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Roger throws down the gauntlet

This morning Roger Harrabin has written something about the Green Climate Fund, the latest wheeze for moving money from the pockets of poor people in rich countries to those of rich people in poor countries, while allowing environmentalists to take their cut. No surprise there.

What was interesting was the way he describes the GWPF:

Benny Peiser from the fossil fuel lobby group GWPF said international climate finance for low carbon development was "a detrimental use of aid money".

A couple of days ago I wrote to Roger about his coverage of the ODI report into fossil fuel subsidies, pointing out that it was essentially a work of fiction. He was apparently too busy to look into the problems with it.

Go figure.

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Reader Comments (114)

Richard North has been banging on about this for some time now. An absolute travesty and one of the worst examples of the green blob. If ukip play their cards right they could reap the rewards of this criminal act but I suspect they're too thick to do so. Anyone know what's happened to his eureferendum blog which has disappeared?

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

"fossil fuel lobby group"

"The BBC must not knowingly and materially mislead its audiences. We should not distort known facts, present invented material as fact or otherwise undermine our audiences’ trust in our content"

Adrian Mole has now resorted to name calling. I expect a formal complaint to be submitted.

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

The description of the GWPF as a fossil fuel lobby group is obviously mendacious. If wind turbines, solar cells, wave or tidal power could meet our needs in a cost effective manner the GWPF would probably support them. If it did not do so then everybody would quickly forget about the GWPF. Some "green" technologies like tidal lagoons have received little funding and are probably worth further research.

Has there ever been a case of Roger Harrabin describing a green organisation as a " renewable energy lobby group"?

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

"fossil fuel lobby group GWPF"

The Green Parrot (Harrabin) seems to be slipping further into the mire. It is appalling how the BBC turns a blind eye to such disgraceful behaviour.

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

The BBC has many blind eyes. Let's see where do we start? Ah piedophiles, green blob, amnesty oh where to stop.

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

It is time some organisation audited all the aid money spent by all the countries since 1945 and seen who has benefited the most.Up to independence many British colonies had agricultural , forestry and engineering officers who actually understood what was needed to improve the quality of lives of the poorest. Since independence, aid has produced large numbers of reasonably well paid officials in charities and UN bodies and resulted in vast amounts of corruption which has benefited the rulers of of independent countries. The poorest people have often received little benefit or even in some cases traditional farming methods have broken down. Many schemes were wrong or in the wrong place( dams have been located in the wrong place) or needed western technology to sustain ( using diesel pumps in irrigation systems comes to mind). Dams used for irrigation silted up resulting in life spans being reduced from 100 years to 4 years in worst cases or even spreading disease.

Schumacher was one of the few individuals who understood the importance of intermediate technology.

Another aspect is trade, opening the EU market to trade from Africa and other poor areas would stimulate the their economies.

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Should we be referring to Roger as "Green blob spokesman Harrabin"? :-)

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:31 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

In effect the "green" energy industry has now got its hands on some of the UK overseas aid money, as some of that budget has simply been transferred to make up the UK contribution to the climate fund.

Ed Davey sees that as enlightened self interest!

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Should we be referring to Roger as "Green blob spokesman Harrabin"?

Definitely. He is not a science correspondent as he is sometimes called by the BBC.
He is not an environment analyst as he is sometimes called by the BBC.

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

His report on the Today programme (not my choice of listening, but the radio isn't on my side of the bed) was dreadful - drove me out of bed swearing.

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterCHarlie Flindt

Charlie: I switched Radio4 on just after 6am to hear the tail end of Harrabin. I thought "this propaganda is not what I need first thing in the morning". I changed to ClassicFM.

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:41 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Like Paul above, I was wondering what is the problem with EUReferendum, anything to do with an English bylection?
Yes someone more erudite than I should formally complain to the BBCC about Green Blob Harradin.

Nov 20, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterpatrick healy

I guess that in Harrabin's circles, this sort of nonsense earns him a point or two. That must please him more than attempting accurate reporting, but it is a blot on his copybook nevertheless.

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

"Green Blob Spokesman" is a bit lengthy.

How about contracting "Green Blob" -> "Glob" and then Roger is a "Globbyist" ?

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

I listened to the Today programme 8:10 -ish and it was fine, quite well balanced. They had Edward Leigh on, expressing doubts, followed by Ed Davey, and Mishal Husain did a good interviewer job with both.
Quite a contrast from the bias and smear in Harrabin's article.

But did anyone hear the news bulletin at 8-8:10? I think I heard Harrabin say that we started the Greenhouse effect!?

