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BBC, Indian Monsoon, And More Lies

August 19, 2016
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood  




Welcome to the latest barrage of lies and misinformation from the BBC:


This week I went to the scene of terrible tragedy.

A river, swollen by raging monsoon floodwaters, had torn down a bridge on the main road between Mumbai and Goa.

More than 30 people are thought to have died when the great stone structure crashed into the torrent, taking with it two buses and a number of cars.

Some of the bodies were swept more than 60 miles downriver in two days.

We produced a short news report.

In the heart-wrenchingly brutal calculus of the newsroom, this isn’t a major story. But zoom out, and you begin to see the outlines of a much bigger and more worrying picture.

India, indeed the whole South Asia region, has been riding a rollercoaster of extreme weather.

The summer monsoon is the most productive rain system in the world, and this year the region is experiencing a strong one. The floods it caused have affected more than 8.5 million people; more than a million are living in temporary shelters; some 300 people have been killed.

Though what really caught people’s interest was the three baby rhinos rescued from the waters in the north Indian state of Assam.

The fact that 17 adult rhinos drowned got rather less attention.

But the important point is that the region is awash with water. Just a few months ago, it was a very different story. The previous two monsoons were unusually weak. The result was a terrible drought in northern India, and parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

And it was exacerbated by another extreme weather event – record heat.

India experienced its highest temperature ever this summer, a blistering 51C.

Rivers ran dry; water holes evaporated; reservoirs became dusty plains. And, once again, the statistics were staggering.

More than 300 million people were affected by water shortages – the equivalent of the entire population of the US. A city of half a million people was left completely dry. It had to rely on supplies brought in by train.

As if that weren’t bad enough, in spite of the drought, the country was hit by a series of unseasonal rain and hailstorms. They caused such terrible damage to crops that some farmers were driven to suicide.

All these examples of extreme weather were widely reported, rightly so. What tended not to be discussed was the underlying cause.

We are all interested in weather; few of us want to be told – once again – that our lifestyles are disrupting the global climate. Yet the truth is that many climatologists believe the monsoon, always fickle, is becoming even more erratic as a result of global warming.

The picture in the last couple of years is complicated by the fact that the world has been experiencing a particularly strong El Nino, the periodic weather variation caused by warming of the sea in the Pacific.

But a series of long-term studies have shown the number of extreme rainfall events in South Asia increasing while low-to-moderate events are decreasing. And increasingly erratic and extreme weather is precisely what scientists expect climate change will bring.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted "rainfall patterns in peninsular India will become more and more erratic, with a possible decrease in overall rainfall, but an increase in extreme weather events".

Since the monsoon accounts for as much as three-quarters of rainfall in some areas, any change is a huge issue. The more extreme the storms, the more likely we are to see more tragedies like the shattered bridge I visited this week.

Now, since you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll excuse me if I take a moment to ram my point home a little harder because there is growing evidence that climate change isn’t just restricted to South Asia.

Ask anyone who follows the issue and they’ll tell you that this year is already well on the way towards becoming the hottest ever. The previous record was last year; before that it was 2014. In fact, the 11 warmest years have occurred since 1998.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t talk about the weather, just that we need to talk about the climate too.


This is all too typical BBC fare – pick a weather event, hype it up as something unusual, connect it to climate change and say they are going to get worse!


So let’s do a bit deconstruction.


1) Far from the floods being a “terrible tragedy”, the Indians themselves regard heavy monsoon rainfall as being extremely benevolent. Indeed, the reporter Justin Rowlatt’s opening comment reveals the BBC’s metro liberal outlook on the world.

If he had bothered talking to the Indian authorities, he might have discovered that the Indian economy benefits in all sorts of ways, not just agricultural production, for instance here.

As Gaurav Kapur, senior economist at the RBS, Mumbai, stated earlier in the year:

The forecast of a better-than-normal monsoon is a welcome development coming after two years of drought and considering the state of the rural economy and the impact on food inflation. If indeed we end up having a better-than-normal monsoon, and spatial distribution of monsoon and production indicators point to a normal year, then RBI’s comfort for another rate cut will increase.

"Monsoon has a big linkage effect on not only rural income but overall growth and inflation and if we have another sub-par monsoon, then contribution of farm sector to GDP will be near zero."

The Indians accept that floods are an unfortunate, but necessary evil. It is drought that they really fear.


2) You may have noticed that nowhere is there any input from the India Meteorological Dept, or for that matter any other local experts.

If Rowlatt had bothered to check with the IMD, they would have told him that, so far, this year’s monsoon has been perfectly normal:





3) They might also have told him that, historically, big swings from year to year are the norm. Quite simply, there is nothing “extreme”, “erratic”, or otherwise unusual about recent monsoons, despite Rowlatt’s claims.




