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Complaint To BBC Over Happisburgh Report

January 4, 2023

By Paul Homewood




I have now formally complained to the BBC about this article.

Here is my complaint:


The report states”But punishing weather conditions linked to climate change have eroded so much of the village’s soft sandy rock that her house is now the last one before the cliff edge. “

In fact coastal erosion has been taking place in Happisburgh for thousands of years. There are well established historical links for this fact, for instance:

The British Geological Study in their 2006 study on Happisburgh erosion states:

It is likely that the Norfolk cliffs have been eroding at the present rate for about the last 5000 years”

The recent increase in erosion is due to fact that sea defences built in the 1950s, which worked well, have lately fallen into disrepair.

Your claim of “punishing weather conditions” also does not stand up to scrutiny. The Met Office have recently said that “There’s no evidence of a trend in storminess because of climate change [in the UK]”:

And the Met Office’s own charts clearly show that the frequency and intensity of storms in the UK has actually declined since the 1990S:

Sea levels on the East Coast have been rising at a steady rate since the mid 19thC. There is no evidence of recent acceleration.

About half of the sea level rise along the Norfolk coast, about 1mm a year, is caused by the land sinking, something which has been occurring since the Ice Age:

Nowhere in the article is there any mention whatsoever of any of the above facts.

Consequently readers will have been badly misinformed, and led into thinking that coastal erosion is all due to modern, man-made global warming.

  1. Martin Brumby permalink
    January 4, 2023 12:00 pm

    Excellent work, Paul.

    You will be right to anticipate the usual, nay, invariable BBC rebuttal.

    It is tempting to start an e- petition to call for an enquiry into blatant BBC agit-prop.

    But it used to be said that ‘petitions were what politicians use to light their pipes’ (back when tens of thousands of signatures on sheets of foolscap were delivered to HMG).

    Today e-petitions get even more unkind treatment – handed up to the lackeys and dead brains of the parliament’s petitions committee.

  2. Bill Hayter permalink
    January 4, 2023 12:00 pm

    I thought as the weight of the ice melted after the last ice age, the land rose

    • January 4, 2023 12:29 pm

      That’s right Bill

      The glaciers covered northern Britain, so that part has risen. But the south never had any glaciers, so it is a see-sea effect – as the north rose, the south sunk

      • Thomas Carr permalink
        January 4, 2023 1:07 pm

        Not quite regarding extent of glaciation.. The Cromer ridge is partly composed of an interstitial moraine.

      • Stuart Hamish permalink
        January 4, 2023 10:23 pm

        Isostatic subduction and uplift Bill ……. Congratulations on the eloquent trenchant complaint Paul ..Expect the usual fobbing obfuscation

    • W Flood permalink
      January 4, 2023 3:44 pm

      The ice was thicker in the North so there is tilting. Ben Nevis gets a tiny bit higher every year. Means there are more Munros to bag with each decade!

      • January 4, 2023 3:53 pm

        And the Moon gets further and further away (someone said 3.8cm/yr) Smaller Tides??? The worries never cease.

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    January 4, 2023 12:28 pm

    Well done! A very well researched and documented rebuttal. I’m impressed how you find time for such good work but glad you do.
    Thank you, and Happy New Year!

  4. Philip Mulholland permalink
    January 4, 2023 12:32 pm

    Defund the BBC.
    It is long overdue.

  5. alastairgray29yahoocom permalink
    January 4, 2023 1:07 pm

    You will get a smug and condescendimg “Scientists say .blah blah blah ” torrent of drivel from a Harrabin ,Rowlatt or one of their little gnome-clones. Heaven forbid that they will give you any sense or logic and dont ytou think you are a bitout of order to question the mighty Beeb

  6. January 4, 2023 1:09 pm

    Paul, you are very respected around my parts. The complaint is almost impossible to refute. What excuse will the BBC come up with now i wonder.

    • HotScot permalink
      January 4, 2023 2:58 pm

      Oooo Errr Missus…..

      I’m not sure we want to hear about your parts……🤣

    • Vernon E permalink
      January 5, 2023 11:38 am

      Great research Paul. Nick o : the Beeb will use their usual excuse that they are not responsible for the accuracy of reports based on what other people have written.

  7. Thomas Carr permalink
    January 4, 2023 1:18 pm

    Paul, while your complaint to the BBC is compelling and might be appreciated by North Norfolk District Council who might otherwise feel beleaguered by the BBC it may not get much traction if copied to the leader of the Council and the Chief Executive as the Council have declared a Climate Emergency.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 4, 2023 2:39 pm

      Yes. I bet they gave declared a CE! What better way to get their hands on some of the barrow-loads of money being doled out as bribes from those who need CC as a means to their political ends.
      I just want to live long enough to see the tumbrils carry off these parasites.

