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BBC Forced To Retract False Claim About Hurricanes

March 22, 2018
tags:

By Paul Homewood

 

image

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42251921

You may recall the above report by the BBC, which described how bad last year’s Atlantic hurricane season was, before commenting at the end:

 

A warmer world is bringing us a greater number of hurricanes and a greater risk of a hurricane becoming the most powerful category 5.

 

As I promised, I fired off a complaint, which at first they did their best to dodge. After my refusal to accept their reply, they have now been forced to back down.

The above sentence now no longer appears, and instead they now say:

Scientists are still analysing what this data will mean, but a warmer world may bring us a greater number of more powerful category 4 and 5 hurricanes and could bring more extreme rainfall.

Correction 29 January 2018: This story has been updated to clarify that it is modelling rather than historical data that predicts stronger and wetter hurricanes.

Of course, we have the usual problem, that those who read the article originally and who would have been deeply misled, won’t see the correction now.

What is perhaps of most concern is that this report was written by Chris Fawkes, who is one of the BBC’s weather forecasters, and who should therefore know better.

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38 Comments
  1. Charles Wardrop permalink
    March 22, 2018 11:24 am

    How could the BBC be made to adhere to the provisions of its Charter about even-handed need, dropping its own agenda which is so inappropriate, and who could achieve that?

    • March 22, 2018 4:10 pm

      The BBC is very even-handed in its politics coverage, but most of its other coverage is politics by proxy, which is where most of its “campaigning” takes place. For example, today a piece on radio 4 about musicians becoming political, no prize for guessing which side of politics they favour. Another example, most religious programmes used to feature men of the cloth, now they can only be described as men of the Labour party.

      Thankfully the obsession with the plight of migrants seems to have subsided, but only to be replaced with the current obsessions with the gender pay gap and the plight of the “under-funded” public sector. Besides the footy the BBC is essentially the broadcast wing of the Guardian.

  2. HotScot permalink
    March 22, 2018 11:26 am

    On the other hand of course, a warmer world MIGHT mean fewer numbers of less powerful hurricanes, and LESS CHANCE of extreme rainfall.

    Did I use the weasel words correctly?

  3. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 22, 2018 11:31 am

    Great that you got a retraction.

    However, the fake-news continues to brainwash people as the “big-lie” is not really questioned. Most people are convinced that 97% of scientist believe … , the science is proven…. , polar bears are threatened …. imminent doom (well by 2100 or possible a few centuries later) is threatened by climate change …. The retractions are only read by those of us who dig into the hype.

    We need a Saatchi & Saatchi type publicity campaign to redress the balance, or, maybe, a Trump!

  4. save energy permalink
    March 22, 2018 11:52 am

    Well done Paul, a small victory, but one we must spread & quote everywhere we can.

    Have you seen this –
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/21/national-academies-of-sciences-goes-into-police-mode-over-misinformation/
    &
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/21/my-email-to-the-nas-nae-and-nam/

    What a brave new world.

  5. March 22, 2018 12:12 pm

    I had to pause over the signatories to this pronouncement seeking to strike down the First Amendment to the US Constitution–free speech gone. Their misinformation is the threat we are under and their jack-booted methods for imparting it to all of us.

    Marcia McNutt (President, National Academy of Sciences)–cannot help but comment on the appropriateness of her name.
    C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr.(President, National Academy of Engineering)–engineering IS NOT a science.
    Victor J. Dzau (President, National Academy of Medicine)–they have sold out in so many ways. If you want to want to see a group with tunnel vision, look to the medical community.

    So, who was it died, making them a sheriff troika?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 22, 2018 1:42 pm

      Mr Mote appears to have a beam in his eye.

  6. March 22, 2018 12:26 pm

    When in grad school in NC in the 1960’s, I did a paper on the Outer Banks. I had maps which showed hurricane tracks going back into the 1600’s and 1700’s to the present. It looked like a plate of spaghetti. Today’s Outer Banks are basically unrecognizable when compared to what they were in the 1940’s.

    Although I could not find that just now, I did find this site which cites a history of “memorable” hurricanes to hit this side of the Atlantic. Quite the interesting little read.

    http://www.hurricaneville.com/historic.html

  7. Bitter&twisted permalink
    March 22, 2018 12:36 pm

    Well done Paul. It takes real effort to make the Biased Bull$hit Cartel back down.

