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Revealed: who decides the BBC’s climate change policy

13 November 2012

Just when you thought the BBC had no more scandals, Guido Fawkes has revealed what the Beeb tried very hard to cover up: the 28 mysterious individuals who have been informing its climate change reporting policy. As a state-funded broadcaster, the BBC has a duty to provide balance. It rejected this on its environmental coverage after taking advice from people in a now-infamous 2006 seminar from people whose identity the BBC was keen to keep secret.

I wrote on Sunday how it had refused FoI requests to reveal those names. But Maurizio Morabito has revealed a list which the BBC cannot describe as a bunch of dispassionate scientists: it’s a veritable who’s who of the green lobby:

Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director,
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia

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Handpicking this selected group to decide an important policy is certainly not the best way to provide balanced reporting. Had the BBC decided any other major editorial matter on the advice of special interest groups, there would have been outrage because it is the very opposite of what public sector broadcasting ought to be about.

Remember, the BBC had claimed to have “held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus” on anthropogenic climate change. So now we know the names of these “best scientific experts”, the remaining question is: why did the BBC feel it was so important to cover the identities up? Their official explanation — protecting journalistic sources — simply does not stand up.

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Show comments
  • Bickers

    The BBC needs to get back to reporting the news rather than manipulating it. That means ensuring that scientific issues aren’t reported as fact or opinionated on when the science is clearly not settled.

  • decora

    when the hedge funds and the insurance companies (which are basically controlled by the hedge funds) start talking about climate change you should probably ask yourself why that is.

    no, they didnt have many scientists ‘from industry’ – but the scientists from industry pretty much agree with the scientists from the academy.

    the BBC might have done this differently – hiding the names is a silly idea – the problem is that basically the same results would ensue.

  • Newsbot9

    When over 98% of climate scientists support AGCC, finding dissenting voices who know what they’re talking about is rather hard. And they keep deciding they’re wrong and AGCC is real.

    Darn pesky fact things!

  • RecklessProcess

    Add BBC to the Ministry Of Truth along with the ever lying NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and PBS. These clowns are all leftist totalitarians who support the most extreme far left positions. They are helping to bankrupt the US. We will be Bankrupt and broken in just a few more years. Maybe in the next four years. Nobody can spend trillions and have absolutely nothing to show for then Bronco Bama and the totalitarian democrats.

  • Judy

    Helen Boaden, the brilliant mind behind the pressure on Peter Rippon to kill the original Newsnight expose on Savile whilst also being an enthusiast for massive TV tributes to Savile when he died, unselfconsciously reveals the most fundamental basis for the BBC to think that this sort of operation is absolutely consistent with its Royal Charter obligations on impartiality and lack of bias. Here she is, on the BBC web site in September 2010:

    “I always think that impartiality is in our DNA – it’s part of the BBC’s genetic make-up.

    Anyone who thinks differently doesn’t really understand how the organisation works and how seriously we take issues around balance and impartiality.”

    Of course, if you think impartiality is in your DNA and your genes, then it follows that anything you think must be impartial because you, with your built-in impartiality genes are thinking it.

    Then there’s the group-think coda, based on defining anyone who does not think that impartiality is built into the BBC’s genes as simply wrong–because they don’t understand how the BBC works and has its inbuilt genetic ability to generate impartiality and balance….

    Needless to say, she was at that AGW seminar in 2006 together with virtually the entire BBC central impartiality gene pool.

    Then she provided over the BBC’s coverage of the “Arab Spring” as a sort of exotic variant of the American revolution’s adoption of the Enlightenment.

    And of course her greatest contribution to driving the BBC’s news coverage by the seat of her gene pool was her BBC-style quiet leaning on Peter Rippon to can the Newsnight investigation, whilst doing nothing at all to stop the gushing tributes to Savile being broadcast over the peak Christmas 2011 schedules.

  • Daniel Maris

    I am not convinced of AGW myself and I don’t support the way the BBC have dealt with this or the FOI request. However, I do wonder whether Sky is much different. They seem to accept the reality of carbon-related climate change :

    Are you sure it isn’t just the publicly funded corporation thing? :)

  • jayjam

    Wow, so the BBC finally decides to reflect the actual science rather than inviting political demagogues to talk about how the science is wrong?

