Saturday, February 1, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: UK Farmers' Union Attacks BBC’s Climate & Anti-Meat Bias

BBC ‘Faces Existential Threat’ As It Slashes 450 Jobs

In this newsletter:

1) UK Farmers' Union Attacks BBC’s Climate & Anti-Meat Bias
Farmers Guardian, 29 January 2020

2) More On The NFU’s Battle Against BBC Bias


3) David Keighley: Greenpeace And The Annexing Of BBC News
The Conservative Woman, 27 January 2020
4) BBC ‘Faces Existential Threat’ As It Slashes 450 Jobs
City A.M. 29 January 2020
5) Sherelle Jacobs: The Stubborn And Remote BBC Is Heading For Self-Destruction
The Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2020
6) Is Our Criticism of The BBC’s Notorious Climate Alarmism Beginning To Show Signs Of Success?
7) Told You So 6 Years Ago: IPCC’s RCP8.5 Scenario Is Utter Nonsense
Matt Ridley, Global Warming Policy Forum, Financial Post, 19 June 2014
8) And Finally: The Radical Greens’ Role In Africa’s Locusts Crisis
Richard Tren and Jasson Urbach, CapX, 28 January 2020

Full details:

1) UK Farmers' Union Attacks BBC’s Climate & Anti-Meat Bias
Farmers Guardian, 29 January 2020

A BBC Christmas ad featuring turkeys wearing ‘I love vegans’ jumpers

The union leader warned vegans had been allowed to ‘hijack’ the climate change debate and distort the BBC’s reporting.

Speaking at the NFU leadership hustings in Skelmersdale last Wednesday (January 22), Mr Smith said: “It is time to go to the politicians, because they control the licence fee.

“I am fed up with writing letters. I must have written three or four letters about Chris Packham, and every time I write a letter, he seems to get another series.

“My Clacton MP sits on the select committee for culture, media and sport, and they have an obligation to make the BBC have proper journalistic standards.

“Let’s go to them and say there is a vegan hijack to this argument and you have got to stop it.

“They are not reporting in a balanced way.”

Mr Roberts said: “It does not appear to sit within the BBC’s editorial guidelines, which clearly states that they should not be a campaigning organisation, and this advert takes our concerns about the BBC’s impartiality in its coverage of meat a step further.”

It came as vegan campaign Veganuary is beginning to ramp up its advertising, with a television advert expected to air between Christmas and New Year.

Full story

2) More On The NFU’s Battle Against BBC Bias 

‘If you read BBC headlines you would believe the IPCC supported a vegan diet - it did not’

BBC documentary slammed for failure to differentiate global beef systems

BBC receives complaints as farmers rally against 'biased' film

Farmers hit out ahead of BBC’s 'Meat: a threat to our planet?' documentary

Farmers’ fury at BBC continues as ad shows cartoon turkey in ‘I love vegans’ jumper

3) David Keighley: Greenpeace And The Annexing Of BBC News
The Conservative Woman, 27 January 2020

THE BBC runs – at our expense – probably the largest and best-resourced newsroom in the world. So how is it using its journalistic muscle? Its latest ruse is to go into partnership with . . . Greenpeace. 

The target of this initiative – evidenced here – seems to be to interfere with the operations of the government agency UK Export Finance (UKEF), which helps facilitate financial support from banks and other sources for British companies which win contracts overseas.

UKEF is already heavily hamstrung by green ideology. For example it is supporting unprofitable solar power but will not touch coal, the electricity generated from which has helped halve poverty in India within a decade.

For Greenpeace, though, such restrictions are obviously not good enough, and now it is trying to stop any investment in any project that generates ‘carbon’.

Enter the BBC. Its programme Newsnight has combined with Greenpeace Unearthed in a ‘special investigation’.

What is Greenpeace Unearthed? It is a clearly well-resourced operation with ten journalists who go undercover in recycling centres. It is demanding massive spending on ‘the environment’, attacking fossil fuels in every way it can and trying to stop countries such as Mongolia developing mining.

The first story to emanate from the linkage appeared on the BBC website this week.
In hugely condemnatory tones, it explains how – shock horror! – UKEF is helping bankroll fossil fuel projects related to natural gas and oil which, it is claimed, could generate as much ‘carbon’ as a country such as Portugal.

The article confirms that the partnership exists, but does not provide any further detail. A little digging, however, reveals that this is a very cosy relationship.

Two of those who work for Greenpeace Unearthed are former BBC employees. Its leader is Damian Kahya, who was a BBC business reporter and foreign correspondent – and trained in journalism at Cardiff University media department, which is supported by the BBC – and another staffer is Emma Howard, who worked on programmes such as BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat and BBC1 Breakfast Time before seeing the green light.

No doubt the BBC will claim that there is nothing at all irregular in whatever arrangement it has struck here. In the BBC’s estimation, climate alarmism is proven beyond doubt. But Greenpeace is an organisation which sees law-breaking in the pursuit of its goals as justified, if not irrelevant. 

And despite what the BBC believes, there is no certainty in climate science and no agreement that spending trillions on climate control will reduce global temperatures, or even if such steps are needed in the first place. The BBC is deliberately adopting a partisan approach and amplifying that by helping in Greenpeace activism.

Extinction Rebellion is also considered an extremist organisation in some police quarters and pushed the law to its limits in bringing the capital to a halt during protests last year. According to reports, Gail Bradbrook, the founder of ER, has also been enlisted as a BBC adviser.

Full post

4) BBC ‘Faces Existential Threat’ As It Slashes 450 Jobs
City A.M. 29 January 2020

The BBC has been warned it is facing an “existential threat” after the broadcaster announced it will cut roughly 450 jobs.

The corporation today said it will slash the roles from its news output as it looks to save £80m by 2022 and counteract declining viewing figures.

The cuts are set to impact Newsnight, which will produce fewer films, and radio station 5 Live. The BBC also confirmed the closure of the Victoria Derbyshire show and cuts to the World Service.

As part of the restructuring, the broadcaster’s newsroom will be reorganised on a so-called story-led model, focusing on stories rather than the platform through which they are delivered.

In a statement the corporation said this was designed to reduce duplication and to ensure its output was delivered across a range of platforms.

Fran Unsworth, director of news and current affairs, told staff there would also be an increased focus on digital news, including an updated version of the BBC News app.

However, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) warned the cuts amounted to an “existential threat to the BBC at the same time the corporation faces an ideological attack from the heart of government”.

Boris Johnson’s government is exploring plans to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee, while ministers have also been told to boycott the broadcaster’s flagship Today programme on Radio 4.

Full story

5) Sherelle Jacobs: The Stubborn And Remote BBC Is Heading For Self-Destruction
The Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2020

Trapped in the metropolitan bubble, the Beeb genuinely doesn't realise how out of touch it is

Nothing good on the Beeb as usual this week. Still, watching Auntie flap in the froth of superficial self-diagnosis has proved to be an entertainment of sorts. The outgoing director-general, Lord Hall, has been scrambling to salvage a legacy from his stint in charge.

While remaining curiously silent on his role in overseeing the BBC as it has crept further down the woke-wallpapered corridors of metropolitan narrow-mindedness, he has bemoaned the rise of gotcha interviews, in an effort to etch himself an epitaph as the jilted champion of fair and rigorous broadcasting.

Meanwhile, the corporation is busy slashing tens of millions of pounds from the budgets of its high-profile news programmes, putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Licking their lips at the blood-speckled scent of fresh victimhood, Lefty vampires are already circling to rebrand the BBC as the new NHS – a downtrodden national treasure that must be saved from cuts and interference….

Meanwhile, a power struggle between the Beeb and No 10 is gearing up, with whispers that Dominic Cummings is determined to have a say in who will be the next director-general. The news is said to have left BBC controllers downing endless shots of calming matcha powder tea and manically squeezing their office stress balls.

