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Don't Be Fooled: Fossil Fools Fund Latest Climate Skeptic Petition

Sun, 17 Apr 2011 22:41:11 +0000

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) recently published a flashy headline that reads, ’900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm’. The article links to a blog post on Populartechnology.net listing more than 900 papers which, according to the GWPF, refute “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.” The “900+ papers” list is supposed to somehow prove that a score of scientists reject the scientific consensus on climate change. One might be persuaded by the big numbers. We’re not. Oh, where to begin? First, a note of caution about the Global Warming Policy Foundation. It’s a UK group opposing climate change action. Sourcewatch’s digging reveals links to right-wing libertarian climate change deniers. According to the UK Charity Commission, GWPF’s mandate is to “advance the public understanding of global warming and of its possible consequences, and also of the measures taken or proposed to be taken in response to it”. Actually, they’re a heck of a lot more interested in sowing seeds of doubt than in disseminating knowledge. The GWPF’s director is the Heartland Institute’s* Benny Peiser, climate change denier extraordinaire. Other notable members include Canada’s Ross McKitrick of the Fraser Institute.    Curiously, the GWPF was launched just as the Climategate emails were released. An op-ed by Chairman Nigel Lawson announced the GWPF, predicted the (hopeful) failure of the Copenhagen climate talks, and called for an inquiry into the content of the stolen emails. Using a screen-scraping process to analyze the data on the “900+” list, the folks over at Carbon Brief dug up some pretty incriminating information. Turns out nine of the ten most cited authors on the list (representing 186 of the 938 papers) have links to ExonMobil-funded organizations. The tenth has co-authored several papers with Exxon-funded contributors. Anyone familiar with these kinds of lists (“More than 500 scientists dispute global warming” or “more Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims”) knows that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.  Many familiar climate skeptic names appear over and over again. Dr. Sherwood B Idso is the most cited author on the list, having authored or co-authored 67 of the papers. Idso is president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a think tank funded by ExxonMobil and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.  The second most cited is Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, a well-known climate sceptic who admits that around 40% of his funding comes from the oil industry. When you really crunch the numbers, all you really find is a small echochamber of the same individuals who pop up on every denier list and petition around. James W. Prall at the University of Toronto has put together a fantastic analysis of the names that appear on these lists, and shows how most of them share funding ties to the oil industry.  Now a note on the most cited journals on this list. Articles from trade journal Energy and Environment are cited 137 times on the list. Energy and Environment is edited by Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen and Benny Peiser. Numerous known climate skeptics sit on the editorial staff including Sallie Baliunas, Patrick Michaels, Ross McKitrick, and Richard Lindzen.  The journal has become a go-to resource for policymakers and politicians who are skeptical of the scientific consensus of climate change.  Michael Ashley of the University of New South Wales has described it as “the climate sceptic’s journal of choice”. The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge is considered a key resource for establishing the credentials and influence of key academic journals. It does not list Energy and Environment.   A further 24 papers come from the journal Climate Research which is perhaps best known for publishing a 2003 paper by Sallie Baliunas and Willy Soon that r[...]



Who Is Bankrolling the "Friends of Science"? (Part II)

