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« The BBC's internal contradictions | Main | Matt Ridley on the ecocorporation »
Monday
Jul072014

Is it 'cos he's a green?

The BBC has announced a series of measures to make it more difficult to challenge green narratives on the BBC, and this is obviously going to lead to new waves of ecodrivel on the national broadcaster's output. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, the Guardian's Catherine Bennett is exuding a certain cheeriness and general satisfaction with this state of affairs.

Following successful complaints, we should soon be hearing much less – on the BBC at least – from the climate change hobbyist Lord Lawson. An edition of the Today programme that treated the former chancellor's outlandish hunches to the same sober consideration as the evidence-based conclusions of Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, of Imperial College London, has led to an apology – and a further reconsideration of editorial balance. Having assessed the Lawson v the Academic Mainstream dialogue, in which the former remarked that 2013 had been "unusually quiet" for tropical storms, the head of the BBC's Complaints Unit said: "Minority opinions and sceptical views should not be treated as if it were on an equal footing with the scientific consensus."

For the avoidance of doubt, tropical storms were indeed unusually low in 2013, so let I will just say charitably that Ms Bennett's insinuation that it was otherwise suggests she may not be the sharpest tool in the box. But she wouldn't be the first Guardian journalist to suffer from learning difficulties.

Ms Bennett is also turning her grey matter to the juicy question of who else might be excluded from the airwaves and concludes that religious people should be next.

But proponents of the slippery slope argument must be asking: where will it all end? Is irrationality itself at risk? If a man of Lord Lawson's stature can be marginalised simply for promulgating obviously fanatical rubbish supported only by anecdote and untested assertions, what could this mean for, say, religious authorities who are deferred to far more regularly than he ever was? Must they, too, be denied their traditional platform, condemning the fashionable consensus on anything from gay marriage and abortion to Sunday trading and the right to die, for no better reason than these activities contravene some personal take on holy writ?

It does seem a little unfair, for example, that while Lawson is discouraged from airing opinions that occasionally had to do with actual weather conditions, a religious campaigner such as Andrea Williams, a member of the General Synod and chief spokesperson for her own pressure group, Christian Concern, should continue to be accepted as a respectable pundit......

Such liberal spirits! Couldn't they just shortcut the process and silence everyone except the BBC and the Guardian?

Meanwhile, it's interesting to observe in action the BBC's new policy of sidelining views outwith the scientific consensus (H/T to and transcript by Alex Cull). On the World at One the other day we had a piece on fracking from David Shukman. This was moderately balanced, although not so balanced that Shukman didn't bring up the old "taps on fire" story (which might be better renamed as the "pants on fire" story - it's almost as if it's simply too good a story for the "science" corps at the BBC to let go of). Nevertheless it's interesting to see it given a completely uncritical airing by Shukman. I had thought that the BBC said that fringe views on science would be announced as such.

But perhaps there's a get-out for BBC journalists.

In the same show we had an interview with Charles Perry, a former director of BP's renewables business.

Shaun Ley: Well, Charles Perry was Director of BP Green Energy, the division of that major energy company which looked at future investment options outside of traditional oil and gas - he went on to co-found a consultancy called SecondNature. Charles Perry, what do you make of this?

Charles Perry: Yes, it's unconventional for a reason, which means it's difficult to extract. And fracking is not just about gas, it's also about oil. So as Rob says, you know, 650 metres or 800 metres - is that close enough for comfort, when Britain's aquifers provide 70% of the drinking water in the southeast? So if we were to poison our drinking water - I mean, clearly, being an island, um, we would, you know, have a huge risk on our hands.

Shaun Ley: Indeed, I mean, the use of the word "poisoned" is quite loaded - I mean, talking to David, he was saying that for example, with gas, the big concern is about methane. Methane isn't poisonous per se, but there could be a - what's regarded as a risk from - a potential risk from explosions.

