Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > Alan Kendall's "What should the BBC do to improve its climate change coverage?

Radical Rodent

I answered Martin A's question but will leave it at that. Theology is off topic on this thread.

Apr 28, 2016 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM: lack of evidence is not proof, as I am sure Martin A would agree; however, lack of evidence does call into serious question the less emotive issue that there was an insider involved in “Climategate”. Going on your “proof of death”, if the body is that of an elderly person, in a locked room, has no injuries, with no signs of poisoning, no weapons around, and the subsequent post mortem shows signs of a heart attack, is there any reason to suspect that a murder occurred? Your logic seems to imply that a murder investigation should continue, until it has been definitely proved that there was no murder. Which, of course, is not possible. I was merely pointing out that, sometimes, the evidence can be so obvious it can be overlooked.

Apr 28, 2016 at 12:29 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

nonRadicalised Rodent, one option for people without religious faith, is to believe in Mann's Holy Hockey Stick.

I just believe in common sense, and forsake false prophets of doom.

Apr 28, 2016 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Geronimo. I vowed not to contribute to tbis thread, but your positive post I think needs a response. I cannot disagree with anything you suggest. However, the 64. Million dollar question is HOW to get the BBC to adopt such proposals. Any suggestions?

Apr 28, 2016 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Greater minds than mine have stated that one who does not believe in God, does not believe in nothing, but will believe in anything. I think that the present AGW “Belief” is a good example of that.

Apr 28, 2016 at 2:09 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Radical Rodent

Read the post again. In my example the body literally "showed no signs of life".

In the absence of evidence for life , one infers an absence of life. This is an example of a situation where absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

Where did murder come from?

Arthur C Clarke summed up my attitude to gods quite well in his novel "Songs of Distant Earth".

Fortunately for mankind, Alpha faded out of the picture, more or less gracefully, in the early 2000s. It was killed by a fascinating development called statistical theology…

In various forms, this debate had been going on for several thousand years. But by the twenty-first century, the new information technologies and methods of statistical analysis as well as a wider understanding of probability theory allowed it to be settled.

It took a few decades for the answers to come in, and a few more before they were accepted by virtually all intelligent men: Bad things happened just as often as good; as had long been suspected, the universe simply obeyed the laws of mathematical probability. Certainly there was no sign of any supernatural intervention, either for good or for ill.

So the problem of Evil never really existed. To expect the universe to be benevolent was like imagining one could always win at a game of pure chance.

For more detailed discussion of the role of probability in existance read Nassim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and Markets (2005) and Leonard Mlodinow’s The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (2008).

Apr 28, 2016 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

RR - 11.28am
Pascal's Wager! But also attributed to St Benedict when challenged that if he was wrong he would have wasted his entire life. His reply was that he didn't see it that way and in any case if it were true he would never know!
"On the other hand if I am right and you are wrong, consider what you may have wasted."

EM is right, however. Let's stick to the BBC. I agree with your 10.16 post as well but I want the Beeb to question the guff regardless of the source and regardless of the subject. That is supposed to be what a responsible media outlet is for — especially one with objectivity in its Charter!

Apr 28, 2016 at 2:19 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Radical Rodent

Having read chunks of the Bible and some Theology I find the whole idea of God illogical.

You paraphrased Pascal's Wager. That is the argument of an insurance salesman, not evidence for a supernatural being.

Paley's watchmaker is equally fallacious. What applies to the watch applies to the watchmaker, so the argument becomes logically recursive.

After reading Paleys argument I wrote this.

"Something as complex as Nature
must have had a creator.
This argument's odd.
Who made the One God,
Or created the Creator's creator?

If you really want to discuss religion, start a Discussion thread. Otherwise we should follow Mike Jackson's advice and return to the topic.

Apr 28, 2016 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Apr 28, 2016 at 2:37 PM | Entropic man

"Having read chunks of the Bible and some Theology I find the whole idea of God illogical."

So what makes Mann's Hockey Stick, Climate Science, IPCC, and Skeptical Skunks any different?

Apr 28, 2016 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Martin A
You are inconsistent.
On an earlier post you insisted that lack of evidence proved that there was no Climategate insider at UAE.
Apr 28, 2016 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM - I think you are confused. Off your rocker even. I most certainly did not say that.

I will have said that it is unknown whether any crime was committed because if whoever accessed and published the emails had authorised access, then the law was not broken. And furthermore, it is unknown who accessed them.

So it was reckless of you to state categorically that UEA staff had committed a crime when:
- It is not known whether a crime was commited
- If one was commited, then who the culprit was, and who they worked for, is unknown.

Now you insist that lack of evidence does not prove that there is no God.

I said no such thing. You are made that up. Your imagination is working overtime today. I simply asked if you had evidence of the existence of the sky fairy. I did not say whether lack of such evidence proved anything.

I asked that because you had just been chiding someone for not coming up with counter- evidence for the CAGW scare [maybe on a different thread?]

Did you hear about the dyslexic insomniac agnostic who lay awake at night wondering if there was a Dog?
Yes. Santa appeared and took away his soul.

Apr 28, 2016 at 4:37 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A


Apr 28, 2016 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Do a story on the history of failed end of the Earth predictions and movements. Do a series on what critical thinking involves.
Do a series on when scientific consensus was proven wrong.
Thanks for the chuckle, you maroon.

Apr 28, 2016 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Further to my earlier suggestion, if the BBC got Rodger 28Gate to co-host their new global-warmers-and-cooking program with big Emma, then they could call it:
"Potty Harrabin and the Half-Baked Princess".

