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Correspondence With BBC

May 22, 2022

By Paul Homewood


Ken Pollock, one of our readers, forwarded this correspondence he had with the BBC regarding Justin Rowlatt’s Panorama programme last November:


Following his letter to Tim Davie, who promised to get his team to look into Ken’s complaint, the Panorama producer sent this letter:



Dear Dr Pollock,

Thank you for your email to the Director General which has been passed to me for a response.

I am the executive producer who worked on Wild Weather: Our World Under Threat.

You have forwarded a link to a blogpost which points to data showing that the numbers of deaths per hundred thousand in relation to weather and climate events has fallen over the years, contrasting this with the commentary in the programme, where the presenter, Justin Rowlatt, says: 

“The world is getting warmer, and our weather is getting ever more unpredictable and dangerous.  The death toll is rising around the world and the forecast is that worse is to come.”

This was part of the introduction to the programme and was intended to set out the challenge posed by more extreme weather events in the future. The death toll is indeed rising, with the overall numbers of people losing their lives going up year on year. The death toll is a cumulative figure, not an annualised rate. However, the annualised rate is also predicted to rise as a result of extreme weather caused by man-made climate change. We are sorry we did not make this clear enough or what the prediction was based on. A body linked to the WHO estimates current  climate change deaths to be running at 150,000 a year; looking ahead the WHO estimates that number could reach 250,000 a year between 2030 and 2050.

As the blogpost you forwarded highlights, there is also data that shows an historical decline in the annual rate of deaths related to weather events.  The World Meteorological Organisation published a report into deaths from weather related disasters over the past fifty years last Summer. It highlighted early warning and other interventions which have been significant factors in reducing the overall death rates from weather events and also acknowledged that the report’s reliance on reported death figures meant it may have underreported the numbers in some areas.,US%24%203.64%20trillion%20in%20losses.

However, our programme was not looking back in time or at extreme weather trends in the past. We were considering the impact man made climate change is having now and in the immediate future. We focused on the changes to human habitation and behaviour that these weather patterns may result in. More frequent flooding, heatwaves etc will lead to greater issues around housing and sanitation, food supply and pressure for resources such as water. Humans have found ways to mitigate some of the impact but this is likely to become more difficult in the future, as the research from the WHO outlined above makes clear. The European heatwave of 2021, where a record temperature of almost 49C was recorded, was almost impossible without climate change according to the Met Office, as it was a ‘once in ten thousand year’ event.  The Met Office shared with the programme its calculations that Europe will experience extreme, near 50-degree heatwaves every three years if greenhouse gases continue rising under what the Met Office describes as a ‘medium’ emissions scenario. Inevitably these heat waves will lead to avoidable deaths through wildfires as well as ‘excess deaths’ in vulnerable groups with a lower tolerance to extreme temperatures. It is this predicted escalation in the frequency of extreme weather events that the programme was highlighting and the unfortunate likelihood that the death toll will be driven up more quickly as a result.

Thank you for taking the time to bring this to the BBC’s attention and I hope this answers your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Leo Telling

Executive Producer, Panorama

Ken responded:


Dear Mr Telling,

Many thanks for your email, in response to my concern about your Panorama programme. I have studied your reply carefully and hope the following remarks will also be considered carefully. Feel free to pass them to Justin Rowlatt as well.

You give a sentence from Mr Rowlatt’s script. To take one phrase “weather is getting ever more unpredictable…”. In the following paragraph you say “the annualised rate is predicted to rise…”

I find these two sentences incompatible. You do not appear to realise that you are stating total opposites, and using the second – the predictability of an increase – as a justification for more or less everything else.

Then you state that the death toll is “cumulative, not an annualised rate”. Surely you recognise that that is an asinine statement. Naturally the death toll is cumulative. The death toll in the UK is cumulative. It is difficult to imagine it not increasing, if you quote cumulative figures.

“Bad weather conditions result in halving the yield per acre”. Ah, you say, but the amount of food produced has increased, as we are talking “cumulative” yields. Total madness, and not what we expect from Panorama.

Much of what you then write is drawn from the WHO, talking of death rates increasing in the 20 years after 2030 to 250,000 per year. These figures are based on the IPCC “predictions”, highly questionable in an “unpredictable” world. That WHO HELI report is full of conditionals, enough, one might expect, for you to challenge some of them, or at least refer to the source and the speculative nature of the “predictions”.

