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George Monbiot: scrubbing the record clean

This is a guest post by Julian Williams and Shub Niggurath


Last November things began to go seriously wrong for the IPCC version of science.  Things started after a leading Indian glaciologist called VK Raina publicly pointed out that he disagreed with the IPCC conclusion that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away within 30 years.  Raina said studies showed that at the present rate of melting, the glaciers would take hundreds of years to do so.   The Indian public had previously been told that the waters from the Himalayas would dry up within their lifetimes, so this good news was published on the front pages of the Indian newspapers.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, using his title as the chairman of IPCC, reacted strongly against the good news and told the press there were no errors in the conclusions of the IPCC AR4 report.  He told the press that VK Raina's conclusions were based on “voodoo science”, and that his opinions were not worth listening to. Questions were raised by observers, who couldn’t help noticing the strong reactions from the IPCC chairman, at the cost of addressing the errors themselves.

Pachauri’s crude attempts did not work and within days VK Raina found himself being interviewed by the Indian media alongside a very political Englishman who was not a glaciologist.   Whether Raina appreciated Dr Richard North’s intervention I do not know, but certainly North had a different style about how to confront the smearing of Raina’s reputation by the chairman of the IPCC.

By that time, the error had been tracked back to a glaciologist called Syed Hasnain.  Through a simple error, a rumour had developed that the glaciers would be gone within 40 years and the IPCC had published this story as part of its conclusions. Hasnain admitted to the press that there was an error in the IPCC report.

Eventually Pachauri had to acknowledge the IPCC’s error but the record in the assessment report (AR4) was never corrected, and remains incorrect to date.

One under-reported aspect of this scandal was the fact that Pachauri had a charity called TERI, which was poised to benefit from millions of euros and hundreds of thousands of dollars set aside to study the melting of the Himalayan glaciers. It turned out that TERI had used the IPCC’s very prediction of glacier doom in asking for funds. It also turned out that Hasnain was at work at TERI studying Himalayan glacier melt. It also turned out that Hasnain already knew about about the exaggerations in the IPCC report. The Sunday Telegraph became the venue where Richard North, who had uncovered major portions of this story, published these stories. Perhaps, as a result of this exposure, the Carnegie Corporation of New York decided to release no further funds to TERI.

On his blog, North asked obvious questions about the conflict of interest of one person being responsible for overseeing the writing of IPCC reports without error and running a charity which received money to study the conclusions of the IPCC reports. Was he tardy in responding because TERI’s glaciology team studied the same problem of catastrophic melt and therefore he assumed the problem to be genuine? North also raised questions about the accounts of TERI-Europe which is a charity run by Dr Pachauri from a suburban house in South London.

For the IPCC, there was more to come. Another claim that failed the test was that peer-reviewed scientific research had concluded that a small change in rainfall would decimate the Amazon tropical rainforests.  North revealed this claim was gleaned from unsubstantiated gray literature put out by green advocacy groups.  The scandal, which was published in the Sunday Times, became known as Amazongate.

By then of course, the public trust in climate science had taken a further severe knock after the leaking of the CRU Climategate emails.  These emails showed how an inner circle of climate scientists had tampered with the proxy temperature records to “hide the decline”, hidden their raw data from other scientists and statisticians and perverted the conventions of peer review.

The Monbiot counter-attack

Following Climategate, Glaciergate, Amazongate and North’s articles about Pachauri, Monbiot was finding it harder to sell his messianic scare stories and views to a sceptical public.  The two crutches on which he had always relied to convince his fans — the conclusions of IPCC reports and peer-reviewed papers written by climate scientists — no longer worked like they had in the past.

Certainly, someone had to be blamed.

Monbiot saw an opportunity to strike at North after the Sunday Times withdrew the Amazongate story.  He saw the retraction as a green light, writing two successive pieces at the Guardian, accusing North of “peddling inaccuracy, misrepresentation and falsehood” in the first. North only showed that things were worse — the IPCC statement had been harvested from a defunct Brazilian website. North considered Monbiot’s accusations to be libelous and lawyers were called in to sort out the mess.  Monbiot had to admit he had unfairly attacked North and give him space on his column for a reply.  (Dr North’s complaints about Monbiot are still awaiting adjudication by the Press Commission).

