All that will change is that the lies won’t have FoE on the top

A green campaign group has agreed not to repeat misleading claims about the health and environmental impacts of fracking after complaints to the advertising watchdog.

Friends of the Earth spent more than a year trying to defend its claims, which were made in a fundraising leaflet, but has been forced to withdraw them.

The group’s capitulation is a victory for a retired vicar and a retired physics teacher who have been working for years to expose what they believe is scaremongering about a safe technique for extracting shale gas.

The Rev Michael Roberts and Ken Wilkinson complained about Friends of the Earth’s claims to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which also received a complaint from the fracking company Cuadrilla.

The authority found that Friends of the Earth (FoE) failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma rates and send house prices plummeting.

43 comments on “All that will change is that the lies won’t have FoE on the top

  1. The authority found that Friends of the Earth (FoE) failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma rates and send house prices plummeting.

    It is amazing. Add the fact that fracking will bring in a lot of foreign immigrants and you have a Daily Mail article right there.

    But the people who believe everything FoE tells them despise the people who read the Mail.

  2. “Fracking could cause cancer”? What the fuck?!

    These are the people who want climate sceptics prosecuted, yes? The Holy protectors of Science?

    Incredible.

  3. On a tangent, but I noticed something odd over the last few days.

    Most self-professed greenies have cars, foreign holidays, central heating etc etc. From experience, they recycle less than I do.

    So their revealed preference is to carry on a high-carbon, resource-hungry life. Higher carbon than me, even though I think it is – to go Ecksian – leftist cockrot.

    Given that preference shows they don’t really believe in what they spout, why do they get so angry at people that are sceptical?

    It seems to be particularly the global warming debate that triggers this bizarre reaction. I think it goes beyond simple hypocrisy.

  4. I should add, this applies to folks that have no real skin in the game.

    I can understand an over-reaction from some seller of bird-choppers or a millionaire green charity boss.

    But folks with no climate shite in their career at all get stroppy too.

  5. “Climate Change” is not a science, it’s a religion – hence the believers get a bit upset with heretics.

  6. Yes… but my point is that for the folks I’m talking about their actions show they *aren’t* really believers. Or even profiteers.

    Making the anger extra weird.

    Is it just another aspect of virtue-signaller mental illness?

  7. Pogo – they would burn us heretics if they could do it in an environmentally acceptable way.
    I’m CofE, not global warming.

  8. Cynic, the self-professed greenies are making a declaration of orthodoxy. Their participation in Green Think gives meaning to their lives.

    Why do they get so angry at people that are sceptical? Because it means their lives have no meaning.

    Religion. As Pogo says.

  9. Bloke in Germany

    We know before we go any further that FoE will have no compunction about contuing to make these false claims on material not within the remit of the ASA. So is this really the cause for which you want to man the barricades?

  10. Martin, I think they’d consider heretics to be biomass, so I doubt they’d have any qualms.

    My parents are card carrying globalist greenies. Christmas was full of snide remarks about Brexit once punctuated by being shown a chart of carbon dioxide (or temperature, I forget which as I was changing my daughter’s nappy at the time), with the comment ‘look how much it goes up’. This from someone who makes a hobby of deriding economics for making inappropriate use of the scientific method. Perspective, much? My mum also managed to get in an ‘all about oil’ comment about US involvement in the middle east. This from a retired senior diplomat. You couldn’t make this up if you tried.

  11. @Cynic

    ‘Yes… but my point is that for the folks I’m talking about their actions show they *aren’t* really believers. Or even profiteers.’

    But how does this differ from most self-professed religious people?

    Our own Ironman is a proud Catholic, and yet he’s a nasty, vindictive and mendacious cunt – for instance.

  12. @James

    “But how does this differ from most self-professed religious people?”

    I suppose it doesn’t differ. I just don’t understand why in either case they get so arsey about something they don’t really believe in.

    I’m guessing the root cause is something to do with an immunity to cognitive dissonance. A brain that’s working properly will tell you that your actions and beliefs, or opinions you hold, have to be consistent and will cause you some mental discomfort when they don’t.

    (e.g. I recycle, so it bothers me when I throw a can or jar in landfill. OTOH, I’ve been at the house of an outspoken greenist and found their landfill bin was full of cans when I went to use it.)

    So I’m guessing they can hold a strong greeny self-image while behaving in a non-greeny way, yet never the twain shall meet and clash in their noggins. It’s a software bug.

    (Then there’s the folks that peddle it to make money, but they are a separate case that is easier to suss: conmen.)

  13. The only thing about fracking that will reduce house prices, is having a load of hippy protesters turn up and camp out at the bottom of your village.

  14. @Ironman,

    I’m not manning FoE’s barricades. Just pointing out that “freedom of speech means you can say anything other than an incitement to direct violence” doesn’t seem to apply when the fake news is, to come over all Ecksian, leftist cockrot as opposed to rightist cockrot.

    The reason for this is truly unfathomable and nothing whatsoever to do with the inherent biases of the person calling out the fake news for being fake.

  15. LPT – plenty of people have blind spots over things they dealt with professionally.
    I raise the case of one R Murphy and accountancy. There are others with less of a blind spot.
    Used to know a guy who retired from the foreign office, he had been all over the world at various times – strong opinions on certain matters and involved in a number of diplomatic issues. He used to say it did affect how the information was presented – or discounted. Both by him and by others.

  16. magnusw – you may recall a Yorkshire village that was asked about fracking in their area. Several thousand protests about it, population was about 300 and a number of them didn’t care one way or another.
    Mostly those not living there that protested.

  17. @BiG

    I think you’ve misunderstood what an Ecksian Purge is about.

    It’s cutting off taxpayer funding, not cutting off heads.

    So wheel out all the fake news (propaganda) you like, just don’t force anyone to pay for (BBC).

    The arm twisting seems most commonly to be in support of leftist cockrot (BBC, council news, MMGW, foreign dev aid, Cameron’s infamous EU leaflet).

  18. If you look at Lefty Watermelons with my ‘control’ theory in mind, you see that the urge to control others far better explains their words and actions rather than any real desire to ‘save the planet’. Thus actually doing the recycling and living the hairshirt lifestyle is not necessary, as that is not their true aim, its just a means to an end. Hence why the most vociferous Greens often live very wasteful lifestyles. Just as Murphy et al see themselves in the Politburo directing the lives of the masses, the Watermelon sees himself at the top of the Eco-power structure doing likewise. And of course as a great panjandrum, deserving of finer living than the peasantry.

  19. @Jim

    Yep, that pretty much explains the Leftist Watermelon.

    And ideas about the Rightist-ish equivalent? (I suppose a US Republican greeny would work as a watermelon, colour-wise)

  20. Anyone who has gas fired cental heating and who opposes fracking should be pointed out as the hypocrites they are

  21. LPT,

    > Christmas was full of snide remarks about Brexit once punctuated by being shown a chart of carbon dioxide …

    You could gently point out to them that Brexit (in their view) means an economic collapse, which would be accompanied by a sharp reduction in CO₂ output. Therefore they ought to be in favour.

  22. @Cynic: not all authoritarian arseholes end up on the Left. Most do, but some end up on the Right. And Greenery is a very good way of discerning which ones on the Right are exactly so minded. Anyone who talks the talk on Greenery but doesn’t walk the walk is outed as an authoritarian little PoS, Left or Right, and regardless of whether Climate Change et al is real or imaginary. After all would someone who was very vocal about the dangers of second hand tobacco smoke continue to blow it in the faces of people just because they couldn’t convince everyone else not to stop smoking?

  23. Bloke in Germany

    But Freedom of Speech doesn’t apply in Law when you solicit funds by telling porkies or purchase advertisin space by telling porkies. Then the ASA gets involved. It isn’t partial, you can be as big a twat as you want to be; you just can’t make misleading claims on its watch.

    It seems to be a case of apples and pears I’m afraid.

  24. @ Cynic and Jim
    There are a few, probably just a few, people who are genuinely concerned about the environment. My local Green Party activist wears woollies to keep warm in winter and travels by public transport. We have known for nearly 30 years a couple who are concerned about the environment and cycle everywhere (or take a train if it’s too far to cycle), make their own jam, used to make their own Christmas Cards, etc but rely on leading by example instead of diktat, with the result that they gained more respect than imitators.

  25. @Ironman, January 4, 2017 at 1:26 pm
    “We know before we go any further that FoE will have no compunction about contuing to make these false claims on material not within the remit of the ASA. So is this really the cause for which you want to man the barricades?”

    Indeed. Woman from FoE was in C4 news tonight defending the leaflet and repeatedly stated she stood behind everything in it, it was all true and based on peer-reviewed science.

    They’ve promised (with fingers crossed behind their backs) ASA the leaflet won’t be used again.

    Nevertheless, they will continue to repeat the claims the ASA concluded were lies.

  26. Pcar

    I saw it; revolting stuff. They cannot help themselves.

    P.S. She herself wasn’t revolting though. I had a bit of a line I worked at Uni, playing the right wing hard case who just needed a little, er, kindness. She brought back memories.

  27. Re: FoE & ASA on Fracking

    Video: Fracking.Debate.–.Channel.4.News.170104 By Cathy Newman

    Rose Dickinson, of Friends of the Earth, and Ken Cronin, who represents the UK onshore oil and gas industry.

    The claims were stark: that chemicals used in fracking could cause cancer, or that drinking water might be contaminated. Now the advertising watchdog says Friends of the Earth has agreed to stop repeating what it called “misleading” claims about fracking.

  28. @Ironman,

    Rose Dickinson is rather nice looking & sounding, but the words that are uttered mean a ball-gag required.

    As for the land based Hippo – Sue Gough, Anti-Fracking Campaigner – even beer goggles wouldn’t entice me.

  29. @John77: of course some Greens are genuine, in that they really believe it, and live the lifestyle to prove it. I don’t have a problem with them, as long as they don’t prove to be too Khmer Rouge about economic progress.
    The ones I’m talking about are the ones who berate others for their lack of greeness, all the while flying here there and everywhere, having multiple cars per family, living in centrally heated homes and buying all their food pre-prepared from restaurants and supermarkets. Ie living a high energy consumption lifestyle while demanding everyone consume less. They are the ones who by their actions are proving their ‘greenness’ is no more that a cover for a power grab.

  30. @ Jim
    Sadly, very few. My lifestyle, as a paid-up member of the Conservative and Unionist Party, is far more environmentally-friendly than that of Al Gore or Caroline Lucas. I do respect the genuine Greens, just as I do Franciscan monks, without wanting to copy them.

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