Charles Perry: Well, we know from what's going on in America that I don't think "poison" is too strong a word, because in some cases you can actually light the water. Now I don't think you would want to drink water which you can actually set alight.

Shaun Ley: Those are big, big operations. Do you think - are you concerned, then, that there isn't, in your judgement, a safe way of extracting this gas? Given the argument that was being advanced, that actually the gaps are quite wide in quite large parts of the area, particularly in the north of England, where the aquifer - the gap between the aquifer and the rock that the companies might want to get to, is at least 800 metres.

Charles Perry: Yes, I mean, well, this is the thing about the government subsidisation for fracking all across the country, regardless of what the risks are and what the aquifer landscape looks like. So I think, you know, the government's taken some bad advice on just carte-blanche subsidising the fossil fuel industry. And - as you know Lord Browne, my old boss at BP, would say - they don't need subsidies in the fossil fuel industry, they've been subsidised for hundreds of years, and in fact the G20 is committed to abolishing fossil-fuel subsidies. And the other point is: Britain's engineering and innovation talent is highly valued but it's in short supply. So should we absorb Britain's engineering talent in trying to get our difficult oil and gas from shale, or should we be incentivising the low-carbon economy and, you know, clean energy?

Shaun Ley: Charles Perry, thank you very much.

The false to true ratio is rather amazing there wouldn't you say?

Interestingly, the fact that Perry is one of Al Gore's trained climate activists was not mentioned. Nor was the fact that his views on fracking are very far from the scientific consensus on the issue. Which is really strange because I am absolutely sure that the BBC has just issued a number of statements that suggest that this kind of thing shouldn't happen. Why, we wonder, is Mr Perry given this apparently favourable treatment?

Is it 'cos he's a green?

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Reader Comments (81)

Answer to your last question, Andrew: Yes.
The scientific consensus, according to the BBC, is:
AGW exists and is serious;
Anyone who disagrees with that statement is a nutter;
Physical evidence that the "a" in "agw" is debatable does not exist even where it evidently does;
Fracking is "contentious", which is a BBC word that is synonomous with "contrary to the consensus";
Any person claiming to be on the side of "the environment" is part of the consensus;
No-one who is part of the consensus is capable of being wrong;
"Climate scientist" is anyone who supports the "scientific consensus" especially if his/her degree was in English Literature, Media Studies, or Leisure Management.
Have I missed anything?

Addendum
The BBC and the Guardian are intellectually joined at the hip, that being close to where they keep their collective brain.

Jul 7, 2014 at 8:33 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The BBC looks at a distance very much like our ABC in Australia.

The only advantage we have is that the government votes their income, there are no license fees. As the ABC has embarked on a campaign against the newly elected Government**, the mood of the government back benchers is becoming "sceptical" about what value they're getting for the money. This as polls show that their audiences are shrinking. The last result was massaged as 58% listeners/viewers (i.e. 5 minutes a week or more).

The only way to stop the BBC is for the Government to eliminate the license fee and make it pay for view. They will then find out about consensus.

** a few elections ago, one of the ABC's senior talking heads at the televised vote count hailed a Labor gain as "a swing to the ABC". A recent poll said that 40% of their News staff were Greens.

Jul 7, 2014 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

"Britain's engineering and innovation talent is highly valued but it's in short supply. So should we absorb Britain's engineering talent in trying to get our difficult oil and gas from shale, or should we be incentivising the low-carbon economy and, you know, clean energy?"

What like the subsidized wind turbines the UK is buying in from Germany and the Danish technicians that fly into East Midlands Robin Hood Airport to service them every week.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Stupid and disgusting. This is what we get for the widespread acceptance of 'denier'.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:08 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Despite working for BP he is I/C some green energy advisory group so had to push this abominable wasteful form of electricity generation.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Unfortunately this is what happens when government institutions get captured by fringe groups.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

Graeme,

For what ever reason the Tories won't touch the BBC and clearly Labour won't do anything to ever endanger their broadcast arm. The sad fact is that us here in the UK are saddled with Al Beeb whether we like it or not.

