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How the BBC gave free rein to global warming deniers during ‘climategate’


11:10 am - November 19th 2010

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contribution by Hengist McStone

I’ve found quite an extraordinary broadcast from last year which examines bias on the BBC’s coverage of the climategate story less than two weeks into the affair.

Essentially the programme suggests there may be a pro-green or pro-climate science bias, by inviting two denialists on to the programme to ask why hasn’t the BBC given more ‘skeptical’ coverage to the story.

What is extraordinary is that this was broadcast on Decmber 4th 2009 when no facts were known about the email leak.

The broadcast reports skeptical activists conspiracy theories at one point even adding words in to the emails to make a completely bogus point. An email is shown saying ‘the CRU at Anglia University admit “hiding the the decline” (in global temperatures)’ .

For the record  the CRU do not admit any such thing and no hacked email says that either. This is an email sent to the BBC and the words in brackets have been added by a skeptical activist. The University of East Anglia explained in late February exactly what the phrase “hide the decline” means.

This is a propagandist’s trick pretending to bend over backwards at being impartial (which we’ve seen before).

Rather than report facts, the BBC reports concerns about their own bias, but only from one side. It leaves the audience to conclude that the complainant has been wronged.

Not only that the two skeptic guests in the course of the programme managed to squeeze in a load of unchallenged gripes about the science and politics like suggesting ice is forming in Antarctica, not melting in the Arctic,general lack of examination of skeptical topics and complaints about the peer review process.

The BBC’s impartiality document states (pg 40) that skeptics get less than half the ‘space’ . Yet there are only four people in the studio including the presenter (who is presumably unconvinced either way). Two of those are skeptics. There are no proponents of AGW apart from Black, and no one to defend the scientists at all.

Here we see skeptical activists getting access to the airwaves only two weeks into the scandal to complain about nothing more than a percieved lack of speculation by the BBC. This, at a time when the only known fact was that the CRU had been hacked, which was of course a crime against the scientists.

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Reader comments


Poor baby.

BBC shifts from 100% warmist to 90% warmist….scandalous!

2. astateofdenmark

Why is this so extraordinary? If I was that sad I could probably find innumerable BBC pieces where the opposite to what you described happened. There’s probably a blog detailing them somewhere. Yet if anyone read the above in isolation you would think some serious crime has been committed.

For any of the above diatribe to have any weight you would have to be absolutely sure that there has never been a piece where proponents got more than half the ‘space’. I very much doubt you could.

Warmist? Which massive chozzler coined that term?

4. Barrington Womble

If you seriously believe the BBC is biased towards climate change sceptics then you should have a word with yourself.

No doubt the thinking behind this is to counter the Right’s supposed lobbying of the BBC by lobbying from the Left.

The BBC has a responsibility to air all significant points of view in any controversy. It doesn’t have to give them equal time, and it doesn’t have to balance every contributor on every occasion.

No one who looked at the BBC’s climate change coverage in the round would be left in any doubt that the corporation’s own journalists accept that warming is happening and that it is largely man-made. Indeed, if they err at all, they tend to err in the direction of excessive alarmism.

7. astateofdenmark

5 – No doubt the thinking behind this is to counter the Right’s supposed lobbying of the BBC by lobbying from the Left.

Yes you are probably right. Let us hope the OP gets a promotion for all this sterling work.

BREAKING NEWS……BREAKING NEWS………

Senior tory says Labour did a great job, and the public have never had it so good.

A senior tory , Lord Snooty, said today that the public has never had it so good. This is at odds with Call me Dave, his pip squeak chancellor and the Lie dems who say Britain needs austerity measures, and is like Greece.

Certain sections of the Beeb have a suspiciously hefty bias in favour of denialism, and the rest operates along some misguided principle that ‘balance’ occurs when both sides shout equally loudly.

There has been little to no effort by anyone at the BBC to produce a program that analyses either sides’ arguments empirically – instead they seem to be in the business of broadcasting washed out FUD based on celebrity endorsements.

There’s seemingly nobody working at the BBC qualified to handle this kind of subject matter, so all we can do is politely ask the BBC to keep it’s dumb mouth shut while the grown-ups are talking.

[deleted]

[deleted]

[deleted]

Hengist,

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you can’t say no facts were known on December 4th 2009, since the emails and other material had then been public for about two weeks, and it was clear (if not admitted, which I think had happened by then) that they were genuine and from the University of East Anglia.

So the actual documents that were leaked/stolen (why do I think we will never get to delete as appropriate…) were facts.

And I suspect the reason that the BBC had to have sceptics on was, apart from the massive rise of scepticism in the face of the content of the emails (you have read them haven’t you?), that no-one who tried to defend them at the time came out with an ounce of credibility. It took till February 2010 (three months after the theft/leak) for a line to be agreed about what “hide the decline” was meant to mean (in fact it clearly refers to glossing over the problem that the temprature and proxy measurements were diverging in the later twentieth century – hiding this decline might not have been a problem anyway if they had been honest about it). Much of the rest of the content has not yet been explained.

As a result of this sudden welter of information (and two weeks after the theft/leak, the chances of getting an unexpected quote from a previously ignored document was very high – was it round then that people were starting to notice the code on harryreadme?) it was risky appearing to defend the emails. So I doubt anyone was too willing to do so, whilst sceptics had an easier job – it was not as if the emails were full of quotes showing they were wrong (and indeed, the fact no other emails were released to show this suggests the tone of the stolen/leaked documents was accurate).

But I do agree that there was plentiful problems with BBC’s climate news coverage throughout 2009 – did you notice that during the Copenhagen meeting, there was never anyone interviewed (on mainstream news – no idea if News 24 had anyone because I don’t watch news all day) who was not involved in negotiations for example, so the ‘sceptic’ point of view was only ever represented by the self-interest of the Chinese negotiators.

I think the number of deleted comments on this thread demonstrate your ‘openess’ to alternative points of view.

No, they demonstrate that I’m sick of your petty bickering and inane comments.

A rather poor attempt at getting the cat back in the bag

@14,15

I think the fact sally (a true believer in man-made global warming if there is one round here) has been deleted as well as Shatterface might suggest Sunny is being consistent here (and having read the posts, I can see his logic).

More evidence that something is very rotten in the BBC re. climate – and much of the blame can be put on Richard Black, the environment correspondent: look at him (09:00) nodding as Denier #2 vomits up bullshit innuendo about “climate scientists having a vested interest that CO2 = equal climate change being correct”.

More: Dreadful climate story by BBC’s Richard Black – http://climateprogress.org/2010/09/16/richard-black-bbc-bad-climate-reporting/

Now look at the denier speak he adopts in his dummy spitting response: ‘Warmist’ attack smacks of ‘sceptical’ intolerance – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/09/something_new_and_not_altogeth.html

Sunny:

> No, they demonstrate that I’m sick of your petty bickering and inane comments.

Good on you. Starve these denier fuckwits of their exposure and they’ll soon slither off somewhere else.

@19
I think it would be a better idea to delete and ban posters who call other people fuckwits and are not prepared to debate an issue.

Your move Einstein.

Bluerock,

Nice to see someone I’ve never seen post here before turn up and start suggesting getting rid of other commentators. But the inane comments were actually off-topic petty insults as I remember.

Sunny might not like sceptic views, but he has the essential decency to allow them to be posted in the spirit of free speech and debate. Which makes him considerably better and more worthy than your source, Joe Romm.

And I would be quite surprised if a story that suggested there was exceptional melting of Artic ice this year was evidence of a sceptic-bias. Whilst there was an extensive melt, it was not the worst and the records only go back a couple of decades, so most sceptics might have hightlighted those issues. If that is a sceptic (please, not denier – most sceptics allow the world is warming, just not at the rate predicted and not simply because of carbon dioxide) then I would suggest that Dr Romm, yourself and your ilk have really lost the debate.

Oh, and Mr Black’s response seemed reasonable to me – especially since he put “warmers” in inverted commas, suggesting that it was not his words.

The real problem with the BBC’s coverage is that it goes out of its way to contrive an ersatz “balance” by providing airtime to certain factions disproportionate to their capacity to make any contribution of empirical significance.

frolix22,

Since a contribution to a popular news programme might swing many people’s minds, and since the issue of climate change is more political than scientific as presented on the news (i.e. it is what do we do, not what are the mechanisms that cause it and are we sure they are fully understood), then the very appearance of an opinion on television might be considered of empirical significance.

It is possible you are confusing science and politics a bit there – remember, whatever science says, decisions taken have to be political, as does reporting of the science (unless you just repeat the original paper and hope like hell there is no political bias there…).