The consistently wettest period was from the 1930s to 50s, when the world was warming up. By contrast, global cooling after 1960, brought a succession of droughts. HH Lamb described this period:

In the first quarter of the century, there was a severe drought in N and NW India every 3rd or 4th year. Then, as the Earth warmed up and the circumpolar vortex contracted, the monsoon rains penetrated regularly into Northern India, and drought frequency declined to 2 in 36 years, from 1925-60. But since 1960, with the cooling of the Earth and the southern movement of the subtropical high pressure areas, drought frequency has been increasing again and the probability may be now more than once a decade.



4) It is well established that monsoon rainfall tends to be below normal during El Nino years, hence the the dryness of the last two years.


5) Rowlatt refers to a record temperature set earlier this year, clearly in an attempt to link this with the floods. However, long term temperature trends in India are notoriously unreliable, given the massive urban expansion across the country.

Indian monsoons are the result of land warming up faster then the sea in summer, thus drawing in moist air from the ocean.

Significantly, a study by Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll of the Centre for Climate Change Research, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology last year found that the opposite had been happening, and that the landmass has actually been cooling as The Hindu reported: 


The summer monsoon has been showing a weakening trend over the past century with decreasing rainfall over large regions of the Indian subcontinent. The monsoon occurs because the land heats up much more than the ocean and the warm air over the land rises and results in low pressure. This causes the rain-bearing winds from the relatively cooler ocean to blow on to the land and cause rainfall. That is, it is the strong thermal contrast between land and ocean that results in a strong monsoon.

However, a recent study by Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll of the Centre for Climate Change Research, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and others, and published recently in the journal Nature Communications contends that this thermal contrast has been decreasing in the past decades, i.e., the land has been cooling and the ocean warming and the monsoon has shown a decreasing trend during the past century.   





Is it too much to expect the BBC’s South Asia correspondent to check his facts with the local authorities, rather than write a highly emotive and subjective, not to mention grossly inaccurate, piece, all based on his preconceived perceptions?

  1. Coeur de Lion permalink
    August 19, 2016 1:17 pm

    What can we do about the BBC?

    • Adrian permalink
      August 19, 2016 2:09 pm

      Stop paying their tax.

      There is simply nothing worthwhile watching on the s.dding channels they forth. Endless ‘celebrity’ b.ll.cks. Radio 4 was once worthwhile, but is an intellectual shadow of it’s past self, not really even that more of a residual stain.

      Buy a firestick or a humax or something similar and pay for Amazon and netflix, together roughly the same as the beeb tax. Let them whither away.

      I know it’s a dream, but I don’t pay them, so why do you?

  2. Broadlands permalink
    August 19, 2016 1:34 pm

    An expert on monsoons (and the leader of those who wish to criminalize climate change skeptics in the US) wrote this in 2007:

    “Today’s climate models cannot adequately predict the mean intensity and the seasonal variations of the Asian summer monsoon.”

    It’s “settled science”.

  3. August 19, 2016 1:45 pm

    Take away the licence fee. Make the BBC on demand, or pay as you view. See who would watch it then. Most of what they produce today is rubbish.

  4. Mark Hodgson permalink
    August 19, 2016 2:29 pm

    As ever,thank you Paul for the excellent deconstruction of this propaganda piece.

    It’s such a shame about the BBC – so many excellent TV & radio programmes, yet such non-stop propaganda, based on lies at worst and half-truths at best. Serious investigative journalism nowhere to be seen.

  5. August 19, 2016 3:21 pm

    Humans are like other animals that have lost their “frame of reference.” We will perish or we will restore human contact with reality.

    Deep down in every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of a “Higher Power” that controls everything. After that source of energy was revealed by the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 AUG 1945, frightened world leaders united nations and national academies of sciences on 24 OCT 1945 to hide the source of energy in atomic bombs – NEUTRON REPULSION – the same source of energy that powers the Sun and the cosmos.

    That futile effort to hide reality is the root cause of current social insanity.

  6. wert permalink
    August 19, 2016 4:06 pm

    Extremely normal monsoon! You see, AGW increases extreme weather!

  7. August 19, 2016 4:16 pm

    I’ve never trusted Justin Rowlatt since I first noticed him on the BBC calling himself the ‘Ethical Man’ in a series about how “green” his lifestyle was for a year (Inspired by Leo Hickman of all people). Of course since then it has not stopped him jetting around the world doing various BBC programmes. If you can stomach the nauseating Grauniad, here it is

  8. roy hartwell permalink
    August 19, 2016 4:18 pm

    It always amazes me when a self-proclaimed expert jumps onto an ‘above average’ event. Is our educational system now so woeful that basic concepts are not understood !!

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 20, 2016 3:18 am

      It always amazes me that they follow that with ‘below average’ effect which proves their ideas (to themselves).

  9. Max Sawyer permalink
    August 19, 2016 4:24 pm

    PeterMG is right – abolish the licence fee and force the BBC to join the real world. We would soon see a dilution of its left-liberal agenda and a return to proper journalism – unless the Champagne Socialists would like to run it themselves, of course. I am sure that climate expert Emma Thompson would stump up a £million or two.

  10. August 19, 2016 4:26 pm

    Earth’s exposure to cosmic rays increases when the number of sunspots are low (low solar activity). So does cosmic-ray-induced nucleation of water vapor into water droplets.

    Cosmic rays come from the Sun’s core, and sunspots are the magnetic fields from the Sun’s core, protruding through the photosphere. See this recently published manuscript, NEUTRON REPULSION – Powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction”

  11. August 19, 2016 8:45 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    “Now, since you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll excuse me if I take a moment to ram my point home a little harder”.

    A picture is worth more than words;

  12. Mike Jackson permalink
    August 19, 2016 9:18 pm

    In the light of Paul Johnson’s article in today’s Times on the report to the BBC Trust about bias this would seem to be a perfect example of what he and his colleagues were saying.

    The difference, I suspect, will lie in the BBC’s ability to deal with its “Emma Thompson” problem, which was specifically mentioned in the report as a failure to challenge her comments on climate, and its almost certain reluctance to demand the same level of objectivity from its own reporter.

    I referred elsewhere to the BBC’s “intellectual incest”, which is my interpretation of what others call its “soft left” mindset. It’s a combination of arrogance and an entrenched belief that there is a corpus of ideas that is not questionable. “But everybody knows …” is its starting point, followed by “…. so what is there to question?”

    In this instance, everybody (who is part of the consensus of right-thinking people of whom the BBC is only the mouthpiece) knows that global warming is happening so at a stretch it might just be possible that these terrible events in India are not quite as severe as they might have been but it is part of our remit to educate and inform the public about the dangers that confront us so Rowlatt may not have gone hunting for data that contradicted his report but that is only a minor matter since he was reporting on a greater truth. And we wouldn’t be doing our job if we confused the sheeple, sorry – the viewers – with irrelevant detail – like facts. Exactly the attitude that keeps anyone who questions any detail of climate science (and probably other subjects as well) as far away from the airwaves as possible.

    All with the most honourable of motives, of course.

    Personally I find it difficult to know how to counter that mindset. Orwell understood the problem when he said, in effect, that it is impossible to think anything when the words to describe it don’t exist. Any attempt to break through is met with blank looks because the apparatchik you are trying to convince just does not comprehend what you are saying.

  13. joekano76 permalink
    August 19, 2016 9:58 pm

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  14. John F. Hultquist permalink
    August 20, 2016 5:17 am

    Indian monsoons are the result of land warming up faster then the sea in summer, thus drawing in moist air from the ocean.

    This idea was in earth science textbooks in the 1950s and earlier. Unfortunately, it still is despite modern technology (satellites, sensors, and such) showing a much more complex set of atmospheric actions. These involve mid-latitude “jet streams” and near world-wide actions. The abstract at the link below shows some of this (full article costs) and a few hours might be needed to get the full picture. I haven’t the time to do this (and haven’t kept up with the science over the past 15 years).

  15. CheshireRed permalink
    August 20, 2016 7:50 am

    ‘Is it too much to expect the BBC’s South Asia correspondent to check his facts with the local authorities, rather than write a highly emotive and subjective, not to mention grossly inaccurate, piece, all based on his preconceived perceptions?’
    Yep, because an emotive piece was exactly what was required by his BBC paymasters.

  16. August 20, 2016 9:36 am

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “This is all too typical BBC fare – pick a weather event, hype it up as something unusual, connect it to climate change and say they are going to get worse!”

    Superb deconstruction of BBC’s latest climate crisis propaganda and shameful lies by Paul Homewood…

  17. RAH permalink
    August 20, 2016 2:18 pm

    “Is it too much to expect the BBC’s South Asia correspondent to check his facts with the local authorities, rather than write a highly emotive and subjective, not to mention grossly inaccurate, piece, all based on his preconceived perceptions?”


  18. Helen permalink
    August 20, 2016 4:12 pm

    BBC and other climate hand-wringers like to say “2016 is … becoming the hottest year ever!” Without mentioning that actually it’s the hottest year since 1850, an eye blink in the history of humanity. We’ve been here 150,000 years at least, our forebears for 2.5 million years, and have seen plenty of warmer years. Yet my supposedly educated liberal friends drink the kool aid BBC is serving them because some guy with a british accent is serving it.

  19. August 22, 2016 10:11 am

    The simple truth is that the Indian economy is very monsoon dependent and a “good monsoon” contributes magnificently to their economy. This years has so far as I am aware been a “good monsoon”. As you and others above say, how can these reporters fail to go to the real experts on monsoons in India before spouting forth with their drivel.

  20. yonason permalink
    August 24, 2016 8:51 am

    It seems to me, from looking at that bridge, that the story SHOULD have been about how India would do well to abandon shoddy materials and methods in construction, especially in areas where lives will be put at risk as a result.

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