The BBC has decided it will stop giving undue time to crackpot theorists, climate science deniers in particular. After being criticized for giving too much time to unqualified dissenters, BBC is informing its staff to stop trying to show the “other side” of debates that are largely one-sided.
In a report last week, the BBC Trust stated their desire to better emphasize the weight of scientific consensus rather than simply trying to give a wide range of views on any particular topic.
“Science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views but depends on the varying degree of prominence such views should be given.”
Man-made climate change was one subject that the BBC Trust stated they needed to work on. In their attempts to show both sides of the issue, BBC placed real scientific studies alongside the ramblings of under-qualified skeptics, potentially misleading audiences into thinking the views were on par.
In one case, BBC’s The World at One was discussing the UN’s IPCC report, a massive collaborative climate assessment completed by over 400 scientists using thousands of peer-reviewed studies. When they were unable to find a single qualified scientist in the UK to present an opposing view they instead invited Bob Carter, a retired Australian geologist and climate change skeptic, who just dismissed the entire IPCC as bunk.
As Bill Nye has been trying to tell us for a while now, climate change scientists are largely in agreement that humanity is causing serious harm to the planet. While you can always find a few conspiracy theorists or talking-head skeptics to deny global warming, the fact still remains that over 97% of the people actually qualified to tell us what’s going on with the climate are saying it’s in serious need of address. Kudos to BBC for finally having the journalistic integrity to do what’s right, now let’s hope we can get more of that in the US.