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

EM 9.38pm. Interesting. An exercise I sometimes did with my students was to show them isolated segments of the temperature changes for the early and later parts of the 20th century and ask them to guess which one revealed the effects of AGW. You know the results varied little from uninformed guesswork. I never examined the results statistically, so I suppose this was only Type 1 data analysis.

An aphorism involving lies, damn lies and type 2 thinking ought to be written.

May 13, 2016 at 7:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

An aphorism involving lies, damn lies and type 2 thinking ought to be written ..... by a BBC executive.

Good, now I'm safe from the thread moderator!

May 13, 2016 at 7:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

RR - I get 403 Forbidden Error Page

If you arrived here due to a search or clicking on a link click your Browser's back button to return to the previous page. Thank you.

May 13, 2016 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Alan Kendall
I'm still way behind with this thread. The small things I was thinking about are viruses, bacteria and insects. The point was that environmentalists have a tendency to blame all environmental change on mankind and the fact is that all living things do to a greater or lesser degree. It's generally accepted that population variations take place and nature usually comes up with a way of bringing them back to a more realistic level or replacing them with something else. Planet Earth has never been in a steady state and we'd do well to remember it.

Also we have short memories, before Europeans killed most of them there were about 50 million Buffalo in North America all busily producing methane. There are now 90 million cattle producing methane, I don't know the total for either, but American cattle are a major greenhouse gas producer and Buffalo weren't.

May 13, 2016 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Entropic man
Large amounts of sphagnum moss in bogs across most of Northern Europe not just in the far north. It has remarkable water retention capabilities and is not something to walk across if you want to keep your feet dry. So its environmental influences may have a greater extent than you think.

May 13, 2016 at 8:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

IceAgeNow, has many interesting stories mainly about cold and volcanoes and can be found at

May 13, 2016 at 8:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS the discharges from the rear ends of bulls, selectively bred by man, are more harmful than the discharges from the rear ends of bison.

But if you want to destroy mankind, nothing beats discharges from climate scientists.

It is all Grade A 'Bull'.

May 13, 2016 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

SandyS and golf charlie only:

Is there a difference between a bison and a buffalo?

OK its sitting on the tee.

May 13, 2016 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

SandyS. Tut tut. No buffalo in North America, just bison.

You seem to make absolutely no allowance for the existence of good methane and bad methane. Models won't work properly without this distinction.

You also fail to mention the effects of the 3-5 billion passenger pigeons, the simultaneous migration of which surely caused the Earth to wobble. The disappearance of their guano must also have caused ecological mayhem.

Climate science is just the latest of many environmental disasters to afflict our poor globe.

May 13, 2016 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Okay. Try it in the raw, so to speak: then copy and paste in a new window.

May 13, 2016 at 11:14 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

SandyS, EM.

Try out the humble mangrove species. They protect tens of thousands of kilometres of coastlines from hurricane/typhoon damage.

They are also very sensitive to sea level change, explaining why some were uprooted by climate activists in the Maldives when the plants stubbornly refused to react to the massive sea level rise that everyone knew had happened there.

This story hardly made it into the media (= link to thread topic*)

I offer to you the mangrove, the sceptics' tree of choice.

* you other guys are going to get into such big trouble.

May 13, 2016 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

SandyS. Tut tut. No buffalo in North America, just bison.

May 13, 2016 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

So William Cody should have been called Bison Bill?

May 13, 2016 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Alan Kendall,
I take my lead from Wikipedia on Buffalo/Bison

The American bison (Bison bison), also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds.

Commonly known as will do for me, why confuse the makers of Westerns as MartinA points out.

May 13, 2016 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

But SandyS we are such sticklers for correct termnology here on other matters, I thought I would modify my behaviour accordingly.

Wiki should have written "The american bison....commonly MISTAKENLY known as the american buffalo". On some subjects you just can't trust Wiki to do the right thing. Try looking up their climate change coverage.

Westerns get more than species indentification wrong. Killing with handguns at distances greater than about ten metres had a very low chance of success, and from horseback, forget it.

May 13, 2016 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

AK - I imagined you would point out that he William Cody returned and now publishes stuff about his travels in Britain (and in the USA) under the name Bill Bison.

