Friends of Science

Tue, 2014-01-28 14:32Chris Turner
Chris Turner's picture

Why It's Not Enough To Be Right About Climate Change

Polar Vortex wind currents from earth.nullschool.net and the washington post

A couple weeks back, I found myself enmeshed briefly in a local debate here in Calgary regarding the validity of the argument that a continent-wide spell of frigid weather raised a serious challenge to the scientific foundations of anthropogenic climate change. In the depths of the cold snap, a rookie city councillor, Sean Chu, tweeted:

I replied:

The exchange and other snarky dismissals of Chu’s line of reasoning got picked up by the Calgary Herald, which ran a news item on its blog and a follow-up piece defending Chu against “anthropogenic global warming religionists” on the op-ed page.

As we were engaged in our local rhetorical joust, climate change deniers continent-wide were re-enacting the same little drama on stages big and small, eventually inspiring one of those killer rapid-fire round-ups of TV news talking-head idiocy on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. “Apparently decades of peer reviewed study can be, like a ficus plant, destroyed in one cold weekend,” Stewart concluded.

In itself, any given one of these minor foofaraws (or are they argle-bargles?) is barely worth wasting the pixels contained in this sentence. But as a whole — as a tenaciously consistent, recurring pattern of discourse — they actually illustrate a singular challenge to concerted and sustained climate change action. So if you’ll stick with me, let’s unpack the mess a bit and take a look.

Wed, 2013-05-29 07:23Ben Jervey
Ben Jervey's picture

Enemies of Science Want to Confuse You About The 97-Percent Consensus Study

Earlier this month, John Cook of Skeptical Science and his team of volunteers at the Consensus Project released the latest definitive study of global warming scientific consensus, revealing that 97 percent of peer-reviewed papers with a clear view on the subject agree that global warming is occurring and that humans are the primary cause.

Ever since, we've seen the predictable pushback from fossil fuel industry apologists and climate deniers.

The loudest response comes from the Alberta-based Friends of Science, a shadowy non-profit with a history of Canadian oil company ties, which DeSmogBlog has covered extensively over the years.

From their press release:

Thu, 2011-10-27 11:19Steve Horn
Steve Horn's picture

The Daily Show Notes Irony of Koch-Funded Study Affirming Global Warming is Real

Last night's entire first segment of The Daily Show focused on the recent study funded by the Koch Brothers that confirmed (again) that climate change is indeed a reality - an ironic twist given the Kochtopus' track record of fueling the climate change denial echo chamber with upwards of $55 million.

As described in an earlier piece on DeSmogBlog, “The [Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST)] paper, an effort to confirm or debunk whether the urban heat island (UHI) effect was skewing climate records, has affirmed - again - that global temperature records are accurate and worrisome.”

In a manner that only John Stewart and his Daily Show team can, they unpacked the hilarious irony of the whole situation. The segment, roughly ten minutes long, is well worth watching for the laughs alone, especially the McRib-ing of the mainstream media's pathetic coverage of climate science and fixation on corporate advertising ploys. And Aasif Mandvi's interviews, of course. Watch the video below:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Weathering Fights
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Fri, 2011-10-21 16:02Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Urban Heat Island – Favorite Skeptic Myth Debunked Again, This Time By Koch-Funded Science

Climate skeptics are once again proven wrong, and this time even Koch money can't skew the facts.
 
Have you heard the one from climate deniers that the “Urban Heat Island” effect has ruined all the weather stations and made the data they collect completely useless? The deniers claim any warming trend seen from these temperature recordings is from concrete buildings and asphalt roads – and that climate change is therefore a myth?
 
That would be false. Says whom, you ask?  How about a new Koch-funded scientific study?
 
An investigation by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project released yesterday once again thoroughly dispatches the skeptic myth about the “Urban Heat Island” (UHI) effect.

Many global warming skeptics have long claimed that the urban heat island effect is so strong that it has skewed temperature measurements indicating that global warming is happening. The skeptics argue that efforts to curb global warming pollution are therefore unnecessary, citing their pet theory that surface temperature stations were swallowed by, or moved closer to, cities, thus skewing surface temperature records on the whole.
 
The BEST papers – which still must go through rigorous peer review – confirm what climate scientists have correctly stated previously, demonstrating without doubt that “very rural” temperature stations miles from any new “UHI” towns or cities have also recorded warming at 0.9 degrees Celsius over the last century. 



To put it plainly, even the Kochtopus denial machine will have a tough time trying to twist this Koch-funded project’s findings. It looks like the Kochs backed the wrong horse here - one wonders whether they thought Hadley CRU would be proven wrong?

Tue, 2011-09-13 20:16Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Talisman funded Friends of Science skeptic film

Calgary oil company Talisman Energy has been outed as the major funder behind a Friends of Science video series that falsely tried to claim legitimacy by tacking a University of Calgary logo on its opening credits.

Postmedia reporter Mike De Souza has an excellent article in the Calgary Herald, exposing Talisman as the largest donor in a complicated campaign to sluice cash through the Calgary Foundation and the University of Calgary to finance phony “education” projects. The University has long since distanced itself from the Friends of Science, although it never disciplined Prof. Barry Cooper, the political scientist, climate change skeptic and Calgary Herald columnist who set up the fake U of C Education Fund to launder oil money that was being used to finance climate denial films, radio ads, political advocacy and public campaigns.

But even after exposing all of its own dirty laundry in an audit, the University continued to protect the funders, keeping donors such as Talisman out of their reports. De Souza, to his credit, finally wedged the name loose in a Freedom of Information request.

Albert Jacobs

Albert F. Jacobs

 Credentials 

  •  M.Sc.
  •  P.Geol.

Source: [1]

 Background

Albert F. Jacobs is a Geologist and a retired oil-explorations manager. His is also the co-founder, spokesperson, and former director of the Friends of Science (FoS). [2]

Read more: Albert Jacobs
Wed, 2011-06-22 17:48Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Canadian Geologists Embarrass Themselves on Climate

The joint conference of the Geological Association of Canada (GAC) and the Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC) included a DenierFest sideshow worthy of the Heartland Institute, with guest speakers flown in from as far away as Australia and Europe in an effort to address one organizer’s concern about an “unbalanced debate.”

Notwithstanding the manipulations of the deluded University of Toronto geologist Dr. Andrew Miall, the conference featured a full helping of honest-to-goodness science. There were occasions galore during which knowledgeable people spoke about matters with which they have legitimate expertise.

Then there were the sessions that featured the likes of Australians Bob Carter and Ian Plimer, people who do no actual work in climate science but who are only too delighted to tell you that everything we understand about human influence on global warming is a carefully constructed fiction. Organizers even brought in the Danish astrophysicist Henrik Svensmark - a man who will clutch his chest and fall to the ground rather than offer a straight answer as to why he insists the sun is causing climate change when the sun has been in a long weak cycle even as the earth continues to overheat. (The “heart attack,” reported above, was later confirmed to be a stress reaction.)

Mon, 2010-07-26 10:29Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Busted: New Climate Denial Site - Climatechange101.ca - Shares Mailing Address with the Oily Friends of Science

Following up on a story we ran late last week on a new climate denial website called Climatechange101.ca (and thanks to a tip from one of our astute commenters), we now have evidence linking the “Friends of Science” and Climatechange101.ca.

The two groups share the same mailing address.

The listed mailing address for the Friends of Science is: PO Box 23167, Connaught Post Office, Calgary, Alberta.

On Climatechange101.ca the mailing address is hidden from view, but it is contained in the website’s design source code. Here’s a screenshot of the code, where you can see the mailing address listed [click to enlarge the image]:

Wed, 2010-07-21 11:26Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Climatechange101.ca - Another "friend" of science?

Update: Friends of Science advertised CC101

Update #2: In the climatechange101.ca website coding, the mailing address is the same for the CC101 and the Friends of Science. Here’s a screenshot. [thanks for the tip from one of our great commenters!]

A new “grassroots” organization has emerged - coincidentally on the same server as the rightfully maligned Friends of Science. ClimateChange101.ca arose this month, as if from nowhere and it offers narry a name or address on its website. The About Us section says only that, “We are a group of private citizens who have studied all aspects of climate change for many years.”

(Update: Thanks to the good folks at Friends of Gin and Tonic, I am now informed that Friends of Science actually launched CC101 as a service for those of its fans who were not up to the challenge of the recently revived FOS site. The full and typically entertaining message from FOGT exec-director Dr. Roger Romney-Hughes is appended below.)

It may not be fair, though, to say they arose from “nowhere,” because the website registration clearly says that they emanate from the fossil (fuel) capital of Drumheller, Alberta - from the same small server that harbours Friends of Science.

The site is a typical retread of the same old discredited arguments. They claim global average temperatures are falsely inflated by the heat island effect, when that has easily and repeatedly been proved incorrect. They say that ice is getting thicker on Greenland and in the Antarctic without bothering to address the fact that ice mass in total is declining at a worrying rate in the North and South poles.

Wed, 2010-05-26 15:01Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Friends of Gin and Tonic: Drunk on Science and Satire

“Denier” Site Best New Addition to the Web

Run on over to Friends of Gin and Tonic, a website being run by a Calgary-based centre dedicated to “Self Interest and Climate Change Denial.”

FOGT is a quirky mixture of satire and science. It’s a highly entertaining send-up of the Friends of Science (an organization that is silly enough to require very little satirizing), but it’s also a wonderful fact-checking site that is clearly being run by people who are solid on the science.

Unlike FOS material, the FOGT references are actually current, correct and represent that best science available today. The high-quality analysis - especially the debunking of denier material - can get confusing as writers flip sometimes too quickly between send-up and science. But it anyone who had NOT been dipping into the gin - or paying too much attention to the Tim Ball brigade is sure to be able to sort it all out. And regardless, it’s well worth the ride. Very funny and very well-informed.

Pages

Subscribe to Friends of Science