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 22:43:54 +0000

The Calgary Foundation is at it again. This prominent Alberta charity is once more shoveling money through their “Science Education Fund” to organizations and projects that seem specifically unfriendly to real science, but helpful to the Friends of Science. The Foundation’s latest relevant gift was in the amount of $142,685 paid to the Frontier Center for Public Policy. The last time we heard of this fund was in 2006, when the Calgary Foundation was using it to channel petro dollars through the University of Calgary to the Friends of Science, with the assistance of Dr. Barry Cooper – long-time friend and mentor of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Friends of Science were at the time running a public campaigning against climate action while denying that their funding was coming from the oil and gas industry. When this scandal broke, the University of Calgary investigated accounting anomalies, The Calgary Foundation issued a public statement and was forced to take back un-spent funding. Elections Canada launched their own investigation, and that particular oily conduit of cash to the Friends of Science seemed closed off. What to do? Last year, the Calgary Foundation awarded their largest grant ever from the Science Education Fund to the Frontier Center for Public Policy. Who are they and what do they have to do with the Friends of Science? It seems that Tim Ball is both a “Research Fellow” at the Frontier Center for Public Policy (FCPP) and member of the “Scientific Advisory Body” of the Friends of Science, along with notable climate change deniers such as Sallie Baliunas. Ball also posts regular opinion pieces on the FCPP website, this month, claiming that “the Earth is cooling with record low temperatures everywhere, a contradiction with the IPCC hypothesis anyone can grasp without scientific understanding.” (Thank God we don’t need to bother with scientific understanding…) Tim Ball posted 15 such polemics for the Frontier Center for Public Policy since last March, with titles such as: Climate Terrorism? World Held to Ransom with Contrived Climate Science. Sea Level Rise - A Major Non-Existent Threat Analysis of Alarmism: Ocean Acidification C02 - Global Warming’s IPCC-Created Hobglobin Bogeymen Of The C02 Hoax Losing Ground Is this what the Calgary Foundation considers “science education”? The FCPP also “co-sponsored” with the Friends of Science the recent speaking tour of Christopher Monckton, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (who is interestingly not a member of the House the Lords). The Friends of Science and the FCPP appear on their websites to be sharing senior staff and co-funding high profile public events. I am in the process of communicating directly with the FCPP and the Friends of Science to clarify the specific financial relationship between the two groups. I am also digging to find the source of money flowing into the “Science Education Fund”. Stay tuned…[...]



Who Is Bankrolling the "Friends of Science"?

Sun, 22 Nov 2009 08:20:01 +0000

So where is all the money coming from? In one of the worst non-profit fundraising environments in decades, how is that the so-called “Friends of Science” (FoS) who only months ago seemed to be begging for donations to keep the doors open are suddenly rolling out a national radio campaign and flashy new website likely worth more than a quarter of a million dollars? Informed sources tell us that the FoS nation-wide radio “blitz” would cost on the order of $60,000 per week. It also seems they recently revamped their once bare bones website to a Cadillac version at a ballpark cost of around $30,000 or more. The source of the massive infusion of mystery money remains unknown but rest assured, Desmog Blog will not rest until we get to the bottom of this. It is also strange that an organization that is spending so much cash on paid media advertising, seems so reluctant to discuss their point of view, or supporters with the actual reporters. We have had numerous reports of media outlets trying unsuccessfully to have FoS fess up on their curious funding windfall, or even answer the phone. The other big-ticket item on the recent FoS media blitz has been to bankroll a national speaking tour of Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley – a front-line spokesperson of the denier industry. For the record, “Lord” Monckton is neither a member of the House of Lords, or a scientist. I had an opportunity to attend his hilariously inaccurate presentation at the Fraser Institute last month and documented some of many glaring inconsistencies in his talk. That said, the public impact of all this highly irresponsible messaging is undeniable. Why? Because if it wasn’t working, the capable and well funded interests bankrolling such tactics might be less inclined to pay for it. As detailed in the recent book, Climate Cover Up by DeSmog founder James Hoggan, the fossil fuel-funded PR campaign to confuse the public on climate change now dwarfs anything that Big Tobacco rolled out to muddy public debate on the well-know links between cigarettes and cancer. While Mr. Hogan is not a scientist, his understanding of the PR business comes from more than thirty years of working in industry. The polling, focus groups and paid ads that typically comprise such a sophisticated Astroturf campaign all cost big money. So where might FoS have gotten theirs? FoS were originally outed as a fossil fuel front group in 2006 by Desmog Blog. However, they managed  to conceal oil industry funding for years through creative accounting funneled through the University of Calgary. An internal university audit revealed highly questionable practices that allowed oily donors to not only cover their tracks, but also pocket a charitable tax receipt for shoveling money at the FoS, which is obviously not a charity. While no criminal charges were laid, another investigation was launched by Elections Canada into whether FoS violated the Elections Act by skirting restrictions on third party political advertising in the 2006 federal election. There seems a stinking link as well between FoS and the oil-friendly federal Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. A political insider with close ties to Harper’s Conservatives was revealed in 2008 to be acting as a both spokesperson for the Conservative Party and the FoS - at the same time. While their dodgy funding scam through University of Calgary has since unraveled, the question remains: is the FoS taking oil money again? We pledge to you that we will keep digging until we unearth the truth. And if anyone out there has some confidential information to share, we are all ears… Tags: Friends of Sciencefosfriends of science radio ads[...]



