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« Should we take the Grantham Institutes seriously? | Main | Expert commission »

Soft on greens, soft on greenery

Paul Homewood points us to this incredibly soft BBC interview with Al Gore, who is in Australia promoting his pet climate project. The powers that be at the corporation seem to have decided that they want to put their considerable weight behind Mr Gore's campaign and interviewer Paul Donnison is right on message, apparently viewing his role as providing the maximum PR opportunity for Mr Gore:  most questions are along the lines of "are your opponents dishonest or irresponsible" and there is litte by way of challenge to the great man.

Not that there weren't opportunities to do so. When An Inconvenient Truth was mentioned, it would have been a great opportunity to question Mr Gore about the UK judicial ruling on the film's "errors", something I don't think Mr Gore has ever discussed. However, a BBC interviewer is never going to tread on the toes of a prominent environmentalist and Gore was left free to propagate some wholly new errors, declaring that we have seen nothing like recent Australian droughts before. This position is, I think, probably without any scientific support whatsoever.

We can now begin to see how the BBC's editorial policy is going to pan out. Sceptics are wrong even when they are right; politicians who question alarmism will therefore be introduced as being "wrong" and will be challenged on everything they say. Greens are right even when they are lying; they will be given a free pass and no challenge of their views is to be permitted.

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Reader Comments (79)

The trouble with the BBC is they have a 50 year lag in understanding reality.

Jul 13, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeilC

Al Gore is a very famous "Climate Scientist" so the BBC is only interviewing experts and not evil deniers.

You can see how great at science he is - lawyer (failed?), politician (failed?) he couldn't even beat George W Bush! Remember the epic words - it is ! million degrees just below the Earth's surface!

Nice to see the good old BBC on the side of right and helping the scientivists save the planet - remember all the help it gave that great climate person, Michael Mann! No finer man!

Jul 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

From Saturday morning July 12 Radio 4 Today program -
The BBC says Australia is running out of snow because of global warming.

Interestingly the expert ‘scientist’ consulted here was Al Gore. The BBC has new rules about who is supposed to opine about AGW/climate change. Nigel Lawson can not be on the BBC giving a counter view to AGW, as the BBC says he is unqualified. However the BBC allows Al Gore as he’s so qualified to comment about AGW?
One set of BBC rules – differently applied?
BBC = BiasBroadcatingCompany

Jul 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Vomitous drivel, about par for Al and the Beeb - a match made in hell if ever there was one.

Pass the sick bag.

Jul 13, 2014 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Here is Big Al being asked about An Inconvenient Truth by an inconvenient Phelim McAleer:

Jul 13, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Don't just sit there, complain


Complaint Summary: Failed to mention low snow is due to El Nino

Full Complaint: The BBC once again showed its bias to the reporting of climate change, preferring speculation to fact. The reporter failed to mention that, as reported by the Australian BOM, the low snowfalls are typical of El Niño and were only to be expected in 2014. "What is El Niño and what might it mean for Australia? ....................... Current ENSO forecasts indicate the likelihood that an El Niño will occur in 2014. Potential effects of El Niño on Australia include: Reduced rainfall Warmer temperatures Shift in temperature extremes Increased frost risk Reduced tropical cyclone numbers Later monsoon onset Increased fire danger in southeast Australia Decreased alpine snow depths He also failed to mentino that Brisbane has recorded its coldest morning in 103 years, with low temperatures also being felt across the rest of Queensland. Weather Bureau spokeswoman Michelle Berry said it has been exceptionally cold and temperatures are still dropping. "[It's been] the coldest morning since 1911, so it's quite a record there," she said. Addtionally the BBC used quotes from Al Gore, who is not a climate scientist, and whose environmental documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, was ruled by a UK High Court judge to contain nine key scientific errors. As such he is not a creditable source to use for comment on climate change.

Jul 13, 2014 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdrian Kerton

"and there is litte by way of challenge to the great man."

Welcome to the 1930s.

Jul 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

There is no clear distinction made between science and policy. Al Gore (left-of-centre) is criticizing the political policies and views of a right-of-centre politician who was recently elected by a large margin. Paul Donnison fails to acknowledge that there are other, possibly valid, political and policy opinions.

Jul 13, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

In truth, no-one really knows how this is all going to pan out in the next decade or so but my guess is that GENUINE environmentalism (like Greenpeace did actually used to be) will never recover from all this. Hence yet more human suffering.

