Skip to content

BBC Retract Fake IPPR Extreme Weather Claims

March 1, 2019
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


The BBC have been forced to retract their fake claims about extreme weather.


Politicians and policymakers have failed to grasp the gravity of the environmental crisis facing the Earth, a report claims.

The think-tank IPPR says human impacts have reached a critical stage and threaten to destabilise society and the global economy.

They say since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold.



Readers will recall the BBC’s naive coverage of that IPPR report last month, which claimed environmental breakdown was imminent, partly because of climate change.


As I pointed out at the time, the claim they trumpeted was a totally fake one, which merely reflected the fact that more disasters are reported now than in the past, rather than more actually occurring.

I therefore sent in a formal complaint to the BBC.

They first tried to fob me off:

Thank you for contacting us about the BBC News Website.

We understand you found the article entitled ‘Environment in multiple crises – report’ contains inaccurate information.

We appreciate your comments however as outlined in the article it is made clear that this information had come from the think-tank IPPR. The article gives context to the political leaning of the think thank as well as highlighting the research undertaken and the findings as well as reaction from numerous experts including Simon Lewis, Professor of Global Change Science at University College London and Harriet Bulkeley, a geography professor at Durham University as well as the government.

Overall we felt the findings of this report were in the public interest and editorially justified, we are careful to check and report the facts surrounding any debate, examine relevant arguments, and offer detailed analysis. We believe that by doing this our audience can then make up their own minds.

We always aim for due impartiality, and hear from all sides of a debate over time.


I refused to accept this, and strongly pointed out that Harrabin had a duty to challenge statements which were, at least, contestable.


The BBC have now folded, and accepted that the IPPR claim was totally incorrect, as per their email to me:


ScreenHunter_3833 Mar. 02 14.11

In good Soviet fashion, the incorrect statement has now been removed from the website, and there is this rather meaningless correction added:



As is always the case, nobody will pay the slightest attention to the new version, and the lie has gone around the world and back in the meantime.

Nevertheless, GWPF, who have also written to complain, will insist on a formal entry being made on the BBC’s correction page. It is also good that Harrabin knows he cannot keep getting away with his incompetent, biased and dishonest coverage of these issues.

It is also encouraging that this particular exposure of the BBC has also attracted a fair deal of public attention, thanks to the help of Booker, Dellers, Kathy Gyngell and Matt Ridley’s piece in the Spectator.

I will be working to ensure that the BBC’s retraction will also get maximum publicity.


Finally, the public exposure has also resulted in the IPPR themselves being forced to make major changes to their own paper.

This will be worth a separate post tomorrow.

  1. March 1, 2019 7:40 pm

    Well done Paul

    Have 97 gold stars

  2. Harry Passfield permalink
    March 1, 2019 7:44 pm

    Didn’t I hear this retraction on PM today (or was is Today, PM?) Either way, I’m sure Evan Davies interviewed Harrabin, who gave a full apology for the error.

    Then, I woke up….

  3. SteveT permalink
    March 1, 2019 7:50 pm

    Thank you, Paul. I’m going ‘large’ on saveenergy’ stars. Make it seven-fold 🙂 Everyone else seems to!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      March 1, 2019 8:11 pm

      Wonderful story in the press today about a wife who arranged for BG to install a smart meter and left her husband at home to supervise the fitting while she was at work. BG engineers turned up and refused to install the meter because the husband was not the person who arranged the installation, and left. She is still, weeks later, sans meter. GDPR meets BG. (guffaw)

      • HotScot permalink
        March 1, 2019 10:53 pm



        I conduct all the financial affairs in our house including those of my grown up daughters where necessary.

        We play a little game with the banks, building societies, car lease companies etc. I call them and tell them who I am and what I’m doing e.g. my daughter/wife wants me to speak to you about x, y or z.

        I get the usual spiel about needing to talk to the ‘account’ holder personally so, if it’s one of my daughters, I hand the phone to my wife who provides my daughters details, and if it’s my wife one of my daughters provides her details, name, DOB, address etc.

        On a couple of occasions I have wheeled in my neighbour to impersonate my wife/daughters because they were out and I needed to do something for them.

        However, in the interests of honesty and integrity, at the conclusion of the transaction I always tell the institution what I have done and explain how they have been duped. I have had threats ranging from criminal prosecution to closing our accounts, to bailiffs, credit blacking etc. you name it, I have been threatened with it.