  8. Tim Spence permalink
    January 4, 2023 1:20 pm

    One of the most annoying things in these cases is that the coastal defences are neglected to enhance the narrative, rivers are not dredged purely to invite more ‘climate driven’ flooding. Then to top it off, the BBC enhance the story some more.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 4, 2023 2:45 pm

      Tim, I speak as one who has a small river cum stream running through his back garden. Over 40 years the silt buildup has lifted the riverbed about 3 feet. But guess what the EA is spending hundreds of thousands on? A ruddy fish escalator in a weir downstream that the fish have managed quite well without for 40+ years. It’s only taken two years so far!!

  9. Thomas Carr permalink
    January 4, 2023 1:35 pm

    See second story in today’s Eastern Daily Press summary posting about North Norfolk District Council’s willingness to buy houses threatened by coastal erosion.

  10. mjr permalink
    January 4, 2023 1:38 pm

    not just the BBC .. Last night C4 showed “2022 – the year from space”. Quite interesting and good satellite visuals. But full of the same inaccuracies as in the BBC playbook relating to Ukraine, Climate and its effects (floods hurricanes, heat, fires etc etc)

  11. January 4, 2023 1:48 pm

    This is what happens when “Communist lookalikes” get hold of the information machinery. A subtle and, NOT so subtle, combination of misinformation and coercion.
    An organisation which recruits from the Gruiniad and has it as it’s free “In-House” Paper; winds up as: —- a BBC. Not surprising really, when it comes to matters of the Climate.

  12. MR PETER SEWARDS permalink
    January 4, 2023 2:15 pm

    A well written complaint, well done Paul. We should expect better from the “national broadcaster” though. the sooner it is defunded the better.

  13. January 4, 2023 2:30 pm

    Paul I am with you until this line
    “Sea levels on the East Coast have been rising at a steady rate since the mid 19thC. There is no evidence of recent acceleration.”
    It is true, but bystanders can be drawn into thinking that sea level rise is the big driver of coastal erosion.
    I don’t think it is, rather the cliffs are soft rock that is pounded by the weather and the sea at one side, and water draining through it from the land side
    If sea level rise was zero the cliffs would still erode

    Also not sure about the numbers
    1mm/year = 1cm per decade = 1m per 1,000 years. = 10m per ten thousand years
    But geological time can be very long
    “The last glacial period the Late Devensian glaciation, began about 33,000 years and peaked 22,000 years ago”

    • Max Beran permalink
      January 4, 2023 6:00 pm

      The point as made doesn’t quite nail it as it needs an additional phrase to say, “which is what one would expect if the increased greenhouse effect was a factor”.

      • January 4, 2023 10:01 pm

        typo ? “..t if the increased greenhouse effect was NOT a factor” ?

      • Max Beran permalink
        January 5, 2023 1:59 am

        There is no evidence of a recent acceleration such as would be expected if the greenhouse effect was a factor.

  14. David A permalink
    January 4, 2023 2:33 pm

    The Brainwashing Corporation was at it again this morning on 5Live with Munchetty trying her best to convince us the last few days of milder weather in Europe was due to climate change and that we should all be panicking. The messages of the last few weeks telling us that Germany was suffering minus plenty C and how to keep ourselves warm in the freezing weather were completely out of mind.
    Sadly, as far as the weather and climate goes it is increasingly a case of “is that true or did you hear it on the BBC?”

    • Vernon E permalink
      January 5, 2023 11:48 am

      Any mention of Germany is a bit irrelevant after watching GB News footage of the civil war in major German cities (with young immigrant men boasting “we come from war zones – this is how we live”. No mention on the BeeB though or
      other MSM. Won’t be long before its here.

  15. Mark permalink
    January 4, 2023 5:13 pm

    Well done!

  16. Mark Hodgson permalink
    January 4, 2023 7:19 pm

    Keep up the good work, Paul – I admire your determination.

    No doubt the first response will be an arrogant dismissal, failing to deal with the issues you raise.

  17. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 4, 2023 7:52 pm

    Radio 4 is running a new climate series called Rethink Climate this week. It is the usual self-righteous drivel that would not stand any real analysis. However, I looked at the search part of BBC sounds, there are about 6 climate programmes listed: each one by a well known activist ….. BALANCE?

    • jazznick permalink
      January 4, 2023 9:09 pm


      The BBC no longer does “balance” when it comes to CC following the notorious decision taken at the 28Gate meeting at the BBC in 2006 led by Harrabin.
      (Almost £23,000 of licence payer’s money was spent trying to legally fight the release of the names of the 28 attendees. Eventually they leaked out via. the wayback machine !
      None of those names carried any scientific ‘clout’ at all, as they were mainly activists and BBC producers all agreeing with each other)

      It was at this meeting that it was decided to exclude skeptics from the airwaves;
      so the unchallenged message/propaganda could be put on permanent one-way ‘megaphone’ setting.

      As it regards the issue now as a ‘settled’ situation beyond debate it merely comments on CC’s progression based on whatever bit of ‘information’ it feels it can get away with using, or omitting, or enhancing, or creating, or ignoring.

      Kudos to Paul for continuing to rattle their cages.

      • January 4, 2023 11:37 pm

        How can one get the list of the 28gate attendees, who think they OWN Climate Science?
        Is it not time to make these people feel very UNSETTLED?
        I doubt the BBC will ever recover its reputation after this on going period of trashing it with misinformation and Lies.

      • January 5, 2023 11:17 am

        I thought that the BBC burnt through £230,000 of licence payers money in fighting 28Gate. The irony was that somebody had already posted up all the attendees on the internet anyway.

      • jazznick permalink
        January 5, 2023 11:25 am


        This was from ‘The Register’ Jan 2013.

        In response to two further FOI requests, the Corporation has now disclosed that the cost of hiring external help for the one-and-a-half day Information Tribunal hearing last October came to £22,746 including VAT. This breaks down to Kate Gallafent, of Blackstone Chambers who cost £13,875 (plus VAT) and Jonathan Scherbel-Ball, of One Brick Court who cost a paltry £4,780 (plus VAT).

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        January 5, 2023 12:38 pm

        In reply to Cognog2 here is your list.

      • January 5, 2023 10:04 pm

        Many thanks Ray; but you have me puzzled as I thought the actual decision was “In House” with only 28 participants. Can you put me to rights there?

  18. dodgy geezer permalink
    January 5, 2023 8:05 am

    There is no point in complaining. All that happens is that the BBC doubles down and lies even more.

  19. Gamecock permalink
    January 5, 2023 11:16 am

    Personal aside:

    Looking up Happisburgh on Google Earth, I noticed it close to Rackheath. 12 miles, as measured with “ruler” feature. My father was a B-24 pilot, stationed at Rackheath in 1945. I have no doubt he would have visited Happisburgh Beach.

    GE shows extreme coastal erosion at Happisburgh from 1999-2021. On the order of 370′. Don’t know what that is in the standard British units of “football pitches.”

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      January 5, 2023 1:06 pm

      Now then Gamecock, here’s a weird coincidence, your post prompted me to go to google earth pro and look up historic issues of coastal erosion and deposition in my neck of the woods – Kent, England.
      I input in where I once worked (a certain nuclear power station) and GE took me all the way to….a restaurant selling Dungeness Crab in South Carolina. Cue Twilight Zone music.

      • Gamecock permalink
        January 5, 2023 2:28 pm

        The Dungeness isn’t even native. Perhaps someone from the Pacific NW is reading this and will get weirded out.

  20. January 5, 2023 7:53 pm

    Geological evidence has no weight in emotional-ideological battles. I’m a geologist living in Calgary. I’ve personally seen the results of the MWP retreat of glaciers and the LIA return of glaciers. Even the catastrophic meltwater release of the Younger Dryas in Calgary and through Washington State. Incontrovertible evidence of serious climate changes of the last few hundred years ago to 12,800 years. Tree stumps coming out from mekting stagnant ice (misleadingly called “glaciers”). And yet nothing I point out breaches the bubble of a climate alarmist.

    It’s not that they are dumb or unaware of geological evidence, it’s just that such “evidence” has no persuasive reality. It’s always “Sure, here or there, but in the bigger picture [places I’ve never been] it’s different.”

    To an alarmist, the narrative overwhelms contradictory evidence. They would be the scary jurors who convict you of stabbing someone to death because you own a knife despite the victim being full of bullet holes.

  21. Climate Heretic permalink
    January 6, 2023 4:14 am

    Paul Homewood, you should include the following link as further evidence of sea levels changing over the millennium in your complaint to the BBC.

    I’m repeating my post mentioned in the next thread.

    “The sea comes in and the seas goes out. Give me a break. There is nothing man can do about it, except adapt to the situation at the time.[1]”

    Climate Heretic

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