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BBC climate editor made false claims on global warming–Mail

May 10, 2022

By Paul Homewood

Good to see that the Mail has picked up on the Rowlatt story. I contacted them last week with the tip off.

I gather it is also in the Times.

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A BBC Panorama documentary about global warming made a number of false claims, an internal investigation by the broadcaster has found.

The programme Wild Weather, presented by climate editor Justin Rowlatt, said deaths worldwide were rising due to extreme weather caused by climate change – whereas the opposite is true.

It also claimed Madagascar was on the verge of the first famine caused by climate change – despite other factors being involved.

The programme, broadcast last November to coincide with the COP26 climate conference, sparked two complaints investigated by the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU).

Last year Rowlatt’s sister Cordelia was among a number of Insulate Britain activists arrested for staging a protest at junction 3 of the M25.

Miss Rowlatt, who once appeared on TV advising her brother on how to be more environmentally friendly, pleaded guilty by post at Crawley Magistrates’ Court. She was fined £300 with £85 court costs and a £34 surcharge for committing a public nuisance on a highway.

The introduction of Wild Weather said ‘the death toll is rising around the world and the forecast is that worse is to come’. The ECU said this risked giving the impression the rate of deaths from extreme weather-related events was increasing.

In fact, as noted by a recent report from the World Meteorological Organisation, while the number of weather-related disasters – such as floods, storms and drought – has risen in the past 50 years, the number of deaths caused by them has fallen because of improved early warnings and disaster management.

BBC News said ‘it accepted the wording in the programme was not as clear as it should have been and a public acknowledgement was put on the BBC’s Corrections and Clarifications website before the complaint reached the ECU’.

The ECU said this was appropriate but ‘an oversight meant the programme was still available on BBC iPlayer without a link or reference to the published correction, and for that reason the complaint was upheld’.

The ECU also considered the language used in the programme about drought. It agreed the evidence showed southern Madagascar had suffered lower-than-average seasonal rainfall in recent years, and that climate change was one factor contributing to famine in the country.

It also noted the reporter’s language mirrored that used by the UN’s World Food Programme.

But the ECU added: ‘The statement that Madagascar was on the brink of the world’s first climate-induced famine was presented without qualification, whereas other evidence available prior to broadcast suggested there were additional factors which made a significant contribution to the shortage of food.

The complaint was therefore upheld.’

31 Comments leave one →
  1. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 10, 2022 6:33 pm

    And on Guido!

    To echo Starker…will he resign?

  2. deejaym permalink
    May 10, 2022 6:41 pm

    So, Paul

    Without your indefatigable work, the Legacy media would have had this pass them (& us) by ?

  3. Mark permalink
    May 10, 2022 7:08 pm

    Excellent. Well done Paul.

  4. A+man+of+no+rank permalink
    May 10, 2022 7:19 pm

    Over 1,200 comments right now Paul on Mail-online – good work. Just where do you get your strength from?

  5. Ian PRSY permalink
    May 10, 2022 7:45 pm

    And just featured on GB News!

  6. May 10, 2022 7:48 pm

    TalkTV too.

  7. Mack permalink
    May 10, 2022 7:59 pm

    Congratulations on obtaining broader coverage of your exposure of one of the Beebs’ finest climate hysterics getting caught with his ‘accuracy’ pants down, again. Have a look at Matt McGrath’s latest propaganda piece on the breaching of the 1.5C temp limit and you’ll find another BBC climate catastrophist with his ‘accuracy’ pants down around his ankles. I think it’s what we skeptics call a ‘win double’!

  8. Unknown or Deleted UserThomas Carr permalink
    May 10, 2022 9:07 pm

    BBC are incorrigeable. Had they been sincere when responding to your last protest Rowlatt would be out of a job. Every reason for you to follow up . Public must assume that the BBC believe that they are untouchable and are part of the cult. So much or Reithian principles

  9. May 10, 2022 9:17 pm

    Well done Paul. DLTBGYD, which is what ll these big companies try to do.

  10. Thomas Csrr permalink
    May 10, 2022 9:19 pm

    Should we expect anything of the BBC’s Reality Check team?

  11. May 11, 2022 12:33 am

    Why is it nobody takes them to court?

  12. bobn permalink
    May 11, 2022 12:56 am

    Well done Paul. This exposure was your achievement. I salute you.

  13. NeilC permalink
    May 11, 2022 6:27 am

    Excellent Paul, thanks for all your hard work. The truth will out eventually.

  14. matelot65 permalink
    May 11, 2022 7:37 am

    Lets hit the next doom laden forecast on sea level rises! Well done Paul!

  15. Hugh Sharman permalink
    May 11, 2022 7:41 am

    Mr Rowlatt obtained an “education” in PPE at Mansfield College, Oxford!
    Definitely NOT a qualification as any sort of scientist, let alone expert on global climate matters!

    • Philip Mulholland permalink
      May 11, 2022 8:46 am

      PPE – Personal Protection Equipment? Seems appropriate.

  16. May 11, 2022 8:37 am

    The Daily Sceptic
    Environment Editor Chris Morrison

    Three Disinformation Strikes For Rowlatt, the BBC’s Climate Activist-in-Residence

  17. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 11, 2022 9:57 am

    When I took over as chief of naval information in the MoD I was as green as grass. Then I found that the BBC was lying to me and I grew up fast. But I did feel betrayed

  18. May 11, 2022 9:59 am

    The BBC rightly gets criticised for its often multi-month delays in correcting and clarifying its climate/energy-related mis- and disinformation.

    Credit where it’s due though. Occasionally, it can issue a ‘Corrections and Clarifications’ within a mere couple of weeks. Such as when *it* apparently failed to report that a Green MP had to issue a correction.

    “We wish to make clear that Ms Lucas spoke later in the Commons to clarify her comments”

    • dennisambler permalink
      May 11, 2022 5:16 pm

      Usually the response disappears and the headline is what is remembered. This time, there is a counter headline hitting the mainstream. This is different.

  19. swiftbob permalink
    May 11, 2022 1:18 pm

    The BBC’s ‘correction’ states that they were referring to the “cumulative death-toll”, not just that the death-toll is rising”, and it would therefore have been better to say “the overall death-toll is rising”. I wonder if the Justin Rowlett feels the cumulative death-toll should be falling? Doesn’t seem much of a correction to me.

  20. tamimisledus permalink
    May 12, 2022 10:07 am

    Calling this woman a fanatic is insulting to fanatics.

  21. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 12, 2022 2:28 pm

    I see the Express has also reported the story:

  22. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 12, 2022 11:47 pm

    Meanwhile at the New Statesman the predictable ad hominems, lies and attempts to defend the indefensible:

    Perhaps you should ask for a right of reply?

  23. richard permalink
    May 13, 2022 10:20 am

    deaths from droughts have declined by over 85% since the 1920s as the world’s population has increased by billions- I doubt early warning would make a difference.

  24. May 13, 2022 3:53 pm

    Now also picked up by the Times. Sounds like Rowlatt could be in trouble, with managers and staff turning against him. Will the corporation itself now start to realise its climate stance (bias) has to change?

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