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Harrabin Forced To Retract Latest BBC Lie

August 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood



Readers may recall this BBC report from Roger Harrabin in May, which falsely stated that there was a ban on new onshore wind farms.

This is an outright lie, promulgated by the renewable lobby and often repeated by the likes of Jillian Ambrose.

I filed an official complaint with the BBC, along with one of our regular readers. Weeks went by without a response, other than a “sorry for the delay” message. Eventually they fobbed me off with an amendment of the article to read “effective ban”, at which stage I lost the will to live!

Fortunately the other complainant refused to accept this and pressed for a full retraction. He has now received this reply:




The article now contains this Correction:




Of course, we still have the same old problem – nobody will now read this correction, so the misleading message will have gained traction.

Nevertheless this ought to be a matter of great embarrassment to Harrabin, who at least won’t publish the same lie again.

Which leaves the question, why did he make the claim in the first place. Surely he knew the true facts all along?

  1. August 13, 2018 10:49 am

    “amended again to clarify changes in policy SINCE THE ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED.”

    Is that true?

  2. Richard Baldwin permalink
    August 13, 2018 10:52 am

    Good work by both complainants. But why doesn’t Harrabin not just directly repeat what Government announced “Government is ending subsidies for wind farms”? rather than trying to twist it to “Withdrawing support”? Government isn’t withdrawing support.

    • August 13, 2018 10:57 am

      Because they will fight “tooth and nail”, to defend their lles.

  3. August 13, 2018 11:04 am

    This morning’s beeb article on Jakarta has a similar issue. After lengthy discussion about how water abstraction is causing subsidence of up to 25cm per year, we then have this strange paragraph:

    “Coastal cities across the world are affected because of rising sea levels caused by climate change. Increased sea levels occur because of thermal expansion – the water expanding because of extra heat – and the melting of polar ice. The speed at which Jakarta is sinking is alarming experts.”

    The implication is clear: that the speed of the sinking is somehow due to climate change, not local issues.

    Most peculiar.

    • August 13, 2018 12:40 pm

      I posted the same thing in “about”.
      The inclusion of that paragraph is an obvious attempt to link the sinking of Jakarta to rising sea levels, when there is very little connection.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        August 13, 2018 3:22 pm

        The story linked to is slightly more honest about sinking v sea rise in ‘mega-cities’, but the paragraph, as you say, is purely inserted there to imply climate blame.

        Early this morning BBC radio interviewed a ‘climate expert’ or it might have been the author of the NYT’s ‘Losing Earth’ garbage – it was as you would expect, tame affirmation questions, an endless stream of factoids and lies and false assertions and fake news all unchallenged.

        This one complaint isn’t a drop in the ocean – it would be a full time job for 100 people challenging all the BBC’s climate garbage.

      • August 13, 2018 3:34 pm

        Aren’t were referring to the same article?

      • August 13, 2018 5:26 pm

        Sorry, I am even more confused than ever.
        The second link points to an article dated 29 April 2014 and it doesn’t contain the paragraph quoted by “Jit”.
        That paragraph is in the first article, dated today, which is the one I posted the link to in “about”.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        August 13, 2018 8:04 pm

        “Coastal cities across the world are affected because of rising sea levels caused by climate change. Increased sea levels occur because of thermal expansion – the water expanding because of extra heat – and the melting of polar ice. The speed at which Jakarta is sinking is alarming experts.”

        Is a paragraph in the first article, the first sentence of the paragraph is an html link to the older second older article.

        I can’t see why you are confused!

      • August 13, 2018 8:14 pm

        Sorry, I didn’t recognise that as a link – I thought it was just bold type.
        All is clear now!

    • dave permalink
      August 13, 2018 5:07 pm

      “Increased sea levels occur because of thermal expansion…”

      The almost farcical extent of scientific ignorance in pundit-world continues to amaze.

      90% of the world’s sea-water is so cold that a degree or two rise in temperature would NOT cause an important amount of thermal expansion (the almost freezing bottom waters would, in fact, SHRINK if warmed).

      This is because water is an exceptional substance which is most dense a few degrees above freezing,

      The bulk-coefficient modulus of expansion for (pure) liquid water is, actually, in millionths per degree C:

      At 1 C …… (50) [sic, minus, it shrinks]
      At 4 C …… 0
      At 10 C …… 88.

      A simple calculation – which allows for the fact that a small sliver of water (10%) is above the thermocline – shows that in the last 150 years the sea-level must have risen by an inch and a half, because of the observed changes in temperatures. What does the Beeb say? That this matters for Jakarta, which is subsiding 10 inches a year because of water abstraction?

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        August 13, 2018 11:23 pm

        Fully agree with you, but the Greens don’t understand science, hence “melting Arctic ice will raise the sea level” scare which indicates they haven’t yet grasped Archimedes.** To them SCIENCE is a just word that adds some respectability to their wishful thinking.

        **Puts them 2230+ years behind the times so those who think they want to return us to a medieval life style are underestimating their ambition.

      • dave permalink
        August 14, 2018 5:56 pm

        I gave the Beeb the benefit of the doubt, and did not comment on “…the melting of polar ice…” I treated it as mere sloppiness, a mistake for “…the melting of LAND polar ice…” Of course it would not surprise me in the least to hear that these geniuses think that the melting of SEA-ice also affects levels.

        Polls show that about one third of people do think this – to the extent they think at all, that is.

  4. Tim Spence permalink
    August 13, 2018 11:08 am

    So ‘Removing subsidies’ = ‘Effective ban’
    I’d like to remove subsidies to the BBC.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 13, 2018 6:07 pm

      Presumably Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS could re-open his case against the Scottish government on the “we haven’t decided formally to ban fracking” decision on the grounds that they are failing to subsidise it and therefore are effectively banning it?

  5. Nigel Sherratt permalink
    August 13, 2018 11:09 am

    Well done, thank God you have the courage and patience for the fight.

  6. August 13, 2018 11:23 am

    Harrabin is the BBC’s chief promoter of fake news (lies) and propaganda concerning all things green and “climate change” related. Don’t expect him to change his habit of lying for the cause.

    I’d like to know what the job of a “Head of Executive Complaints” is and how much he is paid for what seems like a non-job.

    • dave permalink
      August 13, 2018 12:19 pm

      Harrabin is a “tub-roller.” The BBC is very loth in this noisy age to make no noise at all.

      Acknowledgements to Lucian of Samasota.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 13, 2018 1:50 pm

      The Head of Executive Complaints should be one of the busiest people at the BBC but I guess many have given up bothering to complain or just don’t waste their time watching or listening anymore.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 13, 2018 3:29 pm

      Of course Richard Black – former BBC science correspondent – became director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. It shows the lack of neutrality, or rather the gross bias, of the people the BBC employs.

    • alexei permalink
      August 13, 2018 4:40 pm

      Back in the day before I left Britain (some 15 years ago) I recall receiving a number of replies from Fraser Steel in response to my complaints about its lack of impartiality in reporting EU issues. Even though the BBC eventually admitted their own bias in this area with an internal investigation, not a whit has been changed in their reporting. A leopard and spots come to mind …… but one must bear in mind the BBC have been receiving additional funding from the EU for a long time.

  7. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 13, 2018 12:44 pm

    I’m going to crack open a bottle of beer and toast the health of the unnamed complainant. He/she have achieved success in a BBC complaint beyond anything I have managed so far. I’m now encouraged to continue the struggle.

  8. August 13, 2018 12:56 pm

    I don’t watch or listen to the BBC – my children don’t watch or listen to the BBC.

    Like coming off a drug, there is a short period of discomfort when you first, stop listening, but I don’t miss them now.

    I am looking forward to the day when my wife finally realises we’re wasting money on the licence fee.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      August 13, 2018 3:00 pm

      Ken Bruce and Pop aster. Otherwise rarely listen which is sad as I grew up being informed and entertained by the BBC radio.

  9. Joe Public permalink
    August 13, 2018 1:19 pm

    A correction of a supposed correction. Only at the BBC.

  10. August 13, 2018 1:25 pm

    why did he make the claim in the first place

    At a guess because he assumed that ‘no subsidies’ was bound to mean ‘no more onshore wind farms’, but that’s not necessarily the case.

