BBC apologies for Radio 4 show discrediting climate change

The BBC has apologised for the way it compiled a radio show looking at global warming after the panel featured a string of high-profile climate sceptics.

The half hour Radio 4 show “What’s the point of the Met Office” aired earlier this year and was presented by Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts and featured Peter Lilley MP, Graham Stringer MP, forecaster Piers Corbyn and Andy Silvester from the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

All of the guests had previously questioned the authenticity of climate change science and were disparaging of the Met Office over its weather forecasting and climate modelling work.

The Met Office’s opportunity to reply only came in the form of a brief clip from the Met Office head of communications, Helen Chivers, which did not address the barrage of criticism aired on the show.

The BBC came under fire from climate change scientist from the University of Manchester, Andy Smedley, who called out the publicly funded broadcaster for failing to disclose that the views of the sceptics did not align with the scientific community.

In response to Smedley’s complaint the BBC admitted that it did not make clear that sceptics are a “minority voice, out of step with scientific consensus”.

The letter described the incident as “an unfortunate lapse for which we apologise and we would like to assure you we remain committed to covering all aspects of the subject in the most accurate and responsible way possible.”

Following an internal investigation the BBC concluded that programme emerged from “an unusual combination of circumstances which we have now rectified”.

Both Smedley’s complaint and the BBC’s response can be seen in the below tweets.

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