Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BBC's 30 "experts" who decided in 2006 that balance on AGW wasn't needed

The British Broadcast Corporation is legally obliged to be impartial. However, at one point, the BBC Trust has boldly informed the public that after a seminar held on January 26th, 2006, the public news organization has decided that no balance was needed in climate reporting anymore and the organization would continue to spread the demagogy of the unhinged climate alarmists only.

The organization would insist that the decision was made by a few dozens of top invited scientific experts and it would use every trick to hide the identity of these "experts". Indeed, last Friday, a judge decided that the BBC wasn't obliged to reveal the identity of its "experts" so blogger Tony Newbery, the plaintiff, lost.

However, climate blogger Maurizio Morabito legally made the bizarre legal decision irrelevant. He found out a web copy of the list of participants on the Web.Archive.ORG internet archive time machine.

And it is a very powerful stuff. See comments at The Register (plus page 2).

I would like to invite the TRF readers to some simple research – and find out some fair description of all the "experts" in the list and something about their scientific credentials and impartiality. To me, the list looks like a collection of NGO activists, lobbyists, and representatives financially motivated green industry groups.

If you present some evidence and links in the comments and an alternative description of the "specialists", I will update this article. I have already chaotically changed the ordering of the list so that the "more scientific" beginning doesn't make a wrong impression. But building on similar lists of "experts" when decisions about trillions of dollars are being made is rather extraordinary, isn't it?

January 26th 2006, BBC Television Centre, London

Specialists: (30)
  1. Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
  2. Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
  3. Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
  4. Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
  5. Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
  6. Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia (transforming Asia to sustainable development)
  7. Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund (campaigning for justice) Ethiopia
  8. Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
  9. Eleni Andreadis, undergraduate student majoring in brainwashing at the Kennedy School of Government and filmmaker, Harvard University, and hot director of 7-12 years old Planet Agents, Greece
  10. Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
  11. Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
  12. Trevor Evans, US Embassy
  13. Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net representing 1,600 NGOs fighting poverty
  14. Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation fighting to replace economics by "ecological stability"
  15. Claire Foster, Church of England
  16. Saleemul Huq, International Institute for Environment and Development
  17. Matthew Farrow, CBI
  18. Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
  19. Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
  20. Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
  21. Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
  22. Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
  23. Joe Smith, The Open University
  24. Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
  25. Mark Galloway, Director, International Broadcasting Trust
  26. Anita Neville, E3G Change Agents for Sustainable Development
  27. Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
  28. Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
  29. Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
  30. Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
For the sake of completeness:
BBC employee attendees: (28)
  1. Jana Bennett, Director of Television
  2. Sacha Baveystock, Executive Producer, Science
  3. Helen Boaden, Director of News
  4. Andrew Lane, Manager, Weather, TV News
  5. Anne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBC
  6. Dominic Vallely, Executive Editor, Entertainment
  7. Eleanor Moran, Development Executive, Drama Commissioning
  8. Elizabeth McKay, Project Executive, Education
  9. Emma Swain, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual
  10. Fergal Keane, (Chair), Foreign Affairs Correspondent
  11. Fran Unsworth, Head of Newsgathering
  12. George Entwistle, Head of TV Current Affairs
  13. Glenwyn Benson, Controller, Factual TV
  14. John Lynch, Creative Director, Specialist Factual
  15. Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy
  16. Jon Williams, TV Editor Newsgathering
  17. Karen O’Connor, Editor, This World, Current Affairs
  18. Catriona McKenzie, Tightrope Pictures
  19. Liz Molyneux, Editorial Executive, Factual Commissioning 
  20. Matt Morris, Head of News, Radio Five Live 
  21. Neil Nightingale, Head of Natural History Unit 
  22. Paul Brannan, Deputy Head of News Interactive 
  23. Peter Horrocks, Head of Television News 
  24. Peter Rippon, Duty Editor, World at One/PM/The World this Weekend 
  25. Phil Harding, Director, English Networks & Nations 
  26. Steve Mitchell, Head Of Radio News 
  27. Sue Inglish, Head Of Political Programmes 
  28. Frances Weil, Editor of News Special Events


  1. and i bet they were coordinating with the Weather Channel which also became totally uncritical about the same time.

  2. Aaaarrgh! How can I send you a couple of files? Only pictures can be attached to comments here. Email me with a return address, please.

  3. About the only one I've heard of is Robert May, former president of the Royal Society, famous for chaotic population dynamical models (pretty easy maths stuff actually that you could teach at high school) and typical left-wing atheist, who clearly isn't going to be balanced (in both senses) in his opinions on climate science

  4. Cheryl Campbell was most probably at the BBC conference to make up her mind about environmental
    issues. One pressing line of questioning could have been "does it make sense to even try talking to man-boys? Can they really be taught anything worthwhile at all?"
    From the TVE.org website:

    “We inspire viewers to lead a greener life, entrepreneurs and corporations to take up the sustainability challenge, parents to educate their daughters as well as their sons, women to stand up for greater empowerment, and decision-makers to think, and act, differently.” ...and to toe the green-calamity-scare-you-out-of-your-wits-repent-before-it's-too-late-sinners party line.

  5. The BBC aren't reporting this leak at the moment, I wonder if it's related to the recent dismissals over the false paedophilia accusations - since, as Maurizio Morabito points out (<a href="http://omnologos.com/why-the-list-of-participants-to-the-bbc-cmep-jan-2006-seminar-is-important/>here</a>) the four recently shamed and dismissed/resigned were present at the climate seminar (Peter Rippon, Steve Mitchell, Helen Boaden, George Enwistle)

  6. "Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant"

    Also a visiting fellow of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, and occasional author of reports for the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research - the same Tyndall Centre the BBC's Roger Harrabin was on the advisory board of.

  7. Do you know about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25haxRuZQUk ? Spread the word.

  8. Seems to be a large overlap between climate changers and pedophiles. Penn State Mann and Penn State Sandusky.

    Pointing to a general condition? Lack of character?
    I guess what I'm trying to say is the crookedness slops over the side, and isn't confined to their environmental advocacy.

    It might be easier to destroy these people on a person by person basis, rather than going straight at the BBC.

  9. And what do you think of the course he teaches (http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/training/climate/cc_course_biographies.pdf)?

    Title: Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities for the Finance Sector

    A more cynical person might imagine that this is a starter course for wannabe rent-seekers. Good thing I still have faith in the wisdom of government....

  10. To connect pedophilia and climate science is as unsupported as a causal link between climate change and second hand smoke. While I too thought of it too and would like to think it so, these self proclaimed experts and media moguls are correlated only to making money without regard to facts.
    I have no knowledge of the people on the list, would not matter if they included the greatest and most noble on the planet. The fact is that climate science is an oxymoron.

  11. Interesting list. Right now, it seems that even most entries from more
    or less prestigious universities and research institutions only have a
    somewhat circumstantial relationship with actual climate science/climate

    Steve Widdicombe (22 on the list) is a marine ecologist
    focusing on biodiversity, see:

    Smith (No. 23) is a lecturer and has a PhD in Geography, but seems
    solidly in the social science corner of that subject (obtained a BA in
    Social and Political Sciences first). Regarding his lines of research,
    he mentions "a long running strand of work on media decision-making and
    environment (1996-)", which, for better or worse, at least makes his
    presence in such a meeting somewhat understandable. See:

    Satyal Pravat (No. 24) is also a Geography PhD, and, like Smith, also
    seems to be in the social science corner, with work "at the interface
    between research and policy on the distributional and equity impacts of
    climate change mitigation, with a particular focus on i) public
    perceptions of, and attitudes towards, environmental rights,
    responsibilities and the concepts of environmental and climate justice
    in the context of climate change mitigation; and ii) the societal and
    equality impacts of climate change mitigation proposals, policies and
    plans". http://carboncentre.org/carbonCMS/about-us/dr-poshendra-s

    Dahl-Jensen (No. 27) appears to be the first actual climate scientist
    on the list (though I haven't checked the credentials of anyone not
    mentioned in this comment, because it didn't seem to likely for anyone
    else). She has an education in Geophysics and has co-authored papers
    with several hundred citations, see:
    http://www.nbi.ku.dk/ansatte/?id=45103&f=2&vis=medarbejder and

    Bravo (No. 28) has an MPhil and PhD in the History and Philosophy of
    Science. The most natural sciencey thing he has ever done is getting a
    bachelor's degree in Telecommunications Engineering in 1985.

    No. 29 Robert May is a
    theoretical physicist by training, but seems to have worked in
    theoretical biology/zoology since the 1970s. He has been president of
    the Royal Society from 2000-2005.

    a PhD in Applied Climatology (BSc in Geography), Mike Hulme (No. 30)
    is, as far as I can tell (see above), the second genuine climate
    scientist on this list, also with publications with several hundreds
    (and twice more than 1300) of citations, see

    the representation of such people on this list seems astonishingly low. Actually, unnecessarily low, for if the BBC wanted its expert comittee to come to this result from the very beginning, they could still have found many more natural and climate scientists who would have supported their foregone conclusion. The frightening explanation might be (I don't know) that editorial decisions on science are routinely made with very limited input from actual scientists working in the relevant fields.

  12. Thanks for the data! Smith was probably the organizer.

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