily think its all well executed. You know, like the instruments in your car. And that bloke in a cockpit. Must be right? Ignore the vast gaps in monitoring of course.
    Trouble is.. its nothing about cars and planes etc. This stuff is trying to keep track of a multitude of events occurring across a planet and does it with real time errors. Some folk then start tweeking (gaps/errors) the data received…those mathematicians or perhaps statisticians – a very big difference I think.
    Just keep building the barricades against….everything!

  8. So now the official propaganda is…they PREDICTED the ‘pause’???
    HAHAHA.
    After denying there was a pause all the way until this month, they rewrite their own history. Straight out of 1984.

    • The models predicted the pause? And there was me thinking the Climategate emails exposed the fear a number of them felt if the pause (they had already failed to predict) would any extend further in time as it would expose their models as junk, their ‘theory’ actually falsifiable, and themselves essentially redundant.

  9. The programme itself was preceded by a repeat of an hour long David Attenborough prgramme about the “great melt” , ie what happens when the Arctic ice melts in the early summer . It has become a classic for its hysterical prognosis about the plight of the polar bears and its forecast that 90% will be gone in 20 or 30 years . I am sure that I have seen contradictory forecasts on population statistics here from PolarBear Science, ie from actual polar scientists,which David Attenborough is not, despite his undoubted talents both as naturalist and presenter.,
    It was presumably intended to draw in an audience for the climate programme ( an hour long programme about numbers probably not being at the top of everyone’s agenda for evening viewing after a hard day at the work face) and intensify the moral crusade that “something must be done”.

  10. It’s time the BBC was sold off and made to face the real world of hard knocks commercialism. Any takers in the US of A?

    • No! There are no takers, the BBC1 and BBC2 are on a dozen cable systems in the U.S., and its audience is barely a blip, even with a sample of 400,000 return path set-top-cable boxes you can count the tune-in on one hand.

  11. already put a complaint in to the bbc about the errors and blatant bias of this program. I wanted to turn it but couldn’t stop watching it was so bad.

      • Julian Williams in Wales
        Sorry, but I tried that. The on-line complaints facility only allows 1500 characters.
        However, I have made a complaint to the BBC and I have copied it to this thread here.
        Richard

    • When they respond (if) they will mutter a lot of corporate BS followed somewhere in that about a meeting. The result of the meeting(?) will be a fairly polite FO piece. That might be 2 months or so later.
      Public funding gets you everywhere…..pitchforks anybody?

  12. Dr. Watts, U can do better. Mann is a has been.
    Move on.
    They didn’t invite me to this year’s hurricane conference. I didn’t get a retirement award from the Army. One needs to visit the spinal injury area of a VA hospital. A dozen guys and gals in wheel chairs with a pencil guide systems. I threw my awards in a drawer. I take my Bud out for lunch. He has a very nice banged up Ford Handicapped van that smells. That’s ok.
    Mann is a… on the way out. no Einstein, no Sigman , no Carl Young, let him rot.
    Move on.
    Please. Let him die away.
    Paul

  13. Just finished watching this but had to switch off. I spent 50 minutes shouting at the screen over the gross inaccuracies. And yes I am a scientist and this sort of nonsense makes me so mad!

  14. I noticed the title climate change by numbers alongside the BBC2 heading as I was scrolling down the tv listing. I avoided it like the (ebola) plague. Decided instead to watch RT for some objectivity 🙂

  15. I try not to hold ‘beliefs’ – but it is not as easy as one might think. Instead, I observe, then interpret what I see. Sometimes ordinary sight can fool me. That is when I turn to science – gathering data and correlations, and theories of a causal link. That works well in the external visible world – much as Newton found, it has a well-developed mechanical side.
    Problems arise with complexity and scale – at atomic scales, there are limits – we can never put a metaphorical finger on an electron. And in the other direction, ecosystem Earth (or |Ocean) is a giant web of multi-causality, most of it also beyond the powers of prediction.
    Apparently, there are top-level climate scientists who do have religious ‘beliefs’ – like in Jesus and the Virgin Birth. This belief correlates with others: like in nuclear weapons, NATO, GMOs, fast-breeder reactors, widespread vaccination, cancer research and all the pharmaceuticals money can throw at it. There are even higher-level scientists who don’t have much truck with Jesus, but still believe in a Grand Architect and the Eye in the Pyramid. They sit down at the same table. In the worlds of science, nobody much cares what they believe.
    I come from a different stable – educated in science at Oxford, but moving quickly into policy realms where a little sociology is helpful. What people believe about the world and its risks very much reflects key elements of their nature – for example, people who would regard health, happiness and community as the measure of progress, tend to question the benefits of nuclear and other technologies and are more motivated to research the downside risks; those who see progress as external and technical and about control of Nature (and enemies), don’t tend to question the experts who offer that control.
    All was relatively good in my world – with a long record of having been proven right about scientific mal-predictions and risk. Nobody ever asked about my ‘beliefs’. But when I published ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’ – in essence, telling my fellow environmentalists that the bad-guys were unfortunately right that the data showed clearly that CO2 could not be the main driver of global temperature rise – I got the Green Inquisition on my case.
    It was not hard for them – I had written an autobiographical account of my Greenpeace years. It contained references to astrology, homeopathy, astral travel, surveillance, secret police, yoga, ashrams, avatars, and the murders and suicides of key people involved in key government programmes. I published it myself in the wake of the death of Dr David Kelly – a key government scientist who died after revealing truths about the government’s dodgy dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (there were none – he knew because he was a chief weapons inspector).
    My revealed thoughts were a gold-mine for the Inquisition, now determined to discredit my analysis. Rather than tackle the science, they chose to attack me for my supposed ‘beliefs’. Normally, as we know, they are on the look out for creationists, but the book did not go there – I am a convinced evolutionist, even though there are many unsolved issues – like the origin and nature of human consciousness!
    George Monbiot accused me of such bizarre beliefs that no self-respecting Green should read my book. Meanwhile, his own new-found faith in the institutions of science and hence global warming causes him to abandon his long-standing opposition to nuclear power.
    But it should have been clear from the book that I had no beliefs. I used homeopathy for my children, rather than anti-biotics, because they worked better with no side-effects – not a belief, but the observations of a trained and certified biologist. Astrology is an artful way of looking at the complex human psyche – there are many very superficial astrologers, who, like pulp fiction writers, make a lot of money. The real astrologers keep a low profile these days – they were the original scientists, people like Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Bruno and Brahe; and in modern times, Carl Jung – who operated on an assumption that matter and consciousness interact and should not be separated. I agree with that assumption. On astral travel – I haven’t done it myself, so I keep an open mind – but people I know and trust have done and I have witnessed things that cannot be explained otherwise. What to do? Keep quiet? Or describe the observed phenomena?
    Then there is the political world of secret police, State surveillance, non-State surveillance and murders of inconvenient witnesses. Monbiot only mentions the astral stuff – the rest was probably too Orwellian to comment upon. I was caught up briefly in the Calvi affair – google it for more background – when the Italian government, having uncovered the P2 Masonic Lodge and its laundering of Vatican millions to nefarious right-wing torture regimes, issued a note to all European governments that what they had found was a cell-structure that operated in all their capitals. Ah – conspiracy! And we all know what to make of believers in that stuff!
    I only knew about this seedier side of human affairs when our Greenpeace units tracked the illegal waste dumpers to the Italian Mafia (who control the illegal trade in toxic waste)– they were paid-up members of the same lodge! And lets get up to date – one member of the P2 lodge, sitting next to the unfortunate Roberto Calvi, whose murder remains unsolved, was a certain colourful Italian media-magnate, later Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi – and not much later, big buddies with Tony Blair – a believer both in Global Warming and the Virgin Birth!
    As an anthropologist (member of the Royal Anthropological Institute) I would love to see how all these ‘beliefs’ cross correlate to positions on global warming!
    So – how about we all at WUWT examine our beliefs! Whether we dismiss stuff even without looking at the evidence, like homeopathy or astrology; whether we accept stuff equally without looking – like nuclear power or GMOs. And lets try to get beyond belief! Do I ‘believe in’ science? Do I hold that science has or can benefit mankind – definitely a yes. Do I hold that the scientific method can answer all questions– no. Overall, I value the quest for objectivity, knowing it is only ever partially achievable and that almost all science has far-from objective paymasters.

  16. people that reject the theory of evolution
    ============
    you mean the theory that things change naturally over time? as in our climate is evolving?

      • It’s hard to see a selective advantage in being a lizard over being a goldfish in a fishbowl.

      • Existing species don’t turn into each other. They either go extinct or evolve into new species. In some cases, if their environments don’t change, evolutionary processes work to keep species from altering much.
        The last common ancestor of the lizard & goldfish lived a long time ago, probably way back in the middle of the Silurian Period, when the progenitors of ray-finned fish (goldfish line) diverged from lobe-finned fish (lizard and human line).
        But maybe you were just being flippant and not serious. I hope.

      • Steve B
        No goldfish into lizards, but as an old dude who gets annual flu shots, I’m aware little flu critters change from year to year. Tuberculosis (actually most viruses) seems to be evolving as well.
        I’m also a wino and grape vines (plant DNA) actually change almost on a human scale (say 50 years). Today’s pinot noir is definitely not the same as yesterday’s (unless it’s been cloned).

      • Chip,
        Creationists believe in natural selection – when you are talking about variation within the family level. Changing the outer coating on a virus (what makes a virus catchable), changing the characteristics of a variety of grape plant into a slightly different variety of the same grape species, do not evolution make anymore than breeding a new variety of dog.
        Actual evolution would be a fish changing into a reptile (even if by way of an amphibian).
        SR

      • Sturgis Hooper
        “In some cases, if their environments don’t change, evolutionary processes work to keep species from altering much.”
        Are you sure that word (evolution) means what you think it means?
        The relevant question about fins, is not how did ray-finned fish diverge from lobe-finned fish, as that would just be discussing variation of already existing body features. The question that gets to the heart of the matter, is How did the first fin start? Was it a growth on one side of the fish’s body that forced the fish into a permanent left turn? How would that result in increased survival rates? That first fin would not have had muscles to flex it, nor nerves connected to the fish’s brain to control those muscles, nor would the brain have a fin motor control center. For a fin to be useful, enabling increased survival rates, it would need all that stuff. How could a random DNA point mutation produce all the new code required to direct the embryo’s growth in so many new ways? On the other hand, if the first stage of the first fin was just a tiny bit of tissue, how could it increase survival rates, the requirement for natural selection to operate? Was it nasty tasting, warding off predators? How is it that fins come in pairs? Did fins just pop up randomly all over the fish body, and then eons later, did the fins that didn’t have a match dwindle away? Or did fish always turn only left, until some lucky tyke was born with a matching fin that straightened fish out forever more? How is it that each fin of a pair has the same size, the same shape, and the same internal structure? The sameness means there must have been duplication after first a single fin having become fully evolved, with the implication that the fish species survived for eons with a gradually evolving single fin. The alternative is that random mutations produced identical fins in paired locations on the fish body.

      • Chip Javert March 3, 2015 at 6:21 pm
        “little flu critters change from year to year.” but it is still the influenza virus.
        Sturgis Hooper
        March 3, 2015 at 2:01 pm
        “Existing species don’t turn into each other. ” Opinion mate lets have some facts.
        Steve Reddish
        March 3, 2015 at 9:26 pm
        Chip,
        “Creationists believe in natural selection” Some do but they are the low IQ types. Us 160 types are not so gullible.
        BFL
        March 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm
        If I were a maker of the cosmos, then it would be just as easy to render each life form group as a completely separate DNA (or other) sequence without any overlap.” <— That is inefficient programming because that is all DNA is, a computer program. All programmers reuse code and our Creator is a fancy programmer.

      • Steve,
        Evolution” means in biology exactly what I think it means. I´ve studied and written on the fact and theory of evolution for decades. The reason there are “living fossils”, ie species which at least superficially haven’t changed much for on the order ten million years is that they live in stable environments. A good example is one of the last surviving lobe-finned fish, the Australian lung fish. The anatomical differences between lungfish and amphibians aren’t much.
        To answer your questions about the origin of paired fins, they didn’t develop with just one on one side of the body, as you imagined. Nor did this innovation require any new genes, but just the repurposing of existing genes, as so often happens in evolution, with structures as well as the genome.
        Fish without paired fins, like lampreys, had median fins (such as dorsal, caudal and anal). The same gene that controls the growth of these structures controls the growth of paired fins in more derived chordates such as the cartilaginous sharks and the bony fishes. Bone is readily derived from cartilage, as has been repeatedly found throughout evolutionary history.
        http://www.hhmi.org/research/development-and-evolution-vertebrate-appendages
        You could have discovered these facts for yourself easily, but I don’t mind helping you learn about biological reality, as that was once my job.

      • Sturgis,
        The question I said was relevant, that got to the heart of the matter was: “How did the first fin start?”
        Your answer that came closest was “To answer your questions about the origin of paired fins, they didn’t develop with just one on one side of the body, as you imagined. Nor did this innovation require any new genes, but just the repurposing of existing genes,…” and “Fish without paired fins, like lampreys, had median fins (such as dorsal, caudal and anal). The same gene that controls the growth of these structures controls the growth of paired fins in more derived chordates such as the cartilaginous sharks and the bony fishes.”
        My question relating to paired fins was a follow up question. So, my original question still stands unanswered. Since you stated that median fins developed first, my 2nd question: ” Was it a growth on one side of the fish’s body that forced the fish into a permanent left turn?” is asking how the 1st median fin arrived at the median?
        The 1st fin can’t be “the repurposing of existing genes”. I asked how the 1st (single point, according to theory) DNA mutation related to fins could have included all the instructions necessary to produce a functional fin. You fell back on the old standby that nothing is ever 1st.
        I can’t see that you actually answered any of my original questions, but thanks for trying.
        Since you state that the genes for paired fins are actually repurposed median fin genes, what median fin was repurposed as both pectoral fins and also as pelvic fins? When repurposed, did the genes for the originally median fin get duplicated into one set for each fin? If so, how did each fin continue to match its mates through subsequent evolutionary changes? These questions follow from the claim that all tetrapods derived from finned fish, the fins becoming legs, and most tetrapods having the same type of paw or hoof on all four legs.
        Also, what is your evidence that sharks evolved (more derived) after lampreys? The oldest lamprey fossils are dated over 100 million years more recent than the oldest shark fossils. Lampreys are parasitic upon sharks, you know.
        SR

      • PSS: Your ludicrous, baseless speculation that the defective human foot has degenerated from a perfect condition is belied by all actual observational evidence and by the fact that many other features of human anatomy could only have been designed by a stupid, incompetent designer.
        Did this imaginary degeneration perhaps result from the Fall? If not, then why would an omnipotent designer make a foot so readily subject to degeneration.
        Rational objection, my flat foot!

      • Hello Catherine,
        Because comments are intermingled, I will put my responses below your comment at 1:43 below.
        SR

    • If I were a maker of the cosmos, then it would be just as easy to render each life form group as a completely separate DNA (or other) sequence without any overlap. Now THAT would go a long way toward proving absolute and independent capabilities in that arena. The lazy way of stacking DNA sequences so that even the lowly fungus has similarities to almost all other lifeforms, including human, only supports the theory of natural change with time (evolution). The similarity of many embryos in different species before differentiation also supports this. However, it is impossible to prove a negative, so if one chooses to believe in a Grand Design then that is okay, especially if one needs insurance “just in case” for an afterlife; after all it’s (relatively) cheap and may provide psychological comfort when needed (kinda like when some Asian cultures believe that they can continue to communicate with deceased relatives for help).

      • As an engineer I routinely reuse parts of my designs that work in new designs. Nobody who designs things do it from scratch. There is always design reuse. Why wouldn’t Creator do the same thing?

      • Udar March 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm
        Why wouldn’t Creator do the same thing?

        Could one reasonably expect an omniscient and perfect creator to improve upon his past perfections by recycling useful bits and discarding the rest? Would that not imply that the source ‘perfection’ was less perfect than the new ‘perfection’. To what purpose does a creator create imperfection? To surround itself with defective and thus supplicating inferiors?
        BFL has an excellent point. One could more reasonably expect an omniscient and omnipotent being to create from scratch each new perfection, unique and no less perfect than any other. To what purpose is the mere appearance of evolutionary change over time? To what purpose the recycling of DNA from the simplest bacteria to primate complexity? How would ‘designer evolution’ differ from ‘non-designer’ evolution? If there is no difference, then parsimony would suggest dropping the unnecessary designer.

      • BFL and Michael Wassil,
        DNA sequences guide, among other things, the production of chemicals within all organisms. These are the parts of the DNA codes that corollate among different organisms. If organisms are to be interdependent, if you are to gain sustenance from eating other organisms, there has to be a corollation of your body chemistry to all other organisms’ chemistry. If a mushroom was designed to be food for a human being, it would have to be given similar body chemistry. and thus similar DNA.
        The second part of the question: why not use different DNA (or other) sequences that result in production of the same chemicals. That is indeed done. That is actually the reason some germs have resistance to antibiotics. Many chemical processes within organisms use primary and secondary paths. Each path creates different intermediate chemicals. Many antibiotics work by reacting with an intermediate chemical (to produce a poison) within the primary production path of some chemical vital to that virus’ well being. However, any strain of that virus that has damage in the DNA sequence that provides the primary path in question is only using the secondary path, and is unaffected by that antibiotic. The immunity to the antibiotic is not evolution at work, it is a case of saved by a birth defect. This is similar to being overlooked by the military draft due to flat feet.
        SR

      • OOPS! substitute “bacterium’s” for “virus'”, and “bacteria” for “virus”
        SR

      • Guys: the point was that having large numbers of specific groups of organisms that are totally independent of each other in DNA or alternate structure would point toward specialized design. But since that ain’t so, the most realistic explanation, from evidence, and not based on myth, would be evolution.

      • BFL
        Why would random biogenesis only produce one tree of life? If life can spontaneously evolve, why only once? If life started in the seas surrounding separate continents, separate ecosystems should have developed with separate biochemistries and separate means of genetic coding. The only rational explanation for unity of design is one designer.
        P.S. Belief in a single designer is neither myth based, nor merely a result of rational thought. There are other sources available to you. Rational thought does however, reveal the flaws in the evolution belief system.
        SR

      • Steve Reddish March 4, 2015 at 12:36 am
        On present evidence the genetic code developed only once, but different domains of life three times. Bacteria and archaea have different cell membranes. Eukaryotes, like us, either separately developed yet another membrane, or it evolved from the archaean lipid bubble containing life functions.
        After the first emergence of life on earth, any other such attempt would not survive, but be consumed or outcompeted by the already existing forms.
        There is zero evidence for a designer of living things on earth. If he, she or it exists, it is far from an intelligent, competent designer. It’s dumb as a rock.
        Evolution can be traced by showing the inherited mutations in the genomes of related organisms. The supposed designer not only uses the same bits of DNA over and over, but makes use of whole body parts for new uses, which then are improved over very long periods. The human body, like all bodies, is rife with such jury-rigged anatomical features.
        If I were an omniscient, omnipotent designer intent on creating a bipedal primate, I most certainly would not design the creature’s feet like ours, so prone to flatness. But evolution had to make do with a foot “designed” previously for grasping branches rather than walking upright long distances.
        What are the supposedly rational objections you imagine exist to the observed fact of evolution and the body of theory explaining and seeking better to understand it? I’m unaware of any. Predictions made on the basis of evolution prove valid. Predictions made by creationists are inevitably show false.