Sarah Palin puts polar bears on thin ice

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 04:53:04 +0000

The United States is drawing closer and closer to one of the most important presidential elections in many years.In particular, the scientific community is anxiously anticipating the outcome on November 4. One of the reasons can be summed up by a December 12, 2007 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Report. In summary:This report presents the findings of the Committee’s investigation. The evidence before the Committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming. As their habitats are threatened by climate change, polar bears have become a primary symbol of the impending effects climate change will have on the entire planet. Predictably, the global warming deniers are attempting to muddle the science proving that polar bears are in peril. Guess which side Sarah Palin is on. In the context of the proposed federal listing of the polar bear as threatened, late last year, a story came out regarding Exxon-funded polar bear “research”:While recognizing the possible impact of climate change on the polar bear, the authors concluded “it is simply not prudent to overstate the certainty” that climate change, or any other single factor, is responsible for “observed patterns in polar bear population ecology.” The article, which was labeled a “Viewpoint” essay because it contained no new research, was published in the September issue of the Journal of Ecological Complexity. In their conclusion, the article's authors thanked ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute for their financial backing. They noted that the paper's views were “independent of sources providing support.” Many of the articles referenced by the paper were by the same authors and other global warming deniers, all of whom have been prominent mouthpieces for a variety of Exxon-funded think tanks. Fast forward to May 2008.  It turns out that Sarah Palin has played a starring role in the science fiction drama about how “the polar bears are really quite happy”. The UK Guardian tells us about their findings:The Republican Sarah Palin and her officials in the Alaskan state government drew on the work of at least six scientists known to be sceptical about the dangers and causes of global warming, to back efforts to stop polar bears being protected as an endangered species, the Guardian can disclose. Some of the scientists were funded by the oil industry. In official submissions to the US government's consultation on the status of the polar bear, Palin and her team referred to at least six scientists who have questioned either the existence of warming as a largely man-made phenomenon or its severity. One paper was partly funded by the US oil company ExxonMobil. […] [Palin's] own Alaskan review of the science drew on a joint paper by seven authors, four of whom were well-known climate- change contrarians. Her paper argued that it was “certainly premature, if not impossible” to link temperature rise in Alaska with human CO2 emissions. The “joint paper” to which the article refers is the “Viewpoint” essay mentioned above. The Guardian article quotes Walt Meier, who is an international authority on sea ice, saying that the “Viewpoint” essay “doesn't measure up scientifically”. More from the Guardian:The citation by Palin and her officials prompted complaints from Congress. One member, Brad Miller, dubbed the polar bear study phony science. Palin told Miller: “Attempts to discredit scientists…simply because their analyses do not agree with your views, would be a disservice to this country.” Miller now says that Palin's use of the paper shows she differs greatly from John McCain, the Republican presidential contender, who has pressed for scientific integrity. “Turning to the cottage industry of scientists who are funded because they s[...]



International Climate Science Coalition Bets that a Lie, Repeated Often Enough ...

Wed, 23 Apr 2008 04:08:12 +0000

In the public relations version of waterboarding, the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) has re-released a six-week-old petition claiming once again that the science academies of every country in the developing world are all wrong about global warming.The petition features a familiar cast of characters - tobacco apologists and energy industry regulars - and is being plumped up by an energy industry lobbyist who has moved full-time into climate change denial. The force behind the ICSC is public relations consultant and lobbyist Tom Harris, the person who organized the coming-out party for the now-discredited Friends of Science. Harris later abandoned the “Friends” and “quit” his job at the Toronto-based energy industry lobby firm The High Park Group to set up the High Park-supported Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP).Consistent through all these groups have been the “scientists” who continue to lend their name to the denial effort. Check the Friends Scientific Advisory Board, the NRSP Science Advisory Committee and the ICSC Science Advisory Board and you pretty soon start recognizing names. You have people like Fred Singer, who has long been willing to lend his name to big tobacco, to the DDT industry, to the ozone destroying CFC industry and, recently, to the energy industry, but who has a bad habit of trying to deny it after the fact. You have the guileful Tim Ball, who found that making up details about his own (unspectacular) academic career was just as easy as freehanding graphs that purport to tell us something relevant about climate change. Only the name of the organization seems to change, as well as the current Chair, now Tim Patterson instead of Tim Ball. The good news about Patterson taking the position is that it might give him less time to peddle his silliness to impressionable young students at Carleton University in Ottawa.The people in this group have argued repeatedly that science is not a popularity event, that the scientific consensus that is evident in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is no consensus at all, because some scientists disagree.But the IPCC actually assembles, reviews and presents for analysis the latest science on global warming. But Harris's ever morphing mob just keeps coming up with goofy petitions, the Oregon Petition, the Slick 60, and now the “Manhattan Declaration.” There is nothing of science in this. It's purest PR - and not very good PR at that.I suppose it's nice for the Harris family that Tom can continue to charge different (oily?) people money for this work. But it's still a mystery how the guy sleeps at night. Tags: Tim PattersonICSCInternational Climate Science Coalition[...]



Heartland Conference Celebrates Science for Sale

Mon, 04 Feb 2008 18:16:12 +0000

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The Heartland Institute is rounding up the usual suspects for a conference that will alert international media to “the fact” that a shocking number of “scientists” can be induced with a little cash and a free trip to New York City to question the science of global warming.

As reported by RealClimate.org, this is not a “scientific conference” in the normal sense:

“Normal scientific conferences have the goal of discussing ideas and data in order to advance scientific understanding. Not this one. The organisers are surprisingly open about this in their invitation letter to prospective speakers, which states:

'The purpose of the conference is to generate international media attention to the fact that many scientists believe forecasts of rapid warming and catastrophic events are not supported by sound science, and that expensive campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not necessary or cost-effective.'

So this conference is not aimed at understanding, it is a PR event aimed at generating media reports.”

If you doubt RealClimate's analysis, you can look to Heartland's program and participant list for confirmation. It's a who's who of apologists for tobacco, coal and oil; a long list of people like Christopher Monckton, who don't mind when they lie, or like Bob Carter, who don't make any sense when they are telling their truth.

Heartland has taken over the from thoroughly discredited Competitive Enterprise Institute as the leading propaganda mill sowing confusion about climate science, although CEI is one of the sponsors of this event. We at the DeSmogBlog will try to keep track over the coming weeks to see if any new faces show up among the scientists for hire. Our dream gift for 2008, however, would be a list of the politicians and “journalists” who accept Heartland's offer of an all-expenses paid trip for the New York gabfest.




