Sunday, 6 April 2008

The BBC, Climate Change & Ideological Correctness

Hat-tip: Samizdata

It snowed in London last night, so I can't quite blame the global warming hystericists for being a bit uneasy. Still, surely the BBC's indulging in behaviour straight out of the pages of 1984 is inexcusable.

An article headed 'Global Temperatures to Decrease' contained the following passage when it was published late last week:

"Global temperatures will drop slightly this year as a result of the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.

The World Meteorological Organization's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer.

This would mean global temperatures have not risen
since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.


But experts say we are still clearly in a long-term warming trend - and they forecast a new record high temperature within five years."
A rare example of impartiality on this issue from the BBC, I thought when I read this article at the time. I almost blogged about it, congratulating the BBC for making at least an attempt at balance. I'm pleased I didn't now, because the balancing statement is no longer there!

The beginning of the article (still with the same title, and no indication (e.g. by date) of it having been altered) now reads as follows:
"Global temperatures for 2008 will be slightly cooler than last year as a result of the cold La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.

The World Meteorological Organization's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer.

But this year's temperatures would still be way above the average - and we would soon exceed the record year of 1998 because of global warming induced by greenhouse gases."
Balancing statements have been relegated to the 12th paragraph.


While I'm on the subject, I'm not sure how blinkered you have to be to argue that the BBC's current affairs coverage is biased to the right, and illustrate this argument with quotes from one interview of Sir David King (who isn't even a climate scientist, by the way) by Andrew Neil...Like Johann Hari did in Thursday's Independent.

Hello?!? This isn't the same publically funded monolith that has set up the BBC Green campaign, we're talking about here is it? This is also the same BBC that bases news items on findings from think-tanks as thoroughly leftist as the Heritage Foundation is thoroughly right-wing, yet you criticise Andrew Neil's citing of findings of the latter, but are silent on the former. I wonder why? And then, there's the things they get up to when they think we're not looking that are as blatant as the subject of today's post here.

Johann Hari: Stick to what you're good at. Judging balance in the British broadcast media is obviously not it.


UPDATE:
Mark Wadsworth informs me that not only did the BBC stealth-edit the article, they changed the title as well! The title of the original piece was 'Global warming dips this year'.

4 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

The original title was "Global warming dips this year", I did do a post on it as it happens, and I used the original title as my post title.

QT said...

Oh, you mean the c@#%s changed the title as well? InstaPundit didn't mention that and I hadn't noticed.

Better update my post if that's the case.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Yes, they changed the title.

I love the idea of 'global warming taking a dip' it's like estate agent talking about house prices 'taking a dip'. They're never going to admit that temperatures are not rising, possibly even going down a bit, any more than EA's will admit that house prices are crashing, down about 10% since last summer.

QT said...

Updated accordingly. Thanks, Mark.