george monbiot

Wed, 2011-03-30 00:31Emma Pullman
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Are Right Wingers Seriously Using Craigslist To Recruit Trolls For Canadian Election?

Today a campaign on behalf of a public relations firm to skew online debate about the Canadian election was caught using Craigslist to recruit new writers to their cause.

The series of job postings appeared in major cities across the country, and invited prospective writers to apply for jobs to post on newspaper comment sections, media forums, facebook pages, and other online outlets. The goal? To “help balance the left-wing bias of the major media outlets”.

Though the ads were promptly flagged and removed from Craigslist, we scored a screen cap

With Canada early on into an election campaign, one can only wonder on just what scale this type of organized astroturf online trolling exists.

Tue, 2010-12-14 09:15Richard Littlemore
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Monbiot: The Astroturf Threat To Democracy

Guardian columnist George Monbiot steps out with a great analysis of internet-based astroturfing and the very effective way that it disrupts the public conversation about important (and economically momentous) issues.

Thu, 2010-08-26 11:06Kevin Grandia
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Monbiot hits back at the Sunday Telegraph Pachauri Fabrication

You can’t link to the original article that appeared in the Sunday Telegraph in December that makes false accusations about Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because the newspaper has scrubbed the story clean from its website. 

But as Guardian columnist George Monbiot points out today the lies in the article had their desired effect. 

Monbiot writes:

“The story (which has subsequently been removed from the Sunday Telegraph’s website) immediately travelled around the world. It was reproduced on hundreds of blogs. The allegations it contained were widely aired in the media and generally believed.”

The allegations put forth by the Telegraph were that Pachauri was profiting from his position as the head of the IPCC.

Turns out the story was completely false after the accounting firm KPMG was brought in to study all of Pachauri’s financial records. 

In fact, Pachauri’s compensation for his tireless work as the head of the IPCC is a whopping zero dollars and zero cents. That’s right, he isn’t paid a dime by the IPCC.

Check out Monbiot’s in-depth analysis here: The Smearing Of An Innocent Man

Thu, 2010-06-24 17:50Brendan DeMelle
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George Monbiot Rips UK Sunday Times For 'Amazongate' Lies And Stonewalling

Intrepid British journalist George Monbiot has a piece in The Guardian today that absolutely smashes the London Sunday Times’ handling of its botched ‘Amazongate’ story.  The Times was forced to retract essentially its entire January article,  which badly mischaracterized the work and words of rainforest expert Dr. Simon Lewis, to whom the paper sheepishly apologized earlier this week.

Monbiot took some time to try to figure out how the Times could have possibly allowed the sham story to run in the first place, but his efforts were met with aggressive stonewalling by Times’ editors, who trampled transparency in order to cover their own behinds. 

Exactly who at the Times was responsible for re-writing the story after a totally different version was read back to Dr. Lewis over the phone by the reporter Jonathan Leake, remains a mystery.

Wed, 2010-06-09 15:44Richard Littlemore
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Monckton bashing "left" and "right"

Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, attracts some pretty colorful criticism, but it’s a bit stunning to see someone at the climate-skeptical Telegraph* call Monckton “a fantasist, a blethering popinjay useful only for amusement.”

Unfortunately, you can’t read that quote on the Telegraph* website where blogger Tom Chivers wrote it in the first place. After a complaint from Monckton’s own noble self, his allies in self-delusion have had it deleted. But the original piece is still available to all at Tenney Naumer’s blog, Climate Change - the Next Generation. (Thank you, Tenney.)

Chiver’s position, convincingly rendered, is that Monckton has made himself a goof, a paragon of “utter scientific illiteracy,” and, as such, has become an embarrassment to the denier community.

That accords perfectly with the stuff that George Monbiot has been writing at the Guardian. Monbiot says,

“Lord Monckton is digging his hole ever deeper, and dragging down into it everyone stupid enough to follow him. Those of us who do battle with climate change deniers can’t inflict one tenth as much damage to their cause that Monckton wreaks every time he opens his mouth.”

Thu, 2010-01-21 13:35Brendan DeMelle
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George Monbiot Unveils Winner of Annual Award For Most Distorted Climate Coverage

George Monbiot, the Guardian’s straight-shooting environmental columnist, today unveiled the winner of the second annual (and final, if Monbiot can resist the urge to dole it out next year) Christopher Booker prize, given to the “journalist” who most flagrantly ignores facts in favor of cramming the greatest number of thoroughly debunked climate denier claims into a single entry.  

This year’s winner, John Tomlinson, a columnist for the Flint Journal in Michigan, managed to cram an impressive 38 misleading statements into a piece only 805 words long, a rate of one misleading statement per 21 words.  All in direct response to Monbiot’s earlier criticism of Tomlinson’s distorted columns.

Tomlinson managed to beat “his own provisional world record for density: the ratio of falsehoods to words,” by cramming more climate denial into one piece than his previous effort earlier in the year which contained 18 errors in just 486 words, a rate of one error per 26 words. 

Wed, 2009-12-02 12:30Richard Littlemore
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Munk Debates: Good theatre; bad policy

Viewers of the Munk Debate Tuesday night among Guardian columnist George Monbiot, Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May, Thatcher-era Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson and the Disingenuous Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg can only come back to a conclusion that many had reached beforehand: these occasions offer the denial industry a boost in credibility they neither earn nor deserve.

Watching the debate, it was hard not to conclude that May and Monbiot were winning in their argument in favour of the proposition: that climate change is the defining issue of our time. The assembled audience seemed to agree on one hand, ranking the debaters in descending order from Monbiot, through May, Lomborg and finally Lawson (who impressed a mere eight per cent of those assembled).

Lawson himself seemed to concede defeat in his summation, noting that “They have the best of the rhetoric.”

Yet the audience, which began the night split 61 to 39 per cent in favour of the proposition, ended it voting 56 to 44 per cent in favour - a slide of five points toward the underperforming rhetoriticians arguing on behalf of denial and delay.

Wed, 2009-11-25 16:40Richard Littlemore
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Hacked emails: They're trouble, serious trouble, but not BIG trouble

“Climate scientists should not let themselves be goaded by the irresponsibility of the deniers into overstating the certainties of complex science or, worse, censoring discussion of them. “

This is one of the annoying voices of reason currently dampening what the denial industry is lauding as “climategate.”

The story, for those catching up, is about a series of emails hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. They are embarrassing, sometimes humiliating evidence that climate scientists - even really, really good ones - are human and are apt to make mistakes or write intemperately when they think they aren’t being watched.

The quote above comes from the Washington Post editorial today, and it regrets that in a “climate of denial,” certain “researchers show how not to respond to global warming skeptics.” Basically, the Post says that denial of denial should be based on evidence, not on counter tactics. Then, the editors conclude that, yes, the actual climate change deniers have had a couple of good days of chortling, but: “None of it seriously undercuts the scientific consensus on climate change.”

Wed, 2009-11-25 11:45Kevin Grandia
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Monbiot calls Climate Cover Up "Brilliant"

Very nice kudos for our new book Climate Cover Up, from the highly respected Guardian columnist and author, George Monbiot today.

In his column today on the Climate Research Unit hacked email story Monbiot writes:

“The greatest tragedy here is that despite many years of outright fabrication, fraud and deceit on the part of the climate change denial industry, documented in James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore’s brilliant new book Climate Cover-up…” [my emphasis]

Thanks George!

Tue, 2009-09-15 17:00Richard Littlemore
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Clumsy Denier Ian Plimer Limps AWAY FROM the Finish Line

The panicky Professor Ian Plimer appears to have run from the field of intelligent debate in his latest duck-and-dodge fest with UK Guardian Columnist George Monbiot.

Plimer is the author of Heaven and Earth, a terrible hash of logical misdirection, plagiarism and mistakes which was shredded into fine bits by people like our favourite Australian, Tim Lambert at Deltoid blog.

After Monbiot joined the public lashing, Plimer protested and demanded that Monbiot engage with him in debate. Monbiot agreed, but only on condition that Plimer first respond in writing to a handful of questions about the accuracy and source of material in his book.

Plimer has been hiding out ever since.

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