A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In the UK, just another day of carbon claptrap.....

Yesterday was a classic for carbon claptrap in the UK, from BBC Television, from scientists, and from big business. What nonsense is being peddled in the name of 'global warming'!

BBC Television, as ever, was the worst, with yet another gloom-mongering effort, 'Five disasters waiting to happen' (BBC 2). The only disaster is that we have to pay a licence fee for what is, essentially, Government propaganda (give me radio any day). Interestingly, I received e-mails (timed during the programme) from incensed 'EnviroSpin' readers about 'the twaddle' that was being peddled uncritically on the programme. I got the impression that the red-hot e-mails were sent to let off steam before folk were tempted to throw a brick through the screen. I have to say that, personally, I gave the programme the widest of berths - the weather was too nice to waste on watching hyperbolic 'rubbish on the tele'. Until BBC Television grows up about the science, economics, and politics of climate change, it really is better for one's health to chill out with a glass of wine and The Times crossword in the garden. Thankfully, today's Times also gives the programme a wide berth, their television reviewer likewise having had better things to do or to watch. I'm not surprised - the more BBC Television churns out this unbalanced stuff on climate, the more people will switch off, both physically and mentally. It really is time for a hard-nosed Beeb producer to declare that "enough is enough", and to put an end to so much over-egged output. Meanwhile, the rest of the world sails happily away from the Good Ship 'Kyoto'.

But, of course, jaw-droppingly naive scientists don't help either. Yesterday, some earnestly warned of the dangers of drag in cars proudly sporting two St George's flags in support of 'Our David' and the lads at the World Cup - that's an extra litre of of fuel per hour! I think, for once, a two-finger sign is entirely justified. "Put out more flags", say I. And, don't underestimate the hidden class warfare in all this - St. George's flags are perceived as working class, the ill-bred bling of Essex Man. "Get yer flags out, luv!"

St George's Flag

Then, finally, there was big business and a wondrous meeting between members of the pompously-named 'Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change' (including Shell UK and Standard Chartered Bank) with Tony Blair. This proved to be a glorious example of protean capitalism at work. Of course, we have to help (lead?) on climate change, but only when we have positive incentives and a boost to that bottom line. I just love the way that big business embraces the 'global warming' myth, and then turns it to its own advantage, ever (quite rightly) with an eye to building that competitive edge. The same is happening with 'organics'. "Go for it lads!"

So, Tuesday was but another day of carbon claptrap.

I suspect, at some point, that we are really going to weary of it. In the meantime, we must smile wryly, yet again, at La Com├ędie Humaine, and at our self-delusional world.

Sadly, as readers of this blog are too well aware, not a smidgen of the carbon claptrap will make one blind bit of predictable difference to climate.

We are playing silly games. Nintendos all round.

Philip, off for a calming coffee in the garden. Time to read Balzac again?

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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