19. 09. 2007

BBC axe falls on Planet Relief

Hallelujah! The great Professor John Marburger (George Bush’s leading scientific advisor) has robustly confirmed the principal findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – including the “more than 90% likely that climate change caused by mankind” bit.

In his recent interview with the BBC, he went a lot further than that, revealing his worst Lovelockian fears: “The CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere. There’s no end point – it just gets hotter and hotter, so at some point it becomes unliveable”. That’s irreversibility for you, John.

I wonder how the BBC billed Professor Marburger, internally, in their forward planning: climate mainstreamer or climate contrarian? (He’s often been in the latter category before now, so the BBC is going to be really cross that he’s gone over to the other side at this stage).

Over the years, the pool of potential contrarian contributors has dwindled year by year – there’s only so much incontrovertible science one can go on denying in order to suit the media. This is going to get increasingly problematic for the BBC, given the apparent editorial decision to maintain some kind of Reithian balance in its reporting on climate change.

All this surfaced when the BBC decided to axe its plans for Climate Relief – a day of programming focusing on climate change, including quite a lot of advocacy and even “campaigning”.

Great stuff, but the BBC lost its nerve: “it is absolutely not the BBC’s job to save the planet”, said Peter Barron, Editor of Newsnight.

Rather than axe Planet Relief, I’ve got a much better idea for the BBC that seems to be terminally muddled about all this stuff. Why not carry on with Planet Relief, and at the same time commission an alternative “Screw the Planet” day, providing a truly balanced love-in for all climate deniers, chaired by Bjorn Lomborg, duped by Martin Durkin, whimsically entertained by Richard D North, bored rigid by the Institute of Economic Affairs, lectured by Philip Stott, reduced to uncontrollable hysterics by David Bellamy – and regaled by wise and far-seeing US politicians like James Connaughton, Bush’s leading adviser on climate change, who believes that adopting mandatory targets for reducing emissions of CO2 would “mean shutting down the US economy”.

There you are, Mr Barron. What better way of protecting your precious reputation for balance than by lining up the galacticos of today’s ever-so-balanced contrarian movement? And what a fantastic contribution you’ll be making to climate change awareness in the process.

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Comments

19. 09. 2007
Biff Vernon

Actually, listening to the last few episodes of Radio 4's Home Planet, Philip Stott seems to have mellowed. Perhaps he has learnt from the Global Warming Swindle debacle. If he goes much further he will lose his place on “Screw the Planet” day.

19. 09. 2007
spamlet

Well said Johnathon.

(Hope I'm not the only one that reads this though: seems a 'quiet' site, from the 'comments'!)

Regards,

S

19. 09. 2007
elizabeth

Is Hans Svensmark's research incontrovertible or not?

20. 09. 2007
Caroline

I'm as disappointed as you on the scrapping of Climate Relief, but overall the BBC have done a v good job so far of positioning the issue.

It's hard to believe the editor of Newsnight's stance when he presumably backed the role of Newsnight's 'Ethical Man' for a year, and continues to do so.

We can be thankful they didn't commission a programme like CH4's The Great Global Warming Swindle.

I understand the BBC are interested in 'factual' climate change programming from now, so perhaps they would like to do a factual response to The Great Global Warming Swindle.

27. 09. 2007
Ironspider

The Great Global Warming Swindle continues as 'everyone' 'knows' it's all a lie! Well it must be if the governments of the most technologically and scientifically advanced nations on the planet maintain their "let's just talk about it and eventually it'll all go away" stance. I guess the powers that be don't want to commit to any drastic action as the resulting fallout might make them politically unpopular and they'd be voted out at the next election. So the future is gradually parcelled out in four-year chunks of inaction. Bravo. I'm off to nail jelly to the ceiling...

14. 12. 2007
Does George Bush care about global warming?

I read that George Bush is indifferent to global warming; he just doesn't care. And apparently Bush is focused more on Cheney's interests in the energy industry. Probably both Bush and Cheney will ignore global warming... they don't want to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Environmentalists will be angry at them, but then again much of the American public doesn't care about climate change.

Myself, I can't decide... depends whether global warming disasters will happen soon, or in 20 years or 100 years... who knows...

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