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BBC Forced To Withdraw Fake Sea Level Claims

November 13, 2017

By Paul Homewood




Readers may recall an item on the BBC World at One back in March about rising sea levels in Florida, when their correspondent claimed that:

1) Rising seas and flooding are turning Miami Beach into a modern day Atlantis, the city being submerged by water.

2) Sea levels at Miami are rising at ten times the global rate.


I covered the story here.

I complained to the BBC at the time, and, after being fobbed off the first time, escalated the complaint to the Executive Complaints Unit, who have now published the above judgment.

Astonishingly, they regard the claims about “Atlantis” to be “soundly based”, even though they now accept that sea levels around Miami are only rising at about 8 inches a century.


Of course, they had no choice but to withdraw the ludicrous claim about “ten times the global rate”!

But why on earth does the World at One need to be reminded that they should not make scientific claims without actually checking the facts first? For that matter, why has not this instruction gone out to all news and documentary programmes and news sites as well?

  1. Joe Public permalink
    November 13, 2017 6:52 pm

    We’re thankful for your perseverance.

  2. November 13, 2017 6:59 pm

    Reblogged this on Jaffer's blog.

  3. November 13, 2017 7:05 pm

    Indeed, I echo Joe Public’s comment. Thank goodness for your persistence and tenacity.

  4. Mick J permalink
    November 13, 2017 7:14 pm

    Off topic: Noting that there is a programme this evening at 9pm on the Yesterday channel titled “First Britons”. The description: Hear how recent archaeological discoveries have painted a different picture of the first native Britons – a hardy, sophisticated people who withstood centuries of climate change.

    Some mistake surely. 🙂

    • November 13, 2017 9:25 pm

      yep already watching

    • November 13, 2017 9:48 pm

      21:33 something happened 8200 years ago the temp dropped “dramatic cooling” for 150 years.
      Over in America there was a ice-age glacier melting, water held back by lake, but suddenly in 1 year the dam wall broke so sea level rose 0.5m+ in a single year
      This interfered with Gulf Stream so freezing Europe
      Then a sand level suddenly appeared 5m above sea level due to a possible Tsunami from Norway flooding Doggerland.
      Then 6,000 years ago ..the New Stone age ..the start of farming spread to UK .spotted in Shetland from teeth of the dead.
      But the farming era was interrupted by years when storm sands wiped out the fields.

    • November 14, 2017 12:53 pm

      I have watched many episodes of an old British show–“Time Team”–on my laptop. It is amazing to see the places, now dry which were under water and vice versa and then see other shows with the ubiquitous–warmer than ever, we’re all going to drown–theme. Does the right hand know about the left hand?

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 14, 2017 1:42 pm

        Most of the change is due to currents shifting stuff around, taking from one place and depositing somewhere else. Particularly true of the east coast. Dunwich has disappeared while further down the coast, Orford that used to have sea access is now on the Alde River behind the mass of Orford Ness. The town of Rye was a channel port, now it is at the end of a channel to the sea.

  5. quaesoveritas permalink
    November 13, 2017 7:18 pm

    I emailed Nick Bryant at the time to challenge his statement but never actually made a formal complaint. Of course I never received a reply.
    I am glad you had the perseverance to take it further.
    What annoys me are the hoops you have to jump through to get such an outcome.
    Of course I don’t suppose WATO will broadcast a retraction and an apology.

  6. tom0mason permalink
    November 13, 2017 7:40 pm

    “But why on earth does the World at One need to be reminded that they should not make scientific claims without actually checking the facts first? For that matter, why has not this instruction gone out to all news and documentary programmes and news sites as well?”

    That’s because the BBC usually fails to report news. Instead they just opine and emote about what they perceive are newsworthy items. They are there to try and persuade you of their perspective (no matter how distorted) on news items.

    They left actual reporting of news decades ago.

    • November 13, 2017 8:09 pm

      yes, emotion is now king, to get to be lead item on the BBC news all you have to do is be angry or upset and get social meedya to join in. A single person heckling a politician is often enough to get onto the BBC news.

      • irritable Bill permalink
        November 13, 2017 10:48 pm

        Agreed climanrecon, you cant turn on the box without the deafening roar of “Emotions.” But its not just climate emotions its every bloody thing, what kind of generation are the socialists producing with their grand experiment? The “E” generation.
        And whenever I have an argument with an emotional person, they inevitably preface a comment somewhere along the line with the hackneyed….”I just think that…”
        Also, does anyone out there know about Florida’s plate geology? I was under the impression that Florida is sinking fast anyway? I guess that’s why they chose it as a global warming disaster site…because they know that it will continue to sink with or without warming.
        The ABC would have put this to air in Australia no doubt…we are way worse than the BBC, in Aus, they still air Gores movies on the ABC and teach it in schools as absolute fact and our nutcases and children quote it as fact. “I just think…” ha ha ha. If only they did rather than blather emotional drivel.

    • November 13, 2017 8:30 pm

      The BBC doesn’t report news or facts any more, it is all opinion. Most BBC news items are about the BBC. I like to count how many times the BBC news mentions the BBC (such as ‘the BBC understands’, ‘the BBC has learnt’, ‘in an exclusive interview the BBC has been told’). On Monday mornings I try and guess which news item will tell me what will be on Panorama in the evening – this morning it was the third item. This evening’s news told me what will be in tomorrow evening’s news. The BBC is a joke (but Channel 4 is no better and of course both are funded by public money). The BBC currently concentrates on three main items: anti-Brexit; anti-Trump; and ‘climate change’. Just check it out.

      It is very unusual to get a complaint even partly upheld, because the BBC tells us it is always right. Well done Paul for your persistence, but it won’t change anything.

      • November 13, 2017 9:33 pm

        BBC=agenda, agenda, agenda
        Main projects “Trump/Brexit/Tories/Skeptics … Must Fall”
        “Lib-supremacism/OpenBorders must triumph”
        “Special Victims are MoreEqualThan”

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 14, 2017 1:44 pm

        You could just read the Guardian to find out what is coming – or does the Guardian follow the BBC?

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 14, 2017 8:20 am

      Exactly what I was going to say. At some point – the mid Thatcher years I think – the BBC moved away from strict reporting to deciding on the “truth” of an issue and pushing that truth no matter what. These days it is explicit that it believes global warming is “true” and so can believe that it has no duty to report on any other view. The simple fact that the BBC has no competency to decide what is “true” on any subject does not enter its collective consciousness.

      • November 14, 2017 10:52 am

        The Ministry of Truth 🤣

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 14, 2017 1:45 pm

        And they insult George Orwell by putting a statue up outside their new Ministry of Truth. He would hate the current BBC.

    • November 15, 2017 7:21 pm

      As Irritable Bill says, the BBC are not alone in this falsifying. The ABC in OZ are as bad, as are the TVNZ here in New Zealand. They have just had on a series of lying exaggerating “news” items fronted by their usual “announcers” pronouncing our impending doom and the failure of those who do not take drastic corrective action. None of them has any climate science qualification, of course. Attenborough is as bad as any of them, riding on his unearned reputation and commenting on the massive danger from rising CO2 and sea levels. One day, the truth will become apparent to even these idiots, but whether they will suffer for their foolishness seems unlikely. Me? I just love the greening of the planet caused by that wonderful CO2, and the thought that the approaching cooler climate will prove the fraudsters wrong!

      • tom0mason permalink
        November 16, 2017 3:10 pm

        Indeed, on air commenters talking about climate can not be ex-chancellors but can be actors, actresses, 5 minute celebrities, and Greenpea activists.

  7. 1saveenergy permalink
    November 13, 2017 8:30 pm

    Persistence pays off in the end, well done.
    the millions that heard the original lie –
    1 wont be told.
    2 will carry on believing the 10x rise lie (cos they heard it on the BBC.

  8. November 13, 2017 9:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    YET another example of why mainstream media outlets like @BBC, captured by the radical environmental movement, cannot be trusted on anything “climate change”.

  9. Athelstan permalink
    November 13, 2017 9:10 pm

    Well done Paul though I don’t suppose the green zealots that make up the beeboid corpulence will issue a world wide and a faux mea culpa like they did over Lord Lawson’s perfectly accurate assertions.

  10. November 13, 2017 9:11 pm

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    Many thanks to Paul Homewood, so few are able to hold the BBC to account for their ludicrous claims on climate change. This takes real dedication and perseverance.

  11. Jack Broughton permalink
    November 13, 2017 9:19 pm

    Maybe Booker will take it up in his column, this could be another step in the much needed sorting of the Big Brother Corp’n.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      November 14, 2017 1:46 pm

      We would need a conservative government to bring the end of the BBC but I can’t see us having one of those anytime soon.

  12. November 13, 2017 9:33 pm

    Recent Drama queening from

    • November 14, 2017 2:50 pm

      Ronald Wilson Reagan and Donald John Trump are two of the best things to happen to the United States. It has been my privilege to vote for both. They also reveal the leftist pipsqueaks as nothing else can do.