Beligerent Tim Ball Harasses a New Academic

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 17:28:01 +0000

The combative, thin-skinned and dishonest Dr. Tim Ball has launched a very personal attack on a Williams Lake, B.C. academic who has had the temerity to question Ball's grasp of climate science.In what has become a typical presentation, “global warming skeptic” Tim Ball spoke in December to the Cariboo Regional District, proclaiming that humans have nothing whatever to do with global warming and that anyone who says differently is some kind of religious zealot.In response, Marten Lettinga, a physics and chemistry instructor at the williams Lake campus of Thompson Rivers University, wrote to the local paper, the Williams Lake Tribune, saying that while Dr. Ball appeared “sincere and passionate (someone I could possibly have a beer with)” that Ball's “presentation gave the false impression that there is still much confusion over the causes or the existence of global warming.” Lettinga picked a couple of specific examples (his entire letter is attached below) and concluded, “The CRD would have been better served with a randomly selected panel of climatologists (via interactive TV).”In his response (also attached below), Ball ripped into Lettinga, saying “he either didn’t listen or didn’t want to listen or both.” Ball also accused Lettinga of intellectual dishonesty for ending his own letter by saying “the opinions expressed are wholly my own and not necessarily those of my employer.”This simple act of integrity obviously caught Ball off guard. After all, he has repeatedly used his (long-defunct) association with the University of Winnipeg to bolster the apparent authority of his industry-funded opinions. In fact, the university had to ask Ball to stop presenting himself as a professor emeritus - an honor he neither earned nor deserves.The backing and forth between Lettinga and Ball continued through another set of letters to the Tribune (also attached), again marked by a respectful (if skeptical) tone from Lettinga and a snarling and personal response from Ball. Again, typical.Two issues arise as mysterious, or at least disappointing.First, Williams Lake is in the heart of the greatest single example of environmental devastation in the world that is almost certainly attributable to global warming. The mountain pine beetle infestation has killed forest stands covering such a large tract of central British Columbia that the effect is visible from space. Local officials in this, of all neighborhoods, should be taking greater care as to the quality of their scientific input. But rather than insist upon hearing from experts with relevant and current credentials, the CRD accepts the professional contrarian, Dr. Ball, saying, in the words of District Chair Jon Wolbers, “It’s always good for politicians to hear the other side of the story.” The “other side”? That would be the best science in the world on one side and energy-industry-funded fiction on the other. In what way is it necessary for responsible politicians to avail themselves of this perverted “balance”?The second disappointment is the continuing failure by media to do even the most minimal backchecking on people's credentials and history. Here we have Tim Ball, whose record of deceit is a Google-stroke away, as is his history of hurling unfounded insults at reputable academics. Yet the Tribune fails to mention this in its original coverage or in any of the letters. Garbage in; Garbage outWe live in a democracy in which self-interested scoundrels have a perfect right to distort the truth and delude the public. And in such a democracy, a free and independent media is critical to maintaining a healthy public debate - i.e., one that is not dominated by those who can afford to recruit amenable experts and to lobby ill-informed, “balance”-seeking politicians. Such being the case, you can only assign so much blame to Tim Ball, a not-very-honest, seco[...]



Tim Ball Balks at Climate Change Bet

Tue, 09 Oct 2007 14:12:47 +0000

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The tireless climate science fraud Dr. Tim Ball has run snarling from a challenge to place a small wager in support of his claims that the global average temperature will fall, rather than rise, in the next 20 years. Faced with a request that he put his money where his mouth is, Ball called the exercise “cheap, tawdry and useless,” and said, “I don't bet on anything, it has nothing to do with science.”

Of course, his climate change pronouncements have nothing to do with science, either, but that doesn't slow him down.

Ball's unwillingness to bet on his own science - or reputation - is also getting more attention on the web these days. While the mainstream media have ignored this story, bloggers are beginning to notice that he also cut and ran rather than follow through on his own libel suit.

As reported here previously, Ball originally fired off a libel letter to defend himself against the (truthful) complaint that his academic credentials were heavily and consistently overstated. When the complainant, our hero Dr. Dan Johnson, stood his ground (a draining and expensive choice), Ball folded, regardless that the libelous content of the statements of defence from Johnson and from the Calgary Herald were much more caustic and dismissive than the original “affront.” (My personal favourite is the Herald's whithering conclusion that “the plaintiff [Dr. Ball] is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.”)

Interestingly, the mainstream media - so keen to afford Ball the voice of dissent - has gone silent on his legal comeuppance. Nobody, it appears, likes to admit when they've put money on the hindquarters of the wrong horse.




August Newsmaker Award to Steve McIntyre

Thu, 30 Aug 2007 17:45:38 +0000

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Hats off to Steve McIntyre, the most effective foot soldier in the campaign to deny or downplay climate change.

Having spent the rest of August on holidays - too much of it in a Toronto traffic jam - I have been ignoring the DeSmogBlog (my apologies) and the climate change debate generally. Except for the traffic part, it's been glorious. 

