Tuesday, July 9, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: BBC Faces Legal Challenge As Viewers Raise Thousands To Tackle ‘Bias’

'The Supposedly Impartial BBC Should Hang Its Head In Shame At Its Relentless Bias'

In this newsletter:

1) BBC Faces Legal Challenge As Viewers Raise Thousands To Tackle 'Bias'
Daily Express, 8 July 2019 
2) Help Us Stop BBC Bias
Crowd Justice: Stop BBC Bias

3) BBC Climate Alarmism: ‘Never Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Scare Story’
News Watch, 15 October 2018
4) Christopher Booker: The Supposedly Impartial BBC Should Hang Its Head In Shame At Its Relentless Bias
The Sunday Telegraph, 24 February 2019
5) All For Nothing: Only 11% Of Britons Regard Climate Change As Top Priority
Mail on Sunday, 7 July 2019
6) Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: How The Media Corrupted Climate Policy
The Wall Street Journal, 6 July 2019

Full details:

1) BBC Faces Legal Challenge As Viewers Raise Thousands To Tackle 'Bias'
Daily Express, 8 July 2019 

The BBC is facing a legal challenge over the way it monitors its impartiality amid accusations of biased coverage.

Crowdfunding group Stop BBC Bias is close to raising the £30,000 needed to seek a judicial review into the way the BBC meets its statutory obligation.

The case is being brought by ex-BBC producer and executive David Keighley. His News-Watch group has analysed the corporation’s coverage of issues such as Brexit for 20 years. The challenge comes as MPs urged viewers outraged at plans to scrap free licence fees for the over-75s to speak up.

People have until Friday to lodge their opinions with a group of MPs who will hold a public hearing this month.

Mr Keighley’s challenge is based on the fact that the BBC ensures impartiality by merely using two surveys of viewers.

“The idea that a small group of viewers in a survey thinks the BBC is impartial is different to it actually being impartial,” he said.

The BBC said: “The first [survey] is an ongoing monthly nationally representative survey by Kantar Media for the BBC that allows us to gauge public opinion on a regular basis.”

The second is a “nationally representative face-to-face survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, designed to understand the range of scores the public gives to news providers in terms of trust and impartiality”. Bias complaints are probed by the BBC, but can also be referred to regulator Ofcom. News-Watch wants a new independent body to monitor the BBC.

Mr Keighley said: “This is a publicly-funded organisation and we need an organisation outside the industry – so not Ofcom.”

Full story

2) Help Us Stop BBC Bias
Crowd Justice: Stop BBC Bias

Have you ever stopped and questioned whether the output of BBC news and current affairs is as balanced as it could be?

Have you found yourself screaming at the Today programme, switching off Question Time, or getting angry listening to Any Questions? You are not alone.

Do you ever find yourself questioning its impartiality and how the BBC measures that?

Everyone has his or her own sense of what impartial means and yet the BBC uses highly unscientific opinion polling to measure it.  Our contention is that this kind of quantitative research takes no account of context, meaning, tone or even spokesperson.

Our case

We are a group of private individuals bringing a case for judicial review of the way the BBC measures impartiality. It is our contention that the current methodology – based as it is on opinion polling – is fatally flawed.

Our argument is based on the fact that we believe that opinion polling is not a suitable mechanism to determine whether in fact the BBC is impartial.

What are we trying to achieve?

As concerned citizens we believe that there is a strong argument that the BBC is in breach of its obligations under its Charter and Framework Agreement.

The BBC is duty bound to assess its own performance, and this by definition means that there has to be a far more structured approach to assessing impartiality based on objectively ascertainable facts, not asking others how they think the BBC is doing.

We are therefore raising money for a judicial review process; to help us challenge the way the BBC itself measures its own levels of impartiality.

We believe that the only way the BBC can be seen to be impartial is to have an independent, objective system of measurement - not one that the BBC runs against itself. Then and only then can it really be called impartial.

How much are we raising and why?

We have instructed McCarthy Denning, a specialist legal firm with a wealth of experience, to fight our case.

To do so we need to raise £30,000 to cover our legal fees in a case that we know the BBC will fight, supported by the substantial resources it has at its disposal.

What is the next step in the case?

We firmly believe that there is a strong claim based on an apparent failure of the BBC, in breach of its Charter and Framework Agreement, to put in place a system of measurement that can assess the performance of the broadcaster as regards its impartiality.

We need to prepare and issue proceedings and get permission to bring the case from the Court. This initial round of funding is to get that permission so that we can proceed to a Judicial Review of BBC conduct.

David Keighley is a former news and current affairs publicity officer for BBC and ITV. He is a media consultant and has monitored BBC news output since 1999 through his organisation

25 days to go

pledged of £30,000 target from 714 pledges

Pledge now

Your card will only be charged if the case meets its target of £30,000 by Aug. 03, 2019, 7 a.m.