The next opportunity arose for Monbiot when the Sunday Telegraph retracted its article and apologised for suggesting that Pachauri was corrupt. The retraction occurred after Pachauri undertook libel action against the paper. In the piece, Booker and North questioned the IPCC boss who donned several hats, working on the boards of several corporations that benefitted from business action against climate change.

Monbiot repeated the same strategy writing two more articles attacking North for “smearing” the reputation of Dr Pachauri. Perhaps he had not paused to notice, as with Amazongate, that the retracted Telegraph article neither referred to Pachauri’s conflicts of interest nor questions raised about TERI-Europe’s accounts.

Nevertheless for Monbiot, just as a newspaper retraction vindicated the IPCC earlier, another newspaper retraction, under threat of libel action seemed to absolve the IPCC chairman of all lapses. The caveat-laced, ‘limited review’ of Pachauri’s personal accounts in India, by a private corporation KPMG, which relied on information provided by him, seemed enough for Monbiot.

The second of the two articles defending Pachauri was titled: “Press continue to hound Rajendra Pachauri despite his innocence”. Members of the public were quick to use the comments forum on Monbiot’s blog to challenge his portrayal of Pachauri as a man who had been smeared by Dr North. Addressing one commenter, Monbiot wrote in his own comments section:

More than just smears

I responded with an open letter to George Monbiot asking him to explain his position more clearly. I wanted to know why Pachauri thought VK Raina’s report was “voodoo science”. Was he simply ignorant that the 2035 date in the AR4 report was incorrect and none of his team of experts in glaciology had alerted him to the error? Was not TERI using public funding from the EU, to study the same claim? Wasn’t Monbiot bothered by this? Why did he persist in giving Pachauri the benefit of the doubt? The letter was removed soon after I posted it.

Further comments were being deleted as well; but I was not willing to give up. I repeatedly asked for Monbiot to comment on why Pachauri made his “voodoo science” smear. I asked whether it was unreasonable to inquire if it had anything to do with TERI being funded to study the very "2035" glacier melting claim.

Monbiot never responded. As before however, there was more to come.

The UK Charity Commission made available TERI-Europe’s published and revised accounts.  I presented them to Monbiot.


Income as submitted before inquiries

Corrected figures submitted after inquiries













Ritu Kumar, TERI’s director at London was compelled to revise their accounts, following the Telegraph’s inquiries into its dealings. The differences were astounding.  What the new accounts showed was that, for three years running (the period shown above), TERI-Europe had grossly under-declared the income of the charity. It did not have any known subsidiaries. This was the same period TERI-Europe obtained DEFRA public funds, just for the IPCC synthesis report alone, an amount almost twice what it declared on the books.

In the period shown, only 15% of their income had been put through the charity’s accounts and 85% of TERI-Europe’s income had simply not been included in their declared income. Their complete accounts have not been submitted to date.

TERI-Europe Income reported to the Charity Commission UK

Monbiot asked visitors to his Guardian thread to come up with evidence of Dr Pachauri’s unreliable bookkeeping.  He must have thought this impossible. The one account unable to be veiled from public scrutiny was Pachauri’s TERI-Europe’s and that had 85% of income missing from the books until prodded. I provided Monbiot with what he asked for.

Monbiot declared Pachauri's personal accounts and financial practices were shown by KPMG as being clean. In the light of the above however, Monbiot's unquestioning confidence in such conclusions were puzzling.

About midday the inconvenient evidence that I provided at the Guardian forum, along with discussions of that evidence with aghast Monbiot fans were removed from the thread. The thread was closed down.

Every single comment about the accounts was removed.

The new Monbiot

It was always faintly funny that the Monbiot should accuse Richard North of ‘smearing Pachauri’. We saw that Monbiot’s harmless IPCC-inspired pushing of the party line had shallow foundations that would one day be swept away by the growing awareness of the public.  But we should revise that opinion. It is one thing to put forward one own points of view and cite half-truths as evidence; it is quite another to tamper with and remove facts from the public record to support an argument that does not stand up. To call for evidence and then hide is both hypocritical and paradoxical. Monbiot should be asking questions and releasing evidence, not covering it up to protect public figures like Pachauri. One wonders how long this charade will last.

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Reader Comments (129)


He'd have to face a lot more than a few cheerleaders on CIF if he prominently abandoned the faith, which is what you suggest. His family and friends, his own conduct and so on.

He could quietly back away, but he's a bit prominent for that, or given that the faith won't die easily, latch onto its next manifestation and it looks like coping with climate disruption will be given a run, but it's hard to whip up any evangelical zeal over that, and I think it's a horse that won't run.

Sep 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Latest Monbiot article on cif would seem to have Mr M realising that no one is listening to him ...: )

Sep 20, 2010 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered Commentermicky d

AGW ..not dead ..but it sure smells funny ...

Sep 20, 2010 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered Commentermicky d

People are free to discuss whatever they please but my interest remains sea level changes. To my mind, rising sea levels over the last century or so point strongly to global warming (whatever Man's hand in it may turn out to be).

It strikes me as highly unlikely that plate tectonics could be responsible for these rises over such a short timescale. I think we can also safely discount the idea that water is welling up from the Earth's interior in vast volumes. Substantial water displacement by incoming meteorites, shipping, paddling holidaymakers and river sediments also seems a little far-fetched.

As far as I can see, the factors driving modern sea level rises are thermal expansion of seawater and ice melt (with the relative contributions of the two shifting over time). An interesting exercise would be to establish the energy required to produce a given rise only through thermal expansion and only through ice melt, thus establishing boundary values for a combination of the two. These could then be compared with, say, estimated cumulative radiation forcing figures over the same time scale.

Sep 20, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist Viggen

@Hengist Viggen "If global warming is a myth..."

I think you will not find many people (maybe none at all) on this blog who assert that global warming is a myth.

In any case, this thread is a discussion of censorship of discussion by the Grauniad newspaper. I suggest you post somewhere else more appropriate to the topic you want to discuss. This thread is simply not the place for your discussion.

Sep 20, 2010 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

If you've not read it, Fred Pearce's 'The Climate Files' presents a useful insight into what Monbiot currently believes. No book could provide the step-by-step destruction of the hockey stick that Andrew's 'Illusion' gives us (until he writes the up-dated sequel) but Fred, in spite of being a 'warmist', corroborates virtually everything that Andrew tells us.
Only in the last chapter does he 'revert to type', when he says
'The truth is that the basic physics of the "greenhouse effect" is extremely robust and cannot fail to warm the planet', but then says 'the IPCC did the world no great favours by adopting the hockey stick as a totem of global warming'.
However on the last page but one he admits what he truly believes 'Scientists are trained to disagree, but they have sometimes become drawn into what amounts to a political process of cobbling together bogus consensus. That is both bad politics and bad science'.
George Monbiot nails his colours to this particular mast by stating on the cover 'This book is essential reading for anyone wants to understand what the hacked University of East Anglia emails mean - and what they don't'.
So poor old George knows every detail of what went on, but still can't move from his entrenched position !

Sep 20, 2010 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

What hard evidence is there of censorship? Newspapers have a habit of printing whatever they like and I doubt whether The Guardian is an exception in that respect. Come to that, Lord North is not exactly famed for his willingness to discuss other people's views on their merits.

Rather than railing against those who have already made their minds up, why not discuss something more interesting (like sea level changes, for instance).

You say nobody here argues global warming is a myth but I am not so sure. A.W. Montford's book "The Hockey Stick Illusion" is prominently featured on this site. Montford's anti-warming stance is well known, as are his sloppy methods.

Furthermore, at least three fellow bloggers seem to entertain serious doubts:

..alarmists and green gravy trainers have nothing to support their specious arguments (Stacey)

All hope abandon, ye who enter here of assessing uncertainty in climate science (John Whitman)

You might also ask, whether all the natural factors that have driven sea level UP and Down , hundreds of feet over the millenia, are understood by the climate scientists (Barry Woods)

A serious debate on climate change would be much more illuminating than trying to score points in a dialogue of the deaf.

Sep 20, 2010 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist Viggen

I've read it and re-read it, but unless I'm mistaken George Monbiot has thrown in the towel. In his most down-beat article ever, he asks 'How should we respond to the reality we've tried not to see : that in 18 years of promise and bluster nothing has happened ?'

Sep 20, 2010 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad


Sep 21, 2010 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Sorry I don’t see why people are keen to let Monbiot off on these deletions, this is the person that claimed that AGW sceptics are equal to Holocaust Deniers, people how fly are like paedophiles but is happy to fly himself, His got form and its very much his column where he is largely able to do what he likes , although he got caught going too far recently. He loves to play the school yard bully knowing he can run to the mods to get information ‘disappeared ‘ and when that is combined with a ego you could land a jumbo jet on , I would not be surprised if his hands where all over the this.

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Monbiot's posting in his current thread too (ref toad @12.15), so he does know what is in there (at least on this one).

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Hengist writes "Montford's anti-warming stance is well known, as are his sloppy methods."

Oooh.. now you've sparked my interest. A few people on this thread will probably have heard of Montford, and some may even have read his book. I'm curious, where can we read a detailed examination of Montford's "sloppy methods"? One would hope that you're more discerning of this matter than to refer to Tamino's joke-fest on RealClimate. Right?

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimonH

Off Himalayan blunders but on George Monbiot & co from an interview yesterday by the (leftwing) Hindu newspaper with Alan Rusbridger, the chief editor of the Guardian:

Q: So what does this mean in the context of The Guardian?

A: Politics. International coverage, because not many people are going to be doing that. Economics. Technology. The Environment. Culture.

Q: So it is pretty much what makes up the main body of the newspaper as opposed to its supplements?

A: A year ago we decided the environment was the biggest story of our lives. So we have six reporters doing the environment – one in China, one in America and four in the U.K. And then we built a network of environmental sites. We aggregated and became part of a network, with about 20 or 30 sites. A huge amount of editing and resources goes into the environment. That's like saying, almost regardless of revenue, its going to be such an important subject. And that as a newspaper, this is what we ought to care about.

Sep 21, 2010 at 2:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterAntonyIndia

Hengist and others.

The Hockey Stick Illusion and the AGW science are off topic on this thread. Please find a suitable thread to discuss these things.

Sep 21, 2010 at 6:37 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Teri-Europe Income submitted before inquiries
2006 - £7000, 2007-£9000, 2008-£8000
Very convenient

Audit or independent examination
Only charities with yearly incomes of more than £10,000 are required to have their accounts independently examined or audited – below that threshold, accounts inspection is only needed if it is required by the charity’s governing document.

Sep 21, 2010 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

What is the penalty, if any, for submitting inaccurate accounts?

Sep 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

I am STILL pre-moderated at the Guardain.
What are the odds of it appearing...

So this is for George Monbiot:

A close friend of mine was a senior member of the IPCC Working Group 1 Technical Support group..
Their name also appear on the Synthesis report for policy makers, the basis for science, alongside Sir John Houghton (who I have met, is no doubt a very sincere person, that truly believes, i could tell that, as could my wife) My Friend is VERY much involved still in'Climate Science.

My friend son, is my 7 year old son's best friend in the ENTIRE world, since they were babies..

My friend and I have 4-5 hard science relevant degree/post degree qualifications between us.

