THE BBC has set up a new ‘disinformation unit’, BBC Verify. Marianna Spring, the BBC’s Disinformation Correspondent, says she is currently studying ‘the UK’s conspiracy theory movement’ which she claims has ‘evolved and intensified’ since the Chinese coronavirus outbreak. Spring identified ‘alternative media’ as a source of so-called conspiracy theories.
‘I’m looking at the way alternative media is funded, I’m looking at its impact on local communities, I’m looking at its connections with far-right figures and also its foreign links,’ she said.
The millennial journalist’s reference to ‘far right’ rather gives the game away. Evidently disinformation from the left wing or globalists is OK then! And what she means by far right is not neo-Nazi, but ordinary conservative, Christian views, once upon regarded as mainstream and still held by most of the British public.
The whole thing is laughable anyway, because the BBC itself is one of the biggest sources of disinformation, certainly where climate change is concerned. So I suggest BBC Verify begin by looking into the BBC’s own coverage.
Here a few examples of the factual errors, omission of relevant information and sheer bias which have featured in BBC climate reporting just in the last year or so:
• The BBC reported that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season was ‘the third most active on record’. It was not; there have been 32 years with a higher count.
• The BBC claimed last summer that ‘hurricanes are among the most violent storms on Earth and there’s evidence they’re getting more powerful’. But according to the hurricane experts at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there has been no increase in the frequency or intensity of Atlantic hurricanes since the late 1800s.
• A claim that ‘punishing weather conditions linked to climate change have eroded so much of the coast at Happisburgh, Norfolk’. The BBC have been unable to provide evidence for this, and the British Geological Society say that the coastline has been eroding at the same rate as now for the past 5,000 years.
• In October 2021, the BBC claimed that heat pumps are much cheaper to run than gas boilers. The opposite is the case, as the BBC eventually admitted.
• In October 2022, the BBC reported that the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard had warmed by 4C in the last 50 years. They failed to report that temperatures there plunged by almost as much between 1950 and 1970.
• The BBC reported at the time of last summer’s Pakistan floods that one third of the country had been submerged. The real figure, as evidenced by NASA satellites, was less than 10 per cent.
• Last year Sri Lanka experienced a catastrophic collapse in farming output, following a ban on imported fertiliser, which was designed purely to reduce GHG emissions. The BBC has been extremely reluctant to publicise the real reason, instead first blaming the food shortages on Putin, and then claiming that the ban was an attempt to ‘protect dwindling foreign currency reserves’.
• A classic example of BBC deception appeared in a recent report on solar power, when they published a graph showing solar power now accounted for more than 10 per cent of the world’s generating capacity. They omitted the fact that, because solar power is so intermittent, it only accounts for 3 per cent of the world’s actual electricity.
• The BBC often regurgitates propaganda from official bodies without any attempt to challenge or fact check. Last year they uncritically reported the World Meteorological Organisation’s claims that ‘extreme weather events are the new normal’. There is no evidence that extreme weather is getting worse, something which even the IPCC has been forced to admit.
• According to the BBC, a sighting of European bee-eaters in England last year was ‘a worrying sign of how our climate is changing’. British bird books are full of details of past sightings as far back as the 18th century.
• One particularly silly study found willingsupport from the BBC last year, claiming that British trees are at risk from ‘drier weather under climate change’, even though the country has been getting wetter!
• In July 2022, the BBC reported that England had its driest start to the year since 1976. In fact it had only been the driest since 2010.
• It was very hot in Delhi last May. The BBC was quick to blame it on climate change, with claims of a new record high temperature in Delhi. In fact none of the long-running weather stations showed a record, with data at the Indian Meteorological Dept’s base station in Delhi proving that it was more than a degree hotter in May 1944.
• It was dry in February this year, but the BBC’s claims of water shortages were simply not credible. So they included in their report a photo of a near-empty reservoir, which was quickly proved to have been taken two summers previously.
• The BBC was eager to report that the UK heatwave last July had killed more than 3,000 people. However the Office for National Statistics analysis, on which the BBC’s claims were based, actually said no such thing. They also pointed out that excess deaths had been running at high levels throughout the spring, summer and autumn of last year.
• The BBC’s green bias is on display all the time, exemplified by its choice of interviewees and experts. In March 2022, Radio 4 broadcast a half-hour programme considering whether Shell should develop the massive Cambo oil field off the Shetland Islands. All three interviewees were ardent lobbyists for renewable energy, so unsurprisingly they argued against Cambo, something for which the BBC was forced to apologise for.
• Only two weeks ago, the wretched BBC claimed that the recent tragic floods in Italy were due to climate change, even though such floods have been only too common in the past.
Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s former Energy and Environment Analyst, let the cat out of the bag last year when he tweeted that the BBC has long been trying to ‘knit climate change into the fabric of the daily news’. In other words, try to link every bit of bad weather, famine or other disaster to global warming, in the most surreptitious way possible. Little wonder that only 44 per cent of Brits trust the BBC’s journalists to be truthful.
The above examples are only the tip of the iceberg. It would be a full-time job for Marianna Spring and her team to monitor all the disinformation the BBC spews out.