The following letter was sent to the National Post yesterday, Friday, Nov. 24, 2006, a much-edited version ran in the business section today. We reprint the entire letter here for your interest.
I must respond to a series of unwarranted attacks by Financial Post Editor Terence Corcoran on me personally and on DeSmogBlog.com that I run, independent of my business (James Hoggan & Associates).
I acknowledge, without reservation, that I made an error in a fifth estate television interview broadcast on Nov. 15, 2006. In discussing an anti-climate-change petition submitted in April to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I overstated how many of the 60 signatories were also involved in the tobacco industry’s well-documented campaign to deny the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
I recognize that this error may have given offence to the legitimate experts who signed that petition – people like University of Alberta mathematician Dr. Gordon Swaters (who has said since that he was persuaded to add his name under false pretences). I would like to apologize to those individuals unreservedly.
I object, however, that Mr. Corcoran is attempting to use this mistake to deny that certain self-proclaimed climate experts are participating in a war on science, trying to confuse the public about climate change. Even the prestigious Royal Society of London has complained to ExxonMobil for paying “experts” who deny that climate change is a problem.
Having worked for 30 years to maintain a high ethical standard, I feel the public has a right to know that a number of industry-funded “experts” are not performing science; they are participating in a public relations campaign that brings shame to my chosen profession.
That’s why I’m speaking out. That’s why I started the DeSmogBlog: and will continue to use it to show when the public is being misled. That, finally, is why I object so strenuously to the bias in the pages of the Financial Post.