My friend's NAME is on the IPCC report that 'The Hockey Stick' graph appears numerous times, and Sir John was photograped against and used in the Inconvenient Truth. This graph is also on the back cover of Andrew Montford's book: 'The Hockey Stick Illusion.

My friend is STILL my friend post Climategate
(the very first time I got involved in any of this( I had no idea who the hell Steve Mcintyre was, for example)

My friend DIRECTED Me to REALCLIMATE when I asked them about it.........!

Yet George the Guardian and all those ignorant of science eco activists would make me a DENIAR for my actions, writing about the CAGW mass popular delusion of crowds......

My friend has never called me a deniar, knows full well I am VERY sceptical,
after all we trust each other with OUR CHILDREN... This crude deniar propaganda is aimed at driving people apart.

So if George comes here, ask yourself why can you not you read this at The Guardian..

My pre moderated Comment:

My Comment:

"My six year old daughter came home from school yesterday extremely proud/pleased to be voted one of 2 children in her year to be part of the Schools Eco Team.

She now has a little eco team badge on her school cardigan. I am also extremely PROUD of her.
She wants to CARE for the planet, pick up waste, reuse, save energy, etc.. I'm fully supportive of that..

Not the crude environmentalist, romaticism that humans are bad, and the planet would be better off without us, that is frequently the message.

Yes I'm a 'Climate Cynic' now...

George mentions the sandbag report, about emmisions trading, a quick VERY cursory look at their website, shows who is involved.

There we can see the Manging Director of Climate Care (Mike Mason) who want to sell you your carbon offsets.

Actually that is JP MORGAN CHASE Climate Care now.
After their involvenment in the global finacial crash, JP Morgan appear to have jumped on the next money making opportunity.

JP Morgan BANK! bought Climate Care in 2008.

Another Director of Sandbag, is Ed Gillspie, he writes for the GUARDIAN on occasion....

But his other role , is co-founder of Futerra.

"Futerra is the sustainability communications agency; from green to ethical, climate change to corporate responsibility. For over nine years we've helped you save the world"

Lots of very rich clients:

There main claim to fame is advicing the UK Government and the UN Environment program...

Futerra and The UK Department for Environment published the Rules of the Game on 7 March 2005. The game is communicating climate change; the Rules will help us win it. The document was created as part of the UK Climate Change Communications Strategy.

Remind me of the vested interests again, political, lots of NGO's, etc, look closely George 'Big Oil' became 'Big Energy a decade ago.. Big business made the rational business decision to 'follow the money', scientists/politicians that are wedded to AGW catastrophism, cannot change. 'Big Energy' will quite happily smeak a bit of extra profit onto oil, as the governments raises all those green taxes.

And I'll point out again - JP MORGAN CHASE BANK carbon offsets...

I'm a man made 'political' climate change cynic..
My concern is that every pressing urgent real environmental, green sustainabilty message will be put back decade, bythe CAGW delusion.
They even focus grouped ' Carbon Footprint' in 2007:

George and Fred Pearce could save the Green party and the environmentalism fro being put back for decades because of the idealistic catastrophism has led the romantics/idealists/activists of all things green/eco/environmental away

These people will kick up a fuss, Sceptics cannot show thenm the way, (we are just evil deniars to them, and they will not listen) but the Guardian COULD show them the way
Or all things environemntal will suffer, because of a general public backlash, and I for one and my ECO Team daughter would be upset by this."

I am STILL pre-moderated at the Guardian. What are the odds of it appearing...

Will the Guardain ALLOW this comment in George's article,
factual, direct links to the people mentioned OWN websites, for the quotes.

Come on Guardian, if only because if you did this you could SCOOP Booker and Delingpole and you nemisis the Telegraph.

Go on pinch the CAGW message is just a popular mass delusion of crowds, explain why and get one over the Telegraph.....

Sep 21, 2010 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

On Monbiot's latest piece, the most popular comment by far is the first one:

"Never mind, George, I'm sure there'll be another bandwagon along in a moment, and some new scare for you to fret about."

I wonder how long that will stay there?