Which is a great shame.

In my private inner mental world I enjoy the fantasy that there will be a real accounting for all this.

I suspect it will remain just that though.

Also a shame.

Jul 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

We can now begin to see how the BBC's editorial policy is going to pan out. Sceptics are wrong even when they are right; politicians who question alarmism will therefore be introduced as being "wrong" and will be challenged on everything they say. Greens are right even when they are lying; they will be given a free pass and no challenge of their views is to be permitted.

Can't say fairer than that.

Jul 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I am becoming more incensed by this BBC bias. I cherish the BBC, I have trusted it all my life to inform me correctly. Some of the journalism and journalists are exceptional, Jeremy Bowen, John Simpson, John Pinaar etc but this has to stop. I have issued a complaint to the BBC and I think it is time to challenge every error and bias through their own official channels. Climate Change reporting is appalling and we need to challenge the orthodox view. I am not a scientist, I don't think I can eloquently put a point of view across but I have had enough. Here is my complaint:

In an interview on 7th July of Al Gore by Jon Donnison, Mr Gore stated that droughts, floods and wildfires in Australia are more extreme and frequent than previous. He stated that the science demonstrated this. This statement was unchallenged by Mr Donnison which is surprising considering the BBC policy not to allow air time to "unqualified" speakers such as Mr Lawson. Mr Gore is not qualified to make this statement and the statement is misleading and incorrect. The science shows there is no increase in droughts, floods or wildfires and supporting evidence can be shown. Here is one piece of evidence:

I found this evidence in less than a minute and given the resources of Mr Donnison I could have found a great deal more. Why did My Donnison not prepare correctly for the interview? He asked the question, but accepted the answer without any research or prior understanding. This is poor journalism. If Mr Gore had stated that Wombats were a major driver of climate, would we accept that?

I am an unqualified observer who listens to those who are qualified and experienced and find it is imperative to "check the facts". I believe the BBC to be the best broadcaster available in the UK and possibly the world but it has to maintain a balance. By denying all those who can give a contrary view and provide contrary supporting evidence, they let me, the public and themselves down.

Jul 13, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterBadgerbod

Paul Donnison was really trying to impress the lying Gore: "The petrie dish of global warming"!!?? When talking about the droughts and fires in Australia. I nearly covered my keyboard with breakfast. But I bet Gore re-uses the phrase - as his own.

Jul 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Tom0mason - Australia running out of snow the BBC breathlessly informs us.
Of course we are.
Meanwhile BrisVegas has just had its coldest minimum temperature in 103 years. Yes, yes, I know it's just weather.

Jul 13, 2014 at 11:52 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

The BBC's obligation to be impartial is a condition of its charter. Its ruling on how it reports climate change appears to be a blatant breach of the charter.

What is the legal situation? Is the BBC breaking the law?

Perhaps readers who understand these things could explain the legal position to the rest of us.

Jul 13, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Hegemony Lost

What Gore means is:

"The development of the BRIC nations is the biggest threat to United States world domination. Please sign a climate deal at UN COP21 Paris."

Jul 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterFay


"Some of the journalism and journalists are exceptional, Jeremy Bowen, John Simpson, John Pinaar etc"

I don't think so; the BBC has been biased for decades. Take Jeremy Bowen; always Israel bad Palestinians good.

While on the subject of Israel have you read the Nekama Troll Hammer? It's a classic.

Jul 13, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

From today's Sunday Telegraph interview with Colin Smith, chief engineer at Rolls Royce. 'Looking to the future is also Smith’s remit. He sees climate change as a “generic” challenge for engineering – “we have to do something different . .  . I’m not saying wind turbines are useless but they’re not much good”

Jul 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

Skeptics could not hope for a more damning future advantage over our critics than the current doubling down on intellectual tyranny by liberals, here the actual near President of the US making just as big of lies as were told about the nature of Obamacare. As a news site activist in comments sections I note a surge in layperson skepticism and of a generally higher quality than before since skeptics have self-policed fairly well what gets presented on consevative media outlets. There’s also a major falling off of the usual alarmist activism orbiting around except for a few propaganda parrots who have little sophistication like they did only a few years ago.