The whole business will no doubt kick up the familiar debates about the need to safeguard the independent BBC from meddling politicians. Of course, if the Beeb wishes to protect itself from interference, it could always cease being a quango funded by the taxpayer and scrap the licence fee. Given the incensed reception that Gary Lineker received this week for daring to say the fee should be voluntary, I wouldn’t bet on it. (Completely missing the point, impulsively anti-wealth London hacks said he had no right to criticise the BBC given his lavish salary).

The scariest thing about the BBC’s predicament is that it seems incapable of facing up to the scale of its crisis. As Middle England grumbles at its television screens, and world-weary millennials ditch television licences for dystopian binges on Netflix, its executives have busied themselves with appointing diversity tsars. That and plotting a more centralised structure, reflecting the control-freakery now endemic in British upper management.

Full post (£)

6) Is Our Criticism of The BBC’s Notorious Climate Alarmism Beginning To Show Signs Of Success?
BBC News, 29 January 2020 

The worst-case scenario for emissions of CO2 this century is no longer plausible, say researchers.

Referred to as "business as usual", the scenario assumes a 500% increase in the use of coal, which is now considered unlikely.

Climate models suggest that this level of carbon could see warming of up to 6C by 2100, with severe impacts.
Researchers say that on current trends, a rise in temperatures of around 3C is far more likely.

How has this confusion come about?

About 10 years ago, ahead of the fifth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), researchers developed four different scenarios to describe how carbon emissions might change over the rest of this century.

One of these clumsily titled "Representative Concentration Pathways" (RCPs), was called RCP8.5 and it was intended to show the impact of very high emissions consistent with a five fold increase in the use of coal and virtually no policies to limit CO2 emissions.
RCP8.5 was first developed by energy researchers to help with their modelling. According to the authors of this paper, they didn't do a good job of communicating the limitations of this approach to climate scientists who wanted to use it to see what would happen with temperatures.

Rather than being seen as something that only had a 3% chance of becoming reality, it became known as the "business-as-usual" scenario, by climate scientists and has been used in more than 2,000 research papers since.

"What we're arguing is that we've been misusing the worst climate change scenario," said author Zeke Hausfather, director of climate and energy at the Breakthrough Institute in California.

"Obviously, a lot has changed since 2005 or so when the scenario was created. A lot of clean technology prices have fallen, by factors of five, while global coal use peaked in 2013. And it's been flat since then."

"So what originally was a sort of worst-case (scenario) with less than 10% chance of happening is today, exceedingly unlikely."

Does this mean that climate scientists have been exaggerating the threat?

This is more about scientific assumptions added to a communications cock-up.

Very few scientists realised that RCP8.5 was originally a 90th percentile outcome, not a most likely or business-as-usual outcome. They assumed too much, when they should perhaps have checked, say the authors of the review.

"At the end of the day, scientists have to take responsibility for what they choose as input data, and there should be a degree of due diligence," said Glen Peter, from the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway.

"How many of your average climate scientists know the nuances of RCP8.5? It would certainly be interesting to know."

The media, taking their steer from scientists, have tended to use the highest impacts when reporting on projections based on emissions scenarios.

Full story

7) Told You So 6 Years Ago: IPCC’s RCP8.5 Scenario Is Utter Nonsense
Matt Ridley, Global Warming Policy Forum, Financial Post, 19 June 2014

The IPCC produced two reports last year. One said that the cost of climate change is likely to be less than 2% of GDP by the end of this century. The other said that the cost of decarbonizing the world economy with renewable energy is likely to be 4% of GDP. Why do something that you know will do more harm than good?

The debate over climate change is horribly polarized. From the way it is conducted, you would think that only two positions are possible: that the whole thing is a hoax or that catastrophe is inevitable. In fact there is room for lots of intermediate positions, including the view I hold, which is that man-made climate change is real but not likely to do much harm, let alone prove to be the greatest crisis facing humankind this century.

After more than 25 years reporting and commenting on this topic for various media organizations, and having started out alarmed, that’s where I have ended up. But it is not just I that hold this view. I share it with a very large international organization, sponsored by the United Nations and supported by virtually all the world’s governments: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) itself.