How can you write with a straight face that heatwaves will kill more and more people, without also accepting that cold kills 10 or more times as many people every year, and extra heat may save far more people?

Have you considered the government figures in their “Clean Air Strategy” on page 13 in the 2019 edition, that shows reductions in emissions of air pollutants over the last 50 years of between 65% (volatile organic compounds) and 95% (sulphur dioxide)? That was achieved in an industrial country at the same time that our economy was apparently encouraging all sorts of unwise behaviour, with regard to emissions.

Have you read and learnt from Hans Rosling’s book “Factfulness” that shows how ignorant we all are about the ways in which the world has got better over the last 50 years?

How do you reconcile the fact the Singapore and Helsinki have average temperatures differing by 22 degrees C, and yet you accept that a further 1 degree in global average temperature could spell disaster?   

You appear to accept the WHO idea that “health shocks and stresses will push 100 million more people into poverty every year” What on earth does that mean? Digging a bit deeper into what they are on about and whether it was in any way credible would have been a better use of your airtime.

You state that avoidable deaths through wildfires will increase. I wonder what you really mean by that. You surely know that most of the Australian wildfires and those in the West of the USA were started by arson. Surely you know that the recent wildfires were nowhere near as bad as those in the West of the USA in the 30s and40s and in Australia in the 80s, when I filmed them for the BBC, and in earlier decades.

It is this sort of casual statement that betrays a lack of rigour in your thinking that I find most worrying. We expect better from the BBC and certainly from its flagship programme Panorama!

During my 22 years as a producer at the BBC, I became alarmed at the inadequate use of statistics by the corporation in current affairs and elsewhere. I had a meeting with the head of policy (Jim Wilson?), suggesting a statistics department to run parallel with the pronunciation unit, as it seemed many BBC people repeated statistics without understanding them.

The idea was rejected. In part it has been rendered redundant by the excellent programme “More or Less”, presented by Tim Harford, as it examines published figures and seeks to find out whether they are reliable or not.

In general terms, that is the job of the “executive producer” – to dig a bit deeper, or get a junior to do so. Sadly, I am not reassured that it has happened in this case.

Best regards,

Dr Ken Pollock,

The correspondence was in March, so evidently Mr Telling won’t be replying!

  1. Philip Mulholland permalink
    May 22, 2022 10:18 am

    This is painful to read:

    The death toll is indeed rising, with the overall numbers of people losing their lives going up year on year. The death toll is a cumulative figure, not an annualised rate.

    Asinine does not even begin to cover it. Insane is a better measure of this BBC nonsense.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      May 22, 2022 10:50 am

      Totally agree. You can apply that thinking, I use the term loosely, to practically anything that happens; road accidents, the amount of burgers that are consumed or the amount of times I have my windows cleaned. This guy should run for Parliament.

      I’d sack him for that statement alone.

    • In The Real World permalink
      May 22, 2022 11:14 am

      Well done to Dr Ken Pollock .
      But it does show how difficult it is to get any sense out of an organisation who will ignore any facts and just keep pushing out their propaganda and lies .
      But hopefully , if everybody keeps telling the truth about the whole Global Warming scheme , eventually enough of the public will eventually realise the whole thing is just to destroy the western economies and turn the world into a socialist state .

    • May 22, 2022 12:21 pm

      Yeah right – what an absofukinglutely ridiculous thing to say. The death toll is rising – and then to say he means the cumulative death toll – absofukinglutely ridiculous.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      May 22, 2022 1:00 pm

      The death toll from anything that kills us is rising. It can do nothing else.

      The BBC know this, they are not that stupid. They are simply attempting to cover a clear and obvious error, lying to cover a lie.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      May 22, 2022 4:35 pm

      “Asinine does not even begin to cover it.”

      Flat out mendacious does, however.

    • dennisambler permalink
      May 22, 2022 6:07 pm

      The ignorance is Telling…

    • Julian Flood permalink
      May 23, 2022 10:07 am

      But but you’re ignoring the Rapture, Cumulative deaths will fall to zero and we’ll all rise up to Zion.


    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      May 25, 2022 3:31 am

      Not so much asinine as pathetic semantic sophistry . If the death toll is a ‘cumulative figure not an annualized rate ” why did Telling emphasize the ‘year on year ‘ ‘annualized rate ‘ in the previous sentence ? :

      ” The death toll is indeed rising with the overall number of people losing their lives going up year on year ”

      Human beings die in extreme weather events every year so of course these accrued fatalities occur in a cumulative continuum .that can stretch back millennia , a few centuries or one century on an arbitrary timescale . The point of contention obscured by Telling is comparative : are humans dying in increasingly higher – that is to say rising – numbers than say the 1920s , the 1930’s or even the 1970’s and the answer is no – they are not. On that criteria climate related deaths are falling By way of analogy, Telling’s specious ‘reasoning ‘ is as deceptive as arguing that influenza deaths are cumulatively ‘rising ‘ while pretending the 1918 -20 influenza pandemic annualized death toll is of no more importance as a caveat than the estimated 30 -40 million human beings who perished in the 1876 -78 global droughts and heatwaves [ That was a real climate crisis ]. Here are three interpretations of the word ‘cumulative that may explain why Leo Telling inserted the slippery words ‘rising” [for its misleading visual impression] and “overall ” with no precise chronological spectrum.
      [i] cumulative : ” increasing or increased in quantity .degree , or force by successive additions ”

      [ii] Incorporating all data up to the present …..formed by accumulation of successive additions ”

      [iii] ” increasing as each new amount is added or as each new fact or condition is considered

  2. Ian Wilson permalink
    May 22, 2022 10:21 am

    Well done, Ken Pollock – perhaps as one of their own the BBC might take you more seriously than they do complaints from the rest of us.
    Listening to Farming Today, at least once or twice a week I hear reference to ‘the’ climate crisis (definite article). With regularity I e-mail to point out there is no evidence of any such crisis, but whether it ever sinks in i know not.

    • Joe Public permalink
      May 22, 2022 10:57 am


      • Lorde Late permalink
        May 23, 2022 11:09 am

        Double plus one I would think(not groupthink).

    • May 22, 2022 12:01 pm

      I never get a reply either

    • May 22, 2022 12:20 pm

      Good for you Ian – I am forever sending these links in to the BBC at their various twitter accounts – the truth will eventually catch up with them – it’s just a matter of time.

      • Dave Wild permalink
        May 22, 2022 1:17 pm

        Measured in decades or millennia? I’m not holding my breath

  3. Joe Public permalink
    May 22, 2022 10:51 am

    Before the BBC finally upheld my complaint about death toll trends, it needed reminding:


    “The death toll is indeed rising, with the overall numbers of people losing their lives going up year on year.”

    The BBC is nothing if not inconsistent:

    “Global malaria death toll falling”

    2. The UN’s World Meteorological Organization informs

    “Deaths decreased almost threefold from 1970 to 2019. Death tolls fell from over 50 000 deaths in the 1970s to less than 20 000 in the 2010s. The 1970s and 1980s reported an average of 170 related deaths per day. In the 1990s, that average fell by one third to 90 related deaths per day, then continued to fall in the 2010s to 40 related deaths per day.”

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      May 22, 2022 3:53 pm

      Well done Joe.

      I wish I believed that this claim was just ‘asinine’. That the whole programme was just bumbling idiocy.

      But I think that we are way past that. It has been clear since Climategate, since Mickey Mann and his Hockey Stick, since Ed Milband and Ms. Worthington’ Climate Change Act; this isn’t just stupidity.

      Stupidity and ignorance is very important, of course. But cumulative death tolls can ONLY be deliberate mendacity.

      • In The Real World permalink
        May 22, 2022 5:37 pm

        I think by now that most people will have realised that the Beeb is not just ignorant or stupid , but deliberately lying to bring about their world socialist revolution .

        A lot of the other media are going the same way with their refusal to mention that carbon taxes ,[
        is one of the main reasons for the price of electricity to more than double , and has put something like 20 to 40 pence per litre on the price of road fuel at the pumps .

        But perhaps they reckon that if everybody knew the truth , then the YELLOW JACKETS would be out on the streets and the climate change scheme would have a setback .

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      May 22, 2022 4:46 pm

      Measles too

      And Chinese mines

  4. woodburner0 permalink
    May 22, 2022 11:11 am

    Well done, for challenging the cheap amateurish journalism and its trite content! There are several pithy words which should be thrust into the faces of the dogmatists face-toface, and made plain in correspondence.

  5. woodburner0 permalink
    May 22, 2022 11:15 am

    I forgot to mention: In the light of revelations about Justin Rowlatt’s family connections with certain semi-terrorist SIPGs, his credibility is severely dented. He is now referred to in certain (hidden) quarters as “Low Rat”

  6. May 22, 2022 12:01 pm

    good letter but surely much more wide ranging than the recipient could reasonably be expected to respond to?

    I was blown away by this;

    “You state that avoidable deaths through wildfires will increase. I wonder what you really mean by that. You surely know that most of the Australian wildfires and those in the West of the USA were started by arson. Surely you know that the recent wildfires were nowhere near as bad as those in the West of the USA in the 30s and40s and in Australia in the 80s, when I filmed them for the BBC, and in earlier decades.”

    This statement, suitably amplified and focusing on the heart of alarmist claims, surely makes the case much more succinctly and eloquently than a general wide ranging letter?


  7. May 22, 2022 12:10 pm

    Great work Ken – keep sticking it at ’em where it hurts.

  8. Joe Public permalink
    May 22, 2022 1:12 pm

    “Correspondence With BBC”

    Dr Pollock is fortunate to have a line of communication directly with the Director-General of the BBC. And, be graced with a response direct from the Executive Producer, Panorama.

    Mere mortals such as myself have to plough through the BBC’s laborious ‘Complaints procedure’, brace ourselves for the initial ‘rejection’ by a low-level erk, then attempt to persuade a higher-level erk that the BBC’s initial reason for rejection was wrong / illogical / unsupported by facts etc.

    Overcoming those hurdles – often having taken the BBC months to respond – the Beeb then demands escalation up to its Executive Complaints Unit must be within 20 working days.

    I currently have one complaint about BBC factual inaccuracy written by its supposedly “Reality Check Team” still awaiting the BBC’s first formal response after 3 months.

    In fact, a further complaint has been submitted, complaining about its delay in responding.

    • May 22, 2022 1:57 pm

      Well good for you. You have my full 100% support.

      • Joe Public permalink
        May 22, 2022 6:16 pm

        Thanks 👍

    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      May 23, 2022 2:51 am

      Here is another complaint you may wish to pursue and lodge with the BBC’s labyrinthine obfuscating “complaints procedure ‘ Joe Public as it concerns Leo Telling’s misleading statement allegedly quoting the Met Office :

      ” The European heatwave of 2021 , where a record temperature of almost 49C was recorded was almost impossible without climate change according to the Met Office as it was a once in ten thousand year event ”

      On June 23, 1935 ,the temperature registered 127 F [ 52 C ] in Zaragoza Spain. The Loire district of France recorded 122 F in late August 1930 . These thermometer records exceeding 49 C are almost certainly genuine as the intense heat coincides with the spike displayed in the US heatwave index during the 1930’s. The 2021 heatwaves were not even a once in a 100 year event let alone 1500 years . See Tony Heller’s compilation : ” 1500 Years of Heatwaves ‘

  9. Thomas Carr permalink
    May 22, 2022 1:29 pm

    Much credit to Paul for being so patient and hardworking in keeping this issue in front of us. Much credit to Ken Pollock for his persistence in challenging an organisation that has got into the lazy habit of ‘walking on water’ when it comes to the facts.

    I fear that Tim Davie lacks the courage to deal with the matter in the way it deserves.

    Nadine Dorries (?Sp) needs a little more encouragement when it comes to getting the facts right but this issue deserves her attention and that of the Tax Payers’ Alliance.

    • 186no permalink
      May 22, 2022 4:32 pm

      The fact that Davie lacks the courage to deal with the matter – or not, is IMHO 100% irrelevant. He was an attendee at the 2009 conference that decided “the science is settled” vis a vis “climate change” from which came, eventually, the BBC editorial decision to suspend the Reithian tenet of “balance” was officially abandoned. So he is holed below the waterline just like the vast majority of scientifically illiterate BBC so called journalists.

  10. Penda100 permalink
    May 22, 2022 1:31 pm

    Not at all what you would expect from a national broadcaster committed to accuracy and impartiality in its reporting but exactly what you would expect from a propaganda ministry, which is what the BBC has become.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 22, 2022 2:21 pm

      The BBC long ago decided it did not need to be impartial about the settled science. Yet they call themselves especially reporters!

