The annual Paul Homewood review of the BBC’s climate howlers is always an enjoyable read, even for those keen students who follow his investigative work during the year. But with the consensus starting to crumble for the insane Net Zero collectivist project, this latest instalment of Tall Climate Tales from the BBC seems to have attracted a wider audience. Talk TV and the Daily Express have both given extensive coverage to the latest set of BBC bloopers.
How we laughed when Julia Hartley-Brewer read from the list on her TalkTV morning show. Such as the report from the Norfolk village of Happisburgh where “extreme weather linked to climate change” has eroded the soft sand cliff rock. No mention of the finding of the British Geological Society that it is likely the Norfolk cliffs have been “eroding at the present rate for about the last 5,000 years”.
Or the report that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season was the third most active on record. Nothing of the sort, of course, with Homewood observing that since 1851 there have been 32 years with a higher count of hurricanes. There was also an evidence-free claim in September 2022 on the BBC Verify that hurricanes were getting more powerful. The U.S. weather service NOAA states in its latest review that “there is not strong evidence for an increase since the late 1800s in hurricanes, major hurricanes, or the proportion of hurricanes that reach major hurricane intensity”.
Your own correspondent’s personal favourite made the list with news that bee-eaters had turned up in Norfolk to the delight of local twitchers. But the BBC was worried, reporting that rare ‘rainbow birds’ trying to breed in the UK was a worrying sign of how our climate is changing. It was an “unmissable sign”, no less, that the climate emergency had reached our shores. As any half-knowledgeable bird watcher could have told the BBC, bee-eaters have frequently visited England in the past. One archive alone lists 80 sightings between 1793 and 1957. Then there a story about trees in British cities that a study said were at risk of drought due to climate change. There is no evidence that the areas were getting drier, nor is there any evidence they will. “Once again, the BBC is uncritically presenting a controversial study as factual,” commented Homewood.
It is the common practice of the BBC to reproduce the most extreme climate claims without challenge, without providing supporting data, and without reporting on the views of scientists who disagree, writes Homewood. In fact, the practice continues almost daily. In March, the BBC said that Antarctica ocean currents were heading for collapse – “a new report warns”. The article proceeded to go into full Day After Tomorrow mode with “previous research” suggesting a slowdown in the North Atlantic current causing Europe to become colder.
Modern climate science/activism is awash with clickbait predictions looking for a suitable home in useful idiot mainstream media. As recent research from the Clintel Foundation revealed, about 42% of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate impact statements are based on a computer model that assumes temperatures will climb by 5°C in less than 80 years. Even the IPCC itself admits this is of “low likelihood”. About half the published climate papers are thought to use this 5°C input, leading to a festival of misinformation for gainfully employed journalists content to append “scientists say” to fanciful copy. The latest giant of modern science to rain on this parade is last year’s joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics Dr John Clauser, who calls the climate emergency narrative a “dangerous corruption” of science that threatens the well-being of billions of people. Misguided climate science has “metastasised into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience”, he observes.
The state broadcaster has followed this path of eco-extremism for over 20 years, providing covering fire for politicians to promote a Net Zero project. As audiences continue to decline, the BBC increasingly operates as a club of eco-fanatics intent on signally their virtue to fellow members of the cult. It fails to cover the scientific process at almost every level, discounting the views of any scientists that don’t adhere to the party political line. As with Covid, there seems to be an irrational belief in the output of computer models. Such belief leads to a preposterous acceptance that ‘attribution‘ models can link individual weather events to supposed human involvement.
As we have noted, large areas of science are now closed for debate for fear that any competing views will cast doubt on the unproven but ‘settled’ hypothesis that humans cause all or most climate change. Natural variation in the climate is largely ignored, while stories of once fanatical interest suddenly disappear from the carefully constructed catastrophe playlist. These include polar bears – more than you can shake a stick at these days – the recovery in Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet, and spectacular coral growth on the Great Barrier Reef.
In Homewood’s view, the BBC’s coverage of climate change and related policy issues such as energy “has long been of serious and widespread concern”. In his latest review, Homewood notes that all of the BBC’s factual errors could easily have been avoided with a bit of basic research. And he asks, who is editing all this “fake reporting”? Where are the highly paid executives who let all this continue? “It is apparent that nothing has changed in the last 12 months,” he says.
One more for the road – another personal favourite of mine. It was dry in February this year, despite an average amount of rainfall over the winter. Banging the drum for drought, the BBC produced a picture of an empty reservoir labelled “water levels in rivers, reservoirs and groundwater levels were abnormally low in February”. Alas, the picture showed trees in full leaf, which wasn’t surprising since it was taken in September 2021, a time when reservoirs can be seasonably low. “There’s nothing like a fake image to fool the public,” comments Homewood.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.
Stop Press: Paul Homewood has produced a summary of his latest report about the BBC’s climate howlers for the Express.