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back to article SECRET 28 'scientific experts' who Greened the BBC - Revealed!

A list of attendees at a climate-change seminar the BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds trying to keep secret has been unearthed on an internet archive. The listed names emerged after the publicly-funded broadcaster fought off requests for the list under freedom of information (FOI) laws. This surreal story is only …

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Pint

i wonder

If there was a second, unpublished meeting, perhaps afterwards in the back room at the local tavern?

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Re: i wonder

Given the attendee list, the supposition is not plausible. But let's entertain it anyway -- so would the back room meeting have been for those people on-message or for those off-message?

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Paris Hilton

Re: i wonder

It was the other kind of "back room" meeting I think - you know what that lot are like!

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Re: i wonder

"off message"? Believe me, no-one invited to that meeting would have been off-message. An nobody at the BBC is off message. CAGW is the in-house religion

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Re: i wonder

Whether you believe in anthropogenic climate change or not, the BBC's insistence on shoving it in our faces at every possible opportunity really is tiresome. I've been enjoying Andrew Marr's History Of The World, it's not too fact heavy which makes it ideal for putting on in the background as I work. Each episode dealt with an 'age' of history in a narrative manner, this week he'd finally caught up to the modern age. The episode covered the usual stuff; womens' emancipation, Hitler's rise to power, Gandhi's movement for a free India, etc. The last twenty minutes though were just Andrew Marr waffling on about climate change and how we'd all have to get used to living very poor lives or embark on a massive population cull. I really don't understand why the BBC felt the need to shoehorn this into a history programme.

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Re: i wonder

20 minutes you say? I just went and checked the episode on iPlayer and I kid you not he literally says the word climate only once and the moment passes in just 5 seconds.

I guess climate skeptics are so obsessed with silencing the subject of climate change that any brief mention of it is to them is propaganda that ruins a programme. Similar to how creationists can't bear those brief indirect mentions of evolution in nature documentaries.

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Re: i wonder

Thanks for assuming you know my beliefs regarding climate change based on no evidence whatsoever (we're all aware of your position though since you never shut up about it).

I may have exaggerated a bit because I didn't have access to the programme when I made the post. I've just gone and checked and he waffles about climate from the 52 minute mark until the end of the programme (that's nearly 1/6th of the total run time). He may not say the word 'climate' every 2 seconds but that doesn't mean it's not what he's talking about. It's called subtext, you may want to look it up.

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Re: i wonder

No. That would be "back-door" meeting !

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Re: i wonder

"I may have exaggerated a bit because I didn't have access to the programme when I made the post."

You didn't just exaggerate. You fabricated and your excuses don't wash. Problem for you is the episode is available on iPlayer. It doesn't remotely support your initial claim. Maybe you thought you could get away with it. You can't.

Now you talk about "subtext". BS he was talking about resource usage and challenges ahead, inc rainforest and overpopulation. All that part with the tribe in the rainforest, you including that? How's that relevant to climate change? He mentioned climate in 5 seconds.

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Re: i wonder

Luther. I would suspect on-message (if that means what I think it means.)

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Re: i wonder

"All that part with the tribe in the rainforest, you including that?"

You mean all 2 minutes of it? He uses that as an emotional set up so that you're in the "modern man is evil and destructive whilst hunter gatherer tribes are twee and in tune with nature" frame of mind (as if life were as simple as a Disney cartoon). He does that so he can then move on to;

"BS he was talking about resource usage and challenges ahead, inc rainforest and overpopulation."

And does he talk about viable solutions? Cleaner, safer energy supplies? Better food production methods to feed an increasing population? Better contraceptive availability and sex education in countries that are affected heavily by the dogma of the Catholic Church et al? No, he goes the route of the typical AGW zealot*, suggesting population culls and a decrease in the quality of life for everybody.

*This is not somebody who simply thinks the science is correct but somebody who thinks the only way to solve this is for us to become an agrarian society powered by windmills and nonsense.

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Anonymous Coward

Impartiality about what?

You say:

> The BBC is under a statutory obligation to remain impartial, so this gave the "brainstorm" a historic significance: the BBC has not previously abandoned impartiality in peacetime.

