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BBC Refuse To Correct Blatantly False Hurricane Claims

February 9, 2023

By Paul Homewood

The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit have now responded to my complaint about their fake “Reality Check”, which claimed that “there’s evidence hurricanes are getting more powerful”. Unsurprisingly they have rejected my complaint, without ever actually addressing the facts I presented.

I won’t go into all of the graphs and documentation that In based my complaint on – you can read them here. But I will show this one, which summarises all major hurricanes world wide. There is no evidence whatsoever to substantiate the BBC’s claim:


NOAA confirm that they can find no trend in Atlantic major hurricanes:


And even the IPCC can find no evidence of long term trends in “intensity-based metrics”





It really should be an open and shut case – the BBC were wrong.

The ECU’s response dismissing my complaint mainly consists of “projections” and “computer models”, neither of which are evidence of anything. They also refer to IPCC claims that rapid intensification events have become more frequent. Whether this is true or not, the issue is irrelevant, if the frequency/ratio of major hurricanes has not increased.

The only actual data they were able to provide to back up their claim was a 2016 study of typhoons in the Western Pacific, which according to the BBC said:

“over the past 37 years, typhoons that strike East and Southeast Asia have intensified by 12–15%, with the proportion of storms of categories 4 and 5 having doubled or even tripled”.

Which is all well and good, except the data record back to 1951 shows a marked dip in super typhoons in the 1970s and 80s, but no long term trend:



In any event, given that the global frequency of major hurricanes has not increased since 1980, this increase in typhoon activity must be matched by reduced activity elsewhere.

Even the IPCC did not find it worth mentioning that paper, instead merely highlighting “substantial inter-decadal variations in the Western Pacific”:



The ECU finishes by saying:


Except that my complaint was not about what “scientists predicted”, it was the claim that “there is evidence that hurricanes are getting more powerful! They have not addressed this at all.


Running out of names

I also complained about the statement in the Reality Check that “the hurricane season has been so busy, they’ve used up the list [of names] and had to start again”

I pointed out that the reason why more names are needed nowadays is the fact that we can observe many storms with the help of satellites, which we could not do in the past, along with the fact that many extra-tropical storms are now named, which did not use to be the practice. It has nothing to do with more hurricanes becoming more frequent.

The ECU did not even bother to address these issues, and doubled down by pointing out that “the number of named storms had risen in the last 50 years”


Apparently viewers would not have been misled by the misinformation, despite the fact that most will now be convinced that hurricanes are becoming more frequent, when they are not!

The handling of this complaint sums up in a nutshell everything that is corrupt about the BBC’s complaints procedures. The whole system is crooked, and will continue to be until it is put in the hands of a genuinely independent body.

  1. sensescaper permalink
    February 9, 2023 5:14 pm

    I’m beginning to think we should hook this site up with ‘Together’ movement (Alan Miller). I suggested a while back Alan & Howard Cox from Fair Fuel should hook up – and they recently have. Good stuff like this needs taking now to a new level of awareness – and the BBC’s scandalous propaganda needs reining in hard (and some head should roll there too).
    I think we’ve all had enough of ‘data gathering’ and complaining. It’s CLEARLY NOT ENOUGH?

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      February 9, 2023 5:42 pm

      Paul has to be admired for his stamina. Certainly the platform used to challenge the conceit of the BBC needs enlarging. The trouble is that , somewhat like the NHS, the BBC has been used to being untouchable — like a cult, I suppose. One wonders what sort of intellects are the guiding force of the BBC , rigorous or otherwise. Certainly the DG has fallen way behind his opening statements about how matters would be conducted once in post.

      • February 9, 2023 7:17 pm

        He was an attendee at The BBC internally organised conference that decided no balance should be provided where, eg, the “science is settled”….2009?

