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« Phil Jones in the Sundays | Main | The Inquiry Team »
Saturday
Feb132010

Ouch

Hans von Storch's comment, the first one in this thread about Phil Jones interview with Roger Harrabin, makes me wince rather.

Same as always - can we rely on Harrabin' report that the various quotes of Phil Jones are correct? I [once had dealings with Harrabin], and he had a somewhat liberal attitude in this respect, I remember. Any chance to verify independently the quotes?

Update: I've tweaked the language in the bracket slightly - see the comments for details.

 

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Reader Comments (16)

The answers and questions read like an interview done by email. The answers are likely the interviewee's words verbatim.

Feb 13, 2010 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterFTM

I'm sure that's right FTM. My point was rather von Storch's disdain for Harrabin.

Feb 13, 2010 at 7:39 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Dear Bishop,

Prof v.Storch 'once had some dealings with Harrabin' would be a better interpretation.

Look at the original comment on his blog, where he wrote: 'I had once with Harrabin to do'.
Its a very common mistake committed by native German speakers when translating literally into English.

That apart - he obviously knows that neither interviewer nor interviewee are exactly trustworthy.

[BH adds: thanks Viv - updated accordingly]

Feb 13, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

We nominate von Storch to succeed Rajendra Pachauri as Frog Prince of the benighted IPCC.

Feb 13, 2010 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Blake

The bigger the media, the bigger the possibility of misquotation and miscasting opinion. The big media is driven more by fixing a narrative than traditional reportage. Of interest again lately is the David Kelly suicide. His remarks about the "45 minute" phrase were surrounded with rhetorical verbiage by the BBC wordsmith to pretend Kelly meant something much broader. I found it humorous recently when the the fact that the BBC internal review of the Kelly incident was refused release, this was interpreted by some as a showing of Tony Blair's power. A favor to Blair. These people are surreal. The report could only help Blair by emphasizing Kelly believed in Iraqi WMDs and that the BBC reporter contributed to Kelly's emotional decline. Same as the Balen Report, the BBC fought against release because what else could it be but damning?

Feb 13, 2010 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterFTM

Actually Hans von Storch might be a decent successor to Rajendra Pachauri. The fact that he believes in the evidence for AGW may not sit well with some readers here, but he has shown integrity ( in resigning from an editorial board when politics got involved) and has been willing to stick his neck out and make strong statements about the politics of the IPPC while the CAGW group was trying hard to put pressure on dissidents. I like his statement that "Politicians should stop trying to pretend they are scientists and scientists should stop trying to be politicians" (- I may have paraphrased a bit).
With regards to his mistrust of the media: I don't know Mr Harrabin at all and he may be a very well informed and competent interviewer. But my own very limited experience with media interviewers is that they never seem interested in or understanding of the nuances of the issues, but rather are looking for black and white and preferably juicy statements.

Feb 13, 2010 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterH Hak

I don't trust the BBC's Environment Correspondents, they are too compromised; they have NOT reported this issue over the years, they have been been propagandists, channeling WWF and Greenpeace press releases onto the airwaves, passing on the most outlandish claims as "fact" and ignoring completely the dissent, resignations, rows and well-documented manipulations and machinations of that political - not scientific - contruct, the IPCC. They have also ridiculed and dismissed concerns raised by BBC editorial staff about the corporations unforgiveable bias on what is patently one of the most contentious issues in science, asserting over and over again that there is a consensus, and the science is settled, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Feb 13, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered Commentercool dude

cool dude`s right.
The bbc see themselves as`opinion formers` as much as programme makers and journalists.

Feb 14, 2010 at 4:42 AM | Unregistered Commenter`ob nob

Roger Harrabin- in spite of the possible pressure from the BBC thought police - seems to be absolutely straight and open-minded to me. (He has referred to the excellent Prof Bob Carter, adjunct research Professor at Queensland's James Cook University and the University of Adelaide, as "a good man, and one of several sceptics in Oz and USA with impeccable credentials")
The exchange certainly looks like written questions and written answers which may make some answers sound a bit stilted. But like others, I find Phil Jones' replies sound genuine - and depressed. I think we probably can rely on their being correct.

Feb 14, 2010 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterE Magson

Wasn't Harrabin the creature recently taken to task by Dr Richard North during this interview

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00qn41s

Scroll to eleven minutes in for the relevant start point.

Feb 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJabba the Cat

"I had once with Harrabin to do"

This seems to be a translation of the German: Ich hab mal was mit Harrabin zu tun gehabt".
Now, my German is not excellent. But I can hear how a German would say that.
To me, I'd translate that as follows:

I once had something to do (an encounter or an experience) with Harrabin.

So, I agree with Bishop here. Von Storch doesn't trust Harrabin.

Feb 14, 2010 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterP Gosselin

"dealings" is a wrong interpretation. It implies multiple contacts and a broader relationship.
"I had once with Harrabin to do" means he ONCE had to deal with him. No matter, von Storch is saying he knows from experience that Harrabin could play it loose, and thus what he writes has to be checked out.

So, you can't trust the Beeb.

Feb 14, 2010 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterP Gosselin

During the 1990s Roger Harrabin and family lived right next to some of my closest friends, just south of Hampstead Heath, five minutes walk away from where my own family then lived. I met Roger a number of times, in the days before he became Mr Environment for the Beeb (at least as far as I recall). The most amusing time was one General Election night when he was sent out at the last moment to interview some voters and was incongruous in his shorts at the Gospel Oak polling station. I've got to admit it, I like the guy. A lot.

Which has made the experience of recent years an interesting one. Somebody on an earlier thread suggested the Prodigal Son as a model for how we should treat Roger. Others were inclined to take a harder line. My advice is that a blog isn't really the place for either. Virtual fatted calves really don't cut the mustard for me - as for running out and embracing someone's avatar, give me a break. To keep the biblical allusions going, there is going to be much wailing and gnashing of teeth as the AGW scare story is shown to be almost completely without foundation - without even 'precautionary principle' foundation I mean. The chips will fall where they may. Perhaps Harrabin is one of many that should lose his job as a result. Somehow though I dislike trial by blogosphere. We should expose everything we can, then pray that some truly repentant hearts rise to the top. And then, yes, dose of Churchillian magnanimity would be in order. But only, as the man said, after victory.

In that regard I found Phil Willis' instant email response over 'climate deniers' one of the most encouraging things in the past few weeks. There needs to be real contrition shown on that terrible misuse of our great language of freedom. Are you listening, Dr 'sudden voice of reason' Hulme?

Oh, and Bishop Hill, you are doing a splendid job, thank you.

Feb 14, 2010 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

P Gosselin:

that's exactly what Von Storch's sentence means and his phrasing emphasises the fact that it happened once only.

(and truly your German must be better than you think because this is a very colloquial expression.)

Feb 14, 2010 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterMae Schroeder

They'll negotiate away the bits they know nobody can tolerate -- Pachauri, probably Jones, a hockey stick here, a glacier there, Geoffrey Lean perhaps.

But they'll do that only in order to shore up their central position, that AGW must be addressed now or we all perish by flood, drought, a plague of locusts and frogs and whatever else is in the warmist Bible.

Feb 15, 2010 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

On the subject of German, does anybody have knowledge of how the debate is going over there and in France? It's so easy to monitor events in the English speaking world that we don't hear their perspective very much. I recall telling German colleaugeus about our preparations for the Great Swine Flu Plague in 1994 - body bags and training of troops to take over essential services when we lost a quarter of the poulation; I got some funny looks because they were much more sanguine at that time.

Feb 15, 2010 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

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