There's going to be an eclipse of the sun tonight in Oz, but I doubt the BBC will be asking the Flat Earth Society for their opinion.

All of human research, then and now, points overwhelmingly to the Earth being round, I mean to Human-Engendered Climate Change being real.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

Your are correct about Human-Engendered Climate Change being real, but not in the sense you intended. The danger, as the screed from the UN Durban jamboree showed, is the the eco-totalitarian astroturfers of the UN would like to implement policies which reduce atmospheric CO2 to levels at which plants fail to grow, thus endangering not just humans, but the whole food chain. Somehow the concept of eugenics doesn't quite cover this.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

I thought the existence of a flat earth society was a joke to illustrate the argument...

Hahaha it actually exists !!..

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FAIL

Re: Impartiality about what?

"All of human research, then and now, points...Human-Engendered Climate Change being real."

Please supply a link to a peer-reviewed paper, published in a mainstream science journal, that demonstrates, unequivocally and beyond a shadow of a doubt, a real, attributable, detectable human signature in the Earth's climate. I'm sure you can find one - after, we have "all of human research" to pick from.

The only "flat earthers" I can see are those people who treat CAGW as an article of religious faith, and don't bother to ask for - or simply don't require - the actual evidence that such a thing exists.

17 years and counting of no warming...

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Re: Impartiality about what?

And the experts that it used to come to this conclusion were the ones in the list ????????????

Which it then tried its utmost to hide ?????????????

Surely the point of the article, which you conveniently manage to ignore.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"is the the eco-totalitarian astroturfers of the UN would like to implement policies which reduce atmospheric CO2 to levels at which plants fail to grow"

Eh?

Where the hell did you get this juicy tidbit of mis-information from?

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Trollface

Re: Impartiality about what?

Corn will grow even if no CO_2, so no problem.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"Please supply a link to a peer-reviewed paper, published in a mainstream science journal, that demonstrates, unequivocally and beyond a shadow of a doubt, a real, attributable, detectable human signature in the Earth's climate."

See the attribution section of IPCC AR4. Plenty of papers linked off that.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

Research (and, indeed, fairly basic thermodynamics) points to the earth warming as a result of CO2 due to human activity.

All of the catastrophic forecasts, runaway positive feedbacks, metres-high sea-level rises etc that are supposed to occur because of this warming are based on models that keep getting pwned by reality.

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Boffin

Re: Impartiality about what?

It would be nice to get some real data here.

My understanding is that plants vary considerably in their minimum CO2 requirement, but can take as much as possible, up to 100% maximum. They love it at about 2000ppm, which is what they get in a polytunnel (which is quite safe for unprotected humans to enter).

Depending on the plant, you would notice increasing distress from about 300ppm down to about 150ppm, at which point all plants will stop growing altogether.

We are currently about 390ppm, which means that we are on the low side for plant growth, but acceptable. Increasing CO2 would improve crop yields - it already has as we have increased from about 330ppm in 1970. Dropping to 350ppm would not lose much yield - though it would lose some. Dropping to 300ppm would start to constrain plant existence in various habitats.

So I suggest that anyone suggesting that 350ppm should be a minimum target is not endangering plants - anyone suggesting dropping below 300ppm probably is. I think that Hansen is suggesting 350ppm, but thinks that a lower target could be viable.

Of course, all this assumes that we can influence the CO2 cycle. The natural movements of CO2 are far greater than any human inputs or sinks, and there is really no indication that human activity can alter the concentrations - it is just treated as a matter of faith that stopping human output will leave all other processes working in exactly the same way at a lesser concentration.

And of course we have the inconvenient truth that concentrations have been rising, giving us better crops, while the temperature has not been doing the same, as the models say it should. This suggests that CO2 concentrations actually do not drive temperature at all....

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Flame

Re: Impartiality about what?

@Lazy Gun - A very basic knowledge of chemistry and physics should be enough for you to follow this back-of an envelope calculation: http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/08/recipe-for-climate-change/

CO2 increase in the atmosphere is unequivocally due to human activity, and what we know of thermodynamics predicts that this increase will produce a temperature increase in line with observed temperature increases.

