Tag Archives: Guardian

Some Hintze Details The Guardian Didn’t Want You To See

For some reason, Onlineafghan.com has a page “Redacted letter to Michael Hintze” that contains information missing from the Guardian’s “Redacted email to Michael Hintze“, such as the amounts requested to Mr Hintze.

Onlineafghan.com has it “Posted on 27 Mar 2012 at 11:02am” whilst on the Guardian the timestamps are “This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 11.54 BST on Tuesday 27 March 2012. It was last modified at 12.42 BST on Tuesday 27 March 2012.

Below, the bits in bold are absent from the Guardian’s version.

Enjoy!

Michael Hintze

CEO

CQS Management Limited
33 Chester Street
London SW1X 7BL

21 September 2011

Dear Michael

We assume that our previous letter to you, attached, somehow slipped your attention as we realise that you are really busy and may have been away. We do assure you that we will not be writing to you repeatedly.

However, because of the urgent need for action on climate change and health, illustrated by events in the last few months, we are taking the liberty of contacting you again to request support for the XXX. The carbon price legislation before the Australian parliament still faces much political and public opposition even though Australia is one of the heaviest carbon emitters in the world. Meanwhile, the capricious climate and extreme weather events in Australia this year, including severe flooding, especially Queensland, and ferocious bushfires in WA, make it clear we cannot afford to delay preventive action further. Drought and famine in Sub-Saharan Africa and floods again in Pakistan illustrate the disadvantage of developing countries and the imperative of more help from the developed world.

XXX focus is climate change and health but as you will agree, this requires as strong mitigation and adaptation as we, as a society, can muster.

XXX biggest problem is lack of funding. To date members have worked with “pro bono” and “in kind”. Funding needs are modest but necessary to undertake a series of planned projects. It is seeking to raise $150,000 from private sources to deliver on its policy, research and advocacy priorities and enable it to remain independent.

Breakdown of this funding need is:

Website = $30K

Policy/position papers = $50K

Health effects of fossil fuels report = $40K

Scoping paper on voluntary accreditation for health care organisations = $10K

Administrative and operational costs, including office and phone = $20K

In addition, we would like to fund priority research, to be agreed by the executive, for funding Masters and PhD students up to $50K and to also fund conference development and attendance up to $50K.

We do believe that the work of XXX would link well with that of your Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and with your agreement, would like to establish contact.

We would be happy to provide you with any other information you require, set up a conference call with you, or meet face-to-face. XXX is will be attending the Durban conference on Climate Change and Health in December and XXX will be in the UK again in February 2012.

It would be wonderful and extremely helpful if you could provide some funding for this developing group and, of course, we would acknowledge any support you could provide.

We look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely

XXX

Article source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/27/redacted-email-michael-hintze

"World of Warmcraft" ("Fate of the World") – Why Skeptics Should Rejoice

There we go again with the Guardian trying to launch yet another warmist plaything, this time of course not killing anybody, or in truth, killing even more people than before.

I am talking of course of “Fate of the World“. a game that (according to Adam Vaughan)

puts players at the helm of a future World Trade Organisation-style environmental body with a task of saving the world by cutting carbon emissions or damning it by letting soaring temperatures wreak havoc through floods, droughts and fires

Obviously, with much less splatter to show there is not going to be an outcry like with Franny Armstrong’s disaster, yet there are many reasons to rejoice at this ultimately self-defeating propaganda piece. You see, the video game, renamed “World of Warmcrafton Twitter by the incomparable Ed Yong of Discover Blogs fame, is surely like a dream come true for many a skeptic.

As suggested by Vaughan, and then reported in an accompanying first-hand-experience article by Jack Arnott, gamers aren’t going to be presented pretty choices:

Put an emissions cap on a growing economy, stifling growth, and they’ll get fed up and throw your agency out of the area. Encourage investment and prosperity and there’ll soon be environmental consequences.[…] wars and natural disasters are often triggered inadvertently by your decisions, and you’re informed each time a major species becomes extinct […] If a regime is refusing to bow to demands, why not sponsor an insurgency force to take them out? Better yet, if a country has an unforgivably high population to emissions ratio (I’m looking at you, North America), why not covertly sterilise the population?

