Monday, April 07, 2008

The BBC, the activists and the lies

A few days I wrote about a BBC article that I concluded was being somewhat economical with the truth. I took exception, if you remember, to this line...
This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998...

... because it clearly implied that temperatures had not dropped since 1998 either. Which is, of course, a lie.

However, as has been noted by Instapundit, Samizdata and Question That, the article in question has been changed substantially for the worse.

Why should this have been done, I wonder?

Well, thanks to an email correspondent, now I know. Over at the Politics and Environment Blog, there is a copy of a series of emails between BBC reporter, Roger Harrabin (see here, here, here and here for my previous interactions with Master Harrabin), and Jo Abbess, an "activist" (of whom more later).

I shan't reproduce all of the conversation here, but it is worth reading in full; here are the opening salvoes.
From Jo, April 4, 2008

Climate Changers,

Remember to challenge any piece of media that seems like it's been subject to spin or scepticism.

Here's my go for today. The BBC actually changed an article I requested a correction for, but I'm not really sure if the result is that much better.

Judge for yourselves...


from Jo Abbess
to Roger Harrabin
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:12 AM
subject Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

Dear Roger,

Please can you correct your piece published today entitled "Global temperatures 'to decrease'" :-

1. "A minority of scientists question whether this means global warming has peaked" This is incorrect. Several networks exist that question whether global warming has peaked, but they contain very few actual scientists, and the scientists that they do contain are not climate scientists so have no expertise in this area.

2. "Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007"
You should not mislead people into thinking that the sum total of the Earth system is going to be cooler in 2008 than 2007. For example, the ocean systems of temperature do not change in yearly timescales, and are massive heat sinks that have shown gradual and continual warming. It is only near-surface air temperatures that will be affected by La Nina, plus a bit of the lower atmosphere.

Thank you for applying your attention to all the facts and figures available,



from Roger Harrabin
to Jo Abbess ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:23 AM
subject RE: Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

Dear Jo

No correction is needed

If the secy-gen of the WMO tells me that global temperatures will decrease, that's what we will report

There are scientists who question whether warming will continue as projected by IPCC

Best wishes


from Jo Abbess
to Roger Harrabin ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:37 AM
subject Re: Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

Hi Roger,

I will forward your comments (unless you object) to some people who may wish to add to your knowledge.

Would you be willing to publish information that expands on your original position, and which would give a better, clearer picture of what is going on ?

Personally, I think it is highly irresponsible to play into the hands of the sceptics/skeptics who continually promote the idea that "global warming finished in 1998", when that is so patently not true.

I have to spend a lot of my time countering their various myths and non-arguments, saying, no, go look at the Hadley Centre data. Global Warming is not over. There have been what look like troughs and plateaus/x before. It didn't stop then. It's not stopping now.

It is true that people are debating Climate Sensitivity, how much exactly the Earth will respond to radiative forcing, but nobody is seriously refuting that increasing Greenhouse Gases cause increased global temperatures.

I think it's counterproductive to even hint that the Earth is cooling down again, when the sum total of the data tells you the opposite. Glaringly.

As time goes by, the infant science of climatology improves. The Earth has never experienced the kind of chemical adjustment in the atmosphere we see now, so it is hard to tell exactly what will happen based on historical science.

However, the broad sweep is : added GHG means added warming.

Please do not do a disservice to your readership by leaving the door open to doubt about that.



from Roger Harrabin
to Jo Abbess ,
date Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 10:57 AM
subject RE: Correction Demanded : "Global temperatures 'to decrease'"

The article makes all these points quite clear

We can't ignore the fact that sceptics have jumped on the lack of increase since 1998. It is appearing reguarly now in general media

Best to tackle this - and explain it, which is what we have done

Or people feel like debate is being censored which makes them v suspicious



Do go and read the rest, but I must say, it was very nice of the BBC to change its article in response to Jo "not a scientist" Abbess but, to be fair to Harrabin, he does at least attempt to defend himself.

One of the things that comes across particularly clearly is that Jo Abbess is a big, fat, stinking liar who has deliberately brow-beaten the BBC into changing its coverage. Liar? Really? OK, let's just give one example, shall we? Remember this bit, right at the beginning? [Emphasis mine.]
Several networks exist that question whether global warming has peaked, but they contain very few actual scientists, and the scientists that they do contain are not climate scientists so have no expertise in this area.

OK? Got that? Right.

Now, just for fun, let me quote the opening section of the Manhatten Declaration which, amongst other things, states that "there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change." [Emphasis mine, once again.]
We, the scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers, and business leaders, assembled at Times Square, New York City, participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change...

