More Climate Fiction From the BBC



Countless mainstream media programmes now incorporate extremist green climate propaganda into their output, seemingly without any desire to question the most outlandish and improbable statements. Last Monday’s Start the Week on BBC Radio 4 provides a case study in how fiction is mixed with cherry-picked fact, doused in error-ridden political Net Zero propaganda and presented as a learned contribution to our understanding of how the climate is breaking down. Not to put too fine a point on it, the whole affair was a one-sided, misinformed muddle.

As extreme weather becomes more frequent, are we out of kilter with nature, asked presenter Kirsty Wark. The question was rhetorical since in the same sentence she adds, “How and why did it happen and could we humans drive a climate catastrophe?” But extreme weather is not becoming more frequent. All that seems to have happened is that the BBC, like most mainstream media, has started catastrophising every bad weather event. Last year, four leading Italian scientists published a joint review of historical climate trends and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ was not supported by the data.

During the course of their work, the scientists found that rainfall intensity and frequency is stationary in many parts of the world. Tropical hurricanes and cyclones show little change over the long term, and the same is true of U.S. tornadoes. Other meteorological categories including natural disasters, floods, droughts and ecosystem productivity show no “clear positive trend of extreme events”.

The BBC programme featured three guests to help Wark “convey the story and impact of climate”. They were the Oxford historian Professor Peter Frankopan, Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, and climate fiction author Jessie Greengrass.

Frankopan noted that we were living in a world of “cascading effects”, asked how we have reached a point of “existential threat” and suggested we are living through an ongoing “mass extinction”. One can’t help wondering if students in a Frankopan history tutorial would be welcome to ask questions along the lines, what cascading effects and what existential threats? This fear-mongering is just repeating activist opinions, and there is little in the scientific evidence to back it up. As to the ‘mass extinction’ trope, trotted out constantly on the mainstream media, the evidence suggests something completely different. The bedrock extinction scare comes from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London, who made the improbable claim that vertebrates across the planet have declined by 69% since 1970. But a group of Canadian biologists recently showed that the figure was a statistical freak. They revealed that the estimate is driven by 2.4% of wildlife populations, adding, “If these extremely declining populations are excluded, the global trend switches to an increase.”

Antarctica scientist Jane Francis said the climate was changing fast and we needed to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To back up her observations, she referred to the Antarctica ice core explorations, noting correctly that air bubbles gave an accurate indication of the past atmosphere. From this and other elements present in the ice can be deduced both temperature and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere going back 800,000 years. But Francis gave no further details, possibly because the ice core drilled at Vostok suggests that temperatures often rise ahead of CO2 levels.

A seminal science paper in 1999 (Petit et al.) concluded that CO2 lagged temperature during the onset of glaciation by several thousands of years. The above graph shows that over many periods, particularly during the current Holocene, temperature and COlevels are not in general lockstep. A more plausible observation might be that naturally rising temperatures lead to higher levels of CO2 as gas is released from across the Earth’s surface.

There were a number of contributions correctly billed as fiction from the author Jessie Greengrass, who invoked Noah’s Ark in a new book called The High House. It features the heroine who leaves her family because she is so worried about the climate that she wants to make a difference on a global scale. There were no further details about making this global difference, although it might not be a surprise if it included shouting very loudly and gluing herself to stuff. Like Noah, Greengrass is also worried about floods and is concerned about Pacific islands (most of them increasing in size at last looking) and England, which she suggested could be a “spine’”in future.

But enough fiction, back to the fiction. Professor Francis was worried about extreme weather “which we have created”, referencing the recent hurricane in Mississippi with the suggestion that such events have become “more frequent and worse”. Regrettably, a couple of small errors crept into these statements, namely that it was a tornado that hit Mississippi, not a hurricane, and far from getting worse, the recent record has got better.

Of course Francis is in good company in claiming black is white so far as U.S. tornadoes are concerned. Penn State meteorologist Michael Mann claims that the latest science “indicates that we can expect more of these huge (tornado) outbreaks because of human-caused climate change”, while Jennifer Francis, a scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center, told the Guardian that climate change was “making some of the ingredients needed to create an outbreak like this more likely”.

Author Greengrass concluded that we needed to communicate about climate change “in every way we can to every possible audience about what is happening”. There is nothing wrong with the BBC trying to make interesting programmes with interesting people having a lively debate about newsworthy topics. But on climate change, the appalling decision made years ago to avoid debating the so-called ‘settled’ but unproven science narrative means that almost any crackpot green opinion and agitprop can be broadcast without any attempt made to inquire into its validity. This sterile approach should be left to the wilder reaches of social media, and cannot justify imposing a hefty licence charge on everyone in the U.K. owning a terrestrial TV receiver.

Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.

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April 1, 2023 6:05 pm

When they are LYING about weather and climate then it is clear they are pushing a political agenda because the science isn’t supporting them.

The climate in my region is classified Koppen BSk which is the same now as it was in 1964 when I moved there in Eastern Washington.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 1, 2023 7:32 pm

Likewise — east of the Cascade Crest.

Reply to  John Hultquist
April 2, 2023 10:31 am

I know about your town it is where my parents ran a 28 acre ranch just north of the town from 1976 to their passing away in in 2015 and 2020.

Used to bring my large telescopes to Table Mt. in the 1990’s with the Sky Designs 17.5″ then the Obsession 25″ F5


Now sky glow forced the star party to move north near the Canadian border.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 2, 2023 12:49 pm

“then the Obsession 25″ F5”

Damn! 🙂

Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 2, 2023 12:36 am

Likewise in Cape Town.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 2, 2023 7:29 am

Slightly better here in Woke-achusetts- mostly fewer subzero F days. That’s all I notice after 50 years of working in the forests here. And, who needs subzero F days?

Chris Hanley
April 1, 2023 6:35 pm

According to Wiki Prof Frankopan is an expert in Byzantine history so it is unsurprising that the IPCC and its machinations would appeal to him, Prof Dame Jane thinks the climate is “changing fast” but not so fast longterm in the Antarctic, Jessie Greengrass “fiction writer” speaks for itself.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
April 1, 2023 11:30 pm

yes. An expert on Byzantine history, and this is relevant
He and his wife Jessica, daughter of Sir Tim Sainsbury, have four children and live in Oxford.[4] Together, they oversee a £14 million trust funded by her family’s supermarket fortune.

It seems that hes transitioned – to use the modern lingo- into a self appointed expert on climate and history ….’The Earth Transformed: An Untold History is a 2023 non-fiction book by English historian Peter Frankopan.’
Just drivel, really.

Tom Halla
April 1, 2023 7:00 pm

Roger Pielke, Jr, has done quite a lot of history on hurricanes and tornadoes, and they are either decreasing or stable. Some of the claims omit land use changes, with some ignoring much more property to get damaged in vulnerable areas.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 1, 2023 7:38 pm

Florida population:
9.8 Million in 1980; 22.2 Million in 2022.
I helped move my father to FL in 1981 and thought it too crowded then.

Reply to  John Hultquist
April 2, 2023 5:31 am

In 40 years, in FL not only the number of homes and buildings has doubled but their worthness too since they are made with more expensive materials (mainly intended to a better insulation) and their domestic equipments are more sophisticated: Heating and air conditionning, automatic gates, antiintrusion systems, internet, electronic kitchen applieances, photovoltaïc panels, etc… Thus much increasing the damages costs as estimated by their insurers when stricken by a flood or a hurricane.
Of course, the main sources of IPCC with the aim to hype the extreme weather events in strength and occurrence are the insurance companies, easy to understand why…

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 2, 2023 3:08 pm

Statistically that might be correct, however I had a tornado warning yesterday and 4 touched down in the area, we also had one nearby earlier this year. That isn’t normal for central Jersey! There have been suggestions that the region of tornado occurrence is spreading.

Reply to  Phil.
April 2, 2023 6:33 pm

About everything to do with “climate science” is much like your last sentence. Could may, and now, “has been suggested”!

Well I suggest that if there are LESS tornados overall then spreading them out just makes the tornado belt safer. Good for them, POSSIBLY, MAYBE, COULD BE worse for you.

April 1, 2023 7:18 pm

More nonsense from know nothings. Today there was a WSJ article on the apparent destruction of a town on the Brazilian coast, Atafona by a Samantha Pearson. No data, no specifics just attributing coastal erosion to climate change. I wrote citing NOAA Tidal Gauge data from the vicinity and requesting a correction but I am not holding my breath.

