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Delingpole: Government Watchdog Reprimands BBC for Telling Truth About Climate Change

April 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Dellers reports on this week’s chilling attack on free speech from OFCOM:



In the U.S. – thanks largely to Donald Trump – the skeptics are winning the climate argument.

But in the rest of the Western world, skeptics are losing big time because, increasingly, their voices are being censored. Nowhere is this more painfully true than in the UK, where the BBC has now officially been reprimanded by a state watchdog for telling the truth about climate change.

No really. It sounds absurd to the point of lunacy. But this is what Ofcom – Britain’s state regulator of broadcast media – has done in its latest ruling.

The BBC had run a radio interview in August 2017 with a climate skeptic – Lord Lawson (formerly Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher). Lord Lawson made several statements about climate change, all but one of them entirely accurate.

These included:

“We do have in this country, in England, one of the highest energy costs in the world”


[in response to interviewers’ “The point Al Gore makes is that we subsidise all energy, including fossil fuel energy”] “No we don’t. That’s not true. We tax fossil fuel energy. Anyway, we subsidise renewable energy”.

Complaints were made by a person or persons unknown and Ofcom investigated. It decided, grudgingly, that the above claims were defensible.

It ruled, however, that two of Lord Lawson’s other statements represented a “breach of standards.”

These were:

• “all the experts say there hasn’t been” an increase in extreme weather events and that the IPCC “concedes” this fact

• according to the official figures, “during this past 10 years… average world temperature has slightly declined”.

Now the second of these two statements is indeed incorrect – a misspeak, you might say – for which Lord Lawson subsequently apologised. Sure there is a case to be made that global warming has been subject to a 20 year “Pause”, which none of the alarmists’ computer models predicted. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, Lawson picked an unfortunate timescale on which to base this point.

But the first of these statements is entirely correct. And it’s not evil, cackling, climate change deniers in the pay of Big Oil who are saying this. It’s the impeccably alarmist IPCC which Lord Lawson was quoting.

Here, as per Roger Pielke Jr,  is what the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report says about “extreme weather” and global warming:

  • “Overall, the most robust global changes in climate extremes are seen in measures of daily temperature, including to some extent, heat waves. Precipitation extremes also appear to be increasing, but there is large spatial variability”
  • “There is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century”
  • “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin”
  • “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”
  • “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems”
  • “In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950”
  • “In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low”

Short version: Lord Lawson was right.

Now the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which Lord Lawson chairs, has made a formal complaint about Ofcom’s judgement.

Without providing any evidence to justify disputing the IPCC’s conclusions, Ofcom claimed that Lawson’s statement about extreme weather was incorrect and not sufficiently challenged by the BBC presenter during the interview.

Ofcom, however, appear to base its ruling on information from unnamed complainants, the BBC (and possibly from other unnamed sources) without publishing that information or where it obtained it from. As a result, nobody is able to see it and judge its credibility. It did not ask Lord Lawson for any information regarding his statements.

That Ofcom should judge on scientific matters without justifying their decision sets a worrying precedent concerning the oversight of journalists.

It will, of course, be completely ignored by Ofcom. But the issues it raises are very serious.

Ofcom rulings are not taken lightly by the UK broadcast industry. Broadcasters like the BBC are bound by its terms. What Ofcom is doing here is ensuring that BBC will be less likely than ever before to give space to skeptic voices.

This won’t bother the BBC much: for years it has acted as one of the climate industry’s most enthusiastic propagandists.

Now the Ofcom ruling has given the BBC just the excuse it needs to be even more one-sided in its treatment of the global warming debate.

Where does this leave democracy in Britain? In a pretty poor shape, I would argue. If you are going to have government-appointed regulators deciding what broadcasters are allowed to say, the bare minimum the public has a right to expect of these censorship watchdogs is that they should be rigorous, transparent and accountable.

Ofcom has failed here on all those counts.

It also fails in another key area: impartiality.

Until last year, Ofcom was run by a fanatical Europhile called Bill Emmott.

Here is Guido‘s report on what has just happened to him:

An ultra-Remainer former quango chief will receive a huge pay-off from the taxpayer despite being sacked for openly criticising the government on Brexit. Former Economist editor Bill Emmott became head of Ofcom’s Content Board in 2015; as a journalist Emmott proposed extending the single market, advocated a new EU ‘energy union’ and made an anti-Brexit film for the BBC called The Great European Disaster Movie. He is a properly fanatical Europhile

The following year Emmott was let go having given an interview to an Italian newspaper headlined: “Outside Europe the UK dies”. He had also tweeted: “Prediction: Jeremy Corbyn will be Britain’s PM by 2020. Boris’s legacy” and “Gove scaremongers on migration free-for-all”. Ofcom bosses are subject to strict impartiality guidelines, all the more crucial in a referendum year…

Emmott is entirely typical of the liberal elite troughers who get put in charge of running quangos like Ofcom. Their values are pro-EU, pro-Climate-Industrial-Complex, anti-free-market, anti-Conservative.

How can they possibly be trusted to reach fair and balanced judgements on matters as contentious and heavily politicized as climate change.

They can’t, as Ofcom has just demonstrated.

This is a disgrace – and one which, more disgracefully still, you can be absolutely sure that Britain’s useless Conservative government will not even attempt to remedy.

  1. Athelstan permalink
    April 13, 2018 10:20 am

    One slight quibble there JD,

    you said: “Britain’s useless Conservative government”

    I wish that we could call them mother theresa’s cultural Marxist revivalists – “useless” but as we experience, “useless” – doesn’t even begin to describe the prison and blackhole mother theresa is leading us all. Orwell’s 1984 was a work of fiction, of a nightmare dystopian future where the world is run and administered by authoritarian humanoids bent on power, drunk on power for its own sake and where even to think out of the box was sanctioned.

    Ring a bell?

    • keith permalink
      April 13, 2018 11:46 am

      Here, here. Fully agree.

    • Robert Christopher permalink
      April 16, 2018 3:05 pm

      ‘Orwell’s 1984 was a work of fiction …’

      Orwell’s 1984 was supposed to be a work of fiction, not a work of instruction!

  2. Bob Ryan permalink
    April 13, 2018 10:35 am

    I think the problem here is with the statement with respect to what experts say and what the IPCC claim on the basis of evidence. Most ‘experts’ in climate science do believe (righty or wrongly) that extreme weather events have increased due to the impact of climate change, the evidence (which the IPCC is referring to) does not show that – largely because of deficiencies in the data at this time. If Lawson had focused on just what the IPCC reported and did not make a claim about what ‘experts’ believe he would have a defensible position. His second statement is very questionable so, sadly, some sloppy language has led to this judgement by OFCOM.

    • April 13, 2018 5:26 pm

      Trouble is that is not what OFCOM are there for. It is not their job to police every comment made by politicians and others, or the failure of the BBC to challenge every single one.

      If it was, their job would be neverending

  3. April 13, 2018 10:43 am

    “a person or persons unknown”

    Could that be a Ward of the LSE?

    • CheshireRed permalink
      April 13, 2018 11:17 am

      That’s his job and given his views on Lord Lawson he’s highly likely to be the one. Meanwhile the idea Ofcom can launch an investigation based on an anonymous complainant is itself absurd. Nonsense all round, then.

  4. April 13, 2018 10:50 am

    One of the biggest items of fake news, repeated almost daily on the BBC, is that the climate IS changing. To say that anything IS changing requires a time machine, it is making a statement of fact about the future, that it will differ from the present, but some will dismiss this as a pedantic quibble.

    The main issue is that the climate did indeed change during the 20th century, but stopped changing in the 21st. The Green Blob are continuing to exploit the 20th century change, insinuating that the change is continuing.

    • Curious George permalink
      April 13, 2018 3:48 pm

      Climate IS changing from the ideal state given by God himself when He created the world 4,721 years ago. And evolutionists and other den1ers are at fault. /sarc

  5. Colin Brooks permalink
    April 13, 2018 12:19 pm

    Dellers is a true hero, all we need now is the revolution 🙂


  6. April 13, 2018 12:24 pm

    What Ofcom is doing here is ensuring that BBC will be less likely than ever before to give space to skeptic voices

    Are we surprised?…
    19TH OCTOBER 2016

    • April 14, 2018 3:28 pm

      “Feedback” this week: a call in from ‘Rachel’. She praised OFCOM to the skies for going after Lawson. When will this stuff stop?

  7. NeilC permalink
    April 13, 2018 12:27 pm

    Unfortunately we no longer have a true conservitive party, they are a pseudo marxist government. They have no intelligence in matters of climate change and energy policy.
    The UK mean temperature has had no significant change in the last 20 years whilst CO2 levels have risen. So how can a miniscule trace gas be increasing temperatures when in reality temperatures are in stasis.

    They are leading this once great country back into the dark ages, much like all other communist/marxist states around the world.

    My question is why? Is it out of stupidity, ignorance or is there another agenda? 21/30 perhaps.

    • Colin Brooks permalink
      April 13, 2018 1:13 pm

      I totally agree about the Conservative party and IMHO it is now a liberal/left party and has been since the Thatcher years. It is a great pity that Farage does not lead a party.

      • Tom O permalink
        April 13, 2018 3:57 pm

        Perhaps it should be “too bad the people wouldn’t decide to create a new party, one which Farage could lead.” Just as the Magna Carta, things don’t happen from the top down, they happen from the bottom up.

  8. Sheri permalink
    April 13, 2018 1:22 pm

    “If you are going to have government-appointed regulators deciding what broadcasters are allowed to say, the bare minimum the public has a right to expect of these censorship watchdogs is that they should be rigorous, transparent and accountable.”

    No, government regulators are not in the least interested in accountability or fairness. They want POWER. That’s it. Power is the only thing a government ever wants now. Citizens are a means to attaining that power.

    • Athelstan permalink
      April 13, 2018 6:44 pm

      It will all blowback in their faces, the new Syrian adventure might well be their last act funeral cortege.

  9. RAH permalink
    April 15, 2018 3:56 pm

    It does not matter what party you Brits have in charge. It seems to this Yank they are all corrupt and there is no speech that they cannot abrogate. And you have no fail safe, no mechanism of last resort, to stop the government from doing so in the forums/media they control. What a shame. And so what is next? Control of the internet and wireless communications of course!

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