May 13, 2016 at 12:37 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The purpose of statistical methods is to bring some objectivity to the analysis. Even very basic regression does better than the unaided eyeball.
May 12, 2016 at 9:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM - I'd like you to help me understand something.

You use "a very basic regression" to fit a straight line, from a subjectively chosen start time to a subjectively chosen finish, where the time series you are fitting it to consists of (presumably):

- A variation in temperature, caused by human activity, of unknown amplitude

added to*

- Variations in temperature (a.k.a. 'natural variation') which constitute a time series of unknown statistical characteristics

Please help me understand how the result of your 'very basic regression' used inb this way is in any way more objective than looking at the curve and saying "this is what it looks like to me"... ?

*Even "added to" implies an assumption of linearity which itself cannot be validated and in view of the nonlinearities present cannot be strictly valid.

May 13, 2016 at 12:52 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The correct answer is:

'You can't wash your hands in a Buffalo.'

This won Australian Joke of the Year in 1963 and is now all but forgotten.
Sometimes I feel so alone.

May 13, 2016 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Martin A.

William Cody was no zoologist, and as you pointed out didn't want to be confused with the future Bill Bryson. That's twice today that one of my witticisms has been pre empted by someone quicker on the draw.

Given up struggling to keep gratuitously trying to be relevant to the thread topic.

May 13, 2016 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Martin A. (12.52pm) wish I wrote that. It sounds so much more sexy when couched in type 2 language.

May 13, 2016 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall
I'll risk getting chastised, I'm the guy that got sent to the back of the Physics class for messing with the equipment when the 2nd,3rd and 4th explanations of the topic of the day were going on. So some more scientific equipment messing will follow

I'll add Birch to your excellent suggestion Mangrove, the first boreal species to colonise the land after the ice retreated, we're getting quite a list of things which have changed the environment apart from man.

May 13, 2016 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Right back to the discussion about BBC and media
#1 The BBC has shoehorned another green dream into a programme says
The series is supposed to be about the Future like crime, medicine and now its an episode about fantastic solar is

Nigel S May 11, 2016 8:24 pm
What is BBC Radio 4 ‘Future Proofing’ boosting at moment? Solar energy of course.....
This evening’s programme included the claim (at 21:18) (actually 20:47) that the grid “… sheds 93% of the power by the time it actually reaches the end user.” (Yes I checked, but he was talking not about avergae but rather the user furthest from the generator

... BUT BUT BUT when I check the prog I find the first 20 mins are actually about FUSION it's only after the quoted bit that the presenter starts pushing SOLAR himself as if he is an expert.

The presentation is rubbish

May 13, 2016 at 3:40 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Noel Edmonds did a big interview on Radio 5 saying the BBC is so sick it won't make its 100th birthday
3 minutes

This prompted an hour long phone in about the BBC's future featuring the controversial Ant-EU pundit Richard North

May 13, 2016 at 3:44 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

SandyS. I never did physics, but I did break all my test tubes and pipettes in chemistry. Had to nick my neighbours'. When I think back to the innumerable quantitative and qualitative analyses we had to do for A level, I much regret all the time lost when we could have done much more interesting and useful things.

If Darwin were still with us, he would have offered the earthworm for consideration.

May 13, 2016 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

That BBC Future Proofing programme is usually unlistenable anyway cos the presenters style
They are both doozy hippies, but the BBC think they are playing a trick cos they are balancing each other
So in this episode the woman seems to champion fusion
and the guy promotes solar (just from the top of his head) quoting no proper evidence but a lot of dreamy words

May 13, 2016 at 4:07 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

More on the new BBC white paper
On the Media Show - BBC said they were basically Happy with it..some BBC supporters are still against
Michael Grade really liked it.
The leaks about extreme government control turned out not to be true
The gov want to select 6 people for the BBC board, but they said they won't be dictating how big the board is so if there are another 8 then the gov selected ones won't control.
The idea is that those 6 will only be sitting in on stragey meeting..they will not sit in meetings about operational matters, so won't be blocking specific progs etc.

Feedback also covered it but I haven't listened yet

May 14, 2016 at 8:41 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen