Given the BBC’s newly exposed lack of impartiality on green matters it doesn’t really surprise me that they would put a positive spin on a poll about nuclear and renewable power.

The impartiality bit comes out in one of the newly released Climategate emails :

date: Wed Dec  8 08:25:30 2004
from: Phil Jones <p.jones@uea.xx.xx>
subject: RE: something on new online.
to: “Alex Kirby” <>

At 17:27 07/12/2004, you wrote:

Yes, glad you stopped this — I was sent it too, and decided to
spike it without more ado as pure stream-of-consciousness rubbish. I can
well understand your unhappiness at our running the other piece. But we
are constantly being savaged by the loonies for not giving them any
coverage at all, especially as you say with the COP in the offing, and
being the objective impartial (ho ho) BBC that we are, there is an
expectation in some quarters that we will every now and then let them
say something. I hope though that the weight of our coverage makes it
clear that we think they are talking through their hats.
—–Original Message—–

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit


The poll is in todays environment news and starts as follows under a fair and balanced (sarc) headline (emphasis mine ) :

Nuclear power ‘gets little public support worldwide’

There is little public appetite across the world for building new nuclear reactors, a poll for the BBC indicates.
In countries with nuclear programmes, people are significantly more opposed than they were in 2005, with only the UK and US bucking the trend.

Most believe that boosting efficiency and renewables can meet their needs.

Just 22% agreed that “nuclear power is relatively safe and an important source of electricity, and we should build more nuclear power plants”.

In contrast, 71% thought their country “could almost entirely replace coal and nuclear energy within 20 years by becoming highly energy-efficient and focusing on generating energy from the Sun and wind”.

Unfortunately after that opening, little is said of the green question apart from giving us the combined average scores from all countries :

Finding the relevant country details requires a maze like trawl around the polling companies website until you suddenly find this :

I don’t suppose that the UK being the second most sceptical country in the world regarding the viability of renewable power and efficiency drives was the result they were looking for which could go some way to explaining the lack of that graphic in the article and the use of a worldwide average to push the message that everyone loves green power.

There is a little more selective reporting on the question of whether existing plants should be shut down now. The article says :

Globally, 39% want to continue using existing reactors without building new ones, while 30% would like to shut everything down now.

And again, the helpful graphic is the worldwide averaged result.

Interestingly, the one they don’t show is the following which has the UK at the very bottom of the tree hugging league :

Quite a swing in support there in both the UK and US which supports the strong showing in the belief in the importance and safety of Nuclear in both countries :

At least the majority here haven’t yet bought into the mad Huhnes plans to cover the land in birdmincers at our expense even when aided and abetted by our beloved BBC. Though why we  still have to pay a licence fee for this bollocks is beyond me.


  1. microdave

    Of course the answers would be very different if the respondents had to live with electricity rationing on a daily basis. Because that’s what shutting down nuclear plants and relying on wind & solar will mean….

    Some of the less developed countries already do, but this would become an order of magnitude worse. In the developed world France would effectively cease to exist as the bulk of their electricity is generated by fission, and Germany’s answer will soon change, once they’ve had a couple of harsh winters.

    • Wasp

      microdave – and possibly sooner than we think – the large coal fired plants with the 2015 closure date also have a ceiling on total generated output. This was enough to last until 2015 with average demand but last winters freezing weather took up a good chunk of the remaining allowance so it’s quite lkely we will have shortfalls well before then. Thankfully I have a generator in the garage now and a wood fired stove too assuming they don’t ban those as well