It used to be the case that people all around the world tuned in to the BBC in order to get the news that other broadcasters censored out. Generally, the standard of BBC reporters is very high. Which makes it all the more remarkable that one of them – Richard Black, the Environment Editor – has attracted such a huge amount of criticism for his work in censoring news about the environment. Not, of course, that you will hear any of the criticism of him on the Beeb, which is protecting its own fiercely.
The Guardian is not my natural stamping ground, but I was surprised to be rather impressed by the recent speech given by its Editor in Chief Alan Rusbridger about the importance of Twitter as an important disseminator of news these days. The same must be said, of course, for the huge number of blogs all around the world these days: I turn to them for news at least as often as I turn to the mainstream media since they tend to be faster, more complete and more diverse in allowing all viewpoints to be aired. And in the blogs, Richard Black gets a very bad press indeed, from all around the world.
You might agree with his staunchly warmist views, or you might not. But to have someone who attracts such contempt cannot be good for the BBC, or indeed for the UK. Surely it would be better to have someone with a more balanced viewpoint in this role, and to shift Richard Black sideways to something a little less loaded, like basket weaving, or retail news, or Welsh affairs, or something.
Some of the criticism comes from respected journalists, like Peter Sissons, Christopher Booker and Lord Lawson. But perhaps more telling is the sheer weight of generalised opinion out their in the blogosphere that the sort of evangelical spin which Richard Black indulges himself in is simply not acceptable. Here are a few examples – I could have copied and pasted in many, many more, but these give the general flavour:
Numerical evidence for Richard Black’s (hence, the BBC’s) biased reporting on climate can be found in the amount of space dedicated to the various arguments in the “appalling” article about Japan’s emission targets.
The article is made of 469 words. Of those, 249 make up “neutral” sentences (54%). Negative comments are made of 156 words (34%). Only 58 words (13%…a mere three sentences!!) are left to explain the reasons for the Japanese government’s decision (see below for separate extracts).
Posted by Tory Aardvark
The BBC’s record on reporting Anthropogenic Global Warming is at best suspect, at worse blatant ManBearPig propaganda.
The Climategate emails, datafiles and programs were in the possession of the BBC a full month before they were put on the Russian server, yet the BBC did nothing.
The Climategate emails show an unhealty relationship between Michael Mann at Penn State, Phil Jones at the CRU and the IPCC; the BBC’s “science correspondent” Richard Black has some questions to answer about his professional relationship with Michael Mann and Phil Jones.
BBC’s Richard Black resorts to deception and spin
Richard Black is a disgrace to journalism as the second and third paragraphs demonstrate. He is a cheap propagandist who is determined to push the man made global warming line in spite of any counter evidence. The standing committee did not have a brief to look for anything that challenged ‘the prevailing view of human-induced global warming’. Black deliberately put this in to make it appear as if they did and that the prevailing view has been validated. The committee’s remit was to focus on how the Independent Climate Change E-mails Review (ICCER) and Scientific Appraisal Panel (SAP) did their job and addressed the issues raised. Black knows this very well because he read the summary as used the final paragraph as central thrust of his story.
It is impossible to trust the BBC’s coverage. Black is not impartial and he has long since abandoned journalistic ethics.
The appalling Richard Black, the pseudo-science guy on the BBC, is currently saying that any coming solar minimum might only compensate for the coming CO2-induced heat – the models say so! Any strongly sceptical comments on his blog are rapidly and heavily edited!
Grizzled Bear says:
When hard-hitting top-notch investigative journalists like Richard Black (cough! Excuse me while I choke up a hairball!!) get hold of this stuff, he spins a yarn better than the girl trapped in the tower in Rumpelstiltskin (sorry, couldn’t resist again!). “Now kiddies, lie back and close your eyes and suspend all rational thought while Uncle Richie concocts a tale guaranteed to scare the pi** out of you.” Remember that, while you might be extremely scientifically articulate, the average reader of Black’s literary genius probably isn’t. Black knows this and, in fact, counts on it. That’s why he’s always spinning like a Republican at a Democratic convention (or visa versa, if your politics prefers)
Nov 2, 2011 at 6:53 PM | Martin Brumby
There are three possibilities.
(1) Black is a moron.
(2) Black is completely dishonest.
(3) both (1) & (2).
So that’s a (3), then.
Friday, 04 November 2011 14:56 Dr. David Whitehouse
The BBC should be, or at least aspire to be, the gold standard. So it is depressing to come across such a skimpy analysis, and sloppy use of statistics as in this briefing given to BBC staff by their Environment Correspondent Richard Black… What Mr Black with his “non-statistical exercise” did not do is what one would have expected a BBC correspondent to do. That is, reflect the scientific literature concerning the temperature pause of the past ten years. The are many, many examples, and it is not now widely contested in scientific circles… This is a dismaying standard of scientific literacy from a BBC correspondent.
Ken Hall says:
Richard Black is not an impartial journalist, as he should be at the BBC. He is a believer and advocate of a political and sociological argument which perverts science to achieve a political objective.
Alea Jacta Est says:
Almost without exception Black reports from a left wing politicized standpoint and from the AGW songsheet at every turn. Why let facts get in the way of political polemic?
I have no faith in the impartiality or reporting quality of the BBC and unfortunately I still have to pay for these imbeciles.
Geoffry Simkins says:
Throughout my life I have trusted the BBC to be an honest and unbiased source of information….
