Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, or CFACT Campus, the student wing of Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, wrapped up its student climate and energy conference, the Truth 2 Power Conference. The Cable, Wisconsin conference was a direct response to the “dangerous agenda” of PowerShift2011. Apparently, finding solutions to effectively fight climate change and ensure a clean energy future are too much for CFACT’s big polluter interests and they had to fight back.
Truth 2 Power sought to teach participants about “the lies associated with the “Global Warming” agenda” and about “innovative and realistic solutions for tomorrows environmental challenges”.
The conference really represents a grab to ensure dirty energy industries stay entrenched. CFACT is a member and organizer of the Cooler Heads Coalition and National Consumer Coalition. CFACT received $710,000 between 1991 and 2002 from Richard Mellon Scaife controlled foundations, the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. Its Board of Academic and Scientific Advisors is lined with the glitterati of climate skeptics and industry-funded scientists.
According to Greenpeace, CFACT Campus received $12,285 in Kochtopus funding in 2009. As Greenpeace notes, “CFACT students paradoxically run small-scale environmentally themed events, such as beach clean ups, while disrupting international climate negotiations and supporting broader policies designed to shut out clean energy development and perpetuate the burning of fossil fuels”.
The conference featured the usual line up of guest speakers, including Christopher Monckton, and FOX News favourite Marc Morano as well as Randy Eminger, Alex Epstein Mike Franklin, South African nuclear physicist and CFACT International Board Member Kelvin Kemm, and Roy Spencer.
Randy Eminger is the Vice President for South Region of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and oversees studies, develops coalitions and negotiates positions to ensure that filthy coal continues to play a key role in meeting America’s growing demand for electricity. He also serves as vice chairman of the board of the Clean Coal Technology Foundation of Texas.
Alex Epstein is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, and focuses primarily on energy issues. He spoke at the American Freedom Alliance’s 2011 climate denial, anti-sustainability conference entitled “Big Footprint: Is Green the New Tyranny” alongside Christopher Monckton, Steve Milloy and Benny Peiser. The Ayn Rand Institute received $50,000 from Koch foundations between 1997 and 2009.
Mike Franklin is an attorney, Minnesota government relations professional experienced “in mobilizing key grassroots networks to achieve desired legislative outcomes”. He is an Associate and Manager of Grassroots Practice with Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. He spent 6 and a half years as the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Energy and Elections policy.
According to an application from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities from CFACT for $100,000 to operate on campus, Mark Franklin is an “energy lobbyist for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce” who can talk about natural gas, wind, and nuclear energies.
Kelvin Kemm is a technology strategy consultant and runs his own company, Stratek. Stratek’s environmental policy mirrors that of CFACT: it favours free-market principles. Their Green and Gold Forum represents environmental concern and awareness as the duty of every responsible citizen, alongside economic progress. As you might imagine, there is a formal link between Stratek’s Green and Gold Forum and CFACT.
Kemm has worked as a scientist for the Atomic Energy Corporation of South Africa and has worked in many industrial sectors. He is not a climate scientist.
Roy Spencer sits on board for the polluter-funded Marshall Institute. According to ExxonSecrets, he is a Science Roundtable Member at Tech Central Station, and a Scientific Advisor to the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance. He is also a Cornwall Alliance contributing scientist and co-author of our “Call to Truth”. He is a member of the Heartland Institute.
CFACT’s Truth 2 Power is a sad example of dirty energy astroturf making its way onto college campuses. Parading climate change skepticism and astroturf is one thing, but doing it on campuses is quite another. Too bad CFACT couldn’t gather more than a dozen attendees to spread their polluter agenda to.