Friday, October 27, 2017

BBC is accused of being a 'left-wing mouthpiece' over climate

After grovelling apology for failing to challenge Lord Lawson over interview claim that temperatures haven't risen in past decade

The BBC was accused of being a 'left-wing mouthpiece' today after it issued a grovelling apology for failing to challenge Lord Lawson over a claim temperatures have not risen over the last 10 years.

Furious MPs said the decision to single out the peer showed the corporation had given up any 'pretence' of impartiality.

Former chancellor Lord Lawson made the claim during an interview broadcast on Radio 4's Today programme in August.

The BBC had initially rejected complaints from viewers, claiming that it was important to give air time to 'dissenting voices' in the pursuit of fairness.

However it has now bowed to pressure and admitted that it breached its own editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality.

Tory MP Philip Davies told MailOnline: 'It is what you would expect from the BBC. It is typical BBC.

'They have given up any pretence of being impartial these days. They have become a mouthpiece for any left-wing, pro-EU Labour party cause.

'If they think they might have upset some of their left wing cheerleaders then of course they are going to apologise profusely.

'I look forward to them apologising profusely when a right wing politician is challenged. I think we would be waiting a long time.' 

Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire told MailOnline: ‘If the BBC had to apologise for every inaccuracy a Labour politician made on air they would never be able to have a Labour politician on.

‘The position sounds rather extreme to me – the BBC very seldom allow climate sceptics on the programme.’ 

According to The Guardian, the BBC's executive complaints unit accepted that the assertions 'were, at the least, contestable and should have been challenged'.

During the interview with presenter Justin Webb, Lord Lawson said official figures showed that 'during this past 10 years, if anything, mean global temperature, average world temperature, has slightly declined'.

He added that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 'has confirmed that there has been no increase in extreme weather events'.

In a letter seen by the Guardian, Colin Tregear, BBC complaints director, said: 'I hope you'll accept my apologies [...] for the breach of editorial standards you identified.'

The Today programme received similar complaints in 2014, when it was accused of giving 'undue weight to Lord Lawson's views'.

Ninety seven per cent of climate change scientists, climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities, according to Nasa.

The IPCC has also forecast a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.

When asked for a comment, the BBC gave the following statement.

It said that during the programme, Al Gore appeared and spoke about his new film, the US Government's approach and the global effort to tackle climate change and spoke to filmmaker Fisher Stevens, who directed the 2016 film 'Before the Flood', prior to Lord Lawson's interview.

It added: 'In the interview our aim was to focus on the subsidy regime and Mr Gore's claim that there are policy makers who do not "join the dots", and Justin Webb challenged Lord Lawson in both these areas.

'The next morning we fact checked the claims around levels of subsidies for renewables and fossil fuels and we ran through the latest scientific evidence on extreme weather events and the links to climate change.

Temperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record.  All show rapid warming in the past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record.

'We appreciate that listeners may disagree with the position Lord Lawson takes on this issue, but his stance is reflected, for example, in the current US administration which has distanced itself from the Paris Agreement.

'As we pride ourselves on hearing opinions from all sides on Today, we are confident that we gave listeners the context and facts to make their own minds up about the views expressed.

'The BBC is absolutely committed to impartial and balanced coverage on this complex issue.

'Our position remains exactly as it was - we accept that there is broad scientific agreement on climate change and we reflect this accordingly.

'We do however on occasion offer space to dissenting voices where appropriate as part of the BBC’s overall commitment to impartiality.'


UK: 'Excessive' green taxes are forcing up fuel bills, official review finds

Consumers are paying too much for their energy because of “excessive” green taxes added to bills, a damning Government-commissioned report has found.

A series of “spectacularly bad” decisions by ministers have “unnecessarily burdened” households and businesses with higher green energy subsidies than necessary, according to Prof
Dieter Helm, of Oxford University.

The cost of renewable energy – as well as gas, coal and oil – has fallen but the benefits have not been passed on because ministers locked the taxpayer into long-term contracts that overestimated those costs, Prof Helm found.

Green taxes will cost the average household almost £150 from next year, according to energy firms.

Prof Helm said this was “significantly higher than it needs to be” to meet the Government’s objectives of cutting down on the use of fossil fuels and
promoting renewable energy.

He was asked to undertake the research after Theresa May, the Prime Minister, vowed to tackle “rip-off” bills. However, the industry expert placed the blame on the Government’s own policies.

“Significant institutional reform” should be brought in to reduce the Government’s role and allow the market to function efficiently, Prof Helm said.

His Cost of Energy Review said: “Each successive intervention layers on new costs and unintended consequences. It should be a central aim of Government to radically simplify the interventions, and to get Government back out of many of its current detailed roles.”

Green energy taxes, which were introduced as part of the 2008 Climate Change Act, have caused controversy ever since because some MPs regard them as “regressive”, penalising those who can least afford them.

There are also divisions over whether the levies are justified, particularly with respect to subsidies for wind farms, with opinion split over whether they are an unnecessary blight on the landscape.

In August the Office for Budget Responsibility warned that the cost of the subsidies would more than treble over the next five years, from £4.6  billion in 2015-16 to £13.5 billion in 2021-22.

The costs of “decarbonisation” account for around 20 per cent of typical electricity bills, according to the report. Consumers will have paid well over £100 billion by 2030, and Prof Helm says that “much more decarbonisation could have been achieved for less; costs should be lower, and they should be falling further”.

He said ministers’ forecasts of future energy costs had been far too high, but “many of these excessive costs are locked in for a decade or more, given the contractual and other legal commitments governments have made”.

In particular contracts had been given to “early stage” wind, solar and biomass companies whose costs had since been hugely undercut by other firms using much more advanced technology, Prof Helm said.

He said energy firms should be forced to declare their profit margins on bills and also called for the cost of existing contracts to be ring-fenced into a “legacy bank” and shown separately. The legacy charge should not be paid by heavy industry, he suggested.

Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel, said a “persistent and sizeable gap” existed between energy costs in Britain and competing markets.

The review is the second major report to criticise government energy policy in recent years after the Competition and Markets Authority dismissed many of the early claims of market abuse made against energy companies. Instead it warned that many policy
decisions had harmed competition.


"Deniers" are CRIMINALS

Mark Hertsgaard is off on another journey through his own head.  A false prophet and wild theorist from way back writes below.  It's all just assertion.  Not for him any doubt that hurricanes are caused by global warming

The horrors hurled at Houston and the Himalayan lowlands in late August were heartbreaking—but also infuriating. How many times must we see this disaster movie—titled Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, along with many lesser-known foreign releases—before we intervene and change the ending? And how long before we hold the ultimate authors of such climate catastrophes accountable for the miseries they inflict?

The tragedy of Harvey starts with the suffering of innocents like Jordyn Grace, the 3-year-old who survived the flood by clinging to the body of her drowned mother, who had prayed with her last breaths. At least 60 people died in Texas because of the storm, over 1 million people were displaced, and who knows how many survived but lost everything? Multiply the death and destruction in Texas a hundredfold to comprehend the scale of devastation in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where—although the news coverage has been a fraction of Harvey’s—a staggering 16 million children “are in urgent need of life-saving support” after “torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding,” UNICEF reports.

What makes this so infuriating is that it shouldn’t be happening. Experts have warned for decades that global warming would increase these sorts of weather extremes and that people would suffer and die if protective measures were not implemented. In 2008, John Podesta, soon to be Obama’s transition director, organized a war game to test the responses to projected climate disruptions. Eerily enough, the scenario chosen—and vetted as scientifically accurate by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory—envisioned a Category 4 hurricane striking Houston and extreme monsoons flooding India. This is not to say that global warming “caused” Harvey—a scientifically illiterate framing of the issue—but it did make the rains bigger, more intense, and more destructive. Harvey dumped 27 trillion gallons of water—“enough to cover all of Manhattan a mile deep,” noted Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press—and as much as 30 percent of it can be attributed to global warming, according to Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Many other experts have issued warnings, starting with NASA scientist James Hansen’s landmark 1988 Senate testimony that global warming had begun and, if left unchecked, would threaten the future of human civilization. Recent years have also brought abundant evidence that shifting to wind power, less meat-heavy diets, and other climate-friendly alternatives would result in lasting economic and health benefits: more jobs, less inequality, cleaner air, stronger communities.

Yet Donald Trump and other powerful know-nothings in Washington seem perversely determined to ignore the lessons of Harvey, while doubling down on making things worse. Trump has crammed his administration full of climate-change deniers while pushing full steam ahead on more oil, gas, and coal production. His EPA chief, incredibly, has urged governors to ignore the Clean Power Plan proposed by the Obama administration, aiding conservative efforts to gut the policy. Days before Harvey drenched Texas, Trump rescinded Obama’s requirement that federal agencies take climate impacts into account before approving major infrastructure. And in a stunning insult not only to climate preparedness but the legacy of US space exploration, Trump nominated a climate denier with no scientific training to run NASA.

When the president announced in June that he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, I wrote in The Nation: “To refuse to act against global warming is to condemn thousands of people to death and suffering today and millions more tomorrow. This is murder, even if Trump’s willful ignorance of climate science prevents him from seeing it.” That judgment grows more apt with each passing day we don’t reverse course. Knowing what we know in 2017, expanding fossil-fuel production is like Big Tobacco continuing to addict people to its cancer sticks: technically legal but, in effect, premeditated murder.

It is past time to call out Trump and all climate deniers for this crime against humanity. No more treating climate denial like an honest difference of opinion. When top tobacco executives swore to Congress that nicotine wasn’t addictive, their assertion, though laughable, did not make it true. Forty-six state attorneys general forced those smokers companies to pay at least $206 billion for their wickedness. Now, the individuals and institutions pushing climate denial must be called out with even greater vigor: in newspaper columns, on TV and radio talk shows, in town halls, at the ballot box, and by consumer boycotts, legal investigations, shareholder resolutions, street protests, and more.

Shedding tears for little Jordyn Grace in Houston and her counterparts in the Himalayan lowlands is only right, but it is far from sufficient. With Hurricane Irma churning toward Florida, the horrors and heartbreaks will only get worse until we change the game for their perpetrators. The first step toward justice is to call things by their true names. Murder is murder, whether the murderers admit it or not. Punish it as such, or we encourage more of the same.


Rising eco-terrorist threats to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will cost taxpayers $2 million per year

The Environmental Protection Agency is responding to a rise in death threats to its Administrator Scott Pruitt by bulking up its security detail to levels unparalleled by his predecessors.

According to a CNN report, the EPA is looking to add a dozen security personnel to protect Pruitt around the clock. The total salaries for the additional staff could cost at least $2 million per year. This does not include other expenses such as travel, training, or equipment.

The EPA's inspector general's office, which provides oversight and investigates complaints and threats, said that they've had to pull agents from other criminal investigations because of the rise in death threats against Pruitt compared to previous EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

"We have at least four times -- four to five times the number of threats against Mr. Pruitt than we had against Ms. McCarthy," Patrick Sullivan, EPA's assistant inspector general for investigations, told CNN. He would not get into specifics about how many threats Pruitt has received during his tenure. However, the agency said that it has launched over 70 investigations into the threats against Pruitt as well as others in the EPA.

The irony here, of course, is that the Trump administration has been looking to slash the agency's budget by 31 percent from its current spending level of $8.2 billion to $5.7 billion.

The EPA reportedly bought out 1,228 employees over the summer, costing at least $12 million.

Of course, the additional staffing is minimal, but the security presence is unprecedented. It's more of an indictment on left-wing extremists who wish to do harm to the EPA administrator.

Since Donald Trump announced that he was running for the Republican nomination for President in 2015, there has been a rise in left-wing extremism, particularly in the form of Antifa.

Terrorists murdered 3,342 people on American soil between 1992 and August 2017. Ninety-two percent of those deaths were committed by radical Islamic terrorists (89 percent of the victims died on 9/11), while nationalist and right-wing terror groups were responsible for 6.6 percent of the deaths. Left-wing terrorists have killed 23 people during that time span, and are therefore responsible for only 0.7 percent of the deaths. However, 13 of those 23 people were killed since the beginning of 2016.

Eco-terrorists have been around for decades, but extremists from the Left have been creeping into the mainstream, especially after the shooting of the Congressional baseball practice in June and the recent Antifa riots in Berkeley, Calif.

While Pruitt's views on climate change are discouraging to many liberal advocates, violence in this manner can never be justified and only undercuts their overall goals. Right now, it's costing taxpayers an extra $2 million and taking agents away from EPA enforcement.


California Governor Vows to Sue Trump Over Climate Change

California Gov. Jerry Brown plans to use what he calls a Republican tactic and sue the Trump administration over President Donald Trump’s climate change policies.

Brown, a virulent Trump opponent, told reporters Tuesday that he will sue the president for nixing the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation Republicans believe hurt the coal industry. He claims the tactic is akin to Republican efforts to hold up climate policies during the Obama-era.

“First of all, we can go to court and block his efforts and we are doing that. Just like the Republicans tried to block [President Barack] Obama’s efforts,” Brown said. Republican attorneys general sued to hold up the Clean Power Plan, but the lawsuit was suspended after Trump rolled back the plan earlier this year.

Democratic attorneys general are now where Republicans were during the Obama administration: working to derail their political opponent’s agenda.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, for instance, is preparing a lawsuit to protect Obama’s environmental policies. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has also repeatedly sued the government over the environment, and told reporters earlier this year that he will do “everything in my power to defend the Clean Power Plan.”

Brown has made the rounds to generate support for a state coalition supporting the Paris climate deal, which obligated the U.S. to pledge to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions nearly 30 percent by 2025. He browbeat his state’s legislature in April to push for extending the state’s already massive cap-and-trade program.

Brown also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this year to discuss aspects of the non-binding climate deal. They both hashed out ways to push their respective entities away from fossil fuel production and closer to renewable energy to meet Paris’ ambitious aims.

BBC reporters asked Brown Tuesday whether he believed that Trump thought climate change was “an illusion.”

“No, I don’t believe that,” he said. “But he, like politicians, work their constituency. And I think he sees this as a galvanizing rhetoric for his base.”




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


1 comment:

Spurwing Plover said...

Moonbeam Brown is a idiot a total idiot he needs to go and the sooner the better