I doubt I shall ever believe anything the BBC tells me again. I am really sad to say that.
We mustn’t forget that Black is the Team’s inside man at the BBC:
From one of Mann’s Climategate emails:
“It is extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on the BBC. It’s particularly odd, since climate is usually Richard Black’s beat at the BBC (and he does a great job).”
When will the BBC begins to report this on their broadcast media? So far nothing on the PM programme, R4 News at 6pm, or BBC1 News at 10pm, yet Google News now yields nearly 300 hits on the story.
Richard Black has a disgraceful bit of warmist PR on the website here, but why the hold-up with breaking the news on the rest of Auntie’s output?
Classic BBC and Richard Black bias December 10, 2011
The UN climate talks are heading to a deal, Richard Black tells us – which to those of us outside the bubble is pretty surprising… Black then nails his colours to the mast, writing (my italics):
India has been accused of being one of the main countries blocking a progressive deal here, along with China and the US.
This is editorialising in a news report. Not only did Black feel relaxed about doing this, no alarm bells appear to have rung at the BBC about posting it on their “news” website – and that just after Booker’s long analysis of BBC bias on greenery had cause to keep on naming Black as an offender.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Richard Black the BBC Warmist spinmeister is having awful trouble convincing readers that the Durban Climate hug-fest accomplished anything which of course it didn’t. Nations ” appear to be edging their way to agreeing that a process towards a new carbon-cutting deal should start in the New Year.”
Warmist gobbledygook translating as “nothing happened so we will pretend something will happen in the future.”
Richard Black: The Silence Says Everything
December 16, 2011 Black’s Whitewash
Even the Guardian, the print arm of the BBC, has covered the Police raid on Tallbloke
Now take a look at the BBC’s environment section:
You will note nothing, nadda, zilch is there covering this development in the Climategate story.
Doesn’t that seem a bit odd? Especially considering how Richard Black has jumped in fast and hard on every previous development.
Since the IPCC admitted last year telling huge porkies about the dangers from Himalayan glaciers, dozens of greenies have clearly been sent there to prove that they were right after all. Last month, for example, Richard Black faithfully reported, on a sample size of 10 out of 54,000 glaciers, that ‘ice loss was accelerating’, underlining the need for massive new taxes at the Durban climate talks. It was rubbish, of course. Now Mr Black’s colleague-in-arms, Jonathan Amos, has filed a Boxing Day tale of woe as part of the IPCC’s continuing campaign. His worry is that near the Cho Oyo peak, a new ‘enormous’ meltwater lake called Spillway (who called it that, I wonder?) could – because of undoubted warming – bring menace:
The concern is that this great mass of water could eventually breach the debris dam and hurtle down the valley, sweeping away the Sherpa villages in its path. The threat is not immediate, but it’s a situation that needs monitoring, say scientists.
As usual, despite the uncertainty that he clearly acknowledges, it’s a onesided rant about impending peril. The source of it appears to be mainly Ulyana Horodyskyj, from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado in Boulder, US. And her qualifications? She’s reading for her doctorate in gelogical sciences. Well golly gosh, our future is in safe hands.
The rest of the piece is larded with claims such as that that the region is like Swiss cheese and that this is an ‘exponential (meltwater) growth area’.
Put alarmist greenies guzzling on fat research grants into an area, and they will find a problem. And the BBC will be faithfully there to report it.
I would not normally post on the same topic two days running, so forgive me. But right on cue after my post yesterday about Richard Black exaggerating the impact of nitrogen dioxide, his colleague Mike Amos has obligingly followed up with a supine piece about the dangerous effects of ‘n species’ (greenie for nitrogen compounds). It seems to me that these pesky n****s could be the BBC greenies’ latest line of assault.
Richard Black is the man most obviously at the delivery end of the BBC’s deeply biased approach to greenie reporting, as readers of this blog well know. This post unusually requires going back in time because I have only just got access to the transcripts, they take time to prepare. It’s worth re-visiting because they show the extent to which Mr Black works with others at the BBC to pursue and exaggerate the green agenda. Back on November 14, he decided that – at the bidding of an extremist outfit called Client Earth (motto: ‘Justice for the Planet’; patrons, those scientific experts – Coldplay)- he would elevate the perennial greenie bogymen ‘atmospheric pollutants’ (in this case, especially nitrogen dioxide) to a whole new level of menace
Posted by Ben Pile on December 22, 2011
If the sceptics’ ‘hide the decline claim’ was as easy to debunk as Black claimed, Muller — a Professor of Physics — would not have needed to bother with the BEST project. But Black had invented the claim he had attributed to sceptics, for which he later apologised. But the cat was out of the bag: rather than accurately representing the arguments made in the debate, he had picked a straw man to argue with, rather than sceptics.
Had Black wished to overcome the limitations of mediocre journalism, to get to the heart of the debate, there are many well-informed sceptics he could have turned to for comment and advice.
>> Monday, December 26, 2011
Since the IPCC admitted last year telling huge porkies about the dangers from Himalayan glaciers, dozens of greenies have clearly been sent there to prove that they were right after all. Last month, for example, Richard Black faithfully reported, on a sample size of 10 out of 54,000 glaciers, that ‘ice loss was accelerating’, underlining the need for massive new taxes at the Durban climate talks. It was rubbish, of course.