Key effects of global warming were reported bluntly to millions of TV viewers in the documentary Climate Change: The Facts, on BBC One on Thursday 18 April.
“It may sound frightening”, the super-popular TV naturalist David Attenborough said, introducing the show, “but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic
action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies”.
The press loved it. “A call to arms”, The Guardian said. Would it “wake up philanthropists, investors and governments to act?” Forbes asked.
I wondered: why now?
The BBC hasn’t exactly rushed to portray global warming accurately. In 2011, two decades after the international climate talks started at Rio, scientists were slamming the BBC for giving air time to climate science deniers. In 2014, a BBC memo told journalists to stop pretending “balance” was needed between climate science and its deniers – but the practice continued, leading to another edict in September last year. By that time, researchers had started refusing to come into BBC studios to debate deniers.
But high-profile BBC journalists still felt compelled to interview anti-science nutters who are paid by the fossil fuel industry to advise Donald Trump. In October last year, when the Read the rest of this entry »