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BBC’s Climate Change and Me Series Blasted By Booker

May 27, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Booker’s column today deals with the BBC’s lamentable series, Climate Change and Me, this week:

In its  drearily unscientific obsession with climate change, the BBC plumbed further depths last week when Radio 4 gave over its Book of the Week slot to a five-day series entitled “Climate Change and Me”, in which we were told that “scientists” would describe their personal experiences of global warming.

Proper experts had long since shown that climate change and this far-from-unprecedented drought had not caused the civil war in  any way

This began with a marine biologist rehearsing the familiar scare story of how rising sea temperatures are destroying that wonder of the natural world, the Great Barrier Reef. He recalled seeing how the exceptional El Nino of 1998 produced a scene of “complete devastation”, when “99 percent of the corals were dead”. But he then went on to admit, without a blush, that after a year or two they “had bounced back to almost complete recovery”. The El Nino of 2016 wrought similar devastation. But again, on revisiting the Reef this year, he “found the corals springing back fast”.

This was followed by similarly muddled and unconvincing attempts to scare us from an ornithologist, wanting to blame global warming for the decline in so many bird species; a geographer on the dangerous warming of the Arctic (seemingly unaware that temperatures there are now no higher than they were 80 years ago, according to data from Denmark); and a civil engineer talking about the need for action to save us from those supposedly increasing “extreme weather events”.


The cream on the BBC cake, however, was a “human rights lawyer” (not exactly a scientist) who on Thursday riffed on the long-exploded claim that an unprecedented drought in 2008 had led to Syria’s civil war. As I explained in 2015, when Prince Charles repeated this scare story, proper experts had long since shown that climate change and this far-from-unprecedented drought had not caused the civil war in  any way. But, when it comes to global warming, Prince Charles is no more concerned with scientific facts than the BBC.


If the BBC had been the slightest bit concerned about balance and giving listeners the full story, they could have interviewed the Australian barrier reef expert, Peter Ridd, who would have told them that we have only really been monitoring the reef since 1970, we have no idea whether recent bleaching is in any way unusual,and that the reef quickly recovers from these bleaching events.

They might have asked their bird expert just what evidence he has that bird populations are declining because of climate change, as opposed to habitat loss, insecticides etc.

They might have pointed out to the “Arctic expert”, who complains about the loss of Arctic sea ice since 1979, that the 1970s marked the coldest period in the Arctic since the 19thC, and that current temperatures are no higher than in the 1930s and 40s:


70-90N MonthlyAnomaly Since1920


They might have reminded their human rights lawyer, who claims that climate change is leading to mass migration from Africa, that droughts across the Sahel were much worse in the 1970s, when the Earth was getting colder.



UNESCO Courier Magazine September 1973


And they might also have challenged the civil engineer to back up his assertion that extreme weather is getting worse.


However, this is the BBC, so you are more likely to see pigs flying over your house!



Booker had an article in the Mail during the week, about wood burning stoves, which I reported on here.

The article contained references to the health effects of air pollution, for instance:

Now we learn that wood-burning is the single biggest source of tiny soot particles called PM2.5s — they are also emitted by burning coal and diesel — which go into our lungs and are said to be responsible for an estimated 37,800 premature deaths a year.


This attracted criticism from some, both here and elsewhere, as such estimates have been shown to be highly controversial and exaggerated.

Booker however has informed me that he did not write any of those specific references, and that they were inserted by the Mail without reference to him.

Understandably, he is none too pleased!!

  1. Broadlands permalink
    May 27, 2018 12:17 pm

    ….He recalled seeing how the exceptional El Nino of 1998 produced a scene of “complete devastation”.
    Actually, it was the exceptional La-Nina in 1998. The El-Nino was in 1997. But, that’s irrelevant because it must have been some “blob:” of CO2 sitting above the Great Barrier reef that caused all the “devastation”?

  2. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 27, 2018 12:32 pm

    Having posted about this it the “about” section, I promptly forgot to listen to it/record it!
    Thank goodness for iPlayer!

