In the strategic and apparently puposeful deception of a trusting public, Alberta’s Oil Patch Daily (a.k.a., the Calgary Herald) and University of Calgary political science Professor Barry Cooper are exuberant co-conspirators.
Reasonable evidence appears in the column that Cooper pens weekly for the Herald, a pulpit that he used most recently to accuse actual climate scientists of committing “ethical transgressions” because they continue to share research pointing to the greatest environmental catastrophe in human history.
For a ready reference to Cooper’s own ethical standards, it might be interesting to check out the University of Calgary’s audit of his activities in support of the oily climate change denial group, the Friends of Science.
This is a man who created a University slush fund with which he tried to conceal the source of oil-patch funding for FOS activities. Through this account, Cooper enabled FOS to kick back tax deductions even though FOS doesn’t qualify for taxpyer subsidy. Cooper personally wrote cheques from the fund (some as large as $100,000), to PR firms that were engaged in an ongoing misleading campaign on climate change, overstepping his authority at the least and illegally siphoning off money at the worst, and he violated U of C rules by diverting some of the trust fund cash to “employ” his wife and daughter.
For these “transgressions” there is no record that the U of C has enacted any penalties whatever. And Herald readers will be blissfully unaware of Cooper’s adventures as the paper has not seen fit to share this information in its news pages.
Of course, this is a rag that will tell the truth when compelled to do so in court, but that falters when it comes to sharing actual factual information with its readers. An example of this can be found in the Herald’s treatment of Friend of Science Tim Ball, whom the paper lauded as the first climate change PhD in the country. When University of Lethbridge Professor Dan Johnson wrote to correct the record (the unreliable Ball is no such thing), the Herald wound up apologizing publicly to Ball and giving due attention to Ball’s ensuing lawsuit against Johnson.
But in court documents, the Herald’s lawyers dismissed Ball as “a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.” This information, however, was never printed in the newspaper, and the Herald has never apologized to Dan Johnson, regardless of the damage done to his reputation when Ball filed the lawsuit and then cancelled it quietly when it became obvious that Johnson would not be bullied.
In his most recent Herald column, Cooper says, “This is an ethical or political problem, not a problem in climate science,” in reference to an undated quote from a web designer who is trying to suggest that serious scientists are backing away from the climate change consensus. If James Peden were a serious scientist, he might be in a better position to comment, but Cooper is correct: this IS an ethical or political problem, NOT a problem in climate science. It’s time that Cooper sidled up to a mirror and inquired as to how the continuation of this ethical and political problem can be justified.
And it’s time the Calgary Herald came clean. Turf Barry Cooper, or post for reader information the extent of his Machiavellian political history. And apologize to Dan Johnson. For responsibility, for decency and - if it’s of any interest - for accuracy, it’s the least you must do.