      • Catherine Ranconi,
        “What are the supposedly rational objections you imagine exist…” You ask.
        You say:
        “After the first emergence of life on earth, any other such attempt would not survive, but be consumed or outcompeted by the already existing forms.”
        My rational objection:
        This assertion is not born out by the accepted evolutionary history on Earth. By your thinking, prokaryotes should have consumed or outcompeted cyanobacteria, cyanobacteria should have outcompeted eukaryotes, eukaryotes should have outcompeted sponges, plants should have outcompeted animals. There is no rational reason to assume simple life which evolved in the seas adjacent to one continent could not have coexisted with equally simple but different life which evolved separately in the seas adjacent to a different continent. After all, the simplest life forms are neither predatory nor parasitic, and are assumed to have existed for a couple of billion years before multicellular life came on the scene.
        You say:
        “If I were an omniscient, omnipotent designer intent on creating a bipedal primate, I most certainly would not design the creature’s feet like ours, so prone to flatness. But evolution had to make do with a foot “designed” previously for grasping branches rather than walking upright long distances.”
        My rational objection:
        You bring up questions on 2 lines of reason:
        1st. How is it that evolutionary processes can take anything (frog) and turn it into something else (lizard), but only gives humans an inferior foot? Evolution could make a hand for an ape perfect for grasping branches, but a foot for humans only 99% suited for walking? In your hypothetical example, the shortest metatarsal becomes the longest, to bring the thumb/big toe alongside the other toes, the triquetral greatly enlarges to become the calcaneus/heel bone, etc, but the arch that is formed is deemed weak. Why has evolution failed you?
        As I posted earlier “Rational thought does however, reveal the flaws in the evolution belief system.”
        Creationists don’t think God gave mankind inferior feet in the beginning, but has allowed our genetic code to slowly deteriorate for spiritual reasons.
        2nd. The theory is evolution proceeds 1st by random DNA mutations that make tiny random changes in the bodies of organisms that are selected for if favorable, and against if not. Additionally, copying errors in genes can duplicate or eradicate chunks of chromosomes. With respect to feet, the theory is that the genetic code for a median fin on some ancestral fish got quadruplicated into pectoral and pelvic fin pairs which eventually developed into the 4 appendages of all backboned critters. My question is, once there were separate genetic sequences for each fin/leg, how could random mutations result in all four legged creatures having the same basic layout of bones in these legs, and have the same type of foot, paw, hoof on all 4 feet? Remember that the original fish didn’t have tibulas, fibulas, etc.
        These are some of my rational objections to the theory of evolution.
        What are some of the predictions made on the basis of evolution that have prove true, in your estimation?
        SR

      • Steve:
        So much error, so little time. I will presume to respond for other commenters as well.
        It´s a fact, not an opinion that species don’t turn into different extant species. It has never been observed and it’s hard to imagine how that might happen, unless possibly in two groups that weren’t really separate species to begin with. Species is not a hard and fast concept, especially with microbes.
        “Actual evolution would be a fish changing into a reptile (even if by way of an amphibian).”
        Which is exactly what happened. The transition is well preserved in the fossil record, in anatomy, embryology, genetics and every other line of evidence.
        Lobe-finned fish evolved into tetrapods (“amphibians”), which evolved into amniotes, which evolved into the ancestors of reptiles (including birds) and mammals.
        “The question I said was relevant, that got to the heart of the matter was: “How did the first fin start?””
        You asked about paired fins, because you imagined a fin on just one side of the body, not on the median line.
        “”Your answer that came closest was “To answer your questions about the origin of paired fins, they didn’t develop with just one on one side of the body, as you imagined. Nor did this innovation require any new genes, but just the repurposing of existing genes,…” and “Fish without paired fins, like lampreys, had median fins (such as dorsal, caudal and anal). The same gene that controls the growth of these structures controls the growth of paired fins in more derived chordates such as the cartilaginous sharks and the bony fishes.””
        “My question relating to paired fins was a follow up question. So, my original question still stands unanswered. Since you stated that median fins developed first, my 2nd question: ” Was it a growth on one side of the fish’s body that forced the fish into a permanent left turn?” is asking how the 1st median fin arrived at the median?
        “The 1st fin can’t be “the repurposing of existing genes”. I asked how the 1st (single point, according to theory) DNA mutation related to fins could have included all the instructions necessary to produce a functional fin. You fell back on the old standby that nothing is ever 1st.
        “I can’t see that you actually answered any of my original questions, but thanks for trying.”
        Clearly you know nothing at all about molecular genetics if you imagine that evolution always occurs because of single point mutations. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Evolution from single point mutations does most certainly occur, but it´s far from the main method of evolution. A good example is the evolution of nylon-eating bacteria, which does result from a single point mutation.
        “Since you state that the genes for paired fins are actually repurposed median fin genes, what median fin was repurposed as both pectoral fins and also as pelvic fins? When repurposed, did the genes for the originally median fin get duplicated into one set for each fin? If so, how did each fin continue to match its mates through subsequent evolutionary changes? These questions follow from the claim that all tetrapods derived from finned fish, the fins becoming legs, and most tetrapods having the same type of paw or hoof on all four legs.”
        The fins were not repurposed. The genes were. The first fish with pectoral fins retained its median fins. There might have been instances of median fins migrating to the sides of the body, but I’m not aware of them. Pelvic fins came after pectoral fins.
        “Also, what is your evidence that sharks evolved (more derived) after lampreys? The oldest lamprey fossils are dated over 100 million years more recent than the oldest shark fossils. Lampreys are parasitic upon sharks, you know.”
        Sharks are not derived from lampreys. In biology a “derived” trait is a characteristic that distinguishes a group from its ancestral stock. Lampreys are used in genetic studies to represent their less derived ancestors, jawless fish, of which lampreys retain many features. Sharks evolved before lampreys, but they have the derived trait of paired fins. Just because one genetic line has a derived trait doesn’t mean that other lines of descent from the same ancestors have it.
        ““What are the supposedly rational objections you imagine exist…” You ask.”
        “You say:
        ““After the first emergence of life on earth, any other such attempt would not survive, but be consumed or outcompeted by the already existing forms.”
        “My rational objection:
        “This assertion is not born out by the accepted evolutionary history on Earth. By your thinking, prokaryotes should have consumed or outcompeted cyanobacteria, cyanobacteria should have outcompeted eukaryotes, eukaryotes should have outcompeted sponges, plants should have outcompeted animals. There is no rational reason to assume simple life which evolved in the seas adjacent to one continent could not have coexisted with equally simple but different life which evolved separately in the seas adjacent to a different continent. After all, the simplest life forms are neither predatory nor parasitic, and are assumed to have existed for a couple of billion years before multicellular life came on the scene.”
        All three domains of life share the same replicative mechanisms, RNA and DNA. There was no second abiogenesis of these mechanisms, although there was of packaging. Sponges are eukaryotes. Cyanobacteria don’t compete with eukaryotes, many of which have in fact formed deep symbiosis with them. These eukaryotes are called plants.
        You really ought to learn something about biology before presuming to comment on it. Your objections are ill-informed. I hope you’re willing to be educated, after all this effort.
        “You say:
        ““If I were an omniscient, omnipotent designer intent on creating a bipedal primate, I most certainly would not design the creature’s feet like ours, so prone to flatness. But evolution had to make do with a foot “designed” previously for grasping branches rather than walking upright long distances.”
        “My rational objection:
        “You bring up questions on 2 lines of reason:
        “1st. How is it that evolutionary processes can take anything (frog) and turn it into something else (lizard), but only gives humans an inferior foot? Evolution could make a hand for an ape perfect for grasping branches, but a foot for humans only 99% suited for walking? In your hypothetical example, the shortest metatarsal becomes the longest, to bring the thumb/big toe alongside the other toes, the triquetral greatly enlarges to become the calcaneus/heel bone, etc, but the arch that is formed is deemed weak. Why has evolution failed you?”
        You still fundamentally misunderstand evolution. It can not turn “anything” into “something else”. Its options are limited. Frogs did not turn into lizards. Both groups share tetrapod ancestors. Frogs are highly derived amphibians, emerging in the Early Triassic, after the Great Dying (End Permian Mass Extinction Event). Lizards are amniotes which first appeared in the Early Jurassic. Their last common ancestor lived way back in the Carboniferous, or possibly even the Late Devonian. I’m not an expert on early tetrapod evolution.
        “As I posted earlier “Rational thought does however, reveal the flaws in the evolution belief system.””
        Evolution is not a belief system. It’s an observable fact. While there may be flaws in evolutionary theory (as in any well established scientific theory, such as gravitation), it makes testable predictions, which are found valid. Predictions based upon Creationism have always been found false. It’s not science. It’s an entirely evidence free religious belief system.
        “Creationists don’t think God gave mankind inferior feet in the beginning, but has allowed our genetic code to slowly deteriorate for spiritual reasons.
        2nd. The theory is evolution proceeds 1st by random DNA mutations that make tiny random changes in the bodies of organisms that are selected for if favorable, and against if not. Additionally, copying errors in genes can duplicate or eradicate chunks of chromosomes. With respect to feet, the theory is that the genetic code for a median fin on some ancestral fish got quadruplicated into pectoral and pelvic fin pairs which eventually developed into the 4 appendages of all backboned critters. My question is, once there were separate genetic sequences for each fin/leg, how could random mutations result in all four legged creatures having the same basic layout of bones in these legs, and have the same type of foot, paw, hoof on all 4 feet? Remember that the original fish didn’t have tibulas, fibulas, etc.”
        The genes for fin development were not duplicated. The gene was activated at lateral sites. It exists in every body cell of all fish and their descendants, like us. Control genes switch development genes on or off. Chimps and humans have the same number of hair follicles on our skin, but the gene controlling hair growth length stops them short in humans.
        You seem to be willfully trying not to get it.
        “These are some of my rational objections to the theory of evolution.”
        These objections are irrational and not based upon reality.
        “What are some of the predictions made on the basis of evolution that have prove true, in your estimation?”
        No one needs to estimate. Evolution predicts that life forms from the Cambrian Period will be different than those from the Cenozoic Era. Check. Evolution predicts that the lobe-finned fish ancestors and close relatives of tetrapods will be found in Late Devonian rocks from the Canadian Arctic. Check. Evolution predicts that ancestors of mammals will have both the “reptilian” and mammalian jaw joint. Check. (Creationists used to say that lack of such fossils “proved” evolution false, until the fossils were found, which now are numerous.) Evolution predicts that the genome of lungfish will be closest to that of amphibians and other tetrapods. Check. The list is endless.
        All the evidence in the world confirms the fact of evolution and details of the body of theory explaining it. There is no evidence at all in support of creationism and all the evidence in the world against it.

