Monday, October 15, 2007

Harrabin replies

A Place To Stand reports that CCNet has received an email from Roger Harrabin, the BBC Environment Analyst who wrote the following memo.
From Roger Harrabin
BBC Environment Analyst

In any future reporting of Gore we should be careful not to suggest that the High Court says Gore was wrong on climate.......

We might say something like: "Al Gore whose film was judged by the High Court to have used some debatable science" or "Al Gore whose film was judged in the High Court to be controversial in parts".

The key is to avoid suggesting that the judge disagreed with the main climate change thesis.

Harrabin's new email is below.
Roger Harrabin []

Very quick, Benny, I have only just written that.

You might also want to carry my comment piece on the Internet too making my view clear that the Gore film is political, and expressing my disquiet when I saw it


The comment piece referred to is here.
I have spent much of the last two decades of my journalistic life warning about the potential dangers of climate change...

Really? That was very prescient of this eager little English graduate.
... but when I first watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth I felt a flutter of unease.

Why? Why o why?
Not because the central message - that climate change is happening and almost certainly caused by mankind - is untrue...

... even though I, personally, am becoming more and more convinced that it is...
... but because in several points of the film, Mr Gore simply goes too far by asserting or implying facts that are contentious.

Or, rather, that are lies. There is a further puzzling paragraph, too.
Remember that Al Gore, an environmental science graduate, has been trying to alert the public to climate change for a quarter of a century.

Al Gore is an environmental science graduate? Hmmm. Let's look at his (very comprehensive) Wikipedia entry. [Emphasis mine.]
Early Life

In 1965, Gore enrolled at Harvard College, the only university to which he applied. He scored in the lower fifth of the class for two years in a row and, after finding himself bored with his classes in his declared English major, Gore switched majors and found a passion for government and graduated with honors from Harvard in June 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government. After returning from the military he took religious studies courses at Vanderbilt and then entered the university's law school. He left Vanderbilt without a degree to run for an open seat in Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District in 1976.

As his unit was standing down, he applied for and received a non-essential personnel honorable discharge two months early in order to attend divinity school at Vanderbilt University. Gore left Vanderbilt after completing the required one-year Rockefeller Foundation scholarship for students returning to secular work.

Gore then spent five years as a reporter for The Tennessean, a newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee. His investigations of possible corruption among members of Nashville's Metro Council resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two councilmen for separate offenses. Gore then took a leave of absence from the paper to try law school. Before he could finish, he learned that his local congressman planned to retire in 1976.

Gore has been involved in education on a number of levels. He taught at four universities in 2001 as a visiting professor (Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Fisk University[54] Middle Tennessee State University, and UCLA.) He was also elected an honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April 2007. He will be inducted in a ceremony in October 2007 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Finally, Concordia University awarded Gore an honorary doctorate on March 22 during the Youth Action Montreal's Youth Summit on Climate Change in Quebec, Canada.

Now, we all know that Wikipedia often contains errors, but given Gore's current activities, one would have thought that, had he been "an environmental science graduate", it would be a priority to record.

And yet it does not appear in Gore's Wikipedia entry at all. How odd.

Needless to say that the rest of English graduate Harrabin's piece is utterly facile. I won't bother to fisk the whole of it, because I have addressed many of these points over and over again. However, I will just deal with the last section.
On the remaining point - Mr Gore's implication that ice core records prove that CO2 rises drove shifts in Ice Ages - the judge is spot on.

The vice-president cleverly lures the viewer into making the calculation that CO2 drove historical climate change by presenting graphs and asking the audience if they fit.

Well, the graphs do fit - but what Mr Gore fails to mention in the film is that mainstream scientists believe that historically the temperature shifted due to our changing relationship with the Sun, with warmer climes unlocking CO2 from the oceans, which amplified global temperature rise.

Well, yes and no. Actually, we do not know what caused the initial rises (although the sun seems a likely culprit) and we certainly do not know that CO2 provided a positive feedback mechanism. It seems a reasonable assumption, but if that is the case, then what reversed the whole process? Because after these periods, the earth has then cooled, in some cases enough to plunge the globe into an ice-age.
I challenged Mr Gore about this in an interview for the BBC's Newsnight programme in March.

He responded, accurately, that scientists believe that CO2 is now driving climate change - but that was not what his misleading historical graph showed.

Um, well, not exactly. Roger has got himself into a bit of a tangle here, sp let's attempt to unravel it, shall we?

What Gore's graph purported to show was that CO2 rises and then temperature rises. The graph shows the very opposite. So all of the historical data shows that CO2 rises lag behind temperature rises by about 800 years, so CO2 is not the prime driver of the heating.

So, let me just reiterate precisely what Roger Harrabin wrote. [Emphasis mine.]
He responded, accurately, that scientists believe that CO2 is now driving climate change - but that was not what his misleading historical graph showed.

Actually, that is exactly what Gore's graph purported to show. What the correct graph actually shows is completely the opposite: that CO2 has not driven climate change in the past and it is thus extremely unlikely that it is doing so now.

Still, what does one expect from an English graduate?

Neil Craig has sent an email directly to Harrabin.
What a great shame that Roger only thought to make his doubts public in this article dated 11th October 2007 a year after the BBC started sanctifying the film & some hours after his memo became public.

I sent
Dear Roger,

May we next year expect the BBC's Environment Analyst to be publishing that he always had doubts about the claim that warming was actually taking place & that 1998 had been the "warmest year in a millennium", with 2007 predicted to be warmer, but that, apart from the lack of warming all the other fears of global warming are not "debatable".

Neil Craig

I don't know what Roger's reply will be, but I have no doubt that it will be in beautifully written English...

UPDATE: I have also emailed Roger Harrabin.

In your recent comment piece, you wrote the following sentence:

Remember that Al Gore, an environmental science graduate...

I can find no evidence for your assertion that Gore is an environmental science graduate.

All that I can find evidence for is that he started in English, then switched and graduated in Government. He also did some religious studies courses and failed to complete Law a couple of times. However, I can find no evidence to suggest that he has any meaningful qualification in any scientific discipline.

I wonder if you could enlighten me?



I await his reply...


Wrinkled Weasel said...

It gets worse. Now the BBC want us to use UHT milk because its better for the environment. They have been doing the story all day every half hour on News 24.

UHT milk tastes like stale wank.

Still, I guess that's what BBC executives are used to, given that they have each others cocks in their mouths.

Anonymous said...

In other words, he was fuck all use at anything remotely useful, so he decided to go into politics. Why does this sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

This is an e-mail exchange I had with Harrabin which I have forwarded to Sir Michael Lyons and Mark Thompson for their comments.

----- Original Message -----
From: Roger Harrabin - Internet
To: Mark Starr
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 8:50 AM
Subject: RE: Al Gore decision

This is tosh

You will see me challenging Gore about these very issues in an interview I did with him on Newsnight.

I warned him that the failure to distinguish between consensus and assertion on a number of points would under-mine his message

I was there well before the judge so fuck off

From: Mark Starr
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 7:48 AM
To: Roger Harrabin - Internet
Subject: Al Gore decision

Dear Mr Harrabin,
As many of the claims by those who say global warming is taking taking place are spurious and the scientific opposition is given no space particularly in the BBC to counter those far-fetched claims it is highly gratifing to note that when subject to the independent scrutiny of the courts the stupidity of Mr Gore's film has been shown up.
Best wishes
Mark Starr
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

Bruce Rheinstein said...

Gore took a Freshman class from visiting professor Roger Revelle at Harvard. Revelle was an oceanographer who laid much of the groundwork for anthropomorphic global warming theory, but cautioned against alarmism.

Revelle wrote, in 1991, that, “Drastic, precipitous and, especially, unilateral steps to delay the putative greenhouse impacts can cost jobs and prosperity and increase the human costs of global poverty, without being effective.” He also observed that, "People are always saying the weather's getting worse. Actually, the CO2 increase is predicted to temper weather extremes."

Bruce Rheinstein said...

That should be anthropogenic, of course. Time for some coffee.

Anonymous said...

According to Harrabin, he's been shouted at by Gore in at least one occasion...

Anonymous said...

Given that Harrabin has been busted changing a published BBC report under pressure from global warming alarmist and certified loony Jo Abbess (who is a crony of the Moonbat... aka Monbiot)I think he should just resign.

He is part of the Global Warming Alarmist propaganda machine. Environmental Analyst???? I don't think so.........

Environmental Activist. Clearly.

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