We all know the BBC has decided that the ‘science is settled’ with regard to climate change being man made…..strangely however the BBC constantly tells us that science is a ‘process’ (a line no doubt picked up from Dr Joe Smith) and that science is all about doubt and questioning results.

The BBC for some reason does not think that applies to climate change despite there being no ‘proof’ of a significant CO2 link.

The BBC is also pretty adamant that ‘climate sceptics’ are a bunch of unqualified bloggers or lunatics with no climate science credentials to back up their claims.

The BBC is however prepared to listen to Stern, an economist, or Ed Miliband, a graduate in politics, economics and philosophy…or Al Gore or George Monbiot, a zoology graduate turned journalist, or Paul Nurse, a geneticist,  or indeed the late Richard Black and the still present Roger Harrabin…journalists, very definitely not climate scientists….not scientists at all.

Not being scientists means you are not a scientist….and a geneticist is just as ‘unqualified’ to speak about climate change as a shelf stacker at Tescos…or as ‘qualified’ if you like… does not mean you cannot read and understand what climate scientists report…and come to your own valid conclusions based upon that information….as every politician in government has to.

The BBC seems to have once again admitted the value of public scrutiny of ‘science’ and the fact of uncertainty in that science….in this Today programme…… (8:41) in which Tom Feilden talks to David Spiegelhalter about people’s perceptions of science…..just a shame that they seem to be struck by the old Orwellian ‘Double Think’…the ability to honestly believe something and yet deny it at the same time… telling us of the uncertainty of science and the need for openness by scientists and public scrutiny of their work…but refusing to allow that in the case of climate change…..


TF:  We have misconceptions about science…we always think that science can give us the right answers all the time and of course almost by definition science is the other way round…that scientists work in areas where ambiguity and uncertainty is rife…..However many resources we put into it there is always uncertainty attached to it.

If the answer is for scientists to be more open about the gaps in their knowledge and for the media to resist the temptation to push for greater certainty then the message whether it’s about earthquakes or climate change is going to get harder to interpret.but perhaps the days when men in white coats could offer smug reassurance and be believed have long one…

DS:  ….and that is  no bad thing.….That paternalistic view is no longer an adequate response.….
TF:  But it is going to be messier…if society is going to have to shoulder more of the responsibility for interpreting the information coming from science.

DS:  Yes.…it is messier…but I think it is more honest and the way that science has to go.


Spiegelhalter seems a safe bet for the BBC (much like Steve Jones examining ‘impartiality’) having been a presenter on a previous programme and a Fox News sceptic…

‘Tails you win: the science of chance’ aired on BBC4 at 9pm on October 18th. The video trailer is up on Youtube

David Spiegelhalter ?@undunc
Staggering fiddled graphics by Fox News  – wonderful teaching material


Amusing end to the programme with Evan Davis revealing his New Year’s resolution….‘To allow a bit more nuance and some least for three weeks.’





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25 Responses to DOUBLETHINK

  1. Guest Who says:

    ‘To allow a bit more nuance and some least for three weeks.’
    Then presumably, and unashamedly, back to clunking dogma and blatant bias for the next 49 again?
    The honesty would be welcome if there was a hint of irony or shame attached.
    There’s no accounting for… well anything at the BBC.


  2. Jim Dandy says:

    “We know that the BBC has decided that the science has been settled with regard to climate change”

    No we don’t “know” that. You’re creating a straw man and then finding it wanting against a proper under standing of what science is.

    The BBC has gone through an intense process of considering how you have impartial coverage on areas where the science is not settled but where the balance of evidence is firmly in one direction. And out of this has come the entirely reasonable policy of due weight.

    Climate change is in that category although it is so complex and uncertain that properly sceptical views need to be heard where there is a proper scientific basis for that scepticism.

    Where the BBC downplay these views then it should be criticised. But balance on this issue should notbe point counterpoint because the science leans firmly in one direction.


    • Ian Rushlow says:

      No, the science does not lean firmly in one direction. The ‘science’ that the BBC reports leans firmly in one direction. Much like the ‘facts’ they report on Israel, immigration, the European Union and Islamisation all tend to lean in one direction (and that is leftwards).