  11. Susan Ewens permalink
    May 22, 2022 1:34 pm

    Can a “death toll” fall?

    Can you undo deaths?

  12. richard permalink
    May 22, 2022 1:51 pm

    The world’s population is increasing a million a week with the biggest increases in the far hotter third world countries. The World Federation of Obesity states that this now a problem in every country in the world.

  13. Mike Jackson permalink
    May 22, 2022 1:53 pm

    I’m afraid the only word that comes to my mind after reading Telling’s patronising response is “bollux”!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 22, 2022 2:27 pm

      Not sure he would know what they are!

  14. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 22, 2022 2:23 pm

    Can you imagine Rowlatt and Telling reporting the ongoing news of the Black Death or the 1918 flu epidemic?

    • Penda100 permalink
      May 22, 2022 6:27 pm

      Yes – it’s all because of Climate Change.

  15. Coeur De Lion permalink
    May 22, 2022 3:07 pm

    As a licence fee payer, I’m worried that at his salary, this Telling chap should be so stupid. Panorama used to be a weekly must-watch programme of great authority, exposing malfeasances in a damning manner. What a shame it has started lying.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      May 23, 2022 9:19 am

      Started some years ago. You may not have noticed. Time to hang Tony BLiar.

  16. Stephen H permalink
    May 22, 2022 3:18 pm

    Excellent work from Dr Pollock. In my opinion the most important aspect of the debate is the following: “many BBC people repeated statistics without understanding them.”
    Unfortunately I don’t have time to look in detail but my observations suggest climate does not follow a Normal distribution making statements such as: ” it was a ‘once in ten thousand year’ event,” highly questionable.
    The closest analogy would be to financial markets where off the top of my head I could name at least half a dozen times since 1986 that we have seen “once in a billion years events”. By comparison, the 49 degree temperatures referred to above are rather unremarkable.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      May 22, 2022 4:38 pm

      At one point the BBC did appoint a statistics guru called Anthony Reuben. I think his degree was PPE, so his expertise in other subjects was limited. His replacement Robert Cuffe, currently on parental leave according to his twitter account, was hired from GSK in 2017, but appears to think his remit only covers news.

    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      May 24, 2022 3:09 am

      The ” once in ten thousand year event ” is not even questionable so much as effortlessly disproven and the BBC’s Leo Telling repeated the canard uncritically . The temperature high registered at Zaragoza Spain June 1935 surpassed 49C and Europe experienced heatwaves far more severe than 2021 during the 11 month 1539 -40 Megadrought , 1921 and probably other years as well .

      Grape harvest date proxies attest that 1540 CE April – July temperatures in France and Switzerland were considerably warmer than the sweltering heat of 2003 . Chroniclers living in northern Italy told of 1540 winters ‘ like ..July ‘ There are hundreds of such accounts documented for the 1539 -1540 event [ See ” The year long unprecedented European heat and drought of 1540 – a worst case ‘, Wetter , Pfister et al , Climatic Change , Vol 125 ,2014 ] Leo Telling could easily have consulted the scientific and historical literature before consenting to and perpetuating such nonsense .For example :

      “Death For Millions in 1921’s Record Heatwave ” , The New York Herald ,Sept. 4 1921

      ” The great heat wave ,which has spread over the world during the present summer has no parallel in history ….Abnormally high temperatures have prevailed in almost all parts of the northern hemisphere and have continued for an unprecedented length of time ”

      Leo Telling’s ‘predicted escalation in the frequency of extreme weather events ‘ is not vindicated by the current – and freely available – data,[ used by the United Nations no less ] that shows an 11 -10% global decrease in climatic and weather disasters

      • Dr Ken Pollock permalink
        May 24, 2022 9:39 am

        Stuart Hamish, very good to read your informative response to Mr Telling. If you read my review on Amazon of Prof Mann’s latest book, The New Climate War, you will see my estimation of his meaning of “unprecedented”, namely, “worse than I have ever heard and I am not going to look up the weather records in case I am proven wrong, which will undermine my preconceived ideas” – or words to that effect!

