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« A survey | Main | Inside mathematics »
Friday
Jan102014

More BBC balance

This morning's Today show feature the very epitome of a BBC interview on matters green. We had an environmentalist - Mark Lynas - an IPCC scientist - Rowan Sutton - and a credulous interviewer in the shape of Evan Davis. And not a dissenting view in sight.

The lack of self-awareness of the participants is hilarious. We have the pie-throwing green calling for a higher standard of discourse and the scientist saying perhaps the greens had been overstating things a bit (and not, presumably IPCC scientists - like the one who described global warming as a barrage of ballistic missiles).

Enjoy.

 

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Reader Comments (24)

Mark sadly I believe, possibly trusted authority (particularly UN stuff?) too much, and is only beginning to learn to check for himself. (ie ref his criticisms of greenpeace and the renewables report)

Or..

Mark Lynas on 300,000 climate deaths in the Guardian (2009)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/may/29/climate-change-death-toll

"With the estimated death toll quantified, international law can be invoked, and the perpetrators – whether oil companies, coal-burning power stations or perhaps entire nations – can be punished, or at least forced to pay massive damages."

he would possibly have had a point, IF the report was solid... (ie he had good intentions)


(I read the report myself, and saw the methodology was bollocks in about 5 minutes)

Franny Armstrong on that report years later. (she was bigging it up with Age of Stupid, and the UN, and millibands back in 2009, and for the 10:10 'no Pressure splatter video, in 2010)

https://twitter.com/frannyarmstrong/status/337624969758507008 …


Franny Armstrong‏@frannyarmstrong
@BarryJWoods @Foxgoose @richardabetts
"Yes that 300K figure is discredited and no longer quoted by me or others. Kofi Annan's org was wrong"

BBC are as hopeless as ever..

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Balance from the BBC would not be compatible with this.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

They are very clever at steering around the question aren't they. The issue was 'are these weather events attributable to climate change'. The reply, from both, was IPCC models suggest that the frequency of these events will increase. That quite nicely avoids having to answer the question 'have these events increased?'.

Credulous is very good description of the interviewer.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Its the daily BBC Frankenstein moment.And the BBC presence aboard whining about the very long p*ss take by the....ummm global p*ss takers

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

Perhaps the solution is to formally complain to the BBC at every instance of their bias. This, I realise, will achieve f@ck-all.

[I know from personal experience, because they are extremely defensive of Harrabin's, McGrath's & Amos's propaganda.]

However, then, submit a formal FOI enquiry to the Board of Governors requesting a breakdown of 'climate-bias' related complaints. Maybe they'll then have to formally expose their bias?

Feasible??

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Rowan Sutton: "Just as we say that smoking causes lung cancer, it is reasonable to say that global warming causes heavier rainfall and flooding. That doesn't mean that any particular incidence of lung cancer is caused by smoking not does does it mean that any particular flood is necessarily caused by global warming."

So anybody who says that global warming is not causing more floods is also saying smoking doesn't cause lung cancer.

In the case of smoking they might be able to say with 86%* certainty that your lung cancer was caused by smoking, but what is the percentage with a flood?


* I am basing this figure on Cancer Research UK's claim that 86% of lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

So anybody who says that global warming is not causing more floods is also saying smoking doesn't cause lung cancer.
Absolutely right, Terry, You're learning!
The comparison with tobacco seems to be the January theme this year. It would be handy to get a mole inside Troll Central or whoever is organising the defence these days so that we can get a preview of the line of attack. Shooting them down before they get over the target was always a good tactic!

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:47 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Ewen (3:15): "The argument's on your side, Mark, then you just make. You say, well, here's the evidence and I can pont to it...?"

Well, yes, but he is missing the first word If</>

But as the propagandists know, the science isn't on their side. That is why they refuse to debate the science in public.

Yet, Mark Lynas says (4:06) that he would like to talk about the science: so call him on it. publically request a Public Debate on R4 Today programme about the sceince linking CO2 to a rise in rainfall and flooding in the UK.

Let's take him up on his offer - in public.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Ewen (3:15): "The argument's on your side, Mark, then you just make. You say, well, here's the evidence and I can pont to it...?"

Well, yes, but he is missing the first word If</>

But as the propagandists know, the science isn't on their side. That is why they refuse to debate the science in public.

Yet, Mark Lynas says (4:06) that he would like to talk about the science: so call him on it. publically request a Public Debate on R4 Today programme about the sceince linking CO2 to a rise in rainfall and flooding in the UK.

Let's take him up on his offer - in public.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

The greens accuse the sceptics of politicising the debate ... a classic case of pot calling kettle black!

But then, I suppose we should expect this grand hypocrisy from those who cannot think for themselves.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

Sugar seems to be the latest public enemy and perhaps they're thinking of the next theme to link deniers to, but somehow sugar/obesity doesn't seem quite as bad as tobacco/lung cancer, does it? Are all deniers smokers and obese?

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

I almost choked on my cornflakes when I heard Lynas and Sutton both wittering on about the increased temperatures whilst the idiot Davis didn't even bother to ask them where these increases are showing up in the last 17 years of stasis.

It seems that on the BBC you can say it is warming and that warming is bad without any evidence.

Dos he not know or does he just not want to know or is it the effect of the snail professor again?

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilhippos

I dunno I think there is something to be said about the having the opportunity to sit back and listen to the audio equivalent of the tree hut files ;)
I think it gives a great opportunity for the uninitiated to listen how the poor the thinking and debating is that unfolds with the alarmists when they must think they have a safe echo chamber environment!

I mean, I think even poor Evan Davis started to despair when Lynas began reeling off a list of the whole establishment that is supposed to be cowed by the sceptics. Literally Lynas claimed scientists, David Cameron, politicians and the media are all supposedly being cowed into submission!

3 min 14: Evan Davis "But the arguments on your side Mark, you just make it and you say 'well here's the evidence' and I can point to it. I mean I don't understand why you would be sort of cowed .."

Note the implicit criticism in that cry there. Davis put's his finger on the issue without realising I think. i.e it is the alarmists who have dropped the ball here, and now they are just whining and not giving old Evan anything useful for him to "point to".
Having been feeding the media all their material up to now it must be quite despairing for the likes of Evan to now only hear the alarmists whining that a tiny minority on twitter is the problem.

Not even a real discussion of possibility of alamism fatigue arose.

It's laughable really.

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Joe Public
I complain regularly and, as you say, get very defensive answers. I too would be interested in some statistics

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Does not the sound of Evan Sortof Davies' voice not make you want to reach for the off switch anyway. The conspirational tone of voice used when addressing Lynas with the question above said more about the article than anything else. Evan, the reason the greens have not been vocal about "weather is climate" (but only when we say it is) is because they know that most weather around the world this year has been cold and just because you never refer to global warming any more doesn't mean that we have all forgotten the phrase.

I did think their bleating about the naughty sceptics was rather funny though.

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnGalt

There has been no 'warming', nor have there been any links between CO2 and 'extreme' weather. So, don't be cowed by sceptics but by all means, yes, please be cowed by the evidence, or the lack of it.

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM | Registered Commentershub

Mark "there is no pause" Lynas is wilfully and deliberately distorting the science. The IPCC SREX 2011 report that he ignores says there is no evidence of increased extreme weather except for extreme precipitation in some circumstances and that is a technical definition that is not related to the floods in the UK. See the fine GWPF's TV report on this issue. Also the IPCC says extreme weather may increase in the FUTURE and would take decades to recognise. The IPCC says it IS NOT HAPPENING NOW as Lynas says.

Lynas is a disgrace to science and journalism - a propagandist with no regard for the facts.

Jan 10, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJudyC

The rural Tories out there who are anti-wind…” Not an ounce of bias there, then, not forgetting the rural Tories who are making a shed-load of money from wind farms. Shome mishtake, shurely?

Worried about being attacked by climate sceptics…” The biter bit…?

Telling us we shouldn’t be even talking about it…” Ha ha ha ha… No, we all have been told that – after all, the “science is settled”.

…the relationship between heavier rainfall and more floods…” You mean, there could be a link? Remarkable! Who’d have thunk it?! I’m sorry, but this person is a jabbering buffoon; even I could runs rings around him.

Jan 10, 2014 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Andrew "Ballistic Missile" Weaver is now the sole Green Party rep in our provincial legislature in British Columbia. He may have left his academic career behind him. The newspaper article is, I believe, somewhat dated. Bill Good, the Vancouver talk-show host, still seems to be drinking the kool-ade, however.

Jan 10, 2014 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Fraser

There's now a transcript of this segment of the Today programme here:
https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20140110_r4

Jan 10, 2014 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

alex mate, take a look at the 4th episode of the A Luck Baker Discovery prog on BBC WS . I posted details in the Inside Maths thread

Jan 10, 2014 at 6:48 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Enjoy.

No thanks.

Jan 10, 2014 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

@ stewgreen, that's one of my next projects. :-) Might take at least a few hours though..

Jan 10, 2014 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

On 'Newswatch' this morning (in BBC Breakfast) they had a bit about reporting the floods - mainly people complaining that reporters were putting themselves at risk - and encouraging others to do so - by standing in front of waves crashing on promenades, or wading along flooded roads. But the final point was about climate change, was it the cause? The Head of News (or his servant or agent?) responded (I thought) very cagily. "Our expert advisors are very clear that you must distinguish between weather and climate - and this is weather!" (or words to that effect). So maybe the message is beginning to get through.

Jan 11, 2014 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterosseo

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