I’ve listened to Roger Harrabin’s second and final programme about climate change available here (due to be broadcast on R4 tonight). Obviously B-BBC readers will make up their own minds whether the programme could be regarded as balanced, but I have deliberately chosen this out-of-context phrase from Mr Harrabin because in my view his whole construct was deeply flawed. Yes he interviewed so-called sceptics, and yes, he conveyed elements of their perspective. But this was only a classic BBC lip-service ploy to convey fairness. The reality was that, on balance, he was snidely scathing about all those who disbelieve in the warmist fantasies, and at the same time, went out of his way to build credence for alarmists, both by allocating them more space and by talking of them reverentially as “mainstream” and “establishment” scientists. He gave his carefully chosen “sceptics” some space, but knocked them down by a combination of snide innuendo, highly selective editing, and by failing to put across their ideas in a way that showed them respect. The whole exercise reminded me of a Mafia chief saying he must be right because most those in his orbit agreed with him. All very unsurprising – it’s what Mr Harrabin does, after all – but people I know were asking me at the weekend if these two programmes showed he might be having second thoughts about his warmist zeal. The answer is clearly a resounding ‘no’. And he and the BBC are as committed to their green religion as they always have been. In future months the corporation will wheel Uncertain Climate out as an example of them giving “sceptics” airtime. But it was a charade.

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15 Responses to HARRABIN: I AM GUILTY

  1. matthew rowe says:

    His mindset shows in the way he called Lord Lawson the head of the sceptics a few days ago ? i have no truk with Lawson his book is a great
    and well thought out read but he will always be open to be tarred with the ‘Thatcher’ ‘Tory’ brush the beeb love to use so often !


  2. John Anderson says:

    Robin Horbury

    I agree entirely with your take of the second Harrabin programme.  He uses weasel words but is basically promoting Warmism. Incorrigible.

    I counted at least 10 instances of his wriggling,  trying to present himself as “balanced” but at every turn belittling the arguments against the AGW cult.

    Smarmy git !


  3. cjhartnett says:

    Hope that someone will keep a copy of this so-called programme for posterity. I can`t recall a more snide slithery and dishonest programme. Harrabin smarms amongst openly-sceptical scientists(not all of course-unlike Nobel-prize winner Harrabin natch!); and with a cut and paste editor is able to confect a parody of the global warming debate that we need. The BBC has clearly made up its mind and no US Academy of Science/M.I.T expert can hold a candle to those well-known scientists Nick Stern and Crispin Tickell. Note that the only time Thatcher gets a a namecheck now without noises off is when she is quoted in regard of her “Green Conversion(sic)”


  4. Natsman says:

    Is anyone in the least bit surprised?  I seem to remember reading on another blog (Bishop Hill, I think), where Harrabin had approached them whilst obviously setting up these programmes.  Some gave him the benefit of the doubt, believing that by assisting him it would further the sceptics cause, others (including me) warned that he shouldn’t be touched with a bargepole, as a leopard doesn’t change it’s sppts.  It would seem that our cynicism was justifiable, just as expected.


  5. Cassandra King says:

    What we hoped would be an honest re appraisal of the AGW debate truned out to be just another BBC smear and dirty tricks show, the vain hope that the sewer rats would somehow morph into human beings was misplaced.
    The BBC cannot be honest, they cannot be impartial and they cannot be fair, its not in their nature and it would be easier for a scorpian to change its nature.
    So lets assume that the BBC were told to allow sceptics a hearing, any normal honest group would simply allow both sides and equal say but the BBC cannot do this because their whole rotten house would collapse so their first questions are how can we smear the enemy and what dirty tricks can we use while giving the false impression of impartiality.
    The BBC knows full well that the sceptics have a far stronger moral and factual case than the AGW cultists, given a fair showing the sceptics would win hands down every time so the BBC do what they do best, they lie and they cheat and they misrepresent their enemies and they use their attack dogs to do it.
    All the BBC tricks used for so long are now becoming threadbare and noticeable to most people, the trust of the people has been lost and all the trickery in the world cannot win it back. All the BBC has left is its dirty tricks and cynical manipulation of the facts, the ever decreasing circle of lies and deceit which will end in their demise. There will be no reform and road to Damascus conversion for the BBC, they will simply ramp up the lies until the whole rotten edifice collapses in on itself.
    Good riddance to the dregs of the evil and rotten cult of leftism that has been such a cancer on the body of our once wonderful nation, the tragedy is that when the BBC dies the UK will be almost dead too.


  6. deegee says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if the BBC is beginning to notice the Global Warming ‘Titanic’ is coming a little close to an iceberg (with or without polar bears). The Harrabin apology combined with Climate shifts ‘not to blame’ for African civil wars suggest it already scoping out a lifeboat.


    • matthew rowe says:

      yep mind sahme they welded their life boat marked ‘pensions’ to the deck ! could be embarassing some what !.


    • George R says:

      Yes, BBC-NUJ-Labour need to recognise that they are wrong, wrong, wrong in elevating ‘climate change’ as cause of conflicts in Africa.

      But, taking the example of the photograph which the article uses, on DARFUR, the is no recognition of the role of Islamic jihad in the killings there.


  7. AndyUk06 says:

    Harrabin doesn’t have an honest bone. He is drowning in a sea of  carefully chosen wording.

    As James Delingpole would say, only morons, cheats and liars still believe in Man-Made Global Warming.

    I always used to think those who fell for all this warmist crap are just a bit thick.  But as with all cults and movements, its the followers of AGW who are daft twats. The leaders of these movements like Gore and Mann need whole generations of thickos in order to survive.

    Harrabin’s only means of survival is to continue to influence, manipulate, hypnotize, hoodwink and deceive.


  8. Umbongo says:

    Harrabin is rather like a reverse Galileo.  Although he knows the truth he still can’t resist stating that “it’s MMGW all the same” whatever evidence is presented to him.  OTOH he knows that, if he does admit to doubt, he’ll be consigned to the depths of Hell – or, worse, Salford – by his employers and abused or, more likel;y, ostracised by the MMGW fraternity.  Leaving the MMGW establishment is akin to leaving the SWP: you’ll never be forgiven and you’ll be written out of the history of the glorious warmist struggle.


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      “..OTOH he knows that, if he does admit to doubt, he’ll be consigned to the depths of Hell – or, worse, Salford – by his employers”

      Don’t forget that Harrabin is the person responsible for the BBC propaganda on AGW. He will never admit his mistakes. The only part of Manchester he should go to is Strangeways.


  9. AndyUk06 says:

    O/T but give yourselves a pat on the back…



  10. Anonymous says:

    I read an interview with Harrabin a few years ago in CAM, a magazine for Cambridge alumni. He opined that it was a pity the world couldn’t be run for us by experts, untrammelled by any of that silly democratic accountability nonsense. Presumably, in the context of climate, he thinks bodies like the IPCC should be in charge because they’re “experts” and we should all do as they tell us.

    This begs obvious questions about how well Soviet agriculture worked on this basis when experts like Lysenko were in charge – or indeed, how well financial regulation worked when the FSA was in charge, or how well Haringey child protection worked when Margaret Hodge was in charge. Leaving these aside, though, isn’t this an astonishing attitude from a journalist? Journalists are surely supposed to be cynical devil’s advocates who question the official line sceptically until it breaks or they do.

    Roger appears to have forsworn this approach completely in favour of agreeing breathlessly with the correct lefty. He seems to take the view that a journalist’s job is to repeat the official line without challenge or consideration of whether it might be propaganda.

    He reminds me very much of the “EBC” journalists satirised in The Kraken Wakes, whose entire job is to peddle comforting lies unquestioningly to the public even as the flood waters drive them onto the rooves of their houses. Only by doing so do they themselves get a nice high roof to occupy. Perhaps that’s the problem here: no lies, no salary? It’s not obvious what other science reporting role could be filled by Roger, with his English degree.


  11. prpw says:

    Robin, Please keep up your excellent work on this subject.

    I would struggle to suppress my laughter at Harrabin and the many other patently unqualified airheads at the BBC who spout about climate science so frequently, if it weren’t so tragic that many people clearly take at face value the BBC’s regurgitation of the dubious findings of its friends at the University of East Anglia and elsewhere.

    Here’s just a tiny fraction of what bugs me about the BBC’s treatment of the subject: 

    –Contrary to the BBC’s blatantly untrue statements about the science being `settled’, if the science indicates anything at all it’s that there isn’t even statistically significant evidence for a trend of global warming, let alone that any warming is anthropgenic; 

    –Contrary to the BBC’s consistently slanted presentation, there’s plenty of evidence that many other factors have a far more powerful influence on our planet’s biosphere than anything the human race can do: cosmic rays, the ocean and its currents, volcanism, the sunspot cycle and other solar cycles etc. Just don’t expect to hear it from Harrabin and his ilk in any more than lip-service form because it’s not convenient for them for you to know that !

    –Most scientist proponents of anthropogenic global warming are Government-funded researchers coming up with findings acceptable to Govts who like to use climate change for their own agendas… to justify various spending and taxation plans. The scientific peer-review process is close to non-existent. Just don’t expect the BBC to point out out that or the cosy funding relationships involved !

    Because the science is settled, right ?  I mean, if Roger’s programme proves anything it’s that he hasn’t been vocal enough about `man-made global warming’, right ?


  12. Hector Redoubtable says:

    No surprise there then.
    Who the hell is Harrabin anyway, he is no expert – the only thing he’s expert at is massaging the egos of alarmist gobs****s.