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The BBC, Bob Ward and the climate catastrophists’ attack on dissent

January 1, 2020

By Paul Homewood


Matt Ridley launches the counter attack on the BBC and the vexatious Bob Ward, with this piece in Reaction:


I was asked to appear on the Today program on Saturday 28 December by the guest editor, Charles Moore, and made the case that the BBC’s coverage of climate change is unbalanced.

Despite a lot of interruption by Nick Robinson, I just about got across the point that the BBC uncritically relays any old rubbish about the environment so long as it is alarmist, even if it comes from an uninformed source like the leader of Extinction Rebellion or falls well outside the range of the scientific consensus that says we are on course for a warming of 1-4 degrees this century.

But the Corporation has strict rules about letting on guests who might say that the climate change threat is being exaggerated, even if their view and their facts fall within that consensus range.

The BBC now has a rule that if by some oversight a lukewarmer or skeptic does get on the air, he or she must be followed by a corrective interview from a scientist, setting the record straight.

Sure enough, I was followed by Sir David King, the former government chief science advisor. (He’s a qualified chemist, while I am a qualified biologist.)

I sat there open-mouthed as he beautifully demonstrated my point with one exaggeration after another.


Full story here.

Ridley goes on to relate some of his encounters with Bob Ward, including this gem:

 Indeed Ward’s aim seems to be never to win the point – that would be a bonus – but to tie us down in a time-consuming process of defending ourselves, in the hope that it deters us from offering similar articles to editors in the future, and deters editors from commissioning them. It works. He has frightened away some journalists and editors from the vital topic of climate change, leaving the catastrophists with a clear field to scare children to their hearts content.

I know from personal experience just how true this is. Booker would often moan to me that it was his own time which was being wasted by Ward’s continual vexatious complaints, whereas as Ward was being paid to do little else other than write them.

Over the last few years, I have helped Booker respond to several such complaints, each of which Ward has lost comprehensively.

I recall Booker telling me that he had only ever lost one complaint from Ward, many years ago, and then only on a technicality.

But “winning” was never the name of the game for Bob Ward.

  1. tonyb permalink
    January 1, 2020 11:13 am

    Charles Moore on Saturday had a few stories on the climate but the programme covered many other topics. The Monday programme was nothing more or less than a Greta fest with virtually every story revolving round her, the climate and the impending catastrophe. A dire piece of programming that was totally unquestioning..

  2. Simon Kelly permalink
    January 1, 2020 11:13 am

    Matt Ridley is a hero. A rare oasis of rational sanity in a gigantic ocean of double think and speak. Thank you Matt.

    • January 1, 2020 1:19 pm

      @Simon Kelly: seconded.
      Matt Ridley’s book The Rational Optimist is a joy to read: a treat of a tonic for the nonstop doom & gloom shoved at us 24/7/365.
      John Doran.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    January 1, 2020 11:24 am

    It has always been a war of exclusion, intimidation, and attrition; demonizing, isolating, no platforming, bullying, and exhausting dissenters into just going away and shutting up.

    The crazy thing about the climate debate is that there was never any substantive debate allowed by the alarmists, then they declared the debate over and won.

    Anyway, MO has crunched the CET. 2019 was 10.34C, about 25th warmest in ~360 yrs. Not really significant. Similar to stand out years in the 18th/19th century and 0.6C cooler than the hottest year, 2014.

    Certainly seems UK temperatures have peaked, the notable shift change still looks like a shift change and not a gradual continued warming.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 1, 2020 2:54 pm

      That graph really shows the problem – there is no linear trend but a clear step change.It looks very similar (but opposite) tot he one at the start of the chart.

      It is simply incomprehensible why Climate scientists continue to claim there is a linear trend despite the clear evidence that there is not, based on nothing more than torturing the data.If they could show that CO2 is responsible for the steps, then fine, I’ll believe but until then..

      • dennisambler permalink
        January 1, 2020 6:11 pm

        As with the Arctic in 1977, there was a step change in UK temperature in 1987. Temps rose by over 2 deg C in in 3 years. This is the Arctic picture:

        The CET looks similar if you remove the figure for 1988. There has been little movement in CET in the 30 years since 1989. The anomaly against 61-90 is a deception, because that period was quite cold and guaranteed to give positive anomalies aginst current temperatures.

    • sonofametman permalink
      January 1, 2020 11:25 pm

      Anyone in doubt about the benefits of a warmer climate should look at the broad dip on that graph in the 1690’s. The weather was so bad and the harvests were so poor that there was starvation in Scotland and across the Baltics. Around 10% of the population of Scotland starved to death, and in some parts such as rural Aberdeenshire it was reckoned to be close to 25%. At these latitudes, if the climate cools, growing food is much, much harder.
      Nowadays we have modern agricultural science, decent weather forecasting (out to a few days), and wonderful fossil fuel powered machinery, so a 1690’s type event would be almost certainly be far less damaging.
      It would however be better not to have to deal with a climate like that.

      • David A permalink
        January 2, 2020 8:29 am

        Now days we also have considerably more CO2, making crops larger and more heat, drought and cold resistant.

  4. Mike Jackson permalink
    January 1, 2020 11:24 am

    There is an animal known in law as a “vexatious litigant”. I sometimes wonder whether it would be possible to extend the definition to include Ward and his perpetual attempts to silence those who disagree with His Master’s Voice!

    Given that he is a serial loser in his dealings with IPSO and that there are already indications that it is losing patience with his tactics it should not be too hard to persuade IPSO, and possibly even some editors, that the time has come simply to ignore him.

    The BBC, of course, will give him air time but the BBC is a lost cause anyway though it might be interesting to lodge complaints every time he is allowed to open his mouth.

    As we ought to following King’s performance. Whatever the truth about climate change it was not reflected in his response to Matt Ridley which went several “extra miles” beyond the science and beyond any reasonable IPCC scenario. Words like “liar” have been known to attract adverse reactions so I’ll settle for “delusional” or “misguided” but how a man of King’s experience can mouth such easily disprovable drivel is beyond me.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      January 1, 2020 12:19 pm

      Because he is paid to.

    • Adrian, East Anglia permalink
      January 1, 2020 8:17 pm

      King is the archetypal ‘government scientific advisor’ :100% politicised and fully signed up to the most extreme alarmist mantra. Exaggeration and misrepresentation seem to go with the territory.

  5. January 1, 2020 11:26 am

    Reblogged this on Climate-

    • nadeembutt permalink
      January 1, 2020 11:24 pm

      Try doing your own posts instead of ‘re-blogging’ and trying to get people to visit your page.

  6. john cooknell permalink
    January 1, 2020 11:45 am

    I have listened to David King in person, and seen his reaction to questions, he is a complete politician avoids answering anything, I suspect its because he doesn’t know.

    Well worthy of a knighthood, fits in well with his peers.

    • dennisambler permalink
      January 1, 2020 6:17 pm

      Well worth reading Mike Hulme’s 2006 BBC interview in which he criticised Tony Blair and “Senior Government Scientists” for climate alarmism. 4 November 2006

      He didn’t last long after that.

  7. JimW permalink
    January 1, 2020 11:47 am

    Paul, I commented on an article in today’s Times about the percentage of electricity production which came from renewables ( except the article attempts to incude nuclear). Almost immediately I received half a dozen or more comments from alarmists trying to denigrate my comments. I think these comments came from people deliberately ready to pounce on non-conformist comments presumably who knew in advance of the article.
    There is a growing ‘industry’ designed to stop free speech, welcome to 2020!

  8. Sheri permalink
    January 1, 2020 1:15 pm

    People sat there like morons and let the billionaires take over. I have ZERO sympathy. It obviously was not worth fighting for, so I really don’t care. Since the 60’s in the USA, this has grown and stupid dolts DID NOT DO A THING to stop it. Writing editorials FAILS without action but it takes so little effort. Sorry, people sold out their futures to watch TV and avoid reality. I really do not care. Nor did most people and even now, they sit like morons and do nothing. Kiss your planet and your kids futures goodbye. By now, those kids know full well you don’t care about them and how dead their future is. Buy them more TV to watch and walk away. Selling out the future was soooooo easy, wasn’t it?????

    Even in the comments sections here, there is always a “welcome to 2020” type comment that fully indicates no one gives a damn. Why bother?

  9. HotScot permalink
    January 1, 2020 1:34 pm

    Clearly, as a minority group, sceptics ought to be given more than their fair share of attention by the BBC/MSM/Guardian in particular, at least equal to that devoted to the Trans community.

    Can we have our own toilets please!

  10. Phoenix44 permalink
    January 1, 2020 2:58 pm

    I just wish the BBC would apply the same rule to other sciences, economics say. No interviews with those outside the mainstream, such as Remainers, Socialists or every Climate Alarmist when talking about the economy.

    Quite why it is that Climate sceptics cant be heard but the flat-Earthers of the Left can be is beyond me.

  11. dennisambler permalink
    January 1, 2020 6:12 pm

    As with the Arctic in 1977, there was a step change in UK temperature in 1987. Temps rose by over 2 deg C in in 3 years. This is the Arctic picture:

    The CET looks similar if you remove the figure for 1988. There has been little movement in CET in the 30 years since 1989. The anomaly against 61-90 is a deception, because that period was quite cold and guaranteed to give positive anomalies aginst current temperatures.

    • dennisambler permalink
      January 1, 2020 6:13 pm

      Seems to have posted twice, it was intended as the posted response above.

  12. It doesn't add up... permalink
    January 1, 2020 7:15 pm

    It seems that Bob Ward and Roger Harrabin have been stung by the criticism.

    And Harrabin got the BBC to put out a CV:

    as if it were proof of anything of substance at all.

  13. January 1, 2020 8:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  14. Ian Miller permalink
    January 1, 2020 9:50 pm

    Freedom of Information, should be able to reveal where the Climate Extinction / Emergency propaganda finances are coming from.
    There is obviously a lot of it circulating to finance the entire Climate Change movement and certain individuals in the televised media etc., etc., Much I think, – is from the USA. Many folk’s finances should be checked, and collars felt.
    Where are those who could instigate the enquiry with interests outside of the ruinables industry and who could easily afford to do so ?

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