(Yes, yes, of course it’s all in the spirit of “dark humor“. Who would have ever thought, “dark humor” includes now playing mass-murders and genocide on a games console…let’s get out those Rwanda jokes and Hiroshima stand-up comedy!!)

What will people learn from Fate of the World, but that, according to mainstream AGW belief, hugely unpopular policies are needed to prevent “environmental consequences“, alongside forcing people to remain (or to become) poor, killing many of them by absolutely unlawful, violent regime-change sponsorships, eliminating the undesirables, etc etc? Even the existence of a “Dr Apocalypse” mode, “in which your goal is to raise temperatures around the world as much as you can without losing the political support of different regions” (in Arnott’s words) can be easily seen as a further manifestation of “AGW believer bloodlust”.

Why, if I will ever need to demonstrate that the average AGWer is a humanity-hating warmonger looking forward to inspire violence and ruin the lives of as many people as possible…I’ll do worse than pointing to a copy of “Fate of the World”.

Partial Transcript Of Richard North vs Roger Harrabin BBC Radio 5 live Exchange

On Wednesday Feb 11 BBC Radio 5 live’s “News from around the UK with Gabby Logan” programme hosted Richard North,  of “EU Referendum” fame and the BBC’s own Roger Harrabin together with renown Mike Hulme and Stephen Curry, a professor of structural biology. The recording is available here for a few days still (I don’t think there is a podcast).

The result has been a series of memorable quotes that I am trying to report here, together with a summary of everything that has been said. I shall return to some of this material in the next few days, for additional comments and to ease punctuation and capitalization…

(quick commentary: Richard North is the winner by far, and finds Harrabin move to his side too. Stephen Curry sounds like out of step with what is happening)

NOTE: direct quotes are in italic. Please do feel free to correct any mistake in the transcription:

GL: Gabby Logan (host)
MH: Mike Hume
RH: Roger Harrabin
RN: Richard North (introduced by GL as “political analyst and climate change skeptic“)
SC: Stephen Curry

ADDENDUM: the whole programme is now available via Vimeo (thanks to Climategate2009 for the link)

GL: [The inquiry will be about] how messages from the university of east anglia found their way to the internet. “Mike – are you pleased…What are you hoping it will achieve?

MH: independent investigation is appropriate about UEA but also the rest of the complex world of climate politics.

RN: “I agree with Mike there“. UEA investigation is only small bit of global issue. What worries RN is the tendency to treat this as an isolated episode but it isn’t, it is part of a continuum. climate politics complex but affects everybody.

GL: Mike – how much damage has this done to the debate about climate change?

MH: questions raised, understandably so. how enduring the damage will be, it depends on the outcome of inquiry. IPCC needs to take errors very seriously, work hard to rebuild trust in scientific evidence. not an easy thing to do, to restore trust that has been damaged.

RN: (chuckles) reminds of MH interview in 2007 saying IPCC is a political process (MH: “Absolutely, it is“). The science is not the issue, “it is the politics of science and the science of politics in a sense“. Needs to be a political inquiry.

GL: Do you think that will take scientists to an area they are totally uncomfortable with?

RN: “Anybody who’s been in academia knows that science is intensely political especially as the main push within scientific departments is funding and getting money and satisfying your paymasters. to try and pretend that somehow somehow science and politics are separate is a pastiche, it simply exists only in storybooks“.

MH: “I would agree with you Richard there“. We’ve got to find good ways to brind scientific evidence to public policy debate. Can’t simply accept science will do its business in its own sphere of influence. We need a process to bring high-quality scientific evidence with all uncertainties attached to it, to a public debate. Think IPCC is probably past its sell-by date. “Science never dictates policy but we have to have high-quality scientific evidence“.

(traffic news, BBC own ads)

GL Talking of Climategate. Can I bring Roger Harrabin. What impact do you think has this row on how climate change is being reported?