        I don’t deal with BG but perhaps I’ll call my supplier to establish the terms of their installation. I won’t invoke it because 1) I don’t want or need a meter and 2) The cost of a cancelled visit will be added to energy bills for someone else to pick up.

        On one occasion I called up as my wife and in my baritone Scottish accent told them I was my wife. They naturally didn’t believe me at which point I went into mock hysterics accusing them of sexism and genderism. They hung up on me.

        Just too bad if you are a woman with a deep voice or a guy with a high one. Our LGBT community must suffer hell. 🙂

  4. March 1, 2019 7:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  5. A C Osborn permalink
    March 1, 2019 9:12 pm

    Congrats Paul, chalk up another one.

  6. March 1, 2019 10:22 pm

    Is that the same BBC that says it can be trusted and knows how to identify fake news? What a joke.

    • Har old permalink
      March 3, 2019 3:58 pm

      The BBC have been purposeful, socialist liars for as long as I remember. I am 72. But what can you expect from a government owned and govt. funded organisation; they act just like a bunch of politicians.

  7. March 1, 2019 11:02 pm

    Only a small victory I’m afraid. The BBC don’t say what was changed in that article, though by looking at the internet archive you can see that the only change is the removal of that one sentence

    “They say since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold.”

    All the rest of the IPPR / Harrabin alarmist BS is still there unchanged (“critical stage”, “destabilise society”, “deadly”, etc).

    It’s interesting that the IPPR’s claims were debunked to some extent by the BBC’s own More or Less programme,

    Did you get an official reply to your complaint?

    I still haven’t had a response to mine, though it’s been two and a half weeks.

    • dave permalink
      March 1, 2019 11:47 pm

      ‘They’ live in an unreal world.

      WE can choose to live in the real world (unfortunately, a world populated by real fools) and, in that real world, the UAH number for February is + 0.36 C versus +0.37 C in January.

    • March 2, 2019 10:06 am

      Yes, they emailed me

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 2, 2019 12:29 am

    I note the petition calling for an inquiry into BBC bias has been very busy today – it was garnering more signatures per hour than anything else at one point.

    These complaint wins do I think have a wider effect. That is also evident if you look at comments on articles for dubious climate stories. The truth is fighting back.

    • March 2, 2019 11:41 am

      The signature clock is rigged to make it look active
      A few people have tweeted the petition recently ..mostly quote Tommy Robinson, but one has Corbinysta in her profile

  9. March 2, 2019 6:24 am

    Well done Paul. Unfortunately it will have zero effect on Cardinal Harrabin, who will continue to produce lies and fake stories on a regular basis. There is no sanction in the Biased Broadcasting Corporation for being a serial liar.

  10. mikewaite permalink
    March 2, 2019 8:37 am

    Congratulations on making a small breakthrough , and like training a small child or a puppy, it may be helpful to mix admonishments when they do wrong with exaggerated praise when they behave properly.
    So when you thank them for doing the right thing in correcting the errors, you might throw them a little bone to gnaw on eg : perhaps they might devote a Panorama session to looking at why we have had 7 days of wind well below 5GW , well below nameplate capacity, and with no certainty of of a change in the near future and what does that mean for an all renewables future grid when the only power source that tracks demand accurately is CCGT
    In particular they could ask about the plans , which I am sure they support , for loading the grid with the need to cater for 20 million electric vehicles before , what? 2020, 2030, no time soon? It would be a fascinating programme, would be very popular with the viewing public, they could grill ministers and car makers, and recover some of their, by now tarnished, reputation for responsible journalism.

  11. Athelstan. permalink
    March 2, 2019 8:59 am

    Are they serious, do they think that (read quote below), and if they do, and by using public money, they should be done for fraud at the very least be removed from their all too comfortable and vastly over paid sinecures.

    “Overall we felt the findings of this report were in the public interest and editorially justified, we are careful to check and report the facts surrounding any debate, examine relevant arguments, and offer detailed analysis. We believe that by doing this our audience can then make up their own minds.

    We always aim for due impartiality, and hear from all sides of a debate over time.” /quote.

    “public interest”


    “always aim for due impartiality”

    Extracting the urine – more like.

