Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the this-thing-called-the-internet dept.

The Media 401

New submitter calder123 writes "Last week, the BBC won an FOIA tribunal ruling that they didn't have to reveal the names of attendees at a seminar in 2006, designed to shape the BBC's coverage of climate change issues. The document, uncovered by Maurizio Morabito, puts comments by the BBC that the meeting was held under Chatham House rules, and that the seminar drew on top scientific advice in an interesting light. In a bizarre coincidence, four of the BBC's attendees at the seminar have resigned in the last few days."

cancel ×

401 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Must be nice (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#41966989)

So the BBC is happy to take public money, but doesn't think there should be ANY strings or responsibilities attached? Must be nice. I wonder if they would accept other public agencies refusing THEIR Freedom of Information requests. I suspect not. And yet that is the precedent they could set.

Personally, I think it's a bad precedent to be set by a institution that has a journalistic wing itself. But, then again, I'm a little creeped out by the whole idea of a state-run media in the first place, even one that stringently attempts to remain objective. It's bound to produce conflicts of interest, no matter how much you try to avoid them.

And, even putting the precedent aside, it just looks bad. If you're going to ask others to be open, it's really embarrassing when it looks like you're trying to hide something yourself, especially when openness is one of your stated [bbc.co.uk] goals, oft-repeated. [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Must be nice (5, Informative)

Spad (470073) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967053)

The BBC is not state-run, it is a publicly (not government) funded independent body.

Re:Must be nice (2, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967079)

Isn't that kind of semantic? They have the power to tax. They "own" all of the airwaves. It may not be government by some technicality in law, but to a citizen the effect is the same.

Re:Must be nice (5, Informative)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967167)

No because the government has virtually no power whatsoever over what the content provided by the BBC; excepting that the Foreign Office pays (or at least did in the past) some money to the BBC to run the World Service and sets the amount of the license fee.

Re:Must be nice (1, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967669)

So what? It's still the government. My local sewage authority is set up to have almost no direct government oversight except for revenue approval (it spans jurisdictions), but I still don't pretend that my sewer service is privately provided.

Re:Must be nice (5, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968045)

No, it's not the government. It will not be the goverment and it was never the government. Your problem is the false dichotomy which doesn't recognize anything else than "private" and "government". The local sewage plant is legally owned by a governmental entity, so it's governmental. The BBC is not owned by any governmental entity. It just belongs to itself.

Re:Must be nice (5, Informative)

telchine (719345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967203)

Isn't that kind of semantic? They have the power to tax.

The BBC is funded by a licence. It is not funded by tax.

I can choose not to pay for a licence. I can not choose not to pay tax.

Re:Must be nice (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967305)

I can choose not to pay for a licence. I can not choose not to pay tax.

Actually, in both cases, you can choose not to pay, and in both cases you do it in exactly the same way - by stopping using the services provided, namely by selling the telly or by moving out of the country, respectively.

Re:Must be nice (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967435)

Nope. You can own a telly and use it for consoles, DVDs, streaming iPlayer, 4OD, etc and you don't need a license for any of it. You only legally need a license if you watch any live broadcast TV, online or otherwise.

Re:Must be nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967761)

Nope. You can own a telly* and use it for consoles, DVDs, streaming iPlayer, 4OD, etc and you don't need a license for any of it. You only legally need a license if you watch any live broadcast TV, online or otherwise.

or have a device with a receiver capable of receiving a broadcast. Video recorders are covered. *You mean one that has been detuned to turn it into a monitor.

Re:Must be nice (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967849)

All TVs are capable of receiving a broadcast simply by plugging an aerial into the back of them. It doesn't need to be detuned, you just need to not be using it for live TV. You can stream live broadcast TV over the internet too, but if you don't use that facility, you don't have to pay.

Uhh, sounds like a tax to me... (3, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967353)

Lets see, if you live in the UK and have a TV you have to pay it, and if you don't its a criminal offense.

Sounds like a tax to me [wikipedia.org]

Re:Uhh, sounds like a tax to me... (4, Insightful)

Enry (630) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967527)

Stealing cable is a criminal offence too. Not sure how this is any different.

Re:Uhh, sounds like a tax to me... (5, Informative)

floofyscorp (902326) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967533)

"live broadcast television transmissions" You can own a TV and not pay the license fee, so long as you're not watching live TV on it or any other device in your home.

Re:Uhh, sounds like a tax to me... (4, Informative)

trnk (1887028) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967589)

Nope.