      George Washington was great also after he finished the first brexit.

  13. November 13, 2017 9:50 pm

    BBC is a tool used for legitimising wacky claims
    See how activists retweeted the story.

  14. November 13, 2017 9:54 pm

    Ah I’ve just got this
    “Between the years 2011 and 2015 sea level rose more than six times faster in the southeast US as compared to global average sea level rise…but not because of climate change.”

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      November 14, 2017 9:52 am

      Of course nobody who wasn’t totally biased would think that sea level could possibly rise faster than average, in a particular location, due to “climate change”.

  15. Mark Sixsmith permalink
    November 13, 2017 9:58 pm

    Complete nonsense!

    Where does it actually say that the BBC had to withdraw the claim!

    False news again on this dreadful blog!

    • November 13, 2017 10:23 pm

      You obviously have trouble reading!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 14, 2017 8:28 am

      Perhaps the bit where the BBC says sea level rise is only a little different from the global mean? Or perhaps you think little different and ten times higher are the same? Or do you think the BBC shouldn’t withdraw claims it knows are false?

      • quaesoveritas permalink
        November 14, 2017 9:47 am

        Perhaps he is making the point that the BBC hasn’t been told to withdraw the claim, merely not repeat it or similar claims.
        In reality the BBC won’t issue an apology or a prominent correction on the WatO and has does not appear to have been instructed to do so.
        Even the instruction not to make such claims in the future is probably irrelevant, since they will continue to do so on a regular basis that it is hard to keep up with.

    • mikewaite permalink
      November 14, 2017 1:28 pm

      I am delighted that you find this blog “terrible” . That must mean that it is hurting , and therefore effective.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 14, 2017 1:47 pm

        Nothing quite so nice as the sound of lefties squealing in the morning – right up there with the smell of napalm.

    • November 14, 2017 2:55 pm

      Back to the basement, honey. You will find safety there–unless your water heater springs a leak.

  16. November 13, 2017 10:21 pm

    Atlantis ? well maybe there is a strong activist community in Miami which plants ideas in his head ?

  17. John F. Hultquist permalink
    November 13, 2017 11:57 pm

    Atlantis was where?
    Did its end result from global warming induced sea level rise?

    Some analogies just don’t hold water.

    • Henning Nielsen permalink
      November 14, 2017 7:49 pm

      A good analogy; Atlantis is a myth, just like CAGW.

  18. SkepticallyWarm permalink
    November 14, 2017 4:46 am
    Analysis of “Miami’s fight against rising seas”
    Published in BBC, by Amanda Ruggeri on 4 Apr 2017

    * Four scientists analyzed the article and estimated its overall scientific credibility to be ‘very high’.
    * The “fact check” article makes no, zero reference to the the 10x sea level rise.
    Claims to be “A global network of scientists fact-checking climate change news
    Climate Feedback is a worldwide network of scientists who collectively assess the credibility of influential climate change media coverage.”

    Massive FAIL!

  19. November 14, 2017 11:00 am

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Miami ocean-facing property prices seem to be holding up quite well despite the tall tales of climate doom-mongers like the BBC…

  20. November 14, 2017 6:35 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Asking auntie’s green activist copy and paste specialists to fact check? What could possibly go wrong?

  21. November 14, 2017 10:50 pm

    Perhaps “the World AT One” (WATO) could be renamed “The World AT Sometime”?

  22. Harry Passfield permalink
    November 15, 2017 9:53 am

    A bit late with a comment but… there not some kind of Freudian slipping being done here where, in order to prove the myth of modern-day mmgw, the fools have to use the ancient myth of Atlantis in their argument (if it even qualifies as such).

  23. dave permalink
    November 15, 2017 1:47 pm

    “…ancient myth of Atlantis…”

    Actually, it is generally classed as a fiction – by Plato – not genuine myth. There are genuine myths about floods, but this is not one of them.

  24. Europeanonion permalink
    November 15, 2017 2:18 pm

    Did they broadcast the retraction and when?

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      November 15, 2017 8:17 pm

      Not that I know of but then I don’t listen every day.
      IMHO It should be part of the judgment that they broadcast one every day for a month.

  25. quaesoveritas permalink
    November 15, 2017 8:14 pm

    Going back to the “Blue Planet II” discussion, (now closed), I came across these old David Attenborough – The Early Years documentaries on BBC iPlayer:
    Note the almost total absence of manipulative music.
    Any music was totally neutral and appropriate.
    Am I old fashioned or were documentaries better then?

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