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

Wed, 2009-12-02 14:43Mitchell Anderson
Mitchell Anderson's picture

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

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…

Comments

Thee people should get government funding, they are the only ones standing up for science.

Canada now seems to be the world centre of climate change denialism and obstructionism.

George Monbiot writes:

"So here I am, watching the astonishing spectacle of a beautiful, cultured nation turning itself into a corrupt petrostate. Canada is slipping down the development ladder, retreating from a complex, diverse economy towards dependence on a single primary resource, which happens to be the dirtiest commodity known to man. The price of this transition is the brutalisation of the country, and a government campaign against multilateralism as savage as any waged by George Bush.

Until now I believed that the nation which has done most to sabotage a new climate change agreement was the United States. I was wrong. The real villain is Canada. Unless we can stop it, the harm done by Canada in December 2009 will outweigh a century of good works.

In 2006 the new Canadian government announced that it was abandoning its targets to cut greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol. No other country that had ratified the treaty has done this. Canada was meant to have cut emissions by 6% between 1990 and 2012. Instead they have already risen by 26%(1).

It’s now clear that Canada will refuse to be sanctioned for abandoning its legal obligations. The Kyoto Protocol can be enforced only through goodwill: countries must agree to accept punitive future obligations if they miss their current targets. But the future cut Canada has volunteered is smaller than that of any other rich nation(2). Never mind special measures; it won’t accept even an equal share. The Canadian government is testing the international process to destruction and finding that it breaks all too easily. By demonstrating that climate sanctions aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, it threatens to render any treaty struck at Copenhagen void."

Monbiot does hyperbole for a living. (see the hissy fit directed at Phil Jones for example)

Where is the hyperbole?

Canada goes from some kind of paradise to corrupt petrostate? I guess that makes Harper some kind of evil dictator and he's probably holding onto power by executing his would be rivals and detractors while he soaks up oil money, converting it to gold stored on a secret island or something.

Or maybe George is trying to sell a column

Yes - and you need hyperbole to denounce his hyperbole.

Well, the Canadian government has a problem. Prime minister Harper's mentor is Barry Cooper, a notorious denialist who is affiliated with the Friends of Science. Alberta boy Harper is very friendly towards the local oil and gas industry. But as the prime minister of Canada he relies on the votership outside of Alberta - and has to appease the other Canadians, too. So he cannot publicly deny global warming. At a time, where the opposition struggles, he still cannot get an absolute majority, because the other Canadians are suspicious he wants to install Alberta conditions all over the country. However, Alberta is mega-conservative, incompatible with the other provinces. The Texas of the North. Harper allegedly believes that the world is 6000 years old. This is unconfirmed, however considered to be true for Stockwell Day, another cabinet minister. The Canadian science minister is said to be a creationist. Well, lots of loons north of the border.

Harper is the best PM Canada has had in a generation and continues to lead with pride. Best record in the g20 during the credit crisis and harper continues to shine and impress domestically and internationally. Your view of canada is obviously colored by European socialism. No matter a few more years in the great white north and common sense will smack you between the eyes eventually.

Harper is one of the worst PMs we ever had. And I'm an Albertan so don't waste time writing bigoted crap about Europeans.

If he's so bad why is Iggy the one with the poll problems. Iggy canceled the whole idea of pushing for an election because polls indicated the result would be a sure conservative majority.

How is "one of the worst" PM's gaining popularity? Can't just be his singing can it?

Yes, they all publish in highly rated, peer reviewed climatology journals.

In a way, I suppose they do, when tax write-offs end up supporting the contributions. Look into it and get back to us.

Professor Barry Brook is Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change and Director of the Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Adelaide.

"Claims that global warming stopped in [... insert convenient year] underscore a fundamental lack of understanding about the difference between a trend and variability - or else a deliberate attempt to mislead people with the intent of further delaying action on climate change.

The trend for global warming is consistently upwards, but in any given month, or even season or year, the actual temperature will be variable.

Let me illustrate by example. Based on the NASA GISS global meteorological station data, January 2008 was 'cool', at only +0.31°C above the 1950-1980 average. But March 2008 was back to +0.81°C. By comparison, January 1998 was +0.57°C and March 1998 was +0.70°C. In the northern hemisphere, March 2008 was the 2nd warmest month on record (relative to the average), with a +1.40°C anomaly (for reference, the hottest month on record was January 2007 at +1.61°C).

The point is, there is a lot of month-to-month variability, whatever month you happen to cherry pick. But the trend is consistently upwards - all of the above temperature anomalies are greater than the 1950-1980 average, by +0.3 to +1.6°C.

2008 is expected to be a slightly cooler year than 2007, largely because of a particularly intense La Niña and the current low solar activity.

Indeed, recent work has shown that the average temperature difference between the top and bottom of the 11-year solar cycle is almost 0.2°C (we are currently at the bottom). Looking forwards, recent predictions from the UK Hadley Centre are that at least half of the years between 2009 and 2014 will exceed the highest yearly global temperature to-date."

