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BBC Staff to be giving less air time to fringe science such as climate change deniers Watch

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    (Original post by Observatory)
    How do you know there's no debate? There's never no debate, only a lost debate, which is certainly some debate. Other than eventual boredom I have no problem watching Kent Hovind debate Richard Dawkings a thousand times. And no doubt of the outcome.
    People debating it doesn't mean there's a debate to be had - if people were so inclined they could debate if 2+2 equalled 4 or potato, doesn't mean there's any debate that 2+2 doesn't equal 4. We know there's no debate because all the evidence we have at present points to the current consensus - that's why it's the consensus.
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    (Original post by Stiff Little Fingers)
    People debating it doesn't mean there's a debate to be had - if people were so inclined they could debate if 2+2 equalled 4 or potato, doesn't mean there's any debate that 2+2 doesn't equal 4. We know there's no debate because all the evidence we have at present points to the current consensus - that's why it's the consensus.
    Why doesn't 2+2 equal potato? Because people who argue it does lose debates, or because an authority figure said so? At one time authority figures would have told you that Pi equalled 3. Why were they wrong, and the potato people right?
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    How do you know there's no debate? There's never no debate, only a lost debate, which is certainly some debate. Other than eventual boredom I have no problem watching Kent Hovind debate Richard Dawkings a thousand times. And no doubt of the outcome.

    The basic problem here is we are not really discussing inviting opponents of the CAGW hypothesis to debates between two technically knowledgeable people about an issue of fact, which does not really occur in the media. We are talking about handing out propaganda slots for the <whatever> Lobby, based on whether the <whatever> Lobby is politically and socially powerful at the moment. The BBC's role is not seen as just a conduit for discussions about the nature of reality, but rather determining it in the minds of the public, not on the basis of evidence, but emotional influence.

    When those decisions are made by government agencies like the BBC we are talking about an Official Truth. While I believe the Official Truth is closer to the real truth than, say, Ken Hovind does, I don't think it's identical, nor that calling a committee of journalists with BAs in Art History a safe and effective way of determining the real truth.
    Bingo. Good post sir.

    There was an opinion piece in Monday's Times about the BBC decision, which broadly covers your point. The BBC shouldn't be held to the whims of whatever lobbyists (who have been proven to not be reputable climate scientists but green lobby activists) happen to sway the sensibilities of the comfortably middle-class urban humanity broadly leftist grads who staff the organization.

    If the BBC cannot within it's role as government owned state broadcaster maintain it's impartiality rules it should probably just privatise and compete with the rest of the UK's broadcasting/media industry on it;s own merits.

    Whether you're me (that due to my own research has determined AGW to be a crock of smelly) or a self-professed environmentalist wanting to save the world from human hubris, I think we can all agree (assuming we're not douche-canoes with ulterior motives) that a free and liberal society requires free and liberal discourse and media, especially if it's state controlled and publicly funded.

    For or against either camp, censorship is just wrong.
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    (Original post by Studentus-anonymous)
    Bingo. Good post sir.

    There was an opinion piece in Monday's Times about the BBC decision, which broadly covers your point. The BBC shouldn't be held to the whims of whatever lobbyists (who have been proven to not be reputable climate scientists but green lobby activists) happen to sway the sensibilities of the comfortably middle-class urban humanity broadly leftist grads who staff the organization.

    If the BBC cannot within it's role as government owned state broadcaster maintain it's impartiality rules it should probably just privatise and compete with the rest of the UK's broadcasting/media industry on it;s own merits.

    Whether you're me (that due to my own research has determined AGW to be a crock of smelly) or a self-professed environmentalist wanting to save the world from human hubris, I think we can all agree (assuming we're not douche-canoes with ulterior motives) that a free and liberal society requires free and liberal discourse and media, especially if it's state controlled and publicly funded.

    For or against either camp, censorship is just wrong.
    Denying fringe morons a platform to embarrass themselves on isn't censorship. If anything it's a favour.
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    There is no "censorship" of any kind taking place here.

    On one side of the "debate", you have nearly all of the world's scientists who study climate change. On the other side are journalists and oil company shills, with almost no scientists. Why should non scientists (like Nigel Lawson) be treated as though their views hold as much weight as qualified scientific opinion?

    If the BBC want to have a climate change "skeptic" on a programme discussing the science, they should either find a qualified scientist willing to present that view, or not have a "skeptic" on at all.
    If you insist on "balance" in situations where genuine balance doesn't exist, you end up with people like Nigel Lawson being dragged on to a programme alongside a world renowned scientist, a situation which would be funny if it wasn't about such a serious issue.