  3. May 27, 2018 12:48 pm

    I always enjoy Christopher Booker’s articles and comments. As a real scientist, I find them refreshing and spot-on.

    Several years ago, when posting on a statewide commentary, I quoted from one of his articles which had been posted here. For my efforts, I got a snarky reply from a leftist lawyer in Wheeling, WV. He questioned my credentials to say anything and wrote, “Christopher Booker, really?” In my reply to the legal beagle, I said that I always found Christopher Booker’s pieces to be scientifically correct and cogently stated. THEN, I offered to meet this genius at his convenience to discuss our backgrounds. I told him that my PhD was in plant ecosystems from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and my dissertation was, “The Relationship of Vegetation to Diabase Dikes and Sills of the Gettysburg Basin, Pennsylvania.” I asked for the title of HIS dissertation. Thus ended his attitude of “what gives you the right to have an opinion, little girl?” He never gave me a snarky reply again.

  4. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 27, 2018 12:51 pm

    “Booker however has informed me that he did not write any of those specific references, and that they were inserted by the Mail without reference to him.”

    If he had any guts he should make this a resigning issue.

    • May 27, 2018 1:13 pm

      Why the heck are editors inserting material changes of info into people’s articles ?
      OK editors do write the headline bit ..for clickbait value, but …

      • richard permalink
        May 29, 2018 9:21 am

        My sister is a journalist and it seems in the contract they are asked to sign for freelancers the paper has the right to change anything they like. My sister refused to sign with a paper in the US so lost the work so you can see what happens.

  5. Mack permalink
    May 27, 2018 12:52 pm

    Thought Mr Booker’s assertions about UK air pollution mortality rates were strange when the article appeared, particularly as he is normally so strident in demolishing the statistical hyperbole that is the bedrock of climate alarmism. How refreshing to know that he wasn’t actually venturing over to the ‘dark side’. Less refreshing is to learn that such an experienced and knowledgeable journalist is having his copy ‘corrected’ or supplemented by an editorial team who would seem to lack his expertise on the subject.

  6. dennisambler permalink
    May 27, 2018 1:10 pm

    Re the footnote, the Mail sub changed the emphasis from diesel and coal to woodburners, but I assume the premature deaths figure is the approx 40,000 from the Royal College of Physicians report in 2016, which at that time was blamed on diesel cars, Euan Mearns did an excellent analysis of the reality here:

    This is part of Euan’s reply to a comment:

    “But having jumped through a number of logic loops from an illogical and unsupportable starting position – the RCP report – I reached the conclusion that much of this is fake science based on Green Thinking.

    Green thinking is where the outcome is known in advance of the investigation and data are assembled to support the position. In this case the pre-determimed outcome was that diesel engines are bad and a case was built that showed they kill 40,000 UK citizens / year.”

    If the story now is that a further 37,800 premature deaths (on top of the 40,000 from diesel), are due to woodburners, then you just have to ask where are the dead bodies, because mortality rates from respiratory disease and heart disease, both claimed to be affected by PM2.5, have been declining over time:

    The reality is that the claims are fake:

  7. May 27, 2018 1:15 pm

    BBC Radio Lincolnshire this morning. direct audio
    The Bishop of Lincoln was on just back from Fiji/Tonga telling us he plans to bring Tongan school children across to the UK as our British kids need to be motivated on Climate Change #Brainwashing, #EmotionalBlackmail
    Look at all those CO2 making flights ..and it’s not that long since his last visit to the islands.
    And he doesn’t seem to the difference between coastal erosion and sea level rise, and temporary erosion caused by storms. Like sandbanks that often reform in weeks.

    13m30s Presenter : “Right in the firing line of CC”
    Bish spoke of people in the interior and impact of CC on then : roads get washed away in the rain. Went to Tonga island looked devastated by Cylone Winston.
    “We saw that the island had been reduced in size, cos of the HIGHER SEA LEVELS”
    (Really, I’m guessing sandbanks get washed away in the storm and then reform in a few months etc.)
    “We saw hard evidence of increasing sea levels and extreme weather, as the wind” “at a planters house their front lawn has disappeared over the last 10-20 years”
    “I was convinced of reality of CC when I went in 2016,”
    ” ….now I have seen the impact on vulnerable people..clear a result of human activity …therefore we must work to address this…. ocean caps …”
    “We are planning a big conference in Lincoln with a dimension for school children .. some of the Tongan school children to come to teach our children from firsthand experience… so influence Decision Makers in Europe & North America..”
    Presenter “what about people who say it’s natural ?”
    Bish : “The evidence of 99% of the scientists, there maybe some gainsayers( pejorative smearword ?) often with vested interests in the status quo … ”
    (* He cannot substantiate that 99% phrase)
    “The evidence of the scientific community is that this is a real thing …”
    “..Extreme weather, melting icecaps..”
    “.. I went to the International Bomber Command Centre opening in Lincoln and it was effectively with windchill it was minus 10”
    (IBCC “opening ceremony on Thursday, April 12 ..was a cold foggy day” and veterans were given blankets, there was no ice on the ground Google pages mention windchill)
    “The following week it was plus 25 (That’s when a southerly wind brought us Italy’s weather)
    “so a 35C change in 7 days ! That is not normal” (** is it ?)
    ended 17m55s
    His Facebook posts
    Seems like he is replacing one doom religion, with his new doom religion, and using his public platform and funds to promote it.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      May 30, 2018 2:36 pm

      Stew, the Bishop of Lincoln ought to be aware of tectonic plates and the fact that supposed erosion and sea level rise in his Lordship’s See is due more to the downward tilt of eastern England.

      Checking on this I found reference to an article in Business Insider no less, by Lindsay Dodgson, on 21 January 2017 that I’m currently unable to access. It is about the rise in the East Pacific ocean floor due to Earth crust changes, those tetchy tectonics again. That should impact on the good Bishop’s understanding of sea level rise but may possibly not. After all a faith in AGW can be a mighty strong thing.

  8. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 27, 2018 1:24 pm

    In the second episode, Professor Sir John Lawton referred to the decline of sand eels, without once mentioning fishing.

    • May 27, 2018 1:39 pm

      Last I heard there has been a worldwide decade long increase in crustaceans.

      • quaesoveritas permalink
        May 27, 2018 2:18 pm

        Surely sand eels are not crustaceans?

    • Roy Hartwell permalink
      May 28, 2018 8:39 am

      I remember some research a couple of decades ago on the decline of North Sea cod stocks. The conclusion was this was due to dramatic falls in sand eel stocks (major food source for cod) caused by overfishing of sand eels for animal feed for pig farming in the Netherlands. Sorry, no reference, maybe someone else can recall this.

      • Rowland P permalink
        May 29, 2018 1:50 pm

        Yes I recall that. Reality conveniently ignored yet again.

  9. May 27, 2018 1:27 pm

    I spent 2 hours listening to first 12 min segment and opened a Discussion thread on BH
    Where Greenpeaces press officer Phil C-lark turned up to obfuscate.

  10. May 27, 2018 1:56 pm

    I sent my complaint to the BBC about these programs and of course got the usual bland non reply without the opportunity to respond. Both programs by green law had obviously been required to blame implicitly CO2 and urge support for the Paris Accord (or is that disaccord?)
    Never mind the errors feel the thrust.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      May 30, 2018 2:44 pm

      Perhaps that is what the Bishop of Lincoln needs while standing on an eastern Pacific island beach? A very gentle but quick upward push of the ocean floor, about a metre or so, followed by an equal decline.

      The dear Bishop can muse on how much closer to heaven the crustaceans at great ocean depths felt as he wrings the seawater out of his socks. He may even get a Thought for the Day out of it on the BBC Today programme.