      • Steve:
        Just occurred to me that you may not be aware of the differences in the mammalian jaw joint from that of other vertebrates.
        We have just one bone in the lower jaw, the dentary, which as you might guess, in our fish and reptile relatives carries the teeth. The joint with the skull in our extinct ancestors, as with our living vertebrate relatives, was formed by other bones at the back of the jaw. In modern mammals, these extra jaw bones have migrated into (or next to) the skull, where they form the middle ear.
        Evidence that the malleus and incus are homologous to the reptilian articular and quadrate bones was originally embryological, but, as noted, discovery of an abundance of transitional fossils has both supported the conclusion and given a detailed history of the transition. Triassic Period proto-mammals like Morganucodon had both jaw joints, but its already reduced distal jaw bones were involved in hearing, while the new dentary-squamosal had formed to connect the jaw with the skull.
        The evolution of the stapes, the third auditory ossicle of the middle ear. was an earlier and distinct event. The stapes develops from the second pharyngeal arch during the sixth to eighth week of embryological life. The central cavity of the stapedius is due to the presence embryologically of the stapedial artery, which later regresses.

      • Hi Catherine,
        I will start with a response to your post at 1:43:
        Your point seems to be that fossils of proto-mammals of the triassic period, such as the morganucodon, displayed jawbone/ear bone characteristics intermediate between reptiles and mammals, and therefore proto-mammals are transitional between reptiles and mammals. Yes? (I did know about the point in question.)
        Many animals have some structural characteristic comparable in form to a similar structure in other classes but are clearly not transitional. Does anyone think ornithischia are transitional between dinosaurs and birds because their hips are bird-like? No, because nothing else in ornithischia skeletons supports that idea. Morganucodonta are clearly mammalian just as ornithischia are clearly dinosaurian. Is the duck-billed platypus transitional between birds and mammals? It is by your reasoning.
        SR

      • Udar March 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm
        But would you or any intelligent designer reuse broken code? Why not fix it?
        Humans and other of our primate relatives have defective code in the gene for making Vitamin C in our bodies, so need to get this essential enzyme from food, unlike most other animals. Guinea pigs and the Indian fruit-eating bat also have defective Vitamin C genes, but theirs are broken in different places from the ape, monkey and tarsier gene,
        And only a dumb, incompetent designer would retain features after they’ve lost their function, as with the muscles to move our small, effectively immobile ears. This is another derived dysfunctional design flaw shared by humans, apes, Old & New World Monkeys, but not tarsiers, whose ears (and eyes) are enormous, the better to hunt insects at night. Even so, some humans and other apes, including myself, still retain a vestige of the tip of our ancestors’ mobile ears, called Darwin’s tubercle or the Woolnerian tip, which is common in many monkeys despite the relative immobility of their small ears.
        There are numerous other such vestigial muscles and other structures in the human body. Why would a supposedly intelligent designer keep using them, when they serve no purpose?
        The arrector pili is a small muscle attached to each of our body hairs. When they contract, the hair becomes erect and a small dimple forms on the skin due to the shortening of the skin around it, called “goose bumps” since they resemble the skin of a plucked bird. In other mammals, this muscle reacts to cold, trapping more heat through greater insulation, but it serves no purpose in humans, due to our short body hair.
        Our tail bones, the coccyx, look like a shrunken tail because that’s what they are. Why would a hypothetical designer add this easily broken structure to our anatomy? People are still born with short external tails or the extensor coccygis muscle to wag it. The same is true of other apes.
        Another such atavism is the lanugo. At around six months gestation, human fetuses become completely covered in this fine hair called. We carry it until a month before delivery when it is shed and replaced by the less dense type of body hair we will have as an adult. In humans this transitional hair serves no purpose. But in our primate relatives, who are covered with this type of hair at the same stage in their development, they do not shed it and it later forms their thicker coat of body hair after they are born.
        A dangerous design flaw is mammalian testes development. In humans, male testes begin development in the abdomen near the kidneys, even though to properly function they must move to a cooler place outside of the warm body. When the male fetus is six to seven months old, the testes begin a long migration into the pelvis through two oblong openings called the inguinal canals. At birth, they must even slip over the pubis, finally ending, if all goes well, in the scrotum. Sometimes they don’t make it or slip back up into the abdomen. They should stay down in the scrotum by three to six months post partum. If they remain in the abdomen, they can become cancerous later, if not brought down with surgery or even removed if not found until later (cryptorchidism). Where the testes descend through the abdominal wall the channel closes and forms a remnant ligament called the gubernaculum. Unfortunately for many adult males, if enough abdominal pressure is exerted later in life, a delamination can occur producing an inguinal hernia that often needs to be repaired. This incredible testicular journey with its occasional errors occurs because of our past ancestry and location of the testicles in our fish ancestors. A capable grand designer would never sketch out such a convoluted developmental sequence.
        The plantaris is a superficial muscle of the foot, about two to four inches long. It is missing in some seven to ten percent of people. It provides so little function that it is often harvested to be used elsewhere during reconstructive surgery. It is frequently so small that it’s mistaken for a nerve by medical students, so has been called the ‘freshman nerve’. In monkeys it is a useful muscle which causes all the digits to flex at once, and thus helpful in swinging from trees by the feet. In humans it is atrophied, commonly absent, as noted, and does not even reach the toes, but disappears into the Achilles tendon.
        I could continue multiplying instance of the remarkably shoddy design work that went into engineering the human body.

      • Steve,
        You wrote:
        “Your point seems to be that fossils of proto-mammals of the triassic period, such as the morganucodon, displayed jawbone/ear bone characteristics intermediate between reptiles and mammals, and therefore proto-mammals are transitional between reptiles and mammals. Yes? (I did know about the point in question.)”
        No. My point is not that the jaw joints of Morganucodon and other proto-mammals are “intermediate” between reptiles and mammals. These transitional forms have both jaw joints, and their small, distal jaw bones are in the process of becoming middle ear ossicles. This is evolution caught in the act.
        As I noted, this evolutionary transition was first observed in mammalian embryology. Scientists then predicted that fossil proto-mammals would be found with both the reptilian and mammalian jaw joints. Creationists predicted that this was impossible. As always, they were wrong and biologists were right.
        “Many animals have some structural characteristic comparable in form to a similar structure in other classes but are clearly not transitional. Does anyone think ornithischia are transitional between dinosaurs and birds because their hips are bird-like? No, because nothing else in ornithischia skeletons supports that idea. Morganucodonta are clearly mammalian just as ornithischia are clearly dinosaurian. Is the duck-billed platypus transitional between birds and mammals? It is by your reasoning.”
        No, it is not by my reasoning. Your reasoning is totally muddled and apparently based upon not knowing or understanding the history of dinosaur evolution. My point about the evolution of the mammalian middle ear is a fact, ie a scientific observation. Our middle ears evolved from the bones located at the back of the jaws of our “reptilian” ancestors, which were not actually reptiles, but synapsids, the sister group to “reptiles” (diapsids) within the clade (natural group) Amniota. Both descended from the anapsids in the Carboniferous.
        “Reptile” as commonly understood is “paraphyletic”, ie it includes groups more distantly related to each other while excluding a group more closely related to one of its members. Lizards, snakes and tuataras (lepidosaurs) are more closely related to each other than to birds and crocodilians (archosaurs), which are sister groups. The position of turtles was controversial until recently, but their phylogenetic affinites are beyond the scope of this comment..
        Ornithischia is an Order in the Superorder Dinosauria, to use old-fashioned Linnaean taxonomic nomenclature. Among its distinguishing traits, ie shared derived characteristics, is a “bird hip”. The archosaur ancestors of Order Ornithischia and Order Saurischia had hips more saurischian, but later saurischians independently evolved similar hips, to include the ancestors of birds. Superorder Dinosauria has certain shared derived traits which distinguish it from its nearest archosaur relatives, such as pterosaurs. Its two constituent Orders, the sister clades Ornithischia and Saurischia each likewise have defining, shared derived traits divergent from each other. Within Saurischia, the two sister clade Suborders Theropoda and Sauropodamorpha similarly each have defining, shared derived traits. That’s how evolution and cladistic (pylogenetic group) taxonomy based upon it work.
        Your attempt at an argument makes no sense at all. Get back to me when you’ve actually studied the relevant sciences, to include paleontology. Your ignorance is profound. It appears that all you have to go on are the shameless lies of creationists.