I suspect the only political part that would do anything about cutting the BBC lose is UKIP abs I doubt they will ever get in to a position to force either of the two main parties to let the BBC go.

Mailman

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

As nature seems to continue the ongoing un-cooperative "attitude" vis a vis the AGW meme, it will be interesting to note BBC's party line conformity at the pause duration of 20 years (in about 2 years time), 25 years etc.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered Commenteroebele bruinsma

Maybe the BBC won't be around much longer since, according to a recent poll, over half of people in the UK think it should stop getting the licence fee and only 1/3rd were in favor of continuing to pay such a fee.
The Charter is up for renegotiation.
On another track, isn't what they are doing potentially subject to judicial challenge as it in effect breaks their impartiality mandate. I wonder how long before someone takes them to court?

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter

This is all about the elite gaining an oligopoly of power generation whilst farming subsidies and reducing energy supplies thereby further increasing market price. The BBC is a mouthpiece for the new fascists.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

Let's not delude ourselves though. The BBC does perform a crucial opinion-forming function and also defines the boundary for debate.

That's what we see in play here.

The above by no means has to necessarily be a majority of "the people", just a carefully defined sector. The "intellectuals', academe and other opinion leaders etc.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Hang on a minute, I think Miss Bennett may be onto something. There is overwhelming empirical and historical evidence that socialism is evil and killed up to a hundred million people in the 20th Century. Surely, therefore anyone who advocates or has advocated collectivism of any kind should be barred from the airwaves. It is, after all, demonstrably much more dangerous than mere christianity.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterpeter horne

People like Catherine Bennett and many other "liberal" or left wing commentators think that freedom of speech is of vital importance when they are in a minority but as soon as they are in the majority, or like Lenin's Bosheviks can con people into thinking that they are in the majority (which is what "Bolshevik" means) they start to threaten free speech.

Mark Steyn, a Canadian commentator writing in the Spectator earlier this year described how the "liberal"/left threaten free speech around the world. One of the examples he gave was the attempt to deny Lord Lawson a hearing.

The slow death of free speech
http://www.spectator.co.uk/australia/australia-features/9187741/the-slow-death-of-free-speech-2/

In the article Steyn said:

... free speech is essential to a free society because, when you deny people ‘an opportunity to act like normal political parties’, there’s nothing left for them to do but punch your lights out.

I’m opposed to the notion of official ideology — not just fascism, Communism and Baathism, but the fluffier ones, too, like ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘climate change’ and ‘marriage equality’. Because the more topics you rule out of discussion — immigration, Islam, ‘gender fluidity’ — the more you delegitimise the political system.

The great achievement of the BBC in recent years has been to delegitimise the political system. Of course, it has had allies including, on the subject of climate change, the Royal Society. They must be very proud of themselves.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

The BBC wants to sideline Climate Skeptics.
Shame the BBC also sidelined and chose to ignore its own employees who complained about the antics of Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris,Stuart Hall,Johnathon King,Dave Lee Travis and Chris Denning.
Similar to the Environmental Lobby the BBC are now currently courting.
This group of Sex Offenders / Pedophiles entertainers they too enjoyed political, royal and popular patronage.

Jul 7, 2014 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

The BBC is pursuing a number of agendas, none of which are for the greater good of the UK. This corrupt and vile organisation is a shadow of its former self and survives solely on a reputation built long ago and since destroyed. The skeletons of the 70s and 80s are currently streaming out of the cupboard, what is going to come out in the future regarding todays fine crop.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

How many of you on here actually pay the licence fee? If you do, then I have little sympathy.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Looking forward to the BBC closing down debate on other issues where the consensus is solid. No more Green stories about GM, neonicitoids, Bio-fuel, or Homeopathy. Be great to see no more stories about Marxist economics either.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

The BBC has misunderstood that Sr Brian Hoskins may be an expert in physical science but physical science can suggest only what the range of possible futures might be.

