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Wednesday 16 December 2009 - in more detail

Len Freeman | 17:13 UK time, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Here is Gavin Esler with the details of tonight's programme

Today's Quote for the Day.

"I know that for many people the Copenhagen conference seems like a grand talking shop with abstract arguments about issues of little relevance to their daily lives. But decisions we take in the next few days have the potential to be the most momentous for the world in more than half a century," - Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In tonight's programme we will try to find out whether "the most momentous" decisions are really about to be taken in Copenhagen, or if the great gathering is turning out to be going nowhere fast.

We'll be live at Ethical Man Justin Rowlatt 's house who will be joined by members of the public - and David King the former Chief Scientific adviser - to debate the science of climate change and why it's one of the most important issues facing the country.

We will also hear from the Greek finance minister who is in London to meet Alistair Darling. He'll be discussing his tottering economy and the austerity measures he thinks are necessary.

And the Supreme Court has waded into an issue which has been at the core of arguments about Judaism for centuries: who is a Jew and is a secular court the right place to decide?

And I would like to thank viewers for the deluge of Tiger Woods jokes. Among the printable ones, I particularly liked the thought that Tiger Woods crashed his car into a fire hydrant and a tree because, under pressure, he could not decide between an iron and a wood.


UPDATE: Many of you have commented on the Ethical House section of this programme, you might want to know that Justin has blogged on the subject.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    We'll be live at Ethical Man Justin Rowlatt 's house who will be joined by members of the public - and David King the former Chief Scientific adviser - to debate the science of climate change and why it's one of the most important issues facing the country.

    Give. me. strength.

  • Comment number 2.

    "Ethical Man."

    The ever-tedious Justin Rowlatt gives another lesson in BBC impartiality. I wonder how much I pay for this.

    "More 'child-protection' idiocy."

    Has anyone seen The Art on your Wall, with Sue Perkins, as part of the "Sign Zone"? If so, would you all join me in thanking the BBC for protecting us from the threat of the painting on Flo's wall (18' 20")? The sight of the behinds of two naked children was sure to spontaneously turn us all into paedos, so thank God we were spared it.

    What can be said about the imbeciles responsible for such a situation, that hasn't been already said? I don't think there is much, so I'd just like to inform the BBC that from that point in the programme, I stopped watching The Art on your Wall. I've decided I will not lend my support to this increasing idiocy and I hope others join me in taking this stand. Isn't it amazing how the feeble-minded can sully something so innocent?

    I've applied this policy of 'switching off' or 'switching over' for a couple of years now and to every other form of censorship - be it bleeps, blurring, pixellation or editing-out. If, in my estimation, the censorship is un-warranted or, astonishingly, not stipulated by the 'powers that be' or utterly incomprehensible, I find something else to do. This mass of madness seems to be the product of a single misplaced sense of protecting someone from something, even if no-one has a clue as to 'whom' and 'what' and I will not support it. Call me sad, if you like.

    I'd also like to thank C4 for blurring the genitals of one of Octomum’s octuplets. Maybe Channel 4 'protected' us more than once during the programme, but, once again, I switched over after the first instance. ITV has done the same thing, although, as I don't watch ITV at all nowadays, the last time I can recall it occurring was a few years ago.

    "The Rt. Rev. Stephen Venner.."

    The Rt. Rev. Stephen Venner: "...The Taliban can perhaps be admired for their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to each other..."

    You'd have thought, after the slaughter of 52, the Left would have learned not to pander to the lunatics, but I guess not. It's a mystery why their thought processes are so shallow.

    These Leftie dimwits ('traitors' might be a better name for them) don't seem to have considered, like most, how much the people they laud share with children and why these people should only ever be treated as such. It's really rather uncanny how much the two groups have in common and baffling why someone would admire them.

    Consider the everyday situation of scolding a child for unruly behaviour. If you were to abandon any attempt to hide a smirk or laugh, do you think the child would heed the lesson you've given? Their understanding of right and wrong is far less nuanced than ours, so a half-hearted admonishment would likely be seen as tacit support for what they have done. Do you think the Talibs and their ideological brethren in Great Britain would understand the nuances of your agreement with some of their stances, but abhorrence at others? Given how child-like their reasoning is, they would see a half-hearted condemnation of their beliefs as agreement with everything they espouse.

    You must always be pious in your teaching of 'right' and 'wrong' to a child and, likewise, you must always staunchly condemn everything the extremists say and do, defending Britain to the hilt, problems and all. Mixed messages to a child are dangerous, but positively murderous in their results when given to the extremists.

    Wishy-washy words are worse than no words.

  • Comment number 3.


    I need all the strength there is (a quanity that scientists haave measued and argeed upon).

  • Comment number 4.

    What unbelieveable tat. Part of the problem is you keep having Sir David King on to explain things. He is behind the curve on planetary management.

    He doesn't understand the problem.

  • Comment number 5.

    Athens from The Areopagus northwest of The Acropolis -

    The Areopagus - meeting place of the aristocratic council of ancient Athens.

    George Papaconstantinou and Papandreou go study your very great history because at the moment Greece is a disgrace to the genius of your land.

  • Comment number 6.

    There is no global warming, when are you beeb guys going to get that into your thick heads?

  • Comment number 7.


    For a while, when I saw kids with fuzzy heads in playground shots, I just assumed it was Ed Balls' latest initiative taking its toll. then the Beeb had a brilliant idea JUST SHOW THE LEGS - NO NEED TO FUZZ!

    You can tell the Beeb is now run by women. They never look at the top shelf, so don't realise the importance of legs in the business of male titillation. Now I am not a paedophile (I hasten to assert) but I am guessing a bunch of kiddie legs might be uplifting?

    Why not just fuzz the WHOLE PICTURE - all the time? It would make the output a whole lot more palatable.

  • Comment number 8.

    Looks like there is going to be no agreement in Copenhagen. Hurray!!

    The comments are interesting, both timing and content.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hopefully there is no agreement. Which gives 6 months to ensure the job is done properly.

  • Comment number 10.

    As is commonly, if not globally /I suppose this aspect is still a matter of dispute/ known I have been engaged in an open fight with particularly Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson /and with the other members of the Government who I would call cowards rather than active participants/.

    I am doing this with full awareness of the danger I'm putting myself under.

    History shows us that there are politicians who would stop at absolutely nothing in order to hold on to power and Pete the Mandy isn't probably referred to as a Machiavelli for nothing.

    If the mods decide to stop this text from becoming visible to the public I shall use other methods available to me at present to share my thoughts with them.

    Below is a ditty about one aspect of what Gordon and Mandy are promoting /hoping it seems to share the profits of a future Nobel Prize in Science/:

    Lol, I didn't go ice skating because I thought it would continue to snow
    Making roads slippery at night. I am continuing, however, my fight
    Against the gropers obscene who are exceptionally mean,
    Devoid of all human feeling and sense. They are not who I would call real men.
    They call themselves the 'noughties' and are with it exceptionally idiotic,
    Supported by another fool, called Brown, who has become a clown,
    And by Mandy otherwise known as Pete, another fool to defeat.