The IPCC commissioned four different models of what might happen to the world economy, society and technology in the 21st century and what each would mean for the climate, given a certain assumption about the atmosphere’s “sensitivity” to carbon dioxide. Three of the models show a moderate, slow and mild warming, the hottest of which leaves the planet just 2 degrees Centigrade warmer than today in 2081-2100. The coolest comes out just 0.8 degrees warmer.

Now two degrees is the threshold at which warming starts to turn dangerous, according to the scientific consensus. That is to say, in three of the four scenarios considered by the IPCC, by the time my children’s children are elderly, the earth will still not have experienced any harmful warming, let alone catastrophe.

But what about the fourth scenario? This is known as RCP8.5, and it produces 3.5 degrees of warming in 2081-2100. Curious to know what assumptions lay behind this model, I decided to look up the original papers describing the creation of this scenario. Frankly, I was gobsmacked. It is a world that is very, very implausible.

For a start, this is a world of “continuously increasing global population” so that there are 12 billion on the planet. This is more than a billion more than the United Nations expects, and flies in the face of the fact that the world population growth rate has been falling for 50 years and is on course to reach zero – i.e., stable population – in around 2070. More people mean more emissions.

Second, the world is assumed in the RCP8.5 scenario to be burning an astonishing 10 times as much coal as today, producing 50% of its primary energy from coal, compared with about 30% today. Indeed, because oil is assumed to have become scarce, a lot of liquid fuel would then be derived from coal. Nuclear and renewable technologies contribute little, because of a “slow pace of innovation” and hence “fossil fuel technologies continue to dominate the primary energy portfolio over the entire time horizon of the RCP8.5 scenario.” Energy efficiency has improved very little.

These are highly unlikely assumptions. With abundant natural gas displacing coal on a huge scale in the United States today, with the price of solar power plummeting, with nuclear power experiencing a revival, with gigantic methane-hydrate gas resources being discovered on the seabed, with energy efficiency rocketing upwards, and with population growth rates continuing to fall fast in virtually every country in the world, the one thing we can say about RCP8.5 is that it is very, very implausible.

Notice, however, that even so, it is not a world of catastrophic pain. The per capita income of the average human being in 2100 is three times what it is now. Poverty would be history. So it’s hardly Armageddon.

But there’s an even more startling fact. We now have many different studies of climate sensitivity based on observational data and they all converge on the conclusion that it is much lower than assumed by the IPCC in these models. It has to be, otherwise global temperatures would have risen much faster than they have over the past 50 years.  As Ross McKitrick noted on this page earlier this week, temperatures have not risen at all now for more than 17 years. With these much more realistic estimates of sensitivity (known as “transient climate response”), even RCP8.5 cannot produce dangerous warming. It manages just 2.1C of warming by 2081-2100.

That is to say, even if you pile crazy assumption upon crazy assumption till you have an edifice of vanishingly small probability, you cannot even manage to make climate change cause minor damage in the time of our grandchildren, let alone catastrophe. That’s not me saying this – it’s the IPCC itself.

But what strikes me as truly fascinating about these scenarios is that they tell us that globalization, innovation and economic growth are unambiguously good for the environment. At the other end of the scale from RCP8.5 is a much more cheerful scenario called RCP2.6. In this happy world, climate change is not a problem at all in 2100, because carbon dioxide emissions have plummeted thanks to the rapid development of cheap nuclear and solar, plus a surge in energy efficiency.

8) And Finally: The Radical Greens’ Role In Africa’s Locusts Crisis
Richard Tren and Jasson Urbach, CapX, 28 January 2020

The tragic consequences of UN, European and environmentalist campaigns to deny insect-resistant GMOs and modern pesticides to developing nations.

Two weeks ago a Boeing 737 on final approach to Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, flew into a massive cloud of locusts swarming above the airport. The insects were sucked into the plane’s engines and splattered across the windshield, blinding the pilots to the runway ahead.

