Abusing public trust: BBC, CBC and “the (climate change) cause”

Yesterday, the U.K. Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) released a report by journalist and author Christopher Booker, entitled The BBC and Climate Change: A Triple Betrayal. Booker’s report (which I’m still reading), as the title indicates, documents three betrayals (from the GWPF Press Release):

His report, The BBC and Climate Change: A Triple Betrayal, shows that the BBC has not only failed in its professional duty to report fully and accurately: it has betrayed its own principles, in three respects:

First, it has betrayed its statutory obligation to be impartial, using the excuse that any dissent from the official orthodoxy was so insignificant that it should just be ignored or made to look ridiculous.

Second, it has betrayed the principles of responsible journalism, by allowing its coverage to become so one-sided that it has too often amounted to no more than propaganda.

Third, it has betrayed the fundamental principles of science, which relies on unrelenting scepticism towards any theory until it can be shown to provide a comprehensive explanation for the observed evidence.

“Above all, the BBC has been guilty of abusing the trust of its audience, and of all those compelled to pay for it. On one of the most important and far-reaching issues of our time, its coverage has been so tendentious that it has given its viewers a picture not just misleading but at times even fraudulent,” Christopher Booker said.

In the foreword to the GWPF report, Sir Antony Jay [of Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister fame -hro] writes:

“The costs to Britain of trying to combat global warming are horrifying, and the BBC’s role in promoting the alarmist cause is, quite simply, shameful.”

This damning report, which could apply equally to the “simply shameful” misleading picture provided by Canada’s (taxpayer funded) national broadcaster, the CBC [see below for an example], follows closely on the heels of:

  • Donna Laframboise’s excellent exposé of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert
  • Ross McKitrick’s report, What Is Wrong With The IPCC? Proposals for a Radical Reform; and
  • The recent release of 5000+ Climategate 2.0 (CG2) emails

And packing an additional wallop against “the cause”, comes news today of the release of the Second Edition of Andrew Montford’s (must read if you haven’t already, and worth a second read if you have) The Hockey Stick Illusion.

Will the CBC inform its viewers and listeners of these developments?! Certainly not, if Bob McDonald – the CBC’s (non-science credentialed) “science” maven – continues his exercises in churnalism, dutifully parroting all pro-alarmist press releases he can get his little hands on. But as a recent pre-Durban “Conference of Partygoers” whine and slight diversion from McDonald shows, fact-checking is definitely not McDonald’s forté:

Old folks’ perspective on the environment

As delegates head to Durban, South Africa, for the next round of UN Climate Talks next week, the biggest obstacle that will be thrown up, by countries such as Canada, against an agreement among nations to reduce carbon emissions will be the argument that those changes will cripple the economy.

Here’s a different perspective from a senior citizen that appeared my email this week, a perspective from a time when conservation was something everyone did:

The Green Thing

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right – our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So, they really were recycled … but we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.


Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. […] But that young lady is right … we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working, so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right … we didn’t have the green thing back then.
But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were, just because we didn’t have the green thing back then? [emphasis added -hro]

I can remember those days. So I guess that makes me one of McDonald’s “old folks”. In fact, I can even remember the days before there was a washing-machine (let alone an “energy gobbling” dryer) in our home … watching this machine waltz across the kitchen floor (until my father bolted it down!) was as close as we got to having any visual entertainment at our house for several years!

But watch how “science” maven McDonald succeeded in missing all the clues in the above, in order to spin a tale that can only be described as a “climateer’s” exercise in “revisionist scholarship”:

The irony of this perspective is that the senior citizen is likely talking about the hard times during the Depression, when the economy was in the worst shape it’s ever been in. Back then, conservation was a matter of survival. Now, it’s a matter of cutting back on the excesses we created for ourselves since the Depression. [emphasis added -hro]

During “the Depression“?! McDonald must have missed all the history classes when he went to school – and he certainly didn’t bother to check his facts before finding his “likely” fudge! How many homes do you know of that actually had a single TV “during the Depression”? Oh, yes … I’m a “senior citizen” (although. of course, you’d never know it to look at me!), but “the Depression” was several decades before my time – and before the time of the senior citizen who tried to enlighten him!

McDonald’s comment-free blog and eyes-wide-shut dedicated support of “the cause” – regardless of the effect on his rapidly declining credibility, and that of the CBC – sends the irony-meter needle into the stratosphere!

But back to Booker … because it’s Friday, as a bonus, I heartily recommend another series of Brilliant Sketches from Josh, cartoonist par excellence. Over the pond, at Bishop Hill, Josh shared his Sketch Notes from the Press Conference at which – in his brilliant words and pictures – the BBC was “awarded” ‘The Booker Prize for Bias’. Here’s a composite of two I’ve unashamedly clipped that are my favourites:

Excerpted from Josh's "BBC: The Booker Prize for Bias"

4 thoughts on “Abusing public trust: BBC, CBC and “the (climate change) cause”

    • I know. I rather suspect that there would be a significant number of fathers – and mothers – who would be (as you say) up in arms at that which was revealed in this truthiness in posting from the CBC’s “science” maven McDonald ;-)

  1. The comments about reporting bias apply equally to Australia’s ABC.
    How much air time did the IAC Review of IPCC get?

    • How much air time did the IAC Review of IPCC get?

      Good question! And for that matter, how much air time did the IAC review get anywhere in Big Broadcasting? But perhaps they knew then what we know now: The IPCC wasn’t going to pay any attention (beyond lip service) to any of the IAC’s recommendations.

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