True Colours of Business Green

by | Feb 15, 2012

James Murray is the editor of . Here are his tweets about the Heartland document leak.

The faux-outrage of the ecological righteous about this is amazing, given that they can’t actually say what the Heartland Documents reveal which isn’t applicable to the strategies of the environmental movement, in spades. And James Murray’s tweets and blog posts epitomise the hypocrisy and double standards.

Take, for instance, this warming from him that companies must be consistent…

what this scandal reveals is that if you are going to commit to developing greener business models, you cannot pick and mix which parts of your business get involved. Failure to enact genuinely company-wide change programmes means you are always at risk of seeing otherwise admirable green initiatives undermined by less progressive activities elsewhere in the business.


Any business that is publicly committed to a greener future needs to know who it is working with, who it is funding, and how its lobbying activities are managed. Failure to undertake this due diligence and ensure all lobbying activities are in line with the company’s wider green commitments leaves an organisation facing the risk that one day a conscientious individual will reveal their support for anti-environmental campaigns. In one swoop, any hopes of establishing a company as a green leader can be lost for a generation. And that is the kind of surprise no green executive wants to face.

Murray is threatening anyone who might dare deal with the Heartland or any other organisation that publicly questions or challenges climate change policies.

And yet, is Murray’s own house in order?

No. is owned by Incisive Media, which operate a fair number of specialist magazines, covering a range of industrial sectors. Amongst the portfolio are these, surprisingly un-green publications:

Global Technology Forum (GTF) provides senior engineering professionals and executives in the refining and petrochemical sector with leading technical conferences and training events. GTF has recently expanded its coverage of this important sector with its new website, With a comprehensive global coverage of the downstream oil sector, GTForum is perfectly positioned to meet the needs of industry professionals all over the world.

Energy Risk Online is the leading digital subscription service dedicated to risk management, trading, regulation and trading technology for the global energy and commodities markets. The content of the publication has been described as required reading by chief financial officers, treasurers, chief risk officers, trading heads and fund managers around the globe. With world developments driving volatility in the global oil, gas and power markets, the need for a reliable source of information on risk management and financing is greater than ever.

Guess what… Behind Business Green is a company which trades with and profits from the fossil fuel industry. Tadaaaaaa! Look! A massive conspiracy!

Of course not. But then, neither is there much to the story that is currently exciting environmentalists and people like James Murray, who doesn’t seem to know whether his role is the editor of a trade journal, the director of a business lobbying organisation, or just a propagandist. It’s confusing of course, in these uncertain times. No wonder he’s so confused about the Heartland documents.


  1. Mike Dee

    It’s ‘BusinessGreen’, not ‘Business Green’. At least get the name right.

    • Ben Pile

      Shhhh, Mike, if people realise that Business                       Green has a sales manager, they might get the idea that you guys are only about making money, not saving the planet, and that you’re no better than your colleagues at GFT and Energy Risk.

  2. Alex K

    Good article, Ben. Keep up the war on hypocrisy. I for one am enjoying it.

    I think that this article pretty much sums up the quality of journalism spewed out by No wonder Mike is in such a tizz – must be hard enough selling ads against such crap at the best of times.

  3. Mike Dee

    Imagine the shock horror of a media brand having a sales manager! It’s almost as if there are running costs associated with staffing and hosting websites! Alex – I’m almost certain no-one has been ‘in a tizz’ about anything since the 1950s.

  4. geoffchambers

    “You do not need to resort to the favourite climate sceptic trick of quoting people out of context to make these documents look utterly damning. A project to develop an alternative curriculum for school children has the goal of ‘dissuading teachers from teaching science’ …”

    Not quite. Heartland actually says:
    “His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”.

    It makes no sense to pay anyone $100,000 to produce a science teaching module with the aim of dissuading science teachers from teaching science. The only logical reading is that the aim is to dissuade teachers from teaching science which is controversial and uncertain. Like the hockey stick, for instance.

    Moral: You do not need to resort to quoting people out of context to make BusinessGreen look utterly daft.

  5. Ben Pile

    Mike – Imagine the shock horror of a media brand having a sales manager! It’s almost as if there are running costs associated with staffing and hosting websites!

    Gosh, you know, and there we all were, thinking that trades publications and their websites and think-tanks ran on Scotch Mist.

    Have they stopped running the Irony 101 module on the Marketing GNVQ course?

    You sell advertising. The copy on the website flatters your clients and serves their agendas. Don’t worry, we understand the model perfectly.

  6. Mike Dee

    ‘Have they stopped running the Irony 101 module on the Marketing GNVQ course?’

    Is that a scathing attack on my personal credentials? Very droll.

  7. Ben Pile

    Nothing gets past you, Mike.

    Unfortunately, though, that’s where it seems to remain.

    We were more interested in the hypocrisy and the irony in BG copy than in your shortcomings, though… So please feel free to move on.

  8. Mike Dee

    Last word.

  9. Ben Pile

    Well, that’s disappointing. Business Green writes harsh words about people it accuses of being in the pay of vested interests, yet seems to have been established to promote certain energy interests. Rather than offering impartial analysis of developments in the climate debate, it seems very much attached to a position, credulous towards the claims of environmentalists and energy companies.

    You might think then, that, just as they have been hectoring companies and individuals allegedly implicated by the Heartland documents, BG staffers might want to defend themselves robustly. Instead, we see this pretty childish pedantry and nit-picking.

  10. John Shade

    There is a remarkable shortage of admirable people prominent in the climate alarm movement and its various corporate offshoots such as BusinessGreen. ‘Remarkable’ since you would, well I would, have thought that saving the planet would attract some of the brightest and best, people of great integrity, foresight, and perspicacity. But everywhere I look for them, I find dull schemers, plotters, bandwagon jumpers, ruthless opinion-pushers and debate-inhibiters, scarers of the young to win their compliance, fund-raisers decoupled from the earlier ideals of their coporations such as protecting wildlife, improving the environment, and helping the world’s poor and hungry. A lot of ideals seem to have been thrown under the bus because of CO2 and the abundance of cash it has brought to those who most dislike it. As one who quite likes having such a benefical gas around to help my garden along, I remain bemused by it all.

  11. Billy Liar

    Failure to enact genuinely company-wide change programmes means you are always at risk of seeing otherwise admirable green initiatives undermined by less progressive activities elsewhere in the business.

    Seems like these p**ts are going have to dump GTF and EnergyRisk as they seem to be ‘less progressive’ aspects of their business.

    You couldn’t make it up!

  12. Mooloo

    Imagine the shock horror of a media brand having a sales manager! It’s almost as if there are running costs associated with staffing and hosting websites!

    And yet if Anthony Watts wants someone to help him run his site, that’s corruption!

    I don’t really know how you can’t see that you are business, whereas he is an interested person not in it for the money. Yet by Green “logic” you are squeaky clean and he is corrupted by money.

  13. Lewis Deane

    Can I give a coda to this rediculous Sturm und Strang, especially after the ‘documents” have now become suspect :

    Error is not stupidity, error is cowardice!

  14. Lewis Deane

    Actually, Ben, it’s quite hilarious, is it not, how James Murry’s ‘deniergate’ turns into ‘fakegate’! How to shoot oneself, not in the foot, but the head! “I was only cleaning it” says the headless imbecile!

  15. Lewis Deane

    Something I wrote as 15 year old lout, which, despite it’s fascist overtones, I still like and think apt here (yes, I can rhyme!):



    That poet could not know
    A time like this
    And yet he cursed his day
    Better than this.

    Is time then a falling slide,
    Poet and knave bruised
    On a dumb rocky mountain side?
    Then what we have we lose.

    Still, what has been has been:
    That from beauties flesh was born
    Some marvellous, flesh tearing form
    Still finds its somewhere reflective dream.


    Or do we but count the corn,
    Watch the rats’ numberless dawn,
    Hear the room tying rain,
    See ragged faces painless pain?

    We always do that,
    The prisoner and the rat
    Eyeing their despair;
    Or in the day
    Where in we might say
    “Here is the wrong, stupid lair.”

    It’s hard to keep eye fixed ahead
    When there’s but counting of the dead.


    “Enough fools for us all!” Democrats say:
    Thus they have built their day –
    To confound the strong and the good
    Idiots for a guard they’ve stood
    Sweating, breaking out loud.

    What poet can pierce that crowd?


    Over the hill more might be seen:
    You watch the Tower beaten in dream
    You who see the living die.

    Over that crowd beaten eye
    There’s but the canopy of lead:
    Let the dead bury the dead.

    Lewis Deane

  16. Lewis Deane

    I remember, from some early reading, how Roland Barthes talked about ‘wrestling’, how ‘snobbish’ his own milieu was, how ‘un-democratic’ was the snideness of his fellow ‘intellectuals’.
    For, there is to much ‘snobbery’ in this ‘subject’ and too much that puts off the merely ‘curious’. At heart, I am an educator and I want to inform, to lead someone to thought. Give me a proposition that I can dis-prove, test it’s strength, but don’t give me what you ‘believe’! What you ‘believe’ will disappear with you and, although that’s sad, it is life.

  17. Russell

    Pile has just done a lot more to persuade me of Murray’s bona fides and scientific commonsense than his own.

  18. Ben Pile

    Russell demonstrates that our expectations of individuals at Ivy League universities are misplaced.

    I’d love to know what ‘scientific commonsense’ is supposed to be. It must be something discovered by physicists that makes only them impervious to hypocrisy (as well as advice about personal hygiene).


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