BBC Starts Making Sense; Telegraph Columnist’s Head Explodes

The BBC’s governing body has determined that climate change “sceptics” should get less coverage, and be more vigourously challenged.

According to the Daily Mail, ” a BBC insider close to the report said that when an issue had moved from ‘hypothesis’ to ‘consensus’, the broadcaster now needed to reflect that in the weight it gave to the different sides of the debate.

‘When they are minority views, the BBC is entitled to give them less weight rather than present it as “half the world thinks this and the half the world thinks that”,’ the source said.

‘It doesn’t mean those opposing the [mainstream] view will not be heard, but to be impartial, they would be given less weight. It is about not getting a false balance.’

Delingpole of the Telegraph doesn’t care for it. Not one bit.

So little does he like it that he resorts to lying: “That’s because, as even the great Dr Phil Jones of the CRU has acknowledged, “global warming” stopped in 1998 (even as anthropogenic CO2 levels, notably in China) continued to rise.

Now, we at P3 think the best thing to do is to have enough expertise among reporters that unreliable sources are just ignored altogether when possible. But when their ideas make it into mass media or general discourse, we really need to make clear that they are wrong.
What did Phil Jones actually say?

Q – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

A – Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level.

And more recently, there is this from the same Dr Jones:

“Basically what’s changed is one more year [of data]. That period 1995-2009 was just 15 years – and because of the uncertainty in estimating trends over short periods, an extra year has made that trend significant at the 95% level which is the traditional threshold that statisticians have used for many years.

“It just shows the difficulty of achieving significance with a short time series, and that’s why longer series – 20 or 30 years – would be a much better way of estimating trends and getting significance on a consistent basis.”

John Cook’s Skeptical Science site (at the last link) patiently explains all of this. Perhaps somebody could tie Mr. Delingpole down, feed him some tranquilizers, and try very patiently to explain these ideas to him.


  1. "Perhaps somebody could tie Mr. Delingpole down, feed him some tranquilizers, and try very patiently to explain these ideas to him."

    But! But! But! That would infringe his human rights. You know, the free speech right to open his mouth and shove his foot straight in.

    btw, the first link is broken - it concatenates two http strings and produces a 404 error.

  2. I notice the Mail reports Benny Peiser claiming that the Beeb is painting itself into a corner of 'political correctness'. Now, I may be wrong, but isn't it usual for 'political correctness' to give disproportionate weight to minority views?

    This is the same Benny who was described by a BBC interviewer for their North West regional news as someone who is clearly an expert on climate change, only the other day. Hmmm... the sooner Steve Jones's recommendation for a science editor across all channels is implemented, the better. The license fee payers deserve it.

  3. Peiser is expert in a self-appointed sort of way. He does have a publication record in related topics, but as an anthropologist. In an earlier time he'd have toiled in the deniosphere for British American Tobacco.

    Perhaps someone could analyze the GRACE satellite data as it passes over Chicago during Heritage Conference denier meetings. Given the weight of their opinions, the gathering might be detectable as a gravity anomaly.

    [mt: +1]

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