On Climate Change The BBC Is Once, Twice, Eight Times A Liar

Written by Paul Homewood

They say once is an accident, twice is a conspiracy. I wonder what eight times is?

Following my complaint to the BBC about its news report claiming that African penguin populations were declining because of climate change, the BBC has now formally upheld the complaint, and logged it on the Complaints website:

bbc complaints site

This is the eighth climate-related complaint I have been involved with which has been upheld against the BBC in the last two years. There may, of course, be others that I am not aware of.

In March 2017, the World at One made the ridiculous claim that sea levels at Miami were rising at ten times the global mean. The BBC was subsequently forced to admit that sea levels there showed ‘little divergence from the global mean’.

In October 2017, the BBC broadcast an episode of Russia with Simon Reeve which linked the deaths of ‘tens of thousands of reindeer’ to climate change. After a complaint was submitted, the BBC accepted that reindeer populations were, in fact, stable or increasing.

bbc reindeer games

In December 2017, a supposedly factual article appeared on BBC News online, headlined ‘Is climate change making hurricanes worse?’

Written by Chris Fawkes, the BBC meteorologist, it categorically stated: ‘A warmer world is bringing us a greater number of hurricanes and a greater risk of a hurricane becoming the most powerful category 5.’

The actual data shows this is simply not true, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) themselves have made perfectly clear. Eventually, the BBC printed a correction that their claim was based on ‘modelling and not historical data’.

In May 2018, Roger Harrabin wrote an article on the report of the Environmental Audit Committee which criticized the government’s clean energy policies.

Harrabin claimed that investment in clean energy had slumped following a fusillade of policy changes, including a ‘ban on new onshore wind farms’. There has been no such ban, only the removal of subsidies.

The BBC Executive Complaints Unit accepted that the article was materially misleading and that there had been a serious lapse of editorial standards.

In June 2018, John Humphrys interviewed Lord Deben, the former John Selwyn Gummer, allowing him to get away unchallenged with wildly inaccurate claims about wind power.

In particular, Deben stated that ‘even where a community wants to have an onshore wind farm, it can’t have it’.

In fact, there is no such ban, and the Government has actually devolved the decision to approve onshore wind turbines to local councils.

As a result, the BBC Executive Complaints Unit found that Deben should have been challenged on this point to ensure listeners were not left with a materially misleading impression.

December 2018 saw an episode of the BBC Weather World programme, which was little more than a free puff for onshore wind farms.

At one stage, the presenter casually commented that ‘already about 30 percent of the UK’s power is produced by wind energy’. The actual figure is 15 percent.

Following a complaint, the BBC accepted their claim was wrong, and have now withdrawn that segment of the programme from their website.

In February 2019, Roger Harrabin covered the newly published report from the Institute for Public Policy Research, ‘Facing up to the age of environmental breakdown’.

Czechia floods

Central to the IPPR’s case was this statement: ‘Since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold.’ [‘Since 2005’ was subsequently amended to ‘since 1950’.]

Harrabin made absolutely no attempt to challenge or query this statement, or some of the other contentious claims in the IPPR report, despite the fact that it was patently absurd. Instead, his article was effectively just a cheerleading exercise.

The IPPR claim is in reality totally fake, as they misinterpreted the International Disasters Database used for their analysis.

As the organization that maintains the database makes totally clear, many disasters occurred in past decades but were never officially recorded in the database, purely because of better methods of reporting nowadays.

After considerable controversy, the IPPR made substantial changes to that section of their report, accepting that the original claims were false. The BBC then withdrew the fake claims and issued a correction.

African penguins

Finally, we come to the story about the decline of African penguins, which was broadcast on the BBC News Channel last October. Introducing a video report from South Africa, the presenter baldly stated:

‘The next report is about the African penguin population and how it’s rapidly declining. Conservationists are saying their habitat is being hit by rising tides caused by climate change. And it’s interesting that since that report by the UN last week on climate change, so many different organizations have been coming forward to emphasize the importance it has on their work.’

Amazingly the video which followed made no mention of climate change or rising tides at all. Zilch! Nada! Instead, the local ranger, who was interviewed, categorically blamed the decline on overfishing.

This is actually very well understood by experts, such as those from the Organisation for the Conservation of Penguins.

Despite the efforts of the BBC to fob off my complaint, the Executive Complaints Unit agreed that there was no evidence for the presenter’s claim and criticized their journalists’ failure to check claims.

I have no doubt that these eight cases relating to climate change are just the tip of the iceberg. Many other such fake reports are broadcast and go unnoticed.

