There’s an important investigation here by the Mail on Sunday of a grant to BBC environment “analyst” and greenie poster boy Roger Harrabin of £15,000 from the University of East Anglia’s climate centre, the outfit at the centre of Climategate. The cash, it is stated, was used to fund a range of climate change seminars. Mr Harrabin denies, of course, that the money has influenced his reporting…and the BBC itself can see no issues of impartiality. Well that’s OK then.
But I wonder how many who disagree with Mr Harrabin’s brand of eco fervour attended his seminars? And, as I’ve extensively reported before, Mr Harrabin seems happy to tout his services to any greenie cause that will hire him.
The Mail investigation also mentions the Television Trust for the Environment (TVE), which as I reported earlier this week, has been censured by the BBC trustees over conflict of interest and a failure to tell viewers where the programme budget had originated. Reporter David Rose notes that Dr Joe Smith, Mr Harrabin’s partner – and joint recipient of the UEA cash – was chief scientific adviser to TVE programmes, including a couple the BBC trustees have censured. Mr Rose quotes Jenny Richards, the deputy chief executive of TVE, as saying that the company had “made hundreds of programmes” for the BBC and regarded the trustees report as a “slap on the wrist”.
That, to me, is the most telling remark in the whole story. It suggests that she knows that the trustees don’t really give a fig about this whole sorry mess – they are involved in a bit of cosmetic window dressing, and nothing will actually change.
Bishop Hill, who (wrongly) thinks that Robert Lamb is still the chief executive of TVE, says I have been “overheated” in my reporting of this affair. He is entitled to his views, and I respect them – that’s the strength of blogging. But in my book, those at the BBC who are involved in this rather fetid mess of obfuscation and conflict of interest are without doubt eco fascists, and thoroughly deserve that description. Mr Lamb and his ilk have traduced the BBC and reduced it to an organ of WWF propaganda. They want rule by international diktat, to cover the countryside with windfarms, to massively reduce the population, to make heating our homes so expensive that thousands will live in daily fear of how much energy they are consuming, to stop us from flying, to force us out of our cars, and much more. That all adds up to a brand of fascism.