Genetically Modified Journalism

Ever wondered where grubby old Guardian environmental editors go to pupate? James Randerson was the Guardian’s science correspondent and then environment editor for 10 years He’s now news editor at Politico (Europe), a very attractive, well-presented, well-informed on-line news source committed to selling us the Euro-kool Aid.

At the Guardian, Randerson was responsible for their “Keep it in the Ground” campaign. James rejected the complexities of using carbon taxes and emission norms to wean us off our Death Train Wish. “Just stop it!” was the Guardian’s message.

In 2009 he wrote an article called “Coalition of Denial – the sceptics who are trying to reshape the climate debate” which listed the world’s most prominent sceptics. According to James, these were Bjorn Lomborg, Viscount Monckton, David Bellamy, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (authors of ”Freakonomics”) Lord Lawson, Benny Peiser, Ian Pilmer, James Inhofe, Vaclav Klaus, and Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party. (Notice any names missing? That’s right. Where are Hitler and Jimmy Saville?) In another post in 2009 he stated that calling sceptics “deniers” was counterproductive, and suggested calling us “climate creationists.”

At Politico, he oversees the publication’s Brexit coverage. Today’s Politico front page is framed by a large ad for Philip Morris (“committed to a smoke-free future.”) At the top of the page is a “sponsored content” open letter from Philip Morris International’s CEO. Their London Playbook is presented (i.e. financed) by the Boeing Company. Their Brussels Playbook is presented (and financed) by Naftogaz of Ukraine.

All those years writing and commissioning articles telling us not to fly and to keep fossil fuels in the ground have obviously had no effect on James. After telling us how climate denialism was financed by Big Oil using the same tactics as those used by Big Tobacco he’s now editing a paper financed by Big Tobacco, Big Gas, and Big Aeroplanes.

James has written and edited for a variety of publications including Prospect, the San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, Nature, New Scientist and The Daily Nation (Kenya). He has lectured on digital and science journalism at universities across Europe and is also a distinguished visiting faculty member at Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya. He has a PhD in evolutionary genetics.

James is clearly an expert on evolution – from climate to Brexit in one Lamarckian leap. It’s like Pinocchio in reverse, – from naughty boy to wooden puppet, without his nose getting any shorter.


  1. A palladin-esque change, which raises the question about tigers changing stripes….


    Thanks for the link about Ambrose. I used to read him avidly for his trenchant anti-euro opinions and his engagingly casual know-it-all air. When he writes about politics in Portugal, he quotes the Portuguese press, which he reads in the original, and he lets you know it.

    He doesn’t have to follow a political “line” at the Torygraph, and his conversion to green energy seems to be based on a mistaken belief in his own superior understanding of just about everything. Altogether a far more interesting journalist than Randerson, who was a perfectly normal science correspondent until he was promoted to environment editor and had to start toeing the party line. At the Graun the party line was ideological; at Politico it seems to be quite openly commercial. It beggars belief that anyone would take seriously a journal whose Brussels correspondent’s salary is paid by a Ukrainian gas company. But it’s very good, nonetheless.


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