A climate pundit favoured by TalkTV has previously accused the United Nations and green campaigners of using the “methods of the Nazis” to impose a “Marxist dystopia”.
Brian Catt, a business consultant with a bachelor’s degree in physics, appeared at least three times this month on the Rupert Murdoch-owned channel, where he was described as an expert on climate science.
Catt wrote a blog in 2020 claiming that there is a plot led by the UN to “impose regressive climate policies based on the provable deceit of man-made climate change”.
The blog – which is linked to in his Twitter biography – claims that the international body and environmental activists are using “the well-tried methods of the Nazis to deceive and control global populations”.
Catt is also working with a climate science denial group pushing for the UK to restart fracking and scrap green policies.
Climate science deniers have seized on the energy crisis fuelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to attack the UK’s net zero target, with several opponents of climate action tipped to join the cabinet of Boris Johnson’s likely successor, Liz Truss.
Catt has also appeared as a guest on GB News, TalkTV’s main rival, twice recently, where he expressed similar climate science denial. The channel has been criticised for promoting baseless claims about climate science and opposition to green policies since its launch last year.
“The GB News and TalkTV business model is centred around platforming controversial views for attention and clicks”, said Sean Buchan, researcher and partnerships manager at Stop Funding Heat, which campaigns for advertisers to shun media outlets that promote climate misinformation.
“Fortunately big brands are now increasingly distancing themselves from the climate denial pushed by the likes of these channels through spokespeople like Brian Catt,” he added.
Climate Change ‘Almost Totally Normal’
Catt, who calls himself a “B2B Business Developer”, switched from studying physics to business in the 1970s and has worked mainly in technology and marketing, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has also taught basic physics as a “science ambassador” for an education charity called Satro.
He was introduced on TalkTV as a “physicist and engineer” and used the platform to reject the extensive scientific evidence of human-caused climate change, claiming that the planet is in fact cooling and “what is happening now is almost totally normal”.
Catt appeared as the only guest on shows hosted by presenters James Whale and Reclaim Party leader Richard Tice, who is running a campaign for a Brexit-style referendum on net zero with GB News host Nigel Farage.
This week, Catt signed the “World Climate Declaration” – an open letter denying basic climate science organised by the Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL), a lobby group backed by fossil fuel interests.
In September 2020, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), a professional body for engineers, cancelled an online event with Catt after members complained about his climate science denial.
In the 2020 article, published on his blog “Be Deconfused”, Catt attacked “Agenda 21”, a non-binding sustainability plan adopted by the UN at the 1992 Earth Summit held in Brazil, which has been targeted by conspiracy theorists. He referenced Maurice Strong, a Canadian environmentalist who was also attacked by conspiracists, and who died in 2015.
Catt wrote: “XR [Extinction Rebellion], Greenpeace, [Greta] Thunberg, [Maurice] Strong, and the UN through exploiting shallow, greedy and controlling national governments and politicians, who value power and money far above delivering the best result for their populations, are all using the well tried methods of the Nazis to deceive and control global populations, with a clear plan to reverse human progress to some Marxist dystopia of uniform suffering of the masses they control.”
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading body on the subject made up of thousands of scientists from around the world, is a common target of climate science deniers and fossil fuel lobbyists.
Catt also used his TalkTV platform to attack the UN, referring to “climate myths invented by the UN” and to “all the things that were made up to support climate change by the UN in the first place”.
TalkTV and Climate Denial
Rupert Murdoch, whose News UK owns and runs TalkTV, has rejected criticism in recent years that his media empire promotes climate science denial, saying in 2020: “We do not deny climate change, we’re not deniers.”
In the interviews, TalkTV hosts encouraged Catt to express his contrarian views and said they were playing devil’s advocate when presenting him with mainstream climate science. James Whale, addressing his viewers, said of human-caused climate change, “I don’t believe in it. I tell you that all the time”, and of Catt, “he agrees with me, that’s why I have him on”.
Catt is also working with CAR26, a climate science denial group whose director Lois Perry, another GB News and TalkTV regular, has called net zero policies “anti-human, communist and insane”.
In July, Perry tweeted that she and Catt had “joined forces”, with Catt providing a quote to support her pro-fracking campaign. Catt also appeared on a CAR26 panel in March alongside GB News presenter Darren Grimes, who regularly attacks net zero policies. CAR26 hosts videos of Catt’s media appearances on its YouTube channel.
GB News Oil Links
Unlike News UK, which has rejected the charge of climate science denial, GB News has defended broadcasting contrarian views on climate change. In June, GB News CEO Angelos Frangopoulos said in a BBC interview: “When it comes to climate change, there is contention, and we do have multiple sides of the climate debate.”
Last week, GB News investor Warner Bros Discovery was bought out by the channel’s other main investor, Legatum Group, a Dubai-based investment firm, and Brexit-backing hedge fund manager Sir Paul Marshall.
In May, DeSmog revealed that Alan McCormick, the firm’s co-founder and recently appointed chairman of GB News’s parent company All Perspectives Ltd, has a history of sharing climate misinformation online.
Legatum Group’s charitable arm, Legatum Institute Foundation (LIF), has received multiple donations from the Charles Koch Foundation, the charitable arm of US fossil fuel giant Koch Industries, a major supporter of think-tanks, lobbyists and politicians opposing climate action in the United States.
Brian Catt, TalkTV, GB News and CAR26 did not respond when contacted for comment.