Ben Heard, an Australian campaigner for nuclear energy, has been describing how he is hounded by environmental organisations, in particular Friends of the Earth, because of his views.
I have been called a racist,’ he says. ‘I have been called corrupt. I am constantly called a lobbyist, which I am not . . . I receive thinly veiled death threats.’
Whenever he is invited to speak on the airwaves, the immediate response is a series of attempts to prevent him appearing: ‘Before pretty much every second public appearance he agrees to, the organisers express second thoughts after lobbying by Friends of the Earth or others.’
Heard is a fairly mainstream environmentalist; indeed, he has a Master’s degree in sustainability to his name and is fully signed up to the (alleged) climate emergency. He just thinks that part of the response is nuclear energy.
Of course if you are not fully signed up to the climate emergency – if you think, for example, that the Earth is doing rather well, that the atmosphere is warming more slowly than scientists feared, that crop yields are breaking records every year, that the planet is greening, that polar bears numbers are shooting up, Heard’s problem – a demand for a ban before every second appearance – is just a distant dream. If you believe any of these (entirely true) things about the environment, then the phone call to the producers will happen every time you are in danger of appearing on air.
It’s particularly bad on the BBC. The bigwigs at the corporation accept the existence of a climate emergency, and have introduced a policy that no scientist should ever be challenged on the subject, and that those who do not agree should not appear on air unless faced by an environmentalist (the wilder the better, or so it seems). On the ground, this gives journalists trying to make interesting programmes a bit of a problem, since the Greens have an effective veto: by refusing to appear opposite a sceptic, they can prevent the coverage going ahead at all. After several years of struggling with this kind of thing, journalists seem mostly to have given up and now almost always allows environmentalists to appear unopposed and unchallenged.
That those running the BBC are in bed with environmentalists is not news. But it seems that the tentacles of the Green blob may now extend even further – worryingly so.
Another Australian, the science writer Jo Nova, has been describing how she was invited to speak at the Christmas function of an obscure technical club for petrophysicists, the Formation Evaluation Society of Australia. A few months later, her invitation was withdrawn after the society’s committee meeting was hijacked by an outsider from the major liquefied natural gas (LNG) firm, Woodside, who threatened to withdraw all support for the society’s work if Nova was allowed to appear.