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The blessed plot

Email 0306 is another killer for the BBC. It is correspondence between the Tyndall Centre's PR guy, Asher Minns, and Joe Smith, the co-organiser of the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme along with Roger Harrabin.

Minns is inviting Smith to the Tyndall Assembly, a meeting of Tyndall folk with their wider network of colleagues. We learn that the other speakers include Pachauri, Jim Skea (director of a UK energy research centre), and somebody from the Potsdam Institute.

Minns says:

My thinking for your part is that you give an overview of your BBC-Cambridge series and its objectives and outcomes and challenges. I would also quite like to hear what you see as the challenges in the relationship between the media and climate change research, and the role you see Tyndall playing. These are just my ideas for now - we can chat on Tuesday.

Smith replies, copying Hulme. The first thing on his mind is money:

first wanted to test the ground about whether Tyndall is in a position to support the seminar programme next year (am approaching 3/4 of  the current club of sponsors now so that we've got time to make other arrangements if need be.) The only change I anticipate is that we won't be asking WWF to support the seminars: Roger particularly feels the association could be compromising to the 'neutral' reputation should anyone look at it closely. We'll be asking BG Group to make up the difference and would continue to ask Tyndall and DEFRA for £5K p.a.

Wouldn't want anyone looking at it too closely, would we? Smith moves on to future plans.

Our target next year is to get complex long term sustainability issues under the net of Westminster election coverage before the next election with a residential seminar in Feb and something at White CIty for output level people closer to the election. Already got some snr people within BBC excited abt the residential. But your thoughts welcome about other specific things we should pick off.

Then he discussed plans for the speech to the Tyndall people (emphasis added):

Second: query abt how I should using my slot at the Assembly:

 I imagine that the ten mins might split into the following: a summary of the seminar progm Tyndall has supported: its aims, method and impact (inc my view of its failings...), with specific refn to climate change (6 mins) outline of future work (getting global environmental change and sustainability issues into mainstream stories 'by stealth') (2 mins) needs the CME programme doesn't meet? Media awareness for specialists; issues awareness for early career media people (1 minute) provocation about the role of climate change research and policy community in delivering improved coverage (2 mins) Is that the sort of thing you had in mind? Given that its so short I'd probably not use powerpoint/OHP but would prepare a one page background description of what we do for those interested in taking something home. But do advise me otherwise if you think that people will need something other than me to rest their eyes on at at the end of the day.

If this wasn't interesting enough, his third topic of converstion is a plan:

Third to outline thoughts on research project I mentioned to you:

THings have moved on quite quickly in the wake of a series of conversations in the last few days. In the same week as the Tyndall workshop I was at meetings on sustainable consumption and development issues in media. All of these helped to form in my mind an extended piece of work requiring a well designed team effort.

THere's an urgent need to explore the source-media-audience relationship in the round (Jacquie's 'circuit of culture') on a number of issues: climate change; biodiversity loss; poverty; polln risk, in a major project with a bundle of partners over a period of eg three years (though it would at the same time develop a body of material that could represent a qualitative time series that could be worked with over the longer term). Its very important in my view that this is resaerch feeds directly back into decision-makr conversations (policy and above all media). I hope and think that the seminars have laid the ground for this within hte BBC, and would design the research to work closely with the design of the seminars (though I'll continue to construct a chinese wall between the two).

So what do people upstairs in the BBC make of this? (emphasis added)

There is senior BBC buy in for the approach i want to pursue on both News and TV side, and I'm confident after some informal convrsations govt depts and NGOs would also want to play. I'd really like to work with Jacquie on it and have emailed her about that yestrday.

Would be good to talk to you and/or mike on the research project - I appreciate that as OU based I'm not in a position to bid for Tyndall funds etc, but in my mind it would be important to have the network involved in any case, and although I've not needed to source major research funding before ('pen, paper and train ticket please') I think there are resources out there for this kind of work. The publics / group work that I'd like to get Jacquie interested in would be resource intensive and ideally I want to either buy myself out (ideal if OU politics allow) or get research assoc on board to work with the 'source communities' and media lot.


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Reader Comments (54)

Who is "Jacquie"?

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterI am replete

Jacqueline Burgess specialises in action research which is relevant for environmental policy-making at UEA

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Don't know about Jacquie or the names behind the 'senior BBC buy in' but I do notice Mike Hulme being copied in on a whole lot. Key man, much cleverer than Phil, managing to stay below the radar. Given his recent attempts to be the reasonable public face of climate research I'm sure full explanations for this past behaviour are imminent.

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

One wonders, though, whether anyone at the BBC cares - or perhaps they will think it is a Good Thing?

I've given up hope of reform of the Corporation.

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterGCooper

"getting global environmental change and sustainability issues into mainstream stories 'by stealth'"

I'm not surprised by this at all, yet still find myself shocked by it's flagrancy.

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris S

Jacqueline Burgess is the future of (enviro)mentalism. Long after Phil and Keith have been sent to count tree rings in Siberia, she’ll still be at UEA working on:
- An evaluation of ECOTEAMs as a mechanism for promoting pro-environmental behaviour change at household and community scales.
- action research innovations to promote carbon literacy in households .. exploring the potential of a board game and a driving simulator to help people better understand links between their routine behaviours of the production of greenhouse gases.
- Working in partnership with Green Energy Options, Ltd. and SYS Consulting, ... evaluating the impact of an innovative SMART metering system on household behaviours and routines.

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

re: Hulme
There is an e-mail (#2907) from Tony Blair (originating from a mailing list of the Labour Party, I suppose) to Hulme AND Hulme's response (#0186).

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJean S

“Dear Mr Blair,
“Although no admirer of George Bush or American policy, nor as someone who believes war is the answer to most problems in the world, I have fully supported the line you have taken over the last 6 months and have admired the way you have stuck to it. As a serious student of modern 20th century history, I think you have understood the lessons of that century well - it is regrettable that the French have not. I for one will not be turning my back on the Labour Party.
Yours sincerely,
Professor Mike Hulme”

Hulme seemed to be standing back from the general backscratching and bootlicking. Clearly he was saving his spittle for bigger ends.

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Chris S, they are flagrant because they didn't expect the likes of you and me to ever see these e-mails!

I have no doubt that these true believers in the "Cause" have nothing but contempt for the rest of us.

Nov 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterstanj

All this and Joe Smith "flatly rejects" being called an activist. Who would he call an activist?

Nov 24, 2011 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterCrikey



Nov 24, 2011 at 9:08 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Is it just me, or is Smith using a language only loosely based on English?

Nov 24, 2011 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

"Jacquie's circuit of culture" here:

More of the same here:

Nov 24, 2011 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

I can't read what Smith is saying.

Nov 24, 2011 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Neil,Nov 24, 2011 at 9:11 PM
The language of comrade Smith is simply what he thinks the big boys speak...
It must be very difficult to combine science with political activism and still be perceived to have scientific integrity. The solution is to have complete conviction of ideology and to impose your will on the facts regardless of the evidence. In combination with the right PR, this can work for quite a long time.
Afterwards however, your life's work will inevitably be trashed. I prefer just to be a scientist, difficult enough.

Nov 24, 2011 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Mayhew

The only change I anticipate is that we won't be asking WWF to support the seminars: Roger particularly feels the association could be compromising to the 'neutral' reputation should anyone look at it closely.

Roger the Dodger

Nov 24, 2011 at 9:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

"...getting global environmental change and sustainability issues into mainstream stories 'by stealth'..."
That's the one that caught my eye.
In the same way climate change is "embedded" in the national curriculum for children, big sister is planting climate change propaganda seeds by stealth by proselytizing "early career media people" by encouraging provocative strands and articles influenced by the "climate change research and policy community" in order to deliver "improved coverage".
Guilty as charged. A bare-faced admittance of bias.
Now we know the mechanisms by which the bbc obfuscate their political sympathies:
Stealth journalism.
Surely this time heads will roll?