Apr 28, 2016 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I didn’t know about Pascal’s Wager... the idea was my own. Or so I thought. And, no, I did not put it forward as any kind of evidence, ’cos that would be illogical.

Anyhoo… the BBC, though godly in its own self-perception, is as flawed as any human construct. The only known means to correct that is to constantly question itself, and listen to all who offer adverse criticism:

”Of all the skills of leadership, listening is the most valuable—and one of the least understood. Most captains of industry listen only sometimes, and they remain ordinary leaders. But a few, the great ones, never stop listening. That's how they get word before anyone else of unseen problems and opportunities.” — Peter Nulty
The BBC stopped listening a long time ago, because:
“That's the curse of success: you get arrogant, thinking everything you do is smart.” — Mark Cuban on Shark Tank
A big, big trap the BBC has fallen into, and they do not realise that:
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates
It is going to take a major change in the upper echelons of that boated corporation before they will accept that. It might be the biggest aspidistra in the world, but it is an aspidistra that needs serious pruning.

Apr 28, 2016 at 8:54 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

By "boated corporation" I presume you mean they are all at sea!

Apr 28, 2016 at 9:28 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson& Radical Rodent, , the BBC have taken heed of NOAA's warnings, and have spent all the money on Arks. Alan Yentob had specified Arts, but wasn't around to correct one of his many mistakes.

Apr 28, 2016 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Ah… typo. Or was it…? Given the Beeb’s obvious hatred of the letter ‘T’ (or should that be “le’er ‘_’”?), when they have “innernashnul” news from major “cidies”, perhaps I shud start a war on the letter ‘L’ (or perhaps “’etter ‘_’”).

Apr 28, 2016 at 10:01 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Radical Rodent, just remember there is no 'F' in climate science, and your spiel chequer can sought your peas and queues.

Apr 29, 2016 at 2:06 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

BBC appears to hate all industry. Climate Change is just a pretext.

... except when they don't like the government at the time, then they get very sentimental about industries closing down.

Any media outlet that frames everything in terms of climate change is already irrevocably biased.

Shut the BBC down and let them fend for themselves. I'm sure The Guardian will return their largesse by placing ads with them.

Apr 29, 2016 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Shut the BBC down and let them fend for themselves....
Apr 29, 2016 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

And the Met Office while you're at it.

Apr 29, 2016 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Alan Kendall: There isn't any chance of the BBC carrying any of the discussions I proposed, nor for that matter any other broadcaster. The BBC has a priori decided to go along with the mainstream science and not challenge the work of the IPCC in there infamous Chatham House Rules meeting. To some extent I can see where they're coming from, setting up the IPCC was a stroke of genius in that a respected body of scientists review the literature and come to the conclusions as to where the science is at on the issue of global warming (I eschew he words "climate change" because it has no meaning, other than giving people the opportunity to make a continuous process seem dangerous).

I believe that insofar as it can the IPCC does a pretty good job at assessing the state of the climate from the various papers published over the past five, or so, years, and that the scientists involved, especially in the body of the work, are a lot more cautious about calling down catastrophes than people think. For the record, I believe that most of the scientists are doing their best to be honest, but, of course, like all of us, many carry preconceptions with them. Having said that by focussing on the scientific literature over a short period of time, it excludes looking back far enough to see those small anomalies that appear in the evidence, like the various optimums, the fact that temperatures started to rise in 1700 or that some glaciers are still retreating from the last ice-age etc. All of which cast doubt on the cast iron certainty of the SPMs.

With the weight of the scientific output from the IPCC, and the sheer numbers of scientists involved, had I not looked into the global warming scare in more detail I would see people opposing the policies as a bit loony, so giving them air time would indeed be taking a chance.

You also have to take into account the fact that, not just the BBC, but all the news and current affairs outlets are cowed by the Green Blob, which organises protests at any hint of an examination of the evidence or the politics.

Then there's the BBC management culture, the condescending metro elite who run the BBC are not going to bow to pressure from a bunch of what it sees as right wing troublemakers.

Having said that I don't think the BBC should continue in its present format. I think it should be pared back to BBC TV 1 and 2, and BBC Radio 2 and 4 with the Trust led by Nigel Farage. That'd work.

Apr 30, 2016 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo, I read your 8.32 am with increasing appreciation. I echo almost everything you wrote, even the idea of a reduction in its output, but cannot stomach the idea of Farage.

I particularly applaud your attempts to see the other person's (or organization's) point of view while maintaining your own position.

Apr 30, 2016 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

AK: What is wrong with Nigel Farage?

May 1, 2016 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Steve Richards
I think the BBC Trust needs a tad more in the way of tact and diplomacy than comes naturally to Nige, wouldn't you agree?

I'll go along with most of your ideas but can we also make sure to take a machete to the "sub-local" TV stations? They are destroying local newspapers and not filling the gap.

May 1, 2016 at 8:55 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson


I believe that insofar as it can the IPCC does a pretty good job at assessing the state of the climate from the various papers published over the past five, or so, years, and that the scientists involved, especially in the body of the work, are a lot more cautious about calling down catastrophes than people think.

But the IPCC reports are over a 1000 pages long. There is lots in them that could be reported. The BBC doesn't report 99.9%

The IPCC says, for example, that tackling poverty is a higher priority than reducing CO2 emissions in terms of impact on the poor. That is a direct challenge to subsidies for wind farms.
Yet the BBC decides to censor that mainstream view.

The problem is the 28gate inspired bias of the BBC. It is not related to the BBC's environmental journalism. They do none.

May 1, 2016 at 9:27 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney