If you asked most people about the BBC, few people would describe it as a hotbed of scepticism about global warming. But the coverage that the BBC gives to those who have doubts about the orthodoxy on the subject is too much for Barker. He, as the Press Association reports, told the Science and Technology Committee, ‘In the case of the BBC they have a very clear statutory responsibility. It’s in the original charter to inform. I think we need the BBC to look very hard, particularly at whether or not they are getting the balance right. I don’t think they are.’
Barker did say, ‘I’m not trying to ban all dissenting voices but we are doing the public a disservice by treating them as equal, which is not the case.’ But it is rather alarming when a minister is putting this kind of pressure on the BBC.
What makes Barker’s stance all the odder is that in the same session he admitted that he sometimes struggled to grasp the complex scientific briefings that he receives on the subject.