    What could possibly be next? Not giving creationists equal time? What a scandal!

  • Donnachadh McCarthy

    The list is a comprehensive list including representatives from the fossil fuel industry and from the CBI.
    This is an impressive list and far more serious than how the Daily Mail decided its climate crises response over a meal between Paul Dacre and fossil fuel lobbyist Lord Lawson!

    • Bogs_Dollocks

      Shirley, you must be joking.

      A gaggle of activists whose funding comes from scaring the public about supposed man-man climate change and only one climate scientists among the lot.

  • MinnieOvens

    Where the hell have you been for the last month ? (i’d suggest touching yourself up while gazing at a glossy pic of Ed Balls). Chudsmania.

    In the current and prevalent spirit of BBC type hypocrisy, when I have finished roaring with laughter at your remark, I’ll report you for pornographic content.

  • JMckechnie

    Should the question not be, why does the BBC have a ‘Climate Chang Policy’ in the first place?

    • jayjam

      I guess it’s more of a science policy. Talk about the actual science, and don’t give science deniers (like creationists and climate deniers) equal time.

  • John McEvoy

    It’s very simple. Stop paying your licence fee. There’s f**k all they can do about it.

  • eeore

    “The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to
    unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global
    warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All
    these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
    changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.The real enemy
    then, is humanity itself.”

    The Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution, 1992

  • Roy

    All the more reason to clear the lot out and start afresh and a pay as you use. If it only as a reprieve the license fee system will ultimately descend into another empire of the freaks of liberalism. Drastic action is called for.

  • Andrew Webb

    Any organisation that so blatantly lies and loses the trust of its patrons has no right to exist. They abandoned impartiality a LONG time ago. I resent being made to pay for a service I have no interest in using. So long as it’s senior management consists of overpaid unproductive ponces then the BBC deserves to be ground into the dust.

  • Daveyyy12

    The PBC will always be left wing that’s because they pick luvies and kiddies from universities. They also pick lots of there own little kiddies, something they think is worng for other companies to do. It has been packed out with commies since it started and always will attract those types.

    Only killing it will stop it preaching its hatred for its own people.

    Strange, a little women called Mary Whitehouse started campaigning against porn on TV. This organisation pilloried her on TV. Top comics all ripping into to her.Today we have Mock the Week and endless other shows all jumping up and down on anyone who dares voice an opinion opposite to the PBC world view. All opposition must be silenced.

  • Manfred

    This expose is an absolute classic – serendipitous timing? meaningful coincidence? –
    to Al Gore’s ‘Dirty Weather Report’, and to Kyoto 2012. The counterpoint couldn’t be more delicious – BBCgate (sorry)

  • Manfred

    And ‘Auntie’ is an unimpeachable, independent source from which low wattage, laughably titled “Ministers of Climate Change” all over the world garner the information from which they pontificate about ‘settled’ science on the one hand and rob you blind with the other. The toxic melange of politics and a failed Fourth Estate (MSM) dooms set-piece journalism in favour of the blogosphere. The discovery of this ‘List’ is an empirical demonstration of freedom in action, as it is of the bias and dependence of the vacuous Fourth Estate.

  • jorgekafkazar

    My sister’s teacher spent the war on one of the channel islands, under Nazi occupation. Having a radio was verboten. His family was arrested and questioned by the Gestapo on charges of having received information that a neighbor had gleaned from the BBC. After serving their sentences, they went home. That night, he dug up their own radio and they all listened to the BBC. Brave people, and a broadcaster with integrity and worth the risk, in their eyes.

    That was the trust that has been violated. The BBC has degenerated to a shameful, lock-step, propaganda-spewing political outlet that opposes the best interests of the very people who fund it. Josef Göbbels would laugh.

  • MaxSceptic

    Perhaps some source/mole can also reveal the contents of the ‘Top Secret’ Balen Report.

  • Gunkie Gus Davies

    Looks like the sinners of the world have no where to hide any more. “God Bless The Internet!”

  • Verbals

    So. Fucking. What.
    Leon Brittan is still fucking kids. Bigger fish to fry,

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