RH “Huge impact […] science is on the front pages and many scientists are uncomfortable with that. It is extremely difficult to conduct a very nuanced debate about science, policy and climate change through soundbites of 10 seconds. I say extremely difficult, frankly it is impossible. And that what tends to happen“. The tabloid way is unsatisfactory, not debating it at all is also unsatisfactory. Suggests to start from inquiry. GL agrees. RH: “We know about the climategate affairs, with the stolen e-mails showing scientists blocking access to their data, and that is quite clear, they no longer deny that, they don’t deny that, and they also appear to show they tried to unfairly influence the debate and the way their colleagues were perceived […] their rivals were perceived, and they do deny that. This inquiry…is said to be completely independent by the man who chairs it…will look at what exactly [the scientists] did…an enquiry about best practice in science”. Not just what is best practice now, but also what it was 20 years ago, “when a lot of the the climategate e-mails began“.

GL: RN – how did these e-mails end up in the public domain

RN: “There are some facts in the system that Roger seems to ignore. And I wish he’d stop prejudicing the debate by talking about stolen e-mails. The latest response from the local police is that they are now looking at the misuse of data. All the forensic evidence, and this has been poured (?) over by expert computer people, points to all the file being aggregated on a single server, UEA actually admitted that and there is equally a possibility, in fact a very very strong possibility that this was an inside job and a leak by somebody that was actually disaffected with what was going on. [Talking about intelligence agencies etc] this is actually prejuidicing the enquiry against the reality that it is probably an internal job. Talking about e-mails, hackers and the rest [is] distorting the debate and not helping the listener and the general public to understand [what is going on]“.

RHL Asks what better term to use rather than “stolen”. “This is another one of these things where you probably need a sentence rather than a word” (RN: “Sorry…“) RH: “This is not a helpful debate” (RN: “But you refer to them as being stolen“). RH: “This is how it gets bogged down into arguments. Please. Please. It would be a change [to have a debate where] we could get insights

RN: The point is that “you are prejudicing the debate. you are making an assumption in your terminology

GL: RH – impact clearly this is going to have on the reporting of science more broadly and how people know who to trust and where to get their information – it must be very difficult to report on science in an objective way (RN: “It is“) because both sides of the debate are so entrenched (RN: “Yes“)

RH: It is “particularly difficult“. Enquiry is looking very narrow into abuse of data. It is more interesting to “look beyond climategate and the whole of climate science because what climategate and glaciergate, that horrible mistake from the IPCC about the glaciers reveals is that I think a lot of people are ready now to examine climate change at its fundamentals and that will be very helpful. What’s been difficult for people reporting mainstream debate in the past has been that what we would call our trusted sources of science, people like the Royal Society and the various other corollary bodies in different countries, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set up to be the touchstone of probity on this issue, they have been the providers of news and the people who have been doubting these news have generally speaking not been academics, I am on the trawl for academics at the moment in British universities there are hardly any and there have been doubters from other quarters and it’s been very difficult for us to tell what are the credentials when all these establishment voices are lined up on one side, how can we put them against a blogger on the other side that might happen to be a blogger who has for the past 15 years spent 100 hundred hours on the Internet reading climate science and has a good knowledge but we don’t know how to test this

GL: introduces Stephen Curry, professor of structural biology who’s been writing in the Guardian about the potential dangers when science hits the front pages. GL – “Is it important that people got faith in the country’s scientists, they can trust the evidence they are presenting?

SC: “Fundamentally important“. “Science is the best way to understand the natural world“. Scientist are trained to be skeptical, formulate hypothesis and then experiment to test them. Free to criticize each other’s work. Important to get information across to the public in a way that is digestible.

GL: Do politicians have a “proper understanding of the issues“?

SC: Many “simply don’t have the background to properly understand the scientific progress and it’s a challenge for them

GL: “Roger has alluded to the fact that the public wants to consume the news in bite-sized pieces and we want things explained very quickly to us. Are some issues like climate change just too complex for the public to understand?

