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« More on Jo Abbess | Main | Hansen the hysterical »

Harrabin gotcha!

My favourite BBC environment correspondent, Roger Harrabin, seems to have been caught napping. A green activist called Jo Abbess wrote an email to Harrabin asking him to change an article he wrote to make it more acceptable to green opinion. Harrabin promptly wrote back to see if his changes were acceptable to her!

Abbess doesn't seem to be the sharpest tool in the box, because she promptly posted the correspondence up on a website.

The full correspondence is here. 

from Jo Abbess
to Roger Harrabin
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:12 AM
subject Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

Dear Roger,

Please can you correct your piece published today entitled "Global
temperatures 'to decrease'" :-

1. "A minority of scientists question whether this means global
warming has peaked"
This is incorrect. Several networks exist that question whether global
warming has peaked, but they contain very few actual scientists, and
the scientists that they do contain are not climate scientists so have
no expertise in this area.

2. "Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007"
You should not mislead people into thinking that the sum total of the
Earth system is going to be cooler in 2008 than 2007. For example, the
ocean systems of temperature do not change in yearly timescales, and
are massive heat sinks that have shown gradual and continual warming.
It is only near-surface air temperatures that will be affected by La
Nina, plus a bit of the lower atmosphere.

Thank you for applying your attention to all the facts and figures available,



from Roger Harrabin
to Jo Abbess ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:23 AM
subject RE: Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

Dear Jo

No correction is needed

If the secy-gen of the WMO tells me that global temperatures will
decrease, that's what we will report

There are scientists who question whether warming will continue as
projected by IPCC

Best wishes


from Jo Abbess
to Roger Harrabin ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:37 AM
subject Re: Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

Hi Roger,

I will forward your comments (unless you object) to some people who
may wish to add to your knowledge.

Would you be willing to publish information that expands on your
original position, and which would give a better, clearer picture of
what is going on ?

Personally, I think it is highly irresponsible to play into the hands
of the sceptics/skeptics who continually promote the idea that "global
warming finished in 1998", when that is so patently not true.

I have to spend a lot of my time countering their various myths and
non-arguments, saying, no, go look at the Hadley Centre data. Global
Warming is not over. There have been what look like troughs and
plateaus/x before. It didn't stop then. It's not stopping now.

It is true that people are debating Climate Sensitivity, how much
exactly the Earth will respond to radiative forcing, but nobody is
seriously refuting that increasing Greenhouse Gases cause increased
global temperatures.

I think it's counterproductive to even hint that the Earth is cooling
down again, when the sum total of the data tells you the opposite.

As time goes by, the infant science of climatology improves. The Earth
has never experienced the kind of chemical adjustment in the
atmosphere we see now, so it is hard to tell exactly what will happen
based on historical science.

However, the broad sweep is : added GHG means added warming.

Please do not do a disservice to your readership by leaving the door
open to doubt about that.



from Roger Harrabin
to Jo Abbess ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:57 AM
subject RE: Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

The article makes all these points quite clear

We can't ignore the fact that sceptics have jumped on the lack of
increase since 1998. It is appearing reguarly now in general media

Best to tackle this - and explain it, which is what we have done

Or people feel like debate is being censored which makes them v



from Jo Abbess
to Roger Harrabin ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 11:12 AM
subject Re: Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

Hi Roger,

When you are on the Tube in London, I expect that occasionally you
glance a headline as sometime turns the page, and you thinkg "Really
?" or "Wow !"

You don't read the whole article, you just get the headline.

A lot of people will read the first few paragraphs of what you say,
and not read the rest, and (a) Dismiss your writing as it seems you
have been manipulated by the sceptics or (b) Jump on it with glee and
e-mail their mates and say "See ! Global Warming has stopped !"

They only got the headline, which is why it is so utterly essentialy
to give the full picture, or as full as you can in the first few

The near-Earth surface temperatures may be cooler in 2008 that they
were in 2007, but there is no way that Global Warming has stopped, or
has even gone into reverse. The oceans have been warming consistently,
for example, and we're not seeing temperatures go into reverse, in
general, anywhere.

Your word "debate". This is not an issue of "debate". This is an issue
of emerging truth. I don't think you should worry about whether people
feel they are countering some kind of conspiracy, or suspicious that
the full extent of the truth is being withheld from them.

Every day more information is added to the stack showing the desperate
plight of the planet.

It would be better if you did not quote the sceptics. Their voice is
heard everywhere, on every channel. They are deliberately obstructing
the emergence of the truth.

I would ask : please reserve the main BBC Online channel for emerging truth.

Otherwise, I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently
educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically
manipulated. And that would make you an unreliable reporter.

I am about to send your comments to others for their contribution,
unless you request I do not. They are likely to want to post your
comments on forums/fora, so please indicate if you do not want this to
happen. You may appear in an unfavourable light because it could be
said that you have had your head turned by the sceptics.




from Roger Harrabin
to Jo Abbess ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 11:28 AM
subject RE: Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

Have a look in 10 minutes and tell me you are happier

We have changed headline and more


--Previous Message--
: "This would mean global temperatures have
: not risen since 1998, prompting some to
: question climate change theory".
: How one can make that statement in light of
: the graph shown here is beyond me 

Apparently it's something to do with the unique way it's funded that makes the BBC so special.

(Via Benny Peiser's CCNet)


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Reader Comments (15)

Jo Abbess - what a fascist bitch
Apr 7, 2008 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterIsaiah
Heh - looks like she eventually just bored him into submission. I'm no fan of Harrabin either, but you've got to have a little sympathy for him if his days consist of fielding reams of self-important garbage from the likes of Jo Abbess.
Apr 7, 2008 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterNovus
Fuck me, that is golden. Everyone should know about how the BBC were influenced to de-balance their article by one loon.
Apr 7, 2008 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterQuestionThat
Please tell me this is a belated April Fool! So let me get this straight, to get a story changed by the BBC reporter you call them a gullible idiot and threaten them with unfavourable comments in forums! Putin and Mugabe have to use torture and murder to control the press.
Apr 7, 2008 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterKit
Harrabin's readiness to cave-in presumably reflects the importance he attaches to his reputation in eco-warrior circles.

Fire and damnation are usually insufficient to persuade a BBC hack to change his deathless prose, so Harabin's willingness to comply with this harpy's demands shouldn't be treated too gently. He changed it beause he wanted to.
Apr 7, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterGCooper
I agree, although I've been surprised to see several people say they reckon he's one of the better BBC environment people. Can't see it myself.
Apr 7, 2008 at 9:36 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
One of many problems with group-think is that group members do not realise thay are suffering from group-think.

Jo Abbess does not want anyone - even herself - to get factual unbiased information. She does not want anyone to hear anything that might contradict the group psychosis.
Apr 7, 2008 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes
I entirely agree. Harrabin is a 'main offender'. I'm quite disturbed reading how many would let him off the hook on this one when, as far as I can see, he has been one of the major polemicists behind this popular delusion.
Apr 8, 2008 at 12:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterGCooper

Yes. If anyone ever updates "Popular delusions and the madness of crowds", AGW would be top of the list for inclusion.

Apr 8, 2008 at 8:24 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
energy independence is much more important than global warming. when the US is energy independent there will be no more oil wars and the terrorists will all be too to reach us. This will save lives AND energy. The global warming crowd can't claim this. They can claim that they will damage and perhaps destroy capitalism which is their true aim. I for one am not done using capitalism. So I want to keep it. True believers in global warm are free to starve and freeze to death next winter--their choice. Think of all the energy they will save! By the by, don't ever expect a Greenie to sacrifice anything in his own life to "show the green way." Global warming is about controlling you and emptying your wallet. When it becomes about something else one of the first things you will notice is that you will understand nothing that is said about global warming. That is because it will all be said in Mandarin Chinese. Only the Chinese can stop man made climate change. They are going through an industrial revolution that is sure to dwarf our own. Does this mean we should do nothing? Far from it. Let's study what Denmark, France, Brazil, and Australia have done on energy and do likewise. Let's drill wherever we have oil and put a new nuclear power plant in every state. Let's use all our coal and natural gas. We don't need foreign energy. The only people who say we can't get off foreign oil are greedy conservatives who are getting paid every time a new oil war starts.
Apr 9, 2008 at 12:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterpoetryman69
This is why I trust electronic media even less than print media. BBC has no ethics at all when it comes to this kind of thing as they showed when they took down the September 11 video where the reporter announced the collapse of WTC 7 twenty minutes before it happened. It's like, "what we say now is what has always been and it will never change." Until it does. If this isn't Orwellian I don't know what is. I know I sound like a conspiracy nut, but, yeah, I'm getting there! So if you see something provacative in a news story, print it out! Or get a screen shot or something. It may not be there later.
Apr 9, 2008 at 2:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterBela
The BBC and their milktoast reporter are worthless. I cant believe this hasnt evolved into a firestorm. Perhaps thats what the fascist ms abbess was addressing, the climate change from self indulgent media firestorms.
Apr 9, 2008 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris
Harrabin behaved dispicably for bowing to this 'pressure' from a green fascist. As a journalist he is meant to be above this kind of propaganda, but has shown what a pathetic wimp of a journalist - and a man - he really is.

This kind of propaganda has already been proven to be dangerous, and policies based on this pesudo-religion are causing food shortages and ever-inflating prices due to grain being grown for bio-fuels instead of as food.

The whole idea is to destabalise whole nations so they may be manipulated and controlled by the UN and its associate powers.

Very sinister. And nothing to do with climate. Everything to do with anti-capitalism and communism. Truth is suppressed (as evidenced above). These people are nothing less than parasites that aim to bring the free world to its knees.
Apr 15, 2008 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Cochrane
I don't know about whether he's a pathetic wimp. I think that, as an English Lit graduate (IIRC) he's a bit out of his depth in reporting climate change. I think Jo Abbess knew this - note her jibes about him being "insufficiently educated"- which is why he capitulated.
Apr 15, 2008 at 6:31 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Jo Abbess? Who is ths ignorant cretin and what the f$!K does she know anyway? Go live in a cave and bang rocks together if u want but dont expect me to follow you!!!
Apr 24, 2008 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave

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