Thursday, July 21, 2011
ALLEGED CATASTROPHIC GLOBAL WARMING
Since there is no actual evidence for such warming at the very least the default position of any scientist must be that it is questionable. A few years ago the BBC devoted an entire day to Al Gore's Pop Music against Global Warming concert. If that had been the only programme ever done supporting this theory then the BBC, if it were attempting to be impartial would have had to devote 10 hours to the opposite theory. If it devoted 1 hour it could claim to be 10% honest. If the BBC had ever allowed the broadcast of a 1 hour formal debate on the subject (with debaters from both sides) it would be able to claim to be 5% unbiased if only the programmes mentioned had taken place. Obviously the BBC have never done anything remotely as impartial as that & there is no possibility of anybody remotely honest ever suggesting that the BBC's integrity is anything better than asymptotically approaching zero. Their repeated contention that there is a "scientific consensus" on global warming, which they still have not retracted, while censoring any mention of the fact that the largest single expression of scientific opinion, the Oregon Petition says it is false, is deplorable.
The BBC devote a considerable amount of time to nuclear scare stories, Chernobyl etc. While pushing the LNT theory that there is no safe lower limit to radiation they never report that the LNT theory was a bureaucratic not scientific decision for which not only has there never been any evidence whatsoever but that there is a large mass of evidence for the opposite Hormesis theory.
Not only do they omit any mention of relative proven costs in their consistently wildly enthusiastic reporting of windmills but I have never once heard them mention that windmills are far further from being CO2 neutral than nuclear plants.
These should be evidence based. Where there is no evidence for such a scare (e.g. GM foods or mobile phones) it is wrong to give equal or close to equal time to those pushing the scare. This gives the impression there is something to it. By comparison in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy the possibility of the Earth being eaten by a giant mutant space goat is raised. The evidence for dangerous giant mutant space goats is exactly the same as for mobile phones, GM foods or cloned animals being harmful & it is quite improper for the BBC to, on purely political grounds, choose to give disproportionate airtime to the latter. I am making no suggestion as to which way movement should go - if the BBC decide to redress the imbalance by giving airtime to the space goat menace that would be equally appropriate as reporting of other "environmentalist" scare stories.
The BBC should appoint science reporters with scientific credentials. Roger Harabin, for example, has an English degree which may, or may not, make him expert in other fields but does not do so in science. On the other hand the BBC decision to cease working with the immensely popular David Bellamy on what can only be described as purely political grounds is disgraceful. On the opposite hand they recently endorsed a statement by David Attenborough that all of Norfolk will be under water by 2026. There is no evidence whatsoever for that & the BBC should issue a clarification that this claim merely represents the very highest standard of accuracy the BBC ever aspire to & thus should not necessarily be believed & that in the event Norfolk does not vanish by the due date, or a significant portion of it by 2011, no statement by any representative of the BBC should ever, under any circumstances be treated as honest without strong independent verification.
Diversity should be encouraged. The BBC should commission programmes from a wide variety of individuals, having editorial control of what they say, so long as the science is fact based, Continuance of individual's contracts should depend on popularity not political approval. I have previously suggested that our political life would be improved if we had formal broadcast debates on political issues. The BBC have refused to do this or to say why & the assumption must be that they do not want such improvement. The adversarial process of investigation has a long & relatively successful record of testing evidence. There are quite a number of scientific & technological issues where the public could be both more informed & entertained by such debates (obviously alleged catastrophic warming, but also nuclear power, GM foods, supporting commercial space development, "alternative" power. I would even be happy to see such a debate on evolution - I think a clearly free formal debate on the subject would be decisive - after all it was in Darwin's time. I consider the general refusal of the BBC to give significant airtime to any viewpoint that does not fit their political position is seriously damaging & inconsistent with a free society. Science, in particular, depends on investigative freedom.
Professor Steve Jones'
THE BBC was criticised by climate change sceptics yesterday after it emerged that their views will get less coverage because they differ from mainline scientific opinion. --Nathan Rao, Daily Express, 21 July 2011
Anyone who has followed the BBC’s coverage of the climate change debate in any detail will surely be puzzled by a recommendation that it should give less weight to the views of sceptics. For it does not seem possible that it could give any less weight to those who doubt the strength of the link between carbon emissions and global temperature change, so partial is its approach. --Editorial, Daily Express 21 July 2011
In its explicit attack on the Global Warming Policy Foundation, it is quite apparent that the BBC Trust report is using the 'science-is-settled' mantra as a smokescreen to silence critics of climate taxes and green policies. Instead of using the crisis of British journalism to position the BBC as a fair and impartial news outlet, the report undermines the attempt by Lord Patten, the BBC Chairman, to restore credibility on one of the most contentious public policy issues. –The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 20 July 2011
Accuracy is clearly not one of Prof Jones’ strong points. He uses his BBC report to make an explicit attack on the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which he claims made a submission to his review. However, as the GPWF explain on their website, they did not make any submission to the review at all. If Jones can get something as basic as that incorrect then how can anyone have confidence in his assertions? --Autonomous Mind, 21 July 2011
Now a lawyer without any position on this might come to some kind of balance, but where to find such a creature??