SC – “They are certainly very complex but I think it’s vitally important that the public can understand and I think probably scientists can do a better job at being open and presenting all the evidence they have accumulated in support of man-made global warming. I don’t think there is any serious doubt in the community about that. There are uncertainties about what is the going to happen in the future but it is a matter then of presenting that complexity to the public. We often have to rely on journalists and other media outlets to present that case. of course they are very adept at putting stories together and of course they are pushed for space or air-time, which tends to drive a simplification. […] those are very difficult issues and it is really a challenging thing to try to put that across. […] scientists and journalists could work together in this a bit more for one another for their needs

RN: “You talk about trust in science but actually the default mode of the public, of the politicians aand above all of the scientists should be skepticism. We should not trust scientists, we should look at what they say and if they can’t explain themselves properly then automatically we should…(interrupted by GL)”

GL: “you are assuming a lot of knowledge there Richard for people to cross-examine” (RN: “No, no, no, not at all“) GL: “I am talking about the general public reading a newspaper are not necessarily going to cross-examine a scientist who has spent years and years of training, and years and years of research

RN: “This is precisely what’s happening and in fact ordinary people I mean this whole thing has been led by the grass-root, by bloggers and other commentators just read the comments on, say look at the newspapers online and look at the comments on them. There is far more intelligence and knowledge out there in the British public than in fact sometimes you see within the scientific community and there are internal inconsistencies in the evidence that we have been given, that ordinary people can say “look, you said this, you said that, the two don’t match, explain yourself” and instead of responding to that what you’re getting is this defensive wall saying “no, the debate is settled, the science is settled, there is no debate”. And it’s the scientific community and the political community. Don’t forget, Gordon Brown was calling us flat-earthers, which was a really healthy contribution to the debate. The fact that they have not been willing to entertain discussion and questions and perfectly genuine questions has actually poisoned the atmosphere. They’ve got to learn humility and turn around to genuine inquiries and say…. And ordinary bloggers. Look I’ve got a PhD so I am a scientist and I have pulled down three of the “Gates” but I have been looking through the IPCC report pulling out complete errors. Now, Roger Harrabin called them mistakes. That’s poisoning the debate because the lead author of Glaciergate said this was not a mistake, he’s on record saying that“.

GL – Asks Harrabin to go back to that point.

RH – Moves to language. “I think that phrases like climate deniers and flat earthers have absolutely no place in the debate whatsoever“. Says politicians and “leaders of science” have been heard stating that the debate is over, but if you talk to climate scientists themselves they will say”the balance of evidence is that human activities are changing the climate but there are still many uncertainties“: about the past climate record, the current climate record, how far the climate will change in the future. Government ministers have a much more simplistic view. “Is settled” might mean “Is settled enough for us to think about action“. “To give you an example about the difficulty of understanding all this, I was at a meeting of the Royal Society last year with eminent Professors from around the world, the sort of people that we regard as experts in climate change because they write papers in Nature and Science and I have to say there are very few skeptic papers in those journals. One of the professors asked a question the answer to which I knew, and I am a policy specialist, not a science specialist. I was a little alarmed that I knew this question which was outside his realm of his science and I just happened to pick up on. So I have asked the members of the panel at the Royal Society, would it be a good idea if there were some specialists, some professors of general scientific knowledge in terms of climate change instead of people specialising in some microcosm, tiny, tiny fragmented interest and I was savaged by the panel, they said it was a ridiculous idea and you had to be a top-top person in a very narrow field to get credibility from other scientists. On the other hand Richard has talked about, and here I fully support his view, there are some people on the blogosphere that have made themselves experts in general climate science. And we have to find some way, the IPCC or whatever replaces it has to find some way of giving credibility to their expertise, as well as to the expertise of people who have gone through the Royal Societies of various kinds. I think this whole thing has opened up a huge challenge to the way science is conducted, not just climate science but across the board.

GL- “Could this actually be a seminal moment”?

RH – Yes. And it is “part of the way we learn to cope to the internet“. Establishment behaves “in a normal way” as if the Internet “is not going to shout back at them“, and without thinking they need to deal with a broad public that was “inconceivable to them when they started their career“. “This is going to make me behave differently

Are Warmist-Journalists Helping Spread The Skeptical Word In The UK?

Who could have guessed…journalists are third from bottom in the list of trusted public figures in the UK, a poll has just shown. A great progress indeed (they had the pride of last place until now), apart from the fact that this year they have been beaten by scandal-plagued parliamentarians and Government ministers on their way down.

Now, consider also the vast amounts of AGW belief among British journalism (eg BBC, Guardian, Independent, most tabloids if not all of them, apart from a tiny number of mostly politically-motivated people at The Daily Telegraph).

Is it any wonder then that AGW skepticism is on the increase in the UK?

Perhaps the impact of all the rivers of ink and bytes dedicated by non-skeptical AGW British media should not be underrated…

The Union of Soviet Climate Change Writers

The Union of Soviet Climate Change Writers
– a guest blog by Geoff Chambers

I have an unhealthy obsession with Guardian Environment and their Climate Change web site. As the unofficial voice of the worried middle classes, they have (of course) every right to express the consensus views of their readers on global warming – but twenty times a day?

In the year or so that I have been following their climate change coverage, the Guardian has foresaken all pretence of rational argument. Monbiot’s “Bullshit” campaign; the use of the terms “denier”, and “climate creationist”; and the savage censorship on the so-called “Comment is Free” blogs, all disgrace the reputation of this once respectable newspaper.

This weekend they have reached a new lowpoint with their invitation to “ten of our greatest writers” to treat the subject of Global Warming.

There’s a wonderful moment in “the Office” when a confused Brent is trying to dig himself out of the racist hole he’s dug for himself, and his colleague (the sane one) whispers “He’s going to mention ‘Melting Pot” – and sure enough he does.

UPDATE – Geoff might be referring to this clip

You can get a similar buzz by clicking on Jane Winterton’s prose poem which begins:

I am your inner polar bear

or by reading Andrew Motion’s:

Here are the baffled species taking to high ground,
the already famously lonely polar bear and caribou

The most ardent warmist, the Greenest believer commenting on a Guardian blog would know better than to utter these ineptitudes, simply because a few hours on a climate change blog would make you savvy enough to know that polar bears are passé; everything that needs to be said about polar bears has already been said a million times.

The only people who don’t know that are the country’s greatest writers, apparently.

Not only is there not a single murmur of doubt or dissent from the consensus view of imminent catastrophe; but the sickening regurgitation of the tiredest warmist clichés demonstrates that not one of “our greatest writers” has spent a single hour researching the subject of AGW.

They don’t need to – They Know, and their warning to the doubters is terrible. Here’s Helen Simpson:

Nobody will be able to plead ignorance, either. We can all see what’s happening, on a daily basis, on television

That’s right. Our greatest writers know what’s going on, because they saw it on the telly.

These are proper writers, with talent. But so were the Union of Soviet Writers who extolled Stalin’s five-year plans. No-one is threatening our best writers with the labour camp if they don’t conform. So why do they do it? Are they too stupid, or too lazy, or too cowardly, to confront received opinion?

What’s happening to the intellectual life of our country?

Monbiot, Stern and…Schadenfreude

It appears that George Monbiot himself is finally starting to grasp the issue of unintended consequences…

An Exchange of Souls – As government documents show, Sir Nicholas Stern accidentally launched a trade in human lives. by George Monbiot

Will this herald a new era in which things won’t be separated by using the idiotic climate-change-is-bad reference stick?

There Is More Than One Pope

Listening to the Pope has become like looking at a piece of art. Everybody stares at the same thing, but few will agree on what they are actually seeing…

Who will ever believe that the news articles reported below are meant to be about the same person giving the same speech? 

(1) From Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”
The Pope on the environment, nuclear bombs and the Family in defence of peace and the poorest Countries” (Dec 11)

The Pope asks the international community to assume its responsibilities and to not postpone its decisions in matter of environmental protection of the atmosphere. That must be done, he reminds, “with precaution”, a collective engagement and “without ideological accelerations towards hastened conclusions”. It must be done – he adds – within a “dialogue” and not with “unilateral decisions”.

(2) From UK newspaper “Daily Mail”
The Pope condemns the climate change prophets” (Dec 11)

[The Pope said] “it is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances. […]
“Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken.”

(3) From Reuters South Africa
Pope urges prudence in environmental decisions” (Dec 11)

(4) From AFP
Environmental policies must respect needs of the poor: pope” (Dec 12)

(5) From UK newspaper “The Guardian
(nothing at all. Must be busy trying to figure out their own spin)

(6) From UK newspaper “The Independent
(nothing at all. Must be busy trying to figure out their own spin) 

(7) From “Pink News” (yes you guessed it…)
Pope’s message – gay weddings threaten peace” (Dec 11)