Talk:George Monbiot

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I have reverted the page back to an earlier form as it has become riddled with spurious commentary. Peppering the article with siffucient 'citation needed', corrections and balancing statements to achieve fairness (an article the emphasises criticism without balance is biased) would in my view leave the article convoluted and messy.

There is no citation or reference to back up the claim the George Monbiot is a champion of not owning cars. Reference is made to some of the criticisms that Monbiot has made relating to car culture and transport policy but these do not qualify the assertion that Monbiot is a champion.

There is no reference to back up the claim that the Toyota Prius is beloved by the Green movement. My personal experience tells me that is much more likely that the Prius generates a mixed reaction from environmentalists. No other reason was given as to why the Prius should be considered a bench mark for fuel economy or why George Monbiot's personal car should be expected to meet that bench mark or why this amounts to a criticism of Mr Monbiot.

Several paragraphs in the previous version are, I believe, written to support a claim made in an earlier edit by Dallience: "Often accused of hypocrasy "George Monbiot, the environmental campaigner, frequently does the opposite of what he preaches." which has since been deleted. Each has paragraph numerous problems of its own relating to fairness, reference (or lack there of) and style and without the original claim are widowed and now redundant (apologies to widows :/).

While George Monbiot has written as claimed both extolling the virtues of Coaches for their potential as low carbon transport and criticised the current public transport infrastructure for making Coaches a less practical and desirable means of transport, this does not equate to criticism of George Monbiot or an example of double standards on his part as implied. It is both reasonable and consistent to recognise potential and be critical if that potential is not being realised.

The anecdote about Monbiot's past driving habits and his current activities campaigning for speed cameras is not an example of hypocrisy, nor does it amount to criticism. Monbiot recognises that driving too fast is a problem, both when he does it and when other people do it. Because in both cases Monbiot describes fast driving as a problem he is consistent in his argument.

No reference or citation is given to back up the claim that Monbiot flew an undisclosed number of miles to promote his book 'Heat'.

I apologies to Dallience, it must be frustrating to see all your changes undone for a second time, however this sort of op-ed style of writing and argument making would perhaps be better suited to a blog than an encyclopedia. Some reference to Monbiot's numerous controversies may be appropriate, but should be made here in a style suitable for an encylcopedia. I have however added the link to the Times Article 'Mr Green Goes Motoring' to the list of other articles and commentary. Apologies also to Dianne Farsetta who had done much cleaning up.

-- Jay 19:15 16 April 2009 (BST) ---

I have added some additional material but not deleted any of the original text. the material is all referenced. Please let me know if I need to change any of the text or references.

This is such a great site. I think it's extremely important to strengthen participatory democracy by investigating and exposing spin and propaganda, and to promote citizen journalism. Good work guys.

I reverted the addition - it had few sources and those that were there weren't linked. It also read like an article that had been published elsewhere (though I couldn't find it on the web). Perhaps the contributor could post some comments here on its origin.--Bob Burton 14:05, 22 Dec 2004 (EST)

Seemed to be a lot of sources (how many articles include papers read at college, Oxfordshire County Council minutes, quotes from books by relatives?) and it has not been posted anywhere else (but Wikipedia). I guess some facts are not welcome on SourceWatch.

Could this be a case of political differences masquerading as editorial ones?

--- Thanks for confirming that the article has been published in Wikipedia. In general it is not the practice here to reproduce articles from elsewhere (unless there is a compelling reason) let alone without attribution. By all means put a link to the Wikipedia article on the external links section if you want but I don't see wholesale duplication as being justified. The referencing is very thin in the last 2/3 of the article and what there is is inadequate (ie no author and title let alone weblink).--Bob Burton 17:25, 22 Dec 2004 (EST)

This quote is not present in the referenced article, so I am moving it here. It can be moved back to the article page, if you supply an accurate reference:

Accused of being a hypocrite, "George Monbiot, the environmental campaigner, frequently does the opposite of what he preaches". [1]

The following material is not referenced, so I am relocating it here:

According to one unreferenced and perhaps unreliable account Monbiot's ancestors were the Ducs de Coutard, who fled the French Revolution and changed their family name from Beaumont to Monbiot during their flight. Monbiot's parents Raymond and Rosalie were leading members of the Conservative Party in Oxford. His father, a former Managing Director of Associated Biscuits Ltd and Chairman of Campbells Soups UK,is currently a deputy chairman of the Conservative Party nationally. George was educated at Stowe, a private boarding school, and Brasenose College, Oxford. (Independent, 9 May 1995). He was made a fellow of Green College, by Sir Crispin Tickell.

-- Diane Farsetta 10:48, 27 January 2009 (EST)

reinstating deleted info

Dear Jay,

I've reverted your deletions of the criticisms, because I don't see your objections to them as serious enough to warrant their removal. Of course, we encourage you (or others) to dig up more information or references challenging the material, and to make edits accordingly, but in the absence of further information, the criticisms should stay in. While I agree many of the criticisms are weak, they're sourced.

Thanks for understanding,

Diane Farsetta 16:19, 16 April 2009 (EDT)

Hi Diane.

Perhaps I was too brutal. I tend to be rather unsympathetic to poorly reasoned argument; unfortunately it is quicker and easier to write crap than it is to write well considered copy, if crap must always be countered by increasing volume then crap will always win.

I guess the crucial thing is that the SourceWatch article as it stands is a) it's the remnants of an unskilled rant that paid little attention to style, accuracy or fairness and that b) that it makes numerous assertions and while some are accompanied with a sourced to articles from the Times and Treehugger, they once again, only assert - there is no evidence or sound reason to support them.

Perhaps if the entry relating to the times article was replaced with text along the lines of "An article published in the Driving section of the Times in 2007 highlighted some apparent contradictions between George Monbiot's green views and his ownership and choice of car model" and give the link it would be more acceptable.

If not I'll go to town on the notion that George should drive a Prius because someone at the Times says so and point out that Monbiot's published views (heat, 2006, p154) are that some groups, including those who live in the country, particularly benefit from car ownership and will continue to want cars and that therefore Monbiot's stance has been consistent as per the Times article describing how Monbiot has moved to the country and found himself wanting a car. - but I fear this will lead to an even scrappier entry than now.

The second paragraph notes that Monbiot considers Coaches as virtuous as a low carbon transport option and asks us 'But does Monbiot use it[sic]?', the entry goes on to answer on our behalf 'No.', implying hypocrisy on Monbiot's part. Yet on page 148 of 'Heat' Monbiot writes "when I take the bus, as I sometimes must, from Oxford to Cambridge, I arrive feeling almost suicidal." it is clear, crazy as it sounds, that George Monbiot sometimes catches buses. The answer to the entry's question "But does he use it?" must actually be 'yes', even if it is apparent Monbiot does not particularly enjoy the experience. The argument put forward here is not just weak, it is wrong.

Also some of the paragraphs in the criticism section are simply not criticism. Particularly the stuff about boy racers. They don't belong here, but if not there, where? Surely just linking to the Times article is sufficient without rehashing it's contents and attempting to twist them into criticism?

I'd have thought that the claim that Monbiot flew to promote his book wants a citation at the very least.


Article tone inappropriate

The critical, nitpicking tone towards Monbiot is inappropriate for SW and not in keeping with the site's mandate and aims. Rewrite required. ≡ SCRIBE ≡ 06:50, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Done. ≡ SCRIBE ≡ 07:39, 19 December 2011 (UTC)