Nov 24, 2011 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

From a comment at WUWT - you guys seem to attend these things and I hadn't seen it mentioned here.

Fay Kelly-Tuncay says:
November 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm
Don’t miss this debate next week.

“The Climate Change Act Reconsidered”
1pm-4pm Wednesday 30 November 2011
House of Commons, Committee Room 14
London SW1A 0AA

Come via main – St Stephens (Cromwell Green) entrance
Ask for Sammy Wilson’s (DUP MP) Meeting
Please allow 30 minutes for security

RSVP Eventbrite ticket required
See here:

Chairperson: Dr Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at SOAS the University of London, and was Editor-in Chief of the International Journal of Biogeography.

Ruth Lea, former Economic Adviser and Director of Arbuthnot Banking Group and Director of Global Vision. She was a Governor of the London School of Economics. Ruth will speak on the impact of the Climate Change Act (including the Renewables Directive) on energy prices, manufacturing and business.

Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist (winner of the Hayek prize), will speak on the potential for shale gas.

Prof Ian Plimer is Australia‘s best-known geologist and author of Heaven and Earth, Global warming: the missing science and How to get expelled from School: a guide to climate change for pupils parents and punters.

Donna Laframboise, journalist and author of The Delinquent Teenager who was mistaken for the world‘s top climate expert – an in depth investigation into the IPCC.

See Donna here:

“The Climate Change Act Reconsidered” is of great relevance today in light of scientific scandals and the public’s loss of trust in costly green climate and energy policies.

The Climate Change Act is having huge social and economic consequences, which MPs can no longer ignore. The EU’s and UK’s climate and energy policies are too expensive, too ambitious, too complex – and ineffective. The government’s blind faith in drastically reducing CO2 emissions and liberalising energy markets will profit only a select group of companies and officials at the expense of everyone else. MPs would do well to rethink these policies – before the public rises up in anger.

I look forward to meeting you there.

Nov 24, 2011 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Schofield

I am uneasy about this:

Our target next year is to get complex long term sustainability issues under the net of Westminster election coverage before the next election ...

This is news media with an agenda with the aim of making an impression on election coverage via an organisation that is legally required to be (ho ho ho, Green Giant*) impartial by order of the Queen. At that time the BBC had an advocate for the Tyndall Centre working for them. The Tyndall Centre's vision is as follows:

"To be an internationally recognised source of high quality and integrated climate-change research, and to exert a seminal influence on the design and achievability of the long-term strategic objectives of national and international climate policy."

* Other brands of vegetables are available. Please see your nearest** retailer for details.

** Other retailers are available.

Nov 24, 2011 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

A nasty little cabal of scientists, journalists, broadcasters and environmentalists. The latter are quite transparently biased advocates. The former three like to project that they are reasonably impartial and doing a public service. Clearly they are not. They are rogues. This is what con men do.

As for Mike Hulme and his email to Tony Blair giving his undying support (geoffchambers), Hulme is on record as saying that he manipulates the idea of climate change to advance his personal political socialist agenda. I have references if you need.

Nov 25, 2011 at 12:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

2403 - 15th May 2001
Ann Dixon (UEA) to Mike Hulme

Dear Mike

Regarding ECF and a media person. You could try Alex Kirby if Roger Harrabin is not free. Joe Smith will have other contacts. The other possibility is for a European link, possibly via a German magazine. Finally, if we try, we could penetrate The Economist as I have contacts there.

The other way in is Ed Crooks, financial journalist for the Financial Times. He is on the SD Commission. I could contact him on our collective behalf. He maybe free, but he may know of a good business economist to do the job.

Let me know your reactions and I will move. I am free most of this week.

Very best wishes

Tim O'Riordan

Mrs. Ann Dixon

3411 6 Sep 2000
Joe Smith to Mike Hulme
Dear Dr. Hulme

I'm writing to ask if you would be willing to contribute to a briefing
meeting for BBC news and current affairs in advance of the forthcoming UN
climate talks.