Now I see that the resourceful “semiretired” mining analyst McIntyre has scored again with a statistical quibble over how NASA keeps its temperature records.

This, for the denial community, has been a clean kill. The blogs, as I read back over the month, have been alive the argument over the importance of 1998 or 1934 as the hottest year on record. Hacks and flaks like Tim Ball and Tom Harris have been crowing about “faulty data” underpinning the “global warming scare,” and legitimate science sources like RealClimate.org have been reduced to minimizing the importance of McIntyre's discovery.

And in the midst of this torrid and mostly pointless debate, everyone has stopped talking about what we should be doing about the problem. Notwithstanding the chilling bits of evidence - the unprecedented collapse in Arctic sea ice, for example - we have gone back, once again, to arguing over whether there IS a problem.

So, congratulations to McIntyre, et al. It must be a real pleasure for them to be able to say things like Four of the 10 warmest years on record are now acknowledged to have occurred when human production of CO2 was minimal, in the 1930s.” That leaves only six of the warmest years on record (McIntyre might call that a statistically significant majority) left over to prove the point:

Folks, we need to move on. 




A bare-faced lie - from a predictable source

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 16:46:33 +0000

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There is nothing particularly unusual about current weather and climate change – it is generally well within long-term normal patterns. – Tim Ball, CFP, July 20, 2007



Pinocchio Harris Dismisses CO2 Effect

Tue, 19 Jun 2007 18:41:06 +0000

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The carbon dioxide emissions from Ontario coal stations would be more costly to remove but are not something we should be concerned about since their contribution to global climate change is insignificant.

It's amazing that Tom Harris can write stuff like this without having his nose bump up against his computer monitor.

I suppose you could argue that Canada's contribution to global CO2 is an “insignificant” two per cent (a contribution we make even though we have just 0.005 per cent of the world's population). You also could argue that Ontario's coal-fired electrical plants generate an “insignificant” 40 per cent of that province's CO2 emissions from industrial sources. In fact , coal has the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of all combustible fuels, and four of Canada’s five largest single emitters are coal-fired electrical generating stations.

Perhaps, though, Harris is trying to say that CO2 is an “insignificant” contributor to climate change in general, a fiction that he probably learned from his brother-in-disinformative-public-relations, Dr. Tim Ball (see next post).

There is an argument to be made that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty could have taken another tack. Perhaps he could have insisted (like B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell) that coal-fired plants find a way to sequester their CO2 output.

But the real issue here should be this: who's paying Tom Harris to lobby on behalf of the Ontario energy industry? And why should we allow the High Park Group to evade its reporting requirements under the federal lobbyist's registry by pretending that the Natural Resources Stewardship Project is an independent operation?