      • Catherine Ranconi,
        This is a belated reply because I had to attend to other matters for a few days.
        Catherine, I originally responded to a post far above which mentioned the evolutionary distinction between lobe fins and ray fins. I said the relevant question was not how one type of fin evolved into another type, but how the first fin started. Later in that post, I asked how fins might have become paired.
        The poster responded that paired fins resulted from ” just the repurposing of existing genes” but ducked my question about the origin of the first fin.
        Therefore, I said “The theory is evolution proceeds 1st by random DNA mutations that make tiny random changes in the bodies of organisms that are selected for if favorable, and against if not. Additionally, copying errors in genes can duplicate or eradicate chunks of chromosomes.” to point out that genes can only be repurposed once they have developed and are functioning, but the beginning of new genes must be a random DNA mutation.
        You responded with “So much error, so little time….
        “Clearly you know nothing at all about molecular genetics if you imagine that evolution always occurs because of single point mutations. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Evolution from single point mutations does most certainly occur, but it´s far from the main method of evolution.”
        Did You miss that we were talking about the evolution of the 1st fin? I think not, because you cut and pasted this from my earlier response:
        “The 1st fin can’t be “the repurposing of existing genes”. I asked how the 1st (single point, according to theory) DNA mutation related to fins could have included all the instructions necessary to produce a functional fin. You fell back on the old standby that nothing is ever 1st.”
        I think you were also ducking the point of my question, substituting obfuscation and insult for a reasoned reply.
        Example: Your statement:
        “If I were an omniscient, omnipotent designer intent on creating a bipedal primate, I most certainly would not design the creature’s feet like ours, so prone to flatness. But evolution had to make do with a foot “designed” previously for grasping branches rather than walking upright long distances.”
        I responded:
        “How is it that evolutionary processes can take anything (frog) and turn it into something else (lizard), but only gives humans an inferior foot? Evolution could make a hand for an ape perfect for grasping branches, but a foot for humans only 99% suited for walking?”
        Your response:
        “You still fundamentally misunderstand evolution. It can not turn “anything” into “something else”. Its options are limited. Frogs did not turn into lizards. Both groups share tetrapod ancestors…”
        You point out that a lizard is not claimed to have evolved from a frog, correctly, as I should have chosen the generic “amphibian” and “reptile” (maybe just “tetrapod ancestors, as nothing is really “known”), but completely ducked my question concerning your claim that an ape rear hand turned into the human foot, as well as my earlier related question of how different feet (hooves, paws) could evolve from the same fin gene set yet share the same bone pattern (which fins did not have). (No, stating “The fins were not repurposed. The genes were. The first fish with pectoral fins retained its median fins. There might have been instances of median fins migrating to the sides of the body, but I’m not aware of them. Pelvic fins came after pectoral fins.” was not an answer to the point of my question.)
        You continue with:
        “…Frogs are highly derived amphibians, emerging in the Early Triassic, after the Great Dying (End Permian Mass Extinction Event). Lizards are amniotes which first appeared in the Early Jurassic. Their last common ancestor lived way back in the Carboniferous, or possibly even the Late Devonian. I’m not an expert on early tetrapod evolution.”
        Mere obfuscation avoiding the point of the discussion.
        You continued substituting obfuscation for reason throughout your long response, followed by more insults:
        “You really ought to learn something about biology before presuming to comment on it. Your objections are ill-informed. I hope you’re willing to be educated, after all this effort.”
        Since you didn’t respond to the actual points of my questions and statements, I don’t see the point of further discussion.
        PS. Claiming that some reptiles having some characteristics in common with birds, or some amniotes having some characteristics in common with mammals, means there must have been transitions over time is analogous to lining up a marten next to a river otter, next to a sea otter, next to a sea lion, next to an elephant seal, next to a porpoise and claiming you have demonstrated the transition from terrestrial mammals to marine mammals.
        SR

  17. the BBC youtube is still up. my experience is when the MSM wants to propagandise something, they usually don’t put it behind a paywall or pull it from youtube (which BBC will do in other cases). time will tell, tho i won’t be watching anyway:
    at the Youtube:
    First comment: “John Samuel: Very good programme. The urgency is lacking. But the science is robust.”
    would this be the same John Samuel who has half a dozen comments at the following:
    16 Dec 2014: New Statesman: Bob Ward: The danger of ideology-based newspaper coverage of climate change
    A warning against the publication of columns promoting climate change denial
    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/12/danger-ideology-based-newspaper-coverage-climate-change
    and who has about a dozen comments at the following (plus multiple comments at almost every climate site online)?
    21 Jan: Vice Motherboard: How Climate Change Denial Still Gets Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals
    by Brian Merchant, Senior Editor
    Now Monckton has published a study in a peer-reviewed science journal, the Chinese Science Bulletin…
    Schmidt is the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and is one of the world’s leading authorities on climate change.
    “I can’t speak to the peer review practice at that journal,” he told me in an email, “you’d need to ask them. However, the Monckton et. al paper is complete trash.”…
    It seems unlikely that Monckton’s latest study, whose most prestigious co-author is Willie Soon, a Harvard researcher whose work is amply bankrolled by oil and coal companies, will inspire their confidence. “It will be completely ignored by scientists,” Schmidt says, “except as an example that, yes, you can get anything published if you try hard enough.”…
    http://motherboard.vice.com/en_au/read/peer-reviewing-climate-denial
    ***and who Jim Steele identified on WUWT?
    6 Feb:WUWT “Friday Funny: civil dialog in the climate world”
    Jim Steele comment:
    The internet is spammed by paranoid alarmists who think they are saving the world by denigrating each and every skeptic. They do absolutely nothing to promote science. There only intent is character assassination. I am adding Dr. Rice/Wotts Up With That Blog to my list of ignorant internet snipers along with Slandering Sou/rooter/ and her other personna from Hot Whopper, Miesler/Citizenchallenged from WhatsupwithThatWatts, Greg Laden and ***John Samuel.

  18. A mistake I noticed by the second presenter I found irritating since he was a mathematician was when he said the models show the increase in temperature is proportional to the CO2 increase. He said this while on screen was an equation showing the temperature increase rose by the logarithm of the CO2 increase.
    This second segment was focused on the accuracy of the models. Then it was disingenuous to not mention the pause in temperature increase. That seriously brings into question the accuracy of the models.
    Bob Clark

    • Robert
      Having the MODEL show CO2 increase as the proximate cause for temp increase is easy, which is why so many models are currently doing exactly this.
      The trick (you’d think even mathematicians would understand this…) getting the model to match nature is the hard part, which is why exactly 0 (zip, nada, zilch) of the models are doing this.

  19. i’ve only got as far as the end of the 0.85C section. Frankly, I’m appalled, and I’m not sure I can cope with watching the rest (especially as some ‘spoilers’ in the comments above reveal outright lies, which might tip the balance – I’ve grown quite fond of my TV set.. . .)
    Firstly they/she clearly imply that our current data is ‘good’, and past data is ‘poor’. I would rather say, considering their own graph showing lack of coverage and Anthony Watts’ excellent work regarding siting problems, that it would be more accurate to say that our current data is ‘poor’, and past (c1950 and before) is appalling.
    Anyhow, I was a bit mystified, what with all that in-depth analysis of wooden and canvas buckets and all, as to why LAND STATION ADJUSTMENTS WERE NEVER MENTIONED. Sorry to shout, but it does seem to be something of an omission. Strangely no mention of UHI, either.
    And, having justified the need for ‘adjustment’ due to all that wooden vs canvas bucket stuff, and given a glowing description of the statistical techniques that are used in various different fields (without mentioning either their success rate, or relevance to climate), she failed to mention that the adjustments are made CONTINUALLY AND CONTINUOUSLY. Sorry, shouting again, but, but . . but really, in what other branch of science is past data continually (dataset ‘versions’) and continuously (monthly adjustment algorithms) changed?
    Then she puts some nice colored poles in a field so that it looks like Glastonbury, and tells the tale of how gold can be found even if you only have a few test digs by Kriging, even though the digs were ‘as much as a kilometer apart’. She then mentions in passing that weather stations can be hundreds of kilometers (make that 1200?) apart and moves on like that isn’t a problem. Or as if a highly complex, fluid, dynamic system can be any way compared to a relatively simple, static, geologically-determined one.
    Then (as usual) she tells us how accurate the models are, and how they show that ‘pauses’ are predicted by the models without caring to mention that NONE of the IPCC-at-al warmermongers, and VIRTUALLY NONE of the models (those small few that come close could be considered ‘outliers’ in our friendly multi-model ensemble thingy) predicted the current lack of warming before it happened. (or that the few that did are all skeptics).
    Then she says that there isn’t a pause anyway, as an ‘independent’ (note the wording) researcher found loads more warming in the arctic where we can’t measure it (Cowton & Way, I presume).
    Then she shows that map showing data coverage, missing a great opportunity to show Jim Steele’s excellent parallel chart that shows the greatest warming is ‘happening’ where the weather stations aren’t. (Fat chance o’ that).
    Then she proudly unveils the adjusted data chart, complete with flattened 1920s-30s warming and late ’60s-early ’70s cooling, with NO SCALE, NO LABELS and WITHOUT SHOWING THE RAW DATA FOR COMPARISON. Just the usual ever-upwardly wiggle.
    No skeptical opinions were sought, no counter-argument given. This is not ‘giving you the facts and letting you decide for yourself’, this is propaganda, nothing more.
    And that’s the uncontroversial part.
    And I’m paying for this. Sorry to shout but . .
    AAAAAAARGGGGHH

    • +1 on that – I’ve made a complaint to the BBC more or less pointing out those same points – you’d think that mathematicians would at least want to understand the numbers better.
      The programme was an appalling propaganda puff piece – it just gets worse after the 0.85 deg C part.

  20. 95% : This refers to the statement in SPM: “It is extremely likely that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in GMST from 1951 to 2010. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.” However this is controversial as there is no actual description of the statistical analysis which led to this conclusion in chapter 10 of AR5. This is perhaps the most opaque chapter in the report. On what basis were the authors able to increase their confidence in the models from 90% to 95% from AR4 in view of the fact there has been no warming since AR4 ? Surely the confidence should if anything be less than in AR4. The political pressure on scientists to forever increase their “certainty” about man-made global warming is intense. They clearly succumbed to that pressure. Chapter 10 studiously avoided any discussion of the pause. Attempts now to explain the pause as due to natural variability – see for example Michael Mann’s recent ariticle on realclimate – dig a bigger hole for them. See my take on this in IPPC Scientist’s dilemma
    1 Trillion tons: This refers to the maximum amount of carbon we can burn to avoid exceeding 2C of warming. It is based on the AR5 iconic graph – Figure 10 in the Summary for Policy Makers. Myles Allen appeared on the BBC with 10 lumps of coal on a table to explain how we had already burned 5 of them leaving just 5 left to burn if we want to avoid a catastrophe. It is a simple powerful message understandable by policy makers – but is it actually correct ?
    Everyone knows that CO2 forcing goes as the logarithm of concentration DS = 5.3 ln(C/C0) so how can the temperature depend linearly on CO2 content. The answer of course is that can’t DT = λ DS. In this case Figure 10 should look as follows – following the blue curve.
    http://clivebest.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Comparison.png
    So how come Myles Allen and co. managed to get a linear dependence? The answer is that they make a huge assumption that the carbon cycle will saturate in the future. Currently half of our CO2 emissions are absorbed by the natural world. There is an assumption in so-called Earth-System models that this will stop in the near future until practically all our emissions remain in the atmosphere. There is as yet no evidence whatsoever that this is hapenning. If saturation doesn’t occur then we have over 2 trillion tons to go before reaching a 2C limit.