Now, remember, according to Jo Abess, there are no climate scientists amongst the sceptics and those scientists that are sceptics "have no expertise in this area". This is quite obviously untrue.

Let's take another of Jo's pronouncements, shall we? [Emphasis mine.]
As time goes by, the infant science of climatology improves. The Earth has never experienced the kind of chemical adjustment in the atmosphere we see now, so it is hard to tell exactly what will happen based on historical science.

This is, once again, a total lie. The Earth's atmosphere has changed dramamtically over the 4 billion years or so that it has been around. CO2 concentrations were, for instance, far higher in the Cambrian period (during the Cambrian "explosion"). Indeed, when the very first life started on this planet, the atmosphere was primarily composed of CO2 and almost no oxygen (this was supplied, so the theory goes, by vast quantities of cyanobacteria). It may be true to say that humans have never experienced this kind of atmospheric chemical adjustment, but to say that the Earth has not is quite patently untrue.

So, from just these two examples alone, we can see that Jo Abbess is a stinking, fucking liar who should have her tongue cut out for telling stinking, fucking lies. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Now, His Ecclesiastical Eminence has looked a little further into Jo "Liar" Abbess's contributions to Comment Is Free threads. Needless to say, they are absolutely hilarious, and leads Mr Hill to an interesting conclusion.
But is our Jo a complete space cadet or has she got some more earth-bound opinions? Of course she has - she does political opinion too. Here's her opinions on Tony Blair:
he is in reality a sensitive, spiritual family man, navigating the tightrope of public presence with a skill that should make you marvel. he hit the water running, remember.

One can but wonder what it was that our Jo hit, but I think we can be sure that it's not the water. It seems plain to me that "misguided space cadet" is probably a better description than "fascist bitch".

All the same, it's a remarkable set of comments, revealing of the deep, incisive intelligence that was able to get the logical colossus that is the BBC's Roger Harrabin to roll over and beg to have his tummy tickled.

One does wonder if Jo Abbess is the same Jo Abbess who has this page on LinkedIn and who claims to be an Independent Think Tanks Professional...

This Jo Abbess is linked to me through the profile of one of the Evening Standard Letters Editors, so I may keep an eye out for more of her barking mad, lying letters in that newspaper.

However, there is a Jo Abess who seems to be involved in the Campaign Against Climate Change, if this post from their forum is to be believed.
Campaign against Climate Change : Planning for N4 (4th November 2006 Climate March)
Date : 13th July 2006
Venue : Housman's Bookshop and
Campaign against Climate Change office
Address : 5 Caledonian Road, King's Cross, London N1
Time : 18.30 6.30pm
Tell : If you're coming, please let Jo know :

Suggestions so far received for consideration (please e-mail with any others)...

Needless to say, the Campaign Against Climate Change seems to be populated by utter moonbats. Quite literally, in fact, as their Honorary President is... yup, you guessed it, the High Priest of Moonbattery himself, George "Moonbat" Monbiot.

I might have known: wherever there are absolutely insane, lying nutters getting on their high horses about climate change, one can always smell the stench of George Moonbat himself.

Still, if you have any creative ideas about how to help the BBC "correct" things, why not drop Jo a line (since she helpfully published her email address)?

And perhaps one of the competing news outlets would be interested in running a headline along the lines of, "BBC changed article at behest of special interest pressure group"? That should do wonders for the BBC's reputation for impartiality. I think that I might email Roger Harrabin.

In the meantime, perhaps we should set up a sceptics taskforce: if we complain about the same articles that Jo "liar" Abbess complains about, maybe we could make Roger's head explode. Or, at the very least, give the man a nervous breakdown...

UPDATE: the email address given for the Jo Abbess in the email conversation comes up, at Media Lens, as whereas the Jo Abbess at the Campaign Against Climate Change is So, are these two entirely separate people called Jo Abbess or are they simply the one person with two different email addresses?

My bet's on the latter, personally...


Anonymous said...

I went and read the whole thing. She is one nasty piece of shit. Here's what I believe to be the key part of the conversation (I have psychology qualifications to postgrad level - just in case that's relevant)


" I would ask : please reserve the main BBC Online channel for emerging truth.

Otherwise, I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently
educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically
manipulated. And that would make you an unreliable reporter.

