I thought I was having a Nobel laureate for tea. Instead, the BBC had me for lunch

Last week I was stitched up like a kipper by the BBC.

Perhaps you saw the programme — a Horizon documentary called Science Under Attack. Perhaps you were even among the dozens whom it inspired to send me hate emails along the lines of, ‘Ha ha. Think you know more about science than a Nobel prizewinner do you? Idiot!’ Perhaps it’s time I set the record straight.

It started in August last year when I had an email from a BBC producer/director called Emma Jay. She was making a film on ‘public trust in science’ to be presented by the next President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse. ‘The tone of the film is very questioning but with no preconceptions,’ she wrote. ‘Sir Paul is very aware of the culpability of scientists and that will come across in the film. They will not be portrayed as white-coated magicians who should be left to work in their ivory towers — their failings will be dealt with in detail.’ As an ‘influential blogger on climate change’, would I chat to Nurse about my views? Though I had my suspicions, I agreed after Emma had reassured me that Nurse was genuinely open-minded on the subject and had no axe to grind.

In fact I was rather looking forward to the meeting. It’s not often you get an actual Nobel laureate (Physiology or Medicine, 2001) popping round to your home. Besides, I was keen to find out what he planned to do about the Royal Society’s increasingly embarrassing position on anthropogenic global warming.AdTech Ad

Both his predecessors — Lord May and Lord Rees — were fanatical warmists and shifted the Royal Society’s politics accordingly. Last year, 43 of the Royal Society’s members wrote in protest at its advocacy of what remains an unproven hypothesis. By allying itself so closely to the politicised ‘consensus’, the Royal Society seemed to be betraying its traditions of honest scepticism (‘Nullius in verba’) and also running the risk of one day being proved humiliatingly wrong.

What I didn’t properly consider — though of course I should, having done the odd bit of TV myself — is how documentaries like this really work. When your presenter announces, as he so often does, that he is ‘going on a journey of discovery’, he is in fact doing no such thing. Right from the start, often before the presenter has even been chosen, the director and producer know exactly where the film is going and what it is going to say. The interviewees are mere pawns: the camera is to be pointed at them until such time as they can be prodded into saying what the documentary requires.

(to read more, click here)

Related posts:

  1. The Nobel Prize: way deadlier, more damaging and evil than dynamite
  2. Sir Paul Nurse – saviour of the universe!
  3. RealClimategate hits the final nail in the coffin of ‘peer review’
  4. Obama’s won the Nobel Peace – WTF?!

One thought on “I thought I was having a Nobel laureate for tea. Instead, the BBC had me for lunch”

  1. Nige Cook says:13th February 2011 at 11:53 amFearless Frank, if you replay the video a few times, http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=3Un7u2AZnjw&vq=medium#t=14 you see the that James gave the right answer. Nurse believes the Club of Rome’s 1974 claim in its report Mankind at the Turning Point: “The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man”, so he uses this cancer diagnosis consensus argument on James Delingpole, who after hours of discussion (edited out by the BBC and Nurse) has told Nurse that AGW is “not science”.

    The cancer analogy presumes that the earth has cancer. In 1974 when the Club of Rome formulated it, the consensus was that global cooling (due to dust and pollution from natural volcanic eruptions and from industry) was screening out sunlight, and we were in for runaway glaciation and a new ice age. This was even popularized in the 1967 BBC Dr Who sci fi tale, “The Ice Warriors”, where future Britain is being swamped by glaciers.

    AWG is not science, but is a political manipulation due to efforts to promote ignorance by using “peer”-review to censor out the NASA scientists who discovered the facts about negative feedback on CO2 temperature changes from increased cloud cover, and “hide the decline” lying using data fidding from tree rings (which aren’t a proxy for temperature, since tree growth in the real world is sensitive to other factors, especially cloud cover). They don’t have any mechanism for CO2 to affect temperature. The earth is not a greenhouse, because you don’t have any cloud cover inside a greenhouse! Pumping out more CO2 just affects the cloud cover, not the temperature.

    If anyone is pathetic, it’s not James.

Comments are closed.

Liked it? Take a second to support James on Patreon!