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘a proper under standing’
      The definition of ‘proper’ (not to mention the next) might help in what ‘you’ think ‘we’ do or don’t know.
      But the majority of evidence from the BBC and its ideological fellow travelers does suggest that on this topic a degree of establishment settlement has long been etched into stone and any deviation resisted.
      ‘David Milliband, UK Environment Minister
      “I think that the scientific debate has now closed on global warming, and the popular debate is closing as well”
      What you ‘know’ appears from a singular source.
      Others may seek a more rounded grounding before taking your word on such things.
      When the BBC engages in intense processes internally and then moves heaven and earth to avoid sharing even what the process was/is, much less the results, the conlcusions, so far, have seldom suggested ‘balance’.


    • Old Goat says:

      Oh, come on – if the BBC believed black was white (and probably does), that’s the meme they’d espouse, even if proved wrong. They have too many irons in the fire to admit they’ve fiddled and lied their way around climate change with the worst of them to back away now. You, clearly, go along with it, too – lower your blinkers a tad.


    • johnnythefish says:

      The ‘science’ on man-made global warming only leans in one direction because the likes of the IPCC and the BBC say it does.

      Go and read Donna LaFramboise’s book ‘The Delinquent Teenager…’ if you really want to get out of your comfort zone on this one and discover the huge deceit being perpetrated by the IPCC.

      In the meantime, here’s a flavour of how it operates:

      Loads more examples on the same site.

      But I suspect you know all this because you also know AGW is just a front for an eco-socialist political agenda, as the mitigating actions contained in the IPCC report and its mirror-image UN Agenda 21 openly demonstrate.

      PS For a brilliant expose of the AGW bias at the BBC, have a read of this (as you ignored it on the Open Thread):

      Click to access booker-bbc.pdf

      Good to hear you changed your mind about Maggie over the years. Your epiphany on global warming awaits….


    • johnnythefish says:

      And your reluctance to engage on the following over the past several weeks has been noted, Jim. Any thoughts yet on how to defend your lying BBC?

      (Copied from latest Open Thread)

      An Australian slant on THAT secret meeting with the ‘climate change’ activists, and its filthy rotten legacy at the BBC. Still amazed nobody has called for an enquiry on this, so worth keeping it simmering on this site at least in the hope that it might still happen. This is as good an account as any I’ve read:


      • Jim Dandy says:

        I usually fear to tread on climate change threads because you quickly sink into conspiracy, lunacy and the (even worse) someone praying James Delingpole in aid of their case. I used to class myself as a sceptic; sceptical of the way people were using an emerging series of data and scientific material to argue for absolute certainty both of what would happen and what should be done. But idiots like Delingpole have now coopted that term.

        Anyway, the conference you mention can if you wish act as more evidence for the grand AGW conspiracy. I’ve seen the BBC’s response and am satisfied with it. Their editorial policy on AGW seems sound to me.


        • Old Goat says:

          Doesn’t take much to satisfy you, does it?

          I’m FAR from satisfied.


          • Guest Who says:

            ‘I’ve seen the BBC’s response and am satisfied with it.’
            At the moment CECUTT is also still trying to compose itself having been challenged to explain just how a person becoming self-satisfied qualifies as anything of value in a debate.
            Even when from… gasp… a ‘director’.
            Likewise the seeming of soundness.
            The era of ‘it is because the BBC says it is’, is over.
            Parroting such a line here is rather daft.


        • johnnythefish says:

          Conspiracy and luncacy? Please can you explain what you mean? If they are such, they should be easy to dismiss with a few pithy arguments, surely? So, come on, it’s not like you to be so retiring…

          And a critique of Delingpole’s position would be nice. Think you can manage it?

          Can you explain why temperatures have remined flat for 15 years even though CO2 levels have kept rising, and the climate models proved wrong – ‘Trenberth can’t account for the lack of warming
          in one e-mail, a top “warmist” researcher admits it’s a “travesty” that “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment.” As it happens, the writer of that October 2009 e-mail—Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of the warmist bible, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report—told Congress two years ago that evidence for manmade warming is “unequivocal.” He claimed “the planet is running a ’fever’ and the prognosis is that it is apt to get much worse.” But Trenberth’s “lack of warming at the moment” has been going on at least a decade’.