  • Comment number 11.

    #10 response

    Thank you, Mods, for letting this one through!
    Long live freedom of speech and democracy!


  • Comment number 12.

    iraq inquiry

    [greenstock contd]

    we learnm that

    anyone [brits] working in the CPA had to give loyalty to the USA.

    that bremmer wasn't really open to advice regarding the 7 step plan.

    that the USA kept working on the Pentagon 'best case scenario' ie the lowest input of resources and did not insure against that 'best case only' with alternative plans.

    the usa expected the uk to pay for 'the south'. which is why the brits who had no plan based on that [or any other] idea had no money to pay anyone.

    the sense of 'rush' from London meant police were not well trained.

    money means influence with the usa rather than 'argument'. if the uk only put in 2% of the money that was the extent of the uk's 'influence'.

    no iraqi leadership was identified to which power would be 'handed over'.

    fundamentally iraq was unaffordable for the uk. willing the ends but not the means.

    the usa would have gone with or without the uk.

    uk participation did not give 'influence' with the usa in bagdad.

    no non americans were taken into confidence regarding the spending of money in the oil sector [and other areas].

    the aftermath should have equal weight with a military invasion.

  • Comment number 13.

    Nos 10

    'the gropers obscene who are exceptionally mean'

    Sounds like it could be a good one mim .

    Why don't we become rappers ? I will recite Plato while you rant and rave in rhyme.

  • Comment number 14.

    Could I just remind regular NN bloggers on 19th October PM Gordon brown said there was no plan B if Copenhagen fails.

    Now PM Gordon Brown tonight apears to be part of those advocating a Plan B

    It is very important that anyone who values their life, their families and this planet ensures that no agreement is reached a Copenhagen.

    We need a proper solution.

    Whatever is said on NN tonight please take it with a pinch of salt.

    Apart from ensuring no agreement is reached in Copenhagen. We need time for the Plan B which Gordon said didn't exist.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 15.

    This is from the NN blog 9th November

    NN were told there would be no agreement in Copenhagen over a month before the conference. Why are they flogging a dead horse. Why aren't they using licence payers money effectively, reporting on the solutions that would have got global agreement.

    NN blogs ahead of the news.

    Celtic Lion

    PS Copenhagen didn't even make the bongs on ITN news. X factor winner Joe McElderry did. The defence rests it's case.

  • Comment number 16.

    NN are smoke and mirrors.

    Diatomic molecles O2, N2 do not absorb infra red, H2O does, as well as CO2.

    Do you know how much SDK earns as a public speaker? SDK is a charlatan, he quotes my work out of context.

    SDK is rubbish he will not debate face to face with me.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 17.


    What's good about it, Streetphotobeing, the quality of the rhymes contained within the lines themselves, the message or the idea of groping?

    Why recite Plato and not speak from yourself? Are you turning into another jaunty?

    By the way, I did get some turmeric which I've added to the soup I'm just making. I have also added some corriander powder /love it/ and thyme, one of my favourite herbs. The soup's ingredients: onion, carrots, beetroot, tomato paste, a pinch of sugar and Polish vegetable seasoning. Oh, and I'll add some black pepper as well and possibly a few drops of lemon juice. Once ready, I shall liquidize it roughly with an excellent hand held liquidiser that I bought a few months ago.

  • Comment number 18.

    While the attempt to demonstrate global warming in two empty water bottles represents a valiant attempt to convince the layman, shouldn't the "temperature measuring" approach have taken into account the fact thaat the generation of CO2 by the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda is actually ENDOTHERMIC - i.e. it absorbs heat.

  • Comment number 19.

    Is it any wonder that in East Anglia we are trying to make sure people are taking climate change seriously? No, most of us are living below sea level!

  • Comment number 20.

    This was incredibly biased, getting Joe public up against scientists and adding Co2 to empty water bottles does not prove that we are to blame for global warming. No one is denying the earth is becoming hotter, it's obvious from all the figures, but if you look at the green house gas emissions Co2 makes up between 4-8%, depending on which research you read, and of that 4-8% we humans make up arguably 5-10%.

    We can have no significant impact on future temperatures unless we completely shut down the planet, which is never going to happen, we are much better off investing in ways to combat the effects of global warming.

  • Comment number 21.

    I can not believe the insanity surrounding these talks on Climate Change. . . Seriously people lets just sort it out, all you've done is show us how stupid this whole song and dance is.. . it's quite clear that this will do naff all... as a person who lives on this planet i'm embarrassed by this whole fiasco!!It's a waste of time effort energy and money. . . i honest believe they need to stop wasting time.. if Gobal Warming is as bad as they're all saying and if it's as dangerous as we're being lead to believe than i'd like to see these elected officals do something about it instead of arguing about the shape of the table...

  • Comment number 22.

    Why does the BBC's Ethical Man have a kitchen full of Americans???

  • Comment number 23.

    As I understand it, CO2 gases account for only 3.62 % of the Earth's atmosphere. What percentage CO2 did the doctor have in her jar?

  • Comment number 24.

    Well just having watched the demonstration in Justin Rowlatts' kitchen I was very tempted to throw the television set out of the window.
    Firstly, this simple-minded experiment with the plastic water bottles convinces nobody with a logical mind. Did they actually measure the amount of carbon dioxide present in the first bottle? To my mind it could have been as high as five percent of the total- more even! Had the woman coducting the experiment said that she would add, for example, 0.038% of the total it might have been slightly fairer. As it was it was merely a simple minded stunt to win over the gullible. It didn't take long for those gathered to change their minds. Very worrying.
    Secondly, Lord King instead of addressing the data contained in the CRU leaked emails He spun the line that it was some sinister SMERSH outfit hellbent on disrupting the Copenhagen talks to the inevitable end of running the world.
    Nope this was a complete and utter insult to the Newsnight audience.

  • Comment number 25.

    Another top class Another lession in BBC bias. Where were the scientists with opposing views. If the climate debate had been properly balanced in accordance with the BBC charter then the message would have been very different and the group of 'impartial public participants' are likely to have come to different conclusions .... but the climate change propaganda machine rolls onwards! Is this what we pay our license for?

  • Comment number 26.

    I don't want to comment on whether global warming is man made or not. But I don't like to see Newsnight pretending they can convince people with niaive attempts at science. I just watched the Ethical Man piece from his kitchen, supposedly convincing people about climate change by doing a few experiments with vinegar, baking soda, a few plastic bottles and lights. Good entertainment but hardly real science. This was really poor - the "ice cubes" jokes on "Have I got News for You" were almost as convincing.

  • Comment number 27.

    You have just witnessed the cheapest conjuring trick ever devised by TV.
    Introduce a large amount of CO2 into an empty water bottle and watch the temperature soar!!
    But what you saw was quite simply a lie.
    Not one serious sceptic denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the argument is if it IS A SIGNIFICANT greenhouse gas. The amount of CO2 that was put into the bottle, which incidentally only increased the temperature by 4 degrees, if extrapolated to the earth atmosphere would require the burning 10 times the amount of coal and oil that now exists on earth.
    The simple fact is that there is only 0.038% of CO2 in the atmosphere and has only increased by 0,01% in over 100 years. This is what is called a TRACE amount. The amount used in the "experiment" was massive by comparison.
    In the "experiment" no one stood by to assess the amount of CO2 that the nice science lady had spent time generating, but if you dump a spoonful of bicarb into vinegar you could easily introduce a significant percentage into a 5 litre empty bottle.
    THis was a cheap trick and totally unworthy of the BBC which seems to have joined the faithful throng, by toeing the government line that is being uses as yet another excuse to tax, tax and tax again.

  • Comment number 28.

    Again its all one sided. on ethical man tonight they had 2 people putting the case for man made Global Warming. But there was NO ONE to put the other side of the agument. So how could the people come to a correct decision if they have only seen one side. It just beggars belief how the BBC can get away with this.We have not had a even sided debate on this ever.

  • Comment number 29.

    That was a very biased, one sided ‘scientific’ argument to ‘prove’ Global Warming (I could not help but be charmed by the snow falling gently outside in the sub zero air). Two scientists pushing the argument for man made climate change was very unfair. To make it fair there should have been two scientists included in the debate who can ‘prove’ the counter argument that climate change is part of a natural cycle.

    I am ambivalent, - I am waiting to be convinced one way or the other, but frankly, NO ONE has said anything to convince me of their arguments. The only two convincing pieces of evidence I have encountered are (1) that the Earth is nearing the final phase of the last Ice Age (Polar ice melt) as it also goes through Solar events at a time in our Solar system when several natural cycles are evident. (2) Politicians around the globe have cottoned onto the fact that there is a lot of money to be made out of claiming that ‘Global Warming’ is man made, not least by the pernicious expedient of imposing extra swinging taxes on populations. I could make a third point that the average volcano pumps out millions more volumes of pollutants than humans could ever be capable of.

    After this weeks high profile examinations of the matter in the media I am less convinced of Man made climate change. But, one thing I am convinced of is that normal cyclical climate change IS happening and this being so, a European Commission should be looking at using the new opportunities climate change presents to address feeding the ever growing populations on Planet earth.

  • Comment number 30.

    I thought Blue Peter was scheduled for early evening. This "demonstration" of man made climate change and the self important address from Sir David King is about the most patronising thing I have seen on TV. It was shallow on science, virtually devoid of fact and hurried through in a completely pre-decided manner.

  • Comment number 31.

    OMG what a load of biased rubbish that was! A pathetic attempt to justify the case for man made climate change if ever i saw one. It just proves how easy it is to bamboozle the average joe these days(says a lot about the collapse in education standards!). Come on BBC wake up and get with it-the game is all but up- The evidence for man made warming is flimsy at best and has now been shown to be over hyped for political ends. Yes you can show CO2 will warm the atmosphere but that proves nothing- how much is our contribution that is the real question no one wants to put a figure on! 5-8% in my opinion. O and for heavens sake please stop repeating the myth that 99% of scientists support this fallacy-even those signing up to it dont claim that.

  • Comment number 32.

    To 23 and 24...

    Am I right in thinking from your comments that now it is harder to deny carbon dioxide traps heat, you are saying that it only does this when there is a lot of it? Do you not think a smaller percentage might trap a smaller amount of heat?

    The Jewish debate seemed to miss each other. I'm happy enough with the Chief Rabbi deciding who he thinks is a Jew for his own purposes, but if he is making decisions on who to allow into state funded schools, he has to abide by the law. If his decisions are discriminatory they will have to be changed.

    If religions are not required to abide by the law, what would we do when confronted with a religion arguing that certain people must be punished for being gay, or black. These may be even more offensive than not allowing someone into a school - but the prinicple is the same

  • Comment number 33.

    The BBC is required by legislation to do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality. (Agreement S 44 (1))

    What a huge pity that the BBC adopted a policy of biased reporting on climate change some time ago. In June 2007 the BBC Trust produced a document called; "FROM SEESAW TO WAGON WHEEL Safeguarding impartiality in the 21st century" which may be found at . On page 40 may be found the statement: "The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus."

    The BBC has refused to release the names of the 28 or 30 “best scientific experts” who attended the January 2006 seminar to inform it on climate change.

    Why the bias? Why the lack of transparency? Is the BBC worried about that the best experts may not be all that they are claimed to be? How did the BBC decide who were the “best experts”? for our public sector broadcaster this stinks and is highly damaging.

    Tonight’s Newnight programme was a shoddy, patronising farce. There is no consensus of scientists about man made global warming. The climate models on which people such as Sir
    David King base there absurd scare stories have failed completely to predict future climate.

    Dr Kevin Trenberth, of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research, in Colorado, and lead author on the 2001 and 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments, wrote in one of the emails leaked from the motley Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia: 'We can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't.' Or in other words, “Why don’t we understand the science?”

  • Comment number 34.

    The presentation on Newsnight this evening was a disgrace on two counts.

    If the case is to be made for the IPCC proposition on warming, it is proper to include also the response of a scientist whose views support an alternative. I have both written to the Chairman and have a Freedom of Information Act representation on this matter. This is a flagrant example of bias.

    The tabletop 'demonstration' was absurd. There is a proper explanation to be offered of how the greenhouse principle operates so that CO2 in the atmosphere will impart an initial element of warming. The kitchen experiment was an extremely poor representation of that process that could only offer support for the theory to someone totally ignorant of the underlying science. There is a warming effect but it is essential that the process is properly explained if we are even to begin to address the crucial question of how substantial and lasting any such increment will be.

    It is a fact not disclosed on such an occasion that only one third of the predicted temperature rise can be attributed to this initial greenhouse effect. Two thirds depends on quite different scientific processes concerned with how and to what extent heat feedback occurs. No claim can be legitimately made that this is in any way 'settled science' and the evidence of the last ten years points clearly to the operation of negative feedback, damping the heat gain. This evidence no longer supports the contention of positive feedback that was little more than an hypothesis or informed guess made on the basis of the previous two decades of experience.

    Science works by demonstration of fact over the relevant periods of time not the staging of bogus experiments on a kitchen table.

    It is time for the BBC, and its Chairman Sir Michael Lyons in particular to recognize its responsibility to show impartiality. The fine reputation of the BBC rests largely upon that and a programme such as this does it immense damage.

  • Comment number 35.

    @Tony Sellick I was thinking the same as well. Especially when the composition of CO2 in the atmosphere is 387 ppmv (0.0387%) this can be verified on wikipedia

    Lets say we only contributed less than 2% to the overall c02 emmisions globally and the rest is natural, we are hardly making an impact.

    I have heard that the hottest thing in the sky has been taken out of the equation, the scientists never talk about the sun, cycles, sun spots and our position in the solar system.

    I'm not scientist but I feel I'm getting a biased opinion.

  • Comment number 36.

    Good old BBC attempts to bamboozle the feeble-minded. I don't know anyone who argues with CO2 being a greenhouse gas to some extent. So Newsnight 'proves' a point that few people are arguing with - very clever. Secondly, given our concers about CRU exagerating the effects of CO2 for dramatic effect, we are entitled to ask what was the concentration of CO2 in that experiment? Two percent? Four? Twenty? No answer, it could have been anything. Neither were there any 'real world' negative feedback or compensation effects in the experiment, as there are in the real climate. So what caused our previous warmings to end - magic? What caused the glaciers to melt last time - magic again? No, just nature's balance.

  • Comment number 37.

    Justin Rowlatt's science in his kitchen with David King was truly feeble. I have never seen such drivel in all my life. Who do these people think they are insulting our intelligence in this way. It is hard to know where to start in commenting. My jaw just dropped to the floor to hear such garbage. The incredible complexity of the earth's atmosphere (with air and ocean currents, clouds, solar radiation, etc etc) cannot be replicated in a couple of plastic bottles in Rowlatt's kitchen... Come on BBC you can do better than that. We are fed up with being lied to... again and again by scientists, politicians, evnironmental activists and the BBC. Come on for God's sake. get over it. What is at stake here is the credibility of the science establishment.

  • Comment number 38.

    We look to Newsnight for a balanced debate not a belief system mantra!

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm very sorry not to join in with the jollity of Ethical Man, however I must complain about the physics that your so called expert employed in her experiment. She assumed that the atmosphere is literally a greenhouse with solid walls which insulate heat.In fact the so called "greenhouse effect" actually involves the selective release of rays through the atmosphere especially long wave radiation being reflected from the earth. Without it we would be an ice cube. The theory surrounds the increasing of this effect rather like a blanket on a bed. However your experiment did not release any of the energy it merely heated the contents of the bottle and the reaction of the CO2 at maximum effect. No one disputes that there is a greenhouse effect, however other experiments show that its effect does not increase in a linear progression and could well be quite samll. This part of the debate is open to learned discussion however fooling a bunch of neighbours by a magician's sleight of hand is unacceptable. Prof King was also unforthcoming over the possible melting of Greenland or Antarctica - aprocess which will take hundreds if not thousands of years even with massive climate change. Ethical Man - unscrupulous more like. I am not at all happy about this and am considering making a more formal complaint.

  • Comment number 40.

    Come on BBC - let's have a more sensible and balanced approach to this debate. I suspect that the vast majority of people do believe that the climate has changed throughout history, and has warmed slightly over the last 150 years, although not necessarily over the last 10. However, as half the UK population is not convinced that man made warming is the main factor, it would surely have been reasonable to put up experts on both sides of the argument so that the audience could then decided which position was more credible.

    I suspect very few of the audience were knowledgeable enough to comment on the experiment that showed that air heated with CO2 produced slightly more warming than air heated without CO2. It seemed to me that the heat ("sun") made the air hotter, not the CO2 - but then I'm no scientist. The propagandist questioning the motives of the Climategate leakers was unfortunately typical of the AGW "in crowd" who put up straw men rather than dealing with the issue of why we should trust the figures, and the models, used to show alarming trends in warming.

  • Comment number 41.

    Where has my comment gone- I will definitely be making an official complaint.

  • Comment number 42.

    re the stunt in Justin Rowlatt's kitchen, it was rather like a police state trial, where only lawyers for the prosecution are allowed to put the case to the jury. It does little in the search for truth, but it does get the "correct" result.

    The BBC once used to be respected for objectivity, impartiality and accuracy.

  • Comment number 43.

    The Justin Rowlatt section represents more smoke and mirrors from the BBC and another example of its complete pro MMGW bias. A few weeks ago they did not even acknowledge that a skeptic point of view exists. Now skeptics are clearly in the majority we are getting propaganda rammed down our throats nightly BUT NO SCIENTIFIC DEBATE.
    This was a simplistic experiment put before lay people with no challenge from skeptic scientists and that sums up the level of debate the BBC is prepared to present on Global Warming. The leaked emails from East Anglia include comments from scientists - 'the climate is cooling and it is a travesty that we can't explain it'. They also show clearly that data has been manipulated to fit the argument. This experiment tonight made no reference to the proportions of CO2 in the bottles - we know that CO2 is a trace element in the atmosphere. We know that the MMGW case is largely based on computer modelling. We also know that water vapour is far more active in producing a greenhouse effect. We know that the planet has gone through cycles of warming and cooling and it is accepted that the planet has been cooling for the past 10 years and common sense tells us so. America and Europe are currently freezing and the UK is now facing a colder winter than last year. Three bad sunmmers in a row now and progressively colder winters despite the Met Office putting a brave face on it. For goodness sake if you are going to put pro MMGW scientists on lets us have skeptic scientists to challenge them instead of this biased one sided argument. I am fed up with these pro MMGW people geting a free ride on my license fee. The BBC has a duty under its charter to present unbiased programming and is failing dismally.

    I'm disgusted with the BBC and feel a complaint to Ofcom coming on.

  • Comment number 44.

    A more realistic experiment would be to inject 0.000000000001% of CO2 (the equivalent amount of man made CO2) into the jar then turn on the lights. - Result, no measurable change in temperature whatsoever just like on planet Earth.

  • Comment number 45.

    oh how i laughed at the man who was fully converted by the 'scientific evidence'.

    the audience from top gear .. enuff said i think!

  • Comment number 46.

    May I urge David Fairbairn and others who are concerned about the BBC's partiality on the reporting of the man made climate change controversy to read the June 2007 BBC Trust document called; "FROM SEESAW TO WAGON WHEEL Safeguarding impartiality in the 21st century" which may be found at . On page 40 may be found the statement: "The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus."

    The broadcaster's shining reputation for impartiality has taken a massive hit with uncalculable consequences, in my opinion.

  • Comment number 47.

    The 'ethical man' part of tonights programme was both puerile and immoral.

    The experiment did not demonstrate global warming at all.

    Sir David King's comments were misleading.

    The programme was not impartial.

    Its about time the BBC informed us fully about this subject (as it is supposed to do according to it's charter). We deserve impartiality, and we have a right to hear both sides of the debate.

    I watch Newsnight most evenings. This was the worst feature I've ever seen. Its about time ethical man was laid off and someone with a bit more weight put on the job.

  • Comment number 48.

    I encourage you all the write a complaint.

  • Comment number 49.

    I was very disappointed by the Justin Rowlatt's kitchen experiment (Newsnight 16/12/09) that tried to demonstrate the greenhouse effects of CO2 in order to persuade members of the general public that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a real and serious problem.

    IPCC reports explain that doubling CO2 levels will raise world temperatures by less than 2C if only infra-red absorption is considered (i.e. the mechanism demonstrated by Rowlatt's kitchen experiment). In order to raise them more than 4C (i.e. to levels that cause real concern), climate models must assume the existence of positive feedbacks within the climate system. Unfortunately, there is as yet no real-world evidence for this so-called 'enhanced greenhouse effect' (Cf. IPCC TAR Sect. 1.3.1) but it is, nevertheless, assumed to exist because it is the only way that the models can 'simulate' past climate records and thereby provide a scientific basis of the current AGW narrative.