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Mr Harrabin has come over all sensitive on Twitter...

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Regarding the EUReferendum site.

Yesterday it was subject to a DDoS attack, lately the Norths have been laying into UKIP but responding with a DDoS isn't really UKIP style, it's more Anarchist and hard left.

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterbrik

The discussion on Radio Four including a tory MP and Davey the Secretary of State was rather political in nature. The Lib Dems were appealing to the soft left and the tories were appealing to their traditional supporters in areas like the Somerset levels. Don't expect common sense for at least six months. They should have included that rather vocal Liberian academic from SOAS to give a little perspective to this discussion.

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered Commentertrefjon

Thanks brik, Damn there goes my conspiracy theory! Hope it's mended soon.

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterpatrick healy

One interesting aspect of Davey's interview on R4 was that he seemed to be taking credit for Ineos going for Fracking, especially as he seems to have done as much as possible to make it difficult for any fracking to take place...

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

A number of commenters have alleged BBC bias, and expressed a wish that 'someone' (else) would complain.

It really is easy to submit a formal complaint, and takes about 5 mins.

Lone complaints may be easily brushed-off; multiple complains regarding the same subject or correspondent will carry more weight, when Aunty carries out its complaints analysis.

Always tick the box that asks if you want a response.

Never accept the initial 'rejection' response, usually prepared by a low-level admin person.

Beware of many red herrings thrown into subsequent responses.

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

I've already filed a formal complaint to the BBC on Harrabin's fossil fuel subsidy piece

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

Harriban's angst- and cliche-filled piece in the 7 o'clock bulletin:

The fund was created to help poor countries adapt to shifts in climate caused by the greenhouses gases mainly emitted by rich nations. It also subsidises low-carbon energy, like wind and solar, so developing countries don’t depend so heavily on the fossil fuels that help the West get rich. The Climate Secretary, Ed Davey, told BBC News the fund was a moral imperative because we started the Greenhouse Effect. It’s supposed to hold at least £6.5 billion by the end of 2014, but the green group Friends of the Earth say that’s just a drop in the ocean compared with the scale of the problem. Government critics say we shouldn’t be giving money away to help others adapt to weather extremes, when we can’t properly fund flood maintenance at home.

Nov 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterCHarlie Flindt

This morning in a headline roundup on R4 (I think by Naughtie) I noticed the first two headlines were something like;

"Ineos has invested heavily in Shale Gas.....Critics say it's environmentally unsafe.
There is a new green fund for the 3rd world....Critics say it doesn't go far enough."

There were apparently no critics of any other headline item! Once upon a time they stuck to reporting facts and left their worthless opinions at the door but all news now seems to go through a faux-green filter first.

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

I plead not guilty to attacking North's site. However, his attitude towards anyone who disagrees with him is such that I'm sure he has earned himself many enemies. I get the impression he thinks that UKIP should have been created in his own mould, and he attacks it like a jilted ex. He is often keen to pretend he has superior knowledge when in fact he does not. Owen Paterson should be careful about relying too much on North's opinions.


Will Davey demand that drills are powered by onsite windmills?

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

If Harrabin was a footballer (but he's not intelligent enough to be one) he'd be nick-named Hazza. That makes me think of him as a Hazza-bin.

As for his support for the Green Slush Fund: I wonder if he would like to back a Green donation to Mugabe's Zimbabwe - and have the confidence to know that it would not end up as a load of diamonds round Grace's neck. After all, the situation in Zimbabwe must be down to the UK's initiation of global warming (pace Hazzabin), and nothing at all to do with Mugabe's brilliant management of his country's economy.

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:13 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Of late there have been suggestions that the Green Party should have a place at the putative Party Leader TV election debates. I'd have thought that the amount of propaganda they manage to get broadcast on the BBC across news and regular programming far exceeds anything allowed by normal electoral commission rules.

Indeed, given that we are now getting rather closer to the election, perhaps it is time that they considered whether the BBC isn't in fact providing PPBs for the Green Party without charging them a little too often, and that the time should be rationed.

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Poor Roger displays his ignorance & gullibility by being taken-in by the description accompanying the source photo:

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

One of the things that came out of Davy's interview on R4 this morning was his insistence that India, with 400M people without electric power, must not be allowed to install coal-fired power stations, even if that is the cheap option; they must be made to install solar as that is so effective and nearly as cheap as coal. And, it's so effective that when you need electric light to lighten your darkness....

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

The GWPF is a phony organisation designed to create a false dichotomy between capitalists and greens. Naomi Klein points out that most Green organisations are funded by the oil industry, who are/ financing both sides. It allows them to promote carbon trading (global warming) AND fracking.

Financial Times

The whole affair, according to Klein, underlines a painful truth behind the “catastrophic failure” of some environmental organisations to combat the fossil-fuel industries responsible for soaring greenhouse gas emissions. “Large parts of the movement aren’t actually fighting those interests – they have merged with them,” she writes, pointing to green groups that have accepted fossil-fuel industry donations or partnerships and invited industry executives on to their boards.

It is no coincidence, suggests Klein, that several environmental organisations have also championed climate policies that are the least burdensome to the energy industry, including generously designed carbon markets and the use of natural gas as a bridge to a cleaner energy system.

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Green Blob Bob should be reserved for Grantham's Bob Ward.

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

I just wish that someone from the Beeb would ask Davey where the power will come from when it's dark and there is no wind. How hard can it be..?

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:42 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

If the climate mafia did not lie about climate and those who disagree with them they would have very little to say.

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

CAGW Global Warming
CARH Roger Harrabin
CARW Bob Ward
CAJS Jon Snow
CAED Ed Davey
CACH Chris Huhne
CAJS Julia Slingo

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

CARB Richard Black (& Richard Betts)
CADS David Shukman

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:52 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The BBC should be called an unreliable electricity lobby group or the Blackout Britain Corporation. The double standards at the BBC are staggering. Of course if any organisation is painted as black as it's worst connection (however tenuous) the BBC has to be known as the home of paedophilia.

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


The BBC is the new Universal Catholic Broadcaster. LOL !

Nov 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Harrabin's Twitter profile picture shows just how impartial he aims to be.

Nov 20, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan Shurmer

How about "Green Blob Gob" for Harrabin?

Nov 20, 2014 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Hanwell


Nov 20, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

People like Harrabin have the old press mentality that government cannot afford to upset them and so the BBC can do and say what it likes so long as it can't be proved to have broken its charter (very different from being impartial).

I suggest Roger and his bum chums should wake up and smell the new world where government did take on the press barons and sooner or later will take on the BBC in the same way.

And there are less and less people who would be sad to see the BBC go.

And there's only one really successful program left on the BBC worth saving. Top Gear! And unless Roger wears a white helmet in his spare time, it looks to me like his dig at "fossil fuel" is just sour grapes from a B-rank journalist.

Nov 20, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

E. Smiff, only if they can wear fishnet stockings and a basque underneath the cassock and hide their stash in the Bible.

Nov 20, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


The BBC is the propaganda arm of the British establishment. Even if it its broadcasting operations are privatised, control will remain with the government. Today's establishment is (to a large extent) the City of London.


London's financial centre is the main home to the incipient global carbon market. Prof Heal believes that in a decade, the trade could be worth trillions of dollars.

Nov 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff


Nov 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

I heard the early Harribin piece (0615ish?), and it was utterly farcical. He described Bangledeshis living in a river delta and building on sandbanks as they appeared, and then suggested that it was a moral pre-requisite for us to shore them up with sand barriers when the river flows again started to wash them away! There was inference that sea level rise was responsible, be he didn't actually say that.

Sir Edward Leigh (later on, after 0800) said that we shouldn't be handing over guaranteed cheques with no oversight, but should be supporting specific projects that are properly engineered and audited.

I know which of them was speaking sense, and had morality on side.

Nov 20, 2014 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

I have formally complained to the BBC - I would urge all readers to do so. I strongly resent the licence fee, which I am compelled to pay, being used for propaganda purposes.

Nov 20, 2014 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterGuirme

JamesG on Nov 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM
"Ineos has invested heavily in Shale Gas.....Critics say it's environmentally unsafe.
There is a new green fund for the 3rd world....Critics say it doesn't go far enough."

One day it will be:
Ineos has invested heavily in Shale Gas.....Critics say it doesn't go far enough.
There is a new green fund for the 3rd world.....Critics say it's environmentally unsafe

Nov 20, 2014 at 1:41 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Perhaps he should be known as Roger "Rita Skeeter" Harrabin..

Nov 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnteros

Blobette, would be my choice.

He's short of mass to be a full blob.

Nov 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

When Owen Paterson delivered the recent Annual GWPF lecture "Keeping the Lights On", he spoke in support of nuclear power.

Roger Harrabin is an advocate of darkness. Cold darkness.

Nov 20, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

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