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Discussion > BBC & Media Bias re :climate/energy/green issues thread

New Thread since the old threads were a bit of a mess, with noise and vast off topic posting and Unthreaded gets crowded with people endless complaining about the BBC ..So at the suggestion of @sandyS I have started a new thread.

- It's a free world, but I'd prefer people to stay on topic.
- Also let anyone say what they want without intimidating them. If you want to challenge them then its best to quote their own words back at them.
So keep calm and carry on.

The story so far : every one seems to have agreed
: That the BBC is important cos it is by far the UK's largest sources of news and current affairs output.
: That there is a systematic culture of bias on climate/energy/green and that sometimes it's well over the top
- Many voices said it is unreformable and is suiciding itself
- One voice said that the priority is to fix orgs advising the BBC like The Royal Society

The primary tracker of BBC Bias is which covers all issues

May 10, 2016 at 1:24 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Today's Big Story is that Facebook is curating/rigging the news people see in their New Feeds to a bias to the "right-On" Social Justice warrior mentality that many accuse the BBC of in fixing the news agenda.

It's an Extraordinary Claim that needs extraordinary evidence
..BUT all we have actually got so far is Gizmodo's story that at least 2 Facebook staff told them facebook staff used a number of tricks to keep out right wing news and inject more "right on" sources into people's feeds.
Title : Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News
#2 story : Facebook Employees Asked Mark Zuckerberg If They Should Try to Stop a Donald Trump Presidency ..updated denial "we have not and will not use our products in a way that attempts to influence how people vote.”"
part of FB's Statement :

"Trending Topics shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or one news outlet over another"
..Well they'd have to say that cos if Zuckerburg has been playing Big Brother that's some serious S^&t

Telegraph coverage ..Telegraph comments on FB

May 10, 2016 at 1:42 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The BBC are not sure about the Facbook bias ..or are they
Their article is titled : Facebook: Political bias claim 'untrue'
...The trick of using a quote to put a narrative in a headline

It has open comments ..unusual for the BBC, cos they usually already know everyone's opinion

May 10, 2016 at 1:50 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

For me the BBC is a vital part of UK independence.
We are Anglophone. We would be swamped by US culture without the BBC. Within 30 years there would be no UK culture without the BBC.

But the idolatrous worship of Green issues and a refusal to debate the science or the politics around them... that's not British culture. We may not be a Christian nation but we surely aren't Pagan.

Every documentary has a Friends of the Earth fundraiser tacked on the last five minutes. It's perverse.

The BBC needs to have a policy that "facts" will not be presented without also presenting the evidence that leads you to believe them. That should stop all those unreferenced attribution studies that contaminate wildlife, history, every other reported subject.

May 10, 2016 at 2:11 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Oh fantastic!

Another thread about the BBC.

Old rants for new!!

May 10, 2016 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

This is a topic that need discussion.
And the last threads went awry.

It's not good enough to say the BBC must die. We lose a lot
It's not good enough to say the BBC is good enough. It isn't and when that is clear we will lose a lot.
It's not good enough to say the BBC cannot be changed. It has to grow or we assuredly shall lose a lot.

So let's discuss what does need to happen.
I've proposed a policy that could anchor the BBC closer to a traceable understanding of the truth.
Has anyone else got any policy or systemic changes that they think would help? If so, what and why?

May 10, 2016 at 2:43 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney


unfortunately there are facts and facts. Greens (and their kin) have their own facts (after all they must base their beliefs on something). Your "policy" might well allow the BBC to increase its green content, simply by causing every green statement to be accompanied by even more propaganda (sorry factual evidence).

What you (we) seek is more balance, not to give green apologists even more breathing room.

May 10, 2016 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Well, yes.
But that at least let's them show their working.
At the moment we are at the point of "as everybody knows". Which is fine for children but is no basis on which to make a grown-up decision. Like voting.

My problem with seeking balance is that most issues are not either/or. The excluded middle is also misleading.

Better to ask someone to justify their position than to say "That's been heard enough".

Just my first thought. I'm looking for a way to save the BBC from 28gate without destroying it in the process.

May 10, 2016 at 3:57 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

M.Courtney. The second tactic that will be used to smother your suggested policy, is for the BBC to argue that the facts supporting the green message in their programmes can't be trotted out every time they are mentioned. That would create boring TV or radio. They would soon be in a position to argue that the oft repeated facts can now be ignored because they are known to the informed audilence, are accepted by the majority of scientists, and are only opposed by a tiny minority (with dubious and perhaps even crackpot ideas). In other words, back to where we are at present.

May 10, 2016 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

You accuse the BBC of leftist bias. At the same time it is accused of bias against the Labour Party.

