The BBC drops climate criticism down the memory hole

George Harrison

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Topics Free Speech

This week climate fanatics have given us more conclusive proof – if we ever needed it – that they have no interest in debate, or even allowing anyone to question their crushing ‘consensus’. In fact, debate was off the agenda entirely this week, after the BBC was reprimanded for having the audacity to spend taxpayers’ money questioning the climate orthodoxy.

What’s the Point of the Met Office? aired in August, as part of a light-hearted Radio 4 series that takes on British institutions. It featured a number of climate-change sceptics, including two MPs, who criticised the eco-establishment – one going so far as to call climate change a ‘fiction’. Naturally, this sparked a backlash among climate scientists and members of the public who couldn’t deal with the thought of people, in the free world, questioning conventional opinion.

A BBC Trust review, which published its findings this week, deemed the programme a serious breach of BBC rules on impartiality and accuracy. The BBC officially apologised in October, admitting that the show failed to make clear that sceptics represent a ‘minority’ that is ‘out-of-step with scientific consensus’. Now, in an alarming development, the BBC has deleted the programme from its internet archive.

The implications of this are startling. Just because a few sceptics dared to question the consensus, their contributions have been scrubbed from the internet. It puts one in mind of Orwell’s memory holes, in which documents can be dropped and thus wiped from the history books.

Even if you have little time for climate sceptics, this should concern you. One day it could be you who finds yourself in the intellectual ‘minority’. By turning a blind eye to censorship you make a rod for your own back. What’s more, you stifle the pursuit of scientific truth. Indeed, if the establishments of past eras had succeeded in purging all scientific dissent, we’d all still think that the Sun orbits our flat Earth.

Cracking down on dissenting opinions benefits no one. If this is how the BBC and the climate fanatics treat scientific inquiry – with utter contempt – we should all fear for the progression of scientific knowledge, and, for that matter, the progression of the human race.

George Harrison is a writer and student.

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Topics Free Speech