    The problem here is two fold. Firstly, it assumes that the models include all possible mechanisms, even though the reports openly admit that there are serious unknowns, like the effect of clouds. Secondly, it skips entirely one of the key steps of the Scientific Method, which is to make a prediction that can be tested in the real-world by experiment or observation and so verify or falsify the hypothesis/model.

    May I suggest that if the BBC has a genuine desire to educate the public about this issue it makes an effort to present the complete story and not just a selected part. By omitting the most crucial information, the audience were completely misled and so, naturally, drew a false conclusion. I regard this as an example of either very poor or very bias reporting that does nothing to enhance the BBC's integrity.

  • Comment number 50.

    No way..NO WAY!!!!

    Never in the history of Newsnight!!!!...My Jaw is still on the Floor. I think I'm Gonna start introducing myself with the titles of Genius and professor. Justin's kitchen was full of a con-mans dream...all he needs is a pea, 3 cups and slight of hand...Justin's neighbours would have all gone home penniless - and to think a bank gave these people mortgages. The woman at the back - mug in hand. She knows man-made-global-warming is bogus...she's done her research but she was polite, too polite. I would have loved to have been in Justins kitchen -and I think Roger Celtic would have too. The scientist, when asked about the emails; he pretended he did not hear it. He went all Al Gory.

    I don't believe in MMGW, but i could have done a better job at convincing skeptics.....Jesus! If i ever need to be stunned into shocked silence...I'll watch that again!


  • Comment number 51.

    I agree with Lord Helpus and the subsequent comments. The experiment with the gas bottles was an insult. It was purely a designed to trick the lay public. I am a graduate physicist and it did not convince me. The experiment merely proved that CO2 absorbs infra red radiation. That has been known for centuries. A doubling of CO2 on its own might increase the global temperature by 1 degree - small compared with natural variations- but even this is open to debate since the detailed physical evidence does not seem to support it. To generate more warming one has to postulate positive feedbacks which have so far not been proven. The discussion of how much the sea would rise if all the ice on the poles melted is simply scaremongering since this would never happen in a thousand years under any conceivable scenario. And trying to suggest that the e-mail leaks is some sort of conspiracy is simply laughable.
    Unfortunately I see this as the BBC trying one last throw of the dice in a game that they are losing. The programme was a disgrace.

  • Comment number 52.

    "Am I right in thinking from your comments that now it is harder to deny carbon dioxide traps heat, you are saying that it only does this when there is a lot of it? Do you not think a smaller percentage might trap a smaller amount of heat"

    you might have a point if we lived in a plastic bottle with a lamp for a source of heat and nothing else to account for.

    however climate is far more complex, beyond the fact that the suns activity can predict future weather patterns. to dumb down science to this level is really a sign of how desperate the climate change campaigners are having to work to prove what is yet unproven through conclusive scientific evidence and fact.

    the real question is why has the bbc invested so much time and money into the project and not let the science speak for itself?

  • Comment number 53.

    harman used the term 'climate change denier' in PMQ's. the level of the climate debate in the commons demonstrates that the uk form of democracy institutionalises incompetence.

  • Comment number 54.

    Gavin's opening statement that ALL scientists agree that man made global warming is happening is completely untrue. Most scientists EXPERT IN THIS AREA think man made global warming is NOT happening. There are now 31000 scientists in Oregon signed up to a petition about this. All news channels worldwide except Fox news are censoring any proper debate about Global Warming just like Newsnight. What has happened to the BBC? They are just pumping out government propaganda.

  • Comment number 55.

    My complaint has been sent to the BBC.I look forward to the reply and am absolutely appalled by your Orwellian behaviour this evening.

  • Comment number 56.

    Copenhagan shows the arrogance and vanity of politicians worldwide that they think they can now control the weather!

  • Comment number 57.

    It would appear that Newsnight has managed to outrage a large number of regular viewers into blogging tonight with its latest propaganda slot for the climate change scammers. Some pretty intelligent comments on the blog tonight, but perhaps posters should consider the possible reason why no balance was given to David King's argument. It may be reasonable to believe that we are sleepwalking into the " New Dark Age " Winston Churchill foresaw, its not just climate change, quasi-religion has taken over road safety policy also and probably many other " scientific " aspects of our life.

    Just a couple of weeks ago the DfT admitted that the police had been massively under reporting serious injuries caused by road traffic accidents. The police claimed 26,000 which means government reached its alleged target yet the NHS recorded 40,000 serious injuries, no significant reduction in the last 10 years. Yet only today the government splashed out on BBC news claiming how well their cutting speed limits policy had been over the last 10 years. It would appear that you can't trust anything the politicians of any party and the BBC say these days ?

  • Comment number 58.

    For anyone contemplating a complaint about Newsnight, here is an extract from the legal document governing impartiality and accuracy (!!!) of its broadcasting:

    An Agreement Between
    Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Culture,
    Media and Sport and
    the British Broadcasting Corporation
    Presented to Parliament by the
    Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
    by Command of Her Majesty
    July 2006
    Cm 6872

    44. Accuracy and impartiality
    (1) The BBC must do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due
    accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output.
    (2) In applying paragraph (1), a series of programmes may be considered as a whole.
    (3) The UK Public Services must not contain any output which expresses the opinion of the
    BBC or of its Trust or Executive Board on current affairs or matters of public policy other
    than broadcasting or the provision of online services.
    (4) Paragraph (3) does not apply to output which consists of—
    (a) proceedings in either House of Parliament;
    (b) proceedings in the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly or the Northern Ireland
    Assembly; or
    (c) proceedings of a local authority or a committee of two or more local authorities.
    (5) The Trust must—
    (a) draw up and from time to time review a code giving guidance as to the rules to be
    observed in connection with the application of paragraphs (1) to (4), and
    (b) do all it can to secure that the code is complied with.
    (6) The rules in the code must, in particular, take account of the following matters—
    (a) that due impartiality should be preserved by the BBC as respects major matters
    falling within paragraph (b) of the definition of “relevant output” (in paragraph (8))
    as well as matters falling within it taken as a whole; and
    (b) the need to determine what constitutes a series of programmes for the purposes of
    paragraph (2).
    (7) The rules must, in addition, indicate to such extent as the Trust considers appropriate—
    (a) what due impartiality does and does not require, either generally or in relation to
    particular circumstances;
    (b) the ways in which due impartiality may be achieved in connection with programmes
    of particular descriptions;
    (c) the period within which a programme should be included in a service if its inclusion
    is intended to secure that due impartiality is achieved for the purposes of paragraph
    (1) in connection with that programme and any programme previously included in
    that service taken together; and
    (d) in relation to any inclusion in a service of a series of programmes which is of a
    description specified in the rules—
    (i) that the dates and times of the other programmes comprised in the series should
    be announced at the time when the first programme so comprised is included in
    that service, or
    (ii) if that is not practicable, that advance notice should be given by other means of
    subsequent programmes so comprised which include material intended to
    secure, or assist in securing, that due impartiality is achieved in connection with
    the series as a whole;
    and the rules must, in particular, indicate that due impartiality does not require absolute
    neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic principles.
    (8) For the purposes of this clause—
    “relevant output” means the output of any UK Public Service which—
    (a) consists of news, or
    (b) deals with matters of public policy or of political or industrial controversy;
    “programme”, except in paragraph (7)(c) and (d), includes any item of output in nonprogramme
    form; and
    “series of programmes”, except in paragraph (7)(d), includes items of output in nonprogramme
    form which are analogously linked.