I am about to send your comments to others for their contribution,
unless you request I do not. They are likely to want to post your
comments on forums/fora, so please indicate if you do not want this to
happen. You may appear in an unfavourable light because it could be
said that you have had your head turned by the sceptics. "

Harrabin's reply:

" Have a look in 10 minutes and tell me you are happier

We have changed headline and more "

Well, I'd say the wimp has been psychologically fucking manipulated now, right up the shitbox.

That bitch needs a pointy stick up the jacksie.

Does anyone know where she lives?

The Creator said...

Cold is the new hot.

Read about it here:

Unknown said...

Don't know where she lives, but Vlad has probably got some big pointy sticks. DK, I do hope you get your wish and another MSM outlet picks up on this and beats them to death with it.

cassandra said...

Repent sinners or you will burn in hells fires!
On your knees and beg forgiveness for your selfish greed and godless raping of gods green earth!
Go back to nature and live simple lives like those tremblers, sorry shakers! No modern houses or cars or TVs or modern healthcare as the lord will provide and if he doesnt it means you are evil and inhabited by the devil and god is punishing you! Evil Satan stalks the land and turns the cows milk sour so all must pray ten times a day on their knees or the lord will destroy the earth in the fires of hell and will shower sinners with thunderbolts! Only when the masses live like people did in the dark ages will God forgive us and spare us from hells fires.
Electricity is the devils spawn and is an insult to God and science is is a sin against God and scientists should be burned alive to purge the evil from their black souls!
When you find a denier who does not repent then you must burn them for they are inhabited by satan! Search out the evil witches who stalk the land sowing discontent in the masses and burn the evil out of them, so down on your knees sinners and beg forgiveness!

That was a press release by the alliance of the fighters of climate change (abridged and family friendly version)

Anonymous said...

The gal's a space cadet! See this.

Devil's Kitchen said...

I linked to that post in this entry; you are the Ecclesiastical Eminence, you see...


Anonymous said... is the original source for this ...

Anonymous said...

Its a very intrigueing volte face.
One characteristic of the Beeb is its arrogance.
It is normally very difficult for an outsider to get change of this magnitude.
what could abbess have on harabin?
Could abbess influence be at the Boaden or higher level?
Do The beeb, management , abbess have a Common Purpose In distortion?

I am sure thereis more to come.


Anonymous said...

I liked Jo's comment on Tony Blair:

'He hit the water running.'

That's a bit of strange thing to do isn't it?

(Even Jesus only walked on water.)

Anonymous said...

The Campaign Against Climate Change. CACC. Says it all.

Anonymous said...

Both emails are Joanne Abbess

Anonymous said...

Yep, both are hers, googlemail doesn't differentiate betweens '.'s and '_'s.

What a nutter.

Roger Thornhill said...

From now on he is George Moonbiat.

As for hitting the water running, that was not water, but piss - vast quantities of it that he had taken and continues to take.

Anonymous said...

If you ever listen to the Adam & Joe show on BBC 6music they have a little jingle that goes:

"Hello again from the Big British Castle

We hope you are happy with the service you are paying for

If not please let us know and we will change it all

Because we don't want you to knock the Castle down with giant sticks"

How apposite.

Anonymous said...

This woman is utterly mad, and the BBC are equally cuckoo for listening to her/it.

We are coming out of a mini ice age. Also, they used to grow grapes in York, so it must have been hotter then. And in the 18th Century, they held events on the frozen Thames, so it must have been colder then.

To think that man can do anything to harm the earth is bordering on hypocricy, as are people like you are anyway.

In Great Britain, we put out 2% of the 3% of the carbon dioxide up there.

There are things we can do but don't, and meanwhile we are listening to pricks like this. How about stop clearing the rain forests, or having electrical goods repaired rather than dumping them.

People like this make people like Al Gore happy as they support his lies.

I'm sorry but this is total bollocks, always has been, always will be.

RoddRepub said...

Anonymous hit the nail on the head. I just emailed that dumb arse to let her know that global warming is a hoax. Always has been and always will be.

Anonymous said...

I think we should all write to Jo Abbess (at both email addresses) to thank her for single handedly putting back the cause for global warming alarmism by, oh, 30 years. These messages should be polite, succinct and effusive. With enemies like her, who needs friends?! Ho ho ho.

M-RES said...

"rj7 : Anonymous hit the nail on the head. I just emailed that dumb arse to let her know that global warming is a hoax. Always has been and always will be."

Global warming is a hoax? So the earth has never once warmed? Strange claim, especially given that even 'deniers' believe the earth is warming, but due to it emerging from a mini-ice age. I'm guessing you meant "anthropogenic global warming", and through the red mist-driven haste you forgot the important prefix. ;p

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