@20

> I think it would be a better idea to delete and ban posters who call other people fuckwits and are not prepared to debate an issue.

Mmm hmm. Deniers are renowned for being very delicate little flowers. They like to fill their comments with whining about tone and language in the hope it distracts from the fact they have no *science*.

Debate what issue? The reality of global warming? There is no credible scientific debate. It is reality.

Checkmate.

‘Good on you. Starve these denier fuckwits of their exposure and they’ll soon slither off somewhere else.’

The fact I am now being called a ‘denier’ when I explicitly stated I BELIEVE in anthropogenic climate change but OPPOSE CENSORSHIP shows how Sunny’s editorial policy is being used to misrepresent his critics..

Watchman,

> Nice to see someone I’ve never seen post here before turn up and start suggesting getting rid of other commentators.

Now that you’ve seen me, is it OK if I comment how I please? I’ll assume it is. Thanks.

> Sunny might not like sceptic views,

*Deniers*, not “sceptics”. http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/skeptics-contrarians-or-deniers/

> …but he has the essential decency to allow them to be posted in the spirit of free speech and debate.

Allowing fuckwit trolls and scientific illiterates to pollute comment threads is not “essential decency” or an issue of “free speech”. lol. Pompous nonsense.

> Which makes him considerably better and more worthy than your source, Joe Romm.

Empty rhetoric. Dr Romm communicates the science and shuts out the deniers which allows very high signal to bullshit noise in the comments.

> And I would be quite surprised if a story that suggested there was exceptional melting of Artic ice this year was evidence of a sceptic-bias.

You can lead people to information, but you can’t make them understand it.

> Whilst there was an extensive melt, it was not the worst…

So what? You think that only record melts are worth consideration? Do yourself a favour and educate yourself a little – here’s a starter for you:
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ + http://nsidc.org/sotc/sea_ice.html

> …and the records only go back a couple of decades, so most sceptics might have hightlighted those issues.

No, they do not. Again: educate yourself. It’s not that difficult.

> If that is a sceptic (please, not denier –

You and your brethren are *deniers*. http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/skeptics-contrarians-or-deniers/

> …most sceptics allow the world is warming…

Put 100 deniers in a room and you’ll get 137 opinions on what is or is not happening. Just one of the clues that you lot are clueless.

> …Dr Romm, yourself and your ilk have really lost the debate.

And by “your ilk” you mean the planet’s climate scientists.Which debate are you waffling about? Certainly not the scientific one.

> Oh, and Mr Black’s response seemed reasonable to me…

Your assessment of what seems reasonable is becoming less and less interesting and persuasive.

> – especially since he put “warmers” in inverted commas, suggesting that it was not his words.

Scare-quoting stupidity does not make it less stupid.

@24
Oh dear. The debate is:

Is there climate change
If so how much
What are the consequences
Does man contribute
If so how
If so how much
Is climate change a bad thing
What should we do about it

If you believe that the answers to these questions are all settled then you’re in a minority of one.

Checkmate indeed!

“fuckwit trolls”

Have we found the next Sally in BlueRock?

what this article touches on ( but seems a bit whiny about ) is why ‘ persuading people about AGW ‘ ‘environmentalism’ ‘The greens’ ect has not suceeded as expected/hoped.

Its not for want of trying.

As many on this thread point out ( and yes im sure its partly the usual denier v warmist impasse) AGW has been pretty heavily supported by politicians and the media for years . Not unlike ‘immigration’ green fears have had a big exposure over the past decade.
Remember the BNP are under the impression that huge conspiracies are used to keep their message away from ‘the people’ so I’d avoid notions of a ‘ media conspiracy’ and try to focus on the ideas and arguments about why there is no mass support for greens, envrionmentalism etc.
Nobody supports the BNP because they are crap and hardly anyone finds their solutions attractive

Why does hardly anyone feel the need to embrcae environmentalism and the greens ?
Its not like the public have no idea .

@27

> If you believe that the answers to these questions are all settled then you’re in a minority of one.

– Every national science academy of every major industrialised country on the planet confirms recent climate change is due to human activity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

– Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.abstract + http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-many-climate-scientists-are-climate-skeptics.html

– 97% of active climatologists agree that human activity is causing global warming: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/01/97_of_active_climatologists_ag.php + http://www.miller-mccune.com/news/scientists-public-drift-apart-on-climate-change-948

– The American Geophysical Union, world’s largest scientific society of Earth and space scientists: “The Earth’s climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system … are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century. … Evidence from most oceans and all continents except Antarctica shows warming attributable to human activities.” http://www.agu.org/sci_pol/positions/climate_change2008.shtml

– American Physical Society: “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. … The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

Etc. Etc. Etc.