It is also true that the BBC regularly try to fob off complainants with spurious replies, leading many to give in. This is even the case when their inaccurate claims are obvious, easily proven, and factual.

Indeed, one of the things which continue to astound me is how the BBC continues to broadcast so many claims about climate change which are so utterly preposterous that even my dog would find them suspicious.

Are their reporters and presenters so absorbed by global groupthink that they believe every bit of tripe and junk science put before them?

Are they more interested in propaganda than facts?

Are they just lazy?

Or are they following orders from higher up?

Unfortunately, it is a fact that the BBC’s coverage of climate change has been unreliable for many years, and has long since abandoned any pretense of impartiality.

It has got so bad that Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, sent out a missive to all her staff last year, itself full of factual errors, directing staff how they should report climate change and how they should marginalize skeptical scientists.

As a result of this one-sided, blinkered approach to climate issues, the BBC frequently finds itself accused of misinformation, lack of objectivity and promulgating downright falsehoods.

But no matter how many times they have complaints upheld against them, one problem remains. The original fake news has gone around the world and back before the truth emerges.

By this time, nobody actually gets to see the ‘corrections’ hidden away in the online news reports originally published months before.

Something has to change.

Read more at Conservative Woman

Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    Graeme Mochrie


    Thank you for this report, it is encouraging to hear that others notice lack of impartiality on the BBC. I have been listening to the BBC for over sixty years, it taught me nursery rhymes, geography, history, philosophy, science and with is magazine format has educated and informed. For many years I believed in is claims of impartiality and was proud that we had such a wonderful institutional the UK. It was never completely impartial and has always been a monarchist, establishment institution, so even as a child I learned that it was manipulating the population. This of course is not necessarily a bad thing, since any state needs to bind is population together with shared mythology, magic and ritual, however in recent times the propeganda has become much less subtle and apparently agenda driven (though the agenda is not nowadays so clear).

    The quasi independence of the BBC seemed to take a major knock during the Blair years in the run up to the Iraq war. David Kelly the government scientist challenged Blair’s sexed up dossier. The BBC, particularly radio 4’s Today programme pursued this matter vigorously and seemingly independently until the affair was ended with Kelly’s “suicide”. Since then the BBC seemed to have been much more controlled and the propegandists have taken over.

    Friends who were brought up under communism and now live in the UK tend to see the BBC for what it is, a propeganda organisation. The propeganda is good. Biased propeganda of a one sided nature is easy to ignore, however subtle propeganda, where there is a balance of agreement is more likely to stay in brains. The BBC used to be excellent at this, possibly fooling most of the people most of the time. In recent years, perhaps because in this interconnected society, it no longer has a monopoly on news and information insemination, it seems to have increasingly gone down the path of blatant propeganda with easily spotted disinformation.

    I was very pleased to read your article and will certainly circulate it and encourage others to do so.

    It would be interesting to try to deduce the real aims and objectives of the BBC. It is climate alarmist, anti Brexit, pro monarchist, pro political correctness, pro LBGBT… and of course pushing various other interests by over egging the pudding and stifling meaningful debate. The BBC has become a great disappointment to me and I will certainly follow your example and hold it to account in areas of my own expertise. I hope others will do this too and that we can return the BBC to its values of balance and impartiality.

  • Avatar

    John Doran



    The BBC propaganda machine announced that it no longer was obliged to keep to its charter duty of impartiality on climate change because it had (paraphrase) “convened a high level meeting of 28 top experts & scientists”, was convinced the science was settled & therefore it no longer needed to give equal time to those sceptical of their climate fraud.

    The BBC lied its face off: none of the 28 were qualified climatologists, only ~3 or 4 were scientists, all activist alarmists, but there were 2 members of Communist people hating Greenpeace & 1 female vicar, no partridge in a pear tree.

    To try & keep this lie secret, the BBC spent almost £25,000 hiring 2 outside lawyers to back up their 4 in-house lawyers to deny their names to pensioner Tony Newbery, who represented himself at the one and a half day freedom of information hearing.

    The science of climate is in its infancy, though fast progress is being made.
    Nobody can as yet specify the mechanism whereby the Earth passes into & out of glacial periods & ice ages. One thing I am convinced of is that man-made CO2 is plant food & NOT a major climate driver. Humanity would probably be better off if CO2 levels were at commercial greenhouse 1200 ppmv concentrations rather than the niggardly ~400 ppmv we survive under now. We’d get much bigger crops.

    Those, like the BBC & Al Gore, who claim that the science is settled & that man-made CO2 is a main climate driver, are pushing a fraud.

    The only bigger fraud on this planet is fiat money created out of thin air, as debt. & that fraud is collapsing also.

    John Doran.

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