Carbon Sense Coalition

Carbon Sense Coalition

 Background

The Carbon Sense Coalition describes itself as “a voluntary group of people concerned about the extent to which carbon is wrongly vilified in Western societies, particularly in government, the media, and in business circles.” [1]

According to an early media statement, the Coalition was set up in 2007 to “defend the role of carbon on earth and in the atmosphere.” The Coalition's Chairman, Viv Forbes, is a soil scientist and geologist from Rosevale in Queensland. He described the group as “concerned at the growing and unjustified vilification of carbon by politicians and the media.” [2]

According to Chairman Viv Forbes, “The impetus for the formation of the group was, firstly the proposal that carbon dioxide be labeled as a pollutant in the Federal National Pollutant Inventory, and secondly a set of wholly destructive policy proposals from the Queensland government in their document Climate Smart 2050 – Queensland climate change strategy 2007 – a low carbon future.” [2]

The Coalition's stated aim is to “restore balance and reason to the carbon debate, and to explain and defend the key role of carbon in production of most of our energy for heat, light, and transportation, and all of our food.” [1]

Stance on Climate Change

2014

“Governments are running huge deficits, but still spend billions on 'climate research' especially trying to model the effect of the atmosphere and its trace of carbon dioxide on surface temperature. Benefits are hard to find. It may have improved weather forecasts by a day or so, but official long-term predictions have not improved in the last fifty years. This is because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not the main driver of weather or climate.”

“[…] 'What is referred to reverently as “climate research” is mainly just grubby advocacy supporting the political war on carbon. Why are we still funding scientists who believe that “the science is settled?” If they believe that they know the answers, what are they are doing with their research funds?'” [3]

2007

“Earth’s climate is changing and always has been changing – it is the norm, not the exception. This is well documented in historical records and is obvious even by casual observation. Current conditions are warm and benign but not unusual or extreme. It is tragic that people with no apparent knowledge of earth’s climate history are filling our children with fear and our adults with guilt for a perfectly natural phenomenon.” [4]

 Funding

In response to a question from a journalist, only named as “Louise”, Viv Forbes released the following statement regarding Carbon Sense Coalition Funding in 2008: [5]
“I and a few friends around Australia and overseas founded the Coalition. I have paid for the business registrations, web servers and all such related matters. No one has reimbursed me. A computer friend built the web site and has not sent a bill. He maintains our web site and has not sent a bill.
 
Other members have helped with research, editing and writing, and none have been paid for it.
 
My wife and I have paid for all email, phone, copying, postage and printing costs. And I have never sent a bill or been paid for my considerable contribution of time. Carbon Sense occupies an office under our home on a farm at Rosevale in Queensland. You are very welcome to visit, inspect and chat if you wish. We have never submitted a bill for office rent.
 
One long acquaintance provided us, gratis, a second hand colour printer.
 
A cousin who is a farmer sent two donations, totalling $1,500 to cover general expenses. A long term friend, who is a retired engineer, sent a donation of $250. There have been no other donations of any sort since Carbon Sense was formed. And we have not asked for them.
 
So, in summary, funding to date for the Carbon Sense Coalition is $1,750 cash and a second hand colour printer.”
 
“[…] However, since you have raised the subject of funding, it is time we raised some funds. Should anyone offer funds with no strings attached, we would take them, even from newspaper barons. My truthfulness, opinion, or reputation is not for sale.”
Touching on “vested interests,” Forbes writes “I still earn part time money from mining and farming. I always have, long before Global Warming became a media tart. I have never hidden that fact – I am proud of it.”
 
He goes on to criticize what he calls the “dark side,” writing that climate researchers supposedly have a vested interest because they have “received a huge slice of the $50 billion spent on this scam to date by governments around the world.”

Key People

The following people were listed on a June, 2007 (PDF) release introducing the Carbon Sense Coalition. It is the most recent staff list currently available on their website, as of 2015.  [6]

Advisory Committee

  • Viv Forbes — Chairman
  • Keith Barker — Mining Engineer, CEO Northern Energy Corporation.
  • John Carter — Cattleman, Chairman Australian Beef Association.
  • Ken Day — President Director, Terrindo, Sand Mining Contractor.
  • Rod Dawnie — Geoscientist.
  • Peter Ellis
  • James Hawes
  • Ron Kitching — Drilling and Conveying Consultant.
  • Bob Long — Web Master.
  • Stuart McArthur — Grazing and Land Management Consultant.
  • Graeme Haycroft
  • Peter Hawes
  • Chris Heusch
  • Gerry Jackson
  • Peter Jamieson — Metallurgist, Engineer.
  • Gary Jones
  • Vaughan Jones — Sheep farmer, animal nutritionist, pasture adviser.
  • Greg Kater — Geologist, Sheep and Cattle Grazer.
  • Erich Kern
  • Jocelyn Maxwell
  • Muriel Newman — Director, The New Zealand Centre for Political Research.
  • Ken Perry
  • Ron Manners — Executive Director, Mannkal Foundation.
  • Benjamin Marks
  • John McRobert
  • John McSweeney — Metallurgist.
  • Malcolm Roberts — Management Consultant, Catalyst for Corporate Performance Pty Ltd.
  • James Sokoll — Systems Engineer, Mt Walker Qld Australia.
  • Walter Starck — Marine Ecologist.
  • Heather Wehl — Dairy farmer.