You can own as many TV's as you want, you can watch DVD's, play on a console, stand your drinks on them, all without a license, all perfectly legally. You only need a license if you are using your TV to watch a live broadcast.

Re:Uhh, sounds like a tax to me... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967631)

How does that work in practice? If you have a TV sitting there, they won't nail you to the wall for not paying your fee?

Re:Uhh, sounds like a tax to me... (1)

floofyscorp (902326) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967723)

They generally send most unlicensed properties(especially in student-heavy areas, as students tend to be bad at paying for licenses/stupid enough to pay when they don't need to) a series of increasingly unfriendly letters suggesting they get a license, as well as the occasional 'enforcement officer' who looks disturbingly like a police officer. I think you can be fined for watching TV without a license, but how they'd prove it I have no idea.

Re:Uhh, sounds like a tax to me... (2)

trnk (1887028) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968091)

It's a bit of a funny one. Technically the onus is on them to prove that you're actually using it to watch TV; in the olden days there was this idea of the TV licensing bogey-man who'd drive round in a van and use fancy gadgets to detect which addresses were receiving TV signals. How they do it these days I'm not so sure, I guess anyone who's got any kind of cable service would get flagged pretty quickly.
In my experience they just send you really annoying letters that get progressively more threatening, there's a database that you can add yourself to if you're sure you don't need one, but even then they send letters saying that someone will be round to 'check you out'. On the whole I think it's just a kind of policing by consent where most people would rather pay than have the headache of getting bothered about it and potentially found out.

You don't have to have a TV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41968021)

So sounds like a license agreement, not tax to me...

Re:Must be nice (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967397)

That's like saying you can choose to not pay sales tax by simply not buying anything, hence it's not a tax. There's no tax that you can't avoid by simply not doing anything. You buy a TV, money from that goes to the BBC. It's semantics, government agency, tax payer funded, etc.

Re:Must be nice (2)

trnk (1887028) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967685)

The BBC does not receive money from the sale of TVs, and the license fee is not linked in any way to the sale of TVs. You do not need a license to buy a TV, and a TV does not (nor cannot) come with a license. The TV license is completely separate, annual thing that you buy for your property, to cover all the devices at your address, and is required only if you are watching live broadcasts at that address.

Re:Must be nice (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967483)

I have chosen not to pay capital gains tax by not having any capital gains. So is that also not also not a tax?

Re:Must be nice (5, Informative)

chowells (166602) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967537)

As of 2006, the licence fee *is* considered a tax.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldbbc/128/128i.pdf [parliament.uk]

"Parliament and not Government should set the level of the licence fee. In January 2006, the Office of National Statistics classified the licence fee as a tax for the first
time. We are very concerned about the consequences that this decision will have for the BBC’s independence."

Re:Must be nice (1, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967551)

"I can choose not to pay for a licence."

Yeah, Go ahead and try that.

Re:Must be nice (1)

Kangburra (911213) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967603)

I did this when I lived in the UK, they kept sending reminders that if watching TV I needed one but no-one ever came to check. In fact I did not own a TV so it would have been a waste of time anyway, :)

Re:Must be nice (2)

telchine (719345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967619)

"I can choose not to pay for a licence."

Yeah, Go ahead and try that.

I haven't paid for a tv licence in many years; I don't watch television, nor do I own one. What's your point?

Re:Must be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967695)

I've spent a few years with my TV hooked up to my PC, and so don't need to pay for a license. Apart from a letter every few months saying "If you have a TV get a license" there isn't any problem. I can live with the extra effort of putting that letter in the bin as the price I pay for not getting the license.

Re:Must be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967843)

You spelled it "license". I don't believe you're British.

Re:Must be nice (5, Interesting)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967355)

Isn't that kind of semantic? They have the power to tax. They "own" all of the airwaves. It may not be government by some technicality in law, but to a citizen the effect is the same.

No, speaking as a citizen, the effect is more or less the opposite. The BBC is (or should be, when it's brave enough) a bulwark against the government. For example the judiciary, in the US system, is also paid for out of taxes, but is independent and acts to limit the power of the executive. The BBC is intended (in part) to act analogously, but with an investigatory role rather than a judicial one. Sometimes (for example over the non-existent 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' [bbc.co.uk] ) the BBC has fulfilled that role magnificently - although following their cave-in over the Kelly affair [wikipedia.org] they've been disappointingly timid.

Re:Must be nice (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967683)

But the judiciary is still "the government".

Re:Must be nice (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967875)

I believe that in the UK, they use "government" to refer just to the executive.
So the judiciary isn't "the government", and neither is Parliament.
Help me out, British Slashdotters; is this understanding correct?