  11. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 27, 2018 2:16 pm

    A remarkable aspect of the Professor Ridd story is that a crowd funding appeal to provide legal aid against Cook University’s unwarranted sacking raised a total of $250,000 in a total of five days – all from a multitude of little people who can’t stand the green blob climate crap any longer. I think that’s significant. Did the BBC report this? Of course not. The Beeb is not interested in the truth these days.

  12. May 27, 2018 6:59 pm

    “99 percent of the corals were dead”. But he then went on to admit, without a blush, that after a year or two they “had bounced back to almost complete recovery”

    Ah yes, the world-famous Lazarus corals no doubt.

    • Bitter@twisted permalink
      May 28, 2018 8:19 am

      I think the good Bishop is confusing “dead” with “bleached”. The latter is a well-documented process when coral expel their photosynthetic symbionts and exchange them for others, better suited to the temperatures.
      Pity the scientific “expert” made the same basic error.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        May 29, 2018 8:23 pm

        “Ev’n Ministers they hae been kennd, in Holy rapture, a rousing whid at times to vend and nail’t wi scripture”. R.Burns, Death and Dr. Hornbook.

      • nigel permalink
        May 30, 2018 10:03 am

        “…expel their photosynthetic symbionts…”

        Which leaves one question. Who pays for the divorce lawyers?

  13. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 27, 2018 7:38 pm

    Perhaps after all the article as printed was authored by a Mr Brooker, somewhat loosely modelled on a submission from Mr Booker?

  14. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 27, 2018 7:40 pm

    Professor Sir John Lawton also said that the population of little egrets was increasing in the UK due to “climate change”, but according to Wikipedia
    “Historical research has shown that the little egret was once present, and probably common, in Ireland[citation needed] and Great Britain, but became extinct there through a combination of over-hunting in the late mediaeval period and climate change at the start of the Little Ice Age. The inclusion of 1,000 egrets (among numerous other birds) in the banquet to celebrate the enthronement of George Neville as Archbishop of York at Cawood Castle in 1465 indicates the presence of a sizable population in northern England at the time, and they are also listed in the coronation feast of King Henry VI in 1429.[9][10] They had become scarce by the mid-16th century, when William Gowreley, “yeoman purveyor to the Kinges mowthe”, “had to send further south” for egrets.[10] In 1804 Thomas Bewick commented that if it were the same bird as listed in Neville’s bill of fare “No wonder this species has become nearly extinct in this country!”
    So it appears that this bird is merely returning to places where it was once common.
    Climate change advocates do really have very short time horizons, usually their own lifespans.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      May 28, 2018 7:45 am

      The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has references to severe weather events as bad “as no man can remember”. These Dark Age documents make interesting reading, one of these days I plan to read the Norse Sagas

      • nigel permalink
        May 29, 2018 7:38 am

        “…the Norse Sagas.”

        I presently have a copy beside my bed. They are boring. It must be the way they tell ’em. Nothing like ‘Game of Thrones.’

      • nigel permalink
        May 29, 2018 8:01 am

        I might mention that the oldest copy of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle lies in the Parker library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. I once had free access to that library. But I never looked at its real treasures. I cannot, for the life of me, think why not. Except that I was a shy youth and perhaps thought the Librarian would have said “Push off!”

    • Bitter@twisted permalink
      May 28, 2018 8:21 am

      I doubt if it is even that.
      Yesterday’s weather is usually a good enough example of “extreme” weather, caused by climate change, for these ignorant zealots.

  15. tom0mason permalink
    May 28, 2018 12:31 am

    Why do so many so called ‘scientists’, deliberately choose to ignore the simple truth that life and evolution has ensured that currently we have *the best and luckiest* of the survivors living on the planet now. The ancestors of all plants, animals, and microbes have survived much harsher climate that what there is today, have they all lost their ability to adapt? Is the earth changing too rapidly? IMO the answer is no, there is no evidence of any rapid change endangering life here.
    Also all we know today about the oceans indicates that all recent variations in pH, temperature, and salinity appear to be safely within natural limits to keep marine life safe.