      • Stuart Hamish permalink
        May 25, 2022 9:51 am

        I posted another response dated May 25 under Philip Mulholland’s comment Ken regarding Leo Telling semantic contortionism and self contradiction Telling’s quibble was that the extreme weather death toll was ” a cumulative figure not an annualized rate”, Yet in the previous sentence he emphasized nothing less than a ‘year on year ‘ annualized rate . Read what he wrote again . You let him off rather lightly . The multiple definitions of the term ‘cumulative ‘ and his choice of words ‘overall’ and ‘rising’ ‘ are crucial to deconstructing Mr. Telling’s sophistry.

  17. Curious George permalink
    May 22, 2022 3:21 pm

    They simply lie as usual. Let them report on the Russian Special Military Operation – remember, there is no war there.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 22, 2022 3:36 pm

      Even more-so…they would not eve mention the documentary ‘2000 Mules’ – which, even mention of the words in the Daily Telegraph comments, to their shame, is censored within minutes.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        May 22, 2022 9:07 pm

        Or the recent testimony pinning the fake Trump Russia scandal firmly on Clinton.

  18. May 22, 2022 4:30 pm

    Woke and insane can and should be used interchangeably … as is the case with virtue signalling and lying.

  19. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 22, 2022 4:39 pm

    It’s telling that Telling is telling porkies.

  20. ThinkingScientist permalink
    May 22, 2022 4:49 pm

    As others have noted:

    “The death toll is indeed rising, with the overall numbers of people losing their lives going up year on year. The death toll is a cumulative figure, not an annualised rate. ”

    Is asinine, stupid, pathetic, idiotic. EVERYTHING counted forward in time on a cumulative basis increases monotonically. WTF do the BBC think they are doing or saying? Are they really so stupid that they cannot see how dumb their statement makes them look? And what is even more incredible is they actually appear to think their statement is a valid defense.

    It just beggars belief. I cannot believe how low the BBC has become.

    Second point is the BBC constantly refers to things yet to happen. As though they are inevitable or true. Why is the BBC not running documentaries about asteroid strikes by 2035, or alien invasions? They are beyond parody. Things that have not happened yet are speculative. If you have to resort to speculation and “things yet to happen” then frankly you are (a) utterly desperate to support your argument and (b) beyond saving intellectually.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      May 22, 2022 4:55 pm

      I should add as a postscript that I previously complained about the BBC reporting the WHO claim of increasing climate deaths over 50 years. I pointed out that the underlying EM-DAT database owners stated clearly that the figure pre-2000 could not be used for the purpose of determining trends. Only the last two decades are valid for that. And the last two decades of data from the database show a decrease.

      The BBC person who replied to me was either too stupid to get the point or obfuscating. Having read the above response from the BBC in this post I think it must be the former.

      The BBC is full of management and programme makers who, quite frankly, make 2 short planks look clever.

      My Cocker Spaniel has more brains than these BBC idiots.

  21. Gamecock permalink
    May 22, 2022 5:41 pm

    The British Broadcasting Ministry of Truth will tell you what the truth is. Since THEY determine truth, no complaint could possibly be valid.

    ‘We are sorry we did not make this clear enough or what the prediction was based on.’

    “It’s not our fault; it’s your fault for not understanding.”

    You will get no contrition from the Ministry of Truth.

    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      May 23, 2022 1:09 am

      Lord Acton’s timeless observation : ” Every villain is followed by a sophist with a sponge

      Leo Teller in this instance is that sponge dabbing sophist and Rowlatt the villain

      • Stuart Hamish permalink
        May 23, 2022 1:11 am

        Correction : Leo Telling

  22. John Hultquist permalink
    May 22, 2022 5:59 pm

    Regarding fires: ” in the West of the USA were started by arson.”

    This is a misconception I’ll try to clear-up.
    Several years ago, an agency group investigated several thousand wildland fires in the western USA. The finding was that 84% of such fires had a human aspect. Some were intentional arson. There are more people living** and recreating in the USA West and invasive plants (The big one is Bromus tectorum, known here as “cheatgrass” — thanks Europe!) are more prone to fire than the native perennial grasses.
    Here are three, of many, examples that I am aware of:
    1. A vineyard owner fired a shotgun to scare birds. The hot wadding started a fire in grass and sage brush;
    2. A person pulling a boat trailer that lost a tire that caused sparks that set grass on fire along a stretch of Interstate 90 in Washington State;
    3. Outside electric wires are supposed to be in conduit and connections in boxes. A fire near Wenatchee, WA [The Tarpiscan Fire] was started when wind broke the connection on “non-code” wiring at a ranch out-building.

