BBC’s silence on climate


“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”


The BBC are still dragging their feet on climate. On Monday morning the BBC World Service Newsday 6.06 GMT had a piece “Weather Wreaks Havoc in US and Britain”. Oddly the presenter says its 8.15 GMT at 8.30 into the recording then continues:

“Now there’s a number of extreme weather stories from right around the world some scientists are talking of the effect of the climate phenomenon known as El Nino where heated water unusually heated water in the pacific ocean ends up causing extreme weather patterns around the globe

In the southern United States more than 40 people are known to have died to the severe weather..

…parts of Latin America are seeing tremendous droughts and parts are seeing the worst flooding seen in 50 years.More than 150,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes…In the UK

…highest river levels ever recorded in parts of Yorkshire…”

No mention of climate change.

Later Monday

But the World Service World Have Your Say at 16.06 GMT put the weird weather down to climate change in conjunction with natural variations and an enormous El Nino. (Start at 27.00 in the recording)

But I thought the unfortunate weatherman was having a hard time following the BBC party line, which is to minimise the issue for political reasons. He ended saying

“So,er, yes, without (delving?) too far into a very very difficult political situation some might say that the writing is there on the wall if you believe it and you’re prepared to read it.”

He sounded worried to me. I hope he hasn’t got a wife and family to support!


Two new reports on today’s BBC website

El Nino weather: Worries grow over humanitarian impact

El Nino weather ‘could be as bad as 1998’, says Nasa

Neither mention climate change but El Ninos are increasingly driven by climate change. The BBC should look at the paper in the scientific journal Nature:

Increasing frequency of extreme El Niño events due to greenhouse warming

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”

The BBC’s attitude is so remininscent of that scene in the Wizard of OZ: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain“, where the wizard is manipulating a big screen from behind a curtain but … Who is behind the BBC’s curtain?

Whoever it is, let them dig out their friends Lord Lawson and Quentin Letts and remind us what their views are. And, if they have got the guts, put them up against George Monbiot, Kevin Anderson or Julia Slingo  (see postscript). She gave an excellent presentation at Bloomberg a few weeks ago. I’d be happy to provide ideas on the format.

Julia Slingo: An apology.

Julia Slingo is Chief Scientist at the Met Office. I have labelled Julia in derogatory ways as “official” and “government friendly” in the past. Perhaps not great insults but I did mean them as such at the time. Her recent pronouncements have been excellent so I apologise.

I have heard she has been on BBC TV today. Is a schism in the BBC I have long suspected – that TV news is not as climate denying as Radio 4 and the BBC website.


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