      • sensescaper permalink
        February 9, 2023 8:08 pm

        There is probably a wee bit too much here in my past to type – but I’ll try and condense. I’ve engaged with (and worked alongside) the BBC briefly in a previous career. I’ve also read around a fair bit of the history of the organisation – largely in an effort to attempt to understand it better. The BBC has always been a little ‘elitist’ overall. It got away with that for decades as the content was considerably less biased than now – and the rather lofty ‘impartiality’ in many quarters gave it standing (not only in UK but across the world). It’s hard to be precise when the rot really started to set in? The rising tide of leftie intellectuals from Oxbridge drizzled in off the back of Sir Hugh Greene setting up BBC2- and then the ‘style’ of the BBC changed a lot under John Birt. Birt (to be fair), did a good thing by outsourcing program making. That meant a lot of good creative talent was freed up to make better financed ‘stuff’, but operationally – management became rather more ‘power focussed’ and ‘self styled’. Once you do that – it becomes very much less of a public service and very much more of a career/empire building corporation. The most palable example I always think was the Jimmy Saville scandal breaking outside of the BBC. The (then) DG was George Entwhistle – who instead of facing scrutiny on an unprecedented level – was given (if my memory serves me correctly) £4ook+ ‘Golden Goodbye’ for ending his contract early – and then landed a super top-job in the media in N.Y.C shortly afterwards. I’ve always wondered if that was because he was a real hot-shot, or he was a ‘safe pair of hands’ keeping the lid on what needed a lid keeping on? I don’t know – I guess we’ll never know? Wind forward to now – and the BBC’s opacity is worse than it’s ever been. It’s content and presentation style is both woke and irritatingly biased and seems to alternate between condescention & breath-taking dismissiveness. It’s very sad. In years gone by – I loved BBC Radio and television – and was more than happy to play my microbic part in dragging them into the 21stC digital landscape. Now however – I find myself increasingly paying the licence fee through grinding, clenched teeth and typing the hashtag #DefundtheBBC rather more often than social media than I ever expected I would have to!

      • February 10, 2023 11:37 am

        You can share your BBC scrutiny here

      • Dave Gardner permalink
        February 10, 2023 1:40 pm

        In reply to sensescaper, the former BBC head John Birt is regarded by former BBC reporter Robin Aitken as being the key person responsible for ‘the rot setting in’ in connection with the decline of the BBC’s ability to be impartial.

        Extract from the blog post:

        A former BBC man himself, he describes how the BBC used to have two distinct divisions: BBC News and BBC Current Affairs.

        BBC News reporters of his vintage, he says, had “something of a cult of impartiality”. For them, “news was something strictly defined”.

        When colleagues wrote a news bulletin piece it was all fact, no comment. Even adjectives were suspect. It was very much a matter of reporting who, what, where, when. We left the task of explaining the why to the current affairs people. This probably made for rather dull news bulletins”, he concedes, because “none of the sexy speculative stuff was included in our pieces. However they were factual and reliable.

        So what went wrong? Well, enter The Lord Birt (then plain John Birt). He combined BBC News and BBC Current Affairs into BBC News and Current Affairs and the distinction between, say, News at Six and Newsnight got blurred. That’s when “the rot set in”, according to Robin:

        Before we knew it the age of the inhouse pundit had arrived. BBC news bulletins today have become part news and part comment, and impartial commentary is almost a contradiction in terms. A comment always expresses an opinion. This wouldn’t matter much in their was an equal balance of opinions within the corporation, if there was one Eurosceptic reporter for every pro-European, but alas it is not so.

  2. robertliddell1 permalink
    February 9, 2023 5:20 pm

    We only started naming storms a few years ago. I remember thinking at the time that doing so would just increase the number of apparently windy days
    Well done for sticking with all this, Paul.

  3. February 9, 2023 5:28 pm

    Hell will freeze over before climate propaganda people give up their childish exaggerations.

    • February 9, 2023 7:20 pm

      It is a “religious” fervour that infests these people such their capacity to think is destroyed ; Hell freezing over will suit these idiots admirably, as an inevitable “destiny” (with respect to those of a faith, no offence intended).

      • Gamecock permalink
        February 9, 2023 7:51 pm

        “Hell freezing over is consistent with global warming.”

  4. Broadlands permalink
    February 9, 2023 5:29 pm

    Of course, it doesn’t matter because everyone has been told and now knows and accepts as “settled science” that man-made CO2 is the cause of extreme weather, hot or cold, wet or dry. So don’t argue with the consensus. Lower your emissions ASAP. Problem solved.

  5. Peter permalink
    February 9, 2023 6:02 pm

    Is the ECU the end of the process? Does Ofcom have a role here if all process within the BBC has been exhausted, particularly when you are unhappy with the handling of that process.

    Ofcom may not wish to deal with the subject of the complaint but it is difficult to see how they can ignore a complaint about procedure.

    Having said all that, it seems clear that Ofcom approves of the BBC 100% bias on climate change, banning of challenge, discussion and debate and the fact that it is in conflict with the obligations of the Charter.

