Matt Ridley on Today

Roughly every two years, someone is allowed on to the BBC Radio Today Programme to question climate change hysteria, for about two or three minutes. Previously it’s been Nigel Lawson, whose appearance was followed by howls of outrage from the climate mafia and a grovelling apology from the BBC.

At this time of year the Today Programme has guest editors, and this morning it was the turn of Charles Moore, the ex-editor of the Telegraph, sandwiched between four lefties (it’s Greta on Monday).

So today we heard from Matt Ridley. He made a number of good points in the limited time available. He talked about the diesel fiasco, in which polluting diesel cars were promoted by the green lobby because they produce slightly less carbon dioxide. He called out the extremist wing of climate science, mentioning Kevin Anderson and his exaggerated claims of warming. Roger “Friends of the Earth says” Harrabin also got a mention for his biased activism, as recently highlighted on this blog. Ridley also critised the BBC for divisively categorising everyone into goodies or baddies, without acknowledging the spectrum of views.

Ridley was followed by David King, who stubbornly denied the diesel issue, falsely claimed that Arctic ice was decreasing faster than any climate scientists thought, and made the untrue statement that we were on course for 1-2m of sea level rise this century.


See the comments for a link to the audio from David “@carboncriminal” and a transcript by Alex Cull.





  1. Is the BBC a broken clock correct twice a day, or a blind hog occasionally finding some acorns? It is fascinating how the climate catastrophists, like fundamentalists defending the inerrancy of their version of religion, cannot admit even one failed issue or prediction.


  2. So what were these “preposterous slurs” uttered on air by Matt Ridley re. Horrorbin? I’m aching to find out. Is Horrorbin going to sue for slander? Or perhaps he’ll take his complaint all the way to Ofcom?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Craig over at the “Is the BBC biased?” blog has done an excellent job of transcribing the earlier interview with Charles Moore:

    “The difficulty I’ve had trying to get all this stuff about climate change onto this programme, even though I’m the guest editor, is very, very marked – obstacles coming every single time because of rulings and bureaucracy and the fact that Roger Harrabin, the environment analyst, is so biased…”


  4. Alex, thanks for the transcript:

    “Matt Ridley: Well, first of all, open up the debate more – and I think it’s a problem that the BBC and people like Roger Harrabin, your Environment Editor, talks much more closely and takes his instruction from the environment lobbies –

    Nick Robinson: He doesn’t take his instructions from anybody. I know Roger Harrabin – he’s a journalist. You’re a journalist, he’s a journalist, he reports what he thinks is true.

    Matt Ridley: Well, his Twitter account very strongly reflects that.”

    That’s it? That’s what they’re getting so worked up about? It’s what’s got Bob The Perpetually Offended & Outraged and Mark The Melt to Twitterly condemn the BBC for allowing arch Climate Denier Ridley to cast public aspersions upon media’s very own darling of the Greens, Horrorbin the Honourable? Good grief, these thin-skinned climate change fanatics who think they have a God-given right to control the climate change narrative really need to get a life. How pathetic is that, really? They’re like 4 year olds being told that just today, just this afternoon really, they can’t have their favourite sweeties, then said toddlers throwing a massive screaming tantrum in response.


  5. They have no sense of irony or hypocrisy, either:

    “BBC put presenter on a plane to interview Greta Thunberg
    Sarah Sands, editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, admits it ‘felt awkward’”

    “Putting a presenter on a flight to Sweden to meet climate activist Greta Thunberg “felt awkward”, the editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has admitted.

    The 16-year-old campaigner, who was a guest editor on a special edition of the show, avoids air travel because of its environmental impact.

    The BBC sent presenter Mishal Husain on a return flight to Stockholm to interview her.

    Programme editor Sarah Sands told the Sunday Times: “We did discuss that among ourselves. It felt awkward but we did not have the time for trains or boats.”

    The paper said the trip to Stockholm is estimated to have amounted to almost half a ton of carbon dioxide emissions per person.”

    I notice that Greta preferred receiving the publicity from the BBC to refusing to be interviewed by someone who had flown to see her – just as she was quite happy for a super-yacht crew to be flown across the Atlantic to crew her yacht trip, so that she could be seen to avoid flying. Isn’t it time that this sort of narcissistic and hypocritical behaviour was called out?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s like those National Grid energy generation diagrams at the moment, the ones with the pretty dials.

    Nauseating hypocrisy: 10 (red-lining)
    Egocentricity: 10 (red-lining)
    Integrity: 0 (flat-lining)

    Pretty soon, that huge input of Green egotism and hypocrisy is going to cause the grid to trip big time and the public are going to switch off for good from the BBC and its Green crusading, as well as Saint Greta the Great Fun Borg, who is much more Borg than she is Fun.


  7. Nick Robinson’s point at the end was that the BBC and Roger Harrabin were not telling people what they should do, e.g., directly telling people not to eat meat, which is, on the face of it, a reasonable statement.

    Saying something like “Just say no to meat, everyone” would be obviously rather unsubtle! However, there are many indirect and insidious ways messages like that can be put across. Here’s a very good list of the ways, compiled by commenter Monkey Brains on the “Is the BBC biased?” blog:

    Some of these will be all too familiar. One that I’ve noticed many times in the past is No.6: “Bias by Interruption. An old time favourite…if you don’t like what the interviewee is saying, interrupt them to hell and back, so that they can’t get their points across.”

    My prediction, for what it’s worth, is that Greta Thunberg will not be interrupted (or contradicted) very often, or maybe at all, tomorrow.


  8. Well I listened to the last hour of Today edited by Greta and it seemed a very damp squib, though it illustrated the preachy nature of the BBC that Charles Moore talked about.

    The presenter Mishal Husain repeatedly tried, but failed, to put words into people’s mouths. Mark Carney was asked did he agree that we were in a climate emergency, but he didn’t, only saying that there could be one in the future. Did he support calls for disinvestment in fossil fuel companies? He ducked that question too.

    Then there was a spokesman from Shell. Would he make a commitment to reducing oil and gas production? Nope.

    Even St. Greta herself disappointed.
    Did she see herself as a leader? No
    Was she going to be a life-long activist? Don’t. know.
    What did we need to do? I’m not telling other people they should stop flying.


  9. Paul I wonder how you managed to stay awake. I kept dozing off. I didn’t even manage to concentrate through the Greta-Attenbollocks exchange of pleasantries and mutual backscratchings – something I had steeled myself to experience undiluted.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Did manage to watch substantial parts of yesterday’s repeat of a Blue Planet II episode within which was film of polar bears wandering in close proximity to walruses in a land haulout. Walruses were totally unconcerned (as I might have been if I had been in possession of half-metre long paired ivory stabbing devices and skin tough enough to ward off vicious blows from neighbour’s similar endowments.) Made me wonder about the reason for the sky diving walruses falling down cliffs that Attenbollocks was being chastised for. Were those walrusii really afraid of poley bears?


  11. On Charles Moore’s view that the BBC is ‘preachy’, they’re not supposed to do that kind of thing any more under the new BBC Charter. The Blair government’s version of the BBC Charter, which may have encouraged them to do the preachy stuff, introduced the idea of ‘public purposes’ for the BBC, which were:

    Public purposes of BBC for 2006 to 2016 Charter:

    1) sustaining citizenship and civil society

    2) promoting education and learning

    3) representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities

    4) stimulating creativity and cultural excellence

    5) bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK

    6) in promoting its other purposes, helping to deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services and, in addition, taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television

    The major problem with the 2006 to 2016 list is purpose No 1, the vague idea of ‘sustaining citizenship and civil society’, which could be interpreted as an invitation for the BBC to preach to the public to make UK citizens just as Metropolitan Liberal as the BBC is.

    The May government introduced a new Charter in 2017 which came up with a completely new list of public purposes:

    Public purposes of BBC for 2017 to 2027 Charter:

    1. To provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them

    The BBC should provide duly accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming to build people’s understanding of all parts of the United Kingdom and of the wider world. Its content should be provided to the highest editorial standards. It should offer a range and depth of analysis and content not widely available from other United Kingdom news providers, using the highest calibre presenters and journalists, and championing freedom of expression, so that all audiences can engage fully with major local, regional, national, United Kingdom and global issues and participate in the democratic process, at all levels, as active and informed citizens.

    2. To support learning for people of all ages

    The BBC should help everyone learn about different subjects in ways they will find accessible, engaging, inspiring and challenging. The BBC should provide specialist educational content to help support learning for children and teenagers across the United Kingdom. It should encourage people to explore new subjects and participate in new activities through partnerships with educational, sporting and cultural institutions.

    3. To show the most creative, highest quality and distinctive output and services

    The BBC should provide high-quality output in many different genres and across a range of services and platforms which sets the standard in the United Kingdom and internationally. Its services should be distinctive from those provided elsewhere and should take creative risks, even if not all succeed, in order to develop fresh approaches and innovative content.

    4. To reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions and, in doing so, support the creative economy across the United Kingdom

    The BBC should reflect the diversity of the United Kingdom both in its output and services. In doing so, the BBC should accurately and authentically represent and portray the lives of the people of the United Kingdom today, and raise awareness of the different cultures and alternative viewpoints that make up its society. It should ensure that it provides output and services that meet the needs of the United Kingdom’s nations, regions and communities. The BBC should bring people together for shared experiences and help contribute to the social cohesion and wellbeing of the United Kingdom. In commissioning and delivering output the BBC should invest in the creative economies of each of the nations and contribute to their development.

    5. To reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world

    The BBC should provide high-quality news coverage to international audiences, firmly based on British values of accuracy, impartiality, and fairness. Its international services should put the United Kingdom in a world context, aiding understanding of the United Kingdom as a whole, including its nations and regions where appropriate. It should ensure that it produces output and services which will be enjoyed by people in the United Kingdom and globally.

    The new list of public purposes drops the vague idea of ‘sustaining citizenship and civil society’, and at least on paper looks a lot better for sceptics of environmentalism as it requires the BBC to represent alternative viewpoints and emphasises the idea of being impartial.


  12. @ Alan

    You may have 50 cm tusks and leathery skin, but you are also a glorified maggot with poor eyesight. An earlier offering of Attenborough’s (?Life in the freezer?) showed a desperate polar bear having a crack at a walrus. It didn’t end well, but the walrus was not unscathed.

    It’s possible that the walruses take cues from their mates, also that they can divine intent in some manner. Their chosen response is to hit the water where they are definitely invulnerable to bears. Hence the possibility of diving head first off a cliff/trampling etc.


  13. @Dave Gardner 30 Dec 19 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for the BBC Charter in 2017 post – liked this extract –

    “It should offer a range and depth of analysis and content not widely available from other United Kingdom news providers, using the highest calibre presenters and journalists, and championing freedom of expression, so that all audiences can engage fully with major local, regional, national, United Kingdom and global issues and participate in the democratic process, at all levels, as active and informed citizens”

    “championing freedom of expression” except when the BEEB decide they can/have to protect the public from Fake News!!!


  14. @Paul

    not often I think somebody is a scum bag – but BWard is a nasty piece of work (imo).

    media (bbc) love him for some reason (LSE links I assume)


  15. Just to say I’ve now added transcripts of the Prof. Michael Kelly, Sir David King and Charles Moore interviews to the one with Matt Ridley.


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