BBC Repeat Fake Extreme Weather Disaster Claims

By Paul Homewood


h/t qaesoveritas



Politicians and policymakers have failed to grasp the gravity of the environmental crisis facing the Earth, a report claims.

The think-tank IPPR says human impacts have reached a critical stage and threaten to destabilise society and the global economy.

Scientists warn of a potentially deadly combination of factors.

These include climate change, mass loss of species, topsoil erosion, forest felling and acidifying oceans.

The report from the centre-left Institute for Public Policy Research says these factors are "driving a complex, dynamic process of environmental destabilisation that has reached critical levels.

"This destabilisation is occurring at speeds unprecedented in human history and, in some cases, over billions of years."

The IPPR warns that the window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic outcomes is rapidly closing.

The authors urge three shifts in political understanding: on the scale and pace of environmental breakdown; the implications for societies; and the subsequent need for transformative change.

​They say since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold.

At least climate change features in policy discussions, they say – but other vitally important impacts barely figure.

What issues are being under-played?

  • Topsoil is being lost 10 to 40 times faster than it is being replenished by natural processes ​
  • Since the mid-20th Century, 30% of the world’s arable land has become unproductive due to erosion
  • 95% of the Earth’s land areas could become degraded by 2050

These matters are close to home for British politicians, the authors argue, with the average population sizes of the most threatened species in the UK having decreased by two-thirds since 1970.

The UK is described as one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.

Some 2.2 million tonnes of UK topsoil is eroded annually, and over 17% of arable land shows signs of erosion.

Nearly 85% of fertile peat topsoil in East Anglia has been lost since 1850, with the remainder at risk of being lost over next 30–60 years.

The IPPR says many scientists believe we have entered a new era of rapid environmental change.

The report warns: "We define this as the ‘age of environmental breakdown’ to better highlight the severity of the scale, pace and implications of environmental destabilisation resulting from aggregate human activity."


I have no particular views on most of this report, but would strongly challenge this statement:

They say since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold.


That immediately set of the BS buzzer, so where did this patently ludicrous claim come from?

The report quoted by the BBC is from the IPPR. Note that this is not a scientific body, but a politically activist, left wing think tank:




And lo and behold, the same claim appears in the Summary:



And again on Page 13:



Readers may recall that I have come across EM-DAT (The International Disaster Database), and carried out a detailed analysis of their methodology last year, after similar wild claims from Lord Stern, which were also based on their disaster database.

My full analysis can be seen here. But in short, EM-DAT are registering disasters reported, rather than actually occurring, a crucial difference. This is something acknowledged by EM-DAT themselves.

I include below some of the key parts of my analysis:

Back in 2004, EM-DAT published a report, “Thirty Years of Natural Disasters 1974-2003”. It included these comments:







This evolution in reporting is self evident from Figure 2:



Nobody in their right mind would believe that there were hardly any natural disasters in the first half of the 20thC. Many disasters happened in the past, but which don’t appear in the official stats.

A clue to this is that most of the apparent increase is due to small disasters:




In fact, the criteria for what constitutes a “disaster” is set at a very low level indeed:


Thousands of such small events would have escaped official notice in the past.

There is one more clue in the 2003 report:


While the number of reported disasters has remained pretty much flat from disaster agencies and governments, there was a huge increase from specialised agencies in the 1998 – 2000 period, along with a steady increase from insurance companies.

This is clear evidence that the apparent trend is solely due to how the data is collected.


In 2007, EM-DAT published another report, “Annual Disaster Statistical Review 2006”, which included this statement:



It is worth noting that that CRED, who maintain EM-DAT only began publishing statistics in 1998. It is pretty obvious that it was this factor that led to the increased reporting of disasters around that time.



In short, many more disasters get to be officially registered by EM-DAT nowadays. Many that occurred in the past simply never appeared on the database.


But there is one last thing. Where did the IPPR report get their fake claim from? Look again at Page 13:


Who are GMO?

Fortunately IPPR tell us in their list of references:




J Grantham, eh? And that link takes us to:





It is the same Jeremy Grantham, the billionaire who funds the Grantham Institute. Oddly though, he has published this white paper under the auspices of Grantham, Mayo, & van Otterloo (GMO), the Boston-based asset management firm of which he is co-founder.

Why it was not formally vetted and issued by the Grantham Institute is a mystery, as is the question of why the IPPR have made use of work from a billionaire businessman, instead of proper scientists.

Perhaps Bob Ward might like to raise a complaint with the BBC for using fake data, supplied by his boss!

As for the IPPR, it was a silly question. They are not a scientific organisation, but simply exist to promote their left wing agenda. Facts do not matter to them.


Which all brings us back to Roger Harrabin and the BBC. Surely it should have been immediately apparent to any journalist in his field that the claims made by the IPPR simply did not stand up to the slightest scrutiny.

After all, even the IPCC never made such outlandish claims, and could find no real evidence that extreme weather was increasing, despite intense efforts to do so.

Is Harrabin so incompetent that he simply echoed these lies, without even bothering to check them out?

Or is he so tied up in his quasi religious devotion to the evils of climate change, that, a bit like the Soviets and their tractor statistics, he assumed they must be right?


Either way, the BBC have made it clear to their reporters that they must not simply accept the word of sceptics like Lord Lawson, but challenge them instead. This is a classic instance where Harrabin has failed in his duty to question the fake science he has been fed.

It is no good the BBC simply saying they have only reported what “scientists” have said. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

A strong complaint is in order!


February 12, 2019 at 02:54PM

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