Throttling up to climb above the swarm, the pilot had to depressurize the cabin so he could reach around from the side window and clear the windshield by hand. Diverting to Addis Ababa, the plane was able to land safely.

The locusts that almost brought down the 737 are part of the worst infestation to hit Africa in 75 years. Swarms of locusts can blanket 460 miles at a time and consume more than 400 million pounds of vegetation a day; and the grasshopper-like insects increase logarithmically, meaning locust swarms could be 500 times bigger in six months.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calls the threat “unprecedented,” but attempts at aerial spraying have been too little, too late — largely because of FAO’s own politically-driven agenda to limit pesticides — and experts fear Africa may once again be tilting toward widespread famine.

As poor farmers futilely shoo the voracious insects away with sticks, this modern plague highlights the urgent need for pesticides to protect crops and save lives. It also casts into stark relief the tragic consequences of UN, European and environmentalist campaigns to deny these life-saving chemicals to developing nations.

Over the last decade, development organizations and activist NGOs have increasingly pushed organic-style agriculture on the poorest nations, making assistance dependent on a highly politicized version of “agro-ecology” that arbitrarily limits pesticides, bans advanced hybrid crops and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and extols the virtues of “peasant” farming. The result is that Africa has been left virtually defenseless against successive natural assaults to the continent’s ability to feed itself.

The locusts arrive on top of Africa’s on-going struggle with the Fall Army Worm (FAW), which has already spread to some 44 countries. It feeds on a range of plants, but prefers corn, the staple food for most Africans, and has reduced yields by 50% in many regions.

In the Americas, FAW is kept in check by a combination of insect-resistant GMOs and modern pesticides. Yet most African countries have not authorized GMOs because of well-funded environmental propaganda campaigns demonizing the technology — claiming GMOs cause everything from impotence to cancer and autism — and fear of losing their primary export market in Europe, which has arbitrarily restricted critical pesticides used in every other advanced, developed region of the world. The FAO, while discouraging pesticides and GMOs, advises farmers to pick off the insects one by one and crush them with their hands.

Add to this epidemics of Wheat Rust (potential crop loss 100%); Banana Wilt (50% crop loss); and Cassava Mosaic Virus (up to 90% loss). There are thousands of pests around the world that attack agricultural plants, and they don’t just kill crops. Molds that can only be controlled with pesticides produce highly poisonous metabolites called mycotoxins that, if they don’t kill you immediately, can give you cancer and destroy your immune system. They probably constitute the number one food health threat even in wealthy nations, but we keep levels safe with pesticides, GMOs, and expensive food inspection regimes — all things Africa is being denied or can’t afford.

Then there are the insect-borne diseases like Malaria, Zika, Dengue, and countless other parasitic and viral infections. When Zika or West Nile threaten our cities, we haul out the spray cans and ignore the griping of environmentalists. In Africa, however, the anti-pesticide groups hold sway. At their urging, Kenya may soon ban over 200 pesticides that evidence-based regulatory agencies around the world have deemed safe and that Kenya’s farmers desperately need.

Those who think small-scale organic farming is friendlier to mother nature are wrong. Organic farmers use lots of pesticides. They’re simply “natural” ones, like copper sulfate or neem oil, which are highly toxic to people and wildlife. They’re also less effective against pests, so they have to use more of them. Modern pesticides are among the most carefully tested and regulated chemicals in use, and they are used increasingly in targeted, precise ways to limit wider environmental impacts.

Most importantly, modern farming allows us to produce more food on less land. According to Rockefeller University’s Jesse Ausubel, US corn production has quintupled on the same amount of land.  He estimates that if American farming techniques were to be adopted globally, an area the size of India could be returned to nature over the next 50 years.

“Better Living Through Chemistry” was the catchy DuPont slogan of the 1960s. The slogan rings true for those of us living longer, healthier lives of plenty, with more food than at any time in human history. But if the campaigns against chemicals and the demonization of modern agriculture are successful, these gains may well be reversed.

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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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