If both right and left are accusing the BBC of bias against them, then the balance is correct.

May 10, 2016 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

It only means that it could be balanced, EM, not that is. And not necessarily balanced with regard to any single topic. Also, a good typical politician always get's their complaint in first, often to disguise the fact that they are guilty of the crime they are accusing others of. To wit, Michael Mann and global-warmers saying they are harassed and science is "under attack" from people who disagree with them.

btw, stewgreen, it's good topic for a discusssion thread. I'm sure I will be able to find something to add to it shortly.

May 10, 2016 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

EM, this thread was about climate science and the BBC's bias, but you are confirming that climate science is (for most) a political thing.

The Green party puts climate science high on its agenda, and about 97% of the population, do not vote Green. (I admit it, I made up the 97% statistic, in the best traditions of climate science as reported by the BBC)

May 10, 2016 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie
Stopping Climate Change and wanting World Peace have similar ratings in opinion polls and have a similar level of commitment to achieving them by the general public or 96.9999% of the public anyway..

May 10, 2016 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS


3.0001% don't want world peace?
Your evidence?
Do you want the BBC to give them time to explain their position?
Fair do's: warmongers (like climate sceptics) are people too.

May 10, 2016 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Michael hart

Every astronomy discussion should include a flat Earther.

Every spaceflight discussion should include a moon landing sceptic.

Every paleoclimate discussion should include a young Earth creationist.

Every antibiotic resistance discussion should include an evolution sceptic.

Every theological discussion should include an atheist.

Every vaccination discussion should include a vaccination sceptic.

Every contrail discussion should include a chemtrailer.

Every climate change discussion should include a HAARP conspiracy theorist.

Every climate change discussion should include a climate change sceptic.

Every climate change discussion should include a sky dragon slayer.

Every climate change discussion should include a climate scientist.

Every climate change discussion should include a Democrat politician

Every climate change discussion should include a Republican politician

Which of these should be BBC policy?

Some are sensible, others are ridiculous. Who should decide, and using what criteria?

May 10, 2016 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM, the dependable miasmic fool, confusing the issue- clearly his inability to hold a serious discussion, after all of this time, reflects his limitations.

May 10, 2016 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Golf Charlie, SandyS, Alan Kenwell

“Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But, if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And, if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?”
― Robert Bolt

If we were arguing political ideology there is no correct or incorrect position. In a BBC discussion all sides should be represented.

In matters scientific it rapidly becomes apparent that one viewpoint is correct and the other is not. Opinion then becomes irrelevant. Global warming passed that point years ago.

The political discussion should now be between those wishing to continue BAU and accept the consequent rapid climate change, and those wishing to mitigate. Phrase your contributions in those terms and you might get more airtime.

May 10, 2016 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


How is insulting me a useful contribution to the discussion?

May 10, 2016 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

In matters scientific it rapidly becomes apparent that one viewpoint is correct and the other is not.
Not sure you should be quite so confident, stating that, EM; there are many matters scientific which are still open to conjecture and debate – “Big Bang” or “Steady State”, for a start.
Opinion then becomes irrelevant.
Correct only after facts have been definitely established.
Global warming passed that point years ago.
Few doubt that global warming has occurred since the Little Ice Age; what the debate is now about is: a) its cause; b) whether anything can truly be done to influence it; and, c) whether there is any real cause for concern about the matter, anyway, so why even bother trying to influence it?

May 10, 2016 at 9:26 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Alan Kendall
I wasn't particularly clear, my point was that only about 3% of the population put any measurable effort into achieving world peace or/and reversing climate change despite what they say in opinion surveys, I have a feeling it's the same 3%.

May 10, 2016 at 9:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

EM, you are not actually here to converse, making your question pointless.

May 10, 2016 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I don't know what the flat earth has got to do with astronomy, but thanks to the BBC I have heard discussions on what happened before the Big Bang, not everyone agreed.
Thanks to the BBC I have heard discussions on String Theory, not everyone agreed.
Thanks to the BBC I have heard discussions about instant evolution, not everyone agreed.

I can't really be bothered to go on, but there are competing theories in every field of scientific research, except for Climate Change at the BBC.

May 10, 2016 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Radical Rodent, SandyS

there are many matters scientific which are still open to conjecture and debate – “Big Bang” or “Steady State”, for a start.

there are competing theories in every field of scientific research, except for Climate Change

A BBC discussion on the relative merits of the Big Bang and the Steady State would come down in favour of the Big Bang because it's predictions match observation, while some predictions of the Steady State do not. This does not mean that the Big Bang is perfect, but that it is a much better fit to observed reality. Nevertheless, the Steady State hypothesis is useful as an alternative which focuses the discussion. There are indeed many examples of hypothesis and counter hypothesis in science, yet the sceptics can produce no credible counter hypothesis to AGW. All they can say is "It's not AGW."

