30 Jul 2007
Live with Johnny Ball climate skeptic.
I am momentarily distracted by Johnny Ball appearing on the television screen overlooking my own. He seems to be shouting at someone in a news programme debate. If anyone has the faintest idea what's happening there, please do email me - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even this would be more convincing than the theory of Johnny Ball, who for some reason has become one of their media spokemen, and who cornered me for half an hour, during which time he said with great conviction: "Do you know what causes more global warming than anything else? The methane from spiders."
This was a rather bizarre event. I mean what a discussion next of monetary policy with John Noakes or ID cards with Lesley Judd, I was brought up on a diet of BBC childrens tv in the 1970s! I think Sky News set it up so we could have an entertaining on screen row, I am not sure at the end of the day this is a good way of dealing with science, fun as it was for Johnny, myself and the viewers watching at 11.20 am on sunday. I am not a scientist and in essence Johnny Ball is a former childrens tv presenter. But I guess it is virtually impossible to find an actual scientist who will go on television and argue against the principle of climate change.
I find it quite difficult to pin down the climate sceptics but Johnny seems to be saying climate change is not occurring and even if it is we should tackle it by adaption. He seemed to be in the interview to deny the bed rock idea that CO2 traps sunlight and thus increases temperatures. He clearly states that natural sources of CO2 are more significant than human, this does not take into account the fact that human beings have mined fossil fuels and increased greenhouse gas from 280ppm to 380ppm over a century or so.
We are undertaking a giant experiment with the weather which looks like a very dangerous thing to do.
Johnny told me off screen about his 7 page ‘epistle’ to sky over climate change and how angry the issue makes him…
Johnny is an extremely pleasant person to meet but seems to have some bizarre views when it comes to climate change. He does seem to have a range of rather bizarre views full stop….the wiki oracle notes:
In July, 2004 he was named in the Radio Times list of the top 40 most eccentric TV presenters of all time.
Johnny is in favour of nuclear power and has given many talks and speeches arguing for the development of nuclear power.
Still many years since his career started, he visits schools throughout the country, to give educational talks. In recent talks he has courted controversy by his views on the BBC being run by homosexuals and that this is having a direct detrimental effect on science programming for children including his own lack of appearances and series. This has been compared to Patrick Moore's recent assertion that the BBC is run by women and this has led to the proliferation of mediocre programming.
In November 2006, Ball voiced his opposition to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, which would require any adult working with children to be vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau. In an interview with The Sunday Times, he said: "It is like George Orwell’s 1984... a quarter of adults will have to be checked... The fear we are instilling in [children] is abhorrent."
Mark Steel http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_m_z/mark_steel/article2753362.ece has written of one encounter with him and my friend Paul Frost heard him on local radio, see here greenmansoccasional.blogspot.com/2007/07/johnny-ball-talking-b.html.
Incidentally New Scientist is proving to be essential reading on climate change with lots of worrying stuff from Paul Hansen http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19526141.600-huge-sea-level-rises-are-coming--unless-we-act-now.html
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