  • Comment number 59.

    Ethical man tackles climate skepticism? Hardly.

    A rather pathetic lab trick and a government advisor didn't really impress. I did like the fact that the invited party were able to express their hesitation at accepting this muddled and confusing subject.

    I was glad too that the scientist said that the key CRU scientists behaviour shown in the leaked emails was unacceptable -hopefully the science they cooked up will be similarly rejected.

    But why tell lies? has CO2 never been higher than it is now? yes, of course it has - Prof I Plimer "....when the carbon dioxide content was 100 times the current content. We didn't have runaway global warming, we actually had glaciation."

    And since much of the CRU leaked emails shows manipulation of data maybe the CO2 levels are not even accurate. You might try this recent paper, -

    Or look at the now infamous 'hockey stick' youtube video

    There is a wealth of decent skepticism from scientists out there - why does it never get properly represented on main stream media?

  • Comment number 60.

    I enjoyed the experiment and discussion carried out in Justin Rowlatt's kitchen. It told me that there is a reason we should all believe is causing global warming. However, just how seriously is the world really considering this problem ? As a simple example. I run a 3 litre petrol Jaguar car. As it happens my annual mileage in it is very low, about three thousand. Therefore I see no desperate need to dispose of this car. However, if I saw a real international change in attitude to global warming I would willingly do my bit and give up this car. If, for example, it was internationally decided that all aircraft flying, throughout the world, should to be banned, and contact with other countries would have to be by other means, such as e-mail, electronic conferancing, travel by sea or over land, then I would really believe that no one wanted a future when we would all fry or drown and I would certainly willingly give up my car, and take other more drastic steps.

  • Comment number 61.

    Interesting experiment by 'Ethical-man' with the water bottles and the co2 generation. Alas what was not taken into consideration, was:
    (1) The heat generated by the vigourous reaction.
    (2) The heat absorbed by increased water vapour in the air from the additional evaporation of water, due to the warming effect of (1) above, and the agitation action of the 'fizzing'
    (3)If the warming was due to the additional CO2, then what was the actual increase in density? I would not be surprised if the bottle contained more than 1,000 parts per million or even 10,000... Who knows, it could be 100,000 parts per million or 10%... or more...
    Isn't this why the lid was vented?
    Might make a 'Brainiac' bomb, or indeed, a homemade rocket. Thus, I hope the public will not get taken in by this eroneous experiment.

    Contrast this flawed display with the lack of a satisfactory explanation of the East Anglia emails. As someone with an engineering/mathematical background there is no way that I would ever use the words 'trick' as a substitute for 'Interpolation,' or, indeed 'Extrapolation' of data or graph. No understanding by these second grade boffins of leading and lagging graphs,of turning points, control variables and controlled variables...
    I keep hearing that compared with previous global warming, CO2 has never been so high before.
    If we for example pretend that there were three global warming periods including this one. Two came about without the 'aid' of CO2 and this current one with increased CO2 present. How can any scientist blame CO2 when it was only the cause in 1/3 of the cases...
    This week I've heard that Mars has been warming at the poles this year, and that the last Ice Age appeared within a year. This makes a mockery of our rise in the last 100 years of a fraction of a degree.
    I'll have more to say in the future, but I've made this rant long enough for now. Thanks for reading.

  • Comment number 62.

    Mike Ravenor's comment :- "The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus."

    Since when did the BBC apply this philosophy? Anyone see the Big Question Program about whether Angels exist, allowing only one in five speakers to say they didn't exist?

    Surely 50% of the population being sceptics is enough to justify a proper grown up debate instead of this mindless one sided propaganda all the time.

  • Comment number 63.

    After watching the Newsnight demonstration of global warming I looked outside but could not see any sign of the bottle which we live in!
    Still never mind, Justin Rowlatt and Prof King are selling snake oil on tomorrow's show.
    Ethical man, indeed!!

  • Comment number 64.

    LOL what a load of tat, an important debate in a kitchen..a carefully selected Sir David King and other participants all agreeing on Que...give me a break!...where was any of the many many other scientists who state that global warming is a natural occurrence and that the data they supplied has been fiddle with! there screaming in the talks but the BBC wont cover it :-( ....a poor effort by the BBC to perpetuate the lie so the military industrialist complex can milk us for more taxes green ones. The only one who will fall for it are the stupid ones who look no further than there noses. shame on you bbc you have a long way to go before you prove transparency.

  • Comment number 65.

    Did anyone notice a cut halfway through this programme where David King disappeared? Presumably he realised he had made a big mistake by getting involved with this idiotic experiment and wanted to minimise the fallout. Serves him right.

  • Comment number 66.

    I could not believe my eyes watching actors in the kitchen of Justin Rowlatt 's even the sheeple believe the global warming scam lol.

  • Comment number 67.





    The inconvenient truth is, we live INSIDE a mass of variables (some unknown) that interact Chaotically, AND YET 'SCIENTISTS' CAN BE FOUND TO DECLARE THEY 'KNOW HOW IT WORKS'! Our politicians live inside a lie, and our scientists live inside a chaotic system, and they have got together to invent a 'reality' that Alice would not touch with a ten foot Pelican.

    Where is Susan Watts in all this - oh yes - Copenhagen.

    I would suggest weeping, but I have it on the authority of untold scientists, my tears might boil.

    If Newsnight does not address the import of the above posts, the game is up; they are wihtout honour - devoid of integrity.


  • Comment number 68.

    Did anybody else's mobile phone service shut off after making a comment on here? :-(

  • Comment number 69.

    The scientific advisor on the rediculous pantomime you called an experiment claimed melting sea ice would raise sea levels which is clearly wrong - try in your kitchen floating ice in a glass of water, let it melt and see if the level changes and by how much. apply that change to an estimate of sea ice volume to sea volume. Its the fact that warmer water has greater volume that could cause sea levels to rise but it's smallest volume is at 4 deg C I believe and so I suspect that melting sea ice would probably reduce sea levels. Also the concentration of CO2 in the bottle was probably around 25 to 50% ie: 250,000 to 500,000 parts per million and showed a very small increase in temperature. I guess that "experiment" done in a scientific way could actually be usefull in showing that anthropogenic c02 emmissions probably have virtually no effect on global temperatures.

  • Comment number 70.

    It's fantastic to see so many people preparing to complain about tonight's Newsnight.

    The bottles were nothing to do with global climate change but rather represented penises engaged in an entering game, etc

  • Comment number 71.

    It is hoped that a serious minded journalist, neutral to Newsnight, takes up the case.