    **The Wildland-Urban Interface {WUI} is pronounced Woo-E while fire prevention knowledge is under the heading “FireWise” and “Fire Adapted Communities”.

  23. Dr Ken Pollock permalink
    May 22, 2022 6:38 pm

    It is very gratifying to read so many comments agreeing with my criticism of this Panorama programme. Many further points could be made, but I will confine myself to a couple.
    1. 45 years ago, I joined the BBC to produce and present “Farming Today” on Radio 4. Then it was largely dominated by market prices. Now it follows the BBC trend of believing every fashionable idea about how our society is heading for disaster.
    2. As some will know, and others will not be surprised to learn, the BBC employs 4 environmental correspondents and they cannot muster a single scientific degree among them. So, perhaps we should not be surprised when they talk of “ocean acidification” rather than “marginally less alkaline”. That might also explain why the “statistics” specialist did not have a degree in stats…
    Many thanks for all the compliments!

    • May 22, 2022 7:17 pm

      Dear Ken, We regularly listen to “Farming Today” and my wife and I agree that, as with most BBC programmes, the presenters’ salaries must be linked to the number of times they bring up the climate crisis or the the climate emergency or any other of the crises that they are told to concentrate on, even if it is totally irrelevant to the topic under discussion. “Farming Today”, like “Countryfile” and almost every other programme, are 100% propaganda, with very little in the way of truth or facts or evidence.

      • Dr Ken Pollock permalink
        May 24, 2022 9:45 am

        Phillip, you may be interested to note that I went on to the TV Farming programme and later with colleagues devised the brief for “Countryfile”. Michael Grade accepted it but the BBC did not want me to run it – despite my dreaming up the name! So I moved to Top Gear, (then 30′ on a Thursday) and, with Jon Bentley, took on Tiff Needell, etc. and Jeremy Clarkson. Now, whatever happened to him???

    • May 22, 2022 7:27 pm

      Thanks for your efforts Ken. I could have used a direct contact with the DG during my own complaint saga:

    • catweazle666 permalink
      May 22, 2022 9:16 pm

      Well said!

      In any case, according to my understanding of Henry’s law, if the oceans are in fact warming they will outgas CO2, not absorb it, hence become more alkaline – ie pH will increase, albeit fractionally.

      So you can have warming oceans or acidifying oceans, but not both at the same time.
      In any case, it is highly simplistic to assert that the absorption of CO2 by sea water creates carbonic acid, the reactions are in fact mure complex.

      Solution chemistry of carbon dioxide in sea water

      Click to access chapter2.pdf

      • Stuart Hamish permalink
        May 25, 2022 10:02 am

        Only a fraction of CO2 absorbed by the oceans is converted to carbonic acid …The ocean acidification scare is another rotten plank of the catastrophic global warming edifice

  24. Peter permalink
    May 22, 2022 6:51 pm

    According to the Mail on Sunday, there is going to be a study to find out if the governance and regulation of the BBC is effective. This seems like a good opportunity to raise the one sided BBC campaign to broadcast alarmist propaganda. It would require a good write-up with supportive data and examples. We know the right man for the job….

  25. John Culhane permalink
    May 22, 2022 7:10 pm

    O.T: London bus explosion: Five electric buses go up in a fireball – smoke seen for miles

    • May 22, 2022 7:24 pm

      Yes, but we all know that EVs are clean and green! There will have been no clouds of toxic fumes and no run-off of heavily polluted water.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 22, 2022 7:56 pm

      London buses burning down, burning down, burning down……

  26. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 22, 2022 8:00 pm

    Why does the BBC have separate climate and science categories when 95% of the supposed science stories are climate propaganda?

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      May 22, 2022 10:54 pm

      “Why does the BBC have separate climate and science categories…..,” Because the Guardian does? They are, after all, becoming one and the same thing.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      May 23, 2022 12:27 pm

      Because climate science isn’t?

