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The BBC apologised on Tuesday for airing a radio show involving climate change sceptics without pointing out that scientists overwhelmingly agree that climate change is somewhat caused by man.
What’s the Point of the Met Office? was broadcast on Radio 4 early in August, featuring the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts, Peter Lilley MP, Graham Stringer MP, the TaxPayers’ Alliance Andy Silvester, and weather forecaster Piers Corbyn, brother of Labour leader Jeremy.
During the show the sceptics questioned the view that climate change is caused by man, Piers Corbyn having long argued that solar energy is responsible for climate change rather than manmade emissions, a view he has put forward through his company WeatherAction since 1995.
According to the weather forecaster the reason that the media, government and Met Office are so keen to push the carbon-based theory of climate change is because of a Qatari-led plot to keep oil prices high, a view that London mayor Boris Johnson has flirted with in columns for the Telegraph.
After the broadcast of What’s the Point of, scientists complained to the Beeb for not putting the comments in their proper context, with Andy Smedley, an atmospheric scientist at Manchester University, receiving an email from the broadcaster in response.
— Andy Smedley (@ardsmedley) October 6, 2015
“With regard to What’s the Point of the Met Office, we do not consider that the programme met our required standard of accuracy or impartiality in its coverage of climate change science. As previously stated, we also recognise that, in giving voice to climate change sceptics, it failed to make clear that they are a minority voice, out-of-step with the scientific consensus – which we would normally expect on the occasion when we include such viewpoints.”
As the email states, “false balance” has been a problem for the Beeb and other broadcasters in dealing with climate change, with programmes often pitting one climate change advocate against a sceptic, making it appear as though scientists are divided on the matter.
There’s no better way of showing this than the clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which should also make you feel better about the whole situation (or then again, not):
Image Credit – Iceberg, December 2012 by National Ocean Service