BBC investigated after peer says climate change programme was biased ‘one-sided polemic’
By Tamara CohenLast updated at 2:54 AM on 27th September 2008
‘Potty peer’: Lord Monckton said his sceptical views were misrepresented
The BBC is being investigated by television watchdogs after a leading climate change sceptic claimed his views were deliberately misrepresented.
Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, says he was made to look like a ‘potty peer’ on a TV programme that ‘was a one-sided polemic for the new religion of global warming’. .
Earth: The Climate Wars, which was broadcast on BBC 2, was billed as a definitive guide to the history of global warming, including arguments for and against.
During the series, Dr Iain Stewart, a geologist, interviewed leading climate change sceptics, including Lord Monckton. But the peer complained to Ofcom that the broadcast had been unfairly edited.
‘I very much hope Ofcom will do something about this,’ he said yesterday.
‘The BBC very gravely misrepresented me and several others, as well as the science behind our argument. It is a breach of its code of conduct.
‘I was interviewed for 90 minutes and all my views were backed up by sound scientific data, but this was all omitted. They made it sound as if these were just my personal views, as if I was some potty peer. It was caddish of them.’
Ofcom confirmed it was looking into a ‘fairness complaint’ about the documentary.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘We stand by the programme.’
Lord Monckton, 56, a former journalist and Cambridge graduate, says scientific data shows the world is cooler today than in the Middle Ages.
He appeared alongside other sceptics including distinguished Florida-based meteorologist Professor Fred Singer, John Christy, a climate change expert and adviser to the U.S. government and the climatologist Dr Patrick Michaels, of the University of Virginia.
All their interviews, he claims, were heavily cut so that they appeared as personal views.
‘We do not dispute that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but we do dispute its effects’, he said. ‘The data shows that 2008 is the same temperature as 1980 and that the effects of these changes in the atmosphere are not negative but more likely to be beneficial.’
Lord Monckton played a key role in a legal challenge heard in the High Court in October 2007 in an effort to prevent Al Gore’s film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, from being shown in English schools.
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