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Paxman attacks BBC hypocrisy over green issues

 
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gfloyd



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:00 am    Post subject: Paxman attacks BBC hypocrisy over green issues Reply with quote

In an article for the BBC's in-house magazine, Ariel, Paxman launched a page-length broadside against the BBC's lack of offsetting policy, the shortage of office recycling bins and the corporation's tendency to keep lights and computer terminals running all night.

He also spoke of his reservations about the filming of Planet Earth. "The BBC's environmental correspondents, even the makers of series like Planet Earth, are trapped in a bizarre arrangement in which they travel the globe to tell the audience of the dangers of climate change while leaving a vapour trail which will make the problem even worse," he said.

"Maybe the BBC could even demonstrate its green credentials by planting an entire forest, and making a series about it?"

Filming for the series, which was first transmitted in March, involved visiting 62 countries and 204 different locations in four years.

Paxman went on to point out that while the BBC took a "high moral tone" against environmental damage, its methods left much to be desired. "The BBC believes people do not pay their licence fees to see them spent on offset arrangements. So correspondents ... pay from their own pockets to offset the costs of their flights.

"When I asked Yogesh Chauhan, the chief adviser for corporate responsibility, why, he replied, 'The biggest impact we can make is through our programmes'. The problem is, no one has yet worked out how to generate electricity by hand-wringing."

Paxman posed the question of whether it really made sense in terms of environmental cost to film productions such as the recent BBC1 drama Robin Hood in so-called "cheaper" locations such as Hungary.

He added "tens of millions" were being spent on the news centre at Television Centre "in which the air conditioning units have to be kept running even in the middle of January," adding "computer terminals and lights blaze away all night."

Such was the waste that the BBC's electricity bill had doubled in the past three years from almost 6.5m to 13m, he claimed.

Paxman branded the corporation's recycling policy "laughable", with a lack of bins for recycling glass, plastic and tin. He also alleged he had seen bags from green bins for paper collection "tossed into general skips on more than one occasion".

He suggested a corporation-wide policy was "urgently needed" with steps including "a commitment to reduce overall carbon emissions by at least 3 per cent each year for the next 10. No new building to be commissioned without meeting the most stringent energy standards. All BBC vehicles to be "green", staff to be encouraged to minimise air travel, and the carbon cost of all unavoidable journeys to be offset".

In response, the BBC said that while Paxman had raised some valid points, the corporation was committed to a comprehensive environmental policy to "minimise energy consumption, reduce harmful emissions, reuse, recover and reduce waste; use environmentally friendly transport and develop a corporate culture that takes green responsibilities seriously and look at ways to improve what we do - and how we do it".

On carbon offsetting, the corporation said: "If the BBC is to cover events in, and make programmes about, the rest of the world then some level of overseas travel is inevitable." But it added it will be reviewing possibilities of offsetting.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with him, Paxo is never backward in coming forward is he. Laughing
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Cherskiy



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the BBC was serious about green issues, it would stop broadcasting pointless interviews with its reporters outside *10 Downing Street/*The Home Office/*various local Police HQs (*delete where necessary) when THERE'S NOTHING HAPPENING! Just send them there when the story actually breaks, rather than have them reporting "er, well, there's nothing happening at the moment" when it's, er, 6 in the morning and we're not surprised! Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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gfloyd



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It just shows how much waste is still in the BBC if they leave the lights on all night. It is extremely easy (and standard practice) to fit motion sensors on lights in large open plan areas to prevent this type of waste.
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