April 3, 2014
Ministers who question the majority view among scientists about climate change should “shut up” and instead repeat the Government line on the issue, according to MPs.
The BBC should also give less airtime to climate sceptics and its editors should seek special clearance to interview them, according to the Commons Science and Technology Committee. Andrew Miller, the committee’s Labour chairman, said that appearances on radio and television by climate sceptics such as Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, should be accompanied by “health warnings”.
Mr Miller likened climate sceptics to the Monster Raving Loony Party and said that the BBC should limit interviews with them just as it restricted the coverage it gave to fringe political parties.
In a report published today, the committee criticises the BBC’s coverage of climate change, saying that its news programmes “continue to make mistakes in their coverage of climate science by giving opinions and scientific fact the same weight”.
The MPs say that the BBC should apply the same “stringent requirements” to interviewing climate sceptics as it applies to interviewing politicians. “For example, any proposal to invite politicians to contribute to non-political output must be referred to the Chief Adviser Politics. The BBC could benefit from applying a similarly stringent approach when interviewing non- experts on controversial scientific topics such as climate change,” the committee says.