The Carbon Brief – The European rapid response team

Guest post by Barry Woods

The Carbon Brief is a new website designed to provide a rapid response to any climate change related stories in the media.

It is also appears to be intended as a resource for articles and it claims to be an independent mediator between journalists and climate scientists.

The Carbon Brief’s twitter followers seem to have different expectations.

Andrew SimmsNef Bio: 10:10 Campaign Board Member, New Economic Foundation (NEF), Greenpeace UK board member, co-author of The Green Deal Report, founder of the 100 Month initiative, Trustee of TERI Europe(alongside Rajendra Pachauri, Sir John Houghton and Sir Crispin Tickell)

The Carbon Brief seems particularly concerned about how sceptical stories in UK media and blogs are being received by people in India and China and reported in non-EU countries media and blogs. (my bold).

“The media has a huge impact on the way that the climate debate has taken shape in the UK, as it has in the US, Australia and around the world. Comment articles in newspapers and blogs here are often copied and published thousands of times around the globe. The arguments fomented in the pages of The Guardian or the Daily Telegraph can have a significant impact on how climate change is reported in India and China.” – The Carbon Brief

On further investigation, the website demonstrates that they appear to be nothing but advocates of consensus climate change policy. A look at their further resources page gives the first two links as the Climate Science Rapid Response Team and RealClimate and it also include Climate Progress. There are no sceptical or even lukewarm website or blog links of any kind.

“Our team of researchers will provide a rapid response service for climate science stories. We go straight to peer-reviewed science and the relevant scientists to get their opinions” – The Carbon Brief

The Carbon Brief appears to have been set up for the specific purpose of countering sceptical stories relating to ‘climate change’ by going to AGW consensus scientific sources for an instant rebuttal. It is a project of the Energy and Strategy Centre, funded and supported by the European Climate Foundation (ECF)

ECF describes itself as “the largest philanthropic organisation in Europe focused on influencing government policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. –The Carbon Brief

“…. To meet that challenge, six funding partners joined forces in 2007 to create a new multi-million euro philanthropic entity called the European Climate Foundation.” – About Us – ECF

On the The Carbon Brief website they say they are just getting started.

I am concerned about this new apparent big Green EU AGW PR and media machine swamping any sceptical voices with instant rebuttals and twitter mobs. They would appear to have very experienced PR, Media and Communications professionals at work now, with all the tools of modern media management, all the funding they need and briefed to follow the European Climate Foundations’ agenda.

If you take a look for example at the Carbon Brief’s Twitter profile, followers already include The Guardian’s environment team and editors, The Times’ science editor, Greenpeace, the Green Party, 10:10, 350, Transitions Towns, left leaning think tanks like the NEF and IPPR. Basically the whole ‘consensus’ media, NGO, politicians and lobby groups seem to know about it.

And they will twitter and retweet the Carbon Brief’s tweets and links propagating the ‘message’ to their thousands of twitter followers (remember key media people) and the ‘climate change’ activists will no doubt descend on the sceptical blogs and comments section to ‘troll’ the articles.

In the future will every sceptical article have an instant twitter response, links and a full PR professional paid media crafted response. I have seen tweets for Watts Up, Bishop Hill, Bjorn Lomborg, Jo Nova, Christopher Booker, GWPF and others already. How can independent unpaid, unfunded bloggers possibly fend off professional PR of this nature from an organisation with multi-million Euro funded backers with the agenda described above.

Nobody seems to have told the Telegraph, James Delingpole (I asked), Christopher Booker about the Carbon Brief, all those journalists organisations and lobby groups. I wonder why?

James Delingpole (Telegraph) had a nasty twitter mob experience himself, just recently, courtesy of an abusive tweet by Ben Goldacre (Bad Science – Ben is the second follower of the Carbon Brief, in the graphic above, he has 85,000 followers alone)

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100073468/if-ben-goldacre-thinks-im-a-what-does-that-make-him/

I expect James will get some more soon, as they twitter about every story he writes that they take exception to.

Who is running the Carbon Brief

From the website, the key team members are: Carbon Brief’s Director, Tom Brookes, is director of the Energy Strategy Centre (ESC) the communications unit funded by the European Climate Foundation (ECF). Editor Christian Hunt has worked as a researcher and web editor for Greenpeace and the Public Interest Research Centre.

