How low can the CBC go … paints Bob Ward, U.K. PR hack, as ‘expert’

The CBC is Canada’s national public broadcasting corporation. As such, one should have the right to expect some elements of professionalism in their practice of journalism. Alas, with very few exceptions, professionalism at the CBC has become highly conspicuous by its absence. Prejudicial and biased choice of words – not to mention those they choose to interview – have become a hallmark in their coverage of many matters, not the least of which is their reportage of events in Israel and of any matter pertaining to global warming aka climate change.

One of their radio programs, As It Happens – heard each weekday – was the last bastion of anything deserving of credence at the CBC in recent years. Not always, but (compared to the track record of other programs) much of the time. However, as the National Post‘s Terence Corcoran reported yesterday, as it so happens, As It Happens is now toeing the green party line, albeit in this instance by gross errors of omission.

The guest on a segment Corcoran heard recently, was none other than the U.K. Grantham Institute’s well-known (well, at least among skeptics on that side of the pond) PR hack, Bob Ward.

As Corcoran reported in U.K.’s phony war on carbon emissions, Ward’s “mission” was to:

portray Canada as a dreadful laggard in the global war on carbon, compared with the bold new policies announced last Monday by the British government. The coalition government of Prime Minister James Cameron had just announced what it proclaimed to be a plan to make it “the greenest government ever” and put Britain “at the leading edge” of a new global industrial transformation

Not surprisingly to any who have ever heard him speak, Ward obliged by providing:

an official-sounding “Grantham Institute” scientific endorsement of the British plan and to dump on Canada for not stepping up to do its duty. Britain can do all this, said Mr. Ward, because it makes good economic sense. The cost of cutting emissions by such huge amounts is “roughly about 1% of gross domestic product.” While that may seem like a lot of money, it is actually “very small compared to the potential economic costs of climate change,” which he estimated at 5% of GDP or “potentially as high as 20% of our national wealth.”

[AIH host Carol] Off didn’t question any of this. Instead, she asked, “How is it that the U.K. government bought into this” when governments around the world mostly have not? Mr. Ward said it was just a matter of the U.K. government “following the advice of scientists and the economists — and I’m sure Canada has just as many scientists and economists.” It is, he said, a “question of political will” and of “accepting the evidence.” [emphasis added -hro]

However, Corcoran noted several omissions in the segment, including:

1.PR is not science: Bob Ward is a public relations guy, described somewhat acerbically but accurately by British writer James Delingpole as the “Grantham Institute’s angry baldie attack dog.” He has actively led PR campaigns against Exxon and any person or institution who might sit skeptically outside the fixed ideological confines of the official green bunker known as climate change.

2.The Grantham Institute is headed by Sir Nicholas Stern, the economist whose famous report on the long-run economic costs of climate change has been denounced around the world as a flawed collection of misplaced economic theory and abused data. When Mr. Ward told As It Happens that the cost of “decarbonization” of the entire British economy is no more than 1% of GDP against the 5%-20% cost of coping with global warming, he was merely regurgitati[ng] the Stern report’s discredited conclusions.

3.Neither Mr. Ward nor Ms. Off mentioned that the greenest-of-all-green world-beating British carbon reduction strategy announced Monday will only be pursued if the European Union goes along with the same crazy plan — an unlikely development. As the U.K. Department of Energy put it, the British will “continue to argue” for an EU move to a 30%-below-1990 target by 2020. And what if the EU fails to act? “We will review progress in EU climate negotiations in early 2014. If at that point our domestic commitments place us on a different emissions trajectory than the EU,” the U.K. will “as appropriate, revise up our budget to align it with the actual EU trajectory.” In other words, the U.K. will be the greenest of all nations propelled by a “leading edge” plan that will only be followed if it does not have to be at the leading edge. Britain will, rather than lead, follow Europe in the great stumbling global attempt to reduce carbon emissions by government fiat.

[…]

And in other CBC related news … it would appear that the recent makeover of their website has been designed to ensure that the words and wisdom of “science” maven Bob McDonald, (whose lack of scientific academic credentials the CBC conveniently continues to omit from his laurel-laden bio) shall henceforth be unchallenged by cleverly “disappearing” his earlier Quirks and Quarks blog entries(on which selectively and slowly moderated comments were permitted) and closing his more recent ones to comments.

Quelle surprise, eh?!

UDATE: 07:05 PM The As It Happens segment featuring the Ward interview can be heard here

2 thoughts on “How low can the CBC go … paints Bob Ward, U.K. PR hack, as ‘expert’

  1. I’ve been playing tag with the CBC ombudsman over the CBC.ca moderator issue. I only had an interest in their Sci-tech stories until blocked posts started happening over “nothing”. Seems unseemly. My MP and the Minister in charge weren’t any help (your concerns have been noted blah, blah, blah) sooo… I and my friends have been keeping detailed records of posts since 2009. Visiting my barrister for a second time tomorrow. I’d love to interview a disgruntled CBC Mod and we’re working on that but anonymity is only worn away by the persistent and patient. Slowly a picture is emerging of “who does what”. Smile. We are considering a website of our own to publish what CBC will not and we don’t “want” to do that but CBC is unable to change it’s own diapers. The fix is in. Wink. Pls email me if you have any suggestions. Glad to hear some others “smell a rat”. That Bob M’s earlier posts are “gone” is true – purged, I spot-checked back to 2005. Clumsy, they didn’t think anyone would care to look AND have the URL’s to do it. Other antics are so overt it is hard not to notice. The CBC serves someone or something but it isn’t the Canadian public anymore. Who are their masters?

    • Hi Jim,

      Good luck with getting a reasonable response from the CBC Ombudsman! As far as I’ve been able to gather, the (unwritten) mandate of that office seems to be “protect and deflect” against any and all criticism of CBC – particularly when it comes to their highly pronounced promotion of anyone who puts Israel in a bad light, and of course matters pertaining to “climate change” aka “global warming”;-) CBC’s approach on both issues (and others I could name but won’t for brevity!) approaches the level of bias and mediocrity that pervades the U.K.’s BBC.

      As I have noted (in one of my early posts here!) the climate wars did not cross my radar until about ten days BC (Before Climategate) when I stumbled some correspondence on the Friends of Science site: an appalling series of “responses” from the CBC Ombudsman to various complaints regarding the CBC’s promotion of Al Gore’s AIT.

      If you do decide start a website “featuring” that which the CBC will not, please do let me know. There is a longstanding one in the U.K. that you might want to take a look at (if you haven’t already): Biased BBC.

      In the meantime, I fully agree that (with the notable exception of Rex Murphy) the CBC does not serve the Canadian public anymore :-(

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