Re:Must be nice (1)

jecblackpepper (1160029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968027)

You are correct.

Re:Must be nice (2)

ewanm89 (1052822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967383)

Yes, and no, it's ingrained in the UK's constitution and how we are an autocratic monarchy. The BBC is setup by royal charter directly by the monarch and therefore is not any real business of the government, who are there to technically advise the monarch through the privy council, however other than in certain circumstances (times of war, changing a royal charter, ignoring a royal charter) the monarch is to take their advice. There are certain points in the charter where it allows for the BBC to charge the television licence fee, and that the foreign office has to pay towards the running of BBC world service (the foreign office gets to use it for propaganda and sending encrypted messages at times of war, see the BBC weather report in WWII). But mostly the government has no direct control over the BBC and if they tried to impose it the monarch has a duty to disband and reform the government.

Re:Must be nice (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967581)

My turn to be semantic. I don't think the UK has a constitution.

Also, I'm not sure how the monarch is not "the government".

Re:Must be nice (0)

diamondmagic (877411) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967081)

Corporate welfare at its finest.

Re:Must be nice (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967097)

Then can you explain to me what the British people I've talked to meant when they said "the BBC tax", which I thought was a tax on televisions to pay for the BBC.

Re:Must be nice (3, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967239)

I think it's akin to what techies have called "The Microsoft Tax," or paying for a copy of Windows that you might not want when buying a new PC. IANAB, but as I understand it, you CAN buy a TV without a BBC license, if you're only using it as a monitor for a DVD player, console, computer, etc... but there's some hoops to jump through to get them to stop bugging you about it.

Not according to my British friends. (-1, Troll)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967389)

... but there's some hoops to jump through to get them to stop bugging you about it.

Not according to my British friends, there's not. They just keep bugging you. One of my friends (generally known in the Crome OS and Raspberry Pi communities as "Hexxeh") finally just gave in and paid the fee, even though he only ever uses the thing as a monitor. I told him he was nuts, but the lack of a BBC weenie calling him on his cell phone weekly apparently causes the license to pay for itself in reduced cell minutes.

I suspect if the UK ever got a working "do not call list", then the BBC would do the same thing the US companies and "free cruise!" scammers in the US have done, and just offshore the robo-calls.

Re:Not according to my British friends. (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967573)

Maybe it's a cultural thing, but everyone I know here in America lets phone calls go to VM if it's not from a number they recognize. Even more so if they have google voice because then you don't even have to listen to it.

Re:Not according to my British friends. (1)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967785)

Heck with visual voicemail you don't have to listen to it either, you can easily delete it without wasting any minutes. I wish my desk phone had visual voicemail, it would make the LCD screen a lot more useful =)

Re:Not according to my British friends. (5, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967613)

... but there's some hoops to jump through to get them to stop bugging you about it.

Not according to my British friends, there's not. They just keep bugging you. One of my friends (generally known in the Crome OS and Raspberry Pi communities as "Hexxeh") finally just gave in and paid the fee, even though he only ever uses the thing as a monitor. I told him he was nuts, but the lack of a BBC weenie calling him on his cell phone weekly apparently causes the license to pay for itself in reduced cell minutes.

I suspect if the UK ever got a working "do not call list", then the BBC would do the same thing the US companies and "free cruise!" scammers in the US have done, and just offshore the robo-calls.

Lots of things wrong with that.

1) The TV licensing people don't pester you if you tell them (possibly in writing?) that you don't use the TV to receive broadcasts. I have a TV, and haven't been asked to buy a license for over three years now. I was originally asked once, when I moved into this house and the previous resident's license (the license is for the property) expired.

2) They don't call, they send letters and -- very occasionally -- visit in person.

3) It's free to receive phone calls here.

4) A company you don't have dealings with is breaking the law to telephone you, as they don't have your permission.

Re:Not according to my British friends. (1)

floofyscorp (902326) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967677)

I've never heard of a phone contract in the UK that limits incoming minutes... He is right that they tend to be extremely suspicious of people claiming not to need a license though. When I was a student I had a TV for playing games and watching DVDs on, and got harassed on the regular by the TV licensing heavies. And by heavies, I mean they literally sent a huge enforcement officer to our door once, demanding to be let in to inspect our property. I politely told him to fuck off because he had no right of entry and I had informed them time and again that we were within our rights not to have a license. We still got the threatening letters after that, but no more unfriendly faces at the door.

Re:Not according to my British friends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967753)

Incoming calls don't count towards your bill in the UK, It takes a lot of £0.00 calls to total £145.50.

Personally I have been called once, I told them I didn't have a TV and they can come around to check if they want and that was the end of it.

Re:Must be nice (1)

trnk (1887028) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967479)

Correct. For the sake of clarity - TV's don't come with licenses, nor do you need a license to buy a TV (you actually couldn't buy a TV with the license if you wanted to). A license is purchased for a property, and a single license covers every tv/device/person at that address. It's lasts for a year, and you can get it cheaper if you only watch in black and white :) On the technical side you must have a license if you watch any kind of live broadcast, regardless of whether it's on the BBC or cable/Sky. One interesting thing to have come out of the world of on-demand catch-up is that if you only ever watch online after the fact, you actually don't need a license; you can watch whatever BBC content you like so long as it isn't a live stream.

Re:Must be nice (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967343)

I have never heard anyone in the UK talk of a BBC tax, I would assume they are dumbing down the concept of the license fee for their audience. As someone who has never paid the license fee yet happily uses various TVs for games, dvds, BBC iPlayer and Sky Player I can assure you that there is no tax on tvs in the UK.

Re:Must be nice (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967347)

The "BBC Tax" aka TV License is an annual charge for the services provided by the BBC, that being radio and television. Each household is expected to have a TV license if they own a TV which is used to view television, as it is not possible to deny access to BBC services on a per-household basis. There are exclusions; Monochrome TVs are exempt, as are households with no TV antenna (which allows you to use your TV as a games console monitor without paying a fee). However, with the advent of streaming TV (iPlayer in the case of the BBC) ownership of a computer has become a factor when considering buying a TV license. You may watch time-shifted BBC shows in the UK without a TV license, but live shows must not be watched. As there is no technical way to prevent each household without a TV license receiving these live streams, just as there isn't a way to stop them receiving live OTA TV signsls, you would be expected to have a TV license if you used iPlayer.

It is a pseudo-tax in that it is not mandatory and not to the government, but I think it's worth it. HTH.

Re:Must be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967363)

This is a term used by people who pay additionally for subscription television, usually from Sky - a Murdoch company.

Most people find that they get good value from the license fee for what they receive from the BBC.

Re:Must be nice (3, Informative)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967379)

They must be referring to the "license fee" which unlike a tax is not collected by Her Majesties Revenue and Customs (here after the HMRC) on behalf of the treasury.

The license fee is collected these days by the BBC, but they subcontract it out. Admittedly it is payed into the consolidated fund, but comes straight back out in it's entirety to the BBC.

Technically it is not a tax, though the Office for National Statistics does classify it as a tax, and most people might see it however incorrectly as such.

Re:Must be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967747)

So it's classified as a tax by accounting types in your government
Gets passed into the national treasury of your government
And is seen as a criminal infraction to not pay it according to your government

BUT ITS TOTALLY NOT A TAX BRO!

Re:Must be nice (3, Informative)

SilentMobius (10171) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967553)

It's a colloquialism. To receive live TV you must have a TV licence, buying a TV is orthogonal to this. If I own a computer and use BBC iplayer to watch live TV I also need a licence, the fact you have bought a physical TV or not is irreverent, the question is are you receiving live TV signals.

IMHO the BBC is a public funded body that functions as an independent news service by royal charter, it is not an organ of government and thus should not be subject for FOI requests just like any other news service

Re:Must be nice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967101)

The government is publicly funded as well..

Re:Must be nice (5, Insightful)

clark0r (925569) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967109)

If I had mod points I would mod you up. Most articles on the BBC are followed by comments by people who do not understand the fundamental workings of the organisation. The BBC is an independent news organisation. It does not have to bend to the will of governments or advertisers. That is it's huge advantage over commercial news and TV broadcasts. You only need to watch some US news shows to understand why this is preferable to commercial TV news.

Re:Must be nice (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968051)

An "independent" news agency which depends on the UK government to enforce its TV tax. And the information that the FOI request attempted to uncover shows a) that the conference in question was stacked with activitists and a token number of scientists. b) that all of the BBC advisers who appeared there apparently went on to bigger and better things, including resigning due to deep involvement in a defamation scandal involving a conservative UK politician.

What it looks like to me is that AGW advocates took over the BBC's ideological stance on climate matters at that conference.

Re:Must be nice (2)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967155)

Being a yank from the states, most publically funded entities do have some sort of rights and restrictions attached to their public funding, especially after decades of pushing "accountability" into any public funded venture. Even if it is not ran by the state it is regulated and beholding to the state.

