Former chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson believes his critical view of climate change resulted in the BBC banning him from its network. According to his editorial in the Daily Mail, he said the network caved to complaints about some comments he made back in February on Radio 4’s Today program.
Debates about climate change
Lord Lawson has taken part in debates about global warming and also written books on the topic. He accuses the BBC of closing down debates about it after his Feb. 13 participation in a debate about climate change. He calls the BBC “Stalinist” and accuses it of banning him based on the “deluge of complaints” it received from Green Party members and those who have an interest in renewable energy. The complaints were in response to the debate between Lord Lawson and scientist Sir Brian Hoskins.
The former chancellor is not a scientist, so some of those who complained said his comments are not based on scientific models, research, or computer modeling, reports The Independent. Lord Lawson made comments like “nobody knows” how bad climate change is and that last year was “unusually quiet” in terms of tropical storms.
In his editorial, he said computer models don’t provide the “evidence” the scientific community requires. He noted that these models are “simply conjectures, expressed in the form of mathematical equations.”
BBC responds to complaints
Low energy expert Chit Chong was one of those who apparently complained about his comments. The BBC apologized to him, saying that they shouldn’t be treating “minority opinions and skeptical views” as if they are “on an equal footing with the scientific consensus.” A spokesperson for the network’s Editorial Complaints Unit also added that Lord Lawson’s views shouldn’t carry equal weight to those of experts. However, in Lord Lawson’s editorial, he noted that Chong accused him of saying that climate change “was all a conspiracy” but pointed to transcripts of the debate that show he didn’t say anything like it.
Former Today editor Ceri Thomas defended their decision to give equal air time to Lord Lawson and scientists who support climate change views. Thomas said he was the first skeptic to talk about it after six weeks of flooding and that Lord Lawson was “well-qualified” to make comments about the economic side of climate change. However, Thomas also admitted that they should have better explained Lord Lawson’s skeptical view and his background.