Ok, first off I’ll admit that I’m a luddite sceptic when it comes to the global environmental debate that seems to have been foisted on us for an indefinite period from around the mid-eighties. I’ve heard little except grave warnings, and deep grave warnings, throughout my life about what a mess we’ve made/are making of the world’s environment. My feeling about this statement has always been that it’s a shame to lose animals but people come first. To think I thought I had done my bit when I raised 30 quid for the WWF in ’89!
So, I’m posting because I have to, because other people have been telling me to get my finger out and say something about the BBC’s enviromania.
I’ll start with something I can be sure of: the BBC’s Evan Davies (often among the more balanced BBC types) made an exaggeration in an otherwise interesting article when he compared a peasant who was watching a road being built in economically upsurgent China to a Tiennamen Square protestor:
‘The scene was reminiscent of that famous image of the man in front of the tanks at Tiananmen Square. Here, there were no tanks, just earth-moving equipment.
The farmer was not exactly obstructing them, he was just gazing, but you could imagine him taking a forlorn stand against an anonymous power.’
To me this is demeaning to everyone involved in the analogy, and evidence not only of a complacent cultural ignorance, but the typical BBC dreamy mentality that what we see under capitalism is no better than what we saw under communism. Ok, China is a special case in a way, but needless to say, Davies finds that his assumption (his own word) about the peasant’s feelings about the road development was incorrect.
As for the BBC’s attitude to environmental warming issues, I suspect their prejudices are similarly entrenched. Wizbang has a couple of posts which help illustrate this. (thanks to reader Mike). Facile, trusting, picture-based journalism might summarise these instances nicely.
Unlike me and my support for the WWF, the BBC just can’t give up the causes they’ve espoused. I suspect the real reason for this is ignorance and fear of the unknown, which makes them more similar to me than they’d care to admit (hang on, aren’t you admitting that you and the BBC are similar?-ed Yes, I suppose so. Just that I know when to quit).
Ignorance and fear of the unknown aren’t enough, however, to explain the BBC’s many manias, the enviro one included. For that you need hubris and an inability to hear themselves. That’s why they should listen to people who dissent from their viewpoints, like Melanie Phillips (who no doubt has the effect on many Leftists of searing their eardrums tightly closed), who says
‘Some readers may have heard me on Wednesday night’s Moral Maze on BBC Radio Four on the subject of Kyoto (repeated on Saturday night at 2215). I was battling vainly against a green witness, my three fellow panellists and the chairman to get them to acknowledge not just that there was a division of scientific opinion about global warming but that, one by one, the key claims supporting the theory wwre being demolished.’
See, they can put her on a show but they can’t hear what she’s saying. The rest is must-read, btw.
There! I managed to post without mentioning any factual reasons at all why I disagree with both the BBC and their warming mantra. They have something to do with extensive vineyards in Roman England, skating on the Thames and a visit I made to the Orkney’s ancient settlement, Skara Brae. Ain’t Scotland ace? A good summary of this viewpoint here. For the BBC’s views on English vineyards, and some startling certainty about global warming, see here.