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The amazing disappearing Roger Harrabin!

I've written a couple of posts on the subject of BBC environment correspondent Roger Harrabin's work with something called the Cambridge Environment and Media Programme, which appears to be a body which tries to ensure that the BBC adheres to green orthodoxy in all its output.

CEMP originally came to my attention when one of Harrabin's emails was leaked, revealing that he was spending time trying to come up with a party line to take about Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth being found to be misleading in a court case. The BBC's website at the time had a profile of Harrabin, which revealed that he was a CEMP director, and that CEMP itself was "supported" by the BBC. I assume that this means financially supported, although other interpretations are possible.

Then at the start of this year, I noticed that Harrabin and CEMP had been involved in trying to put together the Planet Relief telethon, together with a marauding horde of greens and BBC bigwigs. This was revealed by the blog of one of the environmentalists, Matt Prescott, who thanked Harrabin and his CEMP colleague Joe Smith of the Open University for introducing him to some of the BBC bosses at a CEMP-organised seminar.

CEMP has now come to my attention again, as Tony N at Harmless Sky has been taking a look at their activity too. He notes that the BBC profile of Harrabin is no longer online. On a hunch, I took a look at the Matt Prescott article too, and found that it no longer mentioned Harrabin either - only Joe Smith.

This seemed like just too much of a coincidence to me. I could have been mistaken on one of them, but not both. Fortunately, through the delights of the Wayback Machine, I was able to retreive the original pages.

Here's the BBC profile of Harrabin, from which the pertinent quote is

He co-directs the Cambridge Environment and Media Programme, which is supported by BBC News to bring together senior journalists with outside experts to discuss media coverage of long-term sustainable development issues.
And here's the Matt Prescott piece. It originally said

Joe Smith (Open University) and Roger Harrabin (BBC News) originally introduced me to Jon, in Cambridge, and also played a crucial role in helping to get things off the ground a couple of years ago.

It now reads:

Joe Smith (Open University) originally introduced me to Jon, in Cambridge, and also played a crucial role in helping to get things off the ground a couple of years ago.

Something to hide, gentlemen?

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Reader Comments (10)

The dirty [snip]. They will be crawling with embarassment when this modern-day phlogiston theory runs out of steam.

Bishop Hill says: Mind your language please
Sep 30, 2008 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Weetabix
No they won't. Because they're not only dirty [snip], they're slippery bastards too. They'll spin it.

"New research" will show that CO2 "may not be as dangerous to climate as is currently thought". They'll never admit they were wrong, or that the sceptics had a point, though. The line will hold firm: they are scientists and therefore the custodians of all knowledge; anyone who was sceptical or researched other theories of global warming before this new, thoroughly scientific, information became available to them was merely indulging in speculation. (Yes, of course there are dissenting scientists - but they aren't "respectable", y'see.)

Just watch.

Bishop Hill says: Mind your language please
Sep 30, 2008 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSam Duncan
Pour Roger, swept away by global warming? Suffocated from too much CO2?
Sep 30, 2008 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered Commentervivendi
Anyone have an idea as to why he, like the evil MWP, was expunged from the record?
Sep 30, 2008 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterjnicklin

I think that CEMP is up to no good, and Harrabin doesn't want any light shone on its activities.
Sep 30, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
I had to smile when I looked at the E-Day link. "Matt would like to thank everyone who has helped Energy Saving Day (E-Day) to happen." The fact was that on E-Day nothing happened; it was a non-event. The nation had more important concerns, i.e. working for a living, going about their daily tasks, staying warm.
Sep 30, 2008 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull
In an exciting new innovation (just visit realclimate comments if you don't believe this) it's no longer the MWP - that is an "outmoded concept". It is the MCA - the "Mediaeval Climate Anomaly", a strange phenomenon, confined to northern europe.

My apologies for intemperate language, Bish. But these dirty b******* do wind one up.
Sep 30, 2008 at 11:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Weetabix
Deary, deary, me. What has become of poor, poor, Roger H? Has the BBC decided that he should stick to reporting all the facts about Global Warming.
You just wait, I've seen it already creeping into the language of debate, Climate Change?, that old thing, no, no, no, what we actually said was, although I've mysteriously lost the records, is that it is "Climate Chaos" that's being caused by CO2! Now that's a real catch-all term.
Oct 1, 2008 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit
TonyB (not to be confused with TonyN) has added a couple of interesting comments here:
Oct 1, 2008 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTonyN
I like the term MCA for Medieval Climate Anomaly and the fact that it is a purely European Phenomenon. Suddenly Climate Chaos makes total Sense. If a japanese Papilio can mathematically overwhelm the levees of New Orleans then surely the 800 or so years lag from when St Gor(g)e slew the last of the Dragons to the moment when English Wine became plentiful reinforces the views of the IPCC.
For me now, the debate is over-the science is settled-the North-West passage is clear. Yes, I was dubious about the continual revisiting of NASA data, I even doubted the Mann-made, jolley Hockey-stick evidence and to my eternal shame and, doubtless, damnation even made uncomplimentary remarks about St Gor(g)e himself!!
From now on, I shall devote my life, my undivided efforts and my prayers into the fight against the unnatural oxidation of carbon!
Gore'd bless you all friends
Oct 6, 2008 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterOldManRivers

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