Was a censorship stage not completely expected as a stage of the breakdown of alarmism, and is reaching a further stage in that breakdown not delightful news? Was it not such censorship on alarmist blogs that minted most skeptics by its sheer obnoxiousness? Now the censorship is no longer hidden on mere blogs, but has become official policy. That affords lots of ammo in the ability of everyday skeptics to strongly note this now official public policy anti-scientific outlook when confronting friends and local activists with facts that such censorship would conceal. This helps reveal weakness in a way that helps counteract the inertia that has set in as skepticism became overly associated with old school religious right attacks on evolutionary science. Such censorship puts pressure on otherwise blasé enablers since they certainly realize that a massive backlash will then result compared to a soft landing, journalists included, not just scientists. Climate alarm is now a wedge issue that will topple the entire left wing of politics despite its welfare state voter support since urban adults are mostly professionals who are not in fact so dependent. A growing number of true political independents are now appearing in younger demographic groups.

Skepticism still suffers stereotyping however, as Steve Goddard and now Joanne Nova are strongly pushing crackpot excesses which few everyday skeptics are willing to condem. Instead, critics of excess are attacked! That makes few working academic scientists willing to speak out yet, due to guilt by association if they risk being labeled as climate alarm skeptics.

-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

Jul 13, 2014 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Typo: teaching > reaching
(Done: TM]

Jul 13, 2014 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

I have made a brief complaint on the BBC website complaint form, as suggested by Adrian Kerton

Jul 13, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline K

Well, it is a fact that Gore and friends are managing to turn climate change into "the biggest crisis our civilization faces" but it has nothing to do with climate.

Jul 13, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Al Gore is a prominent member of the Trilateral Commission.

"The interests behind the Bush Administration, such as the CFR, The Trilateral Commission - founded by Brzezinski for David Rockefeller - and the Bilderberger Group, have prepared for and are now moving to implement open world dictatorship within the next five years. They are not fighting against terrorists. They are fighting against citizens … In 1983/4 I warned of a take-over of world governments being orchestrated by these people. There was an obvious plan to subvert true democracies and selected leaders were not being chosen based upon character but upon their loyalty to an economic system run by the elites and dedicated to preserving their power. All we have now are pseudo-democracies."
- Dr. Johannes B. Koeppl, Ph.D. a former German defense ministry official and advisor to former NATO Secretary General Manfred Werner in an FTW interview

Jul 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterStaceykumari

@ Schrodinger's Cat

What is the legal situation? Is the BBC breaking the law?

Perhaps readers who understand these things could explain the legal position to the rest of us.

The legal situation is:

1) If you wish to mount a legal challenge to the BBC it will cost you a lot of money and time.
2) It will not cost the BBC anything, because you have to pay them as well as yourself.
3) Your challenge will not succeed, because the legal establishment support the BBC and reject 'deniers'.
4) If, unusually, you win some points, the BBC will simply be ordered to change some things.
5) The BBC will agree to make the changes, but will do nothing, because there is no other penalty.
6) Go to 1)

Jul 13, 2014 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

The BBC. . . . Inventor of and still the best at journalistic fellatio.

Jul 13, 2014 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred

You'd think that even a Beeboid might have noticed that Gore has a palatial seafront home, so clearly he doesn't really worry too much about sea level.

Jul 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Adrian Kerton,
Good luck with your complaint, I can not think it will make any difference.

Jul 13, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Part of the Gore interview was featured on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday am, during a piece on snow in Australia. The elected PM of Australia was allowed to state his views on climate change early in the piece, followed by the Beeb's demolition of such views, including a tut-tutting from Mr. Gore, none of the journalistic scepticism you would expect from a serious broadcaster.

The whole piece was effectively a Party Political broadcast by the Green Party, but it was all pre-recorded.

But, that piece was followed by a very balanced one on field trials of the nutritional value of organic food, two scientists giving opposing views of the results, and the interviewer saying at the end "don't believe anything you are told". That piece was "live".

I think the problem with the BBC lies in a editorial decision to be campaigners for climate change rather than journalists. The BBC still does good journalism most of the time, and has good people doing it, but sometimes they just play pre-recorded material that has come from the editorial politburo that controls "Climate Change".

Jul 13, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Is still a bit unclear whyso I have to pay these liberal "progressive" libturds at the BBC, and fund their posh lifestyles for spreading propaganda froth, when I just want to watch Sky ?

Maybe one of their scumbags could explain this here a bit in detail

Jul 13, 2014 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJBBS

The only hope for restoring the Beeb's lacks of bias is a strong, impartial commission, headed by a strong, impartial chairman. A commission that forces the corporation to play by the charter: a charter that outlaws bias.

Jul 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

You give a lot of 'benefit of the doubt' here.
IMO the BBC is different from say Fox or Sky but certainly not better.
The thing about Fox or Sky is that anyone can make a difference to them - just stop paying them. Try that with the BBC and you'll be in a cell.
The BBC does not have to answer to viewers complaints as the BBC will be paid even if nobody watches. You have no hold over the monolith. They can blythly carry on doing what they want knowing full well that every household has a legal requirement to pay them regardless.
No complaints will change them. They are a £3.3billion parasite on the British public, and a malignant cancer on the broadcasting industry.

Jul 13, 2014 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Poor old Al. His own TV failed to garner sufficient viewers so badly that he was 'forced' to sell it to a family of Oil-Sheiks, albeit for a handsome amount of oil-money. (Owners of whole countries can afford some spectacularly bad investment errors.)

So it didn't work for him when he was an owner of the TV station. What makes him think his sales-pitch will be any more successful with BBC viewers? These days many of them can spot an advert when they see one.

Jul 13, 2014 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

BBC - Gore is political front for Occidental Petroleum

This dispute is threatening Al Gore's reputation as an environmentalist. He has close ties and a large financial stake in Occidental Petroleum, despite its poor environmental image. His father, Al Gore senior, was on Occidental's board for three decades. As vice president of the United States, his son helped the company win drilling concessions. The one company that has helped make him financially whole and has helped him politically is Occidental Petroleum. Charles Lewis, Center for Public Integrity

Jul 13, 2014 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Many of the biggest political promoters of global warming like Gore, Thatcher and IPCC chief, Pachauri are closely connected to the oil and gas industry. Al Gore spent his entire career fronting for Occidental Oil - (his father was a director) Margaret Thatcher ( her husband was a director of Burmah Oil), Kenneth Lay (Enron), Rajendra K Pachauri (director of Indian Oil Corp.even during his time as head of the IPCC ).

Jul 13, 2014 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Big Al looks a lil' puffy.

Just sayin'.


Jul 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Well, I have only just seen this and, still shell-shocked, I can say that it represents a new low even for the BBC: self-serving, cringing, ignorant, smug, useless. An utterly hopeless interviewer, needless to say tieless and cool, presuming that every forecast of imminent man-made climate disruption doom is on hand; a great, fat lizard-like Gore, his jowls aquiver, gleefully predicting said calamity in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary while salivating over the millions it has brought him.

Reith may have been mad. But he would never have allowed so obvious a debasement of every journalistic standard.

Had it any shame, the BBC Trust would resign en masse.

Jul 13, 2014 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

I'm willing to bet that the only reason Big Al appeared on the BBC is that the BBC agreed to his condition of not doing a confrontational interview. He has form on this.

Sadly, as news is outside the law you will never know what deals were struck by the BBC to get him on air.


Jul 13, 2014 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Gore is a central figure in this play. Political correctness informs its acolytes that Gore is a good guy because he isn't George W Bush. He is actually a VERY naught boy.

Al Gore could become world's first carbon billionaire

Meanwhile, sitting on the board of another virtuous-sounding group - the Alliance for Climate Protection (ACP) - is one of the world's most famous green champions, Al Gore, the former Democratic vice-president, who founded the organisation in 2006. Alongside him sits Theodore Roosevelt IV. An "active conservationist", Theodore the Fourth is a member of the Wilderness Society's governing council, chair of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a trustee for the World Resources Institute - and a managing director of Barclays Capital.

Consider another environmental-economics powerhouse, Generation Investment Management (GIM). Yes, Gore founded it, too, but this time with the aid of David Blood - chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management from 1999 to 2003. Blood's personal mission is to make businesses more "ethical and sustainable", and to this end he has dedicated the company to "long-term investing and sustainability research". GIM focuses on "environmental degradation, poverty and development". Oh yes, one other thing: it is now valued at $2.2 billion (£1.5 billion).

Jul 13, 2014 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

I think the problem with the BBC lies in a editorial decision to be campaigners for climate change rather than journalists. The BBC still does good journalism most of the time, and has good people doing it, but sometimes they just play pre-recorded material that has come from the editorial politburo that controls "Climate Change".

Jul 13, 2014 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Sorry Mikky but they don't. Their journos, like all the MSM journos are lazy and inept. You need to see the same news shown in other countries to understand just how bad the BBC really is.