    They are still allowed BBC coverage by the way - just less. They are no longer going to give them the sort of coverage which implies their arguments have equal merit. This is a good thing and more accurately reflects the current scientific consensus.
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    (Original post by Studentus-anonymous)
    Bingo. Good post sir.

    There was an opinion piece in Monday's Times about the BBC decision, which broadly covers your point. The BBC shouldn't be held to the whims of whatever lobbyists (who have been proven to not be reputable climate scientists but green lobby activists) happen to sway the sensibilities of the comfortably middle-class urban humanity broadly leftist grads who staff the organization.

    If the BBC cannot within it's role as government owned state broadcaster maintain it's impartiality rules it should probably just privatise and compete with the rest of the UK's broadcasting/media industry on it;s own merits.

    Whether you're me (that due to my own research has determined AGW to be a crock of smelly) or a self-professed environmentalist wanting to save the world from human hubris, I think we can all agree (assuming we're not douche-canoes with ulterior motives) that a free and liberal society requires free and liberal discourse and media, especially if it's state controlled and publicly funded.

    For or against either camp, censorship is just wrong.
    The fact that the BBC is state-owned is more of a reason why it shouldn't give them airtime. It's funded by the public and thus the public have the right to learn the actual truth. If you people want to criticise the science they can do it on a private channel/newspaper or actually write a scientific paper to win the Nobel prize which would undoubtedly be on their mantel if they managed to refute AGW.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    For the most part it reprints press releases from political organisations (NGOs, government, charities) that predict consequences of CAGW rather than substantiate its existence.
    Of course they wouldn't be able to prove that; for starters the term "catastrophic" is a subjective term, and secondly it's a term that has never been used in any scientific paper as you can see here: http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?...n&as_sdt=0%2C5
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    (Original post by The Socktor)
    The fact that the BBC is state-owned is more of a reason why it shouldn't give them airtime. It's funded by the public and thus the public have the right to learn the actual truth. If you people want to criticise the science they can do it on a private channel/newspaper or actually write a scientific paper to win the Nobel prize which would undoubtedly be on their mantel if they managed to refute AGW.
    But, surely, it is their responsibility to give you both sides of the argument in cases where it isn't proven. Of course, due to political reasons they won't do this, after all, they're hardly going to have people accuse Israel of attempted genocide except on something like panorama.

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    But, surely, it is their responsibility to give you both sides of the argument in cases where it isn't proven.
    Yes, if that really is the case, but the fact is debating over whether or not humans are capable of causing global warming in this day and age would be like debating over whether bacteria really cause diseases.

    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Of course, due to political reasons they won't do this, after all, they're hardly going to have people accuse Israel of attempted genocide except on something like panorama.
    If that's sarcasm I don't get it because I don't watch that or know enough about the real situation in Israel.
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    (Original post by The Socktor)
    Of course they wouldn't be able to prove that; for starters the term "catastrophic" is a subjective term, and secondly it's a term that has never been used in any scientific paper as you can see here: http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?...n&as_sdt=0%2C5
    Lol climate deniers say the funniest things don't they. This is how it went:

    'Global warming is a lie'
    'Okay the world is warming, but its all natural cycles'
    'Okay the world is warming, and we are causing it, but its a good thing!'
    'Okay the world is warming, we are causing it, its bad, but it isn't catastrophic!'

    I always imagined that the sort of people that are climate skeptics would be watching the oceans boil in 5 billion years and claim the sun isn't expanding!
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    (Original post by The Socktor)
    Yes, if that really is the case, but the fact is debating over whether or not humans are capable of causing global warming in this day and age would be like debating over whether bacteria really cause diseases.
    Capable of doing something and actually doing something aren't the same thing. If tomorrow morning my mother was murdered, you could easily enough say that I'm capable of having done it, doesn't mean I actually did do it. Global warming has not yet been proven to be caused primarily by man.


    If that's sarcasm I don't get it because I don't watch that or know enough about the real situation in Israel.
    You aren't likely to get such a controversial statement made on the news unless there is evidence to substantiate the claim, wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't even allowed on panorama, but it or a similar program is likely where it would be said on terrestrial television. As for the situation, given my fairly limited study of the topic, I honestly would not put it past Israel to try it finding some way to make it slip through the net.

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    "Good news for viewers of BBC News: You’ll no longer be subjected to the unhinged ravings of climate deniers and other members of the anti-science fringe. In a report published Thursday by the BBC Trust, the network’s journalists were criticized for devoting too much airtime (as in, any airtime) to unqualified people with “marginal views” about non-contentious issues in a misguided attempt to provide editorial balance."
    Nail, head. I don't need to read more than that, that's absolutely correct.
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    (Original post by The Socktor)
    Of course they wouldn't be able to prove that; for starters the term "catastrophic" is a subjective term, and secondly it's a term that has never been used in any scientific paper as you can see here: http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?...n&as_sdt=0%2C5
    CAGW as opposed to AGW is an economic/political label, however this is important when the ultimate harm suggested is economic and the response political. No one would care about TAGW (Trivial Anthropogenic Global Warming).
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    There is no "censorship" of any kind taking place here.

