NRSP: Not Really Sufficiently Principled

Tue, 2007-04-17 17:46Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

NRSP: Not Really Sufficiently Principled

A column in the Toronto Sun yesterday sets a new low in the disingenuous disinformation campaign by the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP).

NRSP Executive Director Tom Harris (the PR guy) and Chair Dr. Tim Ball (the other PR guy) launch an attack on the well-respected Dr. John Stone, vice-chair of Working Group 2 (WG2) of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), characterizing him as a “highly politicized bureaucrat” who has been too quick to accept that the effect of CO2 on climate change is settled science.

Harris and Ball instead advance the testimony of their witness, “Dr. Richard Courtney, a UK-based climate science consultant and IPCC expert reviewer,” (my emphasis) who says that climate science is anything but settled.

But Richard Courtney is hardly a source to be taken seriously. In fact, there is every reason to believe that if he has a Ph.D. at all, he got it out of a box of cracker jacks.

Courtney is really just another PR guy. He's a union official and a Technical Editor for CoalTrans International, the journal of the international coal trading industry, and his principal expertise seems to be in coming up with imaginative and self-promoting ways to suggest that climate change is either not happening or that its cause remains a deep, dark mystery. It would be embarrassing to any real scientist to be seen on the same newspaper page with this guy.

Having presented Courtney as something he is not, Harris and Ball move on to one of their other favourite “experts,” Dr. Tim Patterson, who repeats the strained claim that climate change is an unavoidable result of a warming sun, a position that has been conclusively and repeatedly dismissed, including in this reference by one of the world's foremost astrophysicists.

We have seen before how shameless Harris and Ball can be in representing their energy industry clients. But it never ceases to surprise me that big city dailies - even dailies as undiscriminating as the Toronto Sun - continue to publish their palaver when 30 second on Google would have proven to be what it is: fallacious and silly.

Previous Comments

I honestly think Harris has a tattoo of Frank Luntz on his ass. No seriously, Harris craves the notoriety that comes with being an intellect “against the grain.” Problem is that Harris is second rate.
But Richard Courtney is hardly a source to be taken seriously. In fact, there is every reason to believe that if he has a Ph.D. at all, he got it out of a box of cracker jacks.” As far as I can work out, you have no reliable information about whether he has a PhD or not, and if he has, where he got it from. I am just wondering what justifies this level of abuse. Tell me, Richard, do you have a PhD ? per

Per, if you had bothered to do a little bit of researching before you started spouting off you would have found out that Richard Courtney has the following qualifications:

DipPhil. (Cambridge), BA ( Open) and another diploma (Bath). Most universities in the UK rate their diplomas even lower than a bachelors degree. So no “Dr”.

see:http://downloads.heartland.org/18870.pdf

Ian Forrester

I have me Mr. Courtney.
Firstly he certainly made no comment about being a Doctor or anything of the kind. He merely presented with detailed research that he and others have been conducting.
He was drinking orange juice in my living room having visited as a friend of a friend. I’m not connected with the industry at all. I have no axe to grind. But the tv show ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ served to convince me of the stupidity of the global warming theory and the way the majority of environmentalist operate. I was privy to some interesting theories on one of his memory cards and some totally convincing figures.
For example if Kyoto was ratified and DONE BY EVERYONE we would buy the Earth 6 more years. Only 6! That’s if it is real which I HIGHLY doubt. The only figure work that I have seen done that supports global warming is Al Gore’s bullshit charts! Which have been rejected even by environmentalists!
Instead of trying to blacken Courtney’s name with accusations of spurious doctorates or whether or not he has had a hard life… (yep some people even think he lies about being hurt in a fire, as if anyone would make that up for fun!) … instead a bit of counter scientific theory with REAL data might convince me and other right thinking people more than a dirty rotten name calling and smear campaign. You accuse him of being partisan because of who is employers are but we all know where YOUR priorities lie and how many many careers rest solely on there HAVING TO BE A MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING!
Feel free to direct me to a environmental site with some REAL figures instead of pathetic name calling and innuendo. Then I might start to change my mind.

(PS Don’t tell me to look on google. All I find is websites telling me to recycle and the Earth is our friend and it is dying. FACTS PLEASE OR DON’T WASTE MINE AND OTHERS TIME!)

Richard told me he had an honorary Phd Degree from Pittsburgh, where his Bsc was from I couldn’t say. I coincidentally lived next on the next door boat to him, I often drank coffee with him, and we talked of our currant projects. I am a network engineer the only thing we had in common was that we were living on boats, him on a motor boat myself I was living on a sailboat.

Given that he lists his bachelor’s degree as coming from the Open University, the bit about Pittsburgh is news. Methinks Mr. Courtney’s cuteness is about to catch up to him.

In the time that I have known Richard, I think he is reasonable and a good scientist.