Certainly, there can be other drivers for the increase, certainly there could have been eras in the past where both temperature and CO2 levels were higher, most certainly the effects of the warming are not fully understood and will not necessarily be bad, and even more certainly the IPCC reports take higher / catastrophic estimates and present them as likely.

But you most certainly cannot deny that human activity is affecting the climate

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"All of the catastrophic forecasts, runaway positive feedbacks, metres-high sea-level rises etc that are supposed to occur because of this warming are based on models that keep getting pwned by reality."

The models have never predicted any of those things.

Although meters high sea-level rise is inevitable given even current temperatures. It's a matter of how long it takes: centuries.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Impartiality about what?

You're agreeing, furiously.

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Boffin

Re: Impartiality about what?

"See the attribution section of IPCC AR4."

Er, no, he asked for an unequivocal human signature. The IPCC just lists papers which make a variety of claims and then puts their 'probability' marker on the field. SO they say it is 'possible', 'probable' or 'very probable' that humans are affecting climate.

Nobody has yet produced real unequivocal proof of AGW. It remains the case that you either believe it or you don't. It is not a single process, like gravity or a chemical reaction - we are being asked to believe that out of the whole complex of nature a specific human signal can be identified around the world.

In my case, if the temperatures had been rising in accordance with the models, I would probably believe that there was something in it. But since they have NOT been doing this, I am inclined to believe that the assertions are incorrect...

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WTF?

Re: Impartiality about what?

"I thought the existence of a flat earth society was a joke to illustrate the argument...

Hahaha it actually exists !!.."

Wtf was the Church of England doing at the seminar?

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"The IPCC just lists papers which make a variety of claims and then puts their 'probability' marker on the field. SO they say it is 'possible', 'probable' or 'very probable' that humans are affecting climate."

The papers are what I was referring to.

"Nobody has yet produced real unequivocal proof of AGW"

Proof is for maths. Science isn't restricted to two states, unproven or proven. The theory of evolution doesn't have unequivocal proof either. Something like 99.999% is more than good enough. Even 90% isn't something to sneeze at.

Problem is climate skeptics downplay the certainty and play a "if its not 100% it must be 50/50" game, or even a "if it's not 100% it's 0%" game, eg in the case of warming since 1997: that warming is 90% significant, but because it's not 100% many climate skeptics go around claiming there's been no warming....

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"Of course, all this assumes that we can influence the CO2 cycle."

That's not an assumption at all. There's overwhelming evidence that we are.

"The natural movements of CO2 are far greater than any human inputs or sinks, and there is really no indication that human activity can alter the concentrations - it is just treated as a matter of faith that stopping human output will leave all other processes working in exactly the same way at a lesser concentration."

The natural movements of CO2 are currently a net sink. Overwhelming evidence that this is because of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere being so high. Which means if we stop emitting nature isn't going to suddenly turn into a net source.

"And of course we have the inconvenient truth that concentrations have been rising, giving us better crops, while the temperature has not been doing the same, as the models say it should. This suggests that CO2 concentrations actually do not drive temperature at all....""

Yet temperature has been rising. Temperature rise doesn't have to perfectly track the model predictions for CO2 to be a temperature driver. The weight of evidence is that CO2 is now the dominant driver given how fast we are increasing it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Impartiality about what?

Possibly they're a global organisation who work with poverty stricken people in many of the countries who are actually and potentially affected by climate change.

As are cafod, tearfund, etc. etc.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

@Dodgy Geezer

Except that global temperatures have risen in line with the scientific predictions made for the last 30 years. And there have been no proposed CO2 sources other than anthropogenic sources which could have caused the increase in CO2 concentrations observed over the last 50 years. It's only in denialist circles are these basic scientific facts disputed.

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Joke

Re: 17 years and counting ...

That reminds me of the well known and favourably peer-reviewed joke about having fallen seventeen floors without any problems so far.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

@Dodgy Geezer "there is really no indication that human activity can alter the concentrations"

Yes there is. You get something like that completely wrong and yet you try to pass yourself off as some kind of expert on plants. The fact is that it's not as cut and dried as you imply - see for example this paper "Decade-long soil nitrogen constraint on the CO2 fertilization of plant biomass". Furthermore, if there is significant climate change over a relatively short period then the disruptive effects on agriculture may well outweigh any marginal benefit from extra CO2.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Impartiality about what?

oblate, surely?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Impartiality about what?

"The ice age cometh!" Mark my words.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Impartiality about what?

"Yet temperature has been rising."

Well, the "temperature record" once "cleansed and adjusted (inevitably up), such that it is, seems to have been manipulated sufficiently to indicate warming at a level below the accuracy of the instruments measuring it.

This may or may not be attributable to the trivial amount of Extra CO2 being emitted by humans (relative to the entire system).

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Mushroom

Re: Impartiality about what?

two down - votes WTF we have flat earthers here...

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"...Climate Change being real"

17 years and counting of no warming...

Why are you so stuck on warming? Change can go in any direction, and not affect just temperature.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"All of human research, then and now, points overwhelmingly to the Earth being round, I mean to Human-Engendered Climate Change being real."

You don't need research to prove the earth is round - just look at the shadow at a lunar eclipse - the round shadow from the earth definitively proves this.

Climate change is being thoroughly disputed. None of the models or research predicted that there would be zero warming for 16 years (the original warming was only 17 years!).

BTW you said human "engendered" climate change - so which gender did we give to climate change - boy or a girl?

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"17 years and counting of no warming..."

Oh please, the last decade was warmer than the previous one, which was warmer than the decade before that. If you look at the instrumental record, the last 11 years have all been in the 12 warmest years. 17 years ago was what, 1995? Ever year but one since then was warmer. 2010 was a La Nina year, and it's the second warmest year on record! You can repeat denialist memes all you want, but they're not true, and the planet is going about its business regardless.

You can't be convinced, it's just the adult equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and going, "la la la, I'm not listening." Carbon isotope ratios in the atmosphere indicating that fossil fuel emissions cause the recent CO2 increases? The anomalous rises in CH4 and CO2 over the past few thousands years being completely different to the trends in the other interglacials? The complete lack of natural climate drivers? Solar emissions in the wrong direction? The collapse in Arctic ice? Shifting biomes? The planet's energy balance? Basic thermodynamics?

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"See the attribution section of IPCC AR4. Plenty of papers linked off that."

And plenty of those papers have been utterly discredited, many were written by activists, not scientists. I mean look at the (now-discredited) glacier comment - 1 guy spouts a theory, not even in a formal paper let alone peer reviewed, and the IPCC treats it as gospel truth.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"The models have never predicted any of those things."

So you are saying the IPCC has NEVER predicted sea-level rises? Not once? Or are you trying to claim they predicted sea level rises a century in advance without consulting models?

Sorry, either way your credibility just evaporated...

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"Temperature rise doesn't have to perfectly track the model predictions for CO2 to be a temperature driver. The weight of evidence is that CO2 is now the dominant driver given how fast we are increasing it."

The models have predicted all sorts of warming outcomes based on 17 years of warming (up to 1996). Even the University of East Anglia admit that there has now been no warning for 16 years - you need temperature rises for ANYTHING to be a driver of warming.

What happens when that's 18 years (ie more time flat than warming)?

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Re: Impartiality about what?

"Except that global temperatures have risen in line with the scientific predictions made for the last 30 years...It's only in denialist circles are these basic scientific facts disputed."

Really? The scientific community and the IPCC predicted the last 16 years of flat temperatures?

Perhaps you can point out the scientific papers that predicted that fact back in 1996. Or perhaps you're talking alarmist BS...

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Stop

Re: Impartiality about what?

'Please supply a link to a peer-reviewed paper, published in a mainstream science journal, that demonstrates, unequivocally and beyond a shadow of a doubt, a real, attributable, detectable human signature in the Earth's climate'.. -

There is a vast multinational scientific body known as the IPCC which has collated together several thousand peer reviewed papers, published in mainstream science journals from respected universities and research institutes around the world, and presented to the world's media, government representatives and scientists at several global climate change research conferences which demonstrate, unequivaocally and beyond a shadow of a doubt, the real, attributable, detectable human signature in the Earth's climate which you seek.