    Newsnight and the game have now been run for some time by 2 journalist, and possibly a former politician, to the detriment of BBC's reputation.

    As I may be the object of the entering game, they are welcome to contact me directly. The details are with Newsnight, Sir Michael Lyons, Mr John Bercow /the Speaker of the Houses of Commons/, Lord Strathclyde and Lord Judd.

    I would give all my details here but I don't think this would be withing the rules.

    The whole thing is in some ways embarassing to myself but ultimately I prefer the truth and the end of the 'game' than any potential temporary humiliation or inconvenience.


  • Comment number 72.

    apologies for the errors:

    In the third line I meant to say academics, and not journalists, and in line 9 it should be 'within'.

    The fact remains, however, that the journalists who have been on Newsnight in the last 2 weeks or so, and in particular tonight, as well as tonight's producer, should never have allowed for the item to have been broadcast.

    It is, in fact, manifestation of utter disgrace and I am not sure what role the BBC's DG has been playing in all this. It looks like he has been aware of this shoddy affair, if not, in fact, actively participating in it.

  • Comment number 73.

    Living in a country where it's law that we pay for the propaganda our law makers. Now thats a good trick!

  • Comment number 74.

    POST 69 - JOE. Please don't use the 'floating ice cubes' analogy, it doesn't apply to land ice. As a fellow MMGW doubter, I cringe when I see this example used to 'prove' that sea levels will not rise if the LAND ice melts.

  • Comment number 75.

    It looks like jj has now taken to corrupting the young.
    Would the parents wish him to become the one
    Who's going to 'rule' over this land and well, well beyond
    Or has the time now come to deal with this con?


  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    @EthicalMan really enjoy your contributions.

    However, the CO2 bottles experiment was a bad idea. Yes it shows how CO2 raises temperature, but you are on thin ice (no pun) extrapolating the idea to say it is analogous to Man Made Climate Change (MMCC).

    The experiment did not say how much CO2 there was in the other bottle (parts per million - PPM) in order to raise it by 4 degrees (certainly wasn't an increase of 100 PPM).

    One can only guess the PPM in the CO2 bottle was some considerably higher concentrations / mix than the current 400 PPM. Why do I guess this - the relationship between CO2 and temp. is a non-linear one (am I wrong?) and most of the warming CO2 can 'do' is sub 300 PPM.

    The experiment was OK but only creates more questions. It would have been good to discuss further the positive feedbacks of raising CO2, and not trying to convince people through re-running a very basic/simplified example.

    Climate Change is a concern - please treat with care.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    Post 74 Andy - I did say sea ice in my post, but looking back over that segment of the program David King did say land ice so I stand corrected on my observation of the program not my post.
    I would be interested to look at any good data on land ice volumes and projections of effects on sea levels.
    Incidentaly tv stories of sea level rise are nearly allways accompanied by images of sea ice melt.

  • Comment number 80.

    there was one voice standing up for good law in PMQ

    ....Bob Marshall-Andrews (Lab) asked if Harman will support the power of the courts to issue proceedings against anyone against whom good evidence has been laid.....

    rather then the 'lets bend the law' to suit the israelis attitude we get. Do they speak for love of human rights law or for love of israeli gold?
    milliband looked like he was chewing a wasp after that question.

    livni wasn't coming to the uk on state business she was coming to talk to the JNF so why are they using a form of words to give the impression she was?

    if we start bending the human rights for all laws to only suit israeli interests then we will have a defacto apartheid in the uk?

    the law is the law. if the cap fits....

  • Comment number 81.

    It appears that the current total ground ice globally is around 30,000,000 cubic Kilometers about 2% of the worlds water and from what I can gather it would take thousands of years to melt under any reasonable projection of future temperatures. I think Mr. King was using unscientific alarmist propaganda in this piece. But I only really need my intuition to tell me this!

  • Comment number 82.

    A further comment on my post oof 15 December at 9.19 am /no 6/

    Talking about global issues, the Cardinal Hume Centre states in their manifesto that:

    'With respect, we seek to be non-judgmental, to listen, and acknowledge each other's worth and to put people at the centre of our work.
    Through compassion, we will demonstrate our care for each individual who comes to the Centre in the quality and consistency of the services we offer to them.
    To promote inclusiveness, we reject social exclusion and welcome diversity; we offer our services regardless of racial origin, of religion or politics; we will not discriminate on the grounds of gender or sexual orientation.
    To encourage empowerment, we will provide holistic support to our clients in helping them to identify their needs and in making informed choices about their lives.'

    Isn't it what the world should be striving towards? And isn't it great that such places exist in western democracies?

    What I would be interested to know is whether similar places exist let's say in Russia, in the Middle or Far East, in Africa and so on whereby young people of whatever race, or religious or political persuasion would be welcome to come to seeking help without fear of persecution?


  • Comment number 83.

    #65 Polytropic

    Yes! I saw it too. I thought the piece was supposed to be live, then noticed the edit. Very strange.

  • Comment number 84.

    1. At 6:07pm on 16 Dec 2009

    Well, it could have been worse.

    One of the last remaining, in theory serious politico/economic/scientific (lord help us) programmes left decides to further tackle what is possibly one of the greatest issues we are facing in modern times.

    And we get... another kitchen cabinet meeting, a Newsnight producer iPhone 13-fold Last Supper (actually a fair bunch, when allowed to speak, compared to the usual twofer), all rolled in with a dodgy episode of Brainiac - with a jolly 'space scientist' - for bad measure. All we needed was a barbershop quartet of Brown, Cameron, Miliband and Mandleson in the background chanting "'Cos it's the right thing to do-oooo!' throughout.

    But it's OK, 'cos Aunty tackles all issues with an even, balanced hand, dontchaknow. Newswatch will be chokker at dawn this weekend with sulky 'reporters', 'editors' and 'heads of' dragged out early vying to tell anyone up at that time that 'they don't think they handled things in any other way than perfectly'.

    Makes you proud. 'Eh, Josef?

    Got an email coincidently just now, from a Mr. Ban Ki-Moon at advising 'Your Payment Is Ready Contact UN Secretary General'.

    I thought it was a scam. On the evidence of what is going out by way of information on the national broadcaster these days, I am not so sure.

    As has the Ethiopian negotiator, might I request 'seat at the table at the management of any funds'? Sounds like a good place to be, though perhaps not for any Ethiopians not as blessed as their leaders with limo travel between well-stocked tables.

    As to the planet, well, if as suggested the move seems to be less not cutting trees down but funding folk to make trees, that might be good if the enviROI stacks up.

    One can only hope that, as Gavin suggests, Messrs Brown and Obama can sprinkle 'stardust' on the proceedings. Like they have done, so well, so often, before. With Miliband E, fresh from Mr. 'don't shut the front door behind you to save heat' Rowlatt's last kitchen cabinet, arguing on matters of substance. I feel so encouraged.

