Further evidence of the institutional dishonesty of the BBC over climate change: on Wednesday, Radio 4’s Costing the Earth had a programme on “Eco-anxiety”.
Is the future of the planet making you depressed? Do you feel paralysed, unable to imagine the happiness of future generations? As global governments fail to respond to the existential crisis of climate change it’s understandable that some people seem unable to conjure up a sense of hope, understandable that dozens of young British women have joined the Birthstrike movement, refusing to bring more children into the world. Verity Sharp meets the eco-anxious and asks if they are ill or simply more perceptive than the rest of us.
The answer to Verity’s question is, of course, that the eco-anxious are neither ill nor more perceptive — they are more simply susceptible to the lies that the BBC tells the public about climate change.
The programme started off with the usual alarmist soundbites from BBC news about “devastating tornadoes” and “climate catastrophe”. Presenter Verity Sharp said that she’s so worried about climate change that it’s affecting her sleep, suggesting she may have “eco-anxiety”. She then interviewed a fellow sufferer, who says she “cried every single day”. Psychotherapist Caroline Hickman said that eco-anxiety was on the rise, with people worrying that there might be food riots and “not enough water to go round”.
So what did the programme do to help these poor people who are in a panic about climate change?
The honest and compassionate thing to do would be to alleviate their concerns by quoting some key points from the IPCC, such as this statement on tropical storms from the 2018 SR15 report:
“Numerous studies towards and beyond AR5 have reported a decreasing trend in the global number of tropical cyclones and/or the globally accumulated cyclonic energy”
Yes, contrary to the lies told by the BBC in the recent documentary, hurricanes are actually decreasing.
But no, the Costing the Earth programme did exactly the opposite.
15 minutes into the programme, the presenter introduced a man called Jem Bendell:
“Jem Bendell is professor of sustainability at the University of Cumbria… Last July, Jem Bendell wrote a paper, called Deep Adaptation: A map for navigating climate tragedy, a paper I have to admit I was dreading reading. The abstract says ‘The purpose of this conceptual paper is to provide readers with an opportunity to re-assess their work and life in the face of an inevitable near-term collapse.’ It’s gone viral with the pdf being downloaded over 400,000 times. Many of the people we spoke to have read it.”
What the BBC neglected to mention is that Bendell failed to get his “paper” published in an academic journal. Nor did they mention that Michael Mann described Bendell’s paper as “crap” and “unscientific and nonsensical…” — see this very good blogpost by Robert Walker, who was appalled that the BBC was promoting Bendell’s junk science on BBC3 back in March.
Bendell was given free rein to promote his falsehoods, such as this blatant whopper: “The IPCC in October last year has said very similar things”.
I thought that Verity might have been concerned about people suffering from eco-anxiety and might want to help to alleviate their symptoms. But clearly I was wrong. She and the others involved in the programme want to make it worse, by promoting the nonsense of pseudo-scientists like Jem Bendell and scares about catastrophe and running out of water. This was confirmed by her words right at the end of the programme,
“So, if you’re feeling anxious about climate breakdown, good…”
See also this post by Paul Homewood.
Update: Alex Cull has produced a transcript.