Guest article – Roger Harrabin to the rescue!

“It’s not often you get a top BBC journalist pooh-poohing the corporation’s top news programme, but that is what we saw a couple of days ago. The story begins with Monday’s Today programme, which told listeners in no uncertain terms that “there could be no insects left on Earth in a hundred years”. This story is based, of course, on the recently published scientific review of papers on insect populations that has been getting heavy play in the left-wing press this week.

The paper, published by two Australian researchers, claimed that insect populations across the globe are crashing and that disaster therefore loomed (most scientific papers these days seem to have similiar punchlines). However, within hours of the news splash on Monday, questions were already being asked about the reliability of the findings and since then, experts in the field have raised concerns too. One entomologist, Steven Falk, has since said “Will insects really disappear in 100 years? Of course not”, a position supported by Barnaby Smith of the Bumblebee Trust.

So it’s has been no surprise to find the mainstream media backsliding too. ITV’s Tom Clarke has written on the subject, saying that “making claims about the diversity or abundance of insects which aren’t necessarily supported by the facts risks undermining the power of the case”. Indeed.

But more amusingly, within a matter of hours of the Today programme’s hysteria-laden headlines, the BBC’s own Roger Harrabin had tweeted “Yes, insect decline is v worrying… but there will NOT be NO insects in 100 years, That’s loose talk – unless we’ve fried the planet by then. Cockroaches will outlive us.”

So there you have it: the BBC’s flagship news programme is engaging in “wild talk”. It’s official.

Andrew Montford is the deputy director of the Global Warming Policy Forum

Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Guest article – Roger Harrabin to the rescue!

  1. thehoiman says:

    You know, it used to be that doomsayers wandered around the streets wearing sandwich boards and were derided, if not pitied by the public at large. How did we go from this to having these people lauded as ‘top’ journalists?


  2. Beltane says:

    Of course, good old Rog is more than happy to fire off all manner of ‘loose’ and fully unsubstantiated ‘talk’ when it comes to climate but bugs and bees? Different ball game, apparently.


  3. NCBBC says:

    Global Warming and its bastard child, Climate Change BS, has cause untold damage to the pursuance of science, by corrupting its process. Once scientists enjoyed a reputation of total honesty. No more. Leftist Marxist politics, with the aim of destroying the West, has corrupted science to such an extent that even genuine honest science papers are viewed with suspicion, or down right rejected. We now have a situation where trivial Climate Change issues are designed to be as alarming and catastrophic as possible. This is the way to get attention. Yet another consequence of the corruption of science.

    Climate Change, so it reportedly goes, forced human beings to invent all manner of tools to ameliorate the effects of “Climate Change”, and finally the invention of modern Engineering and Industrial civilisation by Western man. This has been so successful, that now it allows journalists with degrees in media studies to write “learned” papers on Climate Change, and make a good living. This is an amazing development of “Climate Change”

    Will insects be wiped out. Not. But if we don’t get back to honesty, industrial civilisation itself will fall. Then insects will form a new civilisation.


  4. StewGreen says:

    Bottomline news is Public Relations
    so when it makes an extraordinary claim..don’t just accept it
    ..hold off until extraordinary evidence is clear

    And with science always hold off for a second independent replication paper.

    Some scientists said they had demonstrated “cold fusion” a few years back”

    … Never replicated of course.

    Apparently the media have extraordinary evidence of Trump & prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room… that they are holding off showing us ..ha hah


    • Fedup2 says:

      Admission – I don’t accept that the case is made ( yet) that we should change our behaviour – cut CO2 output and thereby ‘ save the planet ‘

      The arrogance of the current science community which claims – after less than 100 years of reliable weather records – that they fully understand how the planet works astonishes me .

      But politicians use the climate doctrine to control the population by penal taxation and the ‘ dont Do that ‘ mentality .

      Scare stories about dying insects, veg , animals just devalue debate and is used to sell papers . People like being scared don’t they ?


      • africamike says:

        Not the scientific community. Rather politicians who hold the purse strings of a lot of scientific research, so they can dictate the findings. No AGW, no funding.


  5. jip says:

    This is similar nonsense to this: “Schoolchildren protest over climate change” from the BBC:

    The article is filled with proclamations from children who do not know what they are talking about, except to re-spout leftist talking points.

    I have worked extensively in industrial process control, and even in these highly controlled environments mathematical modelling the whole process accurately can be very difficult because it requires many assumptions and missing data… I am pretty sure that modelling a whole planet, and predicting what will happen in 50 years is meaningless.

    However, even though i think the climate models are largely meaningless, i still think that we should cut down on fossil fuels because they will run out eventually… probably not in 100 years since there is a lot of coal, but in a thousand maybe… and we should stop wasting this valuable resource because it’s irreplaceable.

    So whats the difference n these viewpoints?

    Well the difference is simple, claiming that global warming will be our imminent doom requires a fix of “carbon credits”, yes folks the solutions is to give big polluting businesses free “carbon credits” that new start-ups have to pay for…. thus giving an advantage to big established industries so propping up share prices. This scheme has the added bonus that big finance will now have a lovely new derivative to trade… all on commission of course… and of course land owners get lots of lovely government money for wind farms and so on.

    What policies would the government enact if they were genuine about cutting fossil fuel consumption?:

    If the government really wanted to cut down on carbon emissions, they would give tax breaks to encourage working from home so saving on car emissions, and office heating, they would encourage companies to give free transport to their workers, they would tax the top 10% of least efficient companies in each industrial sector rather than giving them free carbon credits. They would encourage business to stagger the opening hours to reduce stop-start traffic in rush hour.

    But instead the government cram more people on to our small island increasing traffic, commutes and pollution. Offices are located in areas where no-one can afford to live so making long miserable commutes. The banking system is propped up which requires endless growth and ever increasing resource consumption. Factories are outsources to ares of the world with lower environmental standards…

    The whole thing is a scam, to figure out who is behind it, just look at who benefits… in this case just look at who benefits from “carbon credits”… ultimately its big finance at the end of the day, and you can be sure the last private jet in service when all the oil runs out will belong to big finance.


    • jip says:

      Incidentally i have also worked in the oil industry, you may have heard of ROI (return on investment)… well there is also something called EROI (which is energy returned on energy invested).

      For example (from memory)

      Saudi Arabia: 700 barrels of oil can be extracted with the energy from 1 barrel of oil.

      Fracking: 20 barrels of oil extracted with the energy from 1 barrel of oil.

      Alberta tar sands: 5 barrels of oil extracted with the energy from 1 barrel of oil.

      So oil will not be feasible as a fuel in 100-200 years… because when it takes more energy to extract 1 barrel of oil than the barrel is worth it will be non viable as a fuel. However there is a LOT of coal… probably enough for 1000 years or more.


      • Scroblene says:

        Blimey, Jip!

        Please don’t tell the BBC, because they’ll c**p their knickers!

        I always like comments from people who actually work the business, not bbbbc ‘journos’ who never really understand, and take home a wedge for being some sort of plonker on the set!

        Nobody with half a brain is interested on what idiots like Harrobin say anyway, he’s way out of his depth.


      • taffman says:

        I do know that back in 1979 the National Coal Board were advertising that there was at least another 300 years of coal left in Great Britain.
        Now, there are different means of extracting the energy from it with out mining it.


      • Up2snuff says:

        jip, it is actually worse than that. Oil costs money to get out of the ground. The ‘low hanging fruit’ has largely been taken. The reason the US is a net exporter again is that they are going after deep water extraction from difficult sites, as well as fracking.

        The problem for the AGW/CC proponents is that they think oil companies make loadsa money and they do so only from selling oil to refiners or refining it themselves into diesel and petrol fuels for road vehicles.

        What the so very scientifically knowledgeable ‘the science is settled’ AGW/CC proponents do not know, or have stupidly overlooked, is that oil companies make their money from flogging the stuff to plastics manufacturers, the pharmaceutical industry, the agri-chemical industry and the household chemical products industry. THAT is what makes the effort of getting it out of the ground worthwhile.

        The Chair of BP has now sounded a warning, I understand, in their latest set of accounts. The attack on road fuels by various Governments PLUS the current hostility to ‘plastics’ means that long before 2040 or 2050, the oil companies will not be able to make money from getting oil from existing fields, let alone more difficult ones.

        Nearly two years ago, Prof. Tony Seba – a Stanford University economist – predicted that oil will become an endangered species in eight years with “no more new petrol or diesel cars, vans & lorries sold anywhere in the world”. I thought at the time that that might be a little early but from now-ish, certainly by 2030, if there is no complete turnaround of thinking, policy and legislation around the world, oil will be very hard to get hold of.

        Before then, it will become increasingly expensive.

        We’ve had a warning this last weekend about the madness of AGW/CC with the failure of a small airline. Some of the next business failures may not be quite so small.


