How green should we be?
One of the consequences of 'Paxman slams the BBC on climate hyprocrisy' has been a prominent posting on Biased BBC, a website devoted to pointing out what it sees as the politically-correct institutional group-think of much of the corporation's output.
This time they weren't accusing Jeremy of bias - they've elevated him to their roll of honour for his honesty in saying: "People who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that [global warming] is the consequence of our own behaviour. I assume that this is why the BBC's coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago" (more here).
So, what constitutes impartiality on this issue? Should we, every time the issue of climate change is raised, include someone like Myron Ebell from the US Competitive Enterprise Institute, who argues that while climate change may be happening there's no evidence that it's caused by human activity and absolutely no need to reduce carbon emissions?
Some members of our team hold more or less that view and indeed we had Mr Ebell on the programme only last week, but we don't put such figures on every time. To do that would be a massive distortion of the scientific opinion which is overwhelmingly of the view that climate change is being influenced by human activity.
But if Newsnight stands for anything it should certainly stand against group-think, so while the broad thrust of our coverage accepts the orthodox view, we are also open to dissenting opinions. Indeed, Justin Rowlatt's latest film looks at how the production of food may be doing more damage to the environment than burning fossil fuels.
Talking of Ethical Man, is it our job to encourage people to be greener? I don't think so. There's currently huge interest among the public in leading more sustainable lifestyles and we should reflect and explore that. Jeremy may well be right that the BBC as an organisation should do more to get its house in order. But I don't think it's the BBC's job to try to save the planet. Do you?