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« Smaller world | Main | Surprise, surprise »

Small world

Now here's a funny coincidence. In the last post, we learned that the BBC has surreptitiously been taking sponsorship from environmentalists. One of the programmes involved was this one, presented by a Sunday Times environmental correspondent, Richard Girling.

Now that's a familiar name isn't it?

It was Richard Girling with whom the Outside Organisation (whose MD Neil Wallis was involved in the phone hacking scandal) placed a front page story at the start of 2010, signalling the start of a public relations strategy for the under-fire CRU scientists, as McIntyre describes:

These  [articles] started or promoted many memes of the Empire Strikes Back phase of Climategate: blaming CRU misconduct since 2003 on FOI requests in late July 2009, focusing on the “poor Phil” meme, associating Jones with the honorable David Kelly, building up the alleged “death threats”.

Small world.

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Reader Comments (12)

Who beleives in coincidences?

Nov 16, 2011 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Or even believes.

Nov 16, 2011 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Although interesting, none of this will get through to the MSM. In the old days when we had ITN, it was only to happy to rip strips off BBC News, but Sky seems too scared to take them on these days. Shame, I love a good corruption outing, but this one won't see the light of day.

Nov 16, 2011 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Unreal! But at this point, it's not even surprising!

P.S. Bish, You might want to re-word "Outside Organisation (of phone hacking disrepute)" ... OO could not really be accused of being involved in the phone hacking. They merely hired/contracted with former NOTWer and former MET PR "advisor", Neil Wallis.

Nov 16, 2011 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

I think that Rockhopper link is wrong, should it be to the Richard Girling Taking the Credit film?

If so I watched the Taking the Credit film yesterday at this link

Having watched that film I think the BBC findings seemed generous

there was no evidence that Envirotrade had influenced the direction of the programme in any way

The film seems like a straight advert for Envirotrade, albeit a very subtle one. I found myself sympathising with Envirotrade after watching it especially when it comes to their being attacked by the likes of Friends of the Earth who oppose them and rather they didn't exist at all, FOE seem to think that carbon should just be decreased by cut backs in development in western society rather than African carbon trade and development along the Envirotrade lines. That made me wonder if the original freelance journalist mentioned in the BBC report, who reported the Taking the Credit/Envirotrade film, had any affiliation with an opposing green organisation. If so he, this whole story could be a result of example of greenie in-fighting.

I also not that Girling has been associated with Envirotrade back in 2005

The project attracted widespread attention in Africa and the rest of the world. Coinciding with the meeting of the G8 leaders in Scotland 2005, a British newspaper, the Sunday Times, featured the project in a 3-page, full colour article by the awardwinning environmental journalist Richard Girling on 3rd July 2005. The article concluded:

As I walk away through the bush, I can see it; new trees growing, healthy crops, beehives, the cane-rat enclosure, the pottery, the carpenter’s workshop. Best of all, sitting quietly alone, head bent over his books, the schoolmaster Zacarias is planning the next day’s lesson.

Nov 16, 2011 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement


I think Rockhopper have taken the page down. You can still see it on Google, but it redirects to the home page now.

Nov 16, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


Yes, Rockhopper must have removed the film since yesterday, I think I remember finding the original Rockhopper link to the film yesterday and now if you search"taking the credit rockhopper" you get a redirected link as the top result.

Nov 16, 2011 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

It's difficult to know whom to trust less - politicians or journalists. I wish the good ones (and some are) would remind their less scrupulous colleagues that they are spoiling the show, but I guess they're too polite.

Nov 16, 2011 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Google provides a little bit of background on Envirotrade.

PR firm Only Connect Communication uses them as a case study, mentioning the BBC programme.

The Robin Birley mentioned there is Zac Goldsmith's half-brother and Taking The Credit had already brought the BBC unwelcome media attention in April 2010.

Nov 16, 2011 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Girling is also the Sunday Times's main book reviewer on environmental books. His review of Howard Friel's unpleasant and inaccurate book attacking Bjorn Lomborg in April 2010 was especially fawning. see a list of his articles here: Should the Sunday Times now investigate whether its articles were influenced by green groups too?

Nov 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMatt Ridley

I gather from a correspondent that Girling is a freelancer who was commissioned to write this piece by the ST.

Still too many coincidences for my liking.

Nov 16, 2011 at 4:42 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

It will turn out that much of the AGW consensus was bought and paid for.
tTis is of course particularly ironic since the AGW believers are the ones who have spent years claiming skeptics are bought and paid for by the Koch brothers or Exxon.
But bad science like AGW, social mania and corruption go hand in hand.
Now how much longer do we get to hear how these corrupt processes got the science right?

Nov 17, 2011 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

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