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Harrabin Misleads Again

August 9, 2019

By Paul Homewood



Paul Matthews has analysed the latest misleading Harrabin article:



Today the IPCC issued another report, Climate Change and Land.

The BBC’s Roger Harrabin wrote an article about it, before the report was released (he was also burbling about it on the radio this morning, and probably has been all day).

The BBC Headline is

“Plant-based diet can fight climate change – UN”

and the following statements are:

“Switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change, UN experts have said.”

“A major report on land use and climate change says the West’s high consumption of meat and dairy produce is fuelling global warming.”

“They said that more people could be fed using less land if individuals cut down on eating meat.”

Now I haven’t read the entire report, but I have read the Summary for Policymakers and the Headline Statements, neither of which seem to provide much if any support for Harrabin’s claims.

Harrabin’s article seems to be based on his own pre-conceived opinions and those of a couple of people he talked to.


 Full story here.



Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to my balanced diet tonight!


  1. August 9, 2019 10:18 am

    According to Harrabin on the news yesterday, cows emit a lot of carbon, but I have never seen any carbon coming off my farming neighbour’s cows.

    My experience of growing fruit and vegetables compared to my neighbour’s experience of rearing sheep and cows is that growing fruit and vegetables requires a lot of added water which means I am emitting more “greenhouse gas” in the form of water vapour than he is. I shall definitely up my meat eating habit to compensate.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      August 9, 2019 11:31 am

      “But I have never seen any carbon coming off my farming neighbour’s cows”

      That’s because you don’t have “X-Ray” vision, like Greta Thunberg! – Oh, sorry, I forgot – she claims she can see Carbon Dioxide, which isn’t the same as Carbon, in any case…

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 9, 2019 12:43 pm

      Cows did give off a lot of carbon, and were indeed converted into carbon, during 2001 but other than that it is an unknown phenomenon.

    • Duker permalink
      August 10, 2019 1:00 am

      Cows do indeed give off ‘Carbon’, so does planting paddy rice, probably bigger than that of the cows and sheep and rabbits and people.
      Like the Irish once were , we could all be having potatoes as the major ( or only) food source. What could go wrong with that ?

  2. Lez permalink
    August 9, 2019 10:24 am

    The first seven minutes of yesterday’s BBC1’s early evening news was given over to this rubbish. What on earth is going on inside their tiny minds?
    Your readers may be interested in this. It goes on for a while but worth watching start to finish.

    Thanks for your hard work, Paul
    ‘KBO’, as Mr Churchill would have said.

    • David Parker permalink
      August 9, 2019 11:20 am

      It certainly is worth watching.

    • Ian Magness permalink
      August 9, 2019 11:56 am

      Thanks very much for this – well worth wading through all of it.

    • Barbara Elsmore permalink
      August 9, 2019 7:52 pm

      Thank you for sharing this – should be compulsory viewing!

  3. Pancho Plail permalink
    August 9, 2019 10:54 am

    Reposted from Climate Scepticism:
    What I want to know is what fertilises the land that all these crops are grown on.
    I compost all my vegetable waste and use it on my veg patch, but the only time I get noticeable improvements in yield is when I take a trip to my local stable and help myself to well composted manure and urine soaked horse bedding.
    The commercial alternatives – bonemeal, blood fish and bone and chicken manure are dependent on animals, and artificial nitrate fertilisers are not green.
    And using green crops for fertilising takes land out of food production.
    Without animal fertilisers the yields will decline over the long term and mass starvation will ensue.
    But of course increased CO2 will also do wonders for crop yields.
    These people simply don’t think things through in their pursuit of more funding for “essential” “research”.

  4. ianprsy permalink
    August 9, 2019 10:56 am

    On LBC this morning, a farmer likened the “saving” achieved by killing the beef industry to an obese person deciding to achieve weight loss by cutting out cucumber, ie the impact of the food industry c/f other carbon sources like industry and transport is negligible.

  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    August 9, 2019 11:04 am

    I just think Harrabin and his Greenie idiots are talking blox when they go on about CO² emissions from open fields/soil being ‘man-made’. How so? Hasn’t CO² been coming off soil for millions of years? How come it’s suddenly all down to Man?

    I assume that the CO² cycle, which includes out-gassing from the seas, must also include out-gassing from the land. Does Harrabin believe that CO² from the seas is also ‘man-made’? Does he think we should cover the seas as he proposes that open soil fields should be?

    An IPCC author/scientist(?), interviewed on R4 yesterday claimed that 25% of ‘man-made’ CO² emissions come from the soil. The claim is made in such a a way that naive believers might think it’s all cumulative and that the world is bathed in CO². Sheesh!! There really is a whiff of desperation in all this.

    • August 9, 2019 12:53 pm

      CO2 theory has always been desperate. They pretend that CO2 is a big deal but most so-called ‘greenhouse gas’ is water vapour.

  6. Saighdear permalink
    August 9, 2019 11:05 am

    I’ve been away at work – no radio or TV reception – bummer – but listen .. silence – ” G R E A T ” – I felt mentally better not hearing all his guff all day long. Pity that 1st thing in the morning and last thing at night back home – all that guff about the meat etc. Waiter waiter there’s a fly in my soup – hush or they’ll all want some, springs to mind – thought they were all vegans – are insects classed as Vegetables now?
    Now Ch5 is starting a series within their News prog. dedicated to this Enviro rubbish?
    Where’s a Greein Bairn when you need one to get the PM’s ear and have Parliament inito emergency state to ban all this Junk broadcasting

  7. Barbara Elsmore permalink
    August 9, 2019 11:08 am

    Have you noticed the emphasise is usually on meat and not dairy? Cutting down on meat eating is one thing, although where this idea that we eat meat everyday came from spurring Paul McCartney to urge ‘meat free Mondays’ I cannot imagine, but gIving up milk and butter is quite another thing. Plus if you don’t have farms with animals you don’t get flies which means all those lovely birds visiting in the summer to live off a bountiful fly harvest go hungry. Here the local house martins build or repair their nests from mud picked up from a nearby dairy farm.

  8. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 9, 2019 11:17 am

    Hydroponics anyone?
    Uses one tenth the water than conventional agriculture, and more production per unit area.
    Moving belt type machines are/were in use in the UK for making grass mat for thoroughbred horses. Useful for other herbivores, hence meat?

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 9, 2019 11:23 am

      Energy requirement?

    • August 9, 2019 3:08 pm

      Of course, when we’re all under the sea, we’ll be able to eat sea horses!

    • steve permalink
      August 9, 2019 5:45 pm

      Ever tasted a Dutch tomato?

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        August 9, 2019 6:29 pm

        No – they have no flavour. (I lived in the Hague for a while)

        It was hard trying to get alternatives.

  9. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 9, 2019 11:20 am

    So the last thing you’d want to do would be to industrialize land and waste it on windmills and solar panels then, rather than a tiny fracking pad!

    I’ve seen a news snippet with solar panels floating on water – surely this will create a dead zone with little/no light/heat entering the water and destroy the gaseous exchange boundary – the number of places this would be useful – why waste the effort?

    Fossil fuels and the free market have enabled us to feed the world (despite previous predictions) using less and less land.

    The biggest threats to this are nut-job green initiatives like bio-fuels and renewables and interference with established farming methods.

    We now live in an insane parallel universe whereby if you label anything green you can suspend all common sense, scientific/economic/environmental/ecological scrutiny and concerns, where you can decry all established and proven ways the human race has thrived, everything that has given us a stable society, and replace it all with brain-dead fuckwittery. The asylum has fallen.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 9, 2019 11:50 am

      I see that the Indonesians are now getting upset because the EU are imposing green tariffs on palm oil. Part of “free trade” EU plans to raise tariffs through Von der Leyen’s carbon border tax, no doubt.

      At least it’s better news for Attenborough’s orangutans.

    • August 9, 2019 1:58 pm

      Re: the floating solar panels. This also gave me pause for thought. Life in shallow water depends on sunlight (it does so in deeper waters also except around “black smokers”). Light enables mostly unicellular algae to fix CO2 and oxygenate the water. In the absence of light there is only consumption, i.e. no primary productivity. This would result in the oxygen being stripped out of the water and, eventually, anoxic conditions with next to no living things.

      Of course, the extent of the effect would be proportional to the amount of a lake that is shaded.

  10. August 9, 2019 11:23 am

    Harrabin for Hire! Want an after dinner speaker? He’s your man….or not.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 9, 2019 12:49 pm

      If only we could hire him and then heckle.

    • Joe Public permalink
      August 9, 2019 2:16 pm

      Fancy being paid £3k-£10k for an evening spreading your own propaganda.

  11. swan101 permalink
    August 9, 2019 11:27 am

    Reblogged this on ECO-ENERGY DATABASE.

  12. Joe Public permalink
    August 9, 2019 11:28 am

    “Plant-based diet can fight climate change – UN”

    Rice, anyone?

    • Rowland P permalink
      August 9, 2019 5:46 pm

      That’ll be topping up the proportion of methane in the atmosphere presently at 0.000175% which is claimed to be such a “powerful” greenhouse gas!

  13. Dave Ward permalink
    August 9, 2019 11:34 am

    I’m a vegetarian (NOT Vegan, thank you very much!), so Horrorbin, Shukman & the UN can go swivel…

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      August 9, 2019 1:14 pm

      Cherokee for lousy hunter?

      • Joe Public permalink
        August 9, 2019 2:17 pm


      • Dave Ward permalink
        August 9, 2019 4:18 pm

        The only food hunting I do is for reductions and offers on items with long sell-by-dates…

  14. Charles Wardrop permalink
    August 9, 2019 12:10 pm

    The AGW movement is corrupt as well as wrong.
    How else can its spread be explained ?
    Cannot all be due to attempts to destroy capitalism.

  15. August 9, 2019 12:19 pm

    Joe Public, if you actually read the IPCC report, rather than the misleading claims of the BBC, it does discuss the huge contribution to methane production from rice fields.

    From the SPM: “Ruminants and the expansion of rice cultivation are important contributors to the rising concentration (high confidence).”

  16. Gamecock permalink
    August 9, 2019 12:34 pm

    “Plant-based diet can fight go-bloots – UN”

    Fixed it for you.

  17. Gerry, England permalink
    August 9, 2019 12:52 pm

    Unusual for the report to actually be available at the same time as the summary is released. They are usually busy changing the report to match the summary propaganda and/or don’t want anyone to read it to see the differences between the two.

  18. johnbillscott permalink
    August 9, 2019 1:03 pm

    Recently there was an article stating and proving that having herds of cattle m9ved around by nomadic tribes was the key to regreening the arid regions of Africa. As an example a part of a desert was rehabilitated and green plants replaced sand and water evaporation was all but eliminated. Water and dung fed the new plants in a cyclic manner.

    Today there were great headlines about everyone going vegan, however, at the same time there were headlines that plant based substitutes, which are very highly refined, present health risks in eaten often. I wonder what the eco footprint is for these new foods.

  19. August 9, 2019 2:05 pm

    Where I live the only viable agricultural crop is grass (a small amount of poor quality grain is also grown for animal feed) and thus sheep and cattle farming is the only agricultural activity. Take away the grazing animals and the fields rapidly (within a couple of years) become scrub and then impenetrable woodland. Eventually all local employment would cease, communities would become unviable, roads would become unusable and the landscape would become invisible. We would be back to the dark ages. The greenblob never thinks (I could end the sentence here) of the unintended consequences of what they propose.

    • August 9, 2019 6:01 pm

      That is precisely what the UN want with Agendas 21, 2030 & sustainability.

  20. steve permalink
    August 9, 2019 5:53 pm

    There is evidence that grazing cattle actually help to prevent desertification and then we still get Stilton and low-calorie delicious steaks. Naturally, the green subsidy milkers are throwing as much dung as possible in the direction of Mr Savory.

  21. A C Osborn permalink
    August 9, 2019 6:04 pm

    Note that the report suggests the possible CO2 savings could be from 0.7 to 8.0 Gtons of Co2.
    Very wide estimate.

  22. Sara Hall permalink
    August 10, 2019 11:39 am

    The two people I know that died from bowel cancer in the last two years were both long term committed vegetarians and then just last year my younger sister, who didn’t eat red meat or dairy but lived mostly on nuts, seeds etc, also succumbed to this awful disease aged just 60. So forgive me when I tell the Bin of Horror just where to stick his crazy ideas.

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