'17 years and counting of no warming..' - What kind of warming are you refering to here? - eg surface temperature increase, water temperature increase, atmospheric warming? - All of these (and more) have recorded significant increases in temperature, observed via a vast body of research (see above) which documents the warming of the earth (in a variety of different parameters) observed throughout the intense period of industrialisation characteristic of the late 20th (approx 1950 onwards) and early 21st Century to date, a period accounting for approx 72 years. The term 'climate' itself is generally defined by scientists as an average of changing weather patterns recorded over a fairly lengthy time scale (minimum of 25 years). During such a timescale it is quite normal for fluctuations in temperature (ie warming or cooling of earth's surface) to be observed from time to time. What is important is the overall pattern of change, a pattern which, when you combine the additional data from such measures as ice cores, tree rings etc provides scientists with an accurate picture of temperature change going back many thousands of years (eg most recent research into ice cores contains samples 50,000 years old). By anyone's standards, it seems clear that the observation of 17 years' no change to temperature record (assuming that this is in fact the case - debatable), when compared to the vast length of temperature change data which climate change research is based on, is pretty insignificant and inconclusive.

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Trollface

AGW? Really, we need it

Plant productivity essentially stops at CO2 concentrations of about 140 ppm, We are presently at about twice that. Notably, the *only* other time in the last 500 MY that armospheric CO2 has been nearly this low was about 300 MYA at the Carboniferous-Permian boundary. The remainder of the planet's history has seen CO2 levels much higher, and based upon the fossil evidence, much more biologically productive. In any case halving atmospheric CO2 would be "a bad idea," very bad, especially if it is keeping us out of another ice age. Dubious, but Arrhenius suggested it. Now, companies like Monsanto and Dupont that sell fertilizer and that produce GMOs might not be concerned. They may see market opportunities. Possibly they can produce fertizers that can help plants regardless, and patented GMOs that will tolerate low CO2. But, do you really like that idea? AGW may be a good a bad theory - personal bet is bad - but regardless, reducing CO2 right now would be sociologically, economically, and militarily speaking a really poor idea. Lower crop productivity will drive increased famine, increasing immigration and warfare, and benefiting very few. Likewise, supposing that CO2 is actually the magical molecule that AGW theory makes it out to be, cooling the planet has the same effect. Habitable zones move south. Canada invades the US, Scotland invades Britain, Russia invades Turkey. Chaos all around. It quite literally doesn't matter whether AGW is real or if the warming we see is natural. Stopping it is not a good idea.

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Headmaster

Re: Impartiality about what?

YOU might claim that. I couldn't possibly comment

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Re: Impartiality about what?

No. 'Scientific' predictions have been adjusted constantly to match the observed rise: which stopped more or less 8 years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Impartiality about what?

"Wtf was the Church of England doing at the seminar?"

Probably the same reason the Head of Comedy was there, free food.

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Re: Impartiality about what?

Your statement would have merit were it not for the list of attendees included the church of england. A well known hotbed of scientific knowledge and forward thinking progress. That is pretty much the same as asking the flat earth society.

How can you measure climate change over fifty thousand years when one of the attendees worships / believes a book that dates earth as 4000 years old.

Well at least there are some education and science people, though just because they are from oxford and cambridge doesn't mean they are scientists, they could be language or history professors, I teach latin therefore I know about clouds and stuff.

And WTF? The US Embassy???????????????

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Re: Impartiality about what?

Climate skeptics claiming no warming for 17 years...

The University of East Anglia data they refer to actually shows 0.097C +- 0.113C/decade warming in the past 17 years. So that's a maximum possibility of 0.23C/decade warming (2.3C a century). Yet they claim there's been no warming....

Also why they are trusting the UEA data? Why not the satellite data? That shows 0.121C +- 0.191C/decade warming in the past 17 years. A maximum of 3.1C/century.

Of course to skeptics if the lower range is below zero they can go around claiming there's been no warming. Some of them even bend the truth more and claim it's been cooling.

Even worse they sometimes claim the UEA has "admitted" all this. It hasn't. What they mean is that the conclusion *they* draw from UEA data becomes an admission by the UEA itself.

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