Lord Lawson has expertise in economic and financial policy, which is the key to the probable impacts upon British society of both climate change and policies put in place to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

Whether or not Sir Brian is correct, we need to hear from Lord Lawson to discover if the government policy-making has the potential to influence climate and whether or not government policy will be beneficial or harmful.

We need not only to know the diagnosis (Sir Brian) but also how to deal with the malady (Lord Lawson).

In my view, having credential in both physical science and economics, and having read the views of both Sir Brian and Lord Lawson, Lord Lawson is vastly more capable than Sir Brian of advising the public, Parliament and the Government concerning Britain's climate policy.

You don't ask the plumber how often to bathe.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Colbourne

Many years ago, the entertainer Mike Harding recorded "Rochdale Cowboy". On an album of his, he tells the tale of being asked to sing this on the "Top Of The Pops". A comment of his was: "They're funny people there at the BBC - if you drop a ten-bob note on the floor, you'd better kick it to the wall before you pick it up". Apparently little changes...

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterRuss Wood

Someone should tell them about the law of unintended consequences. If they don't acknowledge alternative views, they can't justify flooding you (in the UK) with their views, and in the long term, when the orthodoxy is discredited, folk will remember this protection of a dominant clique as being somehow related to their protection of their internal pederast clique. ( And the folk won't be wrong.)

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered Commentergnome

Reading that transcript made me wonder if perhaps the BBC had made the 'taxi-driver' mistake with Charles Perry: They simply got the wrong man. Don't remember? Check here. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4774429.stm

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

More in hope than expectation, I do hope Catherine Bennett gets to read these blogs. She might just learn the difference between fact and opinion: Lawson states the former; she bloviates the latter.

What she advocates is not too far removed from the idea that people of our persuasion - sceptics - should be forced to go round with a big yellow D on our clothing. Trouble is, she's probably as equally crap at history as she is at journalism that she would think that to be an original idea.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

The only truth I could determine in the quoted interview was their names... perhaps...

If I, a generally ignorant citizen, can spot such blatant lies, quite how do these people hope to fool the entire electorate, many of whom will be better educated and informed than I?

I do quite a bit of travelling, meeting a wide variety of people. When the topic does arise, I have yet to meet anyone who actually believes any of this nonsense; why does the BBC continue to hack away at their own reputation with such zeal?

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Re. your second update: BBC reports "Climate Change 'biggest Welsh issue' says interim report"

Might this be because statements aimed at demonstrating the futility of renewables frequently illustrate the point by covering an area the size of Wales with wind and/or solar farms?

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:55 AM | Registered CommenterPhilip Richens

What I find truly amazing is the fact that the official CAGW, scientific community can 'explain' the global temperature hiatus with such hypotheses as: the heat has gone to the deep oceans. Without a scrap of real science to back it up. And, of course the BBC accept this without any questions. Surely this is a first for any branch of important science in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Charles Perry: Well, we know from what's going on in America that I don't think "poison" is too strong a word, because in some cases you can actually light the water. Now I don't think you would want to drink water which you can actually set alight.

//////////

This has never stopped those who like drinking Vodka, Whisky, Brandy etc from indulging in a tipple.

What is the problem with drinking something that you can actually set alight?.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard Verney

The BBC refuses to properly educate itself, or to inform its audience. That's not funny.
Pehaps they imagine Lord Reith only meant they should entertain themselves and their friends?

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

The BBC raised the topic of "False Balance" in R4's Feedback programme last Friday. Worth a listen - gritted teeth may be required. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04807j6

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Davis

Yes, jamspid. The "BBC-six" you list were part of a protected entertainment-consensus that was too important to be wrong. Yet the facts were known by many, and available to those at the BBC who wished to know. It's an eery parallel.