  21. Friends:
    I write to inform of – and to publicly present – a complaint about the program which I have provided to the BBC. It is as follows.
    Richard
    Dear Sirs:
    I write to complain that the BBC acted in breach of its Charter by broadcasting the programme titled ‘Climate Change by Numbers’ on BBC4 at 2100 to 22:15 hours on Monday 2 March 2015.
    The programme titled ‘Climate Change by Numbers” was blatantly biased and factually inaccurate political propaganda. This constitutes a breach of the BBC’s Charter because the Agreement accompanying the BBC Charter specifies the BBC should do all it can “to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality”. The Accuracy, Impartiality and Politics, Public Policy and Polls sections of the Editorial Guidelines incorporate the BBC Trust’s code as required under Paragraph 44 (5) of the Agreement, giving guidance as to the rules to be observed in connection with Paragraphs 44(1) to 44(4) of the Agreement.
    There were far too many falsehoods in the programme for a complete rebuttal of them all. I provide three examples of assertions that were biased and factually inaccurate political propaganda in the programme.
    Example 1.
    THE PROGRAMME MADE UNTRUE ASSERTIONS CONCERNING THE NATURE, ACCURACY AND USEFULNESS OF ATTRIBUTION STUDIES
    Attribution studies for climate are used e.g. by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to indicate causes of global climate change. The program reported the analysis method and claimed the method gives accurate and reliable indication of an anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) effect on global climate. However, any independent assessment would have stated that the used example of the method provided a wrong result which demonstrates little trust should be placed in results of the method. This is important political information because political action is encouraged by confident assertion of an anthropogenic effect on global climate change.
    In reality the method provides indications with low confidence because the method relies on the factors considered, and those factors may or may not be the most significant. The programme actually demonstrated this but attempted to conceal it.
    The programme demonstrated the attribution method by applying it to analyse the performances of Premiership football clubs as indicated by the points the clubs each won in each year. This analysis showed the “wage bill” of each club was the single most important factor affecting the points won by a club, and it was said that,
    “If a club increased its wage bill by 10% then it can be said there is 95% confidence that this would increase its points by one”.
    The finding is wrong.
    The main factor affecting the points won by a football club is the standard of its players, and the reason that “wage bill” seems to indicate the points is because the best players tend to be paid most. Increasing the wage bill (e.g. by giving all employees a wage rise, or by employing additional players to ‘sit on the bench’, etc.) would have no effect on the points.
    The BBC pretended that the finding is correct and demonstrates the usefulness of the method.
    But the standard of players was not a variable included in the analysis and, therefore, the analysis could not indicate the correct ‘attribution’. Climate attribution studies also don’t include every factor – both known and unknown – which affects climate. But the BBC did not say that.
    For example, the recent climate changes could be attributed to changes in cloud cover: clouds reflect sun light back to space so it does not reach the Earth’s surface.
    Good records of cloud cover are very short because cloud cover is measured by satellites that were not launched until the mid-1980s. But it appears that cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid-1980s and late-1990s
    (ref. Pinker, R. T., B. Zhang, and E. G. Dutton (2005), Do satellites detect trends in surface solar radiation?, Science, 308(5723), 850– 854.)
    Over that period, the Earth’s reflectivity decreased to the extent that if there were a constant solar irradiance then the reduced cloudiness provided an extra surface warming of 5 to 10 Watts/sq metre. This is a lot of warming. It is between two and four times the entire warming estimated to have been caused by the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. (The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that since the industrial revolution, the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has had a warming effect of only 2.4 W/sq metre).
    An unbiased TV programme would have explained that the attribution study method provides indications with low confidence – as the used example demonstrated by providing a wrong result – because the method relies on the factors considered, and those factors may or may not be the most significant.
    The programme used its untrue assertions concerning attribution studies as political propaganda by claiming an unjustifiable confidence in assertion of an anthropogenic cause for global climate change.
    Example 2.
    THE PROGRAMME MADE THE UNTRUE ASSERTION THAT THE CLIMATE MODELS PREDICTED THE ‘PAUSE’
    Political responses to climate change rely on the confidence which can be agreed for projections of climate provided by climate models. If the models provide accurate projections then plans for indicated changes to climate can be made with confidence. But if the models provide incorrect projections then any plans would be mistaken when based on the projections.
    Clearly, false claims of confidence in climate model projections would be political assertions which are refuted by scientific information. And the programme made very false claims about climate model performance.
    Global Average Temperature Anomaly (GAT) is projected by the climate models. Clearly, there can be no trust in the models’ projections of changes to future GAT if they failed to predict present changes to GAT observed in the real world.
    The programme claimed the models had correctly predicted the present lack of discernible change to trend in GAT (known as the ‘Pause’). The claim is a blatant falsehood because the climate models had wrongly predicted that such a ‘Pause’ would not happen.
    GAT has not risen (or fallen) at a rate discernibly different from zero at 95% confidence for several years according to all its different compilations. The data compiled by Dr Ross McKitrick (of RSS) provides these values he has computed for the length of the period to present when global warming was not discernibly different from zero at 95% for each data set.
    SATELLITE INDICATIONS
    UAH: No discernible warming since July 1996: i.e. for 16 years.
    RSS: No discernible warming since December 1992: i.e. for 26 years.
    SURFACE INDICATIONS
    HadCRUT4.3: No discernible warming since May 1997: i.e. for 19 years
    Hadsst3: No discernible warming since May 1995: i.e. for 21 years
    GISS: No discernible warming since June 2000: i.e. for more than 14 years.
    Clearly, there has been no discernible global warming at 95% confidence for at least the most recent 14 years with only the GISS determination indicating less than 16 years and RSS indicating for the most recent 26 years.
    This lack of discernible global warming at 95% confidence is often called the “Pause”. This title is misleading in that it suggests the present cessation of discernible change to linear trend of GAT is an interruption to global warming although this cannot be known: the lack of discernible change to global temperature trend at 95% confidence will end with global warming or global cooling and nobody can know which until it happens.
    Importantly, the BBC TV programme claimed the ‘Pause’ was predicted by climate models but in reality it was not. In fact the models projected that the ‘Pause’ would not happen.
    In 2008 the US Government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported
    “Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”
    Ref. NOAA, ‘The State of the Climate’, 2008
    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf
    (Declaration of possible personal interest by RSC: NOAA nominated me as an Expert Reviewer of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and I accepted the nomination so conducted peer review of that Report).
    However, in 2012 when warming had ceased for seemingly 15 years, Phil Jones of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) insisted that “15 or 16 years is not a significant period: pauses of such length had always been expected”. This was a flagrant falsehood because in 2009 (when the ‘pause’ was already becoming apparent and being discussed by scientists) he had written an email (leaked as part of ‘Climategate’) in which he said of model projections,
    “Bottom line: the ‘no upward trend’ has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.”
    Clearly, as recently as 2008 both NOAA in the US and the CRU in the UK agreed that “observed absence of warming” for 15 or more years would “create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate” indicated by climate models. And this was a decade into the ‘pause’ which has now existed for probably more than 18 years.
    The BBC’s claim that the climate models predicted the existing ‘Pause’ is a falsehood and it is political propaganda.
    Example 3.
    THE PROGRAMME FALSELY CLAIMED THE ‘HOT SPOT’ PREDICTED BY CLIMATE MODELS EXISTS
    As explained above, false claims of confidence in climate model projections would be political assertions which are refuted by scientific information. And the programme made very false claims about climate model performance.
    The anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) hypothesis as exemplified by climate models predicts that in the tropics the atmospheric temperature at ~10 km altitude will rise by between 2X and 3X the rate of temperature rise at the surface. So, a region of elevated temperature (i.e. the Hot Spot) will occur at altitude in the tropics.
    This Hot Spot is induced by warming from greenhouse gases and not by warming from any other source. This is shown by Figure 9.1 and the associated text of the Scientific Report of the Fourth Assessment of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Scientific Report and its associated text which can be seen and read here
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html
    Clearly, the indication is that the Hot Spot is only visible in the Figure as 9.1 (c) showing effect of “well-mixed greenhouse gases” and Figure 9.1. (f) “the sum of all forcings”.
    But no such enhanced warming at altitude has been observed by radiosondes mounted on weather balloons since 1958 or by microwave sounding units mounted on satellites since 1979.
    Hence, the absence of the Hot Spot indicates
    (a) The AGW hypothesis emulated by the climate models is wrong
    OR
    (b) There has been no discernible global warming from “well-mixed greenhouse gases” since 1958
    OR
    (c) There has been no discernible global warming from any cause since 1958.
    This absence of the ‘Hot Spot’ demonstrates that the climate models fail to emulate the effect of “well-mixed greenhouse gases” on global climate. This confirms the earlier findings by me
    (ref. Courtney RS An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 491-502, September 1999)
    And Kiehl
    (ref. Kiehl JT,Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity. GRL vol.. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007).
    But the programme did not report this failure of the climate models to emulate the effect of “well-mixed greenhouse gases” on global climate. Instead, the programme made the blatantly false assertion the ‘Hot Spot’ exists. This falsehood was clearly intended as political propaganda intended to promote false confidence in indications of AGW as emulated by climate models.
    Richard S Courtney

    • Congratulations – a clear and well informed response. I have kept a copy as a crib sheet

    • Friends
      A week has passed since I made my complaint to the BBC and I have had no response of any kind from the BBC. Therefore, this morning I have forwarded (by recorded postal delivery) my complaint to the BBC Trust, and asked the Trust to address the subject of my complaint.
      Richard

      • Friends
        This afternoon I obtained the following message by email from the BBC Trust.
        Richard
        ******************************
        Dear Mr Courtney,
        Thank you for your letter of 11 March 2015 which we received on 16 March.
        I am writing to advise you that I have been in touch with Audience Services to let them know you are awaiting a response to your complaint regarding the above programme. They have advised that they will send you a response to your concerns as soon as possible and the complaints manager has asked me to pass on his apologies for the delay.
        I should explain that the BBC complaints process requires that complaints must be dealt with in the first instance by the BBC’s management; the Trust’s role in this process is only at the final stage, hearing complaints on appeal.
        Further information can be found here:
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/contact_us/making_a_complaint.html
        Best wishes
        Ruby
        Ruby Seehra
        Editorial Standards Team Assistant
        & PA to Fran O’Brien

  22. I decided not to watch this program. As it’s from the BBC I assumed it would be totally biased propaganda.
    Sounds like I was right….

