Friends of Science

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.

McIntyre and McKitrick Unmasked

Hockey stick bashers revealed as industry goons

In a painstakingly documented review of the disinformation campaign led by the retired mining promoter Stephen McIntyre and the Fraser Institute economist-for-hire Ross McKitrick, Deep Climate has shown how badly manipulated - and how badly overblown - the so-called “hockey stick controversy” has been in the last seven or eight years.

DC also shows the complicity of think tanks such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Fraser Institute and, perhaps especially, the Canadian journalistic centre of climate change denial, the National Post.

The questionable tactics that McIntyre and McKitrick have used to discredit excellent scientists like Penn State Michael Mann have been on the record for some time. But DC is a tireless researcher, whose patience and hard work are amply demonstrated in this new post. It becomes increasingly clear that while scientists have been building an un undeniable case for the science of global warming, M&M have been working hand-in-hand with people like the denier PR guru Tom Harris to deny it all, anyway.

This post should be mandatory reading for any mainstream media reporter who wants a fair briefing on the integrity of the various voices so often quoted on this story.

Calgary Foundation: Friends of the Friends of Science

Deep Climate, the foremost expert in all details of the Friends of Science (FOS), has a dandy post speculating on who has been financing the recent FOS radio advertising campaign.

DeepC has tied the FOS campaign to the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP), which shared the “credit” for bringing the ridiculous Christopher Monckton to Canada for his recent denial tour. The intermediary is Morten Paulsen, a Conservative Party fixer who has been deeply enmeshed in previous FOS adventures.

DeepC also connects the FCPP to the Calgary Foundation and then wonders if that foundation is now sluicing money to FOS through the Frontier Centre, rather than through the old University of Calgary slush fund run by Barry Cooper.

There is, here, still no smoking gun that demonstrates who is funding the FOS campaign, but the smell of cordite is hanging in the air.

Who Is Bankrolling the "Friends of Science"?

So where is all the money coming from?

In one of the worst non-profit fundraising environments in decades, how is that the so-called “Friends of Science” (FoS) who only months ago seemed to be begging for donations to keep the doors open are suddenly rolling out a national radio campaign and flashy new website likely worth more than a quarter of a million dollars?

Informed sources tell us that the FoS nation-wide radio “blitz” would cost on the order of $60,000 per week. It also seems they recently revamped their once bare bones website to a Cadillac version at a ballpark cost of around $30,000 or more.

The source of the massive infusion of mystery money remains unknown but rest assured, Desmog Blog will not rest until we get to the bottom of this.

It is also strange that an organization that is spending so much cash on paid media advertising, seems so reluctant to discuss their point of view, or supporters with the actual reporters.

We have had numerous reports of media outlets trying unsuccessfully to have FoS fess up on their curious funding windfall, or even answer the phone.

Globe and Mail: Ad campaign takes aim at climate change

Spurred on by a speech that Jim Hoggan gave to the Canadian Empire Club in Toronto (talking about our new book, Climate Cover-up), Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, started asking questions today about who is paying for the big Friends of Science radio ad campaign that has been annoying Canadians from coast to coast for the last week or so.

The Globe’s Martin Mittelstaedt had no success finding a live representative from the Friends of Science to deny their oily connections, but Marty Ball told Mittelstaedt this about her infamous husband, the truth-challenged Tim Ball: “He’s not paid by the oil companies. He’s never had anything from them and neither [have] the Friends of Science.”

Alas for the Balls’ self-delusion, Mittelstaedt’s own paper has reported quite the opposite in the past, quoting a Friends official, Albert Jacobs, as saying that the oil and gas industry is exactly where they got their money.

Pompous Prat Alert! Viscount Monckton on Tour

Dangerously Dishonest Climate “Expert” at Large in Canada

Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is gamboling his way across Canada, acting like a character recently escaped from a Monty Python skit and inflaming the passions of climate change deniers and their favourite newspaper editors (at the National Post and the Calgary Herald). 

Monckton is being urged on and abetted by the Friends of Science, an oily front group, long derided for  trying to conceal its connections to the Calgary oil and gas community. Right wing think tanks the Fraser Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy are also sponsoring the tour. (Although the Fraser Institute has been a recipient of Exxon Mobil funding in the past, neither organization is acknowledging who is paying Monckton to suggest that we all have “the courage to do nothing” about climate change.)

Friends of Science Lurking Behind Monckton

Rush on over to Deep Climate for the full story on the Canadian tour of Christopher Walter, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. Apparently the thoroughly discredited Friends of Science are behind the tour, which includes eastern Canadian stops in Ottawa and Toronto and a particular crush of events in Calgary.

Although one of the Calgary events shows the Calgary Herald as a sponsor, Deep Climate suspects that the Calgary Foundation might once again be sluicing oily money through the “Friends” organization to help continue the campaign of climate disinformation.

Canadian "Friends of Science" Linking to U.S. Political Campaign

The organizer of a Calgary fundraising event for Republican Senator Sam Brownback has told the Globe and Mail that he also plans to divert some of the income to Friends of Science, a Canadian “not-for-profit” group that is already facing accusations of interfering illegally in the Canadian electoral process.

It is against U.S. law for Canadian citizens to financially support U.S. political campaigns, so Canadians cannot donate directly to Senator Brownback. It is, as yet, unreported how Friends of Science intends spend any income generated from this new source, but the organization has a history of financing highly political advertising campaigns during the course of an election.

Friends of Science: Facts from the Coal Industry's Favourite Scientist

There are few people in the climate change denial industry who have Pat Michaels' demonstrated willingness to cuddle up to big coal.

So, it's no surprise that the discredited Friends of Science chose Michaels as keynote speaker for the Friends' Fifth Annual Luncheon Event.

Friends of Science Investigation Eliciting Not-So-Friendly Reaction

Canwest News Service reporter Mike DeSouza blogs about the dial tones and not-so-nice responses he's receiving as he continues to investigate the “Friends of Science” and their connections to the Conservative Party of Canada.

One pretty outrageous exchange came when he called Mike Byfield, the editor of the Daily Oil Bulletin Magazine. After a few initial questions, Byfield told DeSouza that:

I'm going to drop out at this point… F- off.”

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