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Friends of Science
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.)
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]:
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)