David Cameron

Wed, 2012-03-28 10:45Guest
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The Guardian Reveals Key Funder of Global Warming Policy Foundation Is Michael Hintze

Cross-posted with permission from The Guardian
by Graham Readfearn, Leo Hickman and Rupert Neate

Michael Hintze, a leading Conservative party donor who runs the £5bn hedge fund CQS, has emerged as a financial backer of the climate sceptic thinktank founded by former chancellor, Lord Nigel Lawson.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, launched by Lawson in 2009, regularly casts doubt on the science and cost of tackling climate change in the media and has called on climate scientists to show greater transparency, but has refused to reveal details of its donors. Leading Nasa climate scientist James Hansen calls it “one link in a devious manipulation of public opinion [regarding climate change].”

On Monday, Downing Street was forced to reveal that Hintze was among the leading Tory donors who were invited to privately dine with David Cameron at a “thank you” dinner following the general election in 2010. The revelation that Hintze, who has also donated £1.5m to the Tory party, is connected with climate change scepticism will be an embarassment for David Cameron, who has pledged to lead the “greenest government ever”.

The Guardian has seen correspondence sent by Hintze in which he appears to indicate he is financially supporting the educational charity. Last October, Hintze emerged as a key figure in the lobbying scandal which forced the resignation of the then defence secretary Liam Fox after it was revealed by the Guardian that Hintze had given free office space to Fox's controversial associate Adam Werrity and flown both Fox and Werrity on his private jet. Hintze's former charity adviser, Oliver Hylton, later lost his job at CQS after it was revealed that he was the sole director of Pargav Ltd, a company which paid for Werrity's global travel and derived its income from Conservative party donors.

Wed, 2011-06-22 15:13Richard Littlemore
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UK Climate Denial Tank Shuts its Doors

The International Policy Network, one of the U.K.’s most prominent climate-change-denying think tanks, has shut its doors, apparently after an internal battle during which science finally overwhelmed both ideology and the lure of dirty oil funding.

IPN is one of 150 right-wingy think tanks and similar organizations that can trace their heritage to Sir Anthony Fisher, the ideologue and disciple of the neoliberal economist Frederich Hayek. According to documents that The Independent obtained through a Freedom of Information request, the IPN Board was effectively composed of Fisher’s two children, Linda Whetstone and Michael Fisher. It was they who decided to burst the delusional organization’s bubble last year.

The Independent speculates that Whetstone may have been influenced by her daughter, Rachel, now vice president for global communications and public affairs for Google. Rachel Whetstone’s husband, Steve Hilton (inset with British Prime Minister David Cameron) was the strategist who moved the British Conservative Party into the realm of reality on climate policy.

Regrettably, the U.S. IPN survives.

Mon, 2011-01-24 15:53TJ Scolnick
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British Government Continues Greenwashing Effort, Ignores Ecological Decline In UK

A recent Guardian article by John Vidal examines the misleading spin attempting to paint Britain’s leadership as the “greenest government ever.” 

With 2010 drawing to a close, UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman announced triumphantly:
“Over 95 per cent of England’s finest wildlife and geological sites, covering more than one million hectares of countryside, are now in favourable or recovering condition.”

Spelman’s overly rosy interpretation of the current state of Britain’s environment is at odds with an independent report from Professor Sir John Lawton and a team of leading conservationists who are much less enthusiastic about Britain’s environmental record. Measured according to the scale SSSI (Sites of Special Scientific Interest), Sir Lawton’s team found that just 30% of these sites were in favourable condition, with the rest in a mode of “unfavourable recovering.”

Indeed, most at-risk wildlife species have shown no improvement between 1999 and 2008, and 125 of 289 species are in decline. Birds, in particular, are struggling.

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