Jul 13, 2014 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

The BBC claims it gives 'due weight' to minority views. It seems their due weight for climate change sceptics of any type or shade of opinion is now zero, so by their logic they don't have to give them any opportunities to speak any more. Job done.

Jul 13, 2014 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldbrew

The broadcasters are not to know that the IPCC's claims are based on creating more atmospheric heat than comes in from the Sun. The IPCC 'Energy Budget' adds to real solar SW, 'back radiation', an 'Irradiance', a potential flux. Because the sum is absurdly high, they incorrectly apply 'Kirchhoff's Law of Radiation' at Top of Atmosphere, producing negative heating ('two-stream approximation') equal to solar SW.

238.5 W/m^2 SW + 333 W/m2 back radiation - 238.5 W/m^2 = 333 W/m^2. 333/238.5 = 1.4. Yup, they magickally conjure up 40% more, a scientific version of the Pea under the thimble; worthy of David Nixon at his best.

Now, where should we put magicians pretending to be scientists, like Hoskins or Gore? I know, we'll hand them the keys to State Entertainments' Channesl: the ABC, BBC etc. so they can con us for ever more.

Jul 13, 2014 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

Funnily enough, Australia is currently experiencing a bout of the 'Gore Effect' (where a location or region experiences an unexpected extreme cold event stimulated by the presence of Al Gore) with a record snow drop the likes of which has not been seen for decades. This has even led to the rare occasion found where NZ 'rs are travelling to Australia for their winter skiing holiday, whereas the reverse normally applies.

Australians are now happy to receive the Goracle as a regular visitor as in this single visit, he has presided over the removal of the hated Carbon Tax and simultaneously provided an Australian Snowmageddon. It doesn't' get any better!

Jul 13, 2014 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharles

The difference is that Tony Abbot was democratically elected to lead his country and Al Gore stood for election and wasn't.

Everyone on here simple challenge
If you had been that interviewer what one single question would you have asked Al Gore.

Mine would be where is his political authority to dictate energy policies in other sovereign states
"So big Al who put you in charge ?"

Jul 13, 2014 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid


These are the people who put Gore in charge. They are the people who run the world.

International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)

The biggest lobbying group (486) at the Copenhagen global climate conference was the International Emissions Trading Association created to promote cap and trade in 1999.

Its members include :-

BP, Conoco Philips, Shell, E.ON , EDF, Gazprom , Goldman Sachs, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley..

Jul 13, 2014 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Stephen R

"Their journos, like all the MSM journos are lazy and inept"

I'm not sure you can say that of all of them. Their foreign correspondents, like Hugh Sykes, Jeremy Bowen and John Simpson, often report from places most of us would stay well away from and I recall that Frank Gardner now reports from a wheelchair having taken six bullets in the back while on duty. I fully accept that they (the BBC) have a wholly blinkered view over green issues and CAGW, and they have got a bit too used to sucking at the public teat, but ditching them would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, IMHO.

Jul 13, 2014 at 8:27 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

"If you had been that interviewer what one single question would you have asked Al Gore."

Mine would be,

"Mr. Gore, a lot of people in the USA and around the world who have watched your career regard you as a hypocrite, if not a criminal. How does that make you feel?"


Jul 13, 2014 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Who do people here believe have most influence the world ?


2.Michael Mann

3. George Monbiot

4. The $143 trillion banking industry.

5. The Met Office

Jul 13, 2014 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

More evidence of the BBC bias in covering climate change:

Just did a Google search for "Perth Rainfall", found a recent BBC report on how Perth is coping with falling rainfall,
sandwiched between local news reports (dated to within a few weeks) of problems due to excessive rainfall.

The BBC report, featuring an interview with a local "Green" politician, reads like something from The Guardian.

Jul 13, 2014 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Yes, but we have to remember that today so called BBC journalists, along with many newspaper journalists, are of poor quality, unable to think for themselves to present balanced reports, and so are only able field the questions provided by political editors. It is a clear indication of how bad the MSM has become today and is not to be trusted or believed.

Jul 13, 2014 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith Holland

So E Smiff did the $143 trillion banking industry pay for Al Gores Botox injections allegedly.

Jul 13, 2014 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid


Billionaires can generally afford their own face lifts. He earned a billion dollars in ten years counting snow flakes for the Met Office. All totally legit.

Jul 13, 2014 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

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