  23. There is another BBC Climate Change program This Evening “Climate Change: A Horizon Guide”. Expect more blatant propaganda in favor of the validity of AGW climate models as presented by Dr Helen Czerski. The following is taken from the publicity for the program on the “Radio Times ” website. “..and although the sceptics get their moment in the spotlight, there’s no doubt about the conclusion” Enjoy!

  24. This programme is nothing more than a confidence trick.
    Two of the presenters, Spiegelhalter and Fenton, are academic heavy weights, brought on board to give the programme respectability, yet two of the three of the academic consultants listed on the credits at the end (who presumably decide on the content and helped write the scripts) are clearly climate-political operators: Dr Doug MacNeall and Dr Tamsin Edwards.
    Have a look at Fenton’s and Spiegelhalter’s google scholar profiles (a useful way of seeing who publishes and who gets the highest citation counts):
    http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=0APV5ScAAAAJ&hl=en
    http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=oz7MFu0AAAAJ&hl=en
    They are clearly real scientists.
    These profiles heavily contrast with the academic light weights the BBC has used as consultants:
    Doug MacNeall, now with the UK Met Office, was awarded his PhD as recently as 2008, he has no google scholar profile but on his blog https://dougmcneall.wordpress.com/work/ he has listed 10 papers, the majority of which are magazine type articles without much heavy science or mathematics or statistics. All of these were published in the last three years! (so not many citations then).
    Tamsin Edwards: Her google scholar profile is here: http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=Ve-kU9QAAAAJ&hl=en and is, well, what you would maybe expect from a recent postdoc. The vast majority of the papers have long lists of joint authors, also common in medical publications. How much hard graft did she do on these? Her blog is here: http://allmodelsarewrong.com/ Oh and she doesn’t have a full time academic post, from what I can tell she is funded on a grant as a research assistant.
    Doug and Tamsin don’t appear to work together on climate science but do seem to have lots of time to tweet, write blogs and communicate. One of their recent joint papers is this one: http://www.blc.arizona.edu/courses/schaffer/182h/Climate/Pause%20for%20Thought.pdf, which describes a PR strategy to engage with the sceptic community (see the lessons learnt section at the end).
    So, it looks like the BBC have given carte blanche to a couple of wet behind the ears academics with no track record, helped them to communicate their agenda and chosen to front it up with some real heavyweights, who themselves do not have a track record in climate research either (which might be fine if we are looking for independent scrutiny but that isn’t what we got).
    I have left one other academic consultant to the programme, Prof. Leonard Smith to last. Unlike MacNeall and Edwards he is indeed a heavyweight in academic terms, but I am intrigued as to whether Prof. Smith supports the view of the program, especially given that he has published papers like this one:
    http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/54818/1/Frigg_Smith_Stainforth_The-myopia-of-imperfect-climate-models_2013.pdf
    This paper contains results that appear to directly contradict much of the BBC programme (i.e. it reads like it is, well, sceptical). So, he either wasn’t doing his job, was ignored or was merely there as window dressing too.
    Maybe someone should contact the BBC to find out what role academic consultants like Doug, Tamsin and Edwards played in this programme and why they didn’t find more serious and senior sources of expertise and why, in Edwards’s case, they ignored his research work.
    (I strongly suspect the BBC will ignore rumblings unless there is actually a direct complaint).
    JockTheDog

  25. JockTheDog
    You say

    I strongly suspect the BBC will ignore rumblings unless there is actually a direct complaint

    Then do it. I did.
    Richard

  26. There’s another one on tonight
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b054fg05
    Climate Change, A Horizon Guide
    “Today, the topic of climate change is a major part of daily life, yet 40 years ago it was virtually unheard of. Since then, Horizon and the BBC have followed scientists as they have tried to unpick how the climate works and whether it is changing. Dr Helen Czerski delves into this unique archive to chart the transformation of a little-known theory into one of the greatest scientific undertakings in history. It has been a constantly surprising journey of discovery that has revolutionised our understanding of climate, and seen scientists face unprecedented controversy and criticism.”
    21:00hrs GMT
    Don’t know if this is available outside the UK
    http://www.streamtv.co.uk/cbeebies-bbc4.html

  27. the programme did however give hope to aston villa supporters,who now know the answer to their premier league position is to increase spending by 1000% and they will surely win it next year 😉
    also any credence the casual climate debate observer may have given to the kriging method of interpolation in relation to temperature values around the globe was just wiped out instantly ,so by and large i think the programme had a positive effect for tne sceptic position.

  28. This ‘programme’ was closely followed by another ‘Horizion’ offering last night (5th March), trawling back to the 1970’s and beyond with all the re-cycled trash being wheeled out and presented by some so called scientist with that rather annoying pastoral speak, as ‘real’ evidence tha global warming was happening!
    What was particularly pathetic was the sight of poor old David Attenborough in 2006, being made to stand on a the floor on a superimposed panel and be lectured by some so called scientist by the name of Cox telling him how terrible was the rising temparture and CO2 levels and the having tp make a declaration in fornt of the camera ‘that he really now believes!’
    Alleua! Alleua! Alleua!
    It concluded with this presenter wistfully looking out over the Thames towards Canary Wharf (Is there another sublinimal meaning here?) and sighing how she hoped that all these terrible things were going to be sorted out!

  29. This is the BBC reply to my complaint – I hope my complaint was in order (I am not a scientist, and do not enjoy mathematics)
    YOUR COMPLAINT:
    Complaint Summary: The program was one sided and very misleading
    Full Complaint: The smug presentation of this program (which followed an alarmist view of Arctic melting) included many basic factual errors that gave a wrong impression about the record of climate science and models being able to predict the future climate. EG the “pause” or “Hiatus” was not predicted by the models or in the IPCC reports which used the models. The pause has been reluctantly acknowledged by climate scientists afterwards with hindsight. Likening the climate models to models used for FI racing is disingenuous. The F1 racers only have to predict one of two scenarios, is it faster to continue or make a pit stop? It seems most of the F1 teams got it wrong, so the fact one team using models made a correct decision in one race is hardly evidence that models are reliable. The earth’s climate is a million times more complex and has many of the variables than a F1 car and many of those climate variables (clouds) are not understood. The program projection of how much warming has been caused by human emissions was erroneous. IPCC information show that recorded warming since 1850 has been approximate 0.80C. The IPCC only attributes 50% of total warming in recent years to CO2. (The IPCC also considers the human induced warming to have started from 1950 onwards, so using these official IPCC figures we know AGW was less than 0.4C over the past 164 years….The program tried to make out that the IPCC attributed 1c to human activity and then projected from these inflated figures.
    From: bbc_complaints_website@bbc.co.uk [mailto:bbc_complaints_website@bbc.co.uk]
    Sent: 05 March 2015 14:01
    To: Julian Williams
    Subject: BBC Complaints – Case number CAS-3178702-BZ9WWJ
    Dear Mr Williams
    Reference CAS-3178702-BZ9WWJ
    Thank you for contacting us regarding BBC 4’s ‘Climate Change by Numbers’.
    We understand you felt this programme was one sided and very misleading.
    We appreciate that climate change is an immensely complex subject and this programme aimed to understand what was happening to the earth’s climate by looking at three key numbers; 0.85 degrees, 95% and 1 trillion tons.
    We also understand that the models are an approximation and that the real world can change in ways that cannot be explained by the theory. The estimate of how much warming has been caused by human activity is an estimate however the IPCC has concluded that there is a greater than 95% probability that humans have caused more than half the recent warming and this was what we reported in our programme.
    We looked quite closely at this figure of 95% to see how it was arrived at we said there is a way to use maths to work out which factors are the most crucial, called an attribution study, and it’s what the IPCC did to arrive at their 95% figure.
    We value your feedback about this issue. All complaints are sent to senior management and programme makers every morning and we included your points in this overnight report. These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensure your complaint is seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future reporting.
    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
    Kind regards
    David Glenday
    BBC Complaints
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

    • I received a similar response
      Dear Mr Maguire
      Reference CAS-3178843-7C1JZX
      Thank you for contacting us regarding BBC 4’s ‘Climate Change by Numbers’.
      We understand you feel this programme was biased and ignored the real facts of climate change.
      There is broad scientific agreement on the issue of climate change and we reflect this accordingly; however, we do aim to ensure that we also offer time to the dissenting voices.
      We appreciate that climate change is an immensely complex subject and this programme aimed to understand what was happening to the earth’s climate by looking at three key numbers; 0.85 degrees, 95% and 1 trillion tons.
      The ‘pause’ in global warming may be accounted for in some models but even if real it is no argument that there is no overall rise in temperature as most climate experts say they would expect occasional pauses within a warming trend.
      We understand you didn’t like the graphs which were used in the programme as the horizontal lines were wobbly and you found it difficult to understand the scale. The purpose of these graphs of light was to indicate general trends relating to climate change in a visually dramatic and attractive way however we have noted you feel they did not represent good science.
      The programme didn’t aim to convince people of climate change or what its cause might be but rather to help people to understand the subject and in particular the mathematics that underpins our understanding. Our programme showed how complex and difficult it is to model our climate and didn’t aim to suggest it was simple.
      We value your feedback about this issue. All complaints are sent to senior management and programme makers every morning and we included your points in this overnight report. These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensure your complaint is seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future programmes.
      Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
      Kind regards
      David Glenday
      BBC Complaints
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

      • Julian Williams and Richard
        Many thanks for copying to here the replies from the BBC to your complaints.
        I have yet to obtain a reply and the apparent delay may be because my complaint was that the BBC had acted in breach of its Charter.
        If I obtain a reply then I will post it to here and if I don’t get a reply after a week then I will copy my complaint to the BBC Trust.
        Richard

      • The replies are interesting, but they seem to miss the point. The program was inaccurate

      • Julian Williams
        You say

        The replies are interesting, but they seem to miss the point. The program was inaccurate

        Yes, but the BBC has no interest in being “accurate” so the BBC always gives a fob-off to a complaint of inaccuracy.
        The next step is to complain to the BBC Trust that a complaint was not answered properly and such a complaint to the Trust is hard to justify.
        However, the Trust has a legal duty to investigate a claim that the BBC has breached its Charter. This is why my complaint is about the Breach of the BBC Charter which the programme provided. And it is also the probable reason why I have yet to obtain a reply to my complaint: the BBC is awaiting me submitting my complaint to the BBC Trust which I will do if the BBC has not replied after a week.
        Richard

  30. James Gleick, New York TImes, May 12 1985:
    Beginning in a decade or two, scientists expect the warming of the atmosphere to melt the polar icecaps, raising the level of the seas, flooding coastal areas, eroding the shores and sending salt water far into fresh-water estuaries. Storm patterns will change, drying out some areas, swamping others and generally throwing agriculture into turmoil. Federal climate experts have suggested that within a century the greenhouse effect could turn New York City into something with the climate of Daytona Beach, Fla.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/12/weekinreview/ideas-trends-continued-a-dire-long-range-forecast.html
    Okay Gleick, it’s been not one, not two, but now… THREE DECADES since you wrote that nonsense and there’s virtually no evidence of any of your predictions of catastrophe or “turmoil”.