  8. tom0mason permalink
    March 22, 2018 12:40 pm

    You keep this up Paul, and Google will have to rate the BBC site as a ‘misinformation’ provider site. 😀

    See https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/21/my-email-to-the-nas-nae-and-nam/ . for more on ‘misinformation’ police.

  9. dave permalink
    March 22, 2018 12:56 pm

    “Well done Paul.”

    Indeed; but we all know the Bull$hitters are still in the ascendant, for, as Jonathan Swift wrote in 1710:

    “Besides, as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens that, if a Lie be believ’d only for an hour, it has done its work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over and the Tale has had its effect…”

  10. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 22, 2018 1:46 pm

    Well done Paul. The next time they try to pull this fast one over hurricanes (and we can confidently forecast there will be a next time), you now have the established complaint to refer to and some chance that you can secure amendment to the article while it is still live via the “report factual and grammar errors” feature. Of course, back it up with a further complaint as well.

    Meanwhile, we have this to contend with:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5527963/The-melting-Greenland-icecap-shut-jet-stream.html

  11. March 22, 2018 2:17 pm

    Even if it were true that Global Warming causes increased hurricane ferocity and abundant rain, the real problem is: WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? There has never been a creditable empirical scientific study that has concluded that increased CO2 in the atmosphere causes an increased temperature! Without that attribution, mankind knows nothing about how to combat it.

  12. March 22, 2018 2:45 pm

    Words like ‘may/might/could’ are waffle words when used by climate propagandists. Keep the BS detector switched on!

    • Up2snuff permalink
      March 22, 2018 3:41 pm

      “Words like ‘may/might/could’ are waffle words when used by climate propagandists. Keep the BS detector switched on!”

      Not so, Sir! It was the lack of those words, the ones used by proper scientists when positing a theory, advancing research on it and trying to draw a conclusion, that alerted me to the dubious nature of much of the AGW/CC hype from a variety of sources, especially from supposed scientists.

      It was hammered into me when taught some science long ago that ‘good’ scientists always suggest the result of experiments and research into a theory with ‘we think’ and ‘so far in our tests’ as well as ‘may/might/could’.

      • March 22, 2018 8:01 pm

        But your results probably didn’t drive government policies leading to billions of taxpayers’ money being frittered away.

    • tom0mason permalink
      March 22, 2018 4:50 pm

      “Words like ‘may/might/could’ are waffle words when used by climate propagandists.”

      This indeed appears to be the order of the day. That is to say, there is a high probability, with very high confidence, that such words are used to lend an air of superficial, and for some irritating, alarmism to what would be upon deeper inspection, scientifically unevidenced or even irrational statements.

      😯 Please excuse the waffle…

    • March 22, 2018 9:53 pm

      Firstly media people have a habit of leaving the “may” out of headlines
      They might just add a questionmark, but that is not good enough.

      Should you use “may” in the text ?
      as comments have said it expresses that there is uncertainty, so that is good, but its also vague.
      To my mind, if you can’r QUANTIFY a claim then it’s not worth making.

  13. Athelstan permalink
    March 22, 2018 3:00 pm

    “Of course, we have the usual problem, that those who read the article originally and who would have been deeply misled, won’t see the correction now.”

    Nil desperandum Mr. Paul Homewood,

    Sir, pointing out gross error, then making the nerve centre of climatastrology advocacy back down, al beeb, is deserving of high praise. Glory, is one small victory gained, AND is all to the good. Sure, admittedly it is a relentless war of attrition – common sense versus lies and deceit – but in such a contest there can only be one winner, the truth always outs, and that truth cannot be denied by any man no matter whom.

    A win is a win, we mark it, as we must.

  14. Don B permalink
    March 22, 2018 3:06 pm

    Activists who used the Houston flooding caused by 50″ rains as “evidence” that CO2 is causing more rain from hurricanes are either lying or ignorant of history.

