As I live just a few miles north of Balcombe the global media frenzy over this rather nondescript village has been of particular interest – partly because it has become a textbook example of that classic political/media ploy of “How To Lie With Statistics”
The figure of 82% of Balcombe residents opposing fracking in the surrounding area outside has become a talismanic number in the public “debate” around this issue. It conjures up a heartwarming image of the little people taking on the dark legions of Big Oil and has been much used by outsiders to justify their willingness to “help” the local “community” by orchestrating a series of well choreographed “protests” to show their “solidarity” with the residents.
There is no doubt that a significant number of villagers have their concerns about the issue and they have certainly captured the attentionof the media with their noise. But do they really represent a significant majority of Balcombe’s residents?
During August and September the Parish Council conducted a poll to establish the views of the residents on the attitude to fracking that the Parish Council should adopt. A polling card was delivered to every residence in the Parish and, when the poll closed on 10th September, 284 polling cards had been returned. 234 (82%) expressed the view that the Parish Council should oppose fracking, 30 that it should not, 16 had no strong views, and 4 polling cards were invalid.
Wow, that certainly sounds convincing…..until the more attentive observer might spot the absence of what is always the key figure in any survey – how many polling cards were not returned?
It seems to be the case that only 33% of residents responded to the survey. Now this is something which immediately changes the arithmetic of the poll and questions the legitimacy of the claim that well over three quarters of the citizens of Balcombe oppose fracking.
the much quoted “82 per cent of residents” actually should read the “82% of the 33% of residents who responded to the questionnaire”. That means the 66% (those who didn’t respond) plus the 18% of those that did but who are in favour / with no firm opinion are being out shouted by the 26% of villages who are anti-fracking
But then “82% of the 33% of residents who responded to the questionnaire say frack off” on a placard wouldn’t quite have so much of an impact……
This is a book that a UK cabinet minister thinks you should not be allowed to read. Indeed the author of the book, along with an academic in another Australian university, has been driven out of the halls of learning for daring to question the accepted wisdom on climate change
Or so you might have imagined if you weren’t familiar with the recent treatment by two Australian universities — Macquarie and James Cook — of two eminent scientists working in the field of ‘climate change’. Both have been ostracised by their institutions for reaching conclusions unsatisfactory to the controlling regime.
Heresy….there are some who might even prefer that they be burned at the stake. After all the zealots were content to imply that dissidents should be blown up..
So on no account should you read this book…..remember YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED….
Hundreds of alerts have been issued by the Environment Agency this month, as several days’ worth of rain has fallen in just a few hours at its worst, contributing to a year of bad weather which has left the UK on the brink of its wettest since records began in 1910.
Those climate experts…..don’t you just love them……
Helen Boaden, Director of BBC News, gets paid £340,000 per annum. Every penny of that comes out of our pockets and purses via the poll tax (aka TV Licence). In 2006 she authorised a meeting of “climate change experts”. As a result of this meeting the BBC decided to abandon its golden rule of impartiality on the issue of climate change. Now that must have been some meeting so what was said and who were the people who said it?
Strangely, despite the fact that the meeting was partly financed by the taxpayer via the BBC, it has proved incredibly difficult to find out because Helen Boaden doesn’t want us to know. She thinks it is sufficient for us be aware that she and the rest of the BBC elite found the discussions at the 2006 meeting so convincing that they decided to classify the critics of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) as unworthy of equal consideration.
However, for six years the BBC has been fighting a Freedom of Information request to name the 28 people who so impressed Helen Boaden at the 2006 meeting. Currently lawyers for the BBC are trousering wads of taxpayer’s cash defending this stance at an Information Rights Tribunal. The person requesting the information, Tony Newbery, is merely represented by himself. Fortunately for Ms Boaden the presiding tribunal judge appears to have disallowed many of Mr Newbery’s questions.
I wonder how Ms Boaden would have reported such stonewalling when she was named “Radio Industrial Journalist and Campaigning Industrial Journalist of the Year by the Industrial Society in 1990 for her investigation into safety standards in the oil industry.”
How ironic that the BBC, which ferociously attacked the Blair government for being economical with the truth over the reasons for joining in with the American attack on Iraq, should now be unwilling to provide us with any hard evidence concerning an event which led them to break its longstanding tradition of impartiality.
The key fact, of course, is that much of the “evidence” for AGW has, in the years since 2006, has been undermined by some inconvenient truths. So much so, perhaps, that Helen Boaden would prefer to keep her own “dodgy dossier” safely under lock and key in the bowels of the BBC…..
In almost every corner of the world, there’s a Greenpeace activist working to limit food production, stop energy development or bullying a sovereign nation to stifle economic development in favour of their ideological goals.
But in reality, Greenpeace loathes growth in developing world economies because stronger industries in Indonesia, China, South Africa or Malaysia offer stiffer competition to firms based in London or Berlin and their host governments – those who happen to fund Greenpeace’s operations
That’s right – those Greenpeace activists performing agitprop street theatre all over the world are financed partly by western governments.
The “activists” are, of course, front line cannon fodder, a mixture of idealistic young students and seasoned agitators who happily block pavements, trespass onto private property and perform acts of vandalism for the “cause”. They do it for the kicks and cost little money.
Above them, however, are the Greenpeace executives who jet around the world, hang out in luxury hotels and drive around in expensive limos, hobnobbing with politicians and bureaucrats. There function is twofold – to dream up more stunts and arrange to siphon even more money out of taxpayers pockets to fund the whole circus.
The stunts and campaigns are essentially tools to blackmail third world governments into stifling economic development because organisations like Greenpeace need the third world to remain poverty stricken in order to leech off middle class guilt in the western world and ensure a steady stream of funding from private donations and government largesse.
Last week, John Sauven, the director of Greenpeace UK, was refused entry by Indonesian officials after landing in the country on his way to further the organization’s deforestation initiatives. Officials at Jakarta International rejected his visa and deported him the same day with a very clear message: Greenpeace is not welcome in Indonesia.
Maryoto Sumadi, spokesman for Indonesia’s Immigration Department, put it best, saying, “We have good reasons for blacklisting him… It is the right of our country, just like any country, to deny entry to people in accordance with our national interests.”
Over the last few years Greenpeace has made Indonesia the target of several anti growth campaigns but maybe the penny has started to drop about the organisation’s true agenda.
Good for them.
Perhaps now the people of the UK and other European nations might even start to ask their governments why, at this time of high unemployment, redundancies and bankruptcies, they are helping to bankroll a new “Rainbow Warrior” for around £20m in order to “emotionalise” issues that are so often founded on lies, half truths and distortions.
Let’s hope so.
Unfortunately so far Greenpeace has proved to be pure teflon…as in the introductory clip caught out time and time again in peddling myths and falsehoods yet quite shamelessly convincing the media to ignore them with that old “move on, nothing to see here” mantra so successfully adopted by liberal/left radicals whenever they have been caught with their trousers down or their fingers in the till.
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