Rusbridger: “This is the most Terrible Campaign”

Alex Cull has just published a transcript of the latest episode of the Graun’s Podcast of Doom at
The original podcast can be found at
A million thanks Alex. These documents are truly amazing. It’s like listening to a bunch of adolescent misfits sitting around in a pub planning to overthrow society.

I suspect many at the Graun are going to distance themselves pretty soon from this farce. An economics editor like Larry Elliott needs his contacts in finance and industry. This kind of nonsense could ruin his reputation.

Take this surrealist scene, where some of the rodents announce their early retirement from seafaring…

Alan Rusbridger: We’ve set out the basic reporting, so, um… James is putting together a list of the pieces, […] So we haven’t really geared up the investigatory bits of this, yet, have we?

James Randerson: Not really, because Nick Davies told me that he’s basically unavailable for the time. Is David Leigh a possibility?

Alan Rusbridger: David Leigh claims to have retired, again. And I’ve told him: he can’t. […]. One of the things I underestimated was that real life intervenes. […]And anyway, when you meet with your colleagues, they’ve all got different ideas of what it’s going to be.

James Randerson: Well, I’ve asked Larry Elliott to answer what I think is the most fundamental question: how do we make this fossil fuel transition? Can we even make it? You know – do we need some kind of voluntary recession? […] Um…

Alan Rusbridger: Bill McKibben wants to go a bit earlier, because he thinks there’s going to be action in America. I think our team want to push it back a bit.

James Randerson: You know, it’s all very much in flux, really.

Alan Rusbridger: So, we’re, sort of, still feeling a slight tension between the urge to go fast and go slow.

It would be great fun taking quotes at random (which is what the creative editor person has done in assembling these podcasts) and turning them into a script – but of what? – a comic opera? A graphic novel? A play for the Royal Court?

Rusbridger: “… in that sense, this is the most terrible campaign …. it’s not too bleak to say we’re all doomed.”

and again: “how can 97% of scientists lecture the rest of us and yet allow their main grant-giving charity not put their money where their mouth is?”

About Geoff Chambers

Retired illustrator (children's magazines, religious education textbooks, an Encyclopaedia of Christianity, gay contact and female fitness magazines, pornographic strip cartoons etc.) Retired lecturer in English and History of Art in a French University; ardent blogger on climate hysteria, banned five times from the Guardian and twice from the Conversation. Now blogging at
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5 Responses to Rusbridger: “This is the most Terrible Campaign”

  1. catweazle666 says:

    Very Post-Modern…

  2. TinyCO2 says:

    The podcasts are already snippets of conversations and I can only imagine how weird the full dialogues were if these are the highlights.

  3. “how can 97% of scientists lecture the rest of us and yet allow their main grant-giving charity not put their money where their mouth is?”

    Did someone not tell the poor fellow that nobody in the climate game actually does anything about this stuff, just loads the job onto others, with the poorest and thus voiceless bearing the biggest burden? The Manchester Guardian’s support for Stalin during the days of the terror famine in Ukraine has found its modern echo.

  4. Catweazle, TinyCO2
    I think the editor / director is deliberately aiming for a Harold Pinterish feel. She wants to capture a moment in history as a work of art, and by Gaia she’s succeeded.

    Richard Drake
    What struck me about Rusbridger’s claim that “97% of scientists are lecturing us” is the profound ignorance it betrays. The Guardian was of course one of the prime publicists for the Cook / Nuccitelli “97%” paper, mainly via articles written by Nuccitelli himself, who was presumably hired by Carrington or Vidal to do the dirty work of pushing the science once Leo Hickman left and Monbiot swore never to touch climate change again.

    The absurd idea that 97% (or 0.0097%) of scientists are lecturing us is denied by the scientists themselves at every opportunity. Carrington and Vidal and Monbiot and science editor Adam Vaughn, who are all in the room when Rusbridger makes this monstrous utterance, know this perfectly well, yet they say nothing. Are they like courtiers before a mad king, not daring to contradict, or are they willing to assent to any grotesque lie for the sake of the cause?

    These podcasts are gems of literature. There was nothing to stop Rusbridger burbling on with his ponderous editorials and his five articles a day about polar bears and Andean glaciers and billionaire-funded denialists until the Graun disappears up its second-hand-car-funded exhaust pipe. Instead he hires a team of five apparently talented (and presumably expensive) podcasters to reveal every detail of his mental breakdown. This may be the greatest study of obsession since Gogol’s Diary of a Madman or Nabokov’s Pale Fire.

  5. TinyCO2 says:

    The podcasts are certainly being laid down for posterity. I think they’re dreaming of a day 10-20 years hence when they play them back and say ‘this was the day we saved the planet’.

    When you consider all the Guardian represents is middle class gossip you realise they’ve no skills in getting anything complicated done. Nagging is their key skill. Warmists have a very weird relationship with CO2 and problem solving. If it was me, I’d want to ask loads of questions like ‘what’s the most effective way to reduce CO2’, ‘what’s the easiest or the cheapest’, ‘what can and will individuals do’ and so on. The answer to any of those questions would not be ‘try to persuade the money people from investing in something very lucrative.’

    They look to previous successful campaigns but don’t examine what did or didn’t work. They certainly don’t ask if CO2 bears any similarity as an issue. They trip themselves up with the tobacco analogy. Ciggies are a disgusting habit that can be completely eradicated without the real need for an alternative. In no way is it essential or universal.

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