Now here’s a funny coincidence. In the last post, we learned that the BBC has surreptitiously been taking sponsorship from environmentalists. One of the programmes involved was this one, presented by a Sunday Times environmental correspondent, Richard Girling. Now that’s a familiar name isn’t it?
It was Richard Girling with whom the Outside Organisation (whose MD Neil Wallis was involved in the phone hacking scandal) placed a front page story at the start of 2010, signalling the start of a public relations strategy for the under-fire CRU scientists, as McIntyre describes:
These [articles] started or promoted many memes of the Empire Strikes Back phase of Climategate: blaming CRU misconduct since 2003 on FOI requests in late July 2009, focusing on the “poor Phil” meme, associating Jones with the honorable David Kelly, building up the alleged “death threats”.
I originally linked to Rockhopper TV’s page about the Girling film (Taking the Credit), but they seem to have taken the page down. Thanks to Leopard for providing another link.
Taking the Credit was a puff piece for an organisation called Envirotrade. Leopard also notes that Girling has written extensively about this organisation at the Sunday Times, where he is an environment correspondent.
The project attracted widespread attention in Africa and the rest of the world. Coinciding with the meeting of the G8 leaders in Scotland 2005, a British newspaper, the Sunday Times, featured the project in a 3-page, full colour article by the awardwinning environmental journalist Richard Girling on 3rd July 2005. The article concluded:
As I walk away through the bush, I can see it; new trees growing, healthy crops, beehives, the cane-rat enclosure, the pottery, the carpenter’s workshop. Best of all, sitting quietly alone, head bent over his books, the schoolmaster Zacarias is planning the next day’s lesson.
Somehow, I’m reminded of Girling’s “Poor Phil” CRU piece.