Poppycock or Worse than we thought

These men were the faces of nature on the BBC in my youth – heroes you could say. You see I was a greenie then too.  Never a rabid one you understand – I always believed that if you wanted to change something you had to work with those whom you wanted to influence – hence my industrial leanings even then.

Dr David Bellamy – “Poppycock”


David Attenborough  “Worse than we thought”

Dr Bellamy spoke at my university while I was a student in the ’80s. He pulled no punches, but his enthusiasm and optimism were catching. Somehow, he didn’t seem like an establishment figure – he was edgier – a real campaigner. Back then he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, or to go out and ‘get in the way‘ of construction projects he opposed. You got what you saw and he said what he thought and on the climate issue he was vilified.

…in 2004, and in the face of scientific convention and public opinion, he dismissed man-made global warming as ‘poppycock!’

‘From that moment, I really wasn’t welcome at the BBC. They froze me out, because I don’t believe in global warming. My career dried up. I was thrown out of my own conservation groups and I got spat at in London.

He also received a letter that said “David Bellamy is a paedophile because he doesn’t believe in global warming and is killing our children.”  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/David-Bellamy-The-BBC-froze-I-dont-believe-global-warming.html

He also claims David Attenborough was sceptical about global warming before “he had a change of heart” and now thinks we are a plague on the Earth.

“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it,” he says. “Personally I would be absolutely astounded if population growth and industrialisation and all the stuff we are pumping into the atmosphere hadn’t changed the climatic balance. Of course it has. There is no valid argument for denial.” Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sir-david-attenborough-14-July-2012

Isn’t it funny what has changed in thirty years since Dr Bellamy was an active campaigner. Now society has gone all politically correct.  We have activists who have become more extreme but at the same time it is now PC (and the done thing) to support the environment. In fact things have gone so far that voicing a contrary opinion on environmental issues has become ‘wrong’, even when you are right.  It’s just as well some like David Bellamy still have principles.

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14 Responses to Poppycock or Worse than we thought

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    I somehow can’t see David Attenborough doing a programme about the dead birds and bats collecting at the base of wind turbines. He wouldn’t recognise hypocrisy if it jumped up and bit him on the arse.

    [Also, he is too ‘nice’, or at least that is his projected image. Verity]

    • No Attenborough exposé of bird-kill because he heartily supports the expansion of turbines in general, and in common with the hypocritical RSPB, “well–sited” wind farms, which we’re reliably informed will “virtually eliminate” the killing of bats and migrating birds. No mention of raptors in the RSPB research – I wonder why?

      IMHO the only “well-sited” wind farm is one where the turbines are buried upside-down in the sea-bed. But then, I’m just a biased town-dweller who rejoices in seeing Red kites soaring daily over the rooftops and gardens without even leaving my house, here in the (so-far) protected Chilterns.

  2. John Robertson says:

    In the end truth will out.
    Bellamy is still a scientist.
    Attenborough is just tired.
    Luckily for us, the Emperors new clothes is as true today as it was when it was oral tradition.

  3. Verity Jones says:

    Looking back over the last year there has been a shift (subtle in some ways but big nonetheless) in what is being printed now about Climate Change and skepticism. It is a ‘drip, drip, drip’ but it is gradually wearing down the edifice.

  4. John Robertson says:

    This year is going to be even better for the dam breaks wider each year.
    Once the gaps get too big the rats turn on each other, I expect some sensational rat outs and climb downs in 2013.
    Briffa’s rewrite or correction seemed to slide under the MSM radar rather neatly.
    But even the media strangle hold is slipping , Canada has a new TV channel thats gaining traction here, the Sun TV, newspaper and internet group.
    Great theatre and reporters that ask questions, follow up and are literate.
    Al Gore selling out(for all to see),Obama’s swollen ego and overreach will do much to amuse us and sink the cause even further this year.
    I spent too much time reading the first CRU emails, over Christmas 2009 and the picture of an earthen dam starting to leak has been with me since.That trickle has become a torrent over the last 3 years and soon comes the flood.

  5. The main thing which turned me off David “hoarse whisper” Attenborough years ago, before I was even aware of the “climate crisis” (it was global warming back then), was his absolute certainty, expressed in everything he said. That ain’t the least bit scientific and I have rather more than the least bit scientific background.

    Attenborough and the BBC are spawned from the same “dumbed-down” pool of self-righteous and all-knowing propaganda. I watched a BBC documentary the other night, which asked the question of why were the NW Pacific coastal forests of Oregon, Washington state and Canada so extensive; why did the trees grow so tall? The answer was nutrients in the soil – phosphates and trace elements. No mention of photosynthesis and the carbon dioxide and sunlight driving it. No mention that wood is built of cellulose, made from carbohydrates produced by photosynthesis, made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from the air and water. It seems that even mentioning that the devil CO2 is the primary building-block of all life on Earth is politically incorrect these days.

  6. In my righteous indignation, I failed to mention that happily-burbling Bellamy was, and still is, one of my television heroes. To say his enthusiastic wonderment at all things natural and scientific was inspiring is an understatement. I was going to say “good luck to him in his declining years”, but I’m sure his enthusiasm and gloriously childlike wonder continue unabated. He’s a shining example of the “right stuff”, and by God he’s British through and through!

  7. Verity Jones says:

    @John Robertson
    My thoughts also. I was shocked by the CRU emails; they revealed such pettiness and lack of professional ethics. I think I wrote at the time (“Fellowship of the Tree Rings” post) that individually they could be overlooked, but taken as a body they were very damning.

    Thanks for the tip on SunTV – will check it out.

    @Mostly Harmless
    You’ve managed to express my feelings about both presenters too. I can’t help liking David Attenborough. Let’s face it, with the pioneering photography (and big budget no doubt) the documentaries he makes are very engaging and my family rarely misses them. Yet we are not uncritical. [I’m very proud out our 10 year old who misses nothing in omissions and continuity errors – such as ‘that shot was obviously filmed on a different day – look at the clouds’, but I digress…] Despite that, we would agree very much with the feelings you express. I guess we just haven’t put it into words as such.

    Regarding the BBC’s ““dumbed-down” pool of self-righteous and all-knowing propaganda”, if there is one thing I can’t stand it is ‘professionalism as king’, and ‘style over content’. I mean that in regard to the behaviour of individuals. We see it again and again in Britain these days and, I’m sorry to say it, but it dominates the public sector and NGOs; those employed by business understand the need for actual content better. It is an attitude that promotes glossy, finished products and ignores uncertainty. It promotes their ‘authority’ because they are not humble enough to say ‘we don’t know’, even when that is a ‘societal ‘we don’t know’, and yes you are right, it ends up as ‘preaching.

    David Attenborough is the epitome of the professional in presentations and interviews, and he’s probably like that in real life. David Bellamy on the other hand is, exactly as you describe him, ….himself, warts-and-all as it were. There is no veneer and that is why we love him. Perhaps it is no surprise that the Beeb has chosen to go for presenters that have a certain ‘professional image’ drop ‘individuals’ who might have eccentricities. ‘Bland’ springs to mind.

    Incidentally, one of the better science presenters on the BBC these days IMHO is Michael Mosley. His presenting style seems to be asking questions and seeking out answers. Now while these undoubtedly conform to the BBC’s idea of being ‘on message’ (recent heath issues), at least the issues discussed credit viewers with some intelligence.

    • Bloke down the pub says:

      Michael Mosley gets my vote too.

    • Bloke down the pub says:

      My ex girlfriend swoons over Prof Brian Cox, but I’m sure that has no bearing on my views of his abilities.

      • First define “abilities”. I thoroughly enjoyed “Wonders of the Solar System”, and I even defended Cox’s narration style against the criticisms of a few friends – there was no “dumbing down” or “talking down” on his part. However, it soon became apparent that my assessment of him was, to say the least, superficial and flawed. He stated, in so many words, that he was unqualified to make judgements on the science of climate, and had simply handed over his decision making to others – the “consensus”. That’s not the stuff of science – it’s not even the stuff of everyday life.

        Scientists are almost by definition, obliged to be sceptical, testing published and possibly “established” hypotheses and evidence – testing their own also. A good, balanced scientific paper explores all the possible sources of error, and quantifies them. It examines alternative hypotheses and eliminates them one-by-one, providing evidence and reasoned argument for doing so. In the process the author(s) broaden their own knowledge, and the knowledge of the reader too. Cox is one of those who needs a good mental shaking; more physical forms of shaking are at the discretion of those who see their scientific hero in a new light.

  8. Caleb says:

    I agree with John Robertson, “In the end truth will out.”

    If you work in the practical world, (perhaps as an engineer,) the truth jumps out and bites you if you ignore it, because what you build falls down. It is only in more abstract realms that false ideas have any sort of longevity.

    What amazes me is the sheer stubbornness of the “Global Warming” falsehood. I still expect to get rebuked, and rebuked loudly, when I venture the truth at a party.

    However the entire fiasco involving wind turbines shows how truth can’t be avoided, not matter how flattering and idealistic your beliefs may be. Not only do turbines kill birds, they don’t produce when you need them to, and wear out faster than planned, and create all sorts of infrastructure problems in terms of dispersing and storing energy, and so on and so forth.

    It is on the practical level that truth rears its head and shows a face which is lovely, if you love truth, but is hideous, if you’re a con-artist.

  9. Breaking news:

    Prince Philip has invited David Bellamy, who was allegedly banned from the BBC because of his views on global warming, to give a lecture at Buckingham Palace.

    Slightly older news:
    Sir David Attenborough wants Professor Brian Cox to take his throne. But who else could be the face of natural history?
    David Bellamy –
    This interesting specimen would surely be keen but since calling global warming “poppycock” in 2005 he claims he’s been ostracised.

    Many happy returns as Dr David Bellamy celebrates 80th birthday

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