We believe accuracy should be the key value in discussing climate change, and we aim to act as an independent mediator between the media and scientists.

Our aim is to increase social and political understanding of the risks of climate change so that we can make more informed decisions as a society. – The Carbon Brief

Tom Brookes is a very senior experienced communications professional, drafted in to counter sceptics?

Tom Brookes, Director, ESC – bio ECF

Tom is the head of Energy Strategy Center (ESC), the communications unit of the European Climate Foundation. He has held senior corporate and consultancy posts in government relations and communications.

Christian Hunt is still on the Board of Trustees of the Public Interest Research Centre which describes it’s work below:

Our work examines the connections between climate, energy and economics.

Our team is accomplished at presenting science to non-scientists, including policy makers. With the knowledge and experience to interpret cutting-edge research, and the skills to build it into effective communications tools, we provide a bridge between those at the forefront of climate science research and wider audiences.

I might ask how independent of thought on the Climate Change issue are they really, given the people, organisation and funding partners involved?

Profiles of Commentators

The Carbon Brief separates profiles into those who are commentators and scientists, these profiles appear to be designed as a resource to be used by any media organisation, journalist or blogger as an instant profile on that person, or of an event, or about an organisation. Compare the profiles of Rajendra Pachauri, George Monbiot and Phil Jones, with those of James Delingpole, Christopher Booker, Christopher Moncton, Benny Peiser and Bjorn Lomborg, to witness a mastercraft example of PR and Media management at work, to promote an European Union AGW consensus media brief.

The intent appears to be that any media looking at a sceptical climate change story, ( Chinese and Indian particularly? ) will use The Carbon Brief as a resource, without actually seriously getting into the detail of any of the issues or ask any further questions.

An extract from The Carbon Brief’s – ‘Climategate’ profile

The message was interpreted by sceptics as suggesting scientists wanted to “hide the decline” in global temperatures. This interpretation was offered despite the email being sent in 1999, when temperatures had been rising for some decades.

The process referred to by the word “trick” was characterized by the Russell Report as a legitimate and peer reviewed method of dealing with the fact that a set of proxy temperature data from tree rings had diverged from temperature measurements – the proxy temperatures had declined while real temperatures continued to increase. This problem had been widely discussed in the scientific literature, prior to the UEA email hack.

Personally, I think that proxies for historic temperatures that don’t actually follow thermometers are a little unreliable and not to much faith should be be given to them. Particularly when they have been used to reconstruct a historic temperature record, which has been used inform us that temperatures are now unprecedented, proof of AGW and that we must do something now!

An extract from The Carbon Brief’s – ‘Hockey Stick’ Profile

“…Mann published a list of rebuttals to myths around the hockey stick graph on the Realclimate.org website in 2004.

Sceptic commentator Andrew Montford published the book The Hockey Stick Illusion in 2010. The central claim of The Hockey Stick Illusion is that the iconic graphic has survived only because a conspiracy amongst scientists sought to undermine the peer review process and bully journals into suppressing dissenting views.

Richard Joyner, emeritus professor of physical chemistry at Nottingham Trent University reviewed the book in Prospect magazine, suggesting that “Montford’s book is not an honest contribution” because he “consistently and without evidence…queries the actions and motives of those with whom he disagrees.”

Now I wonder why The Carbon Brief choose that particular review, was it really being independent and balanced, as Matt Ridley (author The Rational Optimist) gave a VERY positive review, which was ALSO in the Prospect Magazine! I wonder what Steve Mcintyre and Andrew Montford will make of those two profiles above (please read in full). Andrew Montford has lots of very positive reviews of his book, some other reviews here.

Andrew Montford had a response to – ‘without evidence’

“This is most peculiar. I mean, there are 270 references in the book. That’s really quite a lot of evidence. And Prof Joyner may have heard of the Climategate emails, heavily sourced in Chapter 17. What are these if not evidence?

