IN THE MIDST of a storm of scandals about the BBC a new one runs the risk of not receiving the coverage it is surely due. Certainly the BBC is reticent in reporting it though it went viral online on 12th November..
For years the BBC has claimed that its propagandistic position of promoting the catastrophic global warming fraud, censoring the appearance of dissenters and even getting rid of anybody who refused to push the party line (e.g. Johnny Ball, Peter Sissons and the still very popular David Bellamy) was justified. The justification for this was that they claimed to have called, in 2006, a meeting of the country's 28 "best scientific experts" who had unanimously told them that there was no scientific doubt that we were experiencing catastrophic warming.
Tony Newbery, a retired viewer and sceptic sent the BBC a Freedom of Information Act request to find who these "leading scientists" were. The BBC refused to say.
Since then in appeal after appeal the BBC has spent tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of pounds, employing top barristers to prevent us knowing who the leading scientists they had chosen to ask really were. The BBC asserted that telling anybody would be a breach of its ethics and of journalistic secrecy. In the climate sceptic community this produced ...well, scepticism.
Then on Monday somebody found the names. The BBC, who had spent so much ot our money to prevent us knowing the strength of their case, had shared it with the International Broadcasting Trust, an "environmentalist" group who, it turns out, had helped them organise the meeting. They had put the 'secret list" online. Perhaps somebody had not told them about the BBC version of "journalistic integrity".
So who are Britain's 28 "leading scientists". There is a recently published list of Britain's 100 leading scientists and none of them are on it. There is an MP, a Church of England devine, representatives of Greenpeace (2), Stop Climate Chaos, the US government, BP, a "renewables" company director, and other "environmental" activists. Of the very few of these "leading scientists" who have any claim to being scientists one is a gentleman who has gone on record as saying what he does (which he calls "post normal science") is to tell those in power whatever they want to hear.
Such fraudulent propagandising would have embarrassed the old Soviet Union.
A recent World Bank report examined the role of government ownership of broadcasting. It found that the degree of ownership, particularly broadcasting ownership, closely correlated with the degree of authoritarianism, corruption, government incompetence, national poverty and even poor national healthcare. In its way this is unsurprising - the argument for a free press has always been that it means that failure gets noticed and something is done. But it is worth having it statistically pinned down.
Britain has one of the highest levels of state ownership of broadcasting in the developed world and indeed in the English speaking world. The BBC's justification is that it is different. Its charter requires it to be "balanced". That is indeed what the law says. It is not what the BBC does on a whole range of subjects; a few of them are now becoming public.
The BBC gives the Greens 40 times more coverage per vote, all of it deeply supportive, than UKIP, almost all critical while the "hacking scandal" became first item on BBC news, for months on end, just when Murdoch was planning to expand Sky TV and give them real competition. On almost every occasion the BBC will primarily, or only, interview people from government organisations or "charities" actually funded by government, who, without fail, demand more government regulation, civil servants and taxes.
I have written before on ThinkScotland of how the "environmental" agenda costs us, now we can see how the BBC has lied repeatedly over a period of years to maintain a political propogandist position not justified by the evidence. Propaganda which has certainly cost the British people many hundreds of billions of pounds and by more than doubling electricity prices, brought us into recession and nearly one million Scots households into fuel poverty.
We literally cannot have a free society without free media. The BBC is so arrogant and totalitarian it cannot now be reformed. If we wish freedom it must be abolished. Indeed I suggest that since the licence fee derives legally from their charter and they have vitiated the charter it has already abolished itself by these frauds.
I may be biased but I don't think "dead tree" journalism comes out of this with much credibility either.
This story is a scoop obtained by co-operative investigative journalism entirely on the internet. It was a blogger, Tony Newbery, who made an FoI request simply to know who had given the "best scientific advice." It was him, who kept up the pressure as the BBC refused to answer and brought in platoons of barristers, at great cost to our licence fees, to prevent us knowing what the BBC insisted "journalistic ethics" prevented it making public. It was another blogger who then found the list on the site of an environmental lobbyist the BBC had given it to.