This forms part of the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme of seminars that I run jointly with Roger Harrabin of the BBC R4 Today Programme (see: for more information on these). You will be aware that the Programme forms
part of the Cambridge contribution to the work of the Tyndall Centre.

3502 3 Sep 2002
Joe Smith to Mike Hulme
Dear Simon and Mike

I thought you might be interested in a BBC1 primetime programme I've been
involved with as consultant that tries to get sustainability issues (inc.
climate change) across to mainstream viewers.

A Land Worth Loving, (Transmission: Weds. Sept 4th 7.00pm) despite sounding
like a Welsh daytime TV soap, is a very rare example of an attempt by a
major broadcaster to reach a primetime audience with an understanding of the
part ordinary people play in causing, and responding to, environmental
issues. At the same time it offers up plenty of ideas as to how individuals
and communities can do something about them.


Nov 25, 2011 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

"big ideas for big money" (#1568, Hulme)

Nov 25, 2011 at 1:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

Now the BBC are in the same position as the UEA. (They can't do the right thing and fire all concerned because that would bring down the whole tottering house of cards - and at the same time they are clearly hypocritical frauds). Perhaps 'Professor' Steve Jones will be able to turn out another 100,000 words at short notice and explain the whole thing away with a bit of plagiarism/independent reviewing?

On the upside - a comparison of the sent mail messages of Harrabin, Black, and Kirby and those contained in the FOIA mail archive should enable the BBC to confirm the authenticity of the messages.

A quick look at Harrabin, Black, and Kirby's sent folders might also provide BBC management with an indication as to what is in the 7zip waiting to be released. (And whether it might be advisable to start planning for retirement).

Nov 25, 2011 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

might be advisable to start planning for retirement

heck i wouldn't mind them all gone, there in white City.
Even if they insist to take 10% of their pension fund (which we the taxpayer filled up, all of it) with them.

The Herman Cain treatment is in good order: Take it by the neck, walk it to the bin, and chuck it all away. that's what you do when something is completely dysfunctional.

Nov 25, 2011 at 1:57 AM | Unregistered Commentertutu

Climategate has finally arrived at the BBC.

Their current team of environmentalist and part time lobbyists appears unable and unwilling to clean up their mess, and the BBC head may already be stinking as well.

They definately need outside help.

Nov 25, 2011 at 2:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

Over at TaV (the Air Vent), Buffy the AGW slayer has decoded the "mime" document attachments. Encouraged by her response to the initial effort, she went back and did the same for the 2009 documents. Fewer results, but real gem:

Have fun with this one, guys (I'm sure, it's all out of context):

Hmmm....tried to post earlier and may have messed this up. Apologies in advance if this is a duplicate.

Buffy's work decoding the "mime" documents, as easy as it may have been for her, was inspired. No one else thought to do it...and from the 2009 batch, it produced a real gem.

Now Jeff, given your comment in #7 above, the contents of this will likely make your head explode:

NOAA want to give us more money for the El Nino work with IGCN.
How much do we have left from the last budget? I reckon most has been spent but we need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn't make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven't spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious.
Politically this money may have to go through Simon's institute but there overhead rate is high so maybe not!
Best wishes


Mick Kelly Climatic Research Unit
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom
Tel: [*****] Fax: [******}
Email: [**********}

Cheers - and thanks to Buffy the AGW slayer.

Nov 25, 2011 at 4:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan

"explore the source-media-audience relationship in the round"

Is there a "Special" O.U. course teaching how to write and understand this sort of crap?

Just guessing and merely as an fictitious example

Source = Jones?
Media = Ward/Black/Harrabin/Miss Cut and Paste/Lean etc? ( Dellingpole/Booker ;-) )
Audience = Guardian?

Nov 25, 2011 at 5:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Nov 25, 2011 at 4:19 AM | Ian
IIRC, this one was in Climategate One. Found in a key word search for "money".

