Another journalistic scandal -- so where's the outrage?
Published in: Daily Mail
A particularly egregious claim by proponents of anthropogenic global warming theory is that ‘the science is settled’ and that there is a consensus amongst scientists that the atmosphere is catastrophically heating up because of man’s ever-heavier carbon footprint. Egregious because, in a classic bit of circular reasoning, scientists sceptical of AGW have been systematically denied a voice in the press and on the airwaves, their exclusion thus ‘proving’ the alleged ‘consensus’ through their absence.
Until recently, it might have been assumed that the cause of such exclusion by the BBC was simple ideological bias. For the past two weekends, however, David Rose in the Mail on Sunday has been showing that something far worse has been going on. Yesterday, Rose revealed that the BBC was so deeply in the pocket of AGW scientists that its reporting of AGW was utterly compromised.
Trawling through the second tranche of leaked emails from the nerve centre of AGW theory at East Anglia university in ‘Climategate 2’, Rose discovered, for example, that the leading UK research unit on global warming, the UEA’s Tyndall Centre, had spent £15,000 on seminars for top BBC executives in an apparent bid to block climate change sceptics from the airwaves. Last week, Rose wrote a related story about the involvement of the BBC’s ‘environment analyst’ Roger Harrabin in those Tyndall Centre-funded seminars. Yesterday, Rose wrote:
‘The emails – part of a trove of more than 5,200 messages that appear to have been stolen from computers at the University of East Anglia – shed light for the first time on an incestuous web of interlocking relationships between BBC journalists and the university’s scientists, which goes back more than a decade.
‘They show that University staff vetted BBC scripts, used their contacts at the Corporation to stop sceptics being interviewed and were consulted about how the broadcaster should alter its programme output.
‘... BBC insiders say the close links between the Corporation and the UEA’s two climate science departments, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, have had a significant impact on its coverage.
‘Following their lead has meant the whole thrust and tone of BBC reporting has been that the science is settled, and that there is no need for debate,’ one journalist said. ‘If you disagree, you’re branded a loony.’
The BBC is a publicly-funded broadcaster whose charter commits it to the highest standards of journalistic objectivity. Such revelations might be thought to be a scandal of a high order, no? You would expect them therefore to cause a stir in the rest of the media, no?
No. Today, several stories were published about AGW, not least because of the opening of the Durban conference. We learned from the Times (£) that the fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood is to donate £1 million to fight climate change. We learned from the Guardian that £1bn was still available from the government to fund pioneering carbon capture and storage projects (phew). We learned from the Daily Telegraph that the science behind AGW theory ‘continues to strengthen’. Yet as far as I can see, not one word has appeared about the MoS revelations in the mainstream media.
Just imagine if, hypothetically, it had been revealed that the BBC had been quietly paid by the oil industry to shoot down AGW theory through sponsored seminars, vetted scripts and the exclusion of green activists from the airwaves. Or that it had been paid to promote in similar fashion the agenda of American neoconservatives, or bankers and hedge-fund managers, or UKIP, and correspondingly keep critics of the neocons, bankers or UKIP off the air. Does anyone think that following such revelations not one word would be published elsewhere – or would there be absolute uproar?
Merely to pose the question is to realise just how complete is the rout.