Regional Correspondents & Supporters

  • Rod Burston — Engineer, spokesman for the NSW Fishing Clubs Association.
  • John Carter — Mechanical engineer.
  • Geoff Cooney — Retired farmer.
  • Neil Coulter — Chemical & Metallurgical Engineer.
  • Don Daisley — Industrial Engineer.
  • Fred Drake
  • Ray Duncan
  • Ray Evans — President, H R Nicholls Society, and Secretary of the Lavoisier Group.
  • Keith Mercer — Engineer.
  • Herbert Nehrlich
  • Vince Pendal — Non-Executive Chairman, McGarry Associates.
  • Stephen Peterson
  • Michael Pinnock — Ex CEO, Queensland Resources Council.
  • Pam Pownall
  • Ken Ring — Private Weather Forecaster.
  • Franklin Sanders
  • Ken Shock — Physicist and Investor.
  • Dick Tanner
  • John Weil — Geologist, long time mining industry metals explorer and consultant.

 Actions

November 29, 2015

The Carbon Sense Coalition published report titled “Party Time in Paris” (PDF) in the Coalition's Carbon Sense newsletter ahead of the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21) taking place from November 30 through December 11, 2015. [7]

Carbon Sense Coalition Chairman Viv Forbes writes in the report, “Any urchin on the streets of Paris today could tell buffoons like Ban Ki-moon and Barack Obama that the 'biggest security threat facing the world today' is NOT a miniscule increase in atmospheric plant food, caused mainly by gentle natural global warming which has triggered minor expulsion of carbon dioxide from the oceans.” [7]

Forbes continues, “The biggest long term threat to abundant life on Earth is natural carbon sequestration, especially during the recurring cold dry eras when cooling oceans absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and growing ice sheets capture most of its water. “ [7]

February 18, 2015

The Carbon Sense Coalition's Viv Forbes published a piece titled “Strange Allies in the War on Carbon Fuels” in Carbon Sense Coalition's February, 2015 issue of “Carbon Sense.” [8]

Forbes writes that “the generals in this war on carbon, have no real interest in the facts or science of global climate change – they see climate alarmism as a great opportunity to achieve their goal of creating an unelected global government. They have even laid out their plans in a document called Agenda 21.” [8]

Forbes continues, “They know that carbon fuels support millions of people by cultivating, harvesting, transporting, processing and storing most of the food that supports the cities of the world. Killing the use of carbon fuels will certainly achieve their goal of reduced world population.” [8]

Viv Forbes ends the piece in “Carbon Sense” by writing “the globe has refused to warm, the alarmist 'science' is crumbling, their climate models are discredited, some researchers have been caught manipulating records and results, and the costs of green electricity are becoming obvious and onerous.” [8]

The end of the article has a “disclosure” which notes that: “Viv Forbes is a shareholder and non-executive director of a small Australian coal exploration company. His views are not shared or supported by most Big Coal CEO’s.” [8]

July 7 - 9, 2014

The Carbon Sense Coalition was an official co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [9]

May 21 - 23, 2012

The Carbon Sense Coalition was an official co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7) in Chicago, Illinois. [10]

DeSmogBlog researched co-sponsors behind the conference and discovered that they had received a total of over $67 Million from ExxonMobil, Koch, and Scaife family foundations. [11]

June, 2011

The Carbon Sense Coalition was a supporter of climate skeptic Lord Christopher Monckton's Australian tour.

“We urge people to attend the Monckton functions because the opposition will try to frighten us away with smears and personal attacks on him and his associates. His cause is our cause,” Forbes said. [12]

May 16 - 18, 2010

The Carbon Sense Coalition co-sponsored the Heartland Institute's Fourth International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago, IL. [13]

DeSmogBlog found that 19 of the 65 sponsors (including Heartland itself) had received a total of over $40 million in funding since 1985 from ExxonMobil (who funded 13 of the organizations), and/or Koch Industries family foundations (funded 10 organizations) and/or the Scaife family foundations (funded 10 organizations). [14]

June 2, 2009

The Carbon Sense Coalition was a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Third International Conference on Climate Chance in Washington, DC. [15]

March 8 - 10, 2009

The Carbon Sense Coalition was a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. [16]

DeSmogBlog investigated other sponsors of the 2009 conference, and found that sponsor organizations had received over $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from the Scaife Family of foundations. [17]

October 9, 2008

On behalf of the coalition, Forbes authored an open letter (PDF) criticizing carbon trading on behalf of the Carbon Sense Coalition. The letter, addressed to the Premier and Members, describes carbon dioxide as “harmless … plant [food].”

Forbes also suggests that carbon trading would increase the price of petrol, grain, beef and other farm products, and that carbon trading would result in something “worse than the sub-prime crisis.” It is interesting to note that the Carbon Sense Coalition's Advisory (PDF) Committee is filled with individuals representing the beef and mining industries. [6]

The letter concludes that “There is no consensus on the science of global warming, and no evidence beyond computer models that carbon dioxide is causing or will cause dangerous climate changes. Climate is always changing, and there is no evidence that man has or can affect world climate trends. Therefore there is no basis to embark on a massive dislocation of Queensland’s backbone industries. There are zero proven benefits.” [18]

February 11, 2008

Viv Forbes, on behalf of the Carbon Sense Coalition, sent a submission (PDF) to the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change criticizing its proposal for a national greenhouse and energy reporting (NGER) system. [19]

The NGER act would provide a national framework in Australia to report the greenhouse gas emissions by major corporations.

Forbes suggests that the NGER system (if implemented) should “minimize the data demanded, the people who must report and the matters reported on.” His suggestions include to: [19]

  • “Delete all requirements to report all energy produced, transported and consumed…”
  • “Delete all reporting on guesses of carbon gases produced by the disposal, decay, composting or burning of organic waste, agricultural products, dead pasture, scrub re-growth, waste water, animal manure, human sewerage, land fill etc…  
  • “Delete all references to 'Indirect Emissions'…”

The submissions's conclusion is that there should be an “Independent Enquiry” into climate change science before any de-carbonisation proposals are applied in Australia.

Forbes's reasoning is that the climate is “unusually benign,” that carbon dioxide has “encouraged plant growth, causing a large increase in food production on earth since the 1850’s ('the green revolution').” He also believes that “a period of global cooling is likely.”

Although he mentions “scientists who study the sun,” he does not cite any scientific studies in his report.

June, 2007

Submitted a document titled titled “Look before you Leap” (PDF) that attempts to counter Queensland's “Climate Smart 2050” energy policy. The Coalition document concludes that “the draft policy proposal 'Climate Smart, 2050' should be withdrawn and replaced with a policy that reflects good science…” and that the coalition “would be happy to participate in helping to draw up such a policy.” [4]

Samples of the coalition's “key responses” include that  “Earth's climate is changing and always has been changing,” that carbon dioxide “(even at significantly higher concentrations) is totally beneficial to plants, wildlife and humans,” and that there is “no evidence that [carbon dioxide] is the key driver, or even a significant driver of temperature.” [4]

Related Organizations

  • The Heartland Institute — The Carbon Sense Coalition has been a regular sponsor of the Heartland Institute's International Conference on Climate Change.

 Resources

  1. About,” The Carbon Sense Coalition. Archived December 3, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dUHaBecT

  2. (Media Statement). “Climate Smart?” The Carbon Sense Coalition, July 1, 2007. Republished by the Carbon Sense Coalition. Archived December 3, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dUHaBecT

  3. The Science is Settled?” The Carbon Sense Coalition, November 21, 2014. Archived December 3, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dUMAK5xL

  4. “'Look before you Leap,' A Submission to 'Climate Smart 2050' (a proposed energy policy for Queensland) from The Carbon Sense Coalition” (PDF), June 2007. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  5. Who Funds the Carbon Sense Coalition?” The Carbon Sense Coalition, April 2, 2008. Archived December 4, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dULSQDap

  6. “Introducing The Carbon Sense Coalition” (PDF), The Carbon Sense Coalition, June, 2007. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  7. “Party Time in Paris” (PDF), www.carbon-sense.com, November 29, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog

  8. Carbon Sense,” Carbon Sense Coalition, February 18, 2015. Archived October 26, 2015.

  9. ICCC9 CoSponsors,” International Conferences on Climate Change (The Heartland Institute). Archived July 27, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.  WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dHxbU7Nt

  10. Cosponsors,” 7th International Conference on Climate Change. Archived May 10, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  11. Michael Fisher. “A Closer Look at Heartland's ICCC7 Denial-a-Palooza Speakers and Sponsors,” DeSmogBlog, May 23, 2012. 

  12. Viv Forbes. “Australian Tour by Christopher Monckton,” Canada Free Press, June 27, 2011. Archived December 3, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dUNqfA09

  13. 4th International Conference on Climate Change: Sponsored by the Heartland Institute” (Conference Program - PDF), The Heartland Institute, May, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.  

  14. Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-palooza Round 4: 'International Conference on Climate Change' Groups Funded by Exxon, Koch Industries,” DeSmogBlog, May 13, 2010. 

  15. Co-Sponsors,” Third International Conference on Climate Change. Archived July 14, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  16. Co-Sponsors,” The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived April 28, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  17. Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” DeSmogBlog.

  18. Viv Forbes. “An Open Letter to Premier Anna Bligh and All Elected Members in Queensland” (PDF), Carbon Sense Coalition, October 9, 2008.

  19. “'Keep it Simple, Stupid': A Submission from The Carbon Sense Coalition to the Commonwealth  Department of Climate Change (DOCC) on its proposal for a National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System” (PDF), www.carbon-sense.com, February 11, 2008.  Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

Other Resources