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

peter horne:

Hang on a minute, I think Miss Bennett may be onto something. There is overwhelming empirical and historical evidence that socialism is evil and killed up to a hundred million people in the 20th Century. Surely, therefore anyone who advocates or has advocated collectivism of any kind should be barred from the airwaves. It is, after all, demonstrably much more dangerous than mere christianity.

I enjoyed this point so forgive me if I take it quite seriously.

Although I would agree about the historic impact of revolutionary socialism (I'd qualify the s-word) I wouldn't agree that because of this nothing deemed to be socialist should ever be broadcast by the BBC. Just as the fact that the Crusades and Inquisition were terrible would justify for me suppression of all views deemed to be christian. The move from thought to deed is crucial. Thought crimes aren't. Mass murder is.

What of 'denier'? I'd like to see a de facto ban on the BBC and all mainstream media, just as there is for 'nigger'. Is this consistent with what I just wrote? I think so but I'm open to argument. As always.

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

**maybe, just maybe, they’d all just go away.**

Be careful what you wish for.

If skeptics were to "just go away", then Greens in all lines of work would very soon be scrabbling around trying to find new excuses for why 20 years and hundreds of billions of wasted effort have produced zero results in reducing global carbon emissions. No action and no commitment to action.

In truth, skeptics are a godsend for the Green movement, a visible detachment of some great amorphous enemy, the Climate Denial Machine, which they can pretend is responsible for thwarting their actions. This enables them to hoover up ever more public funding -- indefinitely -- in order to defeat this non-existent enemy.

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

The BBC is not doing its cause any good at all. It is so out of touch now, and is looking evermore anachronistic. It's likely that the compulsory license fee is coming to an end over the next few years replaced by either a part-subsidy with occasional top-ups for pay-for-view programs (such as drama). I think their remit will also change. I can see sport, soap operas, light entertainment all going. It will remain as a public broadcaster with a cut-down schedule providing news, current affairs, political, religious, educational, kids, high production cost drama and scientific programming.

However, I don't think this will be the end point for the BBC; its monopoly on information is eroding very quickly, so even focused subject based programming, which the BBC was once best at, is now being done very well by subject-specific TV channels and websites. In short, I can't see the BBC's long-term future being anything more than news, current affairs and public announcements.

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commentercd

The UK has a long history of taxing the weather. Who really cares the reason or logic of it all?

When the CO2 runs out (presuming the Greens are successful) they'll declare dirt is a pollutant and develop a cap-and-trade system where one buys and sells dirt permits. For those in flats or traveling or camping, there will be an Earth Permit based on mileage. Then they'll make it so everyone must be "renewable" by requiring recycling of all human output (think sewage, breath, etc.). Brits will look like something out a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The socialists under Hitler took over the news media mostly by force. The UK has proven force is not needed.

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

cedarhill:

The socialists under Hitler took over the news media mostly by force. The UK has proven force is not needed.

Way OTT sorry. If Hitler or other totalitarian was around, pushing CAGW to consolidate even more power, the Mail and Mail on Sunday would be toast. As it is they are extraordinarily successful in comparison to almost any other London-based website. (Read the explosive introduction to Labour MP Simon Danczuk's account yesterday of further attempts at high-level cover ups for another example.) Meantime Matt Ridley wouldn't be telling it as it is at The Times and The Sun wouldn't have invited Lord Lawson's view on fracking. And so on and so forth.

This bigging up of the opposition is wearisome. (There's a weird psychological trick where it appears manly. Coming from a pseudonym. I don't understand that but I duly record I too feel its power, even as my mind tells me it's bunk.) We have too much of this on BH for our or the nation's good. We have problems enough with the current hardening of the stance of our state broadcaster. Our host sets an awesome example of sticking to the knitting, of maintaining stoic resistance and a sense of perspective. To overstate the case is to shoot ourselves in two feet by which we stand, namely morale and credibility.