    On one side of the "debate", you have nearly all of the world's scientists who study climate change. On the other side are journalists and oil company shills, with almost no scientists. Why should non scientists (like Nigel Lawson) be treated as though their views hold as much weight as qualified scientific opinion?
    None, though Nigel Lawson is certainly relevant to an economic or political debate.

    On the other hand, why should the CAGW bureaucracy have favourable stories printed about how you are literally murdering penguins that are based entirely on accurate predictions of future warming, when their own guys admit the prediction methods don't work?

    As I said here, this debate is based on bait-and-switch. There are some things which are genuinely indisputable but none of them, on their own, justify a number for warming by the end of the century, let alone a $ prediction of damages.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    With respect, a distinguished professor in this field gave a talk at the American Physical Society showing that the recorded data has now diverged significantly from the computer model predictions and, absent rapid warming in the near future, will soon fall out of the 95% confidence intervals. That has pretty strong establishment credentials. (You also at one point claimed that the scientific consensus was that there has been no pause in warming: note the title of this talk!)
    First, Curry, as noted already, is a pretty controversial figure, so hardly 'establishment'. Of course, that doesn't mean that she is wrong. However, reading her presentation as a scientist I don't actually see a 'smoking gun' here or indeed a claim by Curry that there is a real pause (note she states 'pause' as referring to a colloquial term rather than a genuine event). She, like a good scientist, is interested in improving climate models. What she is careful not to do is say that the climate models are wrong, because she actually can't. All she can say is that if there is a persistance in the divergiance from the models for a period of at least 20 years, this would indicate a problem with the models. Her views on what does and does not constitute responsible advocacy by a professional body are open to debate and aren't part of her scientific opinion.

    Second, to the data itself, even you state that the data is still within the 95% confidence intervals. You assume something about the future trend in order to claim that there is a problem with the models, which is simply not, at the point, backed up by the data or even skeptical scientists like Judith Curry. That is not how science works I'm afraid.



    So if there is a scientific consensus that AGW is happening, there is no consensus how much, or how to predict how much. That latter is the actually important question for technocratic political purposes. The complete irrelevance of CO2 to the climate is pretty much ruled out by basic physics, but +0.5C warming in a century would be economically irrelevant; conversely +10C warming would be devastating. It doesn't seem to me that the mainstream people believe - or have any good reason to believe - that they know with high certainty which it will be.
    Well, that view flies in the face of publish opinion of the mainstream on the topic through the IPCC reports. Whether you agree or not with those assessments, you can just ignore them and claim that there is no 'mainstream' view on the certainty of significant warming. Casting controversial viewpoints as 'mainstream' doesn't make them so.
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    (Original post by Rinsed)
    Compare the BMA. They have always advised the government on issues of public health. If they tell the government 'alcoholic drinks are bad, we advise you try to get the public to consume fewer' then that is fine. If, as they have done, they stand up and start publicly campaigning for a specific policy such as a minimum price on alcohol – as if their medical expertise gives them a corresponding economic expertise and the ability to properly assess all the effects of a policy – then they overstep their remit in many people's view.
    The BMA is in effect a union, not a professional society (which are the relevant Royal Colleges for practicing medical doctors) - very poor example. Also, the IPCC are not campaigning for a particular policy, what they are stating is that, in their scientific view, significant reductions in CO2 emissions are required to halt global warming to acceptable levels. I mean, I've litereally read the IPCC report summary for policymakers 10-15 times and I still can't see where they prescribe a particular policy response (i.e. closing all coal plant immediately and only using wind power, etc.). The summary sticks to describing the evidence for various effects of climate change and predictions of how that is likely to continue in the future if we do nothing and if we halt rises in CO2 emissions.


    I submit that climate scientists have behaved in a similar way. They have segued from advising governments of the science to publicly promoting specific policies. For instance, there was a large group of climate scientists who publicly called for fracking to be outright banned, as if their atmospheric expertise has an innate carryover. It doesn't, and indeed people with an expertise in that area generally argue that fracking is likely to decrease carbon emissions. There are numerous other examples, and if people like Lawson to stand up and provide a contrary view on policy then that is all to the good in my view.
    But they haven't acted under the aegis of the IPCC or any other professional body, even so there isn't really an issue with this as it is part of how scientists are expected to advise both privately and publically on policy. It's fairly clear that the reason why climate scientists are bothered about fracking is that it can be clearly linked to a scenario where fossil fuel 'lock in' is continued for many more decades and CO2 emission are likely to be higher than other scenarios where renewables take up that role. Of course, this actually may not the be the case if the right policies on CCS are pursued and if fracking replaces coal assets rather than edging out other low carbon generation technologies (a big if), but I can see their point. Fracking is a controversial issues precisely because how it impacts us and the environment are largely in the hands of what policies are in place around fracking and how we use the resultant gas - this is why there will be lots of vocal lobbying for all sides of the debate - to try and stifle this on one side smacks entirely of an agenda.