          And maybe you can explain where the ambiguity lies in ‘hide the decline’.

          And do you still believe in hockey sticks?

          And why the obsession with Delingpole? Why not pick on a sceptical scientist – there are loads of them out there. If Paul Nurse is so sure about the ‘settled science’ he should have had no problem interviewing a few this week on Today. Any thoughts on why he didn’t?

          And can we come back to your defence of your lying, secretive BBC and their CMEP meeting? Have you got one?

          Come on, get your fingers out of your ears and join a debate.


          • Richard Pinder says:

            True about Delingpole. Ned Nikolov, Karl Zeller and Henrik Svensmark are far more dangerous than Delingpole.

            Delingpole is just an unusually good journalist, who is actually doing some journalism, unlike the grotesquely incompetent journalists at the BBC, who actually benefit financially from failure.


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Jim, how can you be satisfied with the BBC lying to you? Even if you are a true believer in Warmism, that doesn’t make it right for the BBC to lie to the public. Not only that, but how and why do you accept an ostensibly news/current affairs editorial policy on a specific topic getting deliberately infused into drama and comedy? It’s the exact kind of thing the BBC claims they don’t do. Yet that meeting was prima facie evidence of it.

          And you’re okay with it because you feel they’re on the correct side of an issue?


          • johnnythefish says:

            You are banging your head against a brick wall on this one, David, as Jim is fully aware of what is behind the AGW movement because he supports it. Nobody of Jim’s apparent intelligence could blindly accept what they are being told by the alarmists in the face of real-world evidence and the way the ‘science’ is being conducted, from Climategate through IPCC exposees through the BBC’s own sorry role.

            The alarmists attack Delingpole because he’s got them sussed – it’s as simple as that. They are trying the good old leftie tactic of character assassination with him, much in the way they did with David Bellamy and Johnny Ball (and anyone else who dares express a contrary opinion). What they have consistently avoided, however, is engaging in debate with sceptical scientists. Instead we have the likes of Nurse, who has run into trouble with members of his own society over his stance on AGW theory, carping from the sidelines on how it’s not real science (amazing how Richard Lindzen, Professor of Climatology at MIT, has kept his job in that case).

            If AGW theory collapses it will be a major dent in the global socialist cause enshrined in Agenda 21 and built on AGW/IPCC ‘mitigating actions’. The stakes in this are huge, so the eco-socialist alarmists will go to any lengths to make sure they crush debate at every opportunity.

            Thank God for the internet.


            • David Preiser (USA) says:

              No, Jim clearly believes the alarmists, believes the scientists who created the whole thing. That’s why he said the BBC’s policy is sensible. What I’m asking is if he thinks it’s okay for the BBC to lie to the public and, contrary to their claims, issue a directive from the top to infuse drama and comedy shows with an editorial message.


              • johnnythefish says:

                Think about it: he hasn’t attempted a single supporting argument other than ‘the science is settled’, let alone answer any questions, merely repeated ad hominem attacks on bit players on the sceptics side.

                He shows all the traits of being foursquare behind the eco-socialist politics of it despite his watermelon denials – he musters the stock mantras of the alarmist lobby all to easily not to be deeply embroiled (in fact he’s sounding more and more like Monbiot). His mind is closed.

                Be very wary of this guy.


            • Jim Dandy says:

              Delingpole and Bellamy both believe homeopathy works. That fact alone means you should not listen to a Word they say on any matter where the science should guide us.

              That said, I am with you on alarmism. The issue for me isn’t the science, which is increasingly clear. It is how we assess what the likely impact will be and how should we respond.

              So I am broadly with Lomborg here. I think wind is a red herring and that nuclear is where we should head. I’m all for fracking. And I only started recycling under pressure from the council.

              So no watermelon me.


              • David Preiser (USA) says:

                Jim, all that aside, are you okay with the BBC lying to the public and directing drama and comedy programmers to infuse a message into their broadcasting?


              • johnnythefish says:

                Here you go, Jim – from some of those pesky sceptic scientists (and not a Delingpole in sight)…..


                Give us your thoughts.


                • David Preiser (USA) says:

                  There’s no point in arguing the reality or non-reality of AGW with Jim. Nobody here is going to convince anybody of anything one way or the other. The real problem – whether AGW is real or not – is that the BBC has deliberately lied to the public about what went on in that meeting, and also lied about not issuing editorial directives from on high to insert policy agenda on a specific issue across the spectrum of broadcasting, including drama and comedy programming. The BBC has lied about this more than once.

                  Jim is unable to address this, which is the real issue here.


              • Richard Pinder says:

                Homeopathy is a very popular with left-wing greenies in Islington, but I have never considered this relevant in a scientific debate about Atmospheric Physics.


                • David Preiser (USA) says:

                  It’s useful for character assassination in debates, though. Kind of like how Dr. David Gregory dismisses Piers Corbyn’s work on climate because of his other claims about earthquakes, or how Justin Webb suggested that Sarah Palin is unfit for public office because of what he thinks is her religious belief about something completely unrelated to politics or her ability to run an administration.

                  Find one flaw, and everything a person says about anything else can be summarily dismissed.


    • Richard Pinder says:

      Well for me the Unified Theory of Climate has made the understanding of Climate Change much more simpler than it was two years ago.

      It has proved that facts are more important than a consensus of ignorance for an assumption.

      In science you get facts that allow you to prove an assumption wrong, and just like Copernicus, you have to wait until the consensus of ignorance disappears.

      The BBC has gone through an intense process with a bunch of ignorant left-wing green activists with a vested interest in censoring science, scientists and scientific debate, as well as not having any relevant qualifications in the science, even the two scientists present had no qualifications relevant to the Atmospheric Physics of calibrating CO2 warming in a Planetary Atmosphere.

      From my contacts in the scientific community, the BBC is about to face its biggest crises yet.


  3. pah says:

    Whilst I agree with the general thrust of your argument I do not see the doublethink in believing in the scientific method and not engaging with some theorists.

    For example I doubt very much the BBC, nor you I suppose, would give much time to someone who believed in a flat earth or that the sun orbited the Earth. I would not unless they were an accreditted astrophysicist and even then I’d suspect they’d been at the magic mushrooms.

    The scientific method does dictate that all theoriies should be considered – only those with the requisite proofs need considering.

    Ironically, this is why the AGW debate is such a waste of time, or, more likely political rather than scientific. The science is far from settled.

    If an astrophysicist had a theory that was regularly 400%+ out in its predictions then I’d think he was missing something in his theory. AGW predictions often fail by this figure. So something is not right …

    Incidently, there is another form of bamboozlement that the AGW crowd love and that is the misrepresentation of statistics. For example I went through the Met Offices figures on average temperatures (averages of averages in fact) and found that they did indeed show a rise in average temperatures of 0.3 Celcius between 1962 and 2000. But the stated margin of error was 0.5 Celcius so the figures were inconclusive to say the least. Yet the Met Office is often cited as a source of data for AGW proof of theory. Curious isn’t it?


  4. George R says:

    When he returns from his holday, will Hampstead Harrabin scold fellow Beeboid high-cost greenie, McGrath for putting in this bit at the end of an article on Obama’s subsidies for wind farms?:-

    “Some analysts argue that all subsidies to wind should end and the industry should stand on its own two feet. They say that the current arrangements mean that energy companies continue to make money even when there is a surplus of wind and the market price is negative.

    “Dan Kish is with the Institute for Energy Research, a body long critical of subsidies for renewables. He told BBC News the extension of the tax credit was expensive, unnecessary and destabilising to the electricity grid.

    “‘Wind produces power at a fraction of its stated capacity, and is increasingly adding unnecessary costs to consumers, just as it is in the UK,’ he said.

    “‘They are creations of government and serve only to make their builders and owners wealthy at the expense of the public.'”