Sunday, 7 February 2010
PAINTING IN GREEN AND RED
The BBC's left-liberal filter is generally found firmly in place on such programmes as From Our Own Correspondent and Crossing Continents, but also on the BBC News website. Here's an example. The BBC's James Painter reports from Costa Rica in a website article called Costa Rica - green and happy? Why Costa Rica scores well on the happiness index.
Mr Painter is enthusiastic about Costa Rica, which sounds a little like paradise on earth. Part of its appeal to him is its commitment to the Climate Change agenda (to which he himself is highly committed: "It was also the first developing country to state its aim of being carbon neutral (by 2021)." There's more though: "And then there's Costa Rica's reputation for being one of the happiest and greenest countries in the world. It regularly appears top - or near the top - of international surveys. It is usually the only developing country to do so." The international survey referred to in the article is the Happy Planet Index compiled by the left-wing, green New Economics Foundation (NEF) think tank and is calculated by combining "three key variables - what people say about their life satisfaction, their longevity and their ecological footprint." (You can read their unlikely list of happy and unhappy countries at http://www.happyplanetindex.org/).
We hear from Ricardo Ulate, a climate change advisor to the country's social democrat government; that government's ambassador to the UK Pilar Saborio; Bishop Melvin Jimenez, a multinational-bashing eco-priest; and Juan Francisco Montealegre, who owns a construction company. All plug the green agenda at great length. Only at the end of the article are other factors considered: "Analysts say that Costa Ricans' apparent happiness could be down to a whole series of factors in addition to greenness: strong social networks of friends, families and neighbours; ubiquitous social and education programmes; and tolerance of social divisions and different opinions."
James Painter's other BBC News website articles also strongly push this red-green agenda, with a similar homogeneity of opinions offered, from melting glaciers and sustainability in Bolivia http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8172981.stm to the damage climate change could inflict on Chile's wine-growing regions http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8058080.stm, as well as plenty of outright environmental advocacy, as in this piece on REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8399882.stm
Journalisted provides a handy index of Painter's latest articles: