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Matt Ridley is the author of provocative books on evolution, genetics and society. His books have sold over a million copies, been translated into thirty languages, and have won several awards.

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Monbiot caught out

The perished credibility of George

Update: George Monbiot has made it clear that he did not ask for the deletions of comments referred to below, but that the Guardian moderators made the deletions for legal reasons and without his knowledge. But he still fails to take the opportunity to discuss the evidence that Williams and Niggurath produce.

George Monbiot is in trouble. He has already had to make an apology for his mistakes in an attack on Richard North.

He's swinging like a weathervane on issues like vegetarianism and feed-in tariffs.

He has a strangely thin skin for somebody who viciously attacks others, describing a mild riposte by Jonathan Porritt as `amazingly unpleasant'.

And now he has now been caught out either deleting, or allowing The Guardian to delete, inconvenient comments that contradict or embarrass him. Here is what Julian Williams and Shub Niggurath say at Bishop Hill:

Monbiot asked visitors to his Guardian thread to come up with evidence of Dr Pachauri's unreliable bookkeeping.  He must have thought this impossible. The one account unable to be veiled from public scrutinywas Pachauri's TERI-Europe's and that had 85% of income missing from the books until prodded. I provided Monbiot with what he asked for.

Monbiot declared Pachauri's personal accounts and financial practices were shown by KPMG as being clean. In the light of the above however, Monbiot's unquestioning confidence in such conclusions were puzzling.

About midday the inconvenient evidence that I provided at the Guardian forum, along with discussions of that evidence with aghast Monbiot fans were removed from the thread. The thread was closed down.

Every single comment about the accounts was removed.

...It is one thing to put forward one's own points of view and cite half-truths as evidence; it is quite another to tamper with and remove facts from the public record to support an argument that does not stand up.

I am not altogether surprised at Monbiot's collapsing credibility. His `amazingly unpleasant' attacks on my book included such ludicrous distortions and mistakes that he's long ago lost my respect.