Tuesday, December 09, 2008

BBC and Plane Stupid

Despite feeling like shit I had to drive to "oop north" yesterday, 175 miles of mainly motorway driving. Set off about 9:15 and about 10 mins in to the journey discovered my iTrip was broken which meant that I had to listen to the radio. No liking the prattle of DJ's I was flipping between Radio 4 and Radio 5.

Radio 5 seemed to dedicate itself to a vox pop on the Plane Stupid demo at Standsted airport. At first I wasn't too bothered although I didn't think they had done themselves any favours on the PR front. However as the morning went on we had ever more callers claiming that they were right and coming up with ever wilder claims of what will happen if we don't stop emitting CO2 now. One even claimed that we only had 7 years to the "tipping point".

Not one guest was brought on to bring a modicum of reality to the proceedings. The presenter, Victoria Derbyshire, seemed to be complicit in all this. Anyone listening wouldn't have believed there was any sort of debate at all.

Anyway, rather stupidly I continued driving with my blood pressure rising as I shouted at the radio every time another idiot from Plane Stupid came on with another, wilder, claim.

This is a shame because I believe they could have made a very good point. Plane fuel isn't taxed which means that they aren't paying a Pigovian tax on the fuel. Instead they relied on ignorance and fear and the unquestioning obedience of the BBC to getaway with claiming there is positive feedback in the environment.

For an explanation of this see Climate Skeptic:

Frequent readers will know that I have often criticized climate scientists for assuming, without strong evidence, that climate is dominated by positive feedback. Such an assumption about a long-term stable system implies that climate is relatively unique among natural processes, and is a real head scratcher when advocated by folks like Michael Mann, who simultaneously claim that past temerpatures are stable within very narrow ranges (Stability and positive feedback are two great tastes that do not go great together).

Well, it seems that those of use who were offended by the notion of a long-term stable natural process being dominated by positive feedback may have been right after all (via Tom Nelson):

Cirrus clouds are performing a disappearing act which is taking scientists by surprise.

In the global warming debate, it is assumed that temperature rises will lead to more rainfall, which in turn will see an increase in high-altitude cloud cover that will trap infrared heat.

But research on tropical climate systems has found the opposite is happening, with cirrus clouds thinning as the air warms, leading to rapid cooling as infrared heat escapes from the atmosphere to outer space.

I also recommend looking at Climate Skeptic's video's for an even better explanation which you'll find in the sidebar


TheFatBigot said...

Very much par for the course for any 5 Live phone-in, Mr Simpleton. Whole host of hippy types given encouragement by the presenter.

I suspect most sensible people have stopped listening by now (I only do so once in a blue moon), hence the lack of opposing views.

The Great Simpleton said...

Sadly too many people take anything the BBC says on AGW as gospel.

I must stop listening as well, it can't be good for my heart.

Mrs Smallprint said...

The climate change lot have all had there common sense gene removed. I frequently end up shouting at the television and radio. Strangely though most of the people I know are unbelievers too, so where are they getting these people from, is there some sort of secret supply of them in a Government bunker somewhere?

Mrs S.

The Great Simpleton said...

Mrs S,
Sadly the BBC seem to have appointed themselves the sole arbiters on thisissue and it doesn't matter what most people think.

They have fallen for the wilder claims of AGW hook, line and sinker.