It's Official: Fraser Institute Re-releases Leaked Summary

The Exxon-funded Fraser Institute officially released its Independent Summary for Policy Makers (ISPM) today, confirming that the version leaked here on the DeSmogBlog last week was authentic.

The Institute also announced that it has scheduled an ongoing attack on the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, promising a “Fraser Institute Supplementary Analysis Series” on topics such as “Fundamental Uncertainties in Climate Modelling.”

Still, the denial community is likely to be disappointed with this effort. While hostile analysts were able to imagine serious flaws in the IPCC's Third Assessment Report, this “Independent” summary can do little more than cling to the dwindling uncertainty that the IPCC itself defines in the most forthright way.

Perhaps most pathetic are the ISPM's “Supplementary Information” sections, in which the Fraser Institute's “experts” add information that they deem under-reported in the 1,600-page IPCC report. For example, the ISPM reports recent record-breaking snowfalls in New York, Boston and Atlantic Canada, introducing the section with this banal question:

“”Record-breaking” local hot weather events are sometimes promoted as evidence of global warming. What can we infer if record-breaking cold weather events begin to accumulate in some local data?”

They neglect to mention that such weather anomalies are predicted in the most rudimentary climate models.

Even more sophomoric is the Fraser Institute's argument in a “Supplementary Information” section entitled “Defining 'Climate Change:'”

“If the climate is nonstationary, a change in the mean is consistent with an ‘unchanged’ climate.”

You can almost imagine the assembled “scientists” sitting around a table, shouting: “Ah ha! We sure got them on that one.”

Then, they conclude the whole analysis by wondering aloud “whether or not such (climate) change is a good or bad thing.”

Even if the energy industry's tracks were not evident on this report, it's hard to believe that any but the most agenda-driven deniers could take it seriously.


Congrats to you on the fine work you and others have done with this story. The moment the Frasers’ put out their 2nd media advisory announcing that they were ‘upping’ security at their event, I knew that a concerted effort by progressive bloggers had made its mark and that these scoundrels were nervous. The fight to inform and enlighten goes on … but this time the Fraser Institute has been caugut in their propaganda exercise, and your role was NOT minor. ‘Good on ya!’ leftdog from BUCKDOG

Yes, congratulations to DeSmogBlog for an important contribution.

Nevertheless, as Winston Churchill said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

There is still the question of action. Canadian SUV sales were up 17% last year; demand for energy continues to rise dramatically; Alberta’s government is not interested in slowing down oil sands extraction; the Federal Natural Resources Minister wants to use a CANDU reactor for oil sands extraction; the provincial government in British Columbia is similarly inclined with oil & gas exploration subsidization; highway construction support (e.g. widening Highway 1 & twinning Port Mann bridge), and providing tax relief on luxury vehicle purchases; basic transit in the Lower Mainland is woefully inadequate; increased fuel economy standards are not currently on the horizon…

There is a major gulf between talk and action. The PR industry can make a significant contribution to bridging that gap. Unfortunately, it is used more in the service of consumption, which is what has landed us in this predicