Friends of Science

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?

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) organization. [2]

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.)

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]:

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.

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.

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