Nov 25, 2011 at 5:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

After 2 days of reading Climategate Two, the overall impression is of the puppeteers pulling the strings. We have fascinating quotes like Phil telling the Chinese to redo a UHI paper to come up with expected results #4886, from CGOne we have Keith telling the Russians the results he wants from some dendro studies before they gey paid and so on and so on. Sometimes the language is guarded, but the impression comes through. Hulme, Jones and Mann were telling scientists and media people what the message was to be and what could not be said. Power corrupts.

Nov 25, 2011 at 6:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

Brilliant summary Geoff.

Nov 25, 2011 at 6:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I seem to remember the BBC pension funds are heavily invested in global warming type wonder they are scrapping hard...

Nov 25, 2011 at 6:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterTom Harley

"...the ten mins might split into the following:
a summary of the seminar progm (6 mins)
...outline of future work... (2 mins)
...Media awareness... (1 minute)
...provocation about the role...(2 mins)


Nov 25, 2011 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

What is likely to be done about all this?

What worries me is that we are all enjoying ploughing through the emails, we find damning evidence which confirms Climategate I and shows once more how shockingly inadequate the research has been, how pathetic the inquiries were, and how deeply involved the BBC has been with the AGW message...but then what? Apart from the Newsnight programme and a few splutterings from the Grauniad, what now? Anything? Will anyone take any effective action?

Nov 25, 2011 at 8:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

I particularly enjoyed seeing the following at Tom Nelson just now - apparently the CRU crew got all their "science" from communal visits to "The Day After Tomorrow" - this is not a joke:-

date: Thu, 20 May 2004 17:22:08 +0100
from: Malcolm Haylock <>
subject: cru outings

Hi everyone,

Two CRU outings are planned for the following dates:

Go and see the film "The day after tomorrow" on Friday 11th June in
the afternoon.

The CRU summer outing on Wednesday July 28th.

Any objections to these dates?


.... and

date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 11:19:15 +0100
from: Malcolm Haylock <>
subject: two days before the day after tomorrow

Hi everyone,

We have a booking for 14 people for the 2:45 session at Ster Century.
We'll pay for the tickets as a group - 10 students + 4 full price.
They have given us a discount on one full price ticket as a group
bonus (wow!) so I'll give this to the person who is wearing the most

Meet at the box office before 2:40. I'm catching a bus so will leave
from CRU at about 2pm if anyone wants to join me.


..........That's like BAA sending it's engineers to get inspiration from "Airplane!".

Nov 25, 2011 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Messenger, I don't know the answers but I'd point to Chris Huhne feeling the need to 'blast' the GWPF report by Ross McKitrick on how the IPCC must be reformed, late on Tuesday, the day Climategate 2 broke, as evidence that the rubber is beginning to hit the road politically on practical steps forward. People are working on this, at every level. If you asked me the single most effective thing most of us can do it would be to get Donna Laframboise's book The Delinquent Teenager into the hands of as many people as we can.

We don't know how long it will take to turn round the supertanker - or if we're on the Titanic! But the journey's the reward. And FOIA sure is a sterling ally to have.

Nov 25, 2011 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Apart from the Newsnight programme and a few splutterings from the Grauniad, what now? Anything? Will anyone take any effective action?
Nov 25, 2011 at 8:07 AM Messenger

Hacks tend to be busy, but intellectually lazy, people with a short attention span.

The tidal wave of "nothing to see here" whitewash from the usual suspects give them a simple, snappy, instant way of commenting on the story - but IMHO the real message from CG2 is a slow-burning one.

For months and years to come - quotes from the emails will surface,which will show individual scientists or their papers to be incompetent/corrupt/self-contradictory etc etc. Each incident will be a minor story in itself - but the cumulative effect will be to reveal the whole "climatology" edifice to be nothing other than disguised environmental activism.

People are tolerant of activism when it's just "student politics" with a bunch of kids holding up the traffic for a day - we were all young once.

But when they realise they can't afford to pay their energy bills or taxes, and poor granny is shivering through the winter, because well paid public servants have been playing "student politics" - well that's a different matter.

The politicians will jump ship first, because they have finely tuned survival instincts - and then it'll be every man for himself in the scramble to get off the climate bandwagon.

Nov 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgooose

So Climategate 2 was just more of the same, boys being boys, nothing to see here, move on, was it?

I think that just as the abuse of science was the main discovery in Climategate 1 for many of us, so is the blatant politicisation of the science and the hidden, string-pulling puppeteers, be it the World Bank (see the thread at WUWT) or al Beeb actively involved in getting "the message" across - by stealth.

I am not sure if the dragon is already slain, but by golly, it is bleeding very heavily already!

I hope those in constituencies with interested, amenable MPs are sending them all this.
Anybody contacted Graham Stringer yet?

Nov 25, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

If we're wondering about what impact Climategate II will have, I think that question should be viewed in the context of COP17 Durban, because this is the primary reason for the timing of the current email release. In this respect, the release was intended to do as much damage to the momentum the climate talks were building on the back of the IPCC's recent report and BEST. Also, COP17 is all about policy and economics and the mechanisms by which the money changes hands "... Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels..." is testimony to the political and economic nature not only of those that released the emails, but also of the underlying debate between the scientists involved in writing them.
My gut feeling is that it will be much more difficult to promote and market Durban - especially from the bbc's perspective. They may not want to draw attention to themselves as "impartial" observers for fear of further deep criticism.
A difficulty might arise is if other major broadcasters are preparing to focus on it (Durban), and the bbc are caught not covering it. They will be damned if they cover it or not - good.
But perhaps the end result of the Climategate II release may simply be a downward trend of media coverage, when we might have reasonably expected a hockey-stick trend in media activity. There may not be any more inquiries, but an alarmist media mutually gagged by accusations of political bias and propaganda has the same effect: the death of the narrative that supports policies based on implausibly expensive and damaging multilateral co2 emissions reductions treaties.

Nov 25, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

Someone needs to compile a list of all the damming emails against the BBC and other instances of bias and inappropriate funding etc. Armed with this list, members of the public need to write to the BBC and their local MPs seeking an expalanation to the inappropriate behavoir and what will be done to restore proper standards at the BBC. If enough people write to the BBC and their local MPs demanding an enquiring into this and pushing for reforms to restore integrety and proper standards, eventually something may be done.

Nov 25, 2011 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

On the general subject of BBC bias, I have e-mailed 'Newswatch' to ask why, on 'Newsnight' on 23rd November, the programme editor felt that it was necessary to background the recorded interview with Michael Mann with melting icebergs - presumably wishing to 'brainwash' people into thinking that this phenomenon was due to Global Warming...
Fat chance of getting aired, I know...

Nov 25, 2011 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

THis is what Tony Newbery thinks should happen next:

If this really is Climategate2, then the blogosphere should do whatever is necessary to ensure that the same the establishment cannot avoid exerting the same degree of diligence in establishing just what is happening in the climate science community [as in the Murdoch enquiry] That includes legal direct action.

This time there has to be a proper judicial enquiry, and it has to have access to everything on UK bases mail servers that could possibly be relevant to the way climate science, and the IPCC process, is being practiced this country.

Nov 25, 2011 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

I find this comment interesting

"The only change I anticipate is that we won't be asking WWF to support the seminars: Roger particularly feels the association could be compromising to the 'neutral' reputation should anyone look at it closely."

This was in July 2004. Three years later the UNIPCC had taken a totally different line. They accepted sponsorship and used a number of WWF reports that were not peer-reviewed.
However, the comment also suggests an appearance of neutrality, in the full knowledge that this meeting would be anything but neutral.

Nov 25, 2011 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

That couldn't be Dr Joe Smith, the well-known activist, could it?