    • February 9, 2023 6:40 pm

      OFCOM do not have any obligation to get involved, but you may be right about “procedure”

      I’ll contact them tomorrow

    • February 9, 2023 7:24 pm

      Paul is fortunate to get the ECU to respond; I have evidence that The BBC Complaints merry go round do not always abide by their “rools” and provide a link to the ECU at the end of the initial stage. I am still waiting for that to be addressed , over a year ago it “started”. ECU contacts link is buried within The BBC website, as you might guess, or was when I got angry enough to check.
      “Defund BBC”

    • February 10, 2023 11:41 am

      Ofcom and The Advertising Standards Agency are all controlled by the same woke-supremacist gang

      Generally the BBC try to fob you off.
      The way we got a very quick apology after they used the photoshopped turtle a second time in a year. was an exception.

  6. Ben Vorlich permalink
    February 9, 2023 6:07 pm

    The BBC is NEVER EVER wrong.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 9, 2023 6:56 pm

      An old friend used to say: ‘I’m seldom right, but never wrong’: BBC seem to have corrupted even this.

    • Curious George permalink
      February 10, 2023 12:05 am

      They live on a guaranteed income.

  7. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    February 9, 2023 6:11 pm

    Thank you, Mr Homewood, for all your efforts. Keep it up. I remember, when they started naming storms in the UK, making what I thought was a joke, about how the BBC and the Met Office might use this as a means of propaganda – ‘more named storms, help, crisis’. I really did think at the time that it was such a comedy that nobody would ever try it. And now they have done. It is beyond parody, and the whole thing has now become genuinely sinister.

    I also agree with sensecaper (above) that we need to find a more muscular format for making complaints of this kind. The BBC has become so shameless that only the most public of complaints has any chance of making a difference. I don’t know what the ‘Together’ movement is, but I will look it up.

    I have just been listening to Jordan Peterson talking to Judith Curry, on his blog. I wonder if we could find a way of getting Peterson to put the BBC on the block, somehow? I think he would enjoy that. How does Paul fancy becoming an internet blog star?

    Any suggestions as to how we might, together, make some sort of difference, would be gratefully received. I contribute my pensioner’s mite to the GWPF, but I am beginning to think that it is time we started gluing ourselves to senior BBC executives.

    • dennisambler permalink
      February 9, 2023 11:24 pm

      It was always obvious that storm naming had exactly a propaganda purpose and so it has proved.

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      February 10, 2023 12:13 pm

      Malcolm C.
      Regarding “a more muscular format” in yours above I suggest that you make that copies of any protests are sent to
      The Tax Payers Alliance at 55, Tufton Street, SW1P 3QL

      • Malcolm Chapman permalink
        February 10, 2023 6:29 pm

        Thanks. I will.

  8. Cheshire Red permalink
    February 9, 2023 6:29 pm

    Two articles in one day where the BBC grossly mislead readers on both occasions. Where’s the Regulator when you need them?

    • February 9, 2023 10:35 pm

      Harrassing people who point out the extremist climate and related propaganda supported by the Rockefeller scions because its “anti semitic”. I really hope the representatives of the Jewish diaspora in the UK reject this position as strongly as possible. Its like saying that to suggest a Jewish serial killer, whose race was never a factor in the news to date, is a bad person os an anti semitic action. The BBC has completely lost any logical or fact based reasoning in their reporting.

  9. Cheshire Red permalink
    February 9, 2023 6:37 pm

    While it’s Bash BBC Day I have an ongoing issue with them.

    I used to have a voluntary account which enabled me to comment on their articles. This account has now lapsed (due to an old email address I suspect).

    The problem is they’re now locking me out of all BBC website access, if I go via the ‘home’ tab, iplayer or similar. It all defaults back to a log-in page.

    Given that access to BBC websites and radio is free of charge this lock-out seems rather strange. Naturally there doesn’t appear to be a contact page that allows me to contact them over this specific issue.

    Anyone else had this?

    • February 10, 2023 12:56 pm

      The BBC website is free
      but Iplayer isn’t you need an account
      so simply create one
      If you want to look at the website open it in an incognito window

  10. markl permalink
    February 9, 2023 6:50 pm

    One of the tenets of propaganda is to repeat lies over and over until the populace believes them. Facts are irrelevant when it come to supporting the “narrative”.