  31. Rather than tackling the Big Lies presented in the programme – as the BBC just responds with much handwaving appeals to authority – would it not be better to tackle those which cannot hide behind authority?
    Such as,
    – the reference to Arrhenius’ original hypothesis (halving atmospheric CO2 would result in a drop of 4C) – surely Arrhenius himself later changed this sensitivity to a much smaller number (2C?). Why did they not state this?
    – the suggestion by the programme makers that doubling CO2 (rather than halving it) would result in an increase of 4C, conveniently ignoring the logarithmic component in the equation used to calculate this. If the reduction results in an x degree drop, then the increase cannot result in an x degree increase, if the equation holds true. This is basic mathematics, never mind whether the equation models the effect of CO2 correctly.
    Given that the talking heads were presented as mathematicians and statistical experts, either they are not very expert, or they were intentionally misleading.
    – the programme acknowledged that there had been a pause, but stated that it had only started in 2003 (? I think that they said this – must check my recording….)
    – ice loss in the Arctic?
    These are much harder to counter, I think.

    • tonybr
      You suggest

      Rather than tackling the Big Lies presented in the programme – as the BBC just responds with much handwaving appeals to authority – would it not be better to tackle those which cannot hide behind authority?

      It seems you have no experience of providing a complaint to the BBC.
      I suggest that you try your suggestion and use the inevitable lack of success as a learning exercise.
      Richard

      • Richard
        On the contrary, I have plenty of experience of complaining to the BBC and getting patronising, brush-off responses from them.
        My point was not to criticise your (excellent) complaint. I wish I could have put it so well myself.
        The problem that I see is that by complaining of bias, it just gives the BBC the opportunity to do lots of handwaving and appeals to authority, without forcing a response to specific inaccuracies in the programme.
        The statements made by the programme about Arrhenius are clearly erroneous (I have been wanting to use that for a long time….) as he did reduce his climate sensitivity number to significantly less than 4C. This is a matter of fact, not opinion, but the BBC chose to ignore (intentionally no doubt) this inconvenience, which significantly undermines one of the fundamental arguments used.
        Secondly, the statistician who ignores or glosses over the logarithmic component of the equation is either a very poor statistician, or is setting out to mislead.
        Thirdly, any statistician who uses the argument that a halving of CO2 will result in a drop of 4C (even if you accept that inflated number) and – using the same equation – a doubling will result in an increase of 4C is even more wilfully misleading. No-one who understands the logarithmic function would make that claim. It is simply incorrect, and can only mislead.
        I will make these points in a complaint.
        Regards
        Tony B (another one)

      • tonybr
        I did not think your post was a comment on my complaint to the BBC and I don’t know why you suggest I did.
        I am pleased that you intend to make your complaint to the BBC and I agree the points you say you intend to make.
        Richard

  32. My complaint to the BBC:
    ———————
    Dear Sirs
    I write to complain that the BBC acted in breach of its Charter by broadcasting the programme titled ‘Climate Change by Numbers’ on BBC4 at 2100 to 22:15 hours on Monday 2 March 2015.
    The programme was blatantly biased and factually inaccurate. This constitutes a breach of the BBC’s Charter because the Agreement accompanying the BBC Charter specifies the BBC should do all it can “to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality”.
    The credits shown at the end of the programme list Prof. Leonard Smith as an academic advisor to the programme. Prof. Smith published this paper in 2013:
    http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/54818/1/Frigg_Smith_Stainforth_The-myopia-of-imperfect-climate-models_2013.pdf
    This paper’s abstract says “Given the acknowledged systematic errors in all current climate models, treating model outputs as decision relevant probabilistic forecasts can be seriously misleading. This casts doubt on our ability, today, to make trustworthy, high-resolution predictions out to the end of this century.” (2013)
    This directly contradicts the statements made in the “95% confidence” segment of the programme, which are therefore inaccurate.
    Why would the BBC present a view that directly contradicts the published scientific results of one of the academic consultants they themselves appointed on the programme?
    Yours,
    JockTheDog
    ———————
    JockTheDog

  33. I believe this supports the position taken by a WUWT contributor’s letter to the BBC. Has an answer been received?
    “At a “secret seminar”, many of its (The BBC) most senior executives met with a roomful of invited outsiders to agree on a new policy that was in flagrant breach of its Charter. They agreed that, when it came to climate change, the BBC’s coverage should now be quite deliberately one-sided, in direct contravention of its statutory obligation that “controversial subjects” must be “treated with due accuracy and impartiality”. Anything that contradicted the party line, from climate science to wind farms, could be ignored.
    The BBC Trust later reported that the seminar had taken this momentous decision on the advice of “the best scientific experts” present.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11456612/BBCs-climate-change-stance-in-brazen-defiance-of-the-law.html

  34. Here is the BBC’s response to my complaint. So no surprises here then. “Cut and paste”
    —-
    Dear Mr Dog,
    May thanks for getting in touch.
    I was sorry to learn you felt that BBC Four’s ‘Climate Change by Numbers’ was biased in favour of the concept of climate change.
    The object of this programme was to provide a new perspective on the subject, but please be assured that bias has no part to play in our output. It can be difficult to achieve perfect balance in any one programme, but over time we try to provide every side to every story- and we’re committed to impartial and balanced coverage of climate change.
    Generally however, we accept that there is broad scientific agreement on the issue and reflect this accordingly. Across our programmes the number of scientists and academics who support the mainstream view far outweighs those who disagree with it. We do however on occasion, offer space to dissenting voices where appropriate as part of the BBC’s overall commitment to impartiality. The BBC Trust, which oversees our work on behalf of licence fee payers, has explicitly urged programme makers not to exclude critical opinion from policy debates involving scientists.
    I’m sorry you feel this programme went too far in one direction and we of course value your feedback. I’ve already made sure your comments have gone to the right people here at the BBC, including senior managers.
    Thank you again for letting us have your concerns.
    Yours sincerely,
    Paul Carson
    BBC Complaints
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

  35. OK – I have a response to my complaint. Needless to say it does not directly address my questions.
    This was my complaint:
    The BBC is bound by its Charter to be impartial and to avoid misleading or biased statements.
    I wish to complain about the BBC’s repeated, and increasing bias on the subject of global warming/climate change, which was further evidenced by the recent programme “Climate Change By Numbers”.
    The programme based much of its fundamentally alarmist message on the work of Arrhenius and his predictions regarding the impact of increasing atmospheric CO2.
    The programme cited Arrhenius’ calculation (originally made in 1897) that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels would result in an increase in global temperatures of 4 degrees C.
    Less than 10 years after making this prediction Arrhenius changed his estimate to 1.6 degrees C. This change happened in 1906 – more than a hundred years ago.
    So why does the BBC choose to quote Arrhenius’ original, withdrawn, figure rather than his corrected figure? Could it be that this suits your alarmist message?
    The programme placed much weight on climate models, yet failed to note that none of the main IPCC-cited climate models predicted the “pause”. Why would you not mention this? Is it because it would undermine the alarmist message presented by the models, and put doubt against their validity?
    The programme went on to describe the “tropospheric hotspot at tropical latitudes” predicted by the models as a fingerprint of anthropogenic climate change. The programme strongly implied that this hotspot exists, yet failed to state that no physical evidence has ever been found to confirm its existence. The hotspot exists ONLY in the models, not in reality. Why would you wish to create the impression that it does exist, unless it is to further your alarmist message?
    This was the BBC’s response:
    *************************************************************************************
    May thanks for getting in touch.
    I was sorry to learn you felt that BBC Four’s ‘Climate Change by Numbers’ was not as accurate as you would have liked.
    The object of this programme was to provide a new perspective on the subject but we’re committed to impartial and balanced coverage of climate change.
    Generally however, we accept that there is broad scientific agreement on the issue and reflect this accordingly. Across our programmes the number of scientists and academics who support the mainstream view far outweighs those who disagree with it. We do however on occasion, offer space to dissenting voices where appropriate as part of the BBC’s overall commitment to impartiality. The BBC Trust, which oversees our work on behalf of licence fee payers, has explicitly urged programme makers not to exclude critical opinion from policy debates involving scientists.
    I’m sorry you feel this programme went too far in one direction and we of course value your feedback. I’ve already made sure your comments have gone to the right people here at the BBC, including senior managers.
    Thank you again for letting us have your concerns.
    Kind regards
    Gerard Magennis
    ***********************************************************************************
    Apart from not answering my questions (which I will not let go – another communication is on its way) I note the words:
    “We do however on occasion, offer space to dissenting voices where appropriate as part of the BBC’s overall commitment to impartiality. The BBC Trust, which oversees our work on behalf of licence fee payers, has explicitly urged programme makers not to exclude critical opinion from policy debates involving scientists.”
    I would like to know when, in the last 10 years the BBC has allowed “dissenting voices” on the subject of climate change, apart from the attempted stitch up job on Monckton in “Climate Wars”.
    So – I think it is time to approach the BBC commissioning editors with a counter opinion/fact based programme proposal, one which does allow the dissenting voices to be heard.
    Crowd-funding, anyone?

    • Anything in the UK along the lines of Judicial Watch? Maybe it is time to take the BBC Trust into to the court system?

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