Censorship in Moderation

The Guardian has a review of 2012’s environmental news at

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/21/drought-icemelt-superstorm-environment-review-2012?intcmp=122

I joined in:

22 December 2012 6:40 AM

Suzanne Goldenberg says:

“The [Heartland] documents, which detailed a plan to indoctrinate school children against climate science, brought notoriety to Heartland.”

But the key document was a fake, wasn’t it, almost certainly fabricated by Dr Gleick himself (his style was identified by critics before his involvement was even known about).

Why does the Guardian omit this important fact?

This was deleted so I tried this:

 22 December 2012 8:05

 Suzanne Goldenberg, in her report on Peter Gleick and the Heartland Institute, omits an important fact.

which prompted this exchange:

 UnderminingOrthodoxy  12:40 PM 0

 You appear to have neglected to include any facts in your remark.

gchambers 12:47 PM

Yes, well, as my great great uncle CP Scott used to say, “Comment is Free, but Facts are Secret”

UnderminingOrthodoxy 1:02 PM

Thanks for not sharing.

 gchambers 3:03 PM

See my comments at 6.40AM and 8.23AM. I do my best.

UnderminingOrthodoxy 3:28 PM

This is the only point we are ever likely to agree upon.

See my reply to your comment of 8:18, oh wait, you can’t any more. You really do have the whole business of AGW utterly wrong, and i would like to be allowed to discuss it with you. I would rather your nonsense were left to stand so that it can be publically rebutted.

gchambers 3:37 PM What nonsense?

That all disappeared without trace, so I tried a different tack, dividing my post into three, so that if one part was found offensive, the rest could still stand.

gchambers 8.18AM

Here’s my top environment stories of 2012

1) The Met Office admitted there’s been no measurable global warming for 15 years. 

2)  Climatologist Tamsin Edwards started a blog entitled “All models are wrong”.

3) The Royal Society broke with a three-centuries-old tradition of scientific neutrality by producing a report embracing Malthusianism.

 gchambers 8.19AM

4) Scientists and politicians met in Rio and nothing happened. Then they met in Dofar and nothing happened.

5) The BBC’s “best scientific experts” who attended a seminar to advise top BBC executives on the reporting climated change were revealed to have been green activists. Just two out of 28 were working scientists. The rest were from Greenpeace, the Church of England, insurance companies, the US Embassy, plus a documentary film maker from Venezuela, and another film maker who is now a director of the family luxury hotel complex in Greece.

6) The Guardian quoted Kenyan biologist Risky Agwama as saying that global warming is causing cheetahs’ balls to overheat and make their sperm curl up.

gchambers 8.23AM 

7) Suzanne Goldenberg wrote a dozen articles about something that turned out to be not entirely accurate

They all went, but not before joddpurr replied to my 8.19AM

 Let’s see your peer reviewed paper that says otherwise. Are you saying that Risky was cheating ?

gchambers @joddpurr12:55 PM 

Certainly not. At Guardian Environment I throw the Precautionary Principle to the winds and swallow everything, however Risky (or risqué)

Finally, I tried to be deadly serious and on topic:

gchambers 5.26PM

Suzanne Goldenberg writes:

Heartland … was the target of a sting by a noted water researcher Peter Gleick. Gleick posed as a board member to persuade Heartland to release confidential financial materials and strategic plans – which he promptly passed on to reporters.

The documents, which detailed a plan to indoctrinate school children against climate science, brought notoriety to Heartland. 

Ms Goldenberg wrote a number of articles about this at the time – about twelve I believe.

She failed to note then, as she fails to note in the article above, that:

– Gleick’s action in impersonating a member of the Heartland board in order to obtain the documents was illegal. 

– One of the documents was a forgery, which Gleick claimed to have obtained anonymously through the post

– Before Gleick’s involvement in the affair became known, a blogger had already suggested, on stylistic grounds alone, that the forged document might have been written by Gleick (an accusation which Gleick later denied)

– The serious accusations against Heartland (for example Goldenberg’s accusation about the “indoctrination” of schoolchildren) were based on, and supported by quotations from, the forged document

C.P. Scott was my great great uncle.

But that went too. (It’s true about my being related to C.P. Scott, but I can’t be sure of the exact relationship.)

Two other comments deemed offensive also disappeared:

cjfield 10:37 AM 4

 So 2012 had weather. The big prediction for 2013 is more weather.

ccw9mm  11:29AM  

You guys left out the part where the sky is falling.

You can argue about the legal problems of associating Gleik’s name with a forged document, or whether my criticism of Guardian journalists went too far, but  cjfield and ccw9mm were both making, in an jokey and entirely inoffensive fashion, the point  that weather is not climate. They were disagreeing with the tenor of the article, making a point supported by the entire scientific community.

Does it matter? In a few years the Guardian will have disappeared, and no-one will remember that for more than two centuries Britain had a radical press whch was the admiration of everyone all over the world who valued freedom. 

No point in getting worked up about it, I suppose. I think I’ll go and have a mince pie.

Cheers.

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10 Responses to Censorship in Moderation

  1. alexjc38 says:

    Another C.P. Scott quote: “‘the voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard”. That quaint notion seems to have fallen by the wayside a very long time ago.

    Looking forward to a few mince pies, myself. And a few glasses of Tesco’s finest port. Cheers!

  2. dearieme says:

    We gave up taking the Guardian a couple of decades ago when it suddenly occurred to me that its insanity and dishonesty might be infectious.

  3. mikemUK says:

    I admire your perseverance with the Guardian, I gave up long ago: there’s little point trying to make a valid point only to be moderated out or become a target for mass ill-informed invective.

    I have a fond memory though – in one of Monbiot’s famous rants (over Yamal I think) he kindly pointed readers straight to Steve McIntyre’s site, the natural gateway to WUWT et al, and I’ve lived happily ever after. 😎

  4. hro001 says:

    Goldenberg is quite a piece of work, isn’t she?! I’m quite surprised that she actually made a post on which comments – well, with the notable exception of comments of the factual kind – were even allowed.

    I’m still waiting for Goldenberg to explain how she knew on May 21, 2012 that “Gleick had been ‘cleared”, when his Pacific Institute board made no announcement about this until circa June 7, 2012.

    IMHO, Goldenberg’s sounds of silence are probably far more telling than anything she has ever actually written.

  5. Hilary
    I didn’t know about Goldenberg having a scoop on Gleick being cleared. It’s quite possible that Gleick knew he was going to be cleared and told her, which raises questions about the Pacific Institute enquiry, but is perfectly legitimate journalism.
    It’s also not surprising that there are no comments on her articles. She’s a reporter, supposedly delivering news, and the comments are normally on opinion pieces.
    The real scandal surrounding Guardian journalism is the way they omit key facts. BishopHill has a new example with their reporting of Lisa Jackson’s resignation which doesn’t mention her secret, unFOI-able email account.
    You have to have been a longterm reader of the British press to realise how scandalous this is. Papers have political positions, which they express in their editorials. They do not, by and large, hide facts that are embarrassing to their point of view – and that goes for the rightwing Telegraph and Times as much as for the centre-left Guardian and Independent.
    As always, climate change is different.

  6. mikemUK
    I checked Monbiot’s articles and the only reference I found to McIntyre and Climate Audit was in a discussion he had with Steve Easterbrook
    http://www.monbiot.com/2010/04/08/debate-with-steve-easterbrook/
    It’s interesting, because Monbiot defends McIntyre against the charge that he was harrassing Jones. And it didn’t appear on the Guardian’s environment pages.
    Monbiot’s interest in the Climategate emails was entirely centred on whether Jones had broken the FOI laws. Hence he completely missed the real story, and his chairing of the subsequent Guardian debate skewed the discussion away from the hockeystick and IPCC procedures.
    Even mentioning ClimateAudit or WUWT was enough to get your comment removed from Graun Environment threads back then. So was Yamal. When the Yamal story broke, I brought it up a few times in comments, and they always disappeared. Then the Graun had their own article about Yamal. They’d sent their own photographer all the way up to that Gaia-forsaken corner of Siberia – to photograph reindeer. Apparently, the excessive warmth up there is threatening their lifestyle, or something.

    dearieme
    Agreed, the Guardian is dreadful, but we need something to the left of the Telegraph. It’s the favourite wateringhole for greens and lefty intellectuals of all stripes, so I still harbour a faint hope of influencing readers there.
    If you want to catch a zombie, you have to hang round the graveyard.

  7. Paul M says:

    And you wonder why the rest of us dont join you commenting at the graun! Happy new yr Geoff and all.

  8. que sais je says:

    “[Papers/Journalists ] do not, by and large, hide facts that are embarrassing to their point of view – and that goes for the rightwing Telegraph and Times as much as for the centre-left Guardian and Independent.”

    Everybody should be able to recognize that in multiple cases — in my opinion: in many extremely serious cases — the above statement is not right.

    Happy new year!

    PS, off topic: Is anybody able to comment at the blog Hockey Schtick or Claes Johnson’s blog without signing in? The last few days I wasn’t able to comment there anymore.

  9. que sais je:
    “Everybody should be able to recognize that in multiple cases — in my opinion: in many extremely serious cases — the above statement is not right.”
    You’re quite right. Entschuldigen Sie mir bitte. There are many cases where serious newspapers do hide facts, or at least underplay them, in obedience to a political agenda. I wanted to defend the serious press from the frequent criticism of systematic bias – the kind of simple-minded criticism that sees the Guardian as a bunch of Marxists or the Telegraph as being in the pay of bankers. It’s never that simple, and I’ve oversimplified the point I wanted to make.
    Yes, the Guardian has a soft-left bias which tends to portray the poor as always deserving victims, and the Telegraph has a rightwing bias which views the rich as an admirable force for progress. But nonetheless, you can get a reasonable idea of what’s happening in the world on the majority of subjects from the majority of serious papers.
    Where the press fails is in the extreme case, the event that falls outside everyone’s expectations, and here the bias is often towards the centre, to the comfortable middle ground. Thus the reality of the American bombing of Hanoi in the Vietnam war – a cynical attempt to win an election at the cost of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths – was covered up in the left wing Guardian as much as in the pro-American Telegraph. Likewise for the role of the Cuban airforce in defeating Apartheid. Everyone wanted a victory for Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu. The role of Russian Migs in bringing democracy to South Africa was as much an embarrassment for the left as for the right.
    Though climate change is hardly as dramatic a subject as these, it’s one where systematic bias infects both left and right. If ever sceptics get a fair hearing in the media, journalists will no doubt see it as their role to find a middle ground between believeing the IPCC and not believing it. But there isn’t some safe middle ground between pure, unbiassed science and corrupted science. You can be a little bit wrong about your projections of future temperatures, but you can’t be a little bit wrong about predicting catastrophe.
    Likewise, the Gleick document on which Suzanne Goldenberg’s twelve articles were based can’t be a little bit forged. But you’re not allowed to say that at the Guardian.

  10. que sais je says:

    Geoff, firstly, thank you for your friendly reply! I am sorry that you apologized. I respect your factually dedication, for example, with the Gleick-Goldenberg-case. And I feel that your answer is to your (and my) credit.

    Also, it is — and was — my opinion that it’s in many cases not right that papers as well as TV journalists or scholars do hide facts that are or (could) seem to be embarrassing to their point of view, by and large.

    One example: Where is a German, or French, or English, Italian, Greek, Chinese… article (preferable an article in the “established media”…) (and where are TV news or academic papers) mentioning explicitly, for example, “Bilderberg’s” connections with the financial “enabling law” in the euro zone? One can think of it as a coup d’état in a kind of a “EUSSR”. It is obvious that there is a Germany-wide/Europe-wide(/World-wide?) “Gleichschaltung” of the — sometimes so-called — free press (in this case at least a Gleichschaltung in concealing facts and analyses). (One can see some more or less great parallels, for example, to other “doctored” crises such as the climate change “crisis”.)

    Short explanation: In 2012 four eurocrats, Barroso, Juncker, Van Rompuy and Draghi (like all eurocrats they were not elected by the populace), who are also coincidentally “Bilderbergers” (maybe it is worth mentioning also that the direct roots of Bilderberg are connected to Nazis), claimed they would be enabled by the people to regulate the budgetary matters of all, seventeen, nations in the euro zone. The four wrote up a contract, respectively a law, they wanted to be signed by the euro member states. It shows that these bureaucrats also want that contract to be irredeemable and that it would be into force in perpetuity. The law includes, on the one hand, the right for the financial regulators to sue member states — and also includes, on the other hand, an immunity clause with the effect that everyone somehow involved in the regulations cannot be sued. While that tendered law warrants to erect an “unFOIable” European agency for banking regulation, cheating eurocrats keep telling us in an Orwellian manner that the EU would be, right now, of greatest transparency.

    With regard to Germany: For the case that the financial “European Stability Mechanism” (ESM) will demand more than 190 billion euros to be transferred to another European country the constitutional court of Germany ruled that there would have to be a national referendum, because transferring more than that amount of money would require a change of the German constitution. — What? Official arbitrariness! Is this perhaps a case for the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution? The German people were never asked whether or not they want the euro — and now it seems foreseeable that the German people will be asked if they want to give up — or reduce measurably — their and their children’s children sovereignty to a bunch of unelected, not “FOIable”, non actionable bureaucrats for ever!? And that all with nearly the highest rapidity one can imagine? (All complaints (including at least one mass complaint) against the ESM were rejected by Germany’s constitutional court with the result that the plaintiffs cannot enter caveat or invoke the European court. What democratic (not demoncratic) means are left?)

    All national referenda in the past showed that the people in Europe did not want the euro. Years ago for example the people of France, Netherland or Ireland were asked, and they said No to the euro! That No was disregarded by the eurocrats. Whose interests do the ignorants follow? Do the four “expertocrats”/technocrats act on behalf of the peoples inside the euro zone? I don’t know if or when we can call it high treason but I am learning. I think it’s fair to say that we can be afraid that it is becoming more and more unfree and undemocratic. Some say that certain groups are — or could become — an embarrassment for example for democracy, sovereignty, or the free press. What do you think? Do I get the right impression that the technocrats like not so much democratic as undemocratic structures? Under what circumstances the eurocrats are driving the people of nations by means of mental cruelty into isolation or possibly even into (some kind of?) suicide?

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