IN Part I yesterday, we looked at the BBC programme Climate Change – The Facts and David Attenborough’s claims about the effects of climate change to date, most of which bore very little resemblance to reality.
The whole programme is clearly designed as an exercise in propaganda rather than establishing the facts. This is evident from the choice of ‘experts’ wheeled on to provide the science.
Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, for instance, offered his views on hurricanes, flooding, heatwaves, droughts and wildfires, none of which he is especially qualified to talk about. Indeed, he probably knows no more about them than I do.
The BBC could easily have invited a forestry expert, a meteorologist or hurricane expert, but it probably would not have got the answers it wanted.
Another ‘expert’ is James Hansen of Columbia University, so you get my drift.
As a propaganda exercise, it is already working. The Express TV correspondent, in his preview, warbled on about how it was all much worse than he thought and how we ‘must do something’. Remember this is the TV guy, who might know all about EastEnders, but probably knows no more about climate change than my dog!
Today we look at the second half of the programme, which concerns itself with predictions of the future and what we should all do about it.
It starts with a rather pathetic section about how fossil-fuel companies are subsidising ‘deniers’, which is apparently making politicians reluctant to do anything. Seriously?
There is then discussion of climate models, which predict that we will hit 1.5C of warming between 2040 and 2050. At no point is there mention of the fact that models have consistently overestimated warming in the past.
Nor is there any debate about why pre-industrial temperatures, against which this 1.5C is measured, should be regarded as the norm.
Mark Maslin says crossing this threshold will mean increased storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves, which will make production of food more problematic. This is despite the fact that global food production has been increasing in leaps and bounds during the last fifty years of ‘climate catastrophe’:
This morphs into warming of 3C and 6C by 2100, way above any serious projections I have seen. The graph shows how quickly the rate must accelerate:
There is also talk of a metre of sea level rise by 2100, which is equally ridiculous and would entail an annual rise of 12.5mm starting now.
Peter Stott of Exeter University talks of storm surges in the UK ‘never seen before’:
Yet tidal gauge data for the east coast, which would be most affected, show that sea level rise has actually decelerated since the mid 20th century, and has been rising at just 1.54mm/yr in the last fifty years:
The discussion then turns to tipping points, with the example of methane released from permafrost in Alaska.
Despite being a potent greenhouse gas, however, methane does not stay in the atmosphere long, about 12 years.
In any event, we know that the Arctic has been warmer than now for much of the last 10,000 years, and that never triggered any tipping point. In Alaska, for instance, retreating glaciers are uncovering the remains of forests, carbon-dated to the Middle Ages. Clearly the climate was much warmer then.
None of this is discussed.
What can we do?
The programme informs us that to hit the 1.5C target, we need to halve CO2 emissions globally by 2030, and eliminate them by 2050.
Attenborough proceeds to give a free plug for renewable energy, without even attempting to explain how our electricity grid can work with 100 per cent inherently unreliable energy, never mind the rest of the economy, such as heating our houses.
Significantly, though, Chris Stark, CEO of the Committee on Climate Change, reveals that to make these changes will involve a ‘not inconsiderable cost’.
We are then lectured that we must all consume less, eat less meat etc.
All of this is, of course, aimed at the UK, who after all are the ones watching. Yet nowhere is it mentioned that Britain accounts for only 1 per cent of global emissions, nor that the other countries of the world are fast increasing their own emissions.
Indeed, although Attenborough says that the Paris conference agreed to keep warming below 2C, he does not explain that the actual national pledges would result in a large increase in emissions.
The public deserves to hear a proper debate about climate change, which this programme has failed to provide.
The real facts about the impact of climate change need to be given to the public, and an honest assessment of what the future might hold.
Above all, we need to be told the truth about the horrifying costs involved in meeting government climate policy in this country, and its total irrelevance in global terms.
It may just be that this latest blatant piece of BBC propaganda will trigger a backlash, which will lead people to start questioning what they hear from the BBC.
This article first appeared in Not a Lot of People Know That on April 19, 2019, and is republished by kind permission.