    “Cuba got hammered by more than 100 inches of rain when Hurricane Flora sat over the island for four days in 1963. And even earlier, in 1909 before hurricanes were named, a storm dropped more than 96 inches of rain on Jamaica. In more recent history, Wilma dumped more than 62 inches of rain on Mexico in 2005 and Hurricane Mitch, blamed for killing more than 11,000 in Central America in 1998, soaked Nicaragua with more than 62 inches, according to records compiled by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster David Roth.”

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/article170512137.html

  15. Athelstan permalink
    March 22, 2018 3:26 pm

    “Cuba got hammered by more than 100 inches of rain when Hurricane Flora sat over the island for four days in 1963.”

    ‘the Lakes’ Thirlmere was drenched by 16″ in a 48 hr period in 2015 – that’s a lot of wet but 100 INCHES in 4 days – cripes on a bike.

  16. JasG permalink
    March 22, 2018 4:03 pm

    Caveats missing:
    1. The main modeling finding continues to be that there would be fewer hurricanes overall – endorsing the IPCC position.
    2. The modeling is extremely challenging and not particularly accurate wrt stronger storms….
    https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/21st-century-projections-of-intense-hurricanes/
    3. from the above “but we should not expect this trend to be clearly detectable until we near the end of the century” ie 2100.
    4. The empirical data (as opposed to modeling) matches better to solar activity:
    https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/joc.2196

  17. Joe Public permalink
    March 22, 2018 5:17 pm

    Wewll done Paul.

    Gotta love the “Correction 29 January 2018: This story has been updated to clarify that it is modelling rather than historical data that predicts stronger and wetter hurricanes.” – as a statement of the bleedin’ obvious.

    The Grand National was first run in 1839, and we have a complete set of data of all the past winners, but no f*cker could predict this year’s winner from that data!

  18. Stonyground permalink
    March 22, 2018 7:33 pm

    How many times have you managed to get the Beeb to issue a retraction now Paul? Do you have enough to put them together into a post on the matter yet? I would have thought that enough examples together would signify Bias and deliberate lying or hopelessly incompetent journalism. Talking of journalism, didn’t the BBC send a whole host of journalists on the Ship Of Fools expedition in 2013? It was a hugely eventful trip by all accounts but afterwards non of these journalists could think of anything to write about.

  19. March 22, 2018 8:11 pm

    Somebody has invented a new scientific unit:
    The Harrabin; a measure of the (almost infinite) capacity of the BBC correspondent to unquestioningly broadcast any old guff supporting the relentless march of climate change.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      March 23, 2018 12:25 pm

      Maybe the Harrabin / day value would be more useful to follow trends??

  20. March 22, 2018 9:40 pm

    “A warmer world is bringing us a greater number of hurricanes and a greater risk of a hurricane becoming the most powerful category 5.”

    Always catches my attention – no reference there to AGW.

    Even if there was evidence that a warmer world will bring about changes in frequency, or intensity, of hurricanes (and certainly some changes will become observable – perhaps just the opposite) the scientific debate is about whether or not there is an anthropogenic influence on affecting naturally occurring GT changes.

  21. March 22, 2018 10:37 pm

    Note that the item doesn’t appear on the BBC corrections page
    ah it says “It does not include routine corrections to news stories”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/helpandfeedback/corrections_clarifications/

    People have tweeted Paul’s article, but not yet with the words BBC corrections.

    • March 22, 2018 11:51 pm

      I tweeted. It will show on a search for “BBC Correction”

    • March 23, 2018 9:52 am

      Yes, I’ve asked them to publish it there as well

  22. March 22, 2018 11:47 pm

    Paul how come you are telling us now ?
    Jan 29 means the BBC corrected the page 6 weeks ago, or is that not true ?

  23. March 23, 2018 12:02 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  24. March 23, 2018 4:11 am

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “Of course, we have the usual problem, that those who read the article originally and who would have been deeply misled, won’t see the correction now.”

    THE disturbing part is that the BBC knows unequivocally that they are creating alarm by distorting historical data and exaggerating future scenarios in order to push their catastrophic climate narrative.

  25. March 23, 2018 12:24 pm

    Congratulations, Paul. It is a long and uphill battle, but unless it is started the outcome is certain.

  26. March 24, 2018 2:23 am

    You had better luck than me. I complained about a false radio news headline and they refuse to even discuss it.
    https://cliscep.com/2018/03/23/bbc-in-denial-over-fake-news/

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