A Today guest editor has accused the BBC of being a “secular church” that “preaches” on climate change, telling listeners of the difficulties he had getting underrepresented voices on the issue onto the programme.
During Christmas week, the BBC notionally hands over the editorial management of its flagship Radio 4 news and current affairs programme to guest editors. Such curators this year have included Lady Hale, the President of the Supreme Court which ruled against Brexiteer Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament.
Thursday’s programme was edited by cross-dressing artist Grayson Perry, who interviewed former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams who claimed that climate change was “the largest challenge ever to the human race” and blamed conspiracy theories for people not believing in it. On Monday, climate wunderkind Greta Thunberg is set to edit the programme.
On Saturday, the honour was handed to Charles Moore, the biographer of Margaret Thatcher, a columnist for the centre-right Telegraph, and a trustee for the board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a group which includes left-wing, liberal, and conservative voices.
One of Mr Moore’s chosen interviewees, science writer Matt Ridley who appeared for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said that while there is actually a wide range of opinions in the scientific community on climate change, the BBC gives preference to alarmist voices because it has allowed itself to be “bullied” by climate lobbyists.
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Speaking to BBC host Nick Robinson, Dr Ridley said: “The consensus says there is going to be a range of outcomes of anything from one to four degrees [celcius] — one is harmless, four is very harmful — so actually, the consensus is there is going to be a range.
“The problem is the BBC… have decided to let themselves be bullied by climate activists into dividing us into goodies who believe in climate change and baddies who don’t,” Ridley said.
The writer continued that at the extremist end of the spectrum are “effectively doomsday cultists now who say we are going to have six billion people dead in a few short decades – that is Roger Hallem of Extinction Rebellion or Kevin Anderson, on whom Greta Thunberg, your next guest editor, heavily relies, and he says we are going to see [a] 4C [increase] by 2050.
“No responsible scientist agrees with that, and yet those people are given a hearing on the BBC whereas the luke-warmers are denied a place on the BBC. We’re not allowed on the BBC,” he continued, adding that his rare appearance is due to the brief and limited control of the programme by Charles Moore.
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At the end of the programme, the guest editor Charles Moore pronounced what he observed as the BBC’s institutional hypocrisy, saying: “When I came into the building this morning, you have a statue of George Orwell just outside and he speaks about the importance of the liberty to tell people what they don’t want to hear.
“I feel the BBC doesn’t want to hear a lot of things which the wider population keeps telling them. I feel that, in particular, the whole Brexit story is a test which the BBC has utterly failed and with permanent damage to its reputation and I don’t think it deserves to stand as it did before,” adding that the publicly-funded broadcaster which claims to be impartial “refused to cover it fairly and tried to prevent the execution to Brexit”.
Robinson attempted to undermine Moore’s observation by claiming that as a right-wing traditionalist, the guest editor was “upset” that the country “has changed in a way you don’t like”.
Refusing to address the accusation, Mr Moore said: “What I am objecting to is preaching. The BBC has decided to be a secular church and it preaches and tells us what we ought to think about things. So it tells us we shouldn’t support Brexit and we should accept climate change alarmism and we have to all kowtow to the doctrines of diversity.”
Reflecting on his stint as curator, he stated: “The difficulty I have had trying to get all this stuff about climate change onto this programme, even though I am the guest editor… [The] obstacles come in every single time because of rulings and bureaucracy and the fact that Roger Harabin, the environment analyst, is so biased.”
The BBC interviewer then claimed that the “danger” of people hearing news from different political opinions could lead to American-style news networks that are divided by political affiliation, implying that the current British system — the BBC especially — is unadulterated by personal or political bias.
Saying that the BBC’s tone is already dictated by the politics of the people who run it, Mr Moore observed: “We are already a divided country in terms of our news consumption because the BBC has an artificial privilege which it abuses to put forward particular views.”
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