A discussion of AGW would also come down in its favour.This is why I keep asking you for an alternative hypothesis to AGW, an alternative explanation for the warming. Hunter claims that there is no requirement to produce one, but just denying the evidence of AGW is a weak position.Being able to propose a sensible alternative would strengthen your position considerably. How can the BBC broadcast an interesting discussion when one side has a much stronger case than the other? Why should they invite climate sceptics when they have no equivalent of the Steady State to offer.

Correct only after facts have been definitely established.

This is science, the facts are never definitely established. What does happen is that the weight of evidence for one hypothesis builds up until a Kuhnian consensus forms. This is what has happened around AGW. If you want to change that you need another hypothesis for which you can build up a weight of evidence to put on your side of the scales.

Few doubt that global warming has occurred since the Little Ice Age;

Up until recently there were people at BH denying that there was any warming. That seems to have faded. The cause is well established and the sky dragon slayers are also fading into the background.

As I said, the debate is now about the consequences, and the extent to which we should change current lifestyles to limit future damage. Go onto television and debate that. You sceptics would be listened to with more respect and given more airtime if you honestly accepted that, rather than denying that there is a problem.

May 10, 2016 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Judging by the recent historical record, if the BBC had a proper debate about climate science, no climate scientist would want to turn up.

This would actually be a brilliant start. Historians, archaeologists and many other professionals could then have a debate comparing climate records from before the Hockey Stick was made up, and after.

Following this debate, the public could then use the internet to vote on whether any climate scientists should receive further coverage on the BBC. This data could then be used by the Government to re-evaluate whether the BBC should receive further taxpayer funding.

How many turkeys would that kill with one stone?

Many climate science afficianados claim the debate is already settled, but no one can remember when, or who by, or based on what actual evidence.

May 10, 2016 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

hunter on May 10, 2016 at 8:18 PM

Much of the confusion in this subject originates in having the Establishment defining the opposition stance to the Establishment View and in making 'off topic' comments to denigrate anyone opposed to the Establishment.

Which of the last six of EM's suggestions would be followed in a climate change discussion? It would be the one that offered least resistance. In fact, by labelling it a climate change discussion would be falling at the first hurdle as we would be accepting that climate change is the cause of a changing climate! :)

Also, all the suggestions are expecting an idealogical opponent, but why not have a whistle-blower or two, with some hard evidence that has already been reported in the press, but we don't hear about them as it would offend the Establishment. (I won't mention details as it would be off topic here. :) )

As long as the BBC's 28-gate meeting's policy is still in force, monitoring and complaining about BBC climate bias is a forlorn activity. It should be raised as of primary concern as it goes against everything in the BBC's Charter. It sets the agenda in stone.

It is why Trump is so popular in the US: he has been setting the agenda, and is not taken off-topic by the liberal media. There are many who are a little wary of what to expect from him, but at least they can see that he has won the battle with the liberal media which is something that hasn't been done over there for many years.

I listened to More or Less (R4, Sunday, 8pm) and this week they had a item about sexist statistics, where economic data, especially in the 3rd World, is mainly measuring men's achievements, so they had a clip of Hillary Clinton from a few years back. (What luck! :) ) They then said if Trump says anything on this subject, they will get back to us. How they scheme behind the scenes!

They then had an earnest 'expert' (who sounded American) from a global organisation explaining how Britain could have expanded trade with the BRICS a few years ago, but not now, as their economies are are do doing so well, so EU it is! And so it went on and on!

While these topics are not about climate, they do support the Windmill Manic EU and the Democratic presidential hopeful who is continuing Obama's War On Coal, and pour scorn on their enemies, like UKIP, that has sensible non-windmill policies, and Trump, who supports coal:
Obama's war on coal is killing American jobs, making us more energy dependent on our enemies & creating a great business disadvantage.

TinyCO2 on May 10, 2016 at 6:19 PM in Unthreaded reported this:
Daily Telegraph: Breakdowns force National Grid to issue power supply crunch alert

Where is the BBC report? They are too busy with their own agenda.

The BBC needs reporters that have a good command of the industry under discussion, their markets, the political outlook and a reasonable understanding of the Science involved. It would rule out most BBC reporters, but without those attributes there is no way that we will get interesting discussions on anything!

We used to get informative discussions that might have had more agreement on one side than the other, but they were educational, something that Trevor Phillips bemoans in his recent publication that I have already mentioned in the Enoch Powell thread:

May 10, 2016 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher