Daily Archives: September 8, 2018

BBC admits ‘we get climate change coverage wrong too often’ | Environment | The Guardian

Briefing sent to editorial staff on global warming says ‘you do not need a denier to balance the debate’

Damian CarringtonLast modified on Fri 7 Sep 2018 15.49 EDT

The BBC has accepted it gets coverage of climate change “wrong too often” and told staff: “You do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate.”

In a briefing note sent to all staff warning them to be aware of false balance, the corporation has offered a training course on how to report on global warming. The move follows a series of apologies and censures for failing to challenge climate sceptics during interviews, including Nigel Lawson.

The briefing note, obtained by the website Carbon Brief, was sent on Thursday by Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs. It includes a statement of BBC editorial policy that begins: “Climate change has been a difficult subject for the BBC, and we get coverage of it wrong too often.”

It then states: “Manmade climate change exists: If the science proves it we should report it.” In the section warning on false balance it says: “To achieve impartiality, you do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2-0 last Saturday. The referee has spoken.”

The Guardian revealed in October that the BBC had apologised for an interview with Lord Lawson on the Radio 4 Today programme after admitting it had breached its own editorial guidelines for allowing him to claim that global temperatures have not risen in the past decade. The regulator Ofcom subsequently ruled the BBC had breached broadcasting rules.

The Today programme was also censured by the BBC complaints unit for an interview with Lawson in February 2014 and has been criticised for failing to implement fully the findings of the BBC Trust’s 2011 review into the “accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science”.

…(read more).

Voices from Africa: African Farmers and Environmentalists Speak Out Against a New Green Revolution in Africa

edited by Anuradha Mittal with Melissa Moore

by Anuradha Mittal

Chronic hunger affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide but it is most deeply entrenched in Africa. In 2004, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that the number of chronically malnourished in the world had increased to 854 million, with the situation in sub-Saharan Africa being the most dire: the absolute number of hungry people increased from 169 million to 212 million.

This grave situation was further worsened by an 83 percent increase in global food prices between 2005 and 2008. Provisional FAO estimates show that rising prices have plunged an additional 75 million people globally below the hunger threshold, of which 24 million are in sub-Saharan Africa. A crisis of this proportion raises major questions about industrial agriculture and how best to address the needs of the hungry.

The global food crisis requires intervention and a paradigm shift that recognizes agriculture as fundamental to the well-being of all people, both in terms of access to safe and nutritious food and as the foundation of healthy communities, cultures, and the environment. Unfortunately, the 2008 food crisis—especially the widespread hunger and poverty in Africa—is being used to make the case for addressing hunger by increasing agricultural production through technical solutions such as genetically engineered (GE) crops. Nowhere in the process of crafting solutions are the voices and experiences of Africans, especially African farmers, included.

…(read more).