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BBC Confirms: Fake African Penguin Climate Claim ‘Was Misleading’

Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know THat

‘BBC News agree that the introduction to the report was materially misleading’


You may recall the BBC’s news story a couple of months ago, claiming that African penguin populations were declining because of climate change. I covered the report here.

This was the exact wording used by the BBC presenter:

The next report is about the African penguin population and how it’s rapidly declining. Conservationists are saying their habitat is being hit by rising tides caused by climate change.

And it’s interesting that since that report by the UN last week on climate change, so many different organisations have been coming forward to emphasise the importance it has on their work.

The report from South Africa, which then followed, made no mention of climate change at all, but instead laid the blame fairly and squarely on overfishing.

Me being me of course, I promptly lodged a complaint with the BBC. Rather than just accepting they were wrong, the BBC Complaints Dept responded with this ridiculous letter:

Thank you for getting back in touch with us and for your further feedback regarding the BBC News Channel programme ‘Outside Source’.

We have discussed your concerns with the programme team. There are a number of factors influencing the decline of these penguins but researchers are clear that climate change is one of them. Climate change has affected fish stocks, and increased severe weather incidences have depleted penguin chick numbers.

Please see the links below for further information on this:

*(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites).

This is standard procedure at the BBC – send a reply that fails to answer the complaint, and hope that the complainer will get bored and give up.

But they ought to know me better by now!

You may have spotted that neither of the references provided dealt with the issue at hand, ie rising tides. So I resubmitted the complaint to the BBC Executive Complaints Unit, who upheld my complaint, responding:



And here is the entry in the Correction and Clarifications Log:


This is not an isolated instance of false claims being made about climate change by the BBC. They now seem to be making a habit of it.

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