    • Nigel Sherratt permalink
      February 10, 2023 5:54 am

      “Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

      ― Theodore Dalrymple

    • Iain Reid permalink
      February 10, 2023 7:31 am

      such as renewable generation is cheap!

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 9, 2023 6:52 pm

    It’s not the BBC Complaints procedure that is corrupt, it is the whole BBC ethos.
    The simplistic claim that there have been more named storms is facile: previous storms were not named!

    Well done Paul!

  12. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 9, 2023 7:24 pm

    So the evidence there’s more and they are getting more powerful is that they will in the future – according to forecasts.

    Extraordinary stuff.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 9, 2023 8:06 pm

      Yes. It’s noticeable that they use that weasel word: ‘expected’. So, it’s just a guess, really. And on that ‘guess’, the whole of Western civilisation is to be sacrificed.
      BBC, hear this: Fighting for your life, buried in the remains of a ten-storey building is ‘catastrophic’: not worrying about a ‘possible’ ONE deg C increase in temp.

  13. Gamecock permalink
    February 9, 2023 7:58 pm

    “there’s evidence hurricanes are getting more powerful”

    Even if true (it’s not), that’s just half of it. They must explain how climate change (sic) is causing it. What is the mechanism?

    They just say more, cos climate change. An absurd and useless assertion.

  14. Epping Blogger permalink
    February 9, 2023 8:05 pm

    As frustrating as it is, do not discount the possibility taht the BBC view, and others’, is based on ignorance. Ignorance of such a profound nature they do not actually understand the complaints.

  15. John Hultquist permalink
    February 10, 2023 4:16 am

    Betteridge’s law of headlines: Headlines written as questions can always be answered with “no.”'s_law_of_headlines

    Modern version:
    97% of the time, a headline written as a question can be answered with “no.”

  16. Bob Harding permalink
    February 10, 2023 9:06 am

    Yes typical BBC and other commentators. Projections are always accompanied by the operative word “will” instead of “may”. That and dodgy start dates make a nonsense of some forecasts.

  17. February 10, 2023 11:33 am

    BBC did back down to Paul in 2018 about a similar 2017 story
    Twitter screenshot. I didn’t [ost it inline, cos maybe it’s too big

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      February 10, 2023 12:00 pm

      Belatedly , for stewgreen:
      Thank goodness you are helping with the heavy lifting.

  18. C Lynch permalink
    February 10, 2023 11:45 am

    It’s very important that you persist with this Paul.
    Someday soon when this entire alarmist CAGW fraud is fully exposed it will be essential that there is a record of your many objections and dissent to skewer disgraceful enablers like the BBC.

  19. February 10, 2023 1:27 pm

    That BBC story on the 27th Sept came in middle of a flurry of 40 Hurricane tweets from @BBCworld in the 2 weeks from Sept 20th
    covering Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian
    promo tweet :

  20. February 10, 2023 2:06 pm

    And now in Germany ZDF is in the process of creating a state propaganda forum that includes the state media of Belgium. Switzerland and Adolf Trudeau’s Canada. Old habits die hard it seems.

  21. peter permalink
    February 10, 2023 5:09 pm

    The BBC has abandoned all pretence of journalistic integrity. Several times in the year leading up to the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, I complained to them about using the phrase “extreme weather”. The last time was immediately before the meeting. I got the usual reluctant reply, something along the lines that they “could have used better wording”, whatever that meant. It was as close to admitting the complaint as I was going to get.

    At the meeting, Antonio Guterres, UN secretary General, was as alarmist as possible, particularly about extreme weather. Following his lead, the BBC underwent a step change in alarmist rhetoric. I was monitoring all of that closely and the change was obvious. They obviously used the logic that if the UN could say ridiculous things and get away with it, then so could be BBC.

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 11, 2023 11:42 am

      “journalistic integrity”

      A mythical trait. An oxymoron.

  22. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 10, 2023 9:00 pm

    Did you mean to repeat the Cat3 chart (it runs from 1980 to 2022 and then repeats that)? It does illustrate that there is no apparent discontinuity in doing so.

  23. Indur Goklany permalink
    February 11, 2023 12:05 pm

    In both scientific lexicon and ordinary parlance there is a clear difference between “observed” and “expected”. I have no idea about the British legal system, nor am I a lawyer, but can the BBC, ostensibly an organization devoted to disseminating unbiased news, be sued for spreading misinformation knowingly? Or could a group of you band together and sue it for charging a license fee for knowingly telling whoppers?

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