Following the BBC Panorama “investigation” into Climategate, broadcast yesterday evening, scientists are being advised not to be interviewed alongside Climate Change sceptics and deniers.
“It was extremely ill-advised for Bob Watson to agree to appear in the same programme as Bjorn Lomborg” was one opinion voiced, “it creates the illusion that Bjorn Lomborg might be right. Whereas, of course, he is not.”
Bob Watson was effectively tricked. He was asked to give an authoritative opinion, which was then presented side by side with the views of the discredited Bjorn Lomborg and John Christy.
As for Bob Ward, he should never, ever have agreed to appear alongside Bjorn Lomborg. He should have realised he could not get his message across properly.
However much the BBC would have pleaded they wanted to be fair and balanced, the overall outcome is the public are left making their own minds up.
Trouble is, the general public don’t take in enough information for them to be able to make their minds up properly.
Why, only the other day I was talking with a busy mother of one. “So,” she asked, finding out what I do, “what’s this thing about that university who have been doing all this research and then some people have said it’s not all as bad as the researchers say ?”
I asked her where she got this idea from. Why, from the mainstream Media, of course. She only had time to dip in, very briefly, into the narrative, and she came away thinking that because the Climate Change sceptics and deniers have been publicised that they hold valid opinons.
The Climate Change sceptics and deniers should be barred from the mainstream Media, in my view.
Failing that, Climate Change scientists should refuse to appear on any programme where they do not get editorial review, or where their research is likely to be pitched alongside that of the Climate Change sceptics and deniers.
So, there you have it, folks. A plan. If the Media contact you and ask you to offer scientific opinion for television or radio, refuse to do so if there are any Climate Change sceptics and deniers on the show, and refuse to take part unless you are guaranteed of overall editorial power of review.
The journalists and their programme editors are too ill-informed to tell the difference between valid and invalid scientific statements.
The equivalent situation in the subject of Economics would be to interview Bernie Madoff for advice on his golden investment opportunity, slotted into a programme about regulating the financial markets. Or inviting Enron to give their position about energy market “management”. Or Nick Leeson on trading ethics.
Just because people have a range of opinions doesn’t mean that they’re all right.
How can everybody be correct ? Some people are right, and others are wrong. And the BBC appear not to be able to tell the difference.