Thursday, October 26, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: The BBC's Green Journalism

BBC Is Accused Of Being A 'Left-Wing Mouthpiece' After Grovelling Apology For Lawson Interview

In this newsletter:

1) BBC Is Accused Of Being A ‘Left-Wing Mouthpiece’ After Grovelling Apology For Lawson Interview
James Tapsfield, Mail Online, 25 October 2017 
2) BBC Wrong To Not Challenge Climate Sceptic Lord Lawson
BBC News, 25 October 2017

3) Andrew Montford: The BBC’s Green Journalism
GWPF Opinion, 25 October 2017
4) 400 Scientific Papers Published In 2017 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm
Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, 23 October 2017
5) British Government Accused Of Underestimating Cost Of Wind Energy
Utility Week, 24 October 2015
6) Southeast Asia Oil And Coal Consumption Growing Rapidly Until 2040, IEA Report
Reuters, 25 October 2017

Full details:

1) BBC Is Accused Of Being A ‘Left-Wing Mouthpiece’ After Grovelling Apology For Lawson Interview
James Tapsfield, Mail Online, 25 October 2017 

The BBC was accused of being a ‘left-wing mouthpiece’ today after it issued a grovelling apology for failing to challenge Lord Lawson over a claim temperatures have not risen over the last 10 years. Furious MPs said the decision to single out the peer showed the corporation had given up any ‘pretence’ of impartiality.

Former chancellor Lord Lawson made the claim during an interview broadcast on Radio 4’s Today programme in August.

The BBC had initially rejected complaints from viewers, claiming that it was important to give air time to ‘dissenting voices’ in the pursuit of fairness.
However it has now bowed to pressure and admitted that it breached its own editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality.

Tory MP Philip Davies told MailOnline: ‘It is what you would expect from the BBC. It is typical BBC.

‘They have given up any pretence of being impartial these days. They have become a mouthpiece for any left-wing, pro-EU Labour party cause.

‘If they think they might have upset some of their left wing cheerleaders then of course they are going to apologise profusely.

‘I look forward to them apologising profusely when a right wing politician is challenged. I think we would be waiting a long time.’

Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire told MailOnline: ‘If the BBC had to apologise for every inaccuracy a Labour politician made on air they would never be able to have a Labour politician on.

‘The position sounds rather extreme to me – the BBC very seldom allow climate sceptics on the programme.’

Full story

2) BBC Wrong To Not Challenge Climate Sceptic Lord Lawson
BBC News, 25 October 2017

The BBC should have challenged the views of climate sceptic Lord Lawson in an interview in August, the complaints unit for the corporation has ruled.

The ex-chancellor claimed in an interview with the Today programme that "official figures" showed average world temperatures had "slightly declined".

This view, shown to be false by the Met Office, was not challenged on air.

The BBC admitted it had breached its "guidelines on accuracy and impartiality".

Conservative peer Lord Lawson's appearance on Radio 4's flagship Today programme sparked a number of complaints from listeners.

He had been invited on to discuss the latest film on climate change by former US Vice President Al Gore.

During the interview, Lord Lawson said "official figures" showed that "during this past 10 years, if anything... average world temperature has slightly declined".

He also claimed the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had confirmed there had not been an increase in extreme weather events for the last 10 years.

Dr Peter Stott, of the Met Office, came on the programme the following day to confirm that Lord Lawson's statistics, which he did not cite at the time, were incorrect.

Dr Stott also said the IPCC has clearly indicated an increase in extreme weather events across the globe were linked to human use of fossil fuels.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a campaign group chaired by Lord Lawson, later confirmed his statistics were "erroneous".

The BBC's media editor Amol Rajan said the Today programme had a remit to offer dissenting opinions, aimed at challenging lazy thinking and consensus views.

But he said the BBC's complaints department ruled that a lack of scrutiny of Lord Lawson's claims meant the interview fell short of editorial standards.

It ruled that the peer's statements "were, at the least, contestable and should have been challenged".

Full story

3) Andrew Montford: The BBC’s Green Journalism
GWPF Opinion, 25 October 2017

With weary inevitability, the BBC has decided that it is going to issue an apology after a sceptic – Nigel Lawson in this case – was allowed a rare opportunity to state their case on the airwaves.  This is starting to be something of a ritual for the corporation.

Once in a month of Sundays, a dissenting voice will be given a brief airing, an event that will be followed by a screams of outrage from greens and their cronies, a “fact-checking” by some green-minded BBC journalist, a public climb down and an apology for not being ruder to said sceptic on air or for allowing them on in the first place.

Note that the ruling is only about the way Lawson was treated on air – the corporation is not actually getting involved in the debate over the numbers. This is probably just as well, as they are no doubt wary of the public realising that, a temporary El Nino aside, temperatures are again failing to warm as fast as climatologists would have us believe they should be.

Met Office’s HadCrut4 global temperature record

And of course, there really is very little evidence of a worsening of extreme weather (unless you accept the preposterous idea that a daily temperature maximum is a “weather extreme” – I’ll have to look out for that when I pop out to the shops tomorrow lunchtime). No, the BBC is just saying that the Today programme staff should have bad-mouthed Lawson more and challenged him a bit harder, which, as was pointed out by the journalists involved, is a bit hard to do when you are trying to conduct a live interview. And if the BBC’s standard is that “contestable claims must be challenged” then this is a standard honoured more in the breach than the observance.

Which is why it’s really just a charade. Underneath it all, it’s just the BBC caving into a very aggressive and very vocal green lobby. That said, it’s fair to say that there are few within the corporation who would take any persuasion at all when it came to supporting the greens; as one senior BBC journalist once told me, most BBC staff think that – similar to apartheid – the moral righteousness of the environmental cause transcends their legal duty to be balanced.

