Saturday 31 August 2013

Generating hot air

Bacon on a bike

BBC Radio 5 Live proudly announces:
A day of output dedicated to the energy debate with a studio powered by renewable energy.
The BBC Media Centre provides all the details of the day here.

The Daily Telegraph's Damian Thompson is not impressed:
If you’re a fan of BBC Radio 5 Live, you should steer clear of it on September 5. Unless you’re a raging eco-bore, in which case you’re in for a treat. To mark Energy Day, whatever that is, “Richard Bacon will be powered by the pedal as exercise bikes are set up for guests and Richard himself to 'hop-on’.” Ed Davey and Caroline Flint will debate global warming (no sceptics allowed!). A “human hamster wheel” will generate kinetic energy. Plus loads of other fatuous green stunts. The Beeb is inviting the public to turn up and watch. No thanks: it would make me feel like an 18th-century visitor to Bedlam, whiling away a Sunday afternoon by gawping at the loonies.
That said, the first Radio 5 link above features two videos - one about nuclear power, one about wind energy. Both provide us with voices for and against. 

So if the channel gives pro-nuclear and pro-fracking voices as fair a hearing as anti-nuclear and anti-fracking voices, and gives wind energy sceptics as fair a hearing as wind energy proponents maybe it won't be quite as excruciating as Damian makes it sound. 

That said (again), the tilt does seem to be towards renewables, with the station planning to generate energy for twelve hours of radio from wind, solar, biofuel, cycling and hydropower. 

BBC Radio 5 Live will have to be very careful about being seen to endorse such technologies at the expense of others and must not give the impression of siding with environmentalist campaigners.

What will be the balance between environmental activists/pro-green politicians and their critics? Will any man-made global warming sceptics invited into the BBC studios? 

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