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Friday, September 24, 2010

BBC's Harrabin falsely smears IPCC Chief Pachauri, then uses own smear to create news and new smears, while Shell Oil pays for ads on the same BBC internet pages -- my note to Dr. Pachauri: please stay! Please! We need you there at the IPCC. We need someone who will not bend to pressure or money from the Kochs and the Climate Denial Machine!

BBC's Harrabin falsely smears IPCC Chief Pachauri, then uses own smear to create news and new smears, while Shell Oil pays for ads on the same BBC internet pages -- my note to Dr. Pachauri:  please stay! Please!  We need you there at the IPCC.  We need someone who will not bend to pressure or money from the Kochs and the Climate Denial Machine!

Dear Readers,

Normally, I don't post the garbage created by the Climate Denial Machine (CDM) on this blog, but I want to show you a classic example of a tactic used by the CDM that has been described in detail in Naomi Oreskes recent book, Merchants of Doubt: How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming.

First a misleading story is planted in the mainstream media.  Once it is already published, it is used to give credibility to further misleading stories.

Roger Harrabin (a so-called "environment analyst" for the BBC) on September 14, 2010, wrote a story calling for the resignation of the IPCC chair, Pachauri.

On what basis did he make this call?

He used the report issued by the GWPF:

"Lord Turnbull made his comments in a report on Climategate published by the climate-sceptic think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), of which he is a trustee."

Note that the above-mentioned "report" was written by Andrew Montford, a bought and paid for denialist whose recent book, The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the corruption of science (yet another false smear on Dr. Michael Mann), was shown by Tamino on RealClimate to be a trove of the leading denialist junk science put out by the CDM (link: ).

I don't have time to go into all the innuendos in the two articles by Harrabin that I will post below, but note that I am seeing Shell Oil ads placed prominently on the relevant internet pages of the BBC online.

Noted journalist turncoat for the deniers, Fred Pearce, is even quoted in the second article.  Since when are journalists legitimate sources for a real news article?  Oh, since CNN started to have their TV journalists interview each other instead of going to the trouble and expense to get real experts in.

Readers in the U.K., I call on you to protest to the BBC about this flagrant smear.

Tenney [my comments below, in square brackets]

First article:

Call to replace UN climate chiefs

Rajendra Pachauri Dr Pachauri is into his second term as IPCC chairman
Lord Turnbull, the former head of the UK civil service, says the government must push for new leadership of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

He says new leaders are needed to re-build trust in climate science following the "Climategate" e-mails affair and the IPCC's glacier mistake.

Lord Turnbull made his comments in a report on Climategate published by the climate-sceptic think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), of which he is a trustee.

The government has not yet said whether it will use its influence to seek new leadership of the IPCC.

A change at the top of IPCC was implicitly  [who says?] recommended in a recent review by the InterAcademy Council (IAC), which represents the world's leading science academies.

The report said the IPCC's leadership should serve no more than one term of office; but the current chairman, the Indian engineer and economist Professor Rajendra Pachauri, is already into his second term.

'Relentless attack' Professor Pachauri has faced relentless attack from climate sceptics for several years. He has been increasingly outspoken about the increase in emissions of the greenhouse gases that are accepted by almost all scientists to have warmed the planet.

But he was widely blamed for a delay in addressing the IPCC's error over the projected date for the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

I understand that privately he believes the glacier error is being used by industry-sponsored campaigners as another stick to beat him. And when asked about his future at the launch of the InterAcademy Council report, he replied ambivalently.

“It is crystal clear that the IAC intends Professor Pachauri to go now”

 Lord Turnbull Former head of the UK civil service
[OK, so first they say this is "implicit" in the report, and now Harrabin gives prominence to this BS.]
His future will be determined by a meeting of the IPCC at Busan, in South Korea, next month, where government delegates will make key decisions about reforming the panel.

The UK has previously been a major actor at the IPCC. One expert close to government told BBC News the decision might be influenced by the desire of Prime Minister David Cameron not to undermine UK relations with India.

I understand [Is this Harrabin talking?  Since when do journalists use the first person personal pronoun in an article?] that France will not seek Professor Pachauri's resignation. And if India decides to make this an issue of national pride, it will be hard for other major nations to put in a challenge.

But critics will argue that credibility of the IPCC itself will be undermined if governments fail to act on all the reforming recommendations of the IAC - and that includes finding a new leadership to continue work on the panel's next assessment report, the AR5, expected around 2015.

Resignation call
  In a foreword to the Global Warming Policy Foundation report, Lord Turnbull says: "The government should demand that the changes recommended by the IAC in practice, governance and leadership should be implemented immediately for the Fifth Assessment."

Later he told BBC News: "It is crystal clear that the IAC intends Professor Pachauri to go now."

Commenting on the troubles faced by the IPCC and the University of East Anglia (UEA) -- which was at the heart of the Climategate affair -- the UK's former top mandarin warned: "Gone are the times when the 'authorities' could largely assert their message without challenge using their superior resources, and thereby ensure that difficult issues remain hidden

“The vast majority of scientists round the world accept that climate change is a critically important issue and it is almost always non-scientists who want to argue about that”

Andrew Miller MP Chair, HoC Science & Technology Committee

"We increasingly live in the world of Erin Brockovich versus Pacific Gas and Electric, where committed individuals with few resources can dig away at an issue.

"Armed with strengthened rights to information and the forensic power of the internet they will eventually get to the truth, and quick but superficial inquiries will not stand in their way."

The e-mails issue came to light in November last year, when hundreds of messages between CRU scientists and their peers around the world were posted on the internet, along with other documents.

Critics said the e-mail exchanges revealed an attempt by the researchers to manipulate data and three independent reviews were initiated into the affair. None of these reviews found evidence of scientific malpractice.

Andrew Miller, chairman of the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee, who was not involved in the GWPF report, agreed that the IAC's recommendations on changing leadership of the IPCC should be taken very seriously.

"Any decision about the chairman of IPCC must be taken for the sole reason of restoring confidence in the IPCC," he told BBC News.

"Political considerations must not play a part in whether the chairman should stay in post or not."

He indicated that his committee would make further investigations into conduct at the University of East Anglia.
Peer review But he rejected a separate demand from Lord Turnbull for a parliamentary review of climate science. "Lord Lawson (founder of the GWPF) appears to be trying to re-write the basics of climate science, but neither science committee in the Commons or Lords would waste its resources on such a futile task," he said.

"The vast majority of scientists round the world accept that climate change is a critically important issue, and it is almost always non-scientists who want to argue about that."

The new GWPF report is written by the climate-sceptic blogger and author Andrew Montford.

He concludes that the enquiries into Climategate were inadequate and will be unlikely to restore public confidence in the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at UEA.

His report complains that the enquiries commissioned by UEA did not offer sceptics the chance to give oral evidence. He points to many instances [conveniently, Harrabin lists none of these "many instances"] where he says the enquiries failed properly to investigate serious allegations against academics at UEA.

A UEA spokesman said: "Three independent reviews have found in favour of the integrity and honesty of the scientists in the Climatic Research Unit. CRU's published outputs have been subject to expert peer review for more than three decades and remain open to scrutiny by anyone.

"Each of the reviews was independent of the university and one was conducted by a committee of the House of Commons.

"We would observe that the GWPF report appears to offer nothing new or previously unavailable, and that it has failed to acknowledge the further exhaustive examination undertaken by the US Environmental Protection Agency (published 29 July 2010) which also found no evidence to support the allegations made against CRU."

Second smear-job article by Harrabin (link: ):
UN climate chief resignation call

Rajendra Pachauri Dr Pachauri's future could be decided at the next IPCC meeting in South Korea
Several environmentalists, UK MPs and scientists has called for the resignation of Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN's climate science body.
Dr Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has in the past been criticised by climate "sceptics".
They have claimed that some of his comments had become politicised.

Pressure increased recently when a report recommended that IPCC chairs serve only a single term of office.

Dr Pachauri has yet to comment on the matter.

The IPCC chair is into his second term and several leading scientists and green thinkers contacted by BBC News say he should quit now.

The list includes Tim Yeo, chairman of the all-party Commons Climate and Energy Committee and Mike Hulme a former IPCC lead author.

Mr Yeo told BBC News: "Dr Pachauri has become a liability -- he is now causing more harm than good. Climate science needs a guarantee of utmost reliability, and Dr Pachauri can no longer guarantee that. It would be as well if he stepped aside."

Professor Hulme said: "Whatever merit his leadership of IPCC has had in the past, Dr Pachauri is unfortunately now associated with controversy and error in the IPCC AR4."

"As clearly implied by the IAC Review, a new chair for AR5 would bring fresh vitality and a new respect to the IPCC."

The IPCC has admitted it made a mistake in its 2007 assessment -- known as AR4 -- in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. [Note that this was a tiny error in a report of thousands of pages, well within the rigor of such a large publication.] But it says [no, everyone with a brain said this, not just the IPCC] this error did not change the broad picture of man-made climate change.