> Checkmate indeed!

You remind me of the Black Knight from the Holy Grail.

Bluerock,

I’ll make a deal with you – you comment as you please, and me as I please (obviously both subject to whatever pleases Sunny…). Which includes allowing a few courtseys.

Please note I do not call you a ‘warmist’, so please do not label others ‘deniers’ – both are insulting and tribal labels of limited value in a sensible debate.

Secondly, the science may be settled, although most scientists will find that a surprise: for instance, can you point me to the authoritive statement on how much heat energy a given amound of carbon dioxide captures; the answer is no because the question is still up for discussion, even if no-one sane believes carbon dioxide does not capture some heat. But there is a huge step between science and policy – which is where you still have to debate. After all, if the world gets two degrees centigrade warmer on average over the next hundred years, Britain will still be a pleasant (if perhaps wetter, winder or warmer) place to live, so why should we take measures to prevent it. You need to show a policy case as well as a science case, not just assert on the basis of science. You have heard we live in a democracy I take it?

What I take from your post is that you have a set of beliefs (based, in your opinion on incontroversiable science), and expect everyone to conform to them. You regard it as a sign of weakness that those who disagree with you do not have a single opinion – your comment on 100 deniers having 137 opinions – when in fact surely the greatest strength of western democracy is that it allows us to have different opinions – we are past the days when we all had to conform to what the old man with the beard or the funny hat (or the influential website) said we had to publically believe. In effect, you are in the grip of religious belief, and like debating with a born-again Christian, the chances are you will not understand that diversity of opinion and constant testing of ideas is a good thing, whilst blindly clinging to one idea brings stasis.

On the bright side, this illuminates a bit of the whole Joe Romm-Roger Black thing that has confused me since it happened, which is what the point was. You make the point that you can lead people to information, but not make them understand it. Dr Romm’s problem with Roger Black was unfortunately that he regarded giving the information without the approved understanding, despite the fact that neither Mr Black nor NSIDC (the bulletins of which I do read – “the most likely underlying cause” is not certainity, whatever you might wish) would accept without question that the sea ice melt in question was man-made at the moment. Dr Romm saw this as not passing on the required interpretation of the information, and reacted with anger.

And here we have the crux of my problem with your post, because it shows every sign of being written by a religious believer. You refuse to allow other opinions to be accurate. You using derogatory terms of others, whilst refusing to accept derogatory terms of yourself. You follow the teachings of a prophet, Dr Romm, who you see as conveying a pure message. And above all, you show no willingness to engage with others. It is sad to someone like me (or most contributors here) who like to debate that you feel there is no room for debate. Still, as with any religious person whose beliefs I cannot agree with, such as those who oppose homosexuality or suggest evolution did not happen, I respect the strength of your beliefs. But until you are prepared to do more than sneer at we non-believers, I cannot take your posts seriously.

‘And here we have the crux of my problem with your post, because it shows every sign of being written by a religious believer.’

Absolutely: there are some (like myself) who are convinced by the scientific arguments and there are some who take it on FAITH alone – and you can tell one from the other by the hysteria with which the latter respond to ‘heresy’.

There are ecologists and there are millenialists: the fact both might agree on the reality of global warming does not mean their magisteria overlap in any meaningful sense.

Magisteria – I will be impressing my friends with that word later!! 🙂

Watchman,

> Please note I do not call you a ‘warmist’…

Call me anything you like – it doesn’t effect science and reality in the least. If you’re more interested in delicate chit chat, go to the vicar’s house for a cup of tea.

> …please do not label others ‘deniers’

We know things by calling them their true names. ‘Deniers’ is it.

> …in a sensible debate.

That’s what you think the hordes of delusional, scientifically illiterate knuckleheads are doing?!

> Secondly, the science may be settled, although most scientists will find that a surprise:

You appear to have not read my comment immediately preceding yours.

> …for instance, can you point me to

I am not Google. IPCC WG1: where is it wrong? Demonstrate that and you can go collect your Nobel Prize along with vast wealth and world fame.