Ball Bails on Johnson Lawsuit

Thu, 14 Jun 2007 15:53:18 +0000

The self-styled Canadian climate change expert, Dr. Tim Ball, has abandoned his libel suit against University of Lethbridge Professor of Environmental Science Dan Johnson. Ball dropped the suit without conditions, but also without acknowledging that Johnson’s original comments were accurate and were reported in good faith.“This is great news,” Dr. Johnson said today, “but it still leaves a cloud over my name that I would like removed. Even though I can now demand that Ball pay what the court calls ‘taxed costs,’ that won’t begin to cover the actual legal bills, to make up for lost time or to repair the damage that Ball has done to my reputation.”Ball, a spokesperson for two industry front groups fighting against climate change regulation, sued Johnson and the Calgary Herald over a letter the paper ran on April 23, 2006. In an earlier Opinion Page article in which Ball attacked the qualifications of renowned climate change author Tim Flannery, the Herald described Ball as “the first climatology PhD in Canada and … a professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years.”Johnson wrote a Letter to the Editor challenging those details. He noted that when Ball received his PhD (in Geography) in 1983, “Canada already had PhDs in climatology and it is important to recognize them and their research.” Johnson also pointed out that Ball had been a professor for a much shorter time (Ball later admitted eight years), during which Ball did “not show any evidence of research regarding climate and atmosphere.”Ball filed suit, asking for damages of $325,000 plus costs.But Calgary Herald satisfied itself as to the accuracy of Dan Johnson’s letter, and rose in defence. In a Statement of Defence filed with the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Herald dismissed Ball’s “credibility and credentials as an expert on the issue of global warming,” saying: “The Plantiff (Dr. Ball) is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.”In the face of this rebuff, and of the earlier Statement of Defence filed by Dan Johnson, Ball discontinued his lawsuit. Since his retirement from the University of Winnipeg in 1995, Tim Ball has worked as an industry-supported climate-change campaigner, sowing doubt about the science of global warming. He first associated himself with a Calgary-based group called the Friends of Science, which the Globe and Mail reported in August of 2006 was funded primarily by the oil and gas industry. Ball then moved to the chairmanship of a new group called the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, which the Toronto Star reported in January 2007, is a creation of the Toronto-based energy-industry lobby firm the High Park Group.“I never intended any specific damage to Tim Ball’s reputation,” Dan Johnson said today. “But climate change is a critical global issue and I thought it was important to set the record straight. If people want to argue the science, I’m all for that, but Tim Ball was claiming expertise and specific credentials that he does not have. That needed to be corrected.”Johnson said he is now considering whether to accept basic costs or to seek special costs, adding, “I also deserve an apology. I think the nation deserves an apology.”Johnson said he would like to thank and acknowledge James Hoggan and the team of DeSmogBlog.com for offering considerable assistance in putting together his defence.Tags: Calgary Heralddan johnsonNRSPFriends of Sciencetimothy f balllibel suit[...]



Harris, Ball Courting Political Isolation

Wed, 06 Jun 2007 22:22:54 +0000

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The Natural Resources Stewardship Project condemned Prime Minister Stephen Harper today for Canada's “total capitulation to climate change dogma.”

The Prime Minister has spent the early part of the week speaking to European leaders who will clearly not tolerate ill-informed denial of global warming as an international issue. As early as Monday, Harper had obviously got the message, calling climate change “perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today.”

In this article, the principals from the energy industry lobby group the NRSP mount a heroic, but irrelevant argument suggesting that CO2 is our friend. They write that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere must reach 4,500 parts per million before endangering human life - ignoring entirely the overwhelming evidence of the effect of CO2 on climate.

Aside from the general goofiness of the argument, the most interesting aspect of this article (not counting the snazzy redesign on the Canada Free Press website) is the degree to which the NRSP has distanced itself from all potential political allies. This is not a victory of dogma over delerium, it is proof that, ultimately, science cannot be credibly denied. You have to hope that Tim Ball and Tom Harris (inset) are looking for other work because, increasingly, it appears that this party is over.




NASA Chief Finds Support on Yet Another (Skeptics') Front

Sat, 02 Jun 2007 15:57:28 +0000

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NASA's top administrator, Michael Griffin, speaking on NPR radio made some refreshingly sensible comments about the present global warming scare,” said Robert Ferguson, Director of the Science and Public Policy Institute. “Many rationalist scientists agree with him, clearly demonstrating there is no scientific consensus on man-made, catastrophic global warming,” said Ferguson.

The article, which also quotes Pat Michaels, Tim Ball, Robert Carter and other longtime skeptics, omits Ferguson's e-address: bferguson@ff.org. The “FF” in this case stands for Frontiers of Freedom, a longtime ExxonMobil-funded haven for footsoldiers in the disinformation war.




Pssst! Wanna Buy a Cheap, Inefficient, Illegal Lightbulb

Thu, 17 May 2007 15:51:35 +0000

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Hide your children: the dim bulbs at the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP) are warning that the federal ban on incandescent lightbulbs could soon give rise to a black market in inefficient lighting.

Imagine, Tim Ball and Tom Harris , decked out in bulky coats and lurking in the alleyways of Toronto and Victoria, offering addicts the opportunty to burn four to six times as much energy with a single lightbulb.

Ah well, when energy industry lobby firms run out of money to pay the NRSP principals to dissemble on climate change, at least the two spinmeisters have an exit strategy.