In response to the Financial Post

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 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.

James Hoggan


This edit of the letter has changed its intent dramatically. It has gone from a letter objecting to Mr. Corcoran’s piece to one which makes it look like Mr. Hoggan is issuing a public and legal apology. In my opinion, the initial piece by Corcoran and the editting of Mr. Hoggan’s letter is so defamatory and objectionable, it must be actionable. I urge Mr. Hoggan to seek punitive damages as this has not only sullied his reputation nationally, but it has also done the public an enormous disservice.

Couldn’t agree more, Corcoran is way, way, way out of line and is doing himself and the national post a huge disservice! Even the President of Shell said: We have to deal with greenhouse gases. From Shell’s point of view, the debate is over. When 98 percent of scientists agree, who is Shell to say, ‘Let’s debate the science’?” today in the Washington Post.

Cocoran, as the editor of the FINANCIAL SECTION of the national post is so out of touch with the conventional wisdom of the business community, not to mention the scientific community!

Terence Corcoran used to write a column for the Globe and Mail. His opinions were so way out there, and predictable, I quit reading him many, many years ago. Thankfully, he left for the National Post, and the quality of the Globe and Mail commentary in the business section increased significantly (simply due to his absence).

So, where do you think most business people go to get an informed opinion?

The Edmonton Journal, a daily newspaper deep in the heart of Alberta knows when reporting about its race to replace its outgoing Premier:

Not only did The Globe and Mail – the preferred daily read of the nation’s corporate elite – endorse Dinning in a recent editorial, its Calgary-based business columnist, Deborah Yedlin, also gave the ex-Alberta treasurer two thumbs up.

I think that speaks volumes about how far the National (Financial) Post has fallen under his stewardship, and puts his rants into perspective.

The National Post is a Canadian English-language national newspaper based in Don Mills, Ontario, a district of Toronto. The paper is owned by CanWest Global Communications and is published every Monday through Saturday. It was founded in 1998 by media magnate Conrad Black.

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