Sunday, April 13, 2008


The BBC is sending this fatuous response to queries about the infamous capitulation to climate activist Jo Abbess's extortion:
Dear Reader

There has been considerable interest in the story about global temperatures authored by our correspondent Roger Harrabin, and the alteration made to the text after publication. A minor change was made to the piece on our website to better reflect the science. A number of people, including the report's authors the World Meteorological Organization, pointed out to us that the earlier version had been ambiguous.

With thanks for your mail, time and interest, BBC News website

Well, for a start the Beeb is supposed to report what is known and in most cases the available data is open to interpretation - it is in fact ambiguous by nature. No points there. So, if the WMO (source of the press release reported on by Harrabin) actually complained (and they might have since they are a UN shopfront):

* what exactly did they say

* what changes did they request

* why was this not noted when edits were made

* why wasn't the editing timestamp updated to reflect changes

* importantly, why was Abbess invited to "Have a look in 10 minutes and tell me you are happier. We have changed headline and more"

* does the BBC believe Abbess to be a representative of the WMO

* if not, what position does Abbess occupy that gives her editorial control over BBC content

* How does this comply with the BBC Trust's stated values?

Our values

Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest.

Audiences are at the heart of everything we do.

We take pride in delivering quality and value for money.

Creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation.

We respect each other and celebrate our diversity so that everyone can give their best.

We are one BBC: great things happen when we work together.

If you'd like to help find out whether the WMO really requested changes and what they said, if they did, then the place to start asking is NewsOnline Complaints and pose your questions. Perhaps ask who contacted them from WMO and what did they say?

If the BBC wants to be a clearing house for activist propaganda that's fine - so long as the activists are the one's footing the bill rather than the fees levied on the British public.



So much for that job requirement of balance and objectivity. When it came to global warming the media clearly left out dissent in favor of hype, cute penguins and disastrous predictions.

"They [penguins] are charismatic, endearing and in serious trouble," warned NBC's Anne Thompson on the Dec. 12, 2007, "Nightly News." Thompson didn't include any disagreement.

While the networks had plenty of time to worry about the future of birds, most network news shows didn't take much time to include any other point of view even though hundreds of scientists have expressed skepticism of manmade climate change theory.

Another NBC reporter, Kerry Sanders, hyped the threat of warming to polar bears and walruses on Dec. 9, 2007, "a world scientists say may melt away by 2050." Sanders didn't include any scientists who disagreed with that claim.

The lack of balance on the issue prompted one network journalist, John Stossel of ABC, to do a story on the media's one-sidedness on "20/20" Oct. 19, 2007.

"You've heard the reports. The globe is warming. And it's our fault. And the consequences will be terrible. But you should know there is another side to this story," teased Stossel as he began his "Give me a Break" segment.

There is another side to the issue. In one story, Stossel interviewed four scientists critical of the so-called "consensus" on global warming. That's four more dissenting scientists than CBS put on its network in six entire months.

To better assess network behavior on this key topic, the Business & Media Institute examined 205 stories from ABC, CBS and NBC that mentioned "global warming" or "climate change" between July 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2007.

BMI found skepticism was shut out of a vast majority of reports. Overall, a measly 20 percent had any dissent at all referenced by a journalist or guest.

Skeptical voices were suppressed by the networks, outnumbered by nearly a 7-to-1 ratio by those promoting fear of climate change or being used by the network for the same purpose. CBS had an even worse record: nearly 38 proponents to one skeptic.

More here


JOURNALISTS at The Age yesterday condemned management for undermining the Melbourne newspaper's editorial independence, claiming reporters were pressured not to write negative stories about Earth Hour and sports coverage was in danger of being compromised by commercial considerations. During what reporters called a "volatile" and "hostile" staff meeting on the editorial floor with the paper's editor-in-chief, Andrew Jaspan [wee Andy, the Scottish socialist], journalists also criticised his decision to attend the 2020 summit and attacked the publication in February of a letter by Fairfax chairman Ron Walker about the Liberal Party.

Mr Walker, a former Liberal Party treasurer, was identified only as "R.Walker, Melbourne" and, staff said, the letter was run unedited at Jaspan's instruction. Staff said the form of the letter "went against all normal practice, where the paper insists letters include full identification and affiliation or position of the writer".

During the meeting, Jaspan defended the letter's publication saying "that was what he (Mr Walker) had asked for". Some staff were openly hostile towards Jaspan, and at times interjected as he spoke. At a subsequent stop-work meeting, staff passed a resolution saying recent developments had undermined the separation between commercial considerations and editorial independence.

In a statement accompanying the resolution, staff said the Earth Hour partnership placed basic journalistic principles in jeopardy: "Reporters were pressured not to write negative stories and story topics followed a schedule drafted by Earth Hour organisers."

Staff said Jaspan's decision to participate in the 2020 summit, along with a senior deputy editor, breached the journalistic principle that the reporter and observer cannot be a participant without affecting objectivity. And the paper's sports coverage was being potentially compromised by an increasingly commercial emphasis on special relationships. "We have felt under increasing pressure to colour our reporting on organisations with whom the newspaper has struck commercial or sponsorship arrangements," the statement said. "Reporters are being encouraged to attend marketing meetings and under pressure not to write 'negative' stories."

Staff demanded management consult with them to draft a protocol that explicitly stated the deals would not entail any suggestion or implication of favourable editorial coverage.



By Andrew Bolt

I've said before that The Age will not report both sides of the debate on global warming. Now The Age's staff confirm they are not allowed to: "In a statement accompanying the resolution, staff said the Earth Hour partnership placed basic journalistic principles in jeopardy: "Reporters were pressured not to write negative stories and story topics followed a schedule drafted by Earth Hour organisers." The Age is not reporting, but propagandising. What else is it refusing to tell its readers about global warming - or anything else?


That Age reporters are encouraged not to tell the full truth about Earth Hour - or, indeed, global warming - can also be deduced by these emails from Fairfax bosses, congratulating staff for "promoting" Earth Hour and asking them to "participate (in) and observe" it.

And the fix is in, as you can tell by a green group directing the Age editor-in-chief on the placement of stories, evidence of Earth Hour's "success" being grossly exaggerated or invented, and inconvenient truths being left unreported.

The conclusion isn't just that the Age readers cannot trust their paper to inform them of the relevant facts about global warming. It's also that all Age reporters writing about global warming must - fairly or unfairly - be considered propagandists until there is evidence that they are free to report all sides of this debate.


David Henderson, in a presentation to the IMF, says this kind of reporting on global warming is only too common:
Across the world, the treatment of these issues by environmental and scientific journalists and commentators is overwhelmingly one-sided and sensationalist: studies and results that are unalarming are typically played down or disregarded, while the gaps in knowledge and the huge uncertainties which still loom large in climate science are passed over. This pervasive one-sidedness on the part of so many commentators and media outlets is in itself worrying; but even more so, to my mind, is the fact that leading figures and organisations connected with the IPCC process, including government departments and international agencies, do little to ensure that a more balanced picture is presented.



Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on the implications of climate change for human health. Malaria will top the menu, but so will ignorance and disinformation.

The lead witness will be Dr. Jonathan Patz of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has suggested that U.S. energy policy may be "indirectly exporting diseases to other parts of the world." Dr. Patz, the World Health Organization (WHO) and others claim that global warming is now spreading disease and may be the cause of some 160,000 deaths a year.

In 2007, for example, WHO pointed to rising temperatures in an outbreak of a mosquito-borne virus, Chikungunya, in Italy. Yet WHO misdiagnosed the problem. Modern transportation, not climate change, caused the outbreak.

In that case, the transmitter of the disease, or vector, was the Asian Tiger mosquito. It is native to Asia, but exported world-wide in shipments of used tires. It is now abundant in parts of U.S. and in 12 countries in Europe. In cities, it breeds in man-made containers of water, such as saucers under flower-pots, water barrels, blocked gutters and so on. The virus was carried to Italy by an infected Indian who flew from Delhi, where an epidemic of the disease was then raging.

So the real technological villain in that case was the jet airplane. It was irresponsible, then, for WHO to state "although it is not possible to say whether the outbreak was caused by climate change . . . conditions in Italy are now suitable for the Tiger mosquito." And it was absurd for environmental alarmists to chime in with apocalyptic pronouncements.

More here


The law of unintended consequences has claimed many millions of victims over the centuries; the first decade of the 21st century is now demonstrating that governments have not lost the knack of destroying the livelihoods of the very people they purport to help.

On a brief visit to Britain, the head of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) yesterday told us of his desperate concern over rising food prices, especially in the developing world. Antonio Guterres singled out for special blame the biofuels business, which he said was having an, "unexpected very negative impact on the availability of food".

Unexpected? How could it not have been anticipated that the turning over of millions of acres of farmland to the production of fuel for cars rather than humans would not have had this effect? To be fair to Mr Guterres, the governments of the developed world showed no outward signs of anticipating this inevitable consequence, so seduced were they by the idea of a "renewable" alternative to fossil fuels; it would, they claimed, simultaneously reduce our political dependency on Middle Eastern oil and save the lives of millions in the Third World who would otherwise perish through climate change.

The first part of that equation was especially attractive to President George W Bush. Following the collapse of his policy to "democratise" the Middle East, he promulgated laws which mandated the turning over of about a third of the US corn belt into the production of ethanol. Since ethanol is dramatically less efficient than dead dinosaurs as a way of powering engines, this has also involved vast subsidies - as much as $25bn a year, according to some estimates.

Don't, by the way, expect this to change after Bush leaves the White House. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain all support this grotesque policy - as they have taken great care to point out when electioneering in Iowa, the Saudi Arabia of ethanol production.

They, rather more than Mr Bush, have tended to justify this monumental bribe as part of a policy to "reduce climate change". In this they are much closer to the governments of the European Union, which is collectively committed to a mad plan to generate a third of our fuel from crops, as part of its attempt to conform to Kyoto treaty obligations. It is especially mad, because recent research has suggested that most biofuel production, especially when it involves the uprooting of vast tracts of forest, is much more environmentally damaging than the burning of fossil fuels.

Gordon Brown has now called for a review of the consequences of this policy for world food production and distribution, to the irritation of the President of the European Commission, who (somewhat bizarrely) sticks to the view that it has no significant consequences for food prices.

Yet one can also understand Jose Manuel Barroso's feelings: it makes the EU look ridiculous to say that it will examine the consequences of a policy - after rather than before the member governments agreed to implement it.

More here


For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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