What else is there? Well, he says I should have referred to Steve M’s failure to publish his tree ring research. In a book in which one of the themes is the difficulty sceptics have in getting published, this seems a rather bizarre position for Prof Joyner to take.” – Bishop Hill

Well funded with political influence

The Carbon Brief is backed by the European Climate Foundation and it appears to me to be a PR machine specifically designed to counter any scepticism and it has the funding, resources, political backing and contacts to do just that.

“European Climate Foundation aims to promote climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and help Europe play an even stronger international leadership role in mitigating climate change.” –

“…. To meet that challenge, six funding partners joined forces in 2007 to create a new multi-million euro philanthropic entity called the European Climate Foundation.” – About Us – ECF

The activities of the Carbon Brief seems to me to be at odds with the other stated commitment of the European Climate Foundation, which made me laugh in disbelief at their apparent ‘doublethink’.

“We seek to maintain a reputation for objective, high-quality work that is neither ideological nor politically biased.” – About Us ECF

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) is well funded by its partners and even more importantly is very well connected politically in Europe for the clear aim of 80-95 % reduction in CHG’s by 2050. The Energy Strategy Centre is the European Climate Centre’s communications and media arm, which would indicate that The Carbon Brief far from being non-ideological and not politically biased, has as its sole purpose the promotion of the ECF’s agenda, which is to lobby hard for European Union climate and economic policy change.

“The majority of the European Climate Foundation’s fund is re-granted to NGOs engaged in trying to bring about meaningful policy change. When we see an unfulfilled need we also engage in direct initiatives, such as commission papers, convene meetings or launch a new organisation. We seek no public attention for our efforts and instead prefer to highlight the success of those who are actually doing the work.

We have identified four major areas for immediate intervention within Europe:

• Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Industry

• Low-Carbon Power Generation

• Transportation

EU Climate Policies and Diplomacy

The European Climate Foundation describes the members of the Advisory Board

This international body consists of distinguished professionals who draw on their individual and collective experiences in politics, business, academia and civil society. Members of the Advisory Council actively engage in advancing ECF’s mission both by providing strategic advice and through advocacy.

They represent the elite of European business people, NGO’s, politicians and lobbyists. Including, a Co-editor of the IPCC, Chair of WWF, Chair of Globe EU, VP Club of Rome, former MEP’s, Tony Blairs former Chief of Staff, CEO’s, Directors and Senior partners of corporations and consultancies, including BP and Unilever. Truly the European elite.

I have had a brief look at some of their funding grants (see here), these include, Club of Rome, Greenpeace, WWF, Globe International, Centre for European Policy, in fact over 500 grants in less than 4 years. One organisation called Sandbag, which lobbies for improved emissions trading in the European Union, struck a chord with me. Sandbag has received funding and written significant reports in the area of lobbying for Carbon Emission policy in Europe, backed by the European Climate Foundation.

The founder of Sandbag is Bryony Worthington, she is now Baroness Worthington as she was made a life peer in the House of Lords last year by the Labour party leader Ed Milliband, as she was ‘instrumental in the writing’ of the UK Climate Change Act. Unlike Viscount Christopher Monckton she now a full voting member of the House of Lords for the rest of her life and will no doubt continue her climate change work there (she studied English by the way).

Bryony Worthington is also a board member of the 10:10 Campaign, who were behind the ‘No Pressure’ video nasty. Fellow 10:10 board members are the environmental campaigner Andrew Simms and Tony Juniper. Other Sandbag board member colleagues include Ed Gillespie founder of Futerra and Mike Mason the founder of Climate Care which will sell you carbon offsets (I have one!, but I’ll write another time about that) which is now owned by JP Morgan Chase . When Mike Mason from Climate Care debated Christopher Monckton at the Oxford Union last year he was listed as part of the JMorgan Climate Care organisation (he seems to have since left)

This one organisation alone provides ample evidence to me that there are significant interests and representation by media, politicians, banking and consensus AGW lobby groups at the heart of the EU policy formation.

What next for sceptical websites?

If I get the time, I will follow this post up with an article about the Green Social Network, and how perhaps to engage with it.

It is still very, very early days for The Carbon Brief, it has only just got started. They say they are independent and claim climate science is distorted by vested interests.

