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.