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BBC Backtracking On IPPR Extreme Weather Claims

February 18, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Quaesoveritas (and apologies for sending him to the spam box!!)


The BBC are now trying to backtrack from their report last week of how extreme weather events had rocketed since 2005.

This item was on Radio 4 last night, for the first 5 mins. Click on link below to play.



On Tuesday, Today programme listeners woke up to the news that the think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, had new statistics that showed the scale of the damage we humans are doing to the planet. It said that since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold. However, the IPPR soon corrected that date to 1950, blaming a ‘typo’, but climate change researcher and author of Six Degrees Mark Lynas tells Tim Harford why he thinks the IPPR’s numbers are still wrong.


Even now, Lynas does not give the whole story, that thousands of weather disasters happened in the early decades, but were never properly recorded or registered by EM-DAT.

But it does show just how incompetent Harrabin was in not challenging such an absurd claim in the first place.

  1. Charles Wardrop, permalink
    February 18, 2019 11:57 am

    Observers like Harrabin are not objective scientists searching for truth, but more like political activists, who want to believe and purvey their preferred version of the truth
    That reflects today’s BBC and demands reform if it is to retain public funding by a tax

  2. quaesoveritas permalink
    February 18, 2019 12:01 pm

    “More or Less” is about the only programme on the BBC which is reasonably unbiased.
    Lack of bias is after all its “raison d’être”.
    However I don’t really think this is the BBC “backtracking”.
    I doubt if Harrabin listens to it.

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      February 18, 2019 2:24 pm

      Paul, I notice this has now appeared.
      Is that a result of your intervention?

    • February 18, 2019 3:32 pm

      Harrabin certainly wouldn’t understand it. I agree about ‘More or Less’; it is about the only BBC programme worth listening to.

    • February 18, 2019 3:57 pm

      I sent an online comment to “More or Less” about a fake claim made elsewhere by Prof David Spiegelhalter that the recent drought in Cape Town was one of those now ubiquitous “One in X hundred years” events, in this case X was claimed to be 3. The only source I could find online for this is a blog post using shonky methodology based on only 150 years of data.

      I don’t know if they have covered this issue, probably not because it was sort of covered in a previous series.

  3. quaesoveritas permalink
    February 18, 2019 12:04 pm

    I think another post of mine has gone into the “spam box”.
    My name seems to be on a black list!

    • Athelstan. permalink
      February 18, 2019 12:44 pm

      Yup, there is something strange definitely going on, I don’t however think that, it is anything to do with Paul.

      more likely big brother and the EU-HMG’s attempt to shut down dissenting blogs.

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      February 18, 2019 1:33 pm

      Paul, sorry to bother you, but if you have time could you look in the “spam box” for another of my posts?
      (assuming this one gets though)

  4. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 18, 2019 12:05 pm

    I note that all my comments go to the moderation queue too. Any chance of a reprieve?

    • February 18, 2019 2:10 pm

      I’ve tried everything, it must be a WordPress quirk

      Why not try a different username, with two “dots” instead of three, and we’ll see how that goes

  5. February 18, 2019 1:42 pm

    What will B BC will B BC. Why should I worry? It is the next generation which will have to face the realities; but sadly they are not being well equipped to deal with that, thanks to the BBC et al.
    My headstone could well read: “ I tried to tell you so”.

  6. Hugh Sharman permalink
    February 18, 2019 3:22 pm

    Due credit ought to be accorded to Tim Harford and his excellent assistants who are paid to query the outrageous tosh that the IPPC and its like maliciously churn out so regularly! Last Friday’s broadcast was their last Friday afternoon slot until further notice but in the mean time, I understand, there will be a regular podcast to which I recommend readers send regular questions!

    Harrabin, of course, will supply us all material for Harfod to query on a pretty regular basis!

  7. February 18, 2019 9:20 pm

    It was a tad muted when the comments were “I am not a sceptic who looks for anything against climate change”. However, it is small step on the way. The other comment was that essentially outrageous comments did not help the cause of climate change. Seems to me I’ve heard that before somewhere…

  8. D.W. Roberts permalink
    February 19, 2019 8:33 am

    Climate change is a “cause”? I thought it was supposed to be a fact deducible from observations, like gravity and as immutable. Now it is a “cause” to be pursued, like “curing” poverty!

  9. February 19, 2019 2:59 pm

    Look away now BBC fans, a dwindling band it seems…

    The decline and fall of brand BBC

  10. quaesoveritas permalink
    February 22, 2019 8:43 am

    Yesterday, I received a reply to an email I sent to the EM-DAT data base:

    “Of course the fact that there are less disasters reported before 1977 is mainly due to lack of data and information. The reporting become better in the year ’80 and also, the small disaster events are better reported. Now, saying thet there is a decrease after the year 2000 is a bit subjective has as the way the information is reported also progress and change with time. Our methodology is quite consistant over time but the different sources of information used or the way information is reported may changed and can have an effect on counting the occurence.”
    On the one hand they seem to agree that there is a lack of data prior to 1977 yet they say that the decline since 200o is “subjective”. They say that their methodology is consistent over time but clearly it isn’t.

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