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BBC More Confused Than Birds About Climate Change

Are milder winters good for wildlife? Yes? No? Who knows? Certainly, nobody would know it were the BBC the main source of information…

Latest: Mar 19, 2010: “The harsh winter in Britain may have had a devastating impact on wildlife, particularly on birds like the kingfisher“. But on May 28, 2003: “increases in spring temperatures in temperate areas of Europe” mean “long-range migrant birds ‘in peril’“, even if “short-haul migrational birds could benefit“.

And if on Nov 3, 2005, “scientists showed that migration and breeding of the great tit, puffin, red admiral and other creatures are moving out of step with food supplies“, on May 8, 2008, as already reported here, “great tits cope well with warming“. Didn’t they know? On Dec 19, 2001, Alex Kirby had written “The populations of some common wild bird species in the UK are at their highest in more than a decade. Woodland birds and several rare species are also doing better than they have. […] Scientists say mild winter weather helped many species“.

On the other hand, wasn’t it on Aug 12, 2000 that we were told that “the hunters say the drop in grouse populations during the past two years was mainly due to an unusually wet summer in 1998 and a mild winter in 1999“?

The overall impression is of course that few at the BBC (or amongst the esteemed scientists and various interviewees for several years) understand about the topic they are writing about, so they end up contributing to an absolutely confused mess where too much uncritical reporting demonstrates everything and its opposite.

If one waits long enough, literally anything will appear on the BBC News website on matters of climate.

ps Nature presenter Bill Oddie is reported on March 25, 2005 as saying “When I was a lad we had ‘proper’ winters and spring started in April. Now that seems a thing of the past“. I guess Mr Oddie must be happy by now, alongside a Herefordshire farmer who warned on Nov 11, 2006 of a shortage of blackcurrant squash and jam” linked to (of course!) mild winters.

  1. ScientistForTruth
    2010/03/22 at 10:56

    It doesn’t matter what changes happen, it will always be blamed on climate change. This is the result of lazy scientists, lazy journalists, lazy politicians and aggressive advocacy groups and activists in the media – and a lazy public. Advocacy groups in particular are blameworthy because they have deliberately sought to promote lazy thinking, ‘groupthink’, fallacies, non sequiturs, petitio principii, and all manner of rhetorical devices (and deception). Unfortunately, when even prominent scientists such as Sir David King and Lord Martin Rees are prepared to use fallacious reasoning to try to bulldozer their position, then things are in a sorry state because you don’t even have the scientific institutions standing up for what is right.
    This is the sad state of affairs when truth is regarded as no longer an objective thing, but a political idea about consensus, and a certain ‘paradigm’ has been established and ‘accepted’ into which all evidence, anecdotal or real, and even that which goes against the paradigm is fitted. Then it becomes almost impossible to overthrow the paradigm because even contrary evidence is re-interpreted to fit it. It becomes the framework into which everything must be understood. We are now getting the social sciences fitting their results into this paradigm, for example, climate change makes people more aggressive, etc.

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