    • Coeur de Lion permalink
      March 2, 2019 9:28 am

      Andrew Montford’s The Propaganda Bureau covers Horrorbin’s 2006 conspiracy and the thousands of your taxpayers money spent on lawyers cover-up fees repelling FOI requests to list his co-conspirators in the BBC and their greedy allies. That’s a long time ago. It’s time he should be moved on if only because of boredom

      • March 2, 2019 10:51 am

        If Horrorbin worked for a private company and produced such fake information week after week, he would have been sacked years ago (for incompetence or plain lying).

  12. Joe Brannan permalink
    March 2, 2019 9:47 am


    The BBC must be in repentant mood as I too have received an apology and an admission of inaccuracy. Inspired by your articles on the cost of wind power I complained about a piece on Radio 4’s ‘The World at One’ on January 17. Commenting on the cancellation of another nuclear power station, the BBC stated that the Government was probably relaxed about this because the price of offshore wind had fallen to £57.50 per MWH. I pointed out to them that it was not possible for anybody to obtain offshore wind energy at this price. Their first response was simply to refer me to the bids made by a couple of companies in 2017. I replied that the fact that some offshore wind might be available at this price in four or five years time was not the same as saying this was the current price. Eventually they agreed stating ‘They acknowledge that there was a slip of the tongue and Simon Jack had meant to say “the current estimated cost for 2022-2023 is £57.50 MWH” .’ Hardly fulsome, I agree, but progress of a sort?

    • March 2, 2019 11:32 am

      No one builds a wind farm at anything like that price, but once having built stage 1 and substations with a massive subsidy, they then sometimes put in bids for stage 2 at a lower price
      I am not aware of any actually working at a prices as low as £57.50 MWh

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        March 2, 2019 12:38 pm

        Aside from anything else that is a price in 2012 money, currently equivalent to £63.66/MWh. Just one of the subtle lies they regularly get away with.

  13. Neil Lyndon permalink
    March 2, 2019 10:44 am

    You say: “The BBC have now folded, and accepted that the IPPR claim was totally incorrect.” Please publish the words in which the BBC folded and accepted. How did they express that change of mind?

    • March 2, 2019 2:15 pm

      I have added a copy of their email to me, in my post now

      The BBC have of course also totally deleted the fake claim from their website as well

      • March 2, 2019 3:24 pm

        I bet Cardinal Harrabin really appreciates you bringing the matter to his attention. It won’t make a ha’peth of difference to his future behaviour and his production of alarmist and false stories.

  14. Joseph Ratliff permalink
    March 2, 2019 11:18 am

    Reblogged this on Quaerere Propter Vērum.

  15. Henry EngelkingHenry permalink
    March 2, 2019 3:53 pm

    I have been following climate change now for at least 5 years and have been informing friends and colleagues about the poor quality, inaccurate and exaggerated scientific papers, media reports and government statements. At times I felt my words were falling on deaf ears but I see a shift in many people’s perspective regarding the risks of climate change. There is a shift, slowly but steadily, occurring in public opinion on the risks, cost and benefits of climate change itself and policies and the governments of the world will eventually catch up to this trend. GWPF can take a large part of the credit for this shift due to the education, counter perspectives and fact checking which the GWPF provides. It is mind boggling and so disappointing that the main steam media has completely failed their prime mandate of unbiased non partisan reporting.

  16. March 2, 2019 4:49 pm

    Well done Paul. I was recently successful in having the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) investigate reporting on extreme weather and rule that their reporting did not meet journalistic standards for accuracy and impartiality:

  17. March 2, 2019 8:39 pm

    Is there no exaggeration too fantastical for these fiends? I use “fiends” with purpose. They would impoverish hundreds of millions of people and cause widespread hunger, disease, suffering, and death to remain ideologically pure. Terrorism by another name.

  18. Robert permalink
    March 3, 2019 9:07 am

    Keep up the good work.

  19. Kevin Benn permalink
    March 3, 2019 10:05 pm

    I am astounded that the BBC not only allows a dissident climate opinion to be heard, but actually condones it. As we all know, Manchester United won 2 – 0; the referee’s decision is settled.

  20. Oliver King permalink
    March 4, 2019 8:48 pm

    Paul, might be worth watching Sky News tonight. Taking about ‘heatwaves’ in the Indian Ocean and coral bleaching as proof of climate change. Sounds like serious alarmist nonsense to me.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: