Quentin Letts’s Diary: An apology to the BBC journos who, thanks to me, are being sent away for re-education

On being a climate-change apostate; Cardinal Roger Harrabin; a ghostly encounter; Keith Vaz; cows

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

First, an apology. Thanks to me, all journalists at BBC Radio’s ethics and religion division are being sent for indoctrination in climate change. Sorry. In July I made a short Radio 4 programme with them called What’s the Point of the Met Office?, which accidentally sent orthodox warmists into a boiling tizzy. Amid jolly stuff about the history of weather predictions and the drippiness of today’s forecasters, we touched on parliamentary lobbying done by the state-funded Met Office. All hell broke out. Cataracts and hurricanoes! The Met Office itself was unfazed but the eco-lobby, stirred by BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin, went nuts. I was accused of not giving a proper airing to ‘prevailing scientific opinion’. Apostasy had occurred. I was duly flogged on the Feedback programme.

That was the last I thought of it until last week, when I was sent an enormous draft report from the BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee. This said I was likely to be found guilty of a ‘serious breach’ of ‘impartiality and accuracy’. The tone was akin to something from the International Criminal Court at the Hague or the Vatican in Galileo’s day. Did my little programme err? I certainly didn’t try to give listeners a reverential précis of ‘prevailing scientific opinion’ — didn’t think that was my remit. But we did have some fun interviewing an engagingly untidy climate-change sceptic called Piers Corbyn. His brother is now leader of HM Opposition. The BBC hierarchy’s overreaction to all this has been an education, as has the activism of Harrabin. Meanwhile, my ethics and religion mates have been sentenced to hard labour on the BBC Academy’s impartiality online training module, with ‘a substantial scenario on reporting climate-change science’. At school they call this detention.

An enterprising newsdesk might enquire how much the BBC spends on politically correct courses and who runs them. As for Cardinal Harrabin — for that would have been his rank in Galileo’s day — times are good. He has landed a sideline with the Open University, doing a series of climate-change interviews. We are paying. The £1.5 million project is being funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, a quango run by scientists and ‘parented’ by Sajid Javid’s Business Department. Sajid will be proud to see his budget being used in this important way.

To Radio 3’s In Tune programme to discuss my novel The Speaker’s Wife. Presenter Sean Rafferty, one of the BBC’s finest, introduces me as a ‘paramilitary sketchwriter’. Harsh but true. The book is about Parliament, the Church of England and things that go bump in the night. Ask people ‘Do you believe in God?’ and many instantly say no. Ask ‘Do you believe in ghosts?’ or ‘Would you swear in an empty church and dance on a grave?’ they pause. I have only once encountered a ghost. Our Herefordshire home is an old mill where a 19th-century miller died after falling into the grinding wheels. Two summers ago, needing to prune a rose, I stood on a wobbly chair near the site of that accident. As I mounted the chair, a strange woman’s voice said, quite clearly, ‘Don’t fall off’. I was sober at the time.

Security minister John Hayes wobbled while giving evidence to Keith Vaz’s Commons home affairs select committee the other day. Mr Hayes is a man of theatrical extremes, almost a pantomime pirate. I am told that in the Tory whips’ office, when his name comes up, certain whips start doing Captain Pugwash impersonations, covering one eye and saying ‘ha-harr!’ in a Cornish accent. Select committee aides have multiplied in recent years. Fifteen years ago it would be one clerk and maybe one researcher. At the court of Vaz last week there were eight flunkeys, most looking dead bored. I have a feeling one of them may have been Keith’s food-taster.

It may not be ‘prevailing scientific opinion’, but you sometimes hear vegetarians blame climate change on flatulent cows. This irks my neighbour Will Edwards, a dairy farmer. ‘Cows don’t fart,’ says Will. ‘They burp a bit but you never hear them let off. They are physically not capable of it.’ Here is a story for Roger Harrabin to stick his nose into. He’s an expert in this area, I believe.

Staying with wind, did you see that video of a seven-year-old boy leading the singing of ‘Advance Australia Fair’ at a baseball match in Brisbane? He was afflicted throughout by hiccups. Last week I was walking through London’s Berkeley Square. A middle-aged woman strode towards me in power suit and heels. Gosh she looked stern. She was five paces away when she was hijacked by the most enormous hiccup. Better than any nightingale.

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Show comments
  • davidshort10

    Andrew ‘Brillo Pad’ Neill’s copycat criticism of Isis also seemed to me to break the BBC’s impartiality rules.

    • Jack Rocks

      You’re not serious are you.

      • kaymanaisle

        Well, in one respect he’s right – it was copycat. John Oliver had done it days before on HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Neil simply regurgitated it with fewer profanities for the terrestrial television audience.

        • Richard Harrold

          There were undoubted similarities, but I thought Neill did it with more eloquence. I still like JO’s style, though!

          • kaymanaisle

            Yes, agree! The profanity probably works for HBO’s cable audience but hard to see how it would go down even after the watershed!

        • Jack Rocks

          Oliver’s monologue was totally different to Neil’s.

          • kaymanaisle

            Well, you’re entitled to your opinion but he had the same essential structure, the same basic references to culture, even French pastries (croissant in Neil’s case). The least one could say is that it was highly derivative.

          • Jack Rocks

            Give me strength.

          • kaymanaisle

            So sorry, I can see how you like your contrarian ways.

    • Vindpust

      I do wonder how long AN will last on the BBC. He is one of the few real talents they have left in news and current affairs, no doubt he will be poached by the opposition soon.

      • davidshort10

        Believe me, no one is going to poach this hideous man. He is only on the Beeb because they need a token right-winger and there are none on the staff. As a Thatcherite, he is a joke because a large part of his income is coming from the licence fee and the rest comes from the tax exiles who own the Spectator and the Telegraph. He has done nothing of note since being appointed the bully boy editor of the Sunday Times in preparation for the move to Wapping. All his attempts at starting businesses have failed.

        • Snotrocket

          Seems to me, from reading your comment, David, that AN is hitting the spot and truly holding politicians’ (and other pretenders’) feet to the fire, so to speak. I guess you would rather have someone like Jeremy (I could have been the next Paxman) Vine.

        • Snotrocket

          Seems to me, from reading your comment, David, that AN is hitting the spot and truly holding politicians’ (and other pretenders’) feet to the fire, so to speak. I guess you would rather have someone like Jeremy (I could have been the next Paxman) Vine.

        • Vindpust

          He is one of very few so-called journos on the BBC who bother to do their homework before interviews and are capable of forensic cross-examination.

          The man is obviously in the wrong job!

          • davidshort10

            Don’t be silly. He is something of a lightweight. Also, you would not defend him if you knew him. People who know what he is really like detest him and shun him.

          • flaxdoctor

            Who cares so long as he does what journalists are supposed to do? Woodward and Bernstein weren’t lionised for being nice to fluffy bunnies, were they?

            You have heard of Woodward and Bernstein, right?

          • davidshort10

            Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Never heard anything so funny as what appears to be a comparison (favourable) between W & B and the Washington Post and Brillo Pad and the Sunday Times that he vulgarised from being a newspaper that could certainly compare itself to the Washington Post. Brillo Pad is a disgrace. Can’t say I’ve come across the Hollywood movie that charts his work! Who would play him, I wonder? Danny de Vito, perhaps.

          • flaxdoctor

            On that basis the skills of the brainlessly supine Greenpeace-agitprop dross merchant like Harrabin would be exaggerated if played by a slime mould.

          • davidshort10

            Please let me know what you are on so I can avoid taking it.

      • davidshort10

        Believe me, no one is going to poach this hideous man. He is only on the Beeb because they need a token right-winger and there are none on the staff. As a Thatcherite, he is a joke because a large part of his income is coming from the licence fee and the rest comes from the tax exiles who own the Spectator and the Telegraph. He has done nothing of note since being appointed the bully boy editor of the Sunday Times in preparation for the move to Wapping. All his attempts at starting businesses have failed.

  • Avoided Cranium

    No one working at the BBC, not even the tea-person, should be employed until they have been subjected to extensive re-education and self-criticism on the intersecting subjects of climate change, multiculturism, sexism and gender-politics, less they turn out to be running dog lackeys of the revisionist military-industrial hegemony.

    • realfish

      I’m led to believe, according to a poster over on Guido’s site, that we are now supposed to refer to them as the, ‘So called BBC’.

      I will try to remember.

      • smoke me a kipper

        Thank you so called realfish

    • smoke me a kipper

      Absolutely, indoctrination and brain washing are to be encouraged. Dissent cannot be tolerated. We are after all a democracy.

    • Ivor MacAdam

      You missed out the Holy European Useless Union, Mr. Cranium.

  • Zanderz

    Wonderful piece, enjoyed reading that.

  • Ivan Ewan

    Funny, isn’t it, how a rule established to limit the BBC’s power as a dictator of ideas, is only acted upon when it can be used to crush dissenting viewpoints.

  • Freddythreepwood

    Irony or what?! The people who are demanding that all the world’s coal mines should be shut immediately are the same people who marched behind Scargill insisting that the mines be kept open. Maybe not irony. Maybe anti capitalist hypocrisy.

    • smoke me a kipper

      If true they must be quite elderly. I hadn’t noticed an outbreak of Zimmer frames at climate protests, quite the opposit in fact. So that leads me to conclude you are mistaken

      • Kevin Ronald Lohse

        I was in my mid-20’s when Maggie faced down Scargill’s threat to Democracy. I can assure you I’m not quite at the zimmer-frame stage yet, and neither will be the yoghurt-knitting rent-a-mob in Paris.

        • Stu

          Smoke me a kipper, an idiotic comment for every occasion.

  • TrippingDwarves

    Very sneaky of you to plug your own book, Q. Now I suppose I’m going to have to go and buy it!

  • Dominic Stockford

    Blame climate change on flatulent pet dogs – that’ll get the lefties in a spin.

  • Ralph

    Roger Harrabin is yet another sign of what is wrong with the BBC, an activist claiming to be a reporter.

  • Harryagain

    Virtually all journalists are pig ignorant. And not only the BBC ones.
    Especially when it comes to science and technology about which they know sweet FA.
    They seem to think that facts are open to debate and can be varied at will.;
    Instead of doing serious research (which they are incapable of understanding anyway), they have a natter with their equally ignorant journalist mates.
    (See for example Daily Politics, where a gang of journos babble on about things they have zero knowledge about)
    This results in ludicrous conclusions.
    Basically they want to tell people what they want to hear, not the truth.
    (This is what sells newspapers)
    And you Quentin are among the worst of them.
    You need to get some qualifications in the appropiate science before you open your big gob. Because what come out is mostly drivel.

    • GampUK

      Definition: “wrong conclusion” Something I disagree with.

    • 30characters

      Hilarious! And Harrabin’s scientific qualifications are? Or, for that matter, Prince Charles’s, Obama’s or the Pope’s? Or yours?

    • UKSteve

      “You need to get some qualifications in the appropiate science before you
      open your big gob. Because what come out is mostly drivel.”


  • King Kibbutz

    Latest So Called BBC gem: ‘San Bernadino shooting: motive still unknown’. Re-education indeed.

    • MC73

      Not just the BBC. I didn’t realise the shooters were Muslims till this morning. I admit I only scanned headlines and first pars but even so…

      • flaxdoctor

        It took the so-called BBC 12 hours to admit the Paris murdered were Jihadists. Eyewitness reports of what the gunmen shouted were censored.

    • Latimer Alder

      ‘Nothing to do with islam shooter driven to do it by climate change despair. Saving victims from thermageddon to come. Pray for him. And may allah give wisdom to those in Paris to come up with the right deal to save the green blob from extinction’ BBC Newsdesk

      • King Kibbutz

        BBC now shifting its befuddled stance: no longer do we have “‘so called’ Islamic State”; we are now offered details of “‘the self-styled’ Islamic State”. Graham Chapman must be turning in his urn.

      • King Kibbutz

        BBC now shifting its befuddled stance: no longer do we have “‘so called’ Islamic State”; we are now offered details of “‘the self-styled’ Islamic State”. Graham Chapman must be turning in his urn.

  • mike otter

    I have heard cows fart ( lengthy, sonorous) but never heard Roger Harrabin speak any sense, thankfully we have Quentin Letts and a few others as an alternative to the flat earth news brigade.

    • skeptik

      You mean Harrabin’s verbal farts ?

  • Ade

    I heard the program, and most amusing it was. It didn’t need “balancing” with the BBC-approved view, as any R4 listener already knows the BBC standpoint on climate change. It was also part of a series of light-hearted programmes poking fun at sacred cows. How on earth can the BBC think any of its listeners failed to appreciate this? Do they think we are morons? Don’t answer…

  • Snotrocket

    QL: Just KBO! (re ‘climate change’)
    And, BTW, try asking Harrabin: Is CO2 a thermostat or a thermometer? (his head would probably explode).

  • Kevin Ronald Lohse

    I notice you left the “Loyal” out of “HM Opposition”. Sound man.

  • King Kibbutz

    Auntie Beeb has finally conceded that ‘the San Bernadino shooters’, ‘may have been radicalised’.
    We must all very much hope that is the case.

  • AlecM

    Keelhaul the Klimate Katastrophists and their Bollox Broadcasting Korporation Krew.

  • CalUKGR

    One imagines to work at the BBC one has first to be ‘assimilated’ Borg-style into the doctrinaire atmosphere of pro-EU/pro-multiculti/pro-CAGW, etc. One careless word, one thoughtless slip of the tongue on any of these (and many other) subjects could so easily see you either being sent for re-education or worse, being shown the door (though hopefully not the door to Room 101).

  • derekbuxton

    Just when were the BBC last impartial? Possibly around 1940 or thereabouts.

  • Peter Stroud

    Roger Harribin is a prime example of a BBC climate science editor: scientifically unqualified, and completely brainwashed by the warmist community. The climate sceptic is not tolerated in his little world, no matter if he is highly scientically qualified and working in the field.

  • roger harrabin


    You attempt to distract from the bias of your programme by blaming others.

    I assume you refer to my tweet pointing out that the programme had given climate sceptics the voice they’d been demanding from the BBC. This seemed to be no more than a statement of fact.

    In contrast, R4 has just produced a documentary series Changing Climate which strives to be fair to minority views.

    This is what the Telegraph said about it. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/what-to-listen-to/alan-yentobs-continuing-employment-does-the-bbc-no-credit-at-all/

    All the interviews for the series can be found on the OU creativeclimate.org website. They include Messrs Tol, Ridley and Peiser – and are being collated so historians can see in 50 years time whose opinions have turned out right.


    • Dave_G

      Quote “You attempt to distract from the bias of your programme by blaming others”.

      Pot, kettle, black…….??

      • flaxdoctor

        I thought Harrabin’s repy was a parody on first reading.

    • Ted Kowalski

      Nothing like a fair discussion anywhere roger?

      No matter where Quentin posts commentary, there roger will go to interject false words?

      I do look forward to the day when climate is truly debated with real science, not advocacy.

      I just saw, again, the debut show “You must remember this” for the “As Time goes by series”, released in 1992.
      One of the actresses included ‘global warming’ as something to worry about. Imagine that! Twenty three years ago, the BBC was already pushing global warming as something to worry about.

      Twenty three years ago; where is the warming? Where is the sea level rise? Where are the increased storms and increased droughts? Even the IPCC admits that storms and droughts can not be tied to ‘global warming’.

      Twenty three years later, and here you are trying take fake your way through by claiming that Quentin’s show was biased when he was pointing out certain truths.

      The BBC is as balanced as Hitler or Stalin were; including those death squads trying to stifle honest opinions. Just like those supposedly past totalitarian times, gulags and re-indoctrination camps are apparently in full force.

    • kingkevin3

      and are being collated so historians can see in 50 years time whose opinions have turned out right.

      But this isn’t good enough. No one, including yourself, will be here in 50 years to take responsibilty for their actions. You and your other eco-nutjobs have been telling us lies for 30 plus years. Every prediction has failed. We don’t have to wait 50 years you idiot. I have a BSc in Physics so I know something about how science should work. I suggest you read Richard Feynman’s Caltech address and pay particular regard to the section on Cargo Cult Science. You may learn something.

      • Jeremy Poynton

        Quite. At 64 I can’t recall the number of eco-apocalypses I was going to witness in my lifetime.

        How many happened?


        • Ivor MacAdam

          Quite, again Mr. Poynton. And I have lost count of the number of ends-of-the-world that I seem to have survived. Not even a good party.

      • Skulduggery

        I have a BSc in Physics so I know something about how science should work.

        Now just a minute, young man. Mr Harrabin has an English degree so I think he knows more about science than you.

      • ghl

        As I understand the climate models, they are finite element models, where a world wide grid is set up, initial conditions are estimated from weather station readings,and such other values as we have, and then using the best algorithms we can assemble from physics and thermodynamics, we calculate what all the variables will be one arbitrary time period in the future. We then repeat the process using the results as input for the next time period.I have read that the time period commonly used is 15 minutes. I welcome informed comment.
        If we repeat the process 96 times we have tomorrow’s weather forecast.
        If we repeat the process around 3 million times we are forecasting the weather at the end of the century.
        If we average the last million(30 years) we have our climate forecast for the end of the century.
        When asked how the models were validated, Dame Sligo, head of UK BOM , said they are validated continually as they are the same models used to predict the weather.
        I wonder if the initial conditions are set to El Nino, La Nina, or does it make no difference. It should make no difference.
        Does the code set any limits on variables? Does it contain anything of the kind “If T > Tmax then T=Tmax”. This would mean that the programmer had no faith in their expression of the physics, and knew they were producing arbitrary output code. The most expensive screen saver in the world.
        How can they profess belief in their 100 year forecast when their 3 month forecasts were discontinued for inaccuracy?
        I propose a challenge. On 1/1/2016 the BOM publish the model output for 1/7/2016. 180 days, or 17280 iterations should be enough for a model to settle down. If the average of the absolute value of each grid point error is less than 1 C degree, you all get a pat on the back and a 20% raise. If more than 1 C degree you pull the plug on your super computer and put it on ebay, before hanging your heads and mumbling an apology for wasting public money, and causing wind turbines.

    • Jeremy Poynton

      Bias? Calling activists from Greenpeace “scientific experts” – now, THAT’S bias, Roger.

      ““The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.”

      Here’s the list of activists. Sorry, scientific experts…

      “Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College LondonMike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
      Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
      Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
      Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
      Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
      Trevor Evans, US Embassy
      Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
      Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
      Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
      Claire Foster, Church of England
      Saleemul Huq, IIED
      Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
      Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
      Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
      Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
      Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
      Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
      Matthew Farrow, CBI
      Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
      Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
      Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
      Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
      Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
      Joe Smith, The Open University
      Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
      Anita Neville, E3G
      Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
      Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
      Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia”

      Sorry Roger. The only response to you, sir, is a resounding BOLLOCKS. As it is to the BBC, employing an activist and calling him their “environmental correspondent”.

      • Snotrocket

        Jeremy: I make that seven ‘techies’ vs 23 ‘none-techies’ .
        I second your resounding opinion.

        • Jeremy Poynton

          Yes – what Harrabin says is a complete fabrication. The bottom line is that the BBC cannot be trusted to be impartial, on any mumber of matters.

    • Snotrocket

      Seeing as you’re here, Mr Harrabin, perhaps you can answer the question that I suggested Quentin Letts ask you:

      “Is CO2 a thermostat or a thermometer?”

      (And, whatever your answer, is this the central tenet of the BBC?)

      • Johnnymcevoy

        Haha……good one.
        Silence from Roger the Climateer, however.

    • Snotrocket

      PS: Roger, I hope you don’t think my question (thermostat or thermometer?) is impertinent but you see, as I, and many other members of the public pay your salary, I feel I’m kind of entitled to know if you are qualified to earn it, if you get my drift.

    • g1lgam3sh

      So, Roger, while you’re here may I raise a couple of issues with you?

      You are positing the hypothesis of AGW so the onus is on you and here it is.

      In terms of the null hypothesis of natural variation can you show us an experiment designed to falsify it using verifiable and replicable empirical evidence?

      Would you explain in your own words the significance of the null hypothesis and falsifiability to the scientific method, just so we know we’re on the same page.

      Failing that could you just produce 1(One) peer reviewed paper which shows a causal link between human derived CO2 emissions and any atmospheric warming by using verifiable and replicable empirical evidence?


      “It is the rule which says that the other rules of scientific procedure must be designed in such a way that they do not protect any statement in science against falsification.”

      Karl Popper

      Would that be OK?

      • Johnnymcevoy

        That’s not fair. When you REALLY believe something, faith is enough. Eh, Roger?

    • Johnnymcevoy

      Sez Roger ‘Biased’ Harrabin’ ‘imself.
      Don’t worry Roger, you’ve had a fat career out of it. Just the pension to secure before everyone realises the Emperor has no clothes.