Latest: July 8, 2019
We are 90% funded.

We really, really appreciate your support. Please share the page on Twitter and Facebook, if you can, to help us reach our goal target.

Thank you!

3) BBC Climate Alarmism: ‘Never Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Scare Story’
News Watch, 15 October 2018

David Leighly

How idiotic has the advocacy of climate alarmism by the BBC become?

Last month, as was reported on TCW, BBC News Director Fran Unsworth issued a formal directive stating, in effect, that alarmism is proven and cannot be challenged on the BBC airwaves.

One of her key minions, James Stephenson, the BBC’s overall editor of News and Current Affairs, has now appeared on the latest edition of BBC Radio 4’s Feedback to ram home the message.

Full reading of the transcript is recommended to to appreciate the jaw-dropping scale of the bias involved, but in essence, he declared that, despite viewer concerns the Corporation was adopting a partisan approach, ‘the science’ is beyond doubt and the IPCC’s word on the subject must be considered gospel.

His stance amounts to a total junking by the Corporation of basic scientific empiricism, which – since Roger Bacon’s Opus Majus in 1267 – has been based on the premise that one new set of verifiable data can sweep away any theory.

In that context, the alleged existence of ‘consensus’ between climate scientists on which Stephenson relies for justifying his propaganda position, matters not one jot.

In fact – despite all the IPCC’s posturing, politicking  and blustering –  the study of workings of the globe’s climate is in its infancy, not least because measurement of variables is so unreliable and incomplete.

Leading anti-alarmist scientist (and true empiricist), the Australian Jo Nova, excoriatingly reports that the world’s major climate ‘record’ –  on which are anchored many of the IPCC’s alarmist predictions – is riddled with massive errors, gaps and assumptions.

So extreme was Stephenson’s partisanship in favour of the climate alarmist stance on Feedback that he bloody-mindedly defended a major mistake in the Corporation’s IPCC-related coverage.

Presenters John Humphrys and Sarah Montague both wrongly said the IPCC report was warning about a 1.5 per cent rise in global temperatures when the reality was that it referred to 1.5 degrees.  Whoops, but in the BBC’s manual of climate change reporting, who cares?   Stephenson accepted this was inaccurate, but claimed it did not matter because ‘audiences would have recognised it was a slip’.

Eh?  In other words, in the BBC’s climate change universe, never let the facts get in the way of a good scare story.

Full post

4) Christopher Booker: The Supposedly Impartial BBC Should Hang Its Head In Shame At Its Relentless Bias
The Sunday Telegraph, 24 February 2019

How ironic it was last week to hear the BBC leading its news on that Commons report claiming that our “democracy is being destroyed” by the flood of “fake news” spread by social media. In fact, thanks to the relentless bias of its own coverage of so many issues, there is no more influential source of “fake news” than the BBC itself.

Here are two glaring, but far from untypical, recent examples.

The first began earlier in February with puffs on the BBC News website and Radio 4’s Today programme by Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s “environment analyst”, for a report by a body called the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), warning of “multiple crises” that threaten to “destabilise” the world’s entire environmental system. Particularly striking was a repeated claim that, since 2005, thanks to climate change, there has been a 15-fold increase in floods across the world and a 20-fold increase in “extreme temperature events”.

This seemed so startling that it prompted Paul Homewood, the diligent statistical analyst, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog to track down the evidence for these claims. It turned out that they originated from a database of natural disasters, EM-DAT. According to Homewood, this showed that the chief reason for these rocketing increases was a very significant change in the way such “disasters” were being recorded, to include thousands of more recent events that would previously have been far too small to register in the global figures (the IPPR itself warned that these figures should, therefore, be treated with “caution”).

But then Homewood found that the IPPR version was taken from something cited as the “GMO White Paper”, which might have sounded scientific. In fact, the “GMO” stands for Grantham, Mayo, van Otterloo, the asset management firm run by Jeremy Grantham, who also funds the Grantham Institute on Climate Change at two London universities, Imperial College and the LSE (similar figures have been quoted by Lord Stern, the chair of the LSE branch).

Even the BBC realised that it had come rather a cropper on these claims. Subsequently, it allowed for at least a partial correction, aided by Mark Lynas, the climate campaigner, and the authors of that disaster database to which Grantham attributed his figures. But the impact of this was infinitely less than that of the coverage by Harrabin.

It was he who, back in 2006, was the organiser of that “secret seminar” between top BBC executives and green activists, which led to the BBC policy that – despite its statutory obligation to report only with “impartiality” – because the science on climate change was now settled, there was no need to give “equal space” to views that questioned it (with results so much in evidence ever since).

Full post


See also GWPF archive relating to the BBC’s habitual bias on global warming and renewable energy 
5) All For Nothing: Only 11% Of Britons Regard Climate Change As Top Priority
Mail on Sunday, 7 July 2019

Resolving Brexit should be the Government’s number-one priority – and is more important to voters than issues such as climate change, according to the results of a new survey. Only 11% mentioned climate as top issue facing the country.

