“Climate” brainwashing at the BBC

I like BBC News. They are usually faster than CNN with breaking news though not as fast as the blogosphere. But they are generally very reliable for straight news. Their breadth and depth of coverage is – I think – unmatched by any other news organisation. Facts are well checked and the BBC serves as verification of news from the blogsosphere and other sources. For me they are a key “media of record” and the BBC is freely available. Together with Reuters (rather than AP) I think they are a vital part of the protections of “freedom” in today’s world.

But when it comes to opinion the BBC is inherently unsound. They always take the “politically correct” line. That the view from the left is usually over-represented in their opinions is no secret – and it is just a matter of fact that most “politically correct”  issues derive from the left of the political divide. And for such issues the BBC loses its impartiality.

That the BBC is – and has been – one of the high priests of the “global warming” faith is also no secret. That Roger Harrabin has been one of the high priests of the religion has also been rather obvious. But what is new is that the BBC has spent a great deal of money in brainwashing their journalists and presenters in the dogma of this new catholicism. And that Cardinal Harrabin – as has long been suspected – has had some commercial interests in the propagation of the religion within the BBC. A pensioner has apparently forced the BBC by means of the Freedom of Information Act into revealing how some of the brainwashing was carried out.

This report is from the Daily Mail  (which itself is more than a little biased) but is reasonably reliable as to fact as long as its “opinions” are discounted:

The BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds over six years trying to keep secret an extraordinary ‘eco’ conference which has shaped its coverage of global warming. …. The controversial seminar was run by a body set up by the BBC’s own environment analyst Roger Harrabin and funded via a £67,000 grant from the then Labour government, which hoped to see its ‘line’ on climate change and other Third World issues promoted in BBC reporting.

At the event, in 2006, green activists and scientists – one of whom believes climate change is a bigger danger than global nuclear war  – lectured 28 of the Corporation’s most senior executives. 

A lobby group with close links to green campaigners, the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT), helped to arrange government funding for both the climate seminar  and other BBC seminars run by  Mr Harrabin – one of which was attended by then Labour Cabinet Minister Hilary Benn. Applying for money from Mr Benn’s Department for International Development (DFID), the IBT promised Ministers the seminars would influence programme content for years to come.

The BBC began its long legal battle to keep details of the conference secret after an amateur climate blogger spotted a passing reference to it in an official report. Tony Newbery, 69, from North Wales, asked for further disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The BBC’s resistance to revealing anything about its funding and the names of those present led to a protracted struggle in the Information Tribunal. The BBC has admitted it has spent more than £20,000 on barristers’ fees. However, the full cost of their legal battle is understood to be much higher.

In a written statement opposing disclosure in 2012, former BBC news chief and current director of BBC radio Helen Boaden, who attended the event, admitted: ‘In my view, the seminar had an impact on a broad range of BBC output.’ She said this included news reports by Mr Harrabin, and a three-part BBC  2 series presented by geologist Iain Stewart, who told viewers global warming was ‘truly scary’. According to Ms Boaden, ‘Editors and executives who attended were inspired to be more ambitious and creative in their editorial coverage of this slow-moving and complex issue.’ She claimed the seminar sought to  ‘identify where the main areas of debate lie’. However, there were no expert climate sceptics present. 

In an internal report, the IBT boasted that the seminars organised with Mr Harrabin had had ‘a significant impact on the BBC’s output’.

All four scientists present were strong advocates of the dangers posed by global warming. They were led by Lord May, former president of the Royal Society, who, though not a climate expert, has argued that warming is a greater threat than nuclear war. Other non-BBC staff who attended included Blake Lee-Harwood, head of campaigns at Greenpeace, John Ashton from the powerful green lobby group E3G, Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation, who argued there were only 100 months left to save the planet through radical emissions cuts, and Ashok Sinha of Stop Climate Chaos.

Mr Harrabin was the seminar’s principal organiser. He ran it through the Cambridge Media Environment Programme, an outfit he set up with Open University lecturer Joe Smith. …… by teaming up with the IBT,  an avowed lobby group trying to influence coverage, and accepting government funds when Labour was advocating radical policies to combat global warming, Mr Harrabin exposed himself to the charge he could be compromising the Corporation’s impartiality. During the legal battle, the BBC tried to airbrush both the IBT and its approach to the Government for funding from the record. Submissions and witness statements made no mention of it. …. 

David Rose comments:

Last week was a big one for weather news: the storms and floods in Britain, and the end of the bizarre saga which saw the Akademik Shokalskiy, the ship carrying climate scientists, tourists and a BBC reporter to inspect the ravages of global warming, trapped in Antarctic ice.

In both cases, the BBC stuck closely to its skewed, climate alarmist agenda. ……. 

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