    Meanwhile we get Sir David 'one of the frighteners, CRU hacks (fact?) was a KGB plot' King, it's nice to get such a selection of well-informed, objective folk on an objective national broadcast show. At least we had a smart blonde (sensing there is a communication failure, pretty much everywhere) in the mix to get little better than yet another 'that is unacceptable' waffle from the eminence gris before 'moving on' to the soap commercial....

    Bloke: 'Having seen this science demo I totally believe now that is a fact, and Newsnight washes greener.

    It's just a shame that having run out of time, the barely raised issues of where this tax gets used was cut off.

    As journalists, you have again excelled yourselves.

    But, again, not in a good way.

    That 30 minutes of daft propaganda was about as counter-productive to sensible environmental persuasion to a lay audience as it is possible to imagine. Especially when those less keen on being continually served clunky science settling, with 'you are all wrong not to believe what we are telling you' from starry-eyed 'I'm a science 'reporter' me, 'cos I work for the BBC' types, post this on YouTube.

  • Comment number 85.

    All three comments have appeared! How strange, seems that Democracy and Science are on my side.

  • Comment number 86.

    I seem to remember that on last night's deplorable Blue Peter-style Newsnight that beacon of irreproachable science, Sir David King, mentioned that Climategate also included the motley CRU's mobile phone records. Does Sir David, with his high government contacts, know something that the rest of us don't?

  • Comment number 87.

    83. At 09:00am on 17 Dec 2009, Roger Thomas wrote:
    #65 Polytropic

    When one is interpreting events one needs those enhancing the narrative to do so correctly.

    Hence... 'It can all be sorted in post!'.

    Control the edit, you control the medium. Control the medium, you control the message.

    'That's all we have time for'.... perhaps the best tool in a suspect armoury for those dodgy 'live' moments that are hard to 'control'.

  • Comment number 88.

    Did nobody notice the 'disclaimer' from Justin (14:38 in to the programme) just before he walked through his front door front the street in darkness leaving it wide open (I didn't hear the voice of any of those emminent climate change scientists/believers inside shouting SHUT THE **** DOOR)

    He said, with a twinkly grin to camera "So newsnight decided to conduct it's own VERY unscientific experiment"


    If only he's been dressed in a gaudy top and dungarees, it might have befitted a primary schools broadcast or Playaway.

    What a shambles Newsnight. What a mockery. What a waste of broadcast air time. What a dismal display of up sucking. WHAT A SHAM!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 89.

  • Comment number 90.

    COP-as in cop it, be punished; cop out, abandon responsibility (OED)

    Well this morning was Gordo's crowning moment, bestriding the 192 nation gathering like a Colossus, threatening mankind with extinction and punishing developed nations for...developing.

    Wherever this notion of carbon trading come from it has provided the less-developed nations with a stick to beat the developed nations for all they can wring from us in an agreement. We will probably miss our carbon cap targets, but we will not be allowed to fail in the great cash transfer.

    And will there be adequate measures to ensure that the transferred funds don't go into bolstering the wealth and ostentation of corrupt third-world leaders, as has much of past aid-funding?

    If blame is the name of the game, why not tax heavily the nations that have become disgustingly rich by extracting and selling us the oil that is largely responsible for carbon emissions? And wasn't it the Chinese who invented gunpowder, thus unleashing the means for mass warfare?

    If an agreement fails, we should press for implementation of carbon capping targets and abandon the carbon-trading-past-blame nonsense.
    I shouldn't have to feel guilty for being born in the country that produced the industrial revolution. Yet Gordo mentioned 'climate refugees' so that's enough for millions more to start packing their bags for another wave of immigration, eventually pulling us all down to the lowest common denominator of human life.

    I still believe that we should provide aid-funding carefully monitored and targetted to population growth and control of deforestation, and that an oil tax should be payable at source of extraction. Mother Nature will take care of rebalancing in the usual way of floods, famine and pestilence.

  • Comment number 91.

    I hope tonights so called debate on climate change raises above the level of the juvenile propagandist sermon - sorry I meant serving - that we were treated to last night. Rolling out the Arch Bishop and High Priestess of climate change and a few dutiful props just wont do. It would seem Newsnight has given up trying to appeal to adults but has shot themselves in the foot, not realising their target audience are all tucked up in bed.

    I almost felt sorry for the serious protagonists for climate change, who must have been embarssed to the nth degree, their cause having been set back a few years by your clear and obvious bias and flight from serious debate.

  • Comment number 92.

    Speaking of great leaders showing the way..

    Took me a while but I am minded, in a wishful thinking kind of way, of:

  • Comment number 93.

    actually handing it to justin and his mr bean act is suitable for the level of that McScience.

    the problem people have is with the rest of the shtick-the communists want to end capitalism, the capitalists want carbon trading and the happy clappy want a new religion and a one world government and all them want your energy bills to go up to pay for their interests.

  • Comment number 94.

    "Ethical Man."

    Problem here - while they demonstrated that CO2 can amplify temperatures (I do not doubt that), they didn’t properly address how they know that human CO2 emissions are of a volume that can affect the climate. The assumption is that we have to blindly trust these people, whereas they should be open to more rigorous examination by the public. If scientists are to be so influential on government policy, then they need to be subjected to far deeper examination, instead of the rather fawning “love in” we got last night.

    We have yet to fully understand the planet’s climate systems, and how it is affected by both planetary and extra-planetary forces. Making a judgement based on what we know, and rejecting input from scientists with other theories is wrong, and a major failing in winning public support in this area.

  • Comment number 95.

    Gordon Brown should be arrested for aiding and abetting muggers, his usual deft slight of hand pickpocket style having left him, in the mad rush to impoverish the country he is supposed to represent.

  • Comment number 96.

    who is Jewish?

    ask the JNF. they have a jewish only policy.

  • Comment number 97.

    I haven't noticed a single comment agreeing with Justin's "Brainiac" experiment. How long will it take Newsnight to A, Give the Sceptic side the same licence as Justin was given, to put across the alternative veiw...or B, get some real scientists to debate the real issue with proper rigour, no lefty propaganda and bent figures from East Anglia.

    Come on Newsnight YOU are in the firing line. It should be tonight and there should be plenty of "Adverts" on BBC 1 so that any one who is interested doesn't miss it.

  • Comment number 98.

    My faith is restored in the intelligence of man thankfully due to other messages on here. I was beginning to wonder if those in the kitchen were the sum total of available intelligence in this country.

    I could simply not believe the BBC would allow such a flawed 'pop' science experiment to 'prove' global warming, and I couldn't believe the audience were unable to challenge the flawed experiment.

    Hairydalek is right it was a sick making love in. And there I was thinking that one of the bbc's remits was to inform and educate. Fail, on all accounts surely.

  • Comment number 99.


    We've all heard of the Ides of March (other months with 'Ides' were also available!)


    Don't you just hear insurance companies wringing their hands in glee at the 'commercial' opportuities proferred by such utterings.

    No Christmas holidays for them as they re-write and upgrade all their home policies for the new year.

  • Comment number 100.

    One thing should be clear, folk, I couldn't be part of a harem nor would I consider running my own, even if may look like I'm doing just that.


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