“Carbon Brief fact-checks stories about climate science online and in the press. We provide briefings on the people and organisations talking about climate change, and we produce background materials on science issues and news stories.

Distortions of climate science occur regularly, partly because climate science is a complex area, and partly because various interests, motivated by finance or ideology, have sought to confuse the issue.

We are a service for journalists and the online climate community. Our team of researchers will provide a rapid response service for climate science stories. We go straight to peer-reviewed science and the relevant scientists to get their opinions.

Right now we are in the early stages of developing the site.” – About Us – The Carbon Brief

What to expect from for The Carbon Brief because expectations seem to be very high?

Andrew Simms Bio: 10:10 Campaign Board Member, New Economic Foundation (NEF), Greenpeace UK board member, co-author of The Green Deal Report, founder of the 100 Month initiative, Trustee of TERI Europe(alongside Rajendra Pachauri, Sir John Houghton and Sir Crispin Tickell)

What next indeed?

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Stephen Brown

The “Carbon Brief” appears to be comprised of people who engage in this sort of behaviour in the pursuit of scientific honesty:-
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358139/Climate-zealots-life-hell-sceptic-says-Johnny-Ball-victim-porn-blog-smears.html

AdderW

I wear them all the time….carbon brief(s)

Pete H

My son just said that the site should have been called “Rent a Troll” Seems apt enough to me!

Mike Spilligan

A score of organizations, all “independently” checking unassailable “facts” with each other and concluding, at the very least, “..so it must be true” if not “…it’s much worse than we thought”.
I’m surprised there’s no reference to our own, dear Roger Harrabin. Perhaps he’s been left in reserve to be the ultimate referee.

Anoneumouse

Twittaganda

Joe Prins

This is really getting scary. It therefore goes to show: It is no longer about the science, it never was. Good thing I left that continent.

Jimmy Haigh

“How can independent unpaid, unfunded bloggers possibly fend off professional PR of this nature from an organisation with multi-million Euro funded backers with the agenda described above.”
Having the truth on our side helps.

Mike Jowsey

Stop your worrying, mate. It’s all about the money, and all will be revealed. Bring it on, and swiftly, I say. These w##kers ain’t got nothin but spume from a blowhole. The more they blow, the more they reveal their weakness. No science.

LabMunkey

Joy. Just what we need. More advocacy.

Lawrie Ayres

It’s a sign of desperation but dangerous never-the-less. Truth has never been a big part of the global warming agenda. Apart from continuing to publish real data as widely as possible and responding to the false claims of the alarmists we have little option. Earth itself will be the main driver of scepticism. As the planet goes through it’s next natural cycle the taxpayer will be the best bulwark against fraudulent science. Taxpayers in turn vote and politicians make policy at their peril. It’s very difficult to convince a freezing householder that the price of electricity has to rise to stop the earth from overheating. The eventual retribution will be horrific.

Hilarious!
It looks to me as if, recognizing a lost cause when they see it, the PR masterminds of the EU have decided to underbus the wildly compromised dolts at RealClimate and set out on their own quest for 1000 uniques a day.
As the esteemed lagoon guru Sponge Bob Square Pants so aptly put it, “Good luck with that.”

Gareth Phillips

When I see a comment on this site such as:
“Lomborg remains a cool operator, who will continue to ply his plausible trade with panache. We advise that anyone going to hear him speak listens with genuine scepticism, and takes his arguments with a pinch of salt”, it suggests to me that this site is not about real scientific debate or inquiry, but more about the overwhelming support of one side of the debate and the pillorying of anyone who strays from the accepted path. It felt like reading an article by the Spanish inquisition on whether evidence critical of the holy roman church was valid or not. Sad really, I was hoping for more, but it’s the same old ‘ we can’t be wrong, and you are all beneath contempt’ nonsense which is the bane of this whole critical debate.

The warmist proponents are more nervous than ever in Europe, and now view the sceptics as a formidable threat. They already concede that USA is now a lost and cause, and are now scrambling to save Europe. I doubt this Climate Brief is going to make a difference. It’s a desperate reaction. A reaction to events that they’ve lost control of – since Climategate.

I can’t help feeling that PR outfits like Climate Brief are signs of the death throes of climate alarmism. People are turning away from the claims of AGW promoters in increasing numbers and CB is a sign of the exhaustion of the apocalyptic meme.
There’s still plenty of money to be had promoting AGW, though. With a few million euros I could something much more useful than a PR campaign for a discredited belief system.

Now afterproofreading:
The warmist proponents are more nervous than ever in Europe, and now view the sceptics as a formidable threat. They already concede the USA is now a lost cause, and are now scrambling to save Europe. I doubt this Climate Brief is going to make a difference. It’s a desperate reaction. A reaction to events that they’ve lost control of – since Climategate.

Dickens Goes Metro

Basically, this is a story about die-hard parishioners providing moral support for their priests. Those members of the AGW church who stand to benefit the most financially from pro-AGW policies are providing the funding.
This story has played itself out under different guises through countless generations. It would be pretty funny if it weren’t so pathetic and potentially damaging to economies all over the world.
My last comment is that group think can produce both gullibility and fraud on a massive scale. I guess the big question here is how many generations will it take for AGW group think to expire?

Christpher Hanley

Why don’t they simply present the empirical evidence that would justify dismantling the world economy beyond a guess that maybe over 50% of the alleged warming since ~1950 (i.e. 0.35°C) was very probably due to human CO2 emissions?

Warrick

With that level of high power, they’re obviously scared. What they don’t notice, because they don’t listen and the vitriolic reaction to anything even mildly suggesting the data are perhaps not quite so good shuts out any discussion, is that lots of people are simply laughing at them. Nod and smile is a good tactic – those in the know get it without setting off a nasty reaction. I even have a lot of hope with the younger generation coming through – they have no time for this nonsense.

Pteradactyl

We are being led like lambs to slaughter by the EU to further their agenda of a single European state. The fastidious way that the EU is making inroads to every aspect of our lives is becoming more and more apparent. Absolute control is being foisted upon us and they aim to ensure that their way, and only their way, is the only way. By the time they have ruined the economy of the EU, put millions back into the dark ages, it will be too late. Even then they will have an excuse to somehow blame it on someone else.
Why are we letting them get away with instigating such an obviously biased, publicly funded department like this! Every media outlet should be bombarded with realistic, responsible and well proven arguments about the whole debacle. The profile of the sceptical debate has to be raised much higher if any sort of sensible outcome is to happen. Any politician knocking on my door is certainly going to have a long, long talk!

Lawrie Ayres

Just a thought. The AGW problem will be solved when we (the West) have a bigger problem to solve. I thought the GFC would do the trick and it certainly slowed the madness. It seems a second GFC may be just around the corner as most of the lessons to be learnt from GFC 1 have been promptly forgotten or simply not applied. The EU as an entity is in debt. European manufacturing is moving to Chindia to cash in on carbon credits and unemployment and social upheavals are becoming more common. Recent happenings in the Middle East are yet to be assessed as to impacts on the rest of us. The US has high unemployment and huge debt. The general populace have far more pressing problems than a heating world exemplified by snow and ice.
So we need to alert people to the costs of mitigation and in particular how it will affect their hip pocket. In this regard we have access to some good one liners. Sound bites referring to the inefficiency of wind power. Rising electricity costs. Dearer petrol. Dearer food . Dearer transport. In answer the proponents have to explain how their policies will lower the temperature. Hard if it’s already freezing.

Julian in Wales

I have never believed AGW was a conspiracy but this seems to proove me wrong. It is going to be very tough for you to beat these guys but it could also be the undoing of them if this organisation became known about by a wide section of the public who are already sceptical of the big business and career politicians. An unwise move by the warmists.

Alexander K

Desperate and nasty tactics from the alarmist brigade, who have the gall to accuse those of a sceptical mindset that we are ‘well financed and highly organised’ – I wish!
But the truth has a habit of emerging and will in this case; as Abraham Lincoln put it so nicely “You can fool some of the people all of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

George Tetley

And how may I ask are these wizards going to get the weather, ah, climate, to join in this exercise, perhaps tweet the sun ?

Northern Exposure

The more these priests slam their bibles upside people’s heads, the more people are going to get turned off of their dogmatic agenda.
So sit back, crack open a cold one, and enjoy the show as they continue to dig themselves deeper into their own graves.

Kate

Sad, and utterly inevitable. This exposes the AGW myth for what it is – a nasty leftist political movement, which will use every trick in the book to silent dissenters and stifle debate. They want to remove all debate as the cracks soon appear in their arguments. That in itself is enough for many open-minded people to take the view AGW is simply a lie, before even considering the overwhelming scientific evidence which demonstrates it.
Take a look at the Booker or Delingpole blogs on the Telegraph website and watch how the AGW fascists behave. AGW is the old anarchist/communist agenda of the ’60s and ’70s in a different guise and it attracts support from the same sorts of misguided, self-loathing, human-hating, arrogant and frankly dangerous ideologues.
The cheerleaders for AGW are well versed in political dirty tricks and media manipulation, not least because a lot of them are employed in the mainstream media.
The only good news is that the climate works to an inexorable cycle, and the cycle is running against these eco-fascists. I hope when it becomes glaringly obvious to the public that AGW and all the idiotic and expensive so-called “clean energy” and carbon trading schemes it has spawned are a massive fraud against them as taxpayers, the leading proponents of this lying propaganda are finally brought to justice.

Roger Longstaff

Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” has finally arrived. Two things need to be raised, again and again…….
1. There is no evidence at all to support the hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.
2. Follow the money.

Another Gareth

This is the latest in a long line of illuminating moves by the alarmists. They have been convinced of a well funded, well connected sceptical lobby and for years been lobbying Governments to dish out money to fight that spectre.
Hard to tell whether they sincerely believe in the ghost of Big Oil or if it was just a very canny hook with which to acquire a good deal of funding and influence. Whichever it is, they have without a doubt become the very thing they claimed to be fighting against – a well funded, well connected lobby.
If they were right they wouldn’t need this.

Gareth Phillips,
You are wrong for many reasons but it would suffice to mention just one:
On this site, your comment was published.
In the sites of our opponents, any of our comments are censored out.
When you explain this difference to yourself, you will see other differences.
Good luck with that.

Alex the skeptic

“………………..We go straight to peer-reviewed science and the relevant scientists to get their opinions”. I guess this says it all.
IMHO it’s just the dying beast giving it’s last kicks before it dies.

Guam

One is minded to ask if the Science is settled (and as a Poster from Australia on Pistonheads suggests) the IPCC model is all encompassing and accurately forecasted the global temperature for 20 years, why this further excercise is needed?
If there is no foundation in skepticism as those from BAD Science prosthelatise. Then whats the issue.
If Skeptics are wrong then they should be able to bask in the warm glow of this provable fact and not need to engineer a structure designed to combat opposing views.
Or am I missing something fundamental in the logic here?

Martin Brumby

I would be dumbfounded if (despite the ‘philanthropic foundations’ alleged to be funding this) much of the funding wasn’t being channelled into this from the EU and UK tax payers.
But if you were making millions selling snake oil, you’d put up a fight when nasty ‘deniers’ pointed out that snake oil was completely without merit.

richard verney

Lawrie Ayres says:
February 18, 2011 at 12:36 am
“….It’s very difficult to convince a freezing householder that the price of electricity has to rise to stop the earth from overheating. The eventual retribution will be horrific.”
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Not unsurprisingly, I agree with this observation since it is a point that I have made before. The best hope of scuppering their plans is a lengthy cold period coupled with economic hardship of the ordinary tax payer when they are being forced to dig deep into their pockets with green taxes and green subsidies. Not that I would wish the cold on anyone nor economic woes, but when these factors come together a large number of people will begin to question the green agenda, and these people will become ever more vocal.
I think that there will be retribution for three reasons. First, with the clearer vision that hindsight reveals, the general public will appreciate that the data was obviously flawed and that there never was any hard evidence backing the theory and they will question how the ‘good and the powerful’ could have been taken in by it, unless those people were benefitting from the scheme. This view will be strengthened by the view that there never was an open debate or honest unbiassed reporting Second, there will be a lasting legacy not easy to sweep under the carpet, namely miles and miles of useless windfarms blighting the country side which will be an ever present reminder of the folly. Third, many politicians (and media moguls) have a financial interest in the green agenda such that there is an obvious conflict of interest. In the UK both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have family connections to the windfarm industry. The Royal Family stands to profit from ocean floor for windfarms (possibly also for those on Royal estates0. The BBC has its pension fund invested in the green agenda.
When the pack of cards falls down, people will begin to follow the money and the public will wish to hold those involved in the scam to account. Indeed, it may be possible for class actions to be pursued on the basis of misrepresentation, negligence, derelict of public duty, wilful deceit etc. Of course, it is unlikely that much compensation will be recovered but those involved could be in for an unpleasant ride.

alleagra

What about a one-stop shop for putting open-minded people straight on the facts regarding the climate? WUWT is terrific but I’m thinking of a site which anyone can navigate to track down referenced data to counter the stories put out daily by those with an agenda in mind.

“The intent appears to be that any media looking at a sceptical climate change story, ( Chinese and Indian particularly? ) will use The Carbon Brief as a resource, without actually seriously getting into the detail of any of the issues or ask any further questions.”
Obviously, Realclimate was set-up for that exact purpose as well. Their piddly amount of web traffic will never make an impact – the purpose is to manipulate journalists and politicians.
I think the Climategate emails pretty much showed how tight the Realclimate crew is with those crowds.

wayne Job

This thermophobic mob are feeling the heat of reality and truth, real science will win for or recalcitrant planet refuses to follow their prognostications.
The dismantling of the Berlin wall is a good analogy and the bricks are falling, the propaganda will be more cunning with less science as the bricks fall.
Almost weekly new studies and releases of science that is reviewed, is putting nails in the coffin of AGW and removing more bricks from the wall.
The desperation and exasperation is showing in the facade of the believers.
As some one else said when confronted by these people, treat them with a dismissive smirk and a wave of the hand, argument is futile and science is an anathema to them.

Roger Carr

The fraudulent have the fluid advantage of story-change, unencumbered by moral conscience.

inversesquare

I’m a cup half full kind of guy…..
Just about everyone that hangs around the sceptical side of the story is able to
a) think for themselves
b) recognise a troll when they see one
The fact that sites like this will gain a LOT more traffic will in the end be of net benefit.
What we should be discussing here is a strategy to take full advantage of this situation. These plebs are basically spending a lot of money to draw attention to our side of the argument.
A good strategy would be to have a welcoming committee to inform them when they show up:)

malcolm

Guys, don’t get too excited about things – such a site is simply a function of a propaganda machine in motion. It will not be successful, nor will it achieve what it purports to achieve – its very existence represents the dying last breaths of the AGW movement.
To paraphrase the sober-thinking Richard Lindzen, the idea that our climate system can be be defined as “the change in global mean temperature anomaly in response to CO2 forcing” is a grotesque simplification of a complex system. Most people know this and consciously acknowledge it. Most people also understand the errors of logic when they’re told that opposing events (warm/cold, wet/dry) can be explained by the same mechanism i.e. CO2 forcing – such a claim cannot be tested and therefore becomes untenable. Anyone invoking AGW to explain the extremes of weather that we’ve recently experienced should be treated with suspicion.
My humble and perhaps naive suggestion is that in just a couple of short years there will be nowhere else for the AGW hypothesis to go – they’ve had more than 20 years to demonstrate the validity of the hypothesis yet we’re still arguing about it. There is something wrong with the evidence that we’re being sold and this new website is an implicit acknowledgment of this. Still, they must press-on, for the heightened sense of urgency and panic must be maintained. I’m very much looking forward to the day when I perceive a decoupling of science and politics in our study of the climate – then I can stop being a bitter and twisted old man.
In the words of H. L. Mencken, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Let’s now concern ourselves with all the cool technology going around which can take care of our future energy needs. Exciting times ahead.

Roger Longstaff

Actually, the post is incorrect (“There are no sceptical or even lukewarm website or blog links of any kind.”). Look at the website – WUWT is included in the list of blogs.
Good – if it is a genuine attempt to debate let’s “go for it”!

Paul R

It doesn’t matter how many Twitters rant on about AGW on My Face and Book Space the horse is dead, they’ll just be flogging it with snarks as usual.

Trucker Bob

Distortions of climate science occur regularly, partly because climate science is a complex area, and partly because various interests, motivated by finance or ideology, have sought to confuse the issue.
There is certainly truth in that statement, they just seem confused which side is motivated by finance or ideology.

Julian Braggins

The title, “The Carbon Brief”, shows the same twisted thought process as “The Sodium Brief” would be to address the problem of soil salinity.
Not to say that it isn’t dangerous from a propaganda point of view, it will be revealing how much contra discussion is allowed.

Snotrocket

I know it’s often been posted on WUWT, but Gandhi’s saying is worth the repeat, if only so we can figure out which stage we’re at (the third, by any chance?):

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Jimbo

I am concerned about this new apparent big Green EU AGW PR and media machine swamping any sceptical voices with instant rebuttals and twitter mobs.

If we are entering a cooling trend then no amount of PR can get them out of the predicament.

David Socrates

“How can independent unpaid, unfunded bloggers possibly fend off professional PR of this nature from an organisation with multi-million Euro funded backers with the agenda described above.”
The Deniers of Soviet socialism did it with the help of the fax machine.
The Deniers of Arabic dictatorship are doing it today with the help of email and Facebook.
The Deniers (be proud, therefore, of that term) are doing it with the help of WUWT (ably assisted by other skeptical blog sites).
Just keep at it!

Peter Plail

Here is the nasty face of Climate activism that these new sites would seem tacitly to encourage.
Johnny Ball ‘abused by environmentalists’ over climate change denial
Veteran children’s television presenter Johnny Ball claimed today his career was being wrecked by environmentalists.
The 72-year-old said he had been subjected to a malicious harassment campaign after dismissing climate change as “alarmist nonsense”.
Mr Ball, who has built up a prolific public speaking career over the last decade, said his bookings had plummeted by around 90 per cent following abuse from environmental extremists.
In an interview, he told how websites had been set up in his name featuring pornographic images and a blogger wrote that he should “not be allowed near children”.
One imposter also attempted to cancel Mr Ball’s booking at a training day for maths teachers in Northampton next month, he said.
Police are now investigating the claims.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8330836/Johnny-Ball-abused-by-environmentalists-over-climate-change-denial.html
Ball was a very popular science presenter on British TV some years back, and I recall with fondness his attempts to make science accessible to children. It seems he is being treated similarly to popular former TV environmentalist David Bellamy who is also publicly sceptical.
I frankly don’t look forward to a world where the opinions of thoroughly nasty people like these (the activists) are tolerated and where simply asking questions results in the denier label and the opprobrium that goes with it.

AngusPangus

“Independent”, eh?
When a self-evidently partisan organisation declares itself to be “independent”, sensible people write it off as a propaganda machine.
Splendid bit of projection in their blurb too:
“Distortions of climate science occur regularly, partly because climate science is a complex area, and partly because various interests, motivated by finance or ideology, have sought to confuse the issue.”
Yes indeed, “various interests, motivated by finance or ideology, have sought to confuse the issue”. I guess they were looking in the mirror when they wrote that one.
Nasty little fascists.

Gareth Phillips

Alexander Feht says:
February 18, 2011 at 1:26 am
Gareth Phillips,
You are wrong for many reasons but it would suffice to mention just one:
On this site, your comment was published.
In the sites of our opponents, any of our comments are censored out.
When you explain this difference to yourself, you will see other differences.
Good luck with that.
Gareth responds.
Thank you Alexander for reading must post, however I suspect you have either misread or misunderstood the post. The criticism is aimed at the other site. Apologies if I did not make this clear enough.

beesaman

During these uncertain economic times maybe governments should be explicit about were tax dollars (pounds) are spent. Especially if they are funding such sites.

Alan the Brit

“Our team of researchers will provide a rapid response service for climate science stories. We go straight to peer-reviewed science and the relevant scientists to get their opinions” ……………….
Says it all really! 1925 Pocket Oxford Dictionary, “Opinion”-Belief based on grounds short of proof: What one thinks about something: a disputasble point. They really should choose their words much more carefully in future, IMH……O! :-)) Must go, it will soon be time to ingest some carbon based nutrition!