Tory researcher caught peddling climate denial propaganda

A Tory researcher has emailed the entire European Parliament a propaganda video claiming “there is no such thing as man-made global warming”, Left Foot Forward has learned.

Benjamin Harnwell, Chief of Staff to South East MEP Nirj Deva, sent the eight-minute clip to all “MEP & ASSISTANTS-7th-Legislature; Bruxelles” from his boss’s work account.

Last month Mr Deva joined prominent climate change sceptics Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer in failing to back a motion calling for the Copenhagen talks to agree an 80 per cent cut in emissions by 2050 – the official Tory policy.

The news will come as a blow to David Cameron as he attempts to take his party with him on climate change. His “Vote Blue, go Green” strategy appears to be flattering to deceive.

Yesterday Left Foot Forward listed previous instances of Conservative climate deniers and sceptics, who include David Davis, Lord Lawson and Peter Lilley, with Liberal Conspiracy reporting Oliver Letwin and Iain Duncan-Smith’s role with the European Foundation, which on Tuesday published a report outlining “100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made”.

And earlier today a poll revealed that Conservative voters who opposed action to help the poor outnumbered those who suppported it by 23 per cent. Among Labour and Liberal Democrat voters net support stands at around 30 per cent.

35 Responses to “Tory researcher caught peddling climate denial propaganda”

  1. Frank

    Climate denial = truth

  2. Jessica Asato

    Climate change denial vid circulated by Tory MEP's researcher "with fervent best wishes" @leftfootfwd http://is.gd/5reof

  3. Shamik Das

    RT @Jessica_Asato: Climate change denial vid circulated by Tory MEP’s researcher “with fervent best wishes” @leftfootfwd http://is.gd/5reof

  4. mikeblakeney

    RT @Jessica_Asato Climate change denial vid circulated by Tory MEP's researcher "with fervent best wishes" @leftfootfwd http://is.gd/5reof

  5. Labour List

    RT @leftfootfwd Climate change denial vid circulated by Tory MEP's researcher “with fervent best wishes”: http://is.gd/5reof

  6. Tom

    Well, if John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel says it’s not man-made, then I guess it can’t be man-made. After all, he’s presumably got some higher degrees in climatology and related fields, to have founded that channel.

    Oh, wait, no, he has a degree in journalism, and no scientific expertise whatsoever.

  7. Anon E Mouse

    It seems to me that there are simply no votes in this Green drivel – the polls clearly show the public do not share the stupid MP’s views (from all parties)on this matter and rightly so.

    I would have thought that LFF would have been glad to see some clear blue sky between the Labour Party and the next UK government on this.

    Does anyone think for one minute that if this was important they would send a party wonk like Ed Miliband to sort it out in Copenhagan? He looks like he should be part of a student debating society not a serious government minister.

    What you fail to understand from your Ivory Towers in London is that people in this country worry about schools and jobs and crime but not this tax increasing rubbish on Climate Change.

    Even if the science was set, which it clearly isn’t, do you really believe that the world will cut emissions by 80% by 2050? Really?

    That’s about as believable as the government halving child poverty by 2010.

    If you do believe that 2050 stuff please let me know what the climate is like on the planet you live on because it clearly isn’t the same as the one the majority of people in this world inhabit. Grow up.

  8. Thomas Fairfax

    What some people seem to be unable to grasp is that climate change is something that needs to be dealt with, but the cause is impossible to ascertain.

    It doesn’t help that the CRU data from Russia is now reported to have been doctored as well. There is some seriously unscientific activity going on by both sides.

    Stop calling people deniers and try and work out if there is sufficient evidence for a particular cause/s.

    Frankly Shamik, you and Will need to stop being so bombastic in areas you don’t understand. It reduces the value of all your articles everytime you slip in clearly partisan and pre-judgemental wording.

    The idea of an independant and data led approach is good, but you need to let the facts speak for themselves else you’ll put off those who haven’t got a fixed view and could be persuaded.

  9. Swagata

    I believe in man made climate change but I’m adult enough not to label those skeptics as “deniers”. The shrill and childish level of debate only serves to polarise debate, rather than bringing people into conversation it is setting people against each other, trenches are being dug deeper and deeper.

    As for the Tories, a clerk to an MEP sending silly emails is hardly “a blow to Cameron”. I doubt anyone outside Conservative HQ and the Deva household had even heard of Nirj Deva MEP, yet alone his office assistant. The world is more interested in affairs in Copenhagen right now rather than the emails of a non-entity.

  10. Brian Duggan

    Tory MEP's researcher just circulated Climate change denial vid round the European Parliament “with fervent best wishes” http://is.gd/5reof

  11. Billy Blofeld

    Is “Propaganda” the right term for an evidence based blog to use? Surely you should welcome people debating the evidence. Isn’t that your raison d’etre?

  12. Jonathan Taylor

    RT @LabourList: RT @leftfootfwd Climate change denial vid circulated by Tory MEP's researcher “with fervent best wishes”: http://is.gd/5reof

  13. Tom

    The video is not someone debating the evidence. Nothing in the video is sourced. It repeats many errors that have been widely debunked, including classic rhetorical arguments like “Isn’t CO2 good for plants?”, claims that because the IPCC model nearly 30 years ago wasn’t perfect, it proves wrong the whole hypothesis, and – oddly for a weatherman, who ought to know better – confuses long-term climate changes with short term fluctuations. None of that is even vaguely scientific debate.

  14. Patrick Barron

    There is nothig propagandistic about the video. John Coleman simply presents facts; others may debate or refute these facts. That is free and open debate. Lets see the evidence for global warming, which, of course, has now morphed into climate change because there has been no warming for the past ten years. The global warming alarmists seem intent on rushing through taxes and regulations that will punish modern economies. This is serious business and there should be plenty of time for everyone to weigh the evidence and judge for himself. It now appears that the tide has turned against the climate change alarmists, due to the revelation that contrary evidence was withheld and/or altered. Yet skeptics like Mr. Coleman are vilified for raising legitimate doubts. This in itself is cause for alarm.

  15. Shamik Das

    Citing Viscount Monckton; never a good idea. This is his idea of reasoned debate: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2009/12/climate-denier-unmasked-tory-peer-calls-jewish-climate-activists-hitler-youth/ Such a lovely, charming individual, and sums up the attitude of so many head-in-the-sand deniers.

  16. Billy Blofeld

    Shamik,

    Shouldn’t you be examining the evidence on this blog, rather than saying that Viscount Monckton is an evil git? Gordon is an evil git too – it doesn’t move the climate debate forward though.

  17. william marsh

    “legislation” is the first refuge of scoundrels. that the AGW faction has lost the public debate and is attempting to circumvent the court of public opinion speaks volumes about their motives and their lack of confidence in their own cause.

    free men are generally good men, and do not need unelected government nabobs to coerce them into actions that are purportedly “for their own good”

  18. Chris Read

    RT @TheBrianDuggan: Tory MEP's researcher just circulated Climate change denial vid round the European Parliament “wit… http://is.gd/5reof

  19. Roman

    Remember 1974 when we were supposed to fear the looming ice age? or 2003 when we were supposed to fear Sadaam’s nookleer weapons?

    I’m skeptical when government insists that I should be afraid of anything. Especially when a gigantic tax or a gigantic war is proposed as the remedy.

  20. Anon E Mouse

    Shamik – You know I like this blog, it’s become a daily ritual to me but let me say to both you and Will that the stuff you post will come back sometime in the future and bite you on the arse.

    I don’t care what you or Will believe about Climate Change – I don’t even know why you believe it but if either of you are looking for a future in politics you need to tone down the language here.

    To call people “Flat Earthers” and “Deniers” just because they share a different opinion – the majority opinion as it happens – to you is stupidity of the highest order and in the future it will be used against you.

    Apart from the childish nature of it the Labour Party is about to go into a long period of opposition (serves us right) and the phoenix will not rise from the ashes with the baggage you two are making for yourselves on this blog.

    Make this blog EVIDENCE BASED, not just the childish opinions of yourselves.

  21. Mike Thomas

    Shamik,

    Perhaps you would like to call Prof. Lindzen a denier too? Bearing in mind he is widely regarded as the climatologist’s climatologist.

    The science isn’t settled

    Incidentally, for a website that prides itself on empirical evidence, perhaps you might want to understand what scientific method involves? Labelling objection as ‘propaganda’ merely shows your thin political gloss and spin.

  22. Anon E Mouse

    Mike Thomas – I’ve tried this before on this blog but even when presented with evidence to the contrary Shamik will say black is white, hot is cold and night is day.

    I have no idea why this site doesn’t challenge anything and disappointingly even Will Straw, who runs this blog, goes along with this line where this climate change nonsense is concerned.

    He will say “Look at the evidence” and then produce just theory and opinion and never any evidence.

    If you say “Look at this” the moderators on the blog scream “Denier Unmasked” and the like and then smear the character of the person involved but NEVER challenge the evidence. It’s like intelligent people are turned into mindless zombies where this drivel is concerned.

    If you want a real laugh do a search on a guy on this blog called Rupert Read (I think that name’s an alias really) and see some of the alarmist articles he posts – he is really rude when you disagree with him and has kept me amused for weeks now with his “The end of the world is neigh – we’re all doomed” stuff.

    Climate Change Activists will go the way of the Millennium Bug, Autism from MMR and so on – it’s just a fad. What I cannot understand for the life of me is why people do this – it’s nuts!

  23. Adam Smith

    Calling people names, e.g., “deniersm” is not the sign of serious scientific debate, nor is claiming that “the science is settled,” when it is quire obvious that the science of climatology is very much in its infancy and therefore hardly settled in any meaningful sense. This is especially true when one notes that claims of global warming have alternated with claims of global cooling every 30 years or so in the past century. The difference is that this time US and European governments have politicized the science by providing rich funding for those willing to claim that we are all doomed. Those accepting this bounty have been exposed in Climategate as altering data and attempting to blacklist scientists who have opposite findings. Kyoto and Copenhagen are political events, planned around extracting money and power from the wealthier nations for redistribution to poorer ones; no measureable reduction in termperature increase would be achieved, despite the draconian measures proposed.

  24. Tom Callow

    Bad day for David Cameron: researcher for climate change denying Tory MEP circulates denial video to EU Parliament http://is.gd/5reof #cop15

  25. Tom Callow

    Researcher for #climate change denying Tory MEP circulates denial video to EU Parliament http://is.gd/5reof #cop15 (h/t @TheBrianDuggan)

  26. convince me

    Researcher for #climate change denying Tory MEP circulates denial video to EU Parliament http://is.gd/5reof #cop15 (h/t @TheBrianDuggan)

  27. Tom

    Richard Lindzen is a thoughtful, intelligent, and well-qualified scientist. He also has a bit of a reputation for taking deliberately contrarian positions (he doesn’t believe that lung cancer is strongly linked to smoking, for example), and most of his colleagues believe he’s wrong on this, too. Nonetheless, he engages with the evidence, and offers opinions worth acknowledging, even if many other equally well-qualified climatologists disagree with him.

    That doesn’t change the fact that the video in the email, like the Express article from the European Foundation the other day, is utter nonsense, unscientific, and perfectly classified as propaganda.

  28. Mike Thomas

    Tom,

    Thing is… he is not alone.

    “I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most pre-eminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

    Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

    “The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” – Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

    “The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC “are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

    “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

    “Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

    “After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet.” – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

    “For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

    “Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

    “Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

    “Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” – Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

    “CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

    “The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

    That’s just a sample of a few scientist, all relevant to the field of climate and historical climate fluctuations.

    Now, perhaps if you look at the IPPC list you will find a lot of ‘scientists’ but not from pure or applied science but plenty of scientists from non-related science and even a railway engineer.

  29. Tom

    Yes, it is just a sample of a few scientists. You can always find a few scientists who disagree with pretty much anything – you’ll find a fair few, including a Nobel prize winner, who believe HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, for example.

    You can find even more if you misrepresent them, of course, and if your misrepresentations are then spread around the internet by credulous ‘sceptics’ who, while being ‘sceptical’ of anything put forward by mainstream scientists, will happily copy-and-paste anything that agrees with their prejudices. Without, for example, checking to see what has been missed out by ellipses.

    Dr Joanne Simpson said “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly. What should we as a nation do? Decisions have to be made on incomplete information. In this case, we must act on the recommendations of Gore and the IPCC because if we do not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and the climate models are right, the planet as we know it will in this century become unsustainable. But as a scientist I remain skeptical.” If you’re going to moan about ‘political gloss and spin’, you really shouldn’t quote-mine like that.

  30. Anon E Mouse

    Tom – How come the number of “scientists” that do (manipulate) the peer reviews amounts to around 60 at most and every one without exception is on the IPCC payroll?

  31. 100 reasons why "vote blue, go green" won't work | Left Foot Forward

    […] Conservative MEP Nirj Deva allowed his email address to be used by his Chief of Staff to send a propaganda video claiming “there is no such thing as man-made climate change” to all members of the […]

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  33. Beverley Ludlam

    I cannot imagine I have ever noticed a new blog with this quite a few responses on it!

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