Re:Must be nice (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967225)

Well, sure, but CBS, NBC, ABC, and even Fox are regulated, and thus beholden, to the state too.

It would be a mistake to suggest that the BBC is particularly beholden to government simply because it's funded by the TV licence fee rather than advertising. It's placing weight on a somewhat dubious fact that implies something that isn't the case.

Re:Must be nice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967285)

Even if it is not ran by the state it is regulated and beholding to the state.

"ran" ?

You ignorant uneducated moron, you cannot even conjugate a verb ( to run ) correctly,
so what makes you think your opinion has any value ?

Go crawl back under the rock where you live, you stupid shit.

Re:Must be nice (1)

SilentMobius (10171) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967641)

Yes it is nice, having the BBC that is.

State _funded_ TV with a charter for the betterment of the populous has set the standard for TV in this country that and (somewhat) mitigated the "race to the bottom" that is being run more rapidly in countries that don't have that stabilizing force.

The BBC should be compared with other media organisations when talking about openness not wings of government, apples and oranges.

Re:Must be nice (2)

AlecC (512609) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967687)

At some level, organisations have to have the ability to discuss things privately. People have to have the chance to float novel ideas without fear that they might be pilloried for what was just a tentative discussion point. Was this purely a discussion, or did actions arise out of it? If it was purely a discussion, then "Chatham House Rules", which means that you do not reveal the discussions. On the other hand, if the meeting was forming actual policy and had outcomes other than just informing the participants, it is reasonable for the names of those who contributes to that policy formation to be known.

You need room to toss ideas around, to free associate, to think outside the box, without fear that your career will be destroyed when you are discovered outside the box. But when you take actual actions, or contribute to them, you need to be accountable.

There are plenty of strings. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967755)

Way to go all histrionic, idiot-boy.

You seem to think that just because your money goes to pay for something that you should be able to snoop on everything and anything done with that money.

Tax money isn't any different from the money you spend on any private company. Try walking out of a Ford dealership with a car but not paying.

Re:Must be nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967917)

I'm a little creeped out by the whole idea of a state-run media in the first place, even one that stringently attempts to remain objective. It's bound to produce conflicts of interest, no matter how much you try to avoid them.

As opposed to Fox News and MSNBC which are models of objectiveness and being free from conflicts of interests ?

Oh, wait ...

Remember the fate of Charles I! (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967019)

For a revolutionary workers party! For a soviet republic! Full citizenship rights for all immigrants!

Climate Change(tm) is still going to kill us (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967105)

I don't want to die for any of the regular, boring reasons.

Re:Climate Change(tm) is still going to kill us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967161)

Pfff... kill... what are you talking about.

It's not going to kill us.... Just give us all swamp ass.

Re:Climate Change(tm) is still going to kill us (0)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967269)

Sandy is being treated (appropriately) [reuters.com] as proof of climate change's impact: changing weather patterns. These more extreme/unusual patterns lead to storms that have already killed people who would be otherwise be alive. The Pentagon is treating the threat as a serious one [smithsonianmag.com] , when will we take the steps necessary to end it?

Ike was right! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#41968033)

pfft! The Pentagon! That bunch of tree-hugging pinko commie hippies.

Disruption (2, Interesting)

EasyTarget (43516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967117)

This FOI request, like so many others, is another polluters attempt to disrupt those who are telling them they must stop polluting.
yawn.

I have a message for these denialist children: Please grow up and stop helping the greedy pollute our planet.

Re:Disruption (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967231)

This FOI request, like so many others, is another polluters attempt to disrupt those who are telling them they must stop polluting.
yawn.

I have a message for these denialist children: Please grow up and stop helping the greedy pollute our planet.

If AGW is a correct theory, it can withstand the light of day.

Conversely, if a simple FOI request is sooo damn disruptive, the problem is not with the "denialist children". It's with the ones expressing religious faith and calling people names.

Re:Disruption (3, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967303)

It isn't a religious faith. Its science. Its writing on the wall, and serious people are finally starting to read it [phys.org] . The people polluting the Earth are already having an impact on our weather patterns - one that has claimed lives.

Re:Disruption (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967377)

It isn't a religious faith. Its science. Its writing on the wall, and serious people are finally starting to read it [phys.org] . The people polluting the Earth are already having an impact on our weather patterns - one that has claimed lives.

WRONG

It's NOT science.

Science WELCOMES attempts at falsification. It does NOT label doubters "denialists" or "heretics".

Read this. [stephenjaygould.org] . You might learn something. Though I doubt it.

Re:Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967507)

You're helping to pollute too, but I won't call you greedy or a child.

Re:Disruption (0, Troll)

EasyTarget (43516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967437)

You denialist children have lots of time on your hands and sugar daddies(*) with lots of money.
It is not one FOI request,
or even 'a few' FOI requests.
It is tens upon tens of thousands of FOI requests, designed to disrupt decent people who oppose them and prolong the amount of pollution they can get away with.

(*) Also known as Kochs, which I believe to be a mis-spelling of a slang term for penis.

Re:Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967593)

You denialist children have lots of time on your hands and sugar daddies(*) with lots of money.
It is not one FOI request,
or even 'a few' FOI requests.
It is tens upon tens of thousands of FOI requests, designed to disrupt decent people who oppose them and prolong the amount of pollution they can get away with.

(*) Also known as Kochs, which I believe to be a mis-spelling of a slang term for penis.

Ahhh, ad hominem bile. The last refuge of the logically incompetent.

Re:Disruption (1)

Skater (41976) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967841)

They started it. [popsci.com]

Re:Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967743)

This reminds me of a story. There was an article I read a while back, which described the activities of some people who wanted to disrupt a public nativity scene - they didn't care for the public display of religion in the park so they flooded the city/town with requests to use the park for other things during the time in which the Christians wanted to set up their display. The space was allotted by the city/town through lottery, and since the Christians only submitted 1 request to use a portion of the public space, they were boxed out by the flood of other requests.

I agree with you that this kind of tactic is trollish and dumb. It's like a fillibuster. However I can't really find fault with the people who are working within the system to achieve their ends - it is much better than circumventing the system and doing real harm, I think you would agree.

I can't condone your repeated insults though. Really, a penis joke? And you're calling the deniers childish? There was something about kettles and pots, I can't remember now...

Re:Disruption (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967451)

Before this, the BBC gave equal airtime to pro and anti climate change viewpoints. This was despite the fact that the vast majority by far of scientists (especially those in the field of climate science) agreed that climate change, and man-made climate change, are real. Science is not impartial.

This was the equivalent of demanding that the BNP or Monster Raving Loonies (or whatever 1% political parties the US has) get equal airtime to the main parties in an election, in all respects.

So they changed it to reasonably match what the current reality on the science was, so that they weren't misrepresenting the issues to the viewers.

Since then, it appears that certain people have been continually trolling the BBC because their platform for spreading misinformation has gone away. Aww diddums.

Re:Disruption (2, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967717)

Science is not impartial.

What?!! It had damned well better be.

And its not done yet. Climate models need to continually be revised to account for as yet unexplained phenomena. Like why Antarctic ice is growing. Until these models are refined to the point of making reliable predictions, they are of little use to support critical economic decisions. And preliminary decisions already in effect may have to be refined or even reversed should revised theories dictate their change.

On the other hand, if the science is 'done' as many claim, then we could save a bundle of money by defunding a lot of climate research. If only 3 out of 28 'experts' advising government agencies are scientists, it would seem that this is in fact the case.

Re:Disruption (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967469)

If AGW is a correct theory, it can withstand the light of day.

It has withstood the light of day. Repeatedly. For approximately 20 years. To the point where the vast majority of scientists who study this stuff agree that it's the best available explanation of numerous observed changes in the climate.

The only place there's a serious debate is in the public imagination, and that's largely due to a very well-funded PR campaign funded by the oil and coal industries.

Re:Disruption (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967881)

The only place there's a serious debate is in the public imagination, and that's largely due to a very well-funded PR campaign funded by the oil and coal industries.

Show me the money. If there's a "well funded" PR campaign then someone has to be spending that money. In contrast there are vast sums being spent on pro-AGW PR. For example, whole government programs are devoted to this, such as UK's Met Office and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (a department in US's NASA).

Re:Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967257)

I refer you to the famous comment in Arkell Vs Pressdram, and further invite you to examine your own predjudices against freedom.

Re:Disruption (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967293)

This FOI request, like so many others, is another polluters attempt to disrupt those who are telling them they must stop polluting.
yawn.

I have a message for these denialist children: Please grow up and stop helping the greedy pollute our planet.

Sooo, you're living "off grid", refusing to use polluting technologies such as, say, ELECTRICITY?

Oh, wait, you're not.

Fucking deluded hypocritical bastard.

Re:Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967425)

There is a distinct difference between actively helping people destroy the planet by changing policy and public perception and using electricity.

Re:Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967719)

Electricity generation is the #1 source of all co2 emissions in our world. Followed by trucks then cars.

You can not beat the cost per therm created of natural gas and coal. There is nothing in the world right now that does that where it is needed. There are tons of other alternative energies but the cost ratio is out of wack compared to gas and coal. Nuke costs too much to build and dismantal, solar is getting there but has issues during the night time, wind is ok but intermittent and variable.

Solar is getting there but still needs to come down by nearly 2x-4x in price to get there and never mind that strip mining issue. Most promising to supplement our existing systems.
Wind is also getting there but now people are bitching about 'how it looks'. As you need a ton of them to meet the output of our existing plants. Good supplement.
Nuke was most promising. Until money got involved. Then we built plants that were meant to last 25 years and are trying to get them to run 40. The NIBY people are pitching a fit. Least likely to move forward any more.
Dam's are good and many are under used. However, they need water (lots of it). A few of the places that they are built are under drought conditions (part of the reason they were built where they are). So they end up in the end as variable. But long term cost is low. Land area need is high for them. Good replacement if you have water and do not mind submerging thousands of acres to run them.
Fusion reactors, 30 years out, always, at this point.

Gas/coal are retardly cheap (money wise, with high enviro costs) compared to the others.

Re:Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967387)

Care to explain how the pensioner from North Wales who raised the FOI request is "another polluters attempt to disrupt those who are telling them they must stop polluting."?

for the record - I am not a climate change denier myself - a better term would be an anthropogenic climate change. Ooooohhhhh scary! the ice-caps are melting! yes it is scary but there is NOTHING humans can do to stop that - we can speed it up, perhaps even slow it down a little, but we certainly did NOT cause it. There are a couple of simple facts that many people fail to mention when they talk about this topic they are...
1) polar ice caps aren't (in the big picture) normal for planet earth - for the vast majority of the earth's existence they weren't there
2) we are still in the tail-end of the last ice-age (this is the reason why we currently have polar ice-caps).

Yep, "AGW" *must* be true (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967191)

That's why BBC had to do this:

- This is incredible. In Jan 2006 the BBC held a meeting of “the best scientific experts” to decide BBC policy on climate change reporting (t)
- The BBC has been in court blocking FOI attempts to get the list of the 28 attendees, but it’s just been discovered on the wayback machine (t)
- It turns out that only 3 were current scientists (all alarmists). The rest were activists or journalists (t)
- The BBC sent four low level representatives: Peter Rippon, Steve Mitchell, Helen Boaden, George Enwistle. All have since risen to power. (t)
- Amazingly, those are also the exact four who have thus far resigned this week over the false paedophilia accusations against Lord McAlpine. (t)

Bad Press (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967499)

All around, alarmists and deniers. 30 second sound bytes work great for both, but are horrible at actually delivering the truth... which is damn complex. A look at a statistical fit study that implies man-made CO2 is the most likely cause: http://berkeleyearth.org/results-summary/ [berkeleyearth.org] .

"BUT IS IT MAN-MADE AND REAL!!?"

Probably.

Real Response to Climate Change Extinction (1)

ClassicASP (1791116) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967277)

From childhood to today, I've heard it asked many times in so many different ways "What would you live if there were no tomorrow?". People say stuff like "I'd party and have fun" or "I'd quit my job and spend time with my family" and all kinds of great stuff. Rubbish! Most people are just gonna find ways to loot whatever is there for the taking, quit acting responsibly, and/or sit around blaming and complaining about the problem.

WTF is a FOI (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967297)

or is it a FOIA ?
And what are Chatham House rules? (I know where the Chatham Islands are, but I don't think that has anything to do with this)

And does a "Wayback Machine" look like a blue phone booth with the word "Police" on and a flashing light on top?

Re:WTF is a FOI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967349)

Here's a box. Please use it to pack up your stuff, then leave your card with Janice on your way out.

Re:WTF is a FOI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967403)

http://justfuckinggoogleit.com/

Re:WTF is a FOI (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967563)

or is it a FOIA ?
And what are Chatham House rules? (I know where the Chatham Islands are, but I don't think that has anything to do with this)

And does a "Wayback Machine" look like a blue phone booth with the word "Police" on and a flashing light on top?

I'll bite.

The Royal Institute of International Affairs is also known as Chatham House. The Chatham House Rule states that when a meeting is held under such rule, participants are free to use information from the meeting, but not to disclose the identity nor affiliation of any speaker or other participant. This is in contrast to meetings held "on the record," in which all names and affiliations are fair game for disclosure.

FOIA is Freedom Of Information Act

The "Wayback Machine" at the Internet Archive is a search engine that delivers content archived from the web over the years. It was named after the time machine from the "Peabody" short animated features that delivered a not-exactly-correct view of real historical events, aired as side features along with other Jay Ward productions such as "Rocky and Bullwinkle." No, it didn't look like a police box.

Re:WTF is a FOI (1)

wa2flq (313837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967971)

Quick - Frisk Mr. Peabody for a Sonic Screwdriver...!?!

mod do3n (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967407)

if y0u move a table prospects are very aal know we want.

Why is this list of attendees circumspect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967433)

Seems like a lot of hot air to me.

I see what you did there... (5, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967609)

And it's interesting. Apparently, the Beeb decided that the overwheling evidence of climate change and global warming rendered dissenting views not only null, but dangerous, in that these dissents would only impede what is necessary action, and are either specious, disingenuous, false, or all of the preceding. So the BBC essentially wanted to suspend even the pretense of impartial reporting and just go all in for acknowledging man-caused climate change as fact.

Now, it may well be, but this decision had the effect of marginalizing opposing points of vew, on the BBC, to the point that there would be NO dissent.

I wonder if there are any other issues that the Beeb (affectionately referred to as 'Auntie' in the Register article referenced, and also by some of those Brits old enough to suspect the Beeb is less than honorable in some areas) would similarly suspend impartiaility (sometimes considered a foundation of journalism, so therefore suspending the practice of 'journalism' in reference to these issues) and thereby become essentially the mouthpiece of one side or the other in a dispute? Other than the Israel/Palestine conflict, Islamic terrorism, and perhaps global crony capitalism, I can't thing of a thing.

Ssadly, the BBC is become just another media outlet, adding to the spew of whatever meme is advantageous to the powers that be. Those powers, for those of you at home scoring in pen, do not include us.

And of course, the BBC would prefer to not even be asked these questions, much less have to answer them honestly or at least be compelled to admit they even discuss such things. Here in the U.S. we don't have such a problem. Our media outlets are essentially divided into three camps; Leftist, Rightist, and irrelevant. And these outlets are hardly called to account for anything, except by an opposing camp, though the Irrelevants tend to question everything, even themselves, perpetuating their irrelevancy. You know which outlets belong to which camps, right? Ok, score this one in pencil until you get time to review the action and come to a better decision...

Ecademist & Omnology (1)

Martin S. (98249) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967617)

A clown who makes up words to try to hide the fact he has no idea what he is talking about.

The case was about if the BBC has the right to protect it's journalistic sources or must it disclose them to a freedom of information request.

Bizarre Conincidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967805)

Sometimes I wonder how hard of thinking some people are

Ok the 4 people who resigned are

Peter Rippon, was head of newsnight which has had a bad run for sure, so he should go , was at the time of the meeting Duty Editor of the world at one/PM/The World this weekend
Steve Mitchell was deputy head of news when he resigned at the BBC, at time of the meeting was Head of Radio news
Helen Boaden, Director of news, when she resigned, at the time of the meeting was Director of News.
George Enwistle, BBC Director general. At time of the meeting was head of BBC current affairs.

So 4 people who were directly involved in either not broadcasting a documentary about a suspected pedophile or falsely accusing a senior politician of being a one have resigned and it is news because they all attended a meeting almost 7 years ago as part of a 26 strong BBC delegation as part of a meeting where the BBC decided hey climate change is real...

Yes it is REALLY bizzare that senior people from the BBC news organisation went to this meeting, and guess what senior people form the BBC news organisation resigned over a huge clusterfuck in BBC news.

In further BS iN TFA we have apparently they were junior people who then "rose in power" just for a nice conspiracy. I mean the BBC is a huge organisation, I would not call Head of Radio news for 5 radio stations (including one full time dedicated news and sport station) low level.

From the actual wayback machine thing itself we have these were meetings with teh International Broadcasting Trust which is a lobbying organisation on behalf of MAJOR AID AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES which rather explains why most of the specialists there were from those rather than the 4 or so people from universities.

Guess what another set of complete FUD.

"Wayback machine"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967831)

What, exactly, does the Internet Archive have to do with all of this?

Crappy writing, DNR. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41967851)

This story is so appalingly written it is almost impossible to work out what it is about and how the title relates to the story.
For example: If you write "The document", you have to have already told the reader what "the document" is.

FFS.

Head of Comedy (3, Funny)

ribuck (943217) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967871)

I love how the list of attendees includes Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy.

Wayback Machine Relevance? (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41967933)

I love how the summary of the article doesn't tell me how the Wayback Machine is related to this at all, but it's mentioned in the title!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>