The list of the 28 "leading scientists"
This is a short bio of the producers of the BBC's "best scientific advice":
* Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London - undistinguished career until, as an alarmist, appointed Government Chief Science Advisor, then President of the government funded Royal Society and in due course a Lord - stated that religion may help society deal with climate change
* Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA - Mike Hulme, one of 4 nominal “scientists” on the panel of 28 “leading scientists” notoriously once wrote a Guardian article denouncing Professor Fred Singer for doing science the old fashioned way, with evidence, when his sort of “post normal science” which he said involved only finding what his paymasters wanted and saying it, is so much more lucrative.
Don’t believe anybody would be both corrupt enough to believe that and stupid enough to say it? http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/mar/14/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange
* Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace - has more than twenty years experience of developing and implementing advocacy and campaign programmes around the world on a wide range of issues.
* Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen - Danish climate scientist "The evolution of the big ice sheets is a very 'hot' subject and I beleive our ice and climate research is a very important contribution"
* Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge - researcher in the History and Philosophy of Science, rather than actually doing it.
* Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant - not stated is that he consults for the notorious Climate Research Unit of climategate fame
* Trevor Evans, US Embassy - looking him up on Google appears to have been entirely unreported even on the internet till this news broke
* Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change - MP not scientist
* Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net - internationally published journalist and an award-winning TV documentary-maker on global justice issues, and the author of acclaimed books on global survival - activist not scientist
* Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation - Guardianist anti-capitalist activist not scientist
* Claire Foster, Church of England - Nuff said
* Saleemul Huq, IIED - International Institute for the Environment - not scientist
* Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University - wrote a book about forest management
* Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China - one of two Greenpeace reps
* Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia - Tearfund is to help "local churches overcome poverty" - eco-activist
* Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International - businessman whose business depends on promoting the scare
* Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos - activist from government funded scare promoters
* Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund - 2 from the same charity
* Matthew Farrow, CBI - "CBI head of energy Matthew Farrow to join Environmental Services Agency" so making a career out of the climate scare
* Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer - does not appear to have been on the internet in any other circumstances, possibly his TV production has not made him famous
* Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment - Cheryl trained as a journalist ...working for BBC ..Christian Aid...Cheryl is a trustee of the International Broadcasting Trust - no mention of studying to become a "leading scientist".
* Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables - businessman in industry dependent on warming scare induced subsidy
* Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs - Guardian's tame "right wing" commentator - not a scientist
* Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs - marine ecologist ...As a result he currently leads a large (£2m) consortium project examining the impacts of ocean acidification - he might call himself a scientist in the same way Hulme does
* Joe Smith, The Open University - teaches environmental communication at the faculty of Social Sciences - PR flack not scientist
* Mark Galloway, Director, IBT - International Broadcasting Trust "one of our principal activities is lobbying" - not science
* Anita Neville, E3G - "environmental" activist group.
* Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University - "Green TV presenter" ,has worked with Joe Smith above
* Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID - Department of International Development - government flack not scientist at all
* Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia - Association for Sustainable Investment in Asia - In 1988 she co-founded the UK's first sustainable investment unit trust ..served on environmental advisory panels for the UK Government and HRH The Prince of Wales.
So it's not just that we have have only three scientists (May, Dahl-Jensen, Widdicombe - if you don't count Hulme as a scientist, which I don't), nor that it is simply loaded down with "environmental activists" and/or those making a very good living out of the scare, but also somewhat unexpected is the number of people whose prime interest is overseas development. Perhaps, desperate to get attendees, the BBC just asked the DFID if it could corral a few people to make up the numbers?
Also interesting is that despite there being only three scientists there are ten non-English names (not including Evans from the US embassy). That does seem to be statistically unusual even for a London-centric organisation.
It is nothing more than astonishing that, up until the BBC got all this leading scientific advice, in always claiming to be impartial or undecided, the BBC chose such a statistically improbable, unrepresentative and especially unqualified group to ask.
Bishop Hill on the breaking news http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/11/12/bbc-climate-28-revealed.html