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The dangerous rise of climate censorship

March 8, 2021

Six retweets. That is all the censorship campaign, Stop Funding Heat, needed to have a series of articles taken down by a major British news website and erased from the web. The activists also extracted a groveling apology from the paper’s editor, who promised not only to join the campaign, but also implied his journalists would stop reporting negatively on their cause and would no longer hold them to account.

Stop Funding Heat is a spinoff of campaign group Stop Funding Hate, which pressures advertisers to withdraw funding from newspapers and media outlets which publish articles it disagrees with. Stop Funding Heat is a mysterious outfit which appeared online in 2019. According to its Facebook page, it aims to ‘defund’ and de-platform its ideological opponents in order to make criticisms of green politics ‘unprofitable’. It has no official website and only a Gmail contact address. Yet it has managed to solicit a swift response from a major newspaper.

‘As soon as I became aware of these stories I removed them as they fail to reflect our direction of travel in pursuing a greener, environmentally friendly agenda’, Gary Jones, editor-in-chief of the Daily Express and Express Online, told the DeSmog climate blog after he was contacted by Stop Funding Heat. ‘The Express is committed to promoting green issues and reporting on developments in the ongoing battle to combat climate change, and bring real, sustainable change to the way we all lead our lives. I am absolutely determined to report positively on efforts not only to make Britain greener, but to look at the global picture which impacts on us all’, he added.

That is, the Express will be ‘pursuing’ Stop Funding Heat’s ‘agenda’. Never have I seen such an astonishing statement from a newspaper editor in a democratic society. And never have I known a campaign to win such an easy victory over our supposedly free

Full story here.

It should not come as any surprise that Gary Jones, the Express Editor who so cravenly caved in. As we know, he is a left wing Labour supporter drafted in by the Labour supporting Mirror Group, in order to shift the Express away from its traditional editorial line.

But it raises a much more serious issue, of how the media is being increasingly censored, usually without the public’s knowledge.

It appears that it was Octopus Energy, who prompted the Express cave in:

Maybe someone should start a campaign against Octopus instead.

47 Comments
  1. March 8, 2021 3:41 pm

    Climate groupthinkers seem unaware that spreading fear of CO2 goes against nature.

    • March 9, 2021 1:14 pm

      Hear Hear for the truth. The land to retain its color needs CO2, end of

  2. Thomas Carr permalink
    March 8, 2021 3:45 pm

    Gary Jones is not an editor but a censor complicit in fascism and the craven behaviour typical of publishers in a totalitarian state.

  3. James Neill permalink
    March 8, 2021 3:46 pm

    Stop the Hate: A daily newspaper, Daily Mail, tracked them down as a group of just 4 trotskyists. I do not doubt that Stop the Funding Heat is very closely related!

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      March 8, 2021 4:06 pm

      James, thanks for discovering that. Basically “Stop etc” is anti capitalist and one or two more responsible organs should take time to deal address the issue. Ready copy for the Spectator but I would be more convinced if it was in The Economist or one of the daily heavies. Clearly Gary Jones was unable to get the facts on “Stop …” or his proprietors feel that the mischief is justified.

      • James Neill permalink
        March 8, 2021 4:10 pm

        I suspect that the editor of the Daily Express knows more. I believe the expression : “fellow travellers” may be relevenat.

      • March 8, 2021 11:14 pm

        Yes the Express green revolution edition seemed heavily connect to a Mr D Vince
        who comes from the same background as Marxist groups

        Green mafia use two tricks #1 Get direct subsidies /privileges
        #2 Get their competitors banned

      • James Neill permalink
        March 8, 2021 4:12 pm

        Spelling! – relevant not relevenat!

  4. Ian Phillips permalink
    March 8, 2021 3:59 pm

    “Stop Funding Hope”….soon to follow, then?