Jul 7, 2014 at 11:55 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I don't think it's a question of journalists suffering from learning difficulties or not being too bright.

They know good and well what they are doing, it's called lying in common parlance.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Spence

You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
thank God! the
British journalist.
But, seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there's
no occasion to.

- Humbert Wolfe

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

This was discussed here yesterday:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04807j6

Bob Carter only upheld complaint about Bob Carter was that he was not challenged on funding. I will be on the starting blocks to complain each time an alarmist pops up and doesn't declare who pays his wages.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

Richard

"How many of you on here actually pay the licence fee?"

Unfortunately, it's a criminal offence not to, if you have a working TV capable of on-air reception. There is a move afoot to make enforcement a civil matter, but I'm sure the Beeb is lobbying furiously against it.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:18 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

A test of a standard should be whether it can be applied to other circumstances. For instance would a BBC of 1860 have applied the standard of "expert scientific consensus" to a certain Charles Darwin was peddling heretical views on human origins? Or at a similar time period, would have a Viennese BBC have not given air time to an Ignaz Semmelweiz, with the crackpot idea that doctors washing their hands between examining patients might have an effect on hospital mortality rates.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Do Hoskins or the BBC understand what the IPCC claims?

238.5 W/m^2 solar SW heats the atmosphere. 238.5 W/m^2 leaves as ‘OLR’. By confusing atmospheric 'Irradiance' aka ‘back radiation’ with a real energy flux, they add 333 W/m^2. As 571.5 W/m^2 is too high, they offset 238.5 W/m^2 by applying 'Kirchhoff's Law of Radiation' at ToA to a semi-transparent medium; can’t do that.

This leaves 333 W/m^2. 333/238.5 = 1.4: the extra 40% energy, a 'Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind' creates imaginary positive feedback. To offset imaginary temperature rise, they use ~1.3x real low level cloud albedo in hind-casting.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

Let Lord Lawson and any other sceptics onto the BBC. If they are so keen to look foolish in public, they should be indulged.

I pay my licence fee to be entertained, and a climate sceptic is always good for a laugh.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Before I left Britain, I did not have a working TV [I had some obsolete 405 line B&W sets]. Whenever a licence snooper came to the door, I answered their questions truthfully (eg "Do you have a television?" "Do you use it") but without adding additional information.

Eventually I was told that a search warrant would be applied for. I phoned them and explained things. I was told I would not be bothered further.

Then two gorillas with a search warrant and a copper turned up. I asked them to wait while I phoned their HQ. Their HQ said "I can see what has happened - we should have put a block on it" (whatever that means). Their HQ spoke to a gorilla and the trio slunk off.

I wrote to complain and received a £250 cheque as "nothing like this has happened before" (or similar words, I don't have their letter in front of me). I still have a scan of the cheque on my computer.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

EM

Very funny. Ever thought of taking up comedy script writing?

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:30 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A

I think you'll find that most people outside the gated community of sceptics regard Lord Lawson as a buffoon, not a guru. As a Chancellor he did well; as an interpreter of climate science he is, as I said, laughable.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Here are some academics the BBC could consult on fracking:

Professor Richard Selley (Emeritus Professor of Petroleum Geology, Imperial College London), Dr Ruth Robinson (Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences, University of St Andrews), Professor Ian Croudace (Director of Geosciences Advisory Unit, University of Southampton), Dr Lateef Akanji (Coordinator of Petroleum and Gas Engineering Programme, University of Salford), Dr Godpower Chimagwu Enyi (Lecturer in Petroleum and Gas Engineering, University of Salford, Manchester), Professor Ghasem Nasr (Director of Spray Research Group, Petroleum Technology Research Group and Leader of Petroleum and Gas Engineering, University of Salford, Manchester), Professor James Griffiths (Professor of Engineering Geology and Geomorphology, University of Plymouth), Associate Professor Graeme Taylor (Senior Lecturer in Geophysics, University of Plymouth), Professor Ernest Rutter (Professor of Structural Geology, University of Manchester), Professor Mike Bowman (Chair in Development and Production Geology, and President of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, University of Manchester), Professor Stephen Flint (University of Manchester), Professor Jonathan Redfern (Chair of Petroleum Geoscience, University of Manchester), Dr Kate Brodie (Senior lecturer, University of Manchester), Dr Rufus Brunt (University of Manchester), Professor Kevin Taylor (University of Manchester), Dr Tim Needham (Needham Geoscience and visiting lecturer, University of Leeds), Professor Paul Glover (Chair of Petrophysics, University of Leeds), Professor Quentin Fisher (Research Director of School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds), Dr Doug Angus (Associate Professor of Applied and Theoretical Seismology, University of Leeds), Dr Roger Clark (University of Leeds), Professor Wyn Williams (Director of Teaching: Rock and Mineral Magnetism, University of Edinburgh), Dr Mark Allen (University of Durham), Dr Howard Armstrong (Senior Lecturer in Department of Earth Sciences, University of Durham), Dr Martin Whiteley (Senior Lecturer in Petroleum Geoscience, University of Derby), Professor Jon Blundy (Professorial Research Fellow in Petrology, University of Bristol), Dr James Verdon (Research Fellow, University of Bristol), Professor Adrian Hartley (Chair in Geology and Petroleum Geology, University of Aberdeen), Dr David Iacopini (Lecturer, University of Aberdeen), Dr Nick Schofield (Lecturer, University of Aberdeen), Professor David Macdonald (Chair in Geology and Petroleum Geology, University of Aberdeen), Dr Andrew Kerr (University Cardiff), Professor Andrew Hurst (Professor of Production Geoscience, University Aberdeen), Dr Sina Rezaei Gomari (Senior Lecturer in Petroleum Technology and Engineering, Teesside University), Professor Agust Gudmundsson (Chair of Structural Geology, Royal Holloway), Dr David Waltham (Royal Holloway), Professor Joe Cartwright (Shell Professor of Earth Sciences, Oxford University), Professor Peter Styles (Professor in Applied and Environmental Geophysics, Keele University), Dr Steven Rogers (Teaching Fellow, Keele University), Dr Ian Stimpson (Senior Lecturer in Geophysics, Keele University), Dr Jamie Pringle (Senior Lecturer in Engineering and Environmental Geosciences, Keele University), Dr Gary Hampson (Director of Petroleum Geoscience MSc course, Imperial College London), Professor John Cosgrove (Professor of Structural Geology, Imperial College London), Professor Howard Johnson (Shell Chair in Petroleum Geology, Imperial College London), Professor Dorrik Stow (Head of Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University), Dr Gillian Pickup (Lecturer in Reservoir Simulation, Heriot-Watt University), Dr Zeyun Jiang (Lecturer, Heriot-Watt University), Dr Jingsheng Ma (Lecturer, Heriot-Watt University), Dr Gerald Lucas (Edge Hill University), Professor Charlie Bristow (Professor of Sedimentology, Birkbeck College, University of London), Dr Paul Grant (Lecturer, Kingston University).


Some of them are right on the doorstep of BBC Salford.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

First they came for the cliamte skeptics.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

most people outside the gated community of sceptics

If you think we have gates you're crazier than I thought. We may however increasingly have Gates.

Jul 7, 2014 at 12:59 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Charles Perry has an interesting history. An Old Etonian, his Linkedin entry states:

Long track record in Sustainability and Climate Change, following his passion and working to transform organisations to make sustainability second nature.

