Letter sent to “Sunday: Religious News“, the BBC Radio4 weekly broadcast.
(see also: “At The BBC, Not Even Religious Programmes Are Sacred“, July 9, 2009)
From: Maurizio Morabito
To: “Sunday: Religious News” at the BBC
Date: 8 Nov 2009
Subject: About your obsession with global warming
Dear Roger Bolton, Jane Little and all at the “Sunday: Religious News” programme
Your obsession with global warming is starting to worry this long-time listener of yours.
In the first “incident” of 5 July the topic of “Global Warming” took over 27% of what is presumed to be 45 minutes dedicated to “the religious and ethical news of the week“. On 1 November, that number went up to 29%. Today 8 November, Global Warming occupied almost 44% of your programme.
(actual statistics for Global Warming time on “Sunday”: 5 July: 11m47s in two tranches; 1 Nov: 12m45s; 8 Nov: 18m56s)
By the look of it, by the time of the broadcast on the eve of the 7 December United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, you will have renamed the programme to “Sunday: Global Warming News” and drone on and on about it for more than 100 minutes.
Is that truly the right away to deal with the richness of contemporary religious discourses?
You might reply that Global Warming has recently become part of that discourse, with the build-up to the Windsor oecumenical gathering on Tuesday 3 November. Still, does that justify allocating 5m8s on 1 November to a long interview/monologue with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon? Especially after having provided 5m27s to the UN Assistant Secretary General on 5 July.
In both cases, their interest to World Religions as mere tools to convince people to act on Global Warming was as apparent as bordering on the disrespectful. One cannot fail to think they’d just as easily go to footballers and X-Factor winners and runners-up if that could serve their goals (somebody please check, that might have already happened!).
Today’s (8 Nov) programme took the biscuit. The entire second half, a whole 18m56s out of 43m44s (as per the podcast) was about nothing else but…Global Warming! Now, would anybody seriously think that there was truly nothing else to report about, in matters of “religious and ethical news“, so that you really had to dedicate to a single topic a grand total of 31m44s across two weeks?
Have you ever allocated anything of that size to any other topic, one wonders? And did you really have to miss the opportunity to review for example the present state of major and minor Religions in the former Communist States of Eastern Europe, when the XX anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is tomorrow 9 Nov?
I have no reason to doubt your genuine interest in Global Warming. So let me suggest a way out of the present situation. A few days ago, Justice Michael Burton has put the “belief in man-made climate change” under the religious/belief radar. Why, you can now in all honesty report about Globalwarmists alongside your news items and discussions about Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and all other beliefs of interest.
Who knows…after such a choice, your audience size might even increase, as there’s plenty of people that can fall under the “Globalwarmism” category: indeed, and ironically, most of Globalwarmists I know, they declare themselves atheists.
Doesn’t that suggest a tantalising reason for the popularity of Global Warming scare stories among the intellectual classes?
Now, that’d be a great topic to see analysed in “Sunday”!