    08 JUN 2018
    CHC start construction work on Withernwick II wind farm in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
    This project is believed to be the first UK wind farm to be financed without the requirement of government subsidies or support mechanisms. The project represents a major milestone for the UK onshore wind energy market.

    NB The power from this wind farm will go to a private company not the national grid.

  11. Europeanonion permalink
    August 13, 2018 2:30 pm

    An utter waste of time. Mind you, the listening/viewing public are abandoning BBC news programmes in droves and no wonder. Newspapers are often criticised for party political partiality but no newspaper, of my knowledge, is beyond publishing retractions and prominently too. There are two things which I find rather bewildering (one with reference to Booker’s article) how can an impartial and fair minded organisation promulgate what are tantamount to political views and operate with partiality? Not so much a news agency as a political party with a well defined manifesto. Why is it not possible to issue a retraction on the show that broadcast the fanciful deception? Tied to that is, why is MR Harrabin, a correspondent endowed with such clout as to be viewed an expert on any topic let alone one that in its turn forms a constituency amongst listeners, confronts government policy? He is not an originator, has no research of his own, other than in the sense that chooses that which satisfies his personal criteria and, who knows, politics. While he uses complimentary sources, Paul, with access to the same official data and formulations, comes up with a tangential understanding. If the data is there to be accessed and Mr Harrabin is being particular with that which massages his preference then he must be consciously ignoring the content that Paul finds to publishes here; that is wilful.

  12. Chris Lynch permalink
    August 13, 2018 5:07 pm

    You could work non stop around the clock correcting the exaggerations, distortions and downright lies put out by the alarmists in the MSM – and Paul does a fantastic. The problem is that the MSM ensure that the climbdown receives little or no publicity.

  13. August 13, 2018 5:49 pm

    In his antifossil fuel perspective, it was “effectively” the same thing. He has the neo-Marxist view of oppressor-oppressed power relationships: that which does not support his position opposes it.

    Power vs options: the new theories of victimology are Everywhere.

  14. D&M Warren permalink
    August 13, 2018 8:05 pm

    A neighbour opposite often wears a Tee shirt bearing the following……..
    ‘Is that true or did you hear it on the BBC?’

  15. John F. Hultquist permalink
    August 13, 2018 9:17 pm

    Green-colored glasses**

    I suggest your Mr. Harrabin, and many others, figuratively wear “green-colored glasses”, and thus can’t help but twist everything to fit that cognitive green-reality. One’s reality cannot be a lie to one’s self.

    **See: Rose-colored glasses

  16. Kestrel27 permalink
    August 13, 2018 9:27 pm

    I can sort of understand, even if I disagree with, the BBC’s one sided approach to climate change. After all, it is clear that a preponderance of scientists agree that the earth is warming and that humans are responsible to a significant extent. What I think is inexcusable is their constant biased proselytising for renewables as if this was the only rational response to global warming when in fact it is anything but. Harrabin is, putting it simply, a total disgrace.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 13, 2018 11:32 pm

      I strongly disagree that a preponderance of scientists think so. A preponderance of those calling themselves scientists who are paid for saying so is a non-BBC type correction.

      An example the UNSW (which launched the ship of fools trip to Antarctica a few years ago) reveals that of the 37 ‘Climate Scientists’ 6 didn’t quote their qualifications (perhaps wisely), 1 reported a PhD in physics and 30 had graduated in Geography (climate science being a subsection of that).

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      August 15, 2018 6:21 am

      “<em<After all, it is clear that a preponderance of scientists agree that the earth is warming and that humans are responsible to a significant extent.

      Sounds like Pauline Kael and her one Nixon voter.
      Kestrel27 needs to expand her reading list.

      • Kestrel27 permalink
        August 17, 2018 8:50 pm

        Bit late for this but what are you talking about?! The last time I checked I was a male kestrel and I haven’t been tempted to self identify as female yet.

  17. Bitter@twisted permalink
    August 13, 2018 10:57 pm

    Horrorbin is a congenital liar.

    • BLACK PEARL permalink
      August 15, 2018 12:50 am

      Yeah once a liar always a liar… the green parrot’s got a long history… maybe he should go into politics ?
      No wait… BBC Science & Environment has been preaching spun political Science for decades already
      How much do we pay him for his ‘constructed’ propaganda reports anyway ?

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