Apparently, this story is sourced from the Daily Telegraph but I’m unable to find it online. The Daily Mail’s version doesn’t make too much sense but it does appear to suggest that the long-awaited review of the BBC’s science output is recommending the stifling of any debate against the so-called consensus view.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the report draws heavily on an independent review of BBC coverage by Steve Jones, a professor of genetics at University College London.
Prof Jones is understood to have cleared the BBC of any suggestion of bias in its programming.
That depends on how you define bias, I suppose. Here’s Peter Sissons’ view:
The BBC’s editorial policy on climate change, however, was spelled out in a report by the BBC Trust — whose job is to oversee the workings of the BBC in the interests of the public — in 2007. This disclosed that the BBC had held ‘a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’.
The error here, of course, was that the BBC never at any stage gave equal space to the opponents of the consensus.
But the Trust continued its pretence that climate change dissenters had been, and still would be, heard on its airwaves. ‘Impartiality,’ it said, ‘always requires a breadth of view, for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space.’
And this is Jeremy Paxman’s view:
I have neither the learning nor the experience to know whether the doomsayers are right about the human causes of climate change. But I am willing to acknowledge that people who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that it is the consequence of our own behaviour.
I assume that this is why the BBC’s coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago.
Straight from the horse’s mouth, we have this from the BBC’s June 2007 report ‘From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel, Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century’;
The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.
So how on earth does Professor Jones determine that there is no bias? It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with his sideline as a regular BBC ‘talking head’ could it? (see here for just page 1 of a Google search).
But the main conclusion made by Prof Jones is that in cases where there is a widely held scientific view, such as on GM crops or the MMR jab, the BBC shouldn’t give airtime to critics of the scientific consensus.
Good grief! Who is the arbiter for such a decision? The government? Professor Frankenstein? The Flat Earth Society? Or, perhaps, one of those august public bodies who, as discussed yesterday, no longer appear to have any accountability?
The moment we suppress debate on these issues – and both GM crops and the MMR jab have significant ethical dimensions, remember – we effectively place our faith in the hands of ‘experts’ who may be fools, tyrants or, worse, pushing an agenda.
Climate ceased to be about science long ago: what Jones is doing is recommending the suppression of one whole area of political debate; he is advocating tyranny.
If this report proves to be true, I’ve bought my last TV licence. Join me; we need to starve the beast.
Update When I threw this together through the red mist this morning, I was not aware of a recent paper by Nasif S Nahle which – on the basis of the conclusion – would seem to show that the greenhouse theory is wrong.
Through this controlled experiment, I demonstrate that the warming effect in a real greenhouse is not due to longwave infrared radiation trapped inside the building, but to the blockage of convective heat transfer with the surroundings, as proven by Professor Wood in his 1909 experiment.
From which I gather that the greenhouse effect is a function of the flask in which the CO2 is contained rather than the CO2 itself.
Such is the danger of the consensus controlling the media. You can bet that the BBC will choose not to give you the details of this or any other story that undermines their chosen view.