Christopher Booker of The Sunday Telegraph gives his opinion here:
Warmists beat straying BBC man back into line
A talking point among “climate sceptics” on both sides of the Atlantic has been the bizarre tale of how the BBC’s chief reporter on climate change censored an item on the BBC website after being harried by a “climate activist”.
On April 4 Roger Harrabin posted a story on the fact that world temperatures have not continued to rise in the past 10 years, and this year will fall to a level markedly below the average of the past two decades.
Citing the World Meteorological Organisation, Mr Harrabin accurately reported that “global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory”.
This was a red rag to Jo Abbess of the Campaign Against Climate Change (Hon President, George Monbiot), who emailed Mr Harrabin demanding that he “correct” his item.
Mr Harrabin insisted that what he had written was true. There are indeed eminent climate scientists “who question whether warming will continue as predicted”.
This only angered Ms Abbess further. She said it was “highly irresponsible to play into the hands of the sceptics”, to “even hint that the Earth is cooling down again”.
Mr Harrabin, though he has led the BBC’s tireless promotion of warmist orthodoxy, stood firm. Even in the “general media”, he replied, “sceptics” highlight the lack of increase since 1998: to ignore this might give the impression that “debate is being censored”.
His item had, after all, added “we are still in a long-term warming trend”.
This was too much for Ms Abbess. She responded that this was not “a matter of debate”. He should not be quoting the sceptics “whose voice is heard everywhere, on every channel, deliberately obstructing the emergence of the truth”.
Unless he changed his item, she said, “I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically manipulated”. She threatened to expose him by spreading his replies across the internet.
At this point the BBC’s man caved in. Within minutes a new version appeared, given the same time and date as that which he had consigned to Winston Smith’s memory hole.
Out went any mention of “sceptics” who question global warming. After a guarded reference to this year’s “slightly cooler” temperatures, a new paragraph said that they would “still be above the average” and that we will “soon exceed the record year of 1998 because of the global warming induced by greenhouse gases”.
Of course we have long known where the BBC stands on climate change. But it is good to have such clear evidence that, even when one of its reporters tries to be honest, he can be whipped back into line by a pressure group.
In the end, Ms Abbess still circulated the exchanges on the internet, to show the great victory she had won for the “emerging truth”.
Meanwhile, the BBC makes its editorial excuses here.
I’ve made what is probably a futile complaint to BBC and asked for hard evidence of the claimed comments on the article by the WMO.
There is more entertainment on the relevant thread over at the Campaign against climate change, as the Sandalistas argue with the Lentilists, refereed by the Treehuggers.
Here is the original unmolested article:
Global temperatures ‘to decrease’
By Roger Harrabin
BBC News environment analyst
Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007 due to the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.
The World Meteorological Organisation’s secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer.
This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.
But experts have also forecast a record high temperature within five years.
La Nina and El Nino are two great natural Pacific currents whose effects are so huge they resonate round the world.
El Nino warms the planet when it happens, La Nina cools it. This year, the Pacific is in the grip of a powerful La Nina.
It has contributed to torrential rains in Australia and to some of the coldest temperatures in memory in snow-bound parts of China.
LA NINA KEY FACTS
La Nina translates from the Spanish as “The Child Girl”
Refers to the extensive cooling of the central and eastern Pacific
Increased sea temperatures on the western side of the Pacific means the atmosphere has more energy and frequency of heavy rain and thunderstorms is increased
Typically lasts for up to 12 months and generally less damaging event than the stronger El Nino
Mr Jarraud told the BBC that the effect was likely to continue into the summer, depressing temperatures globally by a fraction of a degree.
This would mean that temperatures have not risen globally since 1998 when El Nino warmed the world.
A minority of scientists question whether this means global warming has peaked and the earth has proved more resilient to greenhouse gases than predicted.
But Mr Jarraud insisted this was not the case and noted that 1998 temperatures would still be well above average for the century.
“When you look at climate change you should not look at any particular year,” he said. “You should look at trends over a pretty long period and the trend of temperature globally is still very much indicative of warming.”
“La Nina is part of what we call ‘variability’. There has always been and there will always be cooler and warmer years, but what is important for climate change is that the trend is up.”
Experts at the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre for forecasting in Exeter said the world could expect another record temperature within five years or less, probably associated with another episode of El Nino.