Thirty-six per cent of people questioned by pollsters Opinium identified Brexit as the most important issue facing politicians.

MPs have so far been unable to reach a majority in the House of Commons to break the deadlock surrounding our departure from the EU – yet last month, they found enough common ground to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

Climate change came third in the list of priorities voters identified for the Government – 11 per cent mentioned it – while in second place was ‘tackling poverty’ on 12 per cent.

Even though the environment is often seen as a particular concern to younger people, it was only marginally more important to those under the age of 35 who were questioned in the survey.

Nineteen per cent identified it as their main concern while 15 per cent of under-35s said helping the poor should come first. But both issues came behind ‘resolving Brexit’ at 24 per cent.

Full story

6) Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: How The Media Corrupted Climate Policy
The Wall Street Journal, 6 July 2019

The US administration is right: Worst-case scenarios shouldn’t dominate the debate

It’s hard to credit people who say they care about climate change when they don’t bother to know anything about the subject. Or when they applaud proposals that would be extraordinarily expensive yet have no effect on the alleged problem and can only teach the public to become cynical about those who come bearing climate-related proposals.

But that’s the world we live in. Certainly politicians do not volunteer to deliver more truth than we are willing to hear.

Where fraudulence is the norm, Joe Biden’s climate plan needs to be acknowledged for its slightly less fraudulent mien. It doesn’t ignore the rest of the world, as the Green New Deal does. Limply, without a hint of conviction, Mr. Biden proposes tariffs to force our agenda on countries whose emissions will actually determine the fate of climate change regardless of anything the U.S. does. It may not be plausible. It may be an undiluted realization of fears that President Trump’s penchant for tariffs is becoming the magic solvent for every problem. But at least it’s a placeholder in Mr. Biden’s plan for a recognition that efforts by the U.S., which accounts for less than 15% of global emissions, are an extravagant empty gesture if other countries don’t go along.

Mr. Biden also opens the door to nuclear power, without which honest persons in the climate debate (few and far between) know curbing CO2 is implausible.

Other candidates, let’s face it, have adopted the Green New Deal as a contentless virtue signal. Some opine that climate change is about to sink from sight in national politics thanks to various carbon-tax defeats around the world. It won’t. It will only grow in potency as a lever for self-interested groups to advance every kind of irrelevant proposal, though these will have zero meaningful impact on climate itself.

In the latest development, a New York Times headline accuses the Trump administration of wanting to “put science on trial.” Why? Because it is trying to rein in agency shamanizing that uses centurylong, worst-case projections to mislead the public.

Not all administration efforts spring from the mind of Donald Trump. It’s hard to see this one as anything but a logical response to the media’s own disastrous bungling of last year’s U.S. National Climate Assessment. Virtually every story punted on a key metric. None bothered to relate the estimated climate damage risk—$500 billion a year by 2090—to the expected size of the U.S. economy, which would have tended to dampen the panic talk.

Not a single news report mentioned that this outcome was associated with an extreme worst-case temperature increase of more than 11 degrees Fahrenheit. Not one mentioned that the assessment relied on an emissions scenario, known as RCP 8.5, so extreme that it implies much bigger problems for future humanity than just a warmer climate.

Instead, just about every U.S. news story satisfied itself with shrill adjectives suggesting the report promised a climate doom that it didn’t.

It might interest you to know that, of the two-dozen-plus climate models consulted by scientific bodies, only one model, that of the Institute of Numerical Mathematics in Moscow, accurately simulates past climate changes. It also forecasts the least warming, about 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit, under realistic emissions assumptions.

If the Trump administration is guilty of anything in this instance, it’s guilty of paying attention. All too routine has become the habit in official reports of piling up worst-case assumptions and extending them for a century, in hope of producing a headline number the media will misreport as it did in last November’s fiasco over the National Climate Assessment.

I mean every word of the following: Ignore climate-science reporting in major U.S. news organs. The press has given up wrestling with the limits of knowledge or accurately relaying the caveats tied to highly abstract computer models. If a worst-case scenario materializes, humanity will have recourse to relatively cheap geoengineering solutions to attempt to mitigate warming.

In the meantime, there is no reason to believe the world will forcibly wean itself off fossil fuels. At the same time, the relentless hunt for efficiency and progress of technology will continue to reduce the carbon intensity of our industrial civilization. It’s even possible to think of cost-effective, pro-growth policies that would accelerate this progress. Unfortunately these lack the faux-heroic scale and price tags that excite the virtuous left nowadays.

The media, for whatever reason, has chosen a role for itself as a cheerleader for climate boondoggles. And the more specialized the media—the website Inside Climate News is your example here—the more completely it will devote itself to misleading the public about the true nature of the climate challenge in our democracy.

Full post & comments

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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