A question well worth asking about the BBC’s “Planet Relief”

The BBC’s sponsorship of a global warming “consciousness raising” event is meeting some well-deserved resistance from inside the broadcaster, reports the Guardian.

The event, understood to have been 18 months in development, would see stars such as Ricky Gervais and Jonathan Ross take part in a “consciousness raising” event, provisionally titled Planet Relief, early next year.

But, speaking at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday, Newsnight’s editor, Peter Barron, and the BBC’s head of television news, Peter Horrocks, attacked the plan, which also seems to contradict the corporation’s guidelines. Asked whether the BBC should campaign on issues such as climate change, Mr Horrocks said: “I absolutely don’t think we should do that because it’s not impartial. It’s not our job to lead people and proselytise about it.” Mr Barron said: “It is absolutely not the BBC’s job to save the planet. I think there are a lot of people who think that, but it must be stopped.”

The BBC responded through a spokeswoman that, “This idea is still in development and the intention would be to debate the issue and in no way campaign on a single point of view.” Yet given the event’s crisis-laden name, its celebrity-centered format, and the politicized atmosphere around the topic, how likely is it for such a “debate” to be more than a vehicle for the alarmist agenda? (Thanks to Megan Mclaughlin for the Guardian link.)