  5. JimW permalink
    March 8, 2021 4:01 pm

    Paul, know your enemy. Octopus Energy is basically a one trick pony, but its sold that pony well. Its developed a billing system that looks like its new and ‘different’, and persuaded Origin of Australia to put in $500m and Tokyo Gas $300m to use the system in their own utilities. After the Tokyo Gas investment its book value is $2bn. The billing system is called Kraken , which coincidentally or not is the name of a Croatian IT/Systems company advertising doing the same sorts of things. Its claim for fame is the ‘Agile Tariff’ which does nothing more than allow retail pricing to follow the half hourly wholesale price. Something being done as far back as the CEGB days.
    Octopus Energy is majority owned by Octopus Group, which in turn is owned 75% by its employees, needless to say most of that is with one or two people, mainly the founder Simon Rogerson. The assets of the group are held in a series of investment bodies under the title Octopus Investments.
    It is pushing ‘green investments’ including something called UK Springboard, which it wants to government to back as part of its ‘build back better’ strategy.
    They are a bunch of opportunists and salesmen cashing in on the ‘climate emergency’ nonsense, and found a ready bunch of mugs in Australia to pump a lot of money into an IT system that they dubbed ‘green’. Unfortunately they are good at what they do, and now can afford to do a ‘PR’ job on a national newspaper chain.

    • Kevan Daly permalink
      March 9, 2021 2:44 am

      Origin Energy bought more than a licence to use the Kraken platform; the m$500 included a 20% stake in Octopus. Also Origin’s market cap is just on b$A8 so I think they bring plenty of heft to their dealings with Mr Rogerson.

    • I don't believe it! permalink
      March 10, 2021 8:26 pm

      Bit slow to pick this up but then saw Simon Rogerson’s name. Octopus runs several vct fund s. One of which I invested in. Poor performance but never short on how wonderful they are. I wonder how much vct money is going into their energy ventures. Very much the Branson model, lose other people’s money after you have taken your fees.

  6. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 8, 2021 4:03 pm

    Some months ago the climate activists were to mount an attack on all denier sites. They seem to have not bothered to follow this up – because they now control all of the main media so are not feeling that there is any threat from us.

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 8, 2021 4:08 pm

    One Sara Hall claims to be a co-founder of Stop Funding Heat. I wonder what happens when she doesn’t pay her utility bills.

    https://greenworld.org.uk/article/unfriending-climate-denial-facebooks-role-spreading-misinformation-and-how-we-can-stop-it

  8. Stonyground permalink
    March 8, 2021 4:15 pm

    This is precisely the kind of behaviour that you would expect from people who don’t have a case that they can defend against detractors. The climate change alarmists have been peddling their doomsday predictions for thirty years now and have consistently been proven wrong. They can silence as many media outlets as they can but it won’t change reality.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      March 8, 2021 4:48 pm

      It can create a new reality. We are heading towards “what we are doing hasn’t worked so we must do more of it”!

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        March 8, 2021 4:54 pm

        That is insanity, not reality.

  9. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    March 8, 2021 4:53 pm

    Why is it an emergency to have a climate allowing record food crops?

  10. Penda100 permalink
    March 8, 2021 4:55 pm

    This is exactly how all totalitarian states, fascist and communist, operate. Control the media until it is only publishing propaganda. In stage 2, as Orwell recognised, we move onto the Thought Police. Until there is a national political party prepared to challenge the utter stupidity of climate emergency, net zero, renewables and all the other codswallop I do not see how the issues can ever be discussed or the alarmists’ lies challenged.

    • markl permalink
      March 8, 2021 6:20 pm

      +1M The stealth takeover of the media by the Marxists has allowed unfettered propaganda to confront everyone. They are done with secrecy and out in the open now.

  11. Robert Jones permalink
    March 8, 2021 7:01 pm

    Interesting that Octopus Energy is able to offer ‘at least 50% renewable energy on standard and variable tariffs and 100% renewable energy on its green tariff’. Since it all comes out of the same grid it makes you wonder?

    • Stonyground permalink
      March 8, 2021 7:20 pm

      It is a shame that it can’t really be done. It wouldn’t take long for the 100% green tariff to die a death if subscribers had their power cut off whevever it wasn’t windy.