Nov 25, 2011 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkeptik

On the subject of BBC bias, check out email # 1683 from BBC Journalist to Keith Briffa:

" Hi Keith,
Good to talk to you this morning. Just a few thoughts to reiterate what we're hoping to get
out of filming tomorrow.
1) Your interview appears at a crucial point in the film. Up until now our presenter (Paul
Rose, he'll be there tomorrow) has followed two conflicting thoughts. On the one hand he's
understood that the world is currently getting warmer. But on the other he's discovered
lots of historical stories (the Bronze Age, the MWP, the LIA) which tell him that climate
changes naturally all the time. In trying to resolve this paradox he's come across this
thing called the hockey stick curve, and he's come to you to explain it to him.

2) Your essential job is to "prove" to Paul that what we're experiencing now is NOT just
another of those natural fluctuations we've seen in the past. The hockey stick curve is a
crucial piece of evidence because it shows how abnormal the present period is - the present
warming is unprecedented in speed and amplitude, something like that. This is a very big
moment in the film when Paul is finally convinced of the reality of man made global
Hopefully this makes it clear what I'm trying to achieve.
Look forward to tomorrow.
All best

Jonathan Renouf
Series Producer
Science Department"

Nov 26, 2011 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgeGR

Email # 1683 reads like a script for a bad propaganda film. Made with your tax money. Congrats on having such a fair and objective public broadcasting corporation full of eager, investigative journalists of integrity to let you know what is going on. Tax money well spent!
/sarc off

Nov 26, 2011 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgeGR

Good spot GeorgeGR

“Just a few thoughts to reiterate what we're hoping to get out of filming tomorrow… Your essential job is to "prove" to Paul…”
Is affirmation that the narrative has already been constructed, that the editorial line has been established in pre production, and the purpose of the interview is to fit the words of the actors to the script.
But the interesting part for me is the inference of the journey that the presenter takes from one “view” to another “view”:
The story being of a “journey” and a final persuasion, so that the subject (the presenter) is seen by the viewers as having gone through a transformation. Perhaps my explanation is inept, but this is a narrative tool that is prevalent and is exemplified perfectly by Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! (recommended reading for bbc editorial staff?). Basically, there is a formula that many filmmakers implement within their works that pre-determines tempo and timings of critical events and how to leverage sympathy with the central character by promoting his/her emotional transformation from A at the start of the film to B at the end:
From “…Your interview appears at a crucial point in the film…”
To… “Up until now our presenter (Paul Rose, he'll be there tomorrow) has followed two conflicting thoughts…”
Finally… “This is a very big moment in the film when Paul is finally convinced of the reality of man-made global warming.”
No-one can disagree that the bbc are excellent story-tellers. Their pre-production editorials obviously work: their productions are engaging the very people they need to affirm their editorial lines. Their output is strategically managed and delivered across multiple platforms, and people do (unfortunately) engage deeply with their narratives, but the deep-seated, real problem is that their climate change narrative is primarily a political manipulation, and what the manipulators are doing is nothing less than propaganda. They need to be held to account for this, but how?

Nov 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

I guess this is the feature film Briffa was interviewed for (email1683):
The Global Warming Meltdowm", see

"Examining all sides of the argument, this compelling film seeks the truth behind what has become one of the most important issues of our time."

Seeks the truth!? Yeah, right...

Nov 26, 2011 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgeGR


Has anyone here submitted evidence to the BBC Trust consultation? It is entitled 'Delivering Quality First'.

If not this is a reminder that submissions have to be in by 21 December 2011. More details here.

Nov 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Has anyone seen Richard Black or Roger Harrabin recently? I keep checking the BBC's Science/Environment section to see if Richard has produced any more interesting climate change yarns but to no avail. Strange...

Nov 27, 2011 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

"Has anyone seen Richard Black or Roger Harrabin recently?"
My guess is this:
Travel Itinery COP17
Thursday travel day; business class BA
Flight Heathrow, 11:30am (meet up with Rog at Cafe Rouge Term 4 for breakfast)
Arrive Durban 19:10 local for 5* Hotel-airport pick up
Friday, acclimatise and establish press room and media-hub
Saturday check safari outing booking and transport
Sunday return from safari
Monday off to COP17 for inaugural speech and first draft of global climate plegde.

Nov 27, 2011 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

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