  27. 2hmp permalink
    May 22, 2022 8:46 pm

    Further evidence,as if it was needed, of deliberate misrepresentation of the facts by the BBC, I hope a copy of Dr.Pollock,s reply was sent to Tim Davie

  28. cookers52 permalink
    May 22, 2022 9:21 pm

    The MP’s ‘s we all voted for were nearly unanimous in voting to declare a climate emergency. It doesn’t matter what the facts are.
    The BBC are just following fashion.

  29. Tim Spence permalink
    May 22, 2022 10:12 pm

    The death toll is a cumulative figure?

    That comment is proof they are just taking the piss

  30. Alastair gray permalink
    May 23, 2022 6:36 am

    Just the sort of articulate challenge that the ministry of truth requires to its mealy mouthed obfuscation . I particularly liked the “cumulative “ lie. Of course any sensible person would assume a death toll to be annual Roll on the scrapping of the licence fee

  31. Sapper2 permalink
    May 23, 2022 7:03 am

    This excellent article and associated excellent comments on it ought be sent to Ms Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, offered as the opening submission to her impending Review of the BBC and OFCOM that has been announced recently. I suggest every reader ought, also, send the link to this article to their own MPs pointing out the ludicrous position Parliament has got into by declaring a ‘climate emergency’ as carbon dioxide has now very limited impact on surface temperatures at its current minuscule concentration, due to saturation of its radiative properties, and that the present loss of much-needed fertilisers needed to continue with the feeding of the world now requires the atmosphere to have a major new injection of carbon dioxide in order to counter that loss – rebuild coal power stations in the west, as being done in the east, or suffer the consequences.

  32. Iggie permalink
    May 23, 2022 7:17 am

    Keeping on eye on the Arctic Ice Extent. Nearly there. Will DMI do it again?

  33. Brian O'Hara permalink
    May 23, 2022 9:47 am

    On a slightly different tack, I complained to my MP – again – about the futility of their Green Energy policy, which was forwarded to the Energy Secretary and received a reply. The letter was signed by the said gentleman and the following is the last paragraph:

    “A gradual decline in oil and gas production does not mean a decline for the UK’s
    offshore industries. The North Sea will still be a foundation of the UK’s energy
    security in decades to come, although focussed on an increasingly wide range of
    new low-carbon energy technologies including carbon capture usage and storage,
    offshore wind and hydrogen production”.

    If the energy Secretary is so deluded is it any wonder that BBC journalists feel they don’t need to apply ‘due diligence’ before releasing their ‘copy’.

  34. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 23, 2022 10:20 am

    All you have to do on this site is type ‘Major Complaint 2016’ into Paul’s search box and upcomes the huge amalgam of BBC climate dishonesties that incredibly failed to sink Harrabin and his crowd of liars in 2016. Response to complaints is described as a mixture of ignorance, superficial sophistry and disdain. Nothing has changed

  35. EyeSee permalink
    May 23, 2022 11:52 am

    Not being scientifically rooted, climate change cannot survive debate. Hence it being settled and debate banned.

  36. May 23, 2022 7:38 pm

    This has today appeared on Aunty’s “Corrections and Clarifications” page:

    Presumably, the Beeb will in future introduce advocates of climate change and Net Zero as

    “Unquestioningly accepting climate change prophesies and ignoring the total costs of policies to tackle it.”

  37. BLACK PEARL permalink
    May 23, 2022 9:34 pm

    Would be nice to see this on GB News.
    Anyone got any contacts there ?

  38. Phoenix44 permalink
    May 24, 2022 10:25 am

    The Met Office is clearly lying too – it cannot be true that the heatwave in Europe was “nearly impossible” without climate change. The statement makes no sense. It’s either possible or impossible as a natural event. They are actually saying it is possible. Nor does the “once every 10,000 years” make sense. They cannot possibly know that. The obvious truth from their claim is that it could be natural but such natural heatwaves happen rarely. That is nothing like what they say nor how the BBC report it. Rare is not the same as “nearly impossible”. It is lying.

  39. Wendell Fortescue permalink
    May 25, 2022 11:42 am

    That’s very Telling. Thanks


  1. “Deaths Have Increased Cumulatively”: BBC Producer’s “Asinine” Defence of False Extreme Weather Claim – David Icke
  2. “Deaths Have Increased Cumulatively”: BBC Producer’s “Asinine” Defence of False Extreme Weather Claim - All View News

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