Sep 21, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

I had not realised that the owner of the Bishop Hill blog was A.W. Montford - something I only found out in Wikipedia (a source of "information" that is admittedly less than reliable but which tends to be a bit more careful on biographies of living persons). Running a blog is a thankless, time-consuming task so I do not begrudge you earning a few pennies to defray expenses.

I withdraw "sloppy" - at least for the moment. I was confusing your book with Monckton's presentation on the same subject. Here is the link (copy and paste into browser) to the debunking of Monckton's argument. I include it for another blog contributor - SimonH.

On the broader theme of censorship and doctoring of evidence, the more informed scientific enquiry we have on climate change, the better. Evidently, the resources put into climate research need to bear some kind of relation to the likely threat. Unfortunately, the complexity of climate mechanisms, our current ignorance on feedback/damping mechanisms, "tipping points" and so on mean that we are likely to get it wrong. We will either sink resources into addressing a non-existent problem or (and this is my fear) only act when it is far too late.

Sep 21, 2010 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterHengist Viggen

Hengist you read'The Hockey Stick Illusion' yet...

Professor Judith Curry recommends it for all climate scientist to read, to understnd where sceptics are coming from, and what happened with Mcintyre..

from Judith Curry's CV (it is VERY long and prestiguous)

Professional Experience

2002- Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
1992-2002 Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder, Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Environmental Studies Program
1989-1992 Associate Professor, Department of Meteorology, Penn State
1986-1989 Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University
1982-1986 Assistant Scientist, Department of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison


2006 Georgia Tech Sigma Xi Award, Best Faculty Paper Award
2004 Fellow, American Geophysical Union
2002 NASA Group Achievement Award for CAMEX-4
1997 Elected Councilor, American Meteorological Society
1995 Fellow, American Meteorological Society"
1992 Henry G. Houghton Award, the American Meteorological Society
1988 Presidential Young Investigator Award, the National Science Foundation Councillor

Judith's new blog

Sep 21, 2010 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

George, I am placing this here as I have been thoroughly disillusioned by the, frankly, stalinist levels of censorship that DOES go on at the G and you know it. The argument that such deletions is, somehow, secondary to legal concerns just does not wash mate and nor is bleating that you had nothing to do with it because in a well functioning set up nobody need say a word for the 'correct' actions to occur. The G was being particularly censorious some time ago resulting in my re-directing (to this blog site) deleted comments and posting a comment that suddenly became subject to 'pre-moderation' .(The blog mentioned above with James Randleson contributing). None of my contributions was in any sense abusive or (to my non-legal mind anyway) libelous.

They just didn't fit a 'narrative' whereas I was subjected to abuse in reply. These were allowed to remain.

Towards the end of my attempting to 'freely' comment in the self-loathing rag I was briefly submitting comments to simply generate discord. (I've wound my neck in now because that isn't the best way to behave and have abandoned the guardian as a source of reliable information)

I speak as someone who was a complete convert to the idea of AGW but having a scientifically based education became naturally curious when questions were raised as to the validity of AGW. I sought out alternative points of view and my mindset began to shift. I still (albeit without the certainty of faith any more) continued to be a proponent of AGW but stumbled across a mindset in the righteous which, simply put, makes Salem look like an oasis of liberal tolerance. I was in the position of having to exercise 'self-censorship' when in discussion of any green issues (AGW invariably being the most salient one) lest there be any leakage of my inner doubts at that point.

I have now found the 'deniers' (another term that raised hackles) stance to be the most persuasive one and this belief grows stronger the more I look but to get back to the start one cannot 'look' in the guardian as it is far too partisan for the warmist camp. Doubtless it will shift seamlessly onto a new bandwagon and down the memory hole AGW will gooooo.....

George, I have little doubt that you have enormous potential and I'm sure you will claw back some lost integrity and good luck to you but I won't ever buy another book of yours.('Heat' since you

Ah well, the proceeds have contributed to the cost of your international flights that presumably would relegate one of 'them' going on one to the ranks of the paedophiles. It really is the case of the 'right' sort of people having it all isn't it George?. That includes material comfort whilst exhorting the rest to cut back ( so the 'right' sort can continue to enjoy the goodie eh?...don't get me started on Polly).

Beginning to rant more than usual so I'll leave it at that.

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterA Jones

Presumably George has been a good boy buying JP MORGAN Climate Care Carbon Offsets for all his flying

I and my family are airplane 'carbon footprint' free for 9 years ;)

I suggest this company, as George writes about Sandbag in that article, Guardian Writer, Ed Gillspie is a director of, Sandbag, writing reports about emmissons trading in Europe,

One of Ed's co directors at Sandbag is Mike Mason. Managing Director of Climate Care (bought by JP Morgan in 2008). I bought a carbon offest of them, to frame for posterity.

on a positive note...

Comment is ALLOWED.
My earlier comment that is, it took over 2 hours..

So thanks George for reading, and giving the Mods at Cif a good kick,
they have merely made the Guardian and yourself look at best foolish and censorious, or at worst?

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I wonder if my second comment will make it into Guardian's CiF today? ;)

Sep 21, 2010 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Thanks Barry for the link to Judith Curry's site. In answer to your question, I have not read Montford's book yet but I certainly shall.

One of the problems regarding climate change is that society's decision-making mechanisms are poorly suited to grasping complex scientific issues.

We tend to be even worse at taking timely action when long lead times are involved (i.e. spanning more than the life of a parliament). If man is increasingly responsible for global warming and if warming does threaten civilisation (two important caveats), then I am in no doubt that we shall wake up to the danger far too late. Several oil experts believe that peak oil is upon us and this will no doubt further limit our freedom of action.

From the depressing tone of Montbiot's latest article, I assume he has belatedly reached the same conclusions.

Meanwhile, from my Catalan eyrie I see: proliferating industrial estates on the plains below; a transport system hooked on cheap oil; ever-shrinking glaciers in the Pyrenees; shortening winters; the spread of sub-tropical pests. No doubt worse things are happening in China right now but to my mind they are all part of Mankind's headlong rush to the abyss.

I should be grateful to anyone who can persuade me my fears are unfounded.

Sep 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist Viggen

Hengist, well don't listen to the Guardian, you won't get the full sceptical story.
They haven't posted my comment AGAIN....
Luckily I copied it here for you to read....

Don't want to duplicate so follow the link and look for this timesatamp

Sep 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM | Barry Woods

Sep 21, 2010 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods


“I should be grateful to anyone who can persuade me my fears are unfounded”

Reading Andrew’s book would be a good start, then at least you’ll know that some of the scare stories are unfounded. Given the lack of experimental (as opposed to modelled) evidence for our impact on the climate, perhaps you might consider why you worry as you do? Climate doom is only popular with the media because bad news sells better than the other sort, and with governments because they like anything that gives them some extra authority and/or a means to raise taxes.

Sep 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Perhaps OT, but I noticed that it was KPMG that had been doing the reviewing. It might be worth noting that KPMG is not exactly a respected firm in Sweden currently. Sweden has been fairly lightly affected by the financial crisis, only three minor banking firms have gone under (Carnegie, HQ and Habo). In each case KPMG had certified that everything was just fine immediately before they keeled over. The chairman of the finance and banking committee of the Swedish Parliament has just suggested that KPMG should be forbidden to review the accounts of banks because of a "completely deficient company culture".

Sep 21, 2010 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered Commentertty

It's funny that George doesn't engage in debate on his blog. I wonder why that is? ;)



Sep 21, 2010 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

"No doubt worse things are happening in China right now"
Sep 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commenter Hengist Viggen

Ever been to China Hengist? The "No Doubt" part would make it appear you have not, so how can you possibly comment.

To assist you in leaving the thread alone go read−−08/0126.html on "Peak Oil". Thank you!

Sep 23, 2010 at 5:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

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