  16. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 28, 2018 9:15 am

    BBC Radio this morning, seriously trying to attribute the a warm May and the thunderstorms in Birmingham yesterday to climate change…….. you’d laugh at their obsession, if the political consequences of this dishonesty weren’t so serious for all of us.

    • May 28, 2018 9:57 am

      The substitution of “Climate Change” for “CO2” is a prime example of false reporting. Typical of propaganda conflabulation, (if that is the right word.?)

  17. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 28, 2018 10:24 am

    Apparently Professor Sir John Lawton,was nearly prosecuted in 2016 for “wildlife offences”.

    The only reason the case was dropped was apparently not lack of evidence but:

    “After consultation with North Yorkshire Police and the RSPB, it was agreed that whilst there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction, it was not in the public interest to proceed with the allegation due to the defendant’s age and the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence,”

    Given that Sir John is Vice President of the RSPB, it is hardly surprising that they supported him in this.

    Proof that if you have a knighthood you can get away with virtually anything???

    • mikewaite permalink
      May 28, 2018 1:48 pm

      I wonder how many birds were slashed to pieces by wind turbines in the North of England whilst the Yorkshire police and the CPs were deliberating about the “offence” . Perhaps the BBC could inform us. We pay them enough to collect this sort of information .

  18. May 29, 2018 7:01 am

    The Danes, in the vanguard of clean energy producers, used to burn sand-eels in power stations. Seemed OK. Why waste a free renewable source of oil.

  19. May 29, 2018 7:36 am

    Somewhere inside the BBC someone is working on their equivalent of the Grand Unified Theory, the Ultimate (as they would say, but it never is) killer, no more argument, full consensus, etc. etc. programme.
    It will combine overpowering, convincing arguments on the combined evils of Brexit, Trump, Global Warming, Israel, Nationalism and Populism (especially British) together with the undeniable benefits of the EU, diversity, Obama (and missus), the Religion Of Peace, subsidised sustainable electricity and a State broadcasting and internet entity maintained by compulsory taxes.
    Sadly I will miss this programme because the only BBC output I trust now is replays of radio and television from over 20 years ago.

    • May 29, 2018 6:50 pm

      Just about sums it up.
      in addition there is a team of algorithm generators producing legally solid bland responses to complaints devoid of response capability. They think they are invulnerable

      My TV signal has just been zapped. Can’t fix it so far. – Brilliant I have lots of past progs. I never knew I had on my recorder and then there are the two I-players. !

      A marked reduction in mental stress and I can make a cup of tea just when I want with the pause button.

      Meanwhile I rest assured/KNOW that the Earth is NOT destined to blow up in the face of my grand children et al.. ( I”m a true scientist you see – deal in facts not vested interest.)

  20. quaesoveritas permalink
    May 29, 2018 8:15 am

    Have tried to contact Sir John Lawton, via IES, with my comments on little egrets and sand eels, but we will see if he replies.
    I have decided that one of the problems is that these scientists are not being challenged,adequately by their own peers, which even if those peers agree with them, they should be. All they get is confirmation bias.
    Of course, they dismiss any comments from non-scientists such as myself.

  21. Schrodinger's Cat permalink
    May 29, 2018 4:44 pm

    About 10 years ago the BBC broadcast a programme about puffins and other sea birds showing dwindling numbers due to climate change. They claimed that the birds in Orkney and Shetland were starving to extinction because warming oceans had caused the fish to move North to cooler waters. They happened to mention that the same species of sea birds on Skomer Island were thriving. It did not take me long to show that the waters around Pembrokeshire were considerably warmer than those in the North of Scotland.

    A little more digging revealed that the sand eels on which the birds depended were being removed in industrial quantities by the Danish fishing fleet to the extent that the EU was creating no fishing zones in the area.

    I noticed recently that the BBC was at it again. The Corporation shows no sign of honesty.

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