Reply to  bernie1815
April 2, 2023 5:45 am

We got a similar article about the island of Pari 45 km North of Jakarta (“Thousand islands” archipelago) purportedly threatened by the sea level “dramatic” rise due to the climate change. Indeed these flat and low islands are in a subsidence zone, like Jakarta itself which is much more in jeopardy since some parts of this city are sinking at a dramatic pace of 100 mm per year !
Of course, the article’s writer declines to utter at least once the word “subsidence”!!!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Jack
April 2, 2023 7:34 am

Is this why Indonesia is building a new capital?

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 2, 2023 9:55 am


April 1, 2023 7:23 pm

They appear to have omitted reference to the recent report that this Southern summer, Antarctic weather was 30 degrees hotter than usual and everything was melting while neglecting to mention that the higher temperature was in fact well below freezing at 10F (-12C) during which times, little melting would be expected. But I have hope that soon, the BBC will be reporting never-before-seen flooding in the American west because of the melting very deep snowpacks covering most of the mountains doubtlessly created by Climate Change.

And on it goes.

April 1, 2023 7:31 pm

Is the BBC a wholly government run enterprise? If it is it would seem to me that some department would be responsible for its content. It would seem to be worthwhile to put extreme pressure on that government department, not to question the programming but rather make the department vouch for the truthfulness of the broadcasts the are responsible for.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Bob
April 1, 2023 7:52 pm

Judging by comments on the discussion sections of various sites, all English language government broadcasters are seen as aligned with the more leftist major political party in that country. I can definitely say from personal experience PBS and NPR are sucking up to the Democrats. ABC, CBC, BBC, etc are all similar in being associated with the more socialist party in that country. Reform proposals uniformly never go anywhere.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 1, 2023 8:44 pm

Yes Tom I understand that the left has a strangle hold on these news sources I’m not suggesting that we try to make them more evenhanded in their coverage. What I am suggesting is that an outlet that the government is responsible for has a responsibility to ensure that the programming is truthful. We don’t have to agree with what they are saying but they have a responsibility to ensure that the public message is truthful.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Bob
April 1, 2023 10:08 pm

I think the courts are the only way.

Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
April 2, 2023 1:16 am

If “the Courts” ( UK that is, cannot comment about other jurisimprudent locations) are populated by Judges who have a similar mindset (braincleansed if you like) to their Silk brethren who have declined to undertake clients who offend their AWG/CC sensibilities,, it is conceivable that recourse to the Law aint gonna work…
Time is fast approaching when the tipping point of people having no other option than to take direct action…becomes a “sudden” reality?

Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
April 2, 2023 5:53 am

Even a lot of courts are entangled with the climate change lies

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Jack
April 2, 2023 7:45 am

most liars— er I mean lawyers have very little science education so they are easily fooled- or, if they’re unsure, they don’t want to rock any boats to get good government jobs, especially on courts

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bob
April 2, 2023 7:43 am

“to ensure that the programming is truthful”

Truth is a difficult thing to know but the next best thing is to acknowledge different opinions on what the truth might be.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 2, 2023 4:16 pm

To a minor extent you are right. But we can prove that hurricanes, tornados etc are not getting worse or more frequent. Them saying they are is a lie. If they lie then they need to pay a price for it.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 1, 2023 10:07 pm

The cbc here in canada is the fully owned subsidiary of the ruling Liberal party, which is why it must be destroyed.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
April 2, 2023 7:46 am

do any parliamentarians in other parties dare to suggest terminating the cbc or the BBC?

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 2, 2023 4:49 am

Even the hyper-progressive media outlets serve a useful purpose for those with realistic perceptions regarding AGW, culture change and politics. It’s important that objective people are able to see what the global powers are discussing among themselves and inserting into the public conscious. Popular media isn’t analyzed enough in its propaganda program.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 2, 2023 7:40 am

NPR in Albany, NY is far, very far left. It’s a very strong channel in the sense that it can be heard for hundreds of miles. Despite being far left, it’s founder and director and “boss man” is paid a very large 6 figure income. I don’t know how much if any public money goes to support it- when they have their annual fund raiser, he’s very good and applying “guilt trip” to listeners and they cough up the money. After the last presidential election- that station continued with anti Trump stuff all day and night 7 days/week. I’m fairly neutral about Trump- just saw no reason to keep the Trump hating going so I write that person (Alan Chartok) and told him he ought to lighten up and discuss other topics. He was highly offended at my suggestion and asked me to apologize! I then blasted him with some rough language. 🙂 They still continue with the relentless Trump hatred. Serves no purpose at all- other than maybe helps raise money from its mostly far left audience.