    • Johnnymcevoy

      Here’s another one for you Roger. You want to ‘limit the rise’ to 2C less than what?
      (Don’t worry folks, Harrabin will only deliver from an autocue. And answers to these questions are not in the Warmist bible aka the IPCC dodgy dossier.)

      • flaxdoctor

        I only the so-called BBC *did* stick to the science part of the dodgy dossier – we’d hear no more about ‘extreme weather’ for a start.

        But the so-called BBC sacked their scientifically literate science reporter and gave us this.

    • Vindpust

      Mr Harrabin.

      Perhaps you can explain why the BBC has been giving extended airtime on R4 to such climate experts as James Cameron and Saint Attenborough to propound their highly partial CC views. This with bowing and scraping and nary a hint of a difficult question.

      But, when we get the surprising inclusion of a brief interview with Matt Ridley there are repeated sneering references to his family’s coal interests and very hostile questioning.

      The Changing Climate series was a grudging, belated, small concesssion to the fact that the BBC has been excoriated by many for its unremitting CC propaganda over the years since the decision in 2006 to exclude academic experts who questioned the IPCC’s political line. Not unconnected to the Charter review, one suspects.

      Seems the BBC find it easier to be impartial when it come to Muslim terrorists who we can’t upset by calling them DAESH.

    • 30characters

      The Telegraph link goes to a story about Yentob but then accuracy isn’t a feature of your work is it? And I love the tweet! One programme (which the BBC then proceeds to investigate and makes an example of those responsible) and you tweet that the sceptics have been given the voice they demanded! Never mind the constant barrage of alarmist propaganda that is churned out bhe BBC. What do you think the running score is in terms of BBC broadcasts? Sceptics 1 Alarmists 1000? Or is that too conservative? The BBC has already declared, thanks to its committee of activist “experts”, that there is no need to give equal coverage to both sides of the debate and then sets out to re educate its journalists so that no one questions the Party line. Pravda isn’t in it. What worries me is that I think you probably really do believe the unscientific nonsense that you espouse; and that is truly scary. An environment correspondent with absolutely no scientific qualifications at all sets the agenda. That’s our national public broadcaster. Thanks a lot.

    • Ivor MacAdam

      Who says they are the minority?

    • UKSteve

      Mr. Harrabin,

      Respectfully, why should we be mollified by “…the programme had given climate sceptics the voice they’d been demanding from the BBC.”?

      The BBC was set up to be – primarily – a news organisation, and I’m trying to ascertain when it abandoned that remit with respect to Global Warming / Anthropogenic Climate Change / Climate Change. It seems to be about the time when Al Gore fronted that scientifically imbecilic, despicably dishonest and morally corrupt montage of clips knowns as “An Inconvenient Truth”.

      The biggest inconvenience seems to be that, not only is the science very far from settled on the issue, but that some former scientists ardent in their belief, and now becoming quiet sceptical. In many cases, as friends of mine know, it took threats of dwindling / disappearing government research funding to make sure that climate scientists were “on message”.

      When the as distinguished a member as Nobel Laureate Prof. Ivar Gaiever of the (American) Academy of Physical Sciences resigns because of what he sees as the corruption of science, alarm bells should ring. Did they at the BBC? (it’s OK, we know the answers, “No!”

      Apart from its blatant, undenied and sustained political bias in the vast majority of its news and current affairs output, why did the BBC take a stance on global warming when the science is still irresolute? And for a publicly-funded body, why was it all planned so clandestinely?

      Such behaviour should have horrified any serious journalist, hired by an organisation that spends a lot of time bloviating about impartiality; so much for the Bridcutt Report.

      Checking the link you provided, I read that:

      “Even if their plan to cut emissions will not limit warming to
      2°C (actually more like 3°C, Harrabin reckoned)…..”

      I’m curious as to that wording, and would have thought this statement more likely to come from a climatologist. Or at least a professional scientist, of some stripe. Unless the Telegraph’s description is unrepresentative?

      I am a climate alarmist. I see changes in the climate (a.k.a. global-scale weather patterns), but I am deeply alarmed at the irresponsible scientific corruption, and the ethically vacuous, unquestioning acceptance of it. That Quentin Letts’ programme is no longer available on iPlayer speaks volumes – it tells you all you need to know about the BBC.

      This is from a BBC webpage 2 days ago: “The programme, it went on, did not make clear the Met Office’s work was in line with “prevailing scientific thought”.