Dr Robert Fawcett and Dr David Jones are from the National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology. See full analysis.

"There is very little justification for asserting that global warming has gone away over the past ten years, not least because the linear trend in globally-averaged annual mean temperatures (the standard yardstick) over the period 1998-2007 remains upward. While 1998 was the world’s warmest year in the surface-based instrumental record up to that point in time, 2005 was equally warm and in some data sets surpassed 1998.

A substantial contribution to the record warmth of 1998 came from the very strong El Niño of 1997/98 and, when the annual data are adjusted for this short-term effect (to take out El Niño’s warming influence), the warming trend is even more obvious."

Dr Andrew Glikson is an Earth scientist at the Australian National University in Canberra, involved in the study of the effects of atmospheric changes on the mass extinction of species.

"Some advocates of the 'pro-Carbon lobby' use climate data selectively, namely, they use low seasonal or annual points below the average trend as 'evidence' for cooling, and high points above the average trend to say that subsequent years represent a 'cooling'.

Moreover, climate projections show that, as the globe warms, extreme weather events ensue. For example as a result of collision between warm tropical ocean and air currents and cold water and air masses associated with ice melting and southward migration of ice melt water.

In the extreme this threatens to result in the abortion of the Gulf Stream, triggering several degrees drop in temperature over western Europe and NE America, as has repeatedly occurred during the recent glacial-interglacial history of the Earth.

No doubt if (God forbid) this happens, climate denialists will claim 'global cooling'...

It is essential to make a distinction between climate trends and annual or even multi-annual variations, as based on advanced studies of the recent climate history of Earth. Mammals flourished on land only since CO2 levels declined below about 450 parts per million about 34 million years ago, with subsequent decline of mean deep sea temperatures below 6°C and onset of polar ice sheets. Prior to about 11,500 years ago hunter-gatherer humans had to repeatedly migrate as glacial and interglacial eras interchanged, and could only commence agriculture from about 8,500 years ago (the Neolithic) once climate conditions stabilised.

The atmosphere is extremely sensitive to forcing by minor levels of greenhouse gas, which affect the physical and chemical processes and energy level of the atmosphere-ocean-biosphere system, including interchange of CO2, CH4 and oxygen between vegetation and animals. The forced anthropogenic release of over 300 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial age, raising CO2 levels to near 390 ppm (near-40% over the maxima of the last one million years), has severely upset this delicate balance, raising the atmospheric energy levels by some 1.6 Watt/square metres and threatening to return the Earth's climate to conditions which existed three million years ago (mid-Pliocene), when temperatures were 2-3 degrees higher than at present and sea level higher by some 25+/-12 metres."
Dr Helen McGregor is an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong in NSW and has expertise in La Niña/El Niño, oceanography and climates of the past.

"What the WMO statement is saying is that the current La Niña represents a short-term fluctuation on an overall warming trend. We must be clear here: we are still experiencing global warming. The average global temperature for January and February 2008, despite the influence of La Niña, is over 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1961-1990 baseline period.

If you start looking further back in time the 2008 temperatures are even more unusual, for example, they are more than half a degree Celsius higher than the average for the 1850s. Importantly, we still have nine months of 2008 left, during which time the La Niña is likely to wane meaning temperatures can rise again. The issue of warming versus cooling can cause confusion when short-term climate swings are mixed with long-term changes – climate swings must be put into perspective."

There was a segment on "The National" tonight on "Climate Gate" and at the 11:44 min mark they had one of the radio ads the "Friends" are running featured with a tag stating their name and mentioned they were on the skeptic side.

The segment actually starts at the 9:55 min mark and runs to 12:40.

Thought folks here may find that of some interest.

Could it be that some posts (about the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas) have disappeared here?

Thank you Arie. Dung Buster also noticed that the DeSmogBloggers could not stand critical comments. Just like CRU hackers, DeSmogBlog has no problem practicing their own version of Climate Gate. They gladly remove "data" / information, which shoots holes in CO2-caused global warming. I still wonder, who finances DeSmogBlog?

to the “About Us” button in the menu to the right

The old argument that plants need CO2, etc., and therefore it can't have any harmful effects is just ignorant. Being blunt is the least of our problems.

It's like saying water is important for life; what are those people in the tsunamis and hurricanes complaining about?

CO2 and climate: why is there a link?

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/the-co2-problem-in-6-easy-steps/

This morning, CBC Calgary reported that the Friends of Science are under police investigation because of a linke to the stolen CRU emails. Apaprently, a link to stolen data is illegal under Canadian laws.

Do you have a link for the article? I'd love to read it. The police nvestigation is no doubt just a formal procedure police have to go through if a complaint is filed and no doubt the complainer either works for or complained to CBC.

The data may have been stolen, that remains to be proven by british police, but clearly these documents are now in public domain, to go after Friends of Science is ridiculous.

F.O.S. still has the link to uploading a zip file with the stolen e-mails (plus an ad giving you the one rule to having a flat stomach, but if you have ever read the Canada Free Press you have all the ads for fat reduction that you can tolerate).