    • Samandjoe says:

      The most thorough and honest review I have read so far.


  6. TrueToo says:

    Imagine having to earn your daily bread desperately searching for ‘evidence’ to validate a ‘scientific’ theory in order to keep alleged scientists rolling in grant money – and to do so under the umbrella of an organisation which claims to be reliable and trust worthy.

    Roger Harrabin must surely realize by now that he has been duped and must continue to try to dupe the public in order to keep his cushy BBC job at public expense.

    Poor guy. I wonder how he sleeps at night.

    By the way, how are those polar ice caps doing? were they not meant to have melted years ago and flooded every coastal town and city on the planet?

    Last I heard, there was a sea level rise or three of about one-and-a-half millimeters. (OK I’m minimizing that a bit to emphasise the point.)


    • The Sage says:

      Yes, a classic case of an advocate (or even an activist) pretending to be a journalist. What other organisation would put up with this? Only the BBC.


    • Up2snuff says:

      TT, funny thing but while searching for Prof. Tony Seba’s name, I flicked through diary pages which showed how late in Spring and how early in Autumn from 2015 – 2017, incl., the GCH had had to be used to keep the Snuffy Household warm.


  7. StewGreen says:

    Now on R4 MoL “True cost of the damage we are doing to the planet”
    \\ Tuesday, Today programme listeners woke up to the news that the think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, had new statistics that showed the scale of the damage we humans are doing to the planet. It said that since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold. However, the IPPR soon corrected that date to 1950, blaming a ‘typo’, but climate change researcher and author of Six Degrees Mark Lynas tells Tim Harford why he thinks the IPPR’s numbers are still wrong.

    The Labour Party says Victorian diseases are returning, but is austerity really to blame? Lizzie McNeill and Tim Harford find the case is not proven. //


  8. Beltane says:

    There is a blessing of sorts. Although the majority of the children’s teachers are obviously complicit in the promotion and organisation of saving the planet and happy to facilitate a day off, thus far the jihadists haven’t jumped on the climate bandwagon.
    Do Semtex explosions create CO2, or is it a reagent cleanser?


    • Up2snuff says:

      Beltane, explosions create vast amounts of heat in a small area, hence the ‘bang’, air rushing about and all that.

      I have, in the past, tried – unsuccessfully – to get Harrabin and McGrath to investigate the amount of AGW/CC CO2 caused by the British military. Not just vehicles, but every ‘bang’ is some warming due to something burning and then there’s the CO2 of manufacture of the ordnance, let alone other bits of military kit.

      I seem to recall – but could be wrong, please correct if so – that someone has calculated that more ordnance has been used in the 21st century (by about 2013/2014/2015) than in THE WHOLE OF THE 20th CENTURY with its two World Wars and only two years or so without a less major conflict somewhere on our planet.


  9. TrueToo says:

    The sage – true, and the BBC not only puts up with it, it actively encourages this ‘activism’ on the part of its ‘journalists.’


  10. Guest Who says:

    Rog 2 in the making?

    Joey’s bio says he is a ‘journalist’ for BBC Politics. In the same way Paul Mason was an Economics Editor.

    Which might explain if not excuse the right on reference to a Jon Snow moment about Mrs. May that has zero to do with the March.

    Also stopping traffic is seldom a great way to reduce emissions, you juvenile sub-Wolfie tool.

    Hope he got laid.

    And then fired.

    Suspect neither.


  11. StewGreen says:

    \\ Check out this little gem of a page from Sky News:

    Insect story, increasing heatwaves, kids on strike, Thunberg, melting Arctic, you name it, all the memes are there.

    Why you can trust Sky News:


  12. Up2snuff says:

    The Horrorbin is at it again this morning. Hoping to tax poor people more by making their clothes more expensive with the help of a Committee of MPs.

    ‘Oh, it’s only a one penny tax per garment.’

    Yeah, right. How long will it stay at that rate?


    • StewGreen says:

      1p means if someone sells a million pairs of socks they pay a tax of £10K
      Those million socks might be sold for £500K
      the profit on each pair might be 5p ie £100K
      .. that 1p could be 20% of your profit

      Obviously if the garment is £20 profit could be £2, £5
      so that 1p isn’t much of your profit.
      OTOH a loss cos you get stuck with a load of stock


  13. Guest Who says:

    The BBC ‘reframes’? Shocked I tell you, shocked.

    Some might say the BBC has tried to shoehorn a current issue of concern they have into an ongoing one.

    Some might say.