> …I cannot take your posts seriously.

It’ll be tough, but I’m sure me and the planet’s climate scientists will get over it.

“fuckwit trolls”

Have we found the next Sally in BlueRock?

Sadly more verbose.

Bluerock,

I take it you are determined to prove my point – that you have that blinkered refusal to deal with anything other than your prefered belief so characteristic of religion.

I particularly like the fact that you associate yourself with the world’s climate scientists. I doubt they would be happy about this though – they are all, as far as I can see, followers of scientific method (climategate was about manipulating this, not breaking it) and capable of debating and admitting other points of view. I suspect they might lose their jobs otherwise (the clue being in the scientist bit…).

As Shatterface says, there is a difference between blind belief and a rational position, and despite what you like to believe, your refusal to admit anything is wrong with your case (when there are things wrong with the current model of man-made global warming, if only because we fail to fully understand a complex system) is neither scientific nor rational. I know Shatterface and I disagree on much of the interpretation of the evidence, but he has the sense to at least allow that some evidence is not incontrovertable, as do I from the other point of view. I suppose to you that makes him, like Roger Black, a ‘denier’ as well though.

Oh, and if you read the relevant sections of IPCC AR4, you’ll see they nowhere give an agreed figure for carbon dioxide forcing. In fact, they allow a less than 5% chance that climate change might not be caused by ‘external forcings’ at all, which suggests they are slightly less dogmatic than you. It might be a good idea to look at the texts you cite as backing up your views – to be fair to religious nutters, they can at least normally cite their justificatory texts accurately.

Are these people – to list just a handful – “scientifically illiterate knuckleheads”?

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/25/seven-eminent-physicists-that-are-skeptical-of-agw/

@ Bluerock

You remind me of the Black Knight from the Holy Grail.

And you remind me of Matthew Hopkins from Witchfinder General.

cjcjc,

Are these people – to list just a handful – “scientifically illiterate knuckleheads”?

Well, according to bluerock yes, because they disagree with his belief system (and possibly because his prophets may have labelled them as such). He (or she -I’m guessing he, but that’s probably me ascribing gender roles to language again)is not going to be swayed by mere expertise and reason.

Watchman.

More evidence-free, rambling rhetoric. Fortunately, it has no influence on scientific reality.

Also, you keep wittering on about ‘religion’. You’ve got it completely the wrong way around. You are the one that is in denial of science. You are the ‘creationist’ here.

cjcjc,

> Are these people – to list just a handful – “scientifically illiterate knuckleheads”?

The reason you list “just a handful” is because there are just a handful of contrarian scientists – and most are not climate scientists, or are retired or are dead.

Try again!

cjcjc,

P.S. You expose your scientific illiteracy in citing the website of that melon-headed weatherman.

You’ve got me there.

After all, how can Nobel Prizewinners (admittedly not proper ones like Gore) possibly come to any serious conclusions about work going on in a related discipline.

Silly me.

Of course we’ll know what type of believer BlueRock is if he is prepared to tell us what we should do.

My bet is: END CAPITALISM NOW!

“and most are not climate scientists, or are retired or are dead.”

and are thus not in the market for climate change research funds.

Have a good week-end one ‘n all

cjcjc,

> After all, how can Nobel Prizewinners (admittedly not proper ones like Gore) possibly come to any serious conclusions about work going on in a related discipline.

98 doctors tell you that you urgently need an operation. 2 doctors and a few dentists say that you do not.

You are the person that believes the 2 doctors and the dentists.

> Silly me.

I’d have used stronger words, but the sentiment is correct.

> [blah blah ] BlueRock [blah blah]

I note that you deniers always want to yap about the messenger more than the message.

‘Magisteria – I will be impressing my friends with that word later!! ‘

Borrowed it, in a different context, from Stephen J Gould. 🙂

sl:

> and are thus not in the market for climate change research funds.

You deniers would be lost without your idiotic innuendo. Maybe one day you’ll have some *science*!

And what is the “operation” you believe we need?

END CAPITALISM NOW?

Or a sensible pricing of the possible externalities of carbon emissions as outlined in the Stern Review at $80/tonne.

Ah Bluerock,

Also, you keep wittering on about ‘religion’. You’ve got it completely the wrong way around. You are the one that is in denial of science. You are the ‘creationist’ here.

Has it not struck you that you are aping predicatable lines yet?