The chairman's fate will be decided by a meeting of the IPCC in South Korea next month. BBC News understands [unnamed sources, again] that the government representatives overseeing the IPCC are reluctant to oust him for fear of upsetting India -- a major player in climate talks and a growing superpower. [this is a meme repeated in the first article, as well -- are they trying to put pressure on India?]

'Losing face'
  The UK government told BBC News that it was not explicit in the IAC report that a current chair of the IPCC should resign before the current assessment report is finished.

But Professor Brian Hoskins, a Royal Society Fellow who reviewed the IAC report, said that speedy resignation was the obvious intention of the IAC.

"The IAC recommendation is subtle," he said. "But it probably would be better for the future of the IPCC if Dr Pachauri were to resign of his own accord, taking great care to ensure that there is no question of India losing face as India is such a major country for mitigation (of emissions) and adaptation (to climate change)."

Most other commentators [who? pray tell] contacted by BBC News shared the view that the IAC intended Professor Pachauri to leave now rather than wait until the end of his term.

Most hoped that he would choose to resign in accordance with the IAC report and forestall any diplomatic row.

Fred Pearce, veteran environment author for New Scientist [an obvious turncoat denialist intent on promoting his "Climategate" smear book]: "I do not normally favour calling for people to resign. But in this case it is obvious that the IAC intends Pachauri to go, even though it's not explicit. So it may not be entirely fair, but for the sake of the IPCC it would be better if he resigns."

[Unfortunately, George Monbiot, environmental journalist for The Guardian, opened the door on journalists calling for resignations of prominent scientists -- he has since apologized to Dr. Jones, but it was a sort of weak apology and too late to do any good.]

Geoffrey Lean, the long-serving environment correspondent, now on the Daily Telegraph: "The time passed some while ago in which Pauchari ceased to be an asset to the IPCC and became a liability."

The UK director of Greenpeace John Sauven told The Times in February [this quote is already 7 months old -- at the height of the CRU e-mails theft investigations -- might he have a different opinion today?]: "The IPCC needs to regain credibility. Is that going to happen with Pachauri? I don't think so. We need someone held in high regard who has extremely good judgment and is seen by the global public as someone on their side."

I understand this is still his view [How?], although he has been discouraged by Greenpeace International from taking a stance on the issue. [Who says?]

Fixed term
  Of all the commentators contacted by BBC News only former government adviser Tom Burke insisted that Dr Pachauri should serve out his full term.
"It's important not to give a trophy to sceptics," he said. "Pachauri has not done a very good job and should not have been appointed for a second term," he said. "But he's here now and should finish the job (of AR5 -- the IPCC's next climate assessment)."

Tony Juniper, former head of Friends of the Earth said: "It is very important that this is handled sensitively and that any impression of faults with climate science are avoided.

"But it is probably best for the IPCC if the current chair ponders on his very considerable achievements and decides of his own accord to pass the baton to someone else to complete the work on AR5. It seems clear to me that this is what the Inter Academy Council intended."

George Monbiot has angrily refuted allegations in right-wing newspapers that Dr Pachauri has profiteered from his IPCC office. But he also called on the IPCC chair to resign to protect the reputation of the UN body.

Foremost in the minds of commentators concerned about climate change is the fear that sceptics will use Dr Pachauri's continued presence on the IPCC to undermine the next report, AR5.

Former Cabinet Secretary Andrew Turnbull was calling for Dr Pachauri's resignation in his foreword to a recent report from the sceptical think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation [bought and paid for by the Climate Denial Machine].

The BBC understands that if Dr Pachauri is determined to hang on to the job, his post is safe for a while at least. A UN source said developed countries were keen to strike a deal on biodiversity, so would not be prepared to upset developing countries by calling for resignation of a high-profile Indian. [There's that meme, again.]

The question now is whether Dr Pachauri feels he is still serving the best interests of the IPCC, following such a negative reaction from British greens whom he may have considered to be his friends.

[Wow!  The psychological pressure is on!]

Readers, if you are concerned by this shoddy "journalism," please contact the BBC ombudsman and/or the Green Templeton College, Oxford, where Harrabin is promoted as an environmental journalist (his documentaries are promoted by announcing that Steve McIntyre is interviewed -- noted denialist in the pocket of tar sands mining in Canada) (see link to Oxford blurb: 

Heather Ebner, Development:
Eleanor Brace, Annual Fund:
Clare Oxenbury, Alumni
Sue Wilson, Communications:
Development and Alumni Office
Green Templeton College
Woodstock Road
Oxford OX2 6HG
T + 44 (0) 1865 274797

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