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Harrabin tries to promote weeping scientists

I just noticed this article in the Guardian by the BBC's Roger Harrabin from earlier in the month:


This is the third article Harrabin has written for the Guardian in about a year. It makes me wonder if he's being lined up for the exit door from the BBC. The BBC's charter comes up for renewal next year and Harrabin is of course strongly connected with allegations of BBC bias, so it might be seen as expedient to get rid of him to reduce the chances of his name cropping up in negotiations over the new charter.

The article is about an interview Harrabin conducted with a female scientist professor on Radio 4 where she started weeping in the interview over "fears we are acidifying and heating the ocean so fast that her young daughters may no longer enjoy coral reefs and shellfish by the end of the century". Not surprisingly, Harrabin is quite keen on the idea of tearful scientists and the demonstration of passion, as it suits his propaganda purposes.

The scientist's name is not mentioned in the article, but she appears to be Daniela Schmidt of Bristol University, and is a professor of palaeobiology rather than 'ocean geology'. Bristol University seems to be quite a hotspot for British Greenery, it first came on my radar about ten years ago when I discovered that Britain's most Green-leaning and least funny comedian, Marcus Brigstocke, was a graduate from there. In more recent years the university has provided employment to Stephan Lewandowsky, the psychology professor who tried to prove that climate sceptics also believe the moon landings were faked.

Harrabin also mentions Tim Hunt, a Nobel prize winning British scientist who was recently forced to resign over making sexist remarks, in the article. I would presume the idea behind this is that Guardian readers will naturally tend to approve of Hunt's resignation, and if the idea of female scientists being allowed to cry is not acceptable, then the villain Hunt will have won the argument to some extent.

For people not familiar with the Tim Hunt story this Guardian article describes it:


Hunt argued at a science journalists conference in South Korea against having female scientists in the lab as they had a tendency to to cry if criticised, and caused a distraction through involvement in workplace romances. He was forced to resign over the politically incorrect remarks, but later on it was revealed by an EU official who was present at the conference that the incident had not been all that accurately reported - Hunt had made the remarks in a self-deprecating manner and had also praised the work of female scientists.

But if you look at Tim Hunt's two assertions, they're actually not particularly unreasonable.

Boris Johnson wrote an article about the Tim Hunt incident and pulled out some statistics on men and women crying - "But the world’s leading expert on crying, Professor Ad Vingerhoets of Tilburg University, has shown that women on average cry 30-64 times a year, while men cry only between six and 17 times a year; and the Dutchman also claims that women cry for an average of six minutes, while men cry for only two to three minutes".

The other assertion, that females lead to distracting workplace romances, reminds me of something that company personnel departments were rumoured to do years ago - they supposedly encouraged workplace romances to help retain difficult-to-recruit staff. After a bit of Googling I discovered that Paul Nurse, current President of the Royal Society and co-winner of a Nobel prize with Tim Hunt, does intend to implement that policy in his new Francis Crick Institute biomedical research centre in London:


"Nurse says London must embrace the brightest and the best around the globe. “My cunning plan is they arrive single, fall in love and stay in the UK.” The Francis Crick Institute should be more than a centre for scientific research. It must double up as a marriage bureau. Its director suggests monthly parties with invitations extended to lawyers, bankers and artists. The scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery about the behaviour of cells wants to enhance the DNA of London".

Re: Harrabin tries to promote weeping scientists


Nurse, presumably humourously in the style of Tim Hunt, is proposing selective breeding?

How far is that removed from Eugenics?

Given the problems that the Green Saviours seem to have with humanity and its future offspring I'm somewhat surprised by his suggestion on a number of levels - or is that part of the plan? An attempt to raise the "standards" in London whilst at the same time trying to influence people's breeding habits?

Re: Harrabin tries to promote weeping scientists

Yes, it does look like selective breeding, but presumably this version of it is 'OK' because it is non-patriotic and non-racist.

Paul Nurse has been associated with the issue of global population control. Before he became President of the Royal Society, he was between 2003 and 2010 the President of Rockefeller University, a private university in the USA founded by the Rockefeller dynasty. In 2009 Nurse held a meeting at his house in New York with about a dozen billionaires as described in this link:


"According to the Times, the billionaires were each given 15 minutes to present their favorite cause. Over dinner they discussed how they might settle on an “umbrella cause” that could harness their interests. Taking their cue from Gates, the report said, they agreed population control was the No. 1 issue."

I was reminded of Paul Nurse the other day when I heard a news story about the new Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson (Boris Johnson's brother), announcing a new policy called "One Nation Science", where the whole of the UK is encouraged to develop its full potential in science. The Paul Nurse version of UK science seems to me to be the opposite of that, where you concentrate scientific research in the south east of England because Johnny Foreigner (who he seems to prefer over the native Brit) prefers to live there.

Harrabin - more propaganda

I noticed another example of Harrabin's propaganda activities the other day, picked up by the "Not A lot of people know that" (NALOPKT) blog:


This relates to a BBC news story Harrabin wrote at the end of July where he claimed "The Automobile Association (AA) has joined green groups in warning that recent changes in energy policy will harm the climate". When I first saw the BBC news story, it struck me as a being a bit implausible. The AA relies for its income on motorists subscribing to it, in competition with organisations like the RAC that provide a similar service, and a significant proportion of motorists are rather sceptical of Greenery. Appearing to be as pro-Green as Harrabin is making out might be a bit damaging to the AA's business.

A reader of the NALOPKT blog checked up on the story by contacting the AA, and Paul Homewood (the NALOPKT blogger) also contacted the AA, and it turned out that Harrabin's reporting was somewhat inaccurate, with the AA revealed as being unhappy with the article.

You do get UK businesses that appear to be more pro-Green than might be expected, an example would be this strange group of eighty firms that put their names to a letter a couple of months ago calling for David Cameron "to seek a “strong climate deal” in Paris that would avoid dangerous global warming".


But the list doesn't include any motoring organisations like the AA, and the firms that are signing up to the letter strike me as the sort who might also provide such advice as "It would be a disaster for Britain to leave the EU" and "Britain needs a lot more university graduates". Many of the firms will be making money from environmental regulations.