The 'Radio Times' recently published an interesting article about Sir David Attenborough's series 'Frozen Planet'. It also published a statement by Nigel Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which called into question the objectivity of the last programme in the series.
Andrew Watts' science blog wattsupwiththat contained some discussion about the final episode, which was largely about climate change.
The episode can be interpreted either as a salutary warming to mankind, or an example of bias, depending on your point of view.
I have summarised some of the remarks on Andrew's blog below, with some editing for clarity. They neatly illustrate the way in which the BBC is failing to meet the terms of its charter.
Andrew's blog is well worth a visit; it has received an award for 'Best Science Blog'.
'Climategate 2' news is not on the BBC at all. Nothing. Yet the BBC still reports every detail from the climate alarmism conference in Durban.
And last night was the 'climate' episode of Frozen Planet, presented by Sir David Attenborough, with script saying that polar ice will be gone in a few years, polar bears are critically endangered, everything is worse than we thought, and so on.....
One blogger commented that Sir David should hang his head in shame at presenting this one-sided view.
Before criticising the presenter, however, one should remember that until recently, an equally famous broadcaster, David Bellamy, used to make about 40 TV programmes a year.
Then he spoke out against man-made global warming alarmism in the national press.
He has not been allowed to make a BBC programme since.
Sir David gave us a highly personal view of what the effects of continued global warming might be. He was careful not to link GW with CO2 increase or to manmade activities. The programme appeared plausible in its claims that the world is warming and having an overall negative effect on the wildlife.
The few stated positive benefits went to maritime trade and oil exploration.
Nevertheless, if a person was aware of the developments in the subject over the past few years, he or she would be able to refute many of the claims and implications in the narrative.
This is the real problem. The glossy style of Sir David’s programmes, complete with dramatic images of melting ice and cute endangered animals, adds up to a package aimed at convincing the casual observer that there is a real danger which needs immediate attention.
Sir David does insert many ‘mays’ and ‘ifs’, but they are lost in manipulation.
This programme does not conform to BBC’s charter of ‘fair and balanced’ reporting. There should be a right-of-reply programme which not only refutes Sir David’s personal views, but puts the real science in front of the public.
Until BBC changes its stance, or is forced to change, the slow movement to scepticism in the UK will remain blocked by this highly skewed and disinforming public disservice broadcaster.
J.M, E.B and others
UPDATE, 15 Dec....it has emerged that some of the scenes in episode 7 of "Frozen Planet" have been faked. Polar Bears which we thought were in the wild had actually been filmed in a Dutch zoo.
The BBC's response to this was, roughly, 'why does it matter?
This completely misses the point. It implies that senior BBC people do not know why they should tell the truth.
The danger of the BBC using bias and falsehoods as a means of achieving its aims, is that eventually no-one will attach credibility to anything it broadcasts. At that point that the BBC will cease to be regarded as worthwhile. Then its future will be brought into doubt - the question of the licence fee....
compiled by ND, 8 Dec 11
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