      There are many who say that it isn’t. And it’s why we gave up television and listening to most of Radio 4, years ago – it just cannot be trusted.

    • Rogerfromnewzealand

      Who says Quentin’s views are minority. Have you read the “Academic” papers that establish that majority? Would you like me to send you the data from Cook et al who are one of the three “academic” and “impartial” papers upon which this 97% myth is based upon! After you give them an impartial read you will start to understand the deceit that permeates the AGW lobby.

      Really this is worse than Mao Tze Tung in the 50’s and 60’s!


    • Albiro

      YOU talk about bias ???? Oh my aching sides.

  • Fudsdad

    I enjoyed your climate change knockabout enormously Quentin. Such a refreshing change from the relentless on-message dogma and sensationalist weather reporting from the BBC. I hope that I live long enough to be shown to be right to be sceptical about the politicised climate orthodoxy.

  • Michael Hart

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    • Johnnymcevoy

      Their chief weapon is surprise….

  • Tom M

    Apparently the scientific world disagrees with farmer Will. Where they might agree apparently is which end produces the most gas. That would appear to be the input end with some 95% deriving from there.
    The link if anyone really has an interest beyond that:

  • g1lgam3sh

    All Hail Professor Stanley Unwin.

    Thanks for the allusion, I’ll wager I smirked as much reading it as you did writing it 🙂

    • UKSteve

      Oh Deep joy the follyfold!!

  • Johnnymcevoy

    Notice: Roger ‘Dodger’ Harrabin will not be answering any questions on this thread.
    Reason: The BBC politburo haven’t approved any answers, and RH doesn’t have any clue himself.

  • Michael Hart

    July 2015 Quentin Letts: “What is the point of the Met Office?”
    July 2015 Roger Harrabin: “I’ll get you for this.”
    August 2015 BBC: “Met Office loses BBC weather forecasting contract.”
    December 2015 BBC Trust: “I’m arresting you for offences against global-warming.”

    Never mind the Met Office, what is the point of Roger Harrabin’s salary? You could get a high school student to cut and paste Greenpeace press-releases for much less.

    Oh, I forgot:
    October 2015 John Whittingdale: “BBC funding still dependent on charter review.”

  • Ivor MacAdam

    What’s the point of Roger Harrabin? Probably the best comedian on the BBC’s over-blown payroll.

    • Albiro

      Witchfinder General ?

  • Trailer

    Tee hee

  • Ivor MacAdam

    only way to get our society to truly change is to
    frighten people
    with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
    – emeritus
    professor Daniel
    Or: just tell lies.

    • Jeremy Poynton

      As the Club of Rome noted way back. Trouble is, most folks are bored sick of climate change, so the whole thing is now a huge echo chamber with devotees like Harrabin nattering at other such. Just leave us out of it eh?

  • foxoles

    I hope the clueless Alan Johnson reads this, or heard the orginal.

    He came out with the long-discredited, bogus figures of ‘97% of climate scientists’ on ‘This Week’ recently.

  • 20thCenturyVole

    Did you laugh aloud?

  • Paul Matthews

    The text of this disgraceful programme can be found here,

    so that people can see just how truly awful it was, and learn lessons from Quentin Letts’s shocking error of judgement.

  • LudicrousSextus

    It’s rather amusing that as the climate-angst imbecile conference gets underway in Paris, a far brighter group of Frenchmen – The French Mathematical Society released a paper in September basically calling the UN and it’s climate-lackeys imbeciles. To wit –

    “There is not a single fact, figure…[or] observation that leads us to conclude the world’s climate is in any way ‘disturbed,” the paper states. “It is variable, as it has always been. … Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet’s overall temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable.”

  • chrisjones2

    “Climate Change” is the 21st Century version of the Dreyfuss Affair but with Government and the UN firmly in the role of the villain

  • Albiro

    Prevailing scientific opinion is not always correct. The BBC is acting exactly like the Vatican in the Middle Ages. Too much cocaine I fear.

  • Aethelflaed

    Copy of the programme here for those who want to listen for themselves – nice little programme and a very refreshing change https://soundcloud.com/markpuk/whats-the-point-of-the-met-office-q-letts-5815

  • TomCane

    erm. methane from cows comes mainly from burping and manure.

    • Little Black Censored

      What does “erm” stand for?