    But more than this, the recent IPCC report was not simply presenting evidence, but had a clear agenda to persuade policy-makers to act. This isn't the first report which has been viewed in this way, and the problem is that when scientists start to see that as their job we get the collusion and the data-manipulation which has afflicted some scientists. Again I bring up East Anglia, but there's been a few things in America as well recently. The tragedy of that is that in being overeager to convince people they're right, they only end up creating the suspicion it's all a big con.
    It isn't the first report by a long way because that is what scientific advice to policymakers on a wide range of topics for probably well over a hundred years of modern government has been about. Yet again, I can't see how this is any different to other scientific advice and behaviour and how singling out climate scientists and accusing them of not behaving professionally by doing this is at all justified. I mean, I didn't hear Lord Lawson complaining about the highly public and vocal support of nuclear power espoused by Sir David King when he was scientific advisor to the government. I also didn't hear any of his opponents (largely NGOs like greenpeace, etc) suggest that he should be able to express such an opinion publically even though they disagreed with it.

    In short, you seem to be complaining about something that has been a normal part of the interaction between scientists and government over a long period of time and a wide range of topics. The only conclusion to be drawn is that you (or the people you support) have an agenda to shutdown legitimate expression of scientific opinion on this particular topic because it doesn't suit your vested interests.
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    (Original post by DaveSmith99)
    This is good, giving equal time suggests there is still some kind of scientific debate on issues such as climate change when there really isn't.

    Relevant video

    That video is great.

    The BBC are doing the correct thing.
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    There is no "censorship" of any kind taking place here.

    On one side of the "debate", you have nearly all of the world's scientists who study climate change. On the other side are journalists and oil company shills, with almost no scientists. Why should non scientists (like Nigel Lawson) be treated as though their views hold as much weight as qualified scientific opinion?

    If the BBC want to have a climate change "skeptic" on a programme discussing the science, they should either find a qualified scientist willing to present that view, or not have a "skeptic" on at all.
    If you insist on "balance" in situations where genuine balance doesn't exist, you end up with people like Nigel Lawson being dragged on to a programme alongside a world renowned scientist, a situation which would be funny if it wasn't about such a serious issue.

    They are still allowed BBC coverage by the way - just less. They are no longer going to give them the sort of coverage which implies their arguments have equal merit. This is a good thing and more accurately reflects the current scientific consensus.
    This.

    I also think they should have to state how many peer reviewed journal articles the person has on the subject of climate change. A couple of said deniers, whilst being scientists, have published in areas like nuclear physics or unrelated areas of geology.
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    (Original post by QuantumOverlord)
    Lol climate deniers say the funniest things don't they. This is how it went:

    'Global warming is a lie'
    'Okay the world is warming, but its all natural cycles'
    'Okay the world is warming, and we are causing it, but its a good thing!'
    'Okay the world is warming, we are causing it, its bad, but it isn't catastrophic!'

    I always imagined that the sort of people that are climate skeptics would be watching the oceans boil in 5 billion years and claim the sun isn't expanding!
    I believe the term is now 'rational optimists' - first coined by viscount matt ridley who used the same philosophy to sink northern rock when he was chairman.

    Oh by the way, he's also a good friend of our very own London Mayor, and was the climate change speaker before the Olympics.
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    (Original post by QuantumOverlord)
    Lol climate deniers say the funniest things don't they. This is how it went:

    'Global warming is a lie'
    'Okay the world is warming, but its all natural cycles'
    'Okay the world is warming, and we are causing it, but its a good thing!'
    'Okay the world is warming, we are causing it, its bad, but it isn't catastrophic!'
    You touch on a good point there. It's funny how there is a scientific consensus that man made climate change is a threat, but almost no consensus in the denier community.

    We get "the world is not warming"
    "The world is warming, but it's natural"
    "The world is warming and it's partly our fault, but it's not enough to be a major threat"
    The world is warming and it's our fault, but it's a good thing"
    "There is no scientific consensus"
    "There is a scientific consensus, but the scientists are biased"

    And then we get the rabid wingnut - "OMG it's a left wing conspiracy to raise my taxes and the taxes of impoverished oil executives"
 
 
 
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