      • Stuart Brown permalink
        March 8, 2021 8:07 pm

        You’ve prompted me to wonder if their green tariff is cheaper than their 50% tariff. Surely it must be because wind is free, no? Turns out to be hard to get a straight answer because they apparently have a zillion tariffs including one that is reduced on windy days. And some are based on tracking wholesale prices – like the ones that stung the folks in Texas?

        But… from one comparison site:

        “Essentially the extra 0.399p per kWh (2.961p kWh rather than 2.562p kWh) goes towards replacing dangerous and polluting electricity generation with clean renewable energy in places like Kenya and Nepal.”

        Unless that means supporting building modern clean coal plants, CCGTs or nuclear, which I assume it doesn’t, that’s just plain evil. And more expensive than 50% unclean!

  12. March 8, 2021 11:22 pm

    I believe in the free market
    and that firms and media should just obey the laws
    established by democratically elected governments
    NOT try to make their own laws

    Similarly I am opposed to consumer boycotts
    #1 they hurt innocent people caught in the middle , like workers
    #2 can too easily become tit for tat and cause more damage

    Banning your competition like Stop Funding Haate/Heat do
    is a mafia trick maybe Alinsky too

    I always thought SFH came out of the Hatey No Hopers a Social Worker group
    that used to be called Searchlight, but renamed themselves after a scandal
    Basically HnH acts as a front group clearing the way for Labour candidates
    If someone looks like capturing the working class vote HnH come in and smear them as a racist
    .. voila clear way for Labour.

  13. tom0mason permalink
    March 9, 2021 1:12 am

    Yet, the principle of uncertainty is a bad name.
    In science or outside of it, we are not uncertain. Our knowledge is merely confined within a certain tolerance. We should call it the principle of tolerance.
    First in the engineering sense. Science has progressed, step by step, the most successful enterprise in the ascent of man, because it has understood that the exchange of information between man and nature, and man and man, can only take place with a certain tolerance. But I also use the word, passionately, about the real world.
    All knowledge, all information, between human beings, can only be exchanged within a play of tolerance, and that’s whether it’s in science, or in literature, or in religion, or in politics, or in any form of thought that aspires to dogma.

    ― Jacob Bronowski

    • March 9, 2021 3:22 pm

      He means the Overton window shifted to include lots of fantasyland, whilst excluding much of real world things.
      I guess

      • tom0mason permalink
        March 9, 2021 3:51 pm

        stewgreen,
        I interpret his meaning as larger than that. What he tries to convey is that the chaos that is inherent in the universe, is what limits our quest for utter certainty. This should not however stop our search for better accuracy in what we do and attempt to understand better but also understand that there are limits (tolerances) within which we must live and be satisfied with (until we understand the nature of chaos).
        Absolutism and the belief that we have found certainty is THE great mistake, it is what brings the confidence to the believers to do bad things to others, to allow ‘the ends justifies the means’ mindset.

  14. Kevin O'Sullivan permalink
    March 9, 2021 9:48 am

    I was “no-platfomed” by the Mail Online without any reason given for making the following comment about Greta Thunberg:

    “If Greta had remained at school instead of bunking off every Friday, she would have grasped the simple physics behind climate change, and that the dominant “greenhouse” gas is, in fact, water vapour at 96%, with the trace gas CO2 accounting for just 3.6%. The facts are clear: for 7K of the last 10K years since the end of the last Ice Age, our planet has been MUCH warmer than we are experiencing today. Yes, the climate is changing, and has done so for millions of years. So nothing new there then.”

    Although I have made several requested for The Mail Online to explain the reasoning behind their decision to remove me from their comments section, they have stubbornly refused to give an explanation. Climate dictatorship has certainly arrived in the UK.

    • Broadlands permalink
      March 9, 2021 6:14 pm

      Kevin..You are not alone. A few of us have been banned from participating in the AAAS community conversations for the most spurious of reasons. But climate change was clearly the reason. The Grantham Institute provides them with some funding.

  15. March 9, 2021 10:08 am

    As far as I can tell nearly all our democratically elected MP’s voted to declare a “climate emergency” in 2019.

    Forget about the media, you all voted for someone who thinks there is a climate emergency, send him or her a note asking what they voted for.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      March 9, 2021 1:31 pm

      I voted for an independent candidate who did not win as I live in a constituency of Tory sheep who will vote for any idiot they care to put up. We were saddled with the Call Me Dave stooge Sam Gyimah but now have some dolly who is also not a local but must have done the ‘right’ things to get a job as an MP

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      March 9, 2021 5:00 pm

      Cookers52: My MP is Desmond Swayne. A right of centre Tory who opposes lockdowns and other aspects of the Covid crisis.

      On climate he is a closed mind. When I wrote to him in 2013 about Energy and climate he responded with his article from the local Forest Journal:

      “Last week The UN published its latest assessment of the cause and consequences of climate change, stating that the scientists were now 95% certain that dramatic and potentially cataclysmic climate change was caused by human activity. I wonder if ‘global warming’ is a modern example of popular delusions and the madness of crowds. Who are the deluded however, is it the scientists who have failed to take proper account of the history of our changing climate over millennia, or is it the sceptics who wilfully fail to take account of the plain evidence before our eyes?”

      Sounds like sitting on the fence to me. He then goes on to talk about the rising cost of oil therefore green energy makes sense because of lower cost and reduced reliance on oil. The fact that the oil price crashed since seems to have passed him by. He actually voted for the climate change act in 2008.

      In a recent email I pointed out the democratic deficit in the three (2.5?) main parties have an agreement on climate policy. His response was a brief and somewhat terse lecture that if I didn’t like it either join a party and change policy or form your own of like-minded people.

  16. ThinkingScientist permalink
    March 9, 2021 10:16 am

    We are slowly sliding into a new form of totalitarianism, closest to fascism. If you ever wondered how ordinary people could have been caught up in Nazi Germany, well I think you are watching the process live now.

    It’s not communist or Marxist because there is no state ownership of the means of production. It is most like fascism because the state is coercing large industrial bases into providing what the state dictates. Renewable, electric cars, heat pumps etc.

    There is a terrible messianic purpose at play, instigated by environmental activists (“religion”), supported by scientists and academics (an “intellectual elite”) and enacted by politicians (“saving the world”) driven by hubris.

    The next stage is the complete shutting down of critical voices and dissent (no platforming). This is already happening. Then come the restrictions of individual freedoms (already in the legislative pipeline) and the slow destruction of democracy as the full collective madness takes hold.

    Then the pogroms, the retributions, the trials of those who disagree.

    Chilling. If you had said to me 15 years ago we would get to this point now over global warming I would have laughed. I am not laughing now.

    • Micky R permalink
      March 9, 2021 3:09 pm

      The BBC has been de-platforming non-believers for at least 14 years.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        March 9, 2021 3:18 pm

        I know. I have been there, complaining continuously right up to the BBC Trust the whole time.

      • March 9, 2021 3:23 pm

        We owe you then

    • tom0mason permalink
      March 9, 2021 3:25 pm

      “It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That’s false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

      Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken.”

      I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here [at Auschwitz], to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.”
      ―Dr. Jacob Bronowski (The Ascent Of Man 1974 video)

      I strongly advise anyone who has not seen the 1974 video to get a copy of it or the book of the same name (The Ascent Of Man). Sure the video quality is terrible but the message from Dr. Jacob Bronowsk is just so strong. If you allow bad things to happen then you are also complicit in the outcome. People are individuals and all individuals are similar but different, as the great man said —
      ““My view is that diversity is the breath of life, and we must not abandon that for any single form which happens to catch our fancy – even our genetic fancy. Cloning is the stabilisation of one form, and that runs against the whole current of creation – of human creation above all. Evolution is founded in variety and creates diversity; and of all animals, man is most creative because he carries and expresses the largest store of variety. Every attempt to make us uniform, biologically, emotionally, or intellectually, is a betrayal of the evolutionary thrust that has made man its apex.”
      ― Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

    • JimW permalink
      March 9, 2021 3:29 pm

      Its been turbo=powered by the use of the SARS2 virus. We have a biosecurity fascist totalitarian regime forming brick by brick around most the anglosphere.

      • Micky R permalink
        March 9, 2021 6:07 pm

        A substantial proportion of the UK population appear to have welcomed “lock down”.

      • March 9, 2021 6:28 pm

        How many ?
        Callers continually call TalkRadio and say
        ” the media keep quoting surveys saying majority support more lockdowns, yet this cannot be true cos almost everyone I know is opposed to lockdowns”

      • Micky R permalink
        March 9, 2021 8:08 pm

        @ stewgreen

        Selected at random

        “> YouGov poll finds 80% of public support national coronavirus restrictions <"

        https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/lockdown-boris-johnson-yougov-poll-b680047.html

      • March 10, 2021 9:17 am

        Yes than is an example of a survey that many people say must be fabricated

    • Gas Geezer permalink
      March 10, 2021 9:59 am

      Are you saying that the climate change cult isn’t the real issue , that some strange difficult to define collective psychosis has infected the West . James Delingpole talks about the Technocracy . As you say it is chilling, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago springs to mind . Being a simple minded fool I don’t understand why every politician just can’t read Ian Plimer’s Climate change delusion and the great electricity rip-off and reverse all of their destructive policies.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        March 10, 2021 10:26 am

        Gas Geezer: I think history tells us that the populace goes mad in crowds and come to their senses one-by-one. The climate cult has gripped the imagination and, for many, I suspect has supplanted the role religion played in the West in former times It gives a sense of purpose.

        Its also coupled with a rise of woke/snowflake type left of centre policies. They have always been with us, and the damage many of these views do causes them to get discredited, then rise again as a new young generation comes along. The errors of the past are just forgotten, skipping a generation.

        With regard to politicians, in todays Western world there is very little for them to actually do (compared to say solving social or health issues apparent back in Victorian times, or fight wars against tyrants such as Hitler). The lack of real purpose is why left wing politicians rant about problems such as child poverty in Britain and sexual politics. Air pollution is another – our air quality now easily surpasses that which I “enjoyed” as a child in the 1960s and 1970s, yet its still presented as a life or death problem. Excess deaths is touted, a false statistic as it is life expectancy that really matters.

        To your last point the real issue with politicians is what it has always been. They crave attention, limelight, purpose, power, spending. The fundamental driver for politicians on the climate issue is hubris. Tony “Iraq War” Blair “feeling the hand of history on my shoulder” is a classic modern example. Climate change gives every politician the opportunity to claim they are “saving the planet” or “saving humanity”. Politicians are not interested in truth, they are interested in glory and vanity projects to “ensure their place in history”. Most of them are pretty nasty pieces of work behind the smile – Tory Health Minister Matt Hancock and Labour Shadow Health Minister Jonathan Ashworth fit that description pretty well from what I have seen of them under tough questioning.

        O for a government that repealed laws instead of creating them, that looked for efficiencies, that simply wanted to run things quietly and effectively. That didn’t waste enormous amounts of tax payers money on fixing things that aren’t broke or stopping spraying money at activists who shout the loudest.

        Government interference in people’s lives is going to get very noticeable in the UK over the next decade or so. The last time that happened was when we got the Poll Tax. Here’s hoping the worm will turn again and put a stop to this nonsense.

        In the meantime, just keep praying for a cooling trend that takes us back to around the 1980s mean temps.

  17. March 9, 2021 6:11 pm

    Viewing this blog via the WordPress Reader page
    has a number of advantages eg comments have a LIKE button
    It also inserts suggested posts on the sane topic.

    Here it suggests a November post by the Catholic charity from Portsmouth
    Stop Funding Fossil Fuels!
    Maureen our Campaigns Volunteer Coordinator asks you to share this important petition with as many people as you can.
    We know that petitions really work to change policy

    We urge you to use this opportunity to show true global leadership by ending all UK financial support – including aid and export finance – for fossil fuels overseas.
    … The posts have zero comments.

    That’s right the Marie Antoinette’s in Portsmouth
    say about the poor in Africa
    “Let them eat intermittent solar power, not something that gives them reliable on demand power like a diesel generator
    or grid connection”

    I then invites people to a talk
    Speaker : Daniel Willis, Policy & Campaigns Manager from Global Justice Now.

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