Just days after we posted urging the BBC to stand up to its climate change critics and go ahead with plans for a series of programmes on global warming it emerges that the corporation has lost its nerve and canned the idea.
According to reports on the BBC website it has scrapped plans for a TV special on climate change, provisionally titled Planet relief and scheduled for early next year, after senior executives and climate change sceptics expressed concerns that it would breach impartiality rules.
The BBC is yet to comment on the reports, but it is hard to interpret the decision as anything but a major climbdown.
To suggest this has anything to do with impartiality is a smokescreen.
If the BBC really thinks all campaigns must be entirely impartial and must not take political or campaigning positions then I for one expect the immediate cancellation of Children in Need and Comic Relief on the grounds that some people don't believe in charity.
It will also need to apologise for its recent programmes campaigning to save certain species on the grounds that some people regard extinction as evolution in action.
In fact, they'll also have to get rid of the blatant liberal bias they show in all their reporting on poverty, poor health and social injustice issues on the grounds that there are plenty of people who think the BBC's hand-wringing reporting style refuses to acknowledge alternative explanations for these problems that go against the liberal consensus.
The charge list against the BBC's impartiality goes on and on.
No, this is not about impartiality - if it was there are plenty more valid causes for concern than some programmes on climate change. What the cancellation is really all about is the BBC bottling a row with a small but highly vocal group of climate change sceptics and some of its own senior executives who are apparently happy constantly defending themselves against charges of liberal bias, but don't have the backbone to stand up to similar criticism of its stance on climate change.
The BBC's u-turn again highlights the influence and success of the climate change denial lobby. If there was a real national consensus that we are on the brink of a "planetary emergency", as the vast majority of climate change scientists now believe, then no one would have any problem with the BBC campaigning on the issue.
It also sends out worrying signals for many businesses that are trying to limit their carbon footprint.
Like it or loath it the BBC often sets the tone for the national debate and if it is backing away from campaigning on climate change it is a cause of considerable concern.
The BBC's cowardice has just made it harder for businesses, politicians and other public bodies to convince customers, employees and citizens of the urgent importance of reducing their carbon footprint.
It seems a bizarre situation given their established positions on the political spectrum, but with the BBC lacking the stomach to take a strong position on climate change perhaps it is now up to Rupert Murdoch's News International and its commitment to climate change campaigning to help promote more sustainable lifestyles.
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