Friends of Science

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.”

Patterson, Wente: bringing ideological blindness to the people

In a laughable Margaret Wente column (forgiving the redundancy) in the Globe and Mail this week, we were called upon to feel sorry for Carleton University professor Dr. Tim Patterson:

Prof. Patterson never set out to be a global-warming dissenter. “It’s my bad luck. I just go where the research takes me.”

This may be true in some parallel universe, but Prof. Patterson is famously reticent to let his research take him beyond 1980, when the evidence for his favorite thesis falls to ruins.

Friends of Science Caught in the Gauntlet

The Friends of Science - the nearly bankrupted Canadian climate change denial organization - comes under fire in the University of Calgary student newspaper, the Gauntlet, which asks a few pointed questions about why the university has not done more to sever the frequent (and financial) associations between Friends and the school.

Most particularly, Jon Roe at the Gauntlet suggests that Professor Barry Cooper, a political scientist who has promoted the connection and helped hide the oily source of the Friends' declining revenue , should be held accountable for having damaged the university's reputation by his actions.

Good News: Friends of Science Running Out of Friends

The most recent newsletter from the Calgary-based oil-industry front, the Friends of Science, offers two bits of heartening news:

First, FOS reports that “Our financial support is presently approaching an all time low.”

Second, the continuing effort by the University of Calgary to distance itself from FOS affairs has forced the organization to cancel a climate “debate” conference. 

Friends of Science "educational funding" facing U of C audit?

UPDATE: sent this email to the University of Calgary today requesting an update. I'll let you know what I hear back.  

According to this email exchange (pdf.) posted to sourcewatch, it looks like the University of Calgary is considering an audit of the controversial 'Science Education Fund' that was used to fund the oil-industry backed so-called 'Friends of Science.'

The exchange is dated back to March, 2007 with no further updates. I've sent off an email to the University of Calgary requesting an update.

If any of our readers has an update, send me an email at desmogblog [at] gmail.com.

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