BBC told – Too much Time for Flat Earthers
July 22, 2011
Look for a sea change in the way climate denial is handled (everywhere but Fox News…)
Those of us who care about such things have for years been pointing out that, we don’t present “both sides” of the flat earth debate, we don’t put people on TV (usually) who claim to have a perpetual motion machine or a reverse engineered flying saucer in their garage, and we don’t give a whole lot of attention to the people who say HIV does not cause AIDS — yet we’ve seen gross distortion in the amount of air time given to climate skeptics, way out of proportion to their (vanishingly small and getting smaller) representation in the scientific community.
Now, the BBC is getting the message. Can the American media be far behind? (ok, don’t answer that, but at least it’s a ray of hope)
Climate sceptics who do not believe that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are contributing to global warming have had too much air-time on the BBC as a result of its public broadcasting remit to be impartial, an inquiry has found.
Inaccurate statements from those who challenge the scientific consensus on a range of subjects had frequently gone unquestioned in the BBC’s attempts to be even-handed.
Professor Steve Jones, who reviewed the broadcaster’s science coverage at the request of the BBC Trust, said: “When faced with strongly opposed views in a scientific discussion, a journalist may not be certain of the facts presented on each side and may apply balance while describing it as impartiality – but if one proponent is presenting dubious evidence that claim is not justified.
“For at least three years, the climate change deniers have been marginal to the scientific debate, but somehow they continued to find a place on the airwaves.”