Reply to  Bob
April 2, 2023 1:13 am

The BBC is meant to be impartial but is actually run by the Conservative Party.

The current Chairman was appointed as head of a right-wing think tank by Margaret Thatcher. He was not deemed independent enough to be on the BBC board of governors. Then he facilitated a loan for PM (at the time) Boris Johnson and was suddenly put in charge.

It is very much worth remembering that Green policies are always right wing. They always transfer power and wealth from the masses to the established elite.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  MCourtney
April 2, 2023 1:25 am

The BBC is meant to be impartial but is actually run by the Conservative Party

The current Chairman was appointed as head of a right-wing think tank by Margaret Thatcher

That does not necessarily imply control if the BBC is anything like Australia’s ABC where the chair and board have little if any control of content that is directed by what is in effect a staff-run collective.

Reply to  MCourtney
April 2, 2023 9:57 am

That’s funny – most Conservatives believe that it’s run by a woke coalition of Labour and Lib Dem supporters!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MCourtney
April 2, 2023 12:56 pm

“It is very much worth remembering that Green policies are always right wing. They always transfer power and wealth from the masses to the established elite.”

That’s your idea of right wing?

It looks like left wing from here.

Reply to  Bob
April 2, 2023 4:03 am

The BBC, have a legal charter to provide independent news. When the BBC was given total control over its management etc. it promised not to abolish the free licence for the over 75s.

A year later, it scrapped the free licence.

Tells you, all you need to know about the organization.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  bobpjones
April 2, 2023 7:49 am

“The BBC, have a legal charter to provide independent news.”
So isn’t that a way to challenge them, showing that they aren’t providing independent news? The courts won’t listen? Nor the parliament?

Jim Turner
Reply to  Bob
April 2, 2023 8:02 am

The BBC is state owned but editorially independent of the government, however its staff, like pretty much all of the media, is fairly solidly ‘progressive’ left. The drama and entertainment output is if anything more left-wing than the news – watched Dr. Who lately?. A few years ago the then business news editor (can’t remember his name) said that he was the only BBC employee that he knew of that had ever voted Conservative. Like all British broadcast media the BBC is regulated by OFCOM, the communications media ‘watchdog’. British viewers are free to submit a complaint to them if they believe that items have been misleading or offensive. I did this a few years ago re. an nimation that showed children being washed away by floods caused by ‘global warming’. I did receive a reply but it merely stated the the item in question was not judged to be misleading or unnecessarily scary so my complaint was dismissed.

Stephen Osborn
Reply to  Jim Turner
April 3, 2023 5:31 am

however its staff, like pretty much all of the media, is fairly solidly ‘progressive’ left.

There is a quote from a BBC ‘journalist’ about the morning after the 1997 election (which Labour won by a mile) along the lines that you could not walk the corridors without tripping over champagne bottles.

Like all British broadcast media the BBC is regulated by OFCOM, the communications media ‘watchdog’.

The BBC used to be self-regulating but this was changed to place it under OFCOM. The board of OFCOM has nine members, seven of who are ex-BBC. You see, totally different from the BBC regulating itself!

Philip CM
April 1, 2023 10:42 pm

The genesis of climate mis/disinformation was “conveniently” imbedded in both the modelling science, and the business modelling of climate change.
O – the snake feasting on itself.
O – no amount of money expended will ever be enough for the snake to be satiated.

Philip CM
Reply to  Philip CM
April 1, 2023 10:48 pm

And… UK Climate Change Commission Urges the Government Spend More Money


Alan Welch
April 2, 2023 1:24 am

Not a climate change news item but when the Asteroid 2023 DZ2 passed by recently the BBC interviewed two experts, a Dr Jenifer Millard and Andrew Lound, both labelled as Astrologers – say no more!

April 2, 2023 1:39 am

You don’t get much more Labour than Kirsty Wark

“”We will harness Britain’s sun, wind and wave energy to: “”

Did you expect anything else?

Joseph Zorzin
April 2, 2023 7:27 am

I’ll have to assume that BBC “journalists” don’t read WUWT? Despite this site being “The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change” ???

Nobody representing the MSM comes here? Any politicians? Only people with fully opened minds and a few who prefer to follow the consensus party line?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 2, 2023 1:01 pm

I imagine a lot of them come here.

The alarmists among them apparently aren’t brave enough to make comments or defend their climate change positions. They lurk to see what the other side has to say.

April 2, 2023 8:00 am

Show us on the doll where the mass extinction touched you.

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