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BBC Wakes Up To Benefits Of Warming (And To AGW Skepticism)

It’s an early Christmas for AGW skeptics in the UK with the BBC all of a sudden abandoning it’s monolithic “the world will turn into cinder” orthodoxy.

Step forward Stephen Sackur, broadcasting a series of programmes about Greenland (with one article saying that scientific studies of the Greenland Ice Sheet” may not necessarily “indicate that catastrophe is around the corner; and a video with a very optimistic Greenlander (at around 1m30s) who should be made to tour all Greenpeace and WWF meetings).

And step forward…Roger Harrabin (!!!), finally fed up alongside millions of fellow citizens with the baseless climatic forecasts by the MetOffice, demonstrably wrong for three years in a row. So fed up, Mr Harrabin, that he’s given some  BBC space to Piers Corbyn (!!!!!).

0 replies on “BBC Wakes Up To Benefits Of Warming (And To AGW Skepticism)”

Sackur and proper journalism are not things which can coexist in the same space. Recently seen him ‘debating’ climate with an unfortunate invite on Hardtalk.

But, surely, you can not deny that global warming is here?
Don’t you KNOW that CO² emissions are the blablabla

He ranted on like this all through the 25 min Hardtalk, which to him seems to mean: overshout your guest and don’t listen to the responses.

I’ve been listening to a rather interesting interview by Stephen Sackur with Dr Gerd Leipold, Executive Director of Greenpeace. It’s on the BBC’s HARDtalk programme, and here’s here’s a link to the interview on iPlayer. It may not be available on iPlayer for long, and this is difficult to access from outside the UK, so I’ve transcribed a bit of it (apologies for the long comment):

Sackur: “I’ve just been to Greenland for HARDtalk and I’ve seen what’s happening on the ice and I’ve talked to glaciologists, I’ve talked to senior scientist David Etheridge, the Australian, who’s a leading climatologist, who deliberately, actually, refused to use the word “catastrophe”, because he said it’s incredibly difficult to model what is going to happen over the next hundred years, or even two, three, four hundred years, we don’t truly know, we don’t know all the feedback effects that are coming from the rise in carbon emissions that we see in the atmosphere. So he wouldn’t use that word. But when you, in one of your press releases that I read – July 15th, say this, and this is Greenpeace’s own press release – quote: “as permanent ice decreases, we are looking at ice-free summers in the Arctic as early as 2030.” That’s just plain misleading, isn’t it.

Leipold: I don’t think it is plain misleading. I know that there’s uncertainty.,,

Sackur: But hang on, the Arctic includes the Greenland ice sheet, I mean, the Greenland ice sheet is in the Arctic, that’s not going to melt by 2030, that’s preposterous.

Leipold: Greenland ice sheet is already retreating, and people there…

Sackur: Forgive me, the ice sheet, from which I have just come, is 1.6 million square kilometres, it is 3 kilometres thick in the middle, it has been there for hundreds of thousands of years. It has survived previous warming periods much warmer than we see today or will see tomorrow. There is no way that ice sheet is going to disappear.

Leipold: Well, ah, your words in God’s ears as we would say…

Sackur: You think it will be gone by 2030?

Leipold: I can’t say it will be gone by 2030. But what I can say is that 5 years ago, 10 years ago, the predictions by the scientists were more cautious than they are now. That we have growing evidence, we know better that we have the whole scientific community, serious scientists involved in trying to identify what are the effects, what can we predict, it is highly complicated…

Sackur: Dr Leipold, I’m shocked at what you’re telling me, there’s no question that the IPCC scientists believe very serious warming is happening, the glaciers are retreating and the sea ice is in real trouble, but nobody, no serious scientists I have talked to in the recent past, and I’ve talked to many of them, suggest that the Greenland ice sheet, over the next 20 or 30 years is in real trouble of disappearing. Nobody believes that. How can Greenpeace say that sort of thing?

Leipold: Don’t pick just on this one ice sheet in Greenland…

Sackur: It’s important because this gets to the heart of how you play your message. If you exaggerate, if you use alarmism, then the public, over time, is going to get sceptical.

Leipold: For 20 years we have talked about climate change. We have paid for studies, we developed an energy revolution as an alternative. For 20 years we had to live with the reality that even if you made perfectly reasonable statements, you were considered irrelevant. We were considered lunatics for a very long time…

Sackur: … I understand that. That’s no reason to make unreasonable statements now, is it? …

Leipold: … What we have said, by and large, over the last 20 years, I think, was wise, and was rational and reasonable too. And we were confronted with a world that, unfortunately, only recently has woken up to it. And we, as a pressure group, have to emotionalise issues, we’re not ashamed of emotionalising issues, I think it’s a fact.

Sackur: You call it emotionalising, others would call it scare tactics. Will you sit here now and tell me that you, in all honesty, do not believe that the Greenland ice sheet is going to melt by 2030.

Leipold: I don’t know, I don’t think it will be melting by 2030.

Sackur: So in fact would you say it was a mistake for your organisation to put that out?

Leipold: That may have been a mistake, I don’t know the specific press release, I do not check every press release of it, but what I do know is that the prospect of climate change is a very scary one…

Good for Greenland maybe. Not so good for other parts of the world, maybe. What we need to know is what the regional and local effects will be. Unfortunately the emphasis on “global” warming instead of local impacts, has confused people about which issues are actually important.

This is interesting; it’s only about four months now before Copenhagen, and I really thought they would have been ramping up the tension. Instead, references to “green-tinged politicians”, “excitable climate campaigners”, and…

“Could the retreat of Greenland’s glaciers be a harbinger of a much bigger change: the disappearance of the entire ice sheet?
Given even the most gloomy temperature projections for the next century that is extremely unlikely.”

“…even the worst-case scenario of man-made climate change is unlikely to reduce the northern hemisphere’s greatest mass of ice to a pathetic pile of slush in the foreseeable future.”

Is this the same BBC we know and love (to have a go at) ??

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