His career in Sustainability began at BSI, where he launched ISO 14000 in 1998, moving to Senior Consultant at URS/Dames & Moore Consulting and then to BP (2001-6) to roll out “beyond petroleum” and develop BP Ultimate “more performance, less pollution” before being promoted to Director of BP Green Energy. Charles left BP to join GreenOrder, was appointed interim Managing Director of Good Energy following the sale of GreenOrder to LRN, and co-founded SecondNature in 2009.

In 2007, Charles was also selected and trained by Vice President Al Gore, earning the rights to use his material, to speak to audiences regarding “An Inconvenient Truth”; appointed a Judge for the Morgan Stanley Great Britons Awards and was Adviser to David Cameron’s Quality of Life Policy Review on Climate Change.

Charles has a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.

Nothing about any technical knowledge of course. The idea that everyone who has ever worked for BP must be an expert geophysicist is a very odd meme that runs through the BBC.

Jul 7, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

"..the gated community of sceptics"
Jul 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Says the anonymous entropic man whose freedom to post on this blog is oft defended by people who strongly disagree with him.

More seriously EM, that attempted insult reads more like one from the ZDB thing. It would be shame.

Jul 7, 2014 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Richard

"How many of you on here actually pay the licence fee?"

Unfortunately, it's a criminal offence not to, if you have a working TV capable of on-air reception. There is a move afoot to make enforcement a civil matter, but I'm sure the Beeb is lobbying furiously against it.
Jul 7, 2014 at 12:18 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp
///////////////

Unless the law has recently changed, that is not so.

The offence is watching a live broadcast (whether on TV, computer, tablet, or other mobile device), ie., a programme that is being transmitted live over the airways at the time when the person is watching the programme on the display of choice.

Having equipment capable of receiving live broadcasts is not in itself an offence.

Accordingly, one can watch catchup TV provided that the material being watched is not at the same time being broadcast live. So it is OK to watch Eastenders on BBC iplayer if watching the feed say 15minutes after that day's programme was broadcast. But it is not OK to watch news on BBC iplayer since it is very probably being broadcast
live on their news 24 hour channel.

Many now use catchup TV (not just iplayer but also those of ITV, Channel 4 and 5 etc) especially since Smart TVs make this so convenient.

It is because of the shift to iplayer that the BBC wishes to charge people to use iplayer, or to key in their licence details etc.

I am not sure whether it is an offence to watch a live broadcast if that broadcast is not made from the UK, eg., to watch a live Polish broadcast which is uploaded from Poland to a satellite which signal is then received by a satellite box in the UK. When I looked into the issue, that was not clear, but since it was not relevant I did not spend much time on it. There is a lot of English football broadcast on foreign channels so if that is important to some, researching into that area might be useful.

The BBC seek to change the offence to a civil matter since the burden of proof in criminal cases is set much higher.

Most people who get convicted do so because they make an admission that they would have been well advised not to have made. Further, many people let inspectors into their home, but the inspector has no right of entry, and can only do so if the person permits them to enter. People would be very well advised to be very careful what happens on the doorstep and what they sign. There are traps for the unwary.

The law may have changed but I understand that what I say was the position a few years ago, when I looked into it, but of course no one should rely upon my comment and should check the facts themselves.

I too consider that the licence fee will not survive the next 10 years. I consider it an affront that one is 'compelled' to support a political party that one may disagree with, to be subjected to their 'religious' propaganda when you do not agree with their religion and that it is an offence to watch live broadcasts from other providers (namely the commercial channels). The BBC a long time ago gave up reporting the news. The news has now become, the opinion according to the BBC. Most news items involve a lengthy interview with their own reporter. How is that the news? I am not interested in their opinions, I am capable of forming my own opinion (for what my opinion may be worth), What I want is the facts, and all of them (not just partial reporting of facts), and then I can form a reasonable opinion of my own. If given only partial facts, then unfortunately one cannot form a reasonable opinion, and that of course is what the BBC wants.

It is a discredited organisation (as the numerous sex scandals has revealed) and the sooner it becomes subscription based the better.

Jul 7, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

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