This is, no doubt, why the BBC didn’t apologise for allowing Al Gore to utter his wild claims about the climate in the same Today programme segment, why they never challenge the absurd statements greens make about fracking (indeed BBC journalists were at the forefront of disseminating them), and why they have thus far maintained a determined silence over the astonishing glyphosate scandal the other day. To this day, the BBC has never made a programme critical of any environmental group.

In some ways I simply don’t care about the BBC’s behaviour any longer.  The majority of people within the corporation look as though they are card-carrying members of the green movement and will attack anyone or anything that stands in the way of the environmental agenda. So long as people know this, they will increasingly shun and ignore it.

see also: Christopher Booker: The BBC and Climate Change -- A Triple Betrayal

4) 400 Scientific Papers Published In 2017 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm
Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, 23 October 2017

During the first 10 months of 2017, 400 scientific papers have been published that cast doubt on the position that anthropogenic CO2 emissions function as the climate’s fundamental control knob…or that otherwise question the efficacy of climate models or the related “consensus” positions commonly endorsed by policymakers and mainstream media.

These 400 new papers support the position that there are significant limitations and uncertainties inherent in our understanding of climate and climate changes.  Climate science is not settled.

Modern temperatures, sea levels, and extreme weather events are neither unusual nor unprecedented.  Many regions of the Earth are cooler now than they have been for most of the last 10,000 years.

Natural factors such as the Sun (106 papers), multi-decadal oceanic-atmospheric oscillations such as the NAO, AMO/PDO, ENSO (37 papers), decadal-scale cloud cover variations, and internal variability in general have exerted a significant influence on weather and climate changes during both the past and present.  Detecting a clear anthropogenic forcing signal amidst the noise of unforced natural variability may therefore be difficult.

And current emissions-mitigation policies, especially related to the advocacy for renewables, are often costly, ineffective, and perhaps even harmful to the environment.  On the other hand, elevated CO2 and a warmer climate provide unheralded benefits to the biosphere (i.e., a greener planet and enhanced crop yields).

In 2016 there were 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in scholarly journals (Part 1Part 2Part 3) challenging “consensus” climate science.   This amounts to more than 900 papers in less than 2 years.

Below are the two links to the list of 400 papers as well as the guideline for the lists’ categorization.

Skeptic Papers 2017 (1)

Skeptic Papers 2017 (2)

Full post

5) British Government Accused Of Underestimating Cost Of Wind Energy
Utility Week, 24 October 2015

The government has been accused of underestimating the subsidy costs in the recent Contracts for Difference (CfD) by almost 50 per cent.

A briefing note by Aurora Energy Research claims the government’s methodology for forecasting future subsidy payments appears to underestimate the likely cost by almost £80 million a year.

And the note warns unless it changes its methodology, the government also risks “overspending on future renewables auctions”.

Last month’s CfD round awarded subsidy contracts to 3.2GW of offshore wind with a strike price of £57.50.

The note states that under these contracts, the government is obliged to pay a top up between the price the plant receives in the wholesale market when it generates and the strike price.

It adds the department of business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) currently calculates the subsidies as the difference between the strike price and its forecast of the average wholesale price.

But the “capture price” that windfarms actually receive is lower than the average wholesale price.

It claims BEIS forecasts the subsidies to the offshore wind allocated in last month’s CfD round to be £176 million per year, based on the difference between the strike price and the baseload price.

Aurora estimates if capture prices are used to estimate subsidy payments then the CfD bill increases to £261 million a year instead – an increase of almost 50 per cent.

Full story

6) Southeast Asia Oil And Coal Consumption Growing Rapidly Until 2040, IEA Report
Reuters, 25 October 2017

Oil usage in the region will expand to around 6.6 million barrels per day by 2040 from 4.7 million bpd now, with the number of road vehicles increasing by two-thirds to around 62 million, the agency said in a report. It did not make any forecasts beyond 2040.

A global push to replace combustion engines in vehicles with electric-powered ones to fight climate change has raised concerns in the oil industry that demand for the commodity could peak in the next 10-20 years.

But oil will continue to meet around 90 percent of transport-related demand in Southeast Asia, especially for trucks and ships, Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA’s director of energy markets and security, said at the Singapore International Energy Week.

“Unless there are any drastic technological changes that can decarbonize these areas, we do not expect oil demand to fall,” he said.

Oil demand from the petrochemicals sector, one of the largest users of the fossil fuel, will also grow fairly substantially, Sadamori said. Oil can be used as a raw material for plastics and textiles.

The IEA expects electricity to account for only 1 percent of transport energy demand in 2040, saying there will be only about 4 million electric cars in a total passenger vehicle stock of 62 million.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asia’s overall energy demand is expected to climb nearly 60 percent by 2040 from now, led by power generation, as rising incomes in the region spur more people to buy electric appliances including air conditioners, the IEA said.

The region will have universal access to electricity in the early 2030s and is expected to install more than 565 gigawatts (GW) of power-generation capacity in 2040, from 240 GW today, the agency said. Coal and renewables account for almost 70 percent of new output, it added.

Coal alone will account for almost 40 percent of the growth while renewables will quadruple by 2040 to become the second largest source of electricity after coal, overtaking gas, IEA forecasts showed.

Southeast Asia will become a key driver for energy demand globally as its economy triples in size and its total population grows by a fifth, the IEA said. But the region’s net energy import bill is also climbing as oil production declines, raising concerns over energy security.

Full story

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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