Skip to content

BBC Complaint No 3

March 16, 2021

By Paul Homewood


Talking of complaints to the BBC, I have just submitted this one regarding the Californian “megadrought”:


Re: BBC News Online Article: “Then and now: A ‘megadrought’ in California”

Dear Sirs

I wish to complain about the above article on the grounds of inaccuracy.

The report looks at recent examples of extreme weather in California, viz droughts and excess rain, and claims they reveal:

some of the ways that planet Earth has been changing against the backdrop of a warming world

In particular, the article examines:

  1. The 2014 drought, labelled a “megadrought”.

  2. The heavy winter rains of 2016/17

  3. The current dry winter.

It is suggested that the 2014 drought was in large part due to climate change, a megadrought which could last for decades.

The report also states:

Climate change is not just about a warmer world, it also means that the planet will see more extreme environmental conditions and weather. So, for example, episodes of flooding will increase, as well as episodes of droughts.

Lake Oroville was a perfect illustration of how these extremes can threaten our existing infrastructure.

However, the actual precipitation data proves that the 2014 drought was far from being unprecedented. Nor is there any long term trend to a drier climate.

It is also evident that California’s climate has always swung wildly from wet to dry, and back again. There is nothing whatsoever unusual about the switch from drought to floods between 2014 and 2017, as the official NOAA data shows (Fig 1):


Figure 1

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) (


As for the winter of 2016/17, again that winter’s rainfall was not unprecedented, nor was February 2017. Again there is virtually no trend in winter rainfall



Figure 2

Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) (




Finally, as Figure 2 also shows that this current winter has not been unusually dry, ranking only 19th driest since 1895.

I would repeat, these are the official rainfall data from NOAA.

In fact, California’s climate for the last 1000 years has regularly experienced droughts much more severe than modern ones:



Figure 3

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


In short, the article contention that climate change is making weather more extreme in California is not supported by the actual data, and the claim is grossly misleading.

Yours faithfully

Paul Homewood



This adds to my two other complaints in the last few weeks:

1) Harrabin’s active campaigning against the Cumbria coal mine.

2) Claims of “record number of storms and wildfires” in the US

  1. Thomas Carr permalink
    March 16, 2021 5:26 pm

    Might I suggest that if you do not receive a substantive reply within 3 weeks that you write to the DG ,the “new broom” at the BBC, who says that he wants to do so much better and ask him if that extended to considered responses to licence fee payers.

    • bluecat57 permalink
      March 16, 2021 5:36 pm


  2. Barrie EMMETT permalink
    March 16, 2021 5:27 pm

    I interested to know, a) do they ever reply, and b) have they ever admitted to their total fabrication. Thanks

    • March 16, 2021 8:36 pm

      Yes they reply but the standard reply, which is very difficult to disprove, is that over time they are balanced. From the monitoring I’ve done on CC coverage is that their claim is bollocks!

  3. bluecat57 permalink
    March 16, 2021 5:36 pm

    Wow. Aren’t you behind. I’m up to 8 or 9 and I don’t live in the area UK.

    • March 16, 2021 6:08 pm

      That’s just three in the last month!

      • bluecat57 permalink
        March 16, 2021 6:18 pm

        Ah, OK. The list grows by the minute.

  4. alexei permalink
    March 16, 2021 5:54 pm

    Why would they care? They’re zealots determined to inculcate their “truth” to the masses, rather along the lines of Pravda.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 16, 2021 10:10 pm

      I always thought that the mission of Pravda was to hide the truth. Perhaps there was an exception for the weather forecast, which I used to read.

      The old Russian saying is there’s no Truth in Izvestia and no News in Pravda (Izvestia means news, and pravda of course means truth, so in Russian it is a word play).

  5. Dr Ken Pollock permalink
    March 16, 2021 6:12 pm

    As a BBC pensioner, I wish I could challenge you on this. Sadly, this sort of thing is all too common. The BBC has four science/environment reporters (Roger Harrabin, Matt McGrath, David Shukman and Jusrin Rowlatt) and they don’t have a science degree between them. No wonder they get it wrong so often.
    Sadly, he BBC has also tarnished the reputation of one of its greatest personalities, Sir David Attenborough, by letting him get involved in clear falsehoods to pursue the climate change alarmism.
    Paul, please refer your complaints to the new DG, Tim Davie. The BBC must reform and that means from the top!

    • Duker permalink
      March 16, 2021 8:23 pm

      Good point. The BBC Weather would use a trained meteorologist just do do a few minutes of weather ‘reporting’, as it requires professional knowledge.
      Yet their environment ‘analysts’ – they arent even trained reporters either so cant use that term- dont have science degrees ( which should be at a minimum masters level)

    • George Lawson permalink
      March 17, 2021 9:32 am

      It’s difficult to understand why these people want to continually lie when they report on global warming or the ecology generally. Do they, I wonder, get some sort of kick out of lying and is lying part of their everyday lives? Do they ever question themselves and feel guilty about spouting untruths to the world whilst ignoring all requests to tell the truth? Is their great power of being able to lie to billions of people across the world through the good offices of BBC management is what turns them on? In the end, it really is difficult to understand why they feel better at lying and fabricating untruths than broadcasting truths to their worldwide listeners. Perhaps one day will find out.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        March 17, 2021 1:52 pm

        The best liar is one who is so convinced he is telling the truth that he doesn’t even realise he is lying. Tony B.Liar is a good example.

        With the BBC crew they may know they are lying but they are doing it for what they believe is the right cause. That the policies their lies bring in end up killing people does not worry them.

  6. March 16, 2021 6:18 pm

    I have not paid my BBC TV licence for the last year, which is the third time I’ve done this, because of a bias report they did on the Victoria Falls drying up due to CC when it is in fact an annual occurance.
    I have taken my formal complaint right up to the Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) stage and included a link to your report on the Falls!

    I have form with the BBC see my ‘Last Post’ – blog!

  7. GeorgeLet permalink
    March 16, 2021 6:55 pm

    Climate Change due to fossil fuel CO2
    The biggest fraud in the history of science.

    • Phil O'Sophical permalink
      March 16, 2021 10:57 pm

      I fear the gene therapy depopulation ‘vaccine’ may assume that crown, coming to dwarf the damage of supposed climate mitigation measures.

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    March 16, 2021 7:09 pm

    In short, the article contention that climate change is making weather more extreme

    I’m sorry to repeat myself, but until someone tells me different, the BBC needs to be told that ‘climate’ does not control the weather. It is the other way round. When they have 30-60 years’ of weather they can start to talk about climate.

  9. Ian Wilson permalink
    March 16, 2021 7:22 pm

    I have separately contacted Farming Today about their almost daily blaming ‘climate change’ for every ill you can think of and the supposed ‘need’ to cut CO2 emissions. I have pointed out the real benefits to farming of the rising levels of CO2 in boosting crop output and food production.
    Oddly enough the National Farmers Union is promoting ‘zero carbon’ – here’s a union effectively wanting to give its members a pay cut. By contrast Derek Handley, founder of Farmers for Action has a robust view on climate and has written excellent articles in local newspapers.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      March 16, 2021 7:47 pm

      Totally agree, Ian. As a frequent listener to FT I have to agree with you. I cringe at the number of items they report on that very often end up being blamed on/at risk of AGW. The – I presume – intelligent, free-thinking reporters who are presenting this guff must be desperate to keep their jobs. They don’t care what the effect on the country is as long as they can keep their jobs.

      Off topic: Just had to suffer the TV ad for Christian Aid where they bang on about the need for donations as a result of climate change. The ad ends with the slogan: You can make the change. I figured they missed out the word ‘climate’ from that (puerile) slogan.

      • Ian Wilson permalink
        March 16, 2021 9:49 pm

        Indeed Harry. For years I was a Christian Aid envelope distributor/collector but then they went political and I finished when they ran adverts demanding sanctions against South Africa, then more recently as Paul Homewood highlighted wasted donors’ money sending delegates to the Peru climate conference. Perhaps they now want donations to send delegates to Glasgow.

  10. Cheshire Red permalink
    March 16, 2021 7:51 pm

    O/T…Here’s the latest Guardian missive from uber-green Jonathan Porritt. He makes multiple assertions re hydrogen, nuclear and of course his beloved renewables.

    He also starts with a wild claim that ‘the whole world seems to be aligned behind the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.’

    A close scrutiny and fact-checking would appear to be in order!

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      March 16, 2021 8:19 pm

      The Graun has always been bad but lately it has turned into a sick joke. The likes of Jillian Ambrose witter on about wind turbines that work without wind (I kid you not) and Damian Carrington is even thicker and thinks microwave boilers are a world salvation..

    • Mack permalink
      March 16, 2021 8:35 pm

      Fact checking Jonathan Porritt? No need. When it comes to matters of energy, particularly his devotion to unreliables, he appears to have been away with the fairies for years. Come the state sanctioned imposition of net zero in 2050, I am sure he will have a herd of specially trained unicorns on standby to power us all out of poverty. Or something like that.

    • dennisambler permalink
      March 17, 2021 6:03 pm

      Big mate and adviser to Prince Charles:

      Jonathon is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales’s Business and Sustainability Programme which runs Seminars for senior executives around the world.

  11. Geoffrey Williams permalink
    March 16, 2021 9:32 pm

    I am sure that many people around the world who expect their ‘perfect’ climate not to change or vary from day to day. So that when things go wrong and there is drought or flooding they have to find someone or something to blame for their preconceived ideas.
    It’s too easy to blame Climate Change and man-made CO2 . .

  12. Vincent Booth permalink
    March 17, 2021 7:11 am

    Keep up the good work, the BBC should be impartial.

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  13. Gray permalink
    March 17, 2021 7:36 am

    Paul, do you copy your complaints to OFCOM?
    Complaints to the BBC seems to be a waste of time.

    • March 17, 2021 9:57 am

      No, OFCOM only get involved after the BBC have officially rejected the complaint, which has to go through three stages before it gets to that stage

      • Peter permalink
        March 17, 2021 10:50 am

        It seems to me that OFCOM is part of the problem. It seems quite happy with the BBC policy of 100% bias on climate matters. It probably regards complaints to the BBC on the subject as evidence of climate change denial, thus demonstrating that the policy is working.

        The BBC and OFCOM, through their policy of 100% bias, are allowing politicians to implement their lunatic green initiatives without any public debate or challenge.

  14. tomo permalink
    March 17, 2021 11:12 am

    It’s quite difficult to escape the feeling that Mr.Harrabin is power drunk ?

  15. March 17, 2021 11:44 am

    Let’s hope somebody there has the balls to read it.

  16. dennisambler permalink
    March 17, 2021 6:07 pm

    Another great analysis for them to ponder. The BBC repeatedly does what it is paid to do, this is from 2016:

    Click to access DCMS_A_BBC_for_the_future_rev1.pdf

    “In order to provide the BBC with the level of funding and certainty it needs to deliver against its updated mission and purposes over the next Charter period, the government will maintain the licence fee as the main funding model for the BBC and will:− increase the licence fee level in line with inflation to 2021/22 – this will mean the BBC will receive over £18 billion of income from 2017/18-2021/22 and will ensure that the BBC remains one of the best-funded public service broadcasters in the world.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: