If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The old adage has been at the forefront of one Mail On Sunday regular’s mind for some years now, as David Rose churns out article after article attacking climate science and desperately pushing the meme that says climate change isn’t really happening. Today has brought a variation: an assault on green energy, and all who advocate it.
David Rose: misinformation is a serious business
“EXPOSED: How a shadowy network funded by foreign millions is making our household energy bills soar - for a low-carbon Britain” thunders the headline. And there is much more: “Shadowy pro-green lobbyists working at every level of the Establishment ... Organisations are channelling tens of millions of pounds into green policies ... Elite lobby group linked to Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the WWF ... Current energy policies shaped by the Green Blob will cost up to £400billion ... If continued, there will be further eye-watering energy bill rises for Britons”.
Readers are then regaled with details of groups that are allegedly part of this “shadowy network”. They are clearly not so good at being “shadowy” if Rose can get details of them and the causes they support. And it soon comes clear that this reading is, typically for the Mail titles, highly selective.
The key to seeing just how selective Rose is being is when, after he has described the supposed panoply of “The Green Blob”, he pitches the pretence that their only opposition is the Global Warming Policy Foundation and its £300,000 annual budget. We are supposed not to look at the supporting cast.
That would be every right-leaning think tank and lobby group, from the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance to the IEA, CPS and ASI. It would be a whole host of pundits, and purveyors of pseudoscience. Across the North Atlantic, there is the maze of groups being funded by the likes of the Kochs and the oil companies. Mining interests are also ranged against the green lobby.
But, in the world of David Rose, all of this is swept under the carpet, leaving only the green lobby as some kind of imaginary Satan. It is an area where he has significant previous: as George Monbiot has pointed out, the MoS has published rather a lot of his particular brand of falsehood and misinformation. Monbiot has taken one Rose piece apart to show the secrets of his modus operandi.
Also noted is that Rose reported for the Observer on the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war, repeating claims made by Ahmed Chalabi and his pals about Iraqi weaponry. Chalabi was a fraud and his stories bunk. But Rose regurgitated them, and the paper’s influence helped propel us into an adventure that continues to have unpleasant consequences today. Now he’s at it with green energy.
Lesser men might have stopped and thought. David Rose clearly needs the money.