Hence I got the creationist jibe in first – because I suspected it would be coming. Can I point out that creationist don’t in fact ever debate their views, they make recourse to authority that they cannot accept being challenged and they are not prepared to go and look at counter arguments.

I am debating my views here happily – I concede the possibility you might be right for example; I do not cite any one source of authority but rather use the evidence I have before me; and I have checked all your references and even gone back to the IPCC AR4 (which you appear to have missed did not actually say what you thought it did…). You refuse to allow there might be a debate; you rely on authority (Joe Romm, the IPCC (even if they don’t say what you rely on them for!)) as well as an imaginary scientific consensus (I can only presume you don’t spend much time around researching scientists if you don’t consider that an oxymoron); and you have made no attempt to address my arguments.

And as to denial of science – I am typing on a computer. Clearly I do not deny science, because I am using it. I am wearing it (artificial fibres (hands up if you are now envisaging me in a shell suit)). I embrace it fully. And I know what science is – knowledge, but not truth. Science tells us things, but it does not mean what it tells us is right (note that the development of radar was rather slowed down because science at the time (early last century) believed light needed a medium through which to travel and were concerned with finding this for example) and certainly does not mean it should inform what we do.

But you will just parrot scientific consensus, shout terms you see as abusive (denier) and fail to engage. Which of us is most like the creationalist? Me, who believes in evidence and debate, or you who believes in orthodoxy and the silencing of dissenters? I admit I cannot persuade you you are wrong, but then again neither am I likely to persuade Pope Benedict that he is wrong in his beliefs either.

cjcjc:

> And what is the “operation” you believe we need?

Stop pumping burning fossil fuels. If you need more detail, I’ve heard Google is quite useful.

ie END CAPITALISM NOW

I thought so.

How funny that you are so keen to revere the scientific consensus yet ignore the policy consensus.

Watchman,

You have writer’s diarrhoea. You are a fine example of a denier who can write a lot and say nothing.

IPCC WG1. Refute it – with something other than bloviated rhetoric.

‘I know Shatterface and I disagree on much of the interpretation of the evidence, but he has the sense to at least allow that some evidence is not incontrovertable, as do I from the other point of view. I suppose to you that makes him, like Roger Black, a ‘denier’ as well though.’

Thanks, good to know someone understands the argument. The OP isn’t about climate science, its an attack on the BBC for allowing even the slightest scepticism. It’s an attack on the entire concept of debate. The overwhelming evidence from the scientific community is that climate change is real and that it is generated by human beings; there is a smaller community of scientists who believe differently.

Parasitic on both poles of that debate are dogmatists who have reached their conclusions through an entirely different route and resist any expression of doubt whatsoever with cries of heresy and calls for censorship. And that division between rational actors open to evidence and quasi-religious lunatics is repeated time and time again in debates over drugs, or pornography or freedom of expression.

Anyone who has read here for a number of weeks knows were the division lies and its not between left and right, or anthropogenicists and sceptics, its between those who support rational debate in a climate of mutual tolerance and those who do violence to the mind by promoting dogmatism and blind faith.

Bluerock,

I am not planning to refute the work of several eminient scientists thanks. I don’t have to – the IPCC AR4 does not say what you are claiming it says. It has things like probabilities in it for a start (although these are sometimes left out of the summary for policy makers – it always pays to read the main text), which imply things are not certain. >95% does not equal 100% as any scientist, statistician or gambler will tell you. The report allows for doubt, because that is scientific practice. You don’t, because that is religious belief.

Incidentally, you do know that the IPCC reports are arranged by chapters, which are written by working groups don’t you? I just wonder because you have twice cited IPCC WG1 as if that were a reference, when it is imprecise (a reference to three seperate chapters) at best. I am beginning to wonder if you have actually read this text you put so much belief into – could it be you have just let it be transmitted to you through men such as Dr Romm? As religious learning as it were.

Oh, and to bring this a full circle, could I remind you that one of the main contentious issues from Climategate was that the emails appeared to show that there was an attempt to subvert the process in IPCC WG1 to the favour of a particular viewpoint (in the area of paleoclimatology). So in effect you are laughing off the efforts of critics by referring to the very documents that the critics are pointing out may be flawed.

Watchman,

> I am not planning to refute the work of several eminient scientists thanks.

For a very good reason: you cannot. Nor has anyone else – because the science is certain beyond all credible doubt.

Your continued evidence-free accusations and innuendo re. the stolen CRU emails – while ignoring the science and overwhelming scientific consensus – marks you out as ignorant or dishonest. Five investigations cleared everyone involved. Find a new piece of bullshit propaganda to trumpet.

55

“>95% does not equal 100% as any scientist, statistician or gambler will tell you.”

I hesitate to get involved at this point as I haven’t digested the full thread, but the problem with this is the fact that in other areas like (un)intelligent design, proponents use the fact it is not 100% as “evidence” or “proof” that evolution is only a theory.

As any devotee of Dawkins (or indeed common sense) will tell you, the fact that no scientist will say something is 100% proven, doesn’t mean that climate change is fiction/ intelligent design is real / God exists.

@37
You might want to Google “Project Steve” to find out why presenting a list of random scientists, who may very well have no actual training focus of the specific subject matter at hand, is a very poor argument at best.

Damn those “random” Nobel Laureates

When someone who agrees with the majority position cites the work of hundreds of practising scientists in the field in question, it’s dismissed as “appeal to authority”.

When someone who disagrees with the majority position cites the opinion of seven (count ’em!) retired (but admittedly notable) scientists from entirely unrelated fields, that’s Blog Science! It’s totally not an appeal to authority! It’s only an appeal to authority if you appeal to people who actually have expertise in the subject in question!

I see Voltaire’s Prayer is still working.

Galen10, Cylux, Dunc,

Good to have some scientifically literate voices of reason in here at last!

Righteous Denier: “Science is not done by consensus!! Oh, look! I found SEVEN scientists who disagree!!1! Global warming is teh HOAX!!!!111!!”

Damn those “random” Nobel Laureates

Indeed, it might perhaps be news to you but “science” is a rather large discipline encompassing the many various avenues of exploring the workings of the natural world, a Nobel Laureate of say microbiology can only be expected to have the same level of expertise on climate change as the average taxi driver. It is no where near their field of knowledge.
Physics, as a subsection of science, can be described in the same way, a quantum physicist is at best only going to have a very vague idea of what all the data, figures and readings of climatology actually mean, based on his general knowledge of the field of physics.

Besides 4 of those 7 are quite dead, perhaps if they were able to be informed of the current data they might change their minds?

“The BBC has a responsibility to air all significant points of view in any controversy.” True – except that the climate change sceptics are not significant, just politically convenient in a society governed by conservative, pro fossil fuel elite. There is, of course, nothing unusual in the BBC’s distortion of the debate. Just check out its unwavering support for public service cuts to eliminate a deficit it has decided must be tackled, for instance. Or its total failure to properly air the thoroughly significant points of view of the Palestinians repressed by the Israelis.

cjcjc – how’s that bet with me going again on rising temperatures?

I notice you’ve stopped emailing me with the data now… is that because you know you’re going to lose?

Funny that your only ‘evidence’ seems to be the entirely discredited ‘whats up with that’ blog.
You may as well start linking to delingpole and go all the way!

Sunny, cjcjcjcjcj is just a troy butler. He can only bring you what his corporate masters tell him to bring.

He has no fucking idea what it means.

Sunny:

> You may as well start linking to delingpole and go all the way!

You never go *full* retard!

P.S. For those who missed it, further confirmation of what was already apparent: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/11/climate-sceptic-james-delingpole-driven-by-ideological-war/

How sad!

Someone writes an article saying the BBC is biased against global warming when the truth is obvioulsy pretty much the reverse.

Some people point this out. Sunny accuses them of “petty bickering and inane comments”.

Now that’s the kind of open and free-ranging debate this site is all about!

You never go *full* retard!

Oh no, but cjcjc does. If you’re going to link to Anthony Watts, then James Delingpole isn’t any different. Isn’t that right cjcjc? PS – still waiting for the update on how our bet is going regarding rising temperatures. I also notice you’ve stopped asking others to have a bet with you that temperatures aren’t rising.

Watchman,

The capacity of CO2 to absorb IR radiation is one of the bits of the science that really is “settled”. The fact that a doubling of CO2 will in itself lead to an increase of around 1C is accepted even by most sceptics – it is the extent to which the various feedbacks amplify the warming which they claim to dispute. True, there are those who will tell you that there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect, that it violates the laws of thermodynamics, but they really are the equivalent of flat-earthers or creationists.


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