The bias is in the ABC Board
You won't find this reported in the ABC (it's not on their online news service) – ABC radio's highly respected science journalist Robyn Williams has accused the ABC board of putting pressure on the broadcaster's TV programmers to show a documentary that disputes the science of climate change. Fairfax paper The Age carried the story today.
The documentary caused a huge storm in Britain when it was shown on Channel 4 in March – it disputes the climate change science that finds that global warming is caused by human activity, and claims it is caused by changes in sun radiation instead. Scientists condemned the documentary, saying that "its makers used fabricated data, half-truths and misleading statements".
The Age reports:
ABC science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams, who advised the TV division not to buy the program, yesterday accused the broadcaster of "verging on the irresponsible" over its decision to air something that was "demonstrably wrong".The ABC's Director of TV Kim Dalton rejected the claim of interference from the board, and defended his decision to show the documentary by insisting that there is still a 'debate' about whether global warming is caused by CO2 emissions – i.e. by human activity.
This really gets me – it is hugely mischievous for people to still claim that there is a debate over global warming – either whether it is actually happening, or whether human activity and CO2 emissions cause it. Only this year, the UN's panel of global warming scientists and experts concluded that global warming is 'very likely' to be caused by human activity – and that was coming from a very conservative position. When their report came out in February, The Guardian reported:
The likelihood that the phenomenon has been created by the burning of fossil fuels and other actions is greater than 90%, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in its fourth report.So, if you have the head of a panel of scientists and experts on global warming saying that the debate is over, why is the head of ABC TV saying there is still a debate? Perhaps the conservatives on the ABC Board have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth of the debate? Or is this the ABC's idea of countering bias and providing 'balanced' coverage of current affairs? Does it matter that they're peddling lies?
"This day marks the removal from the debate over whether human action has anything to do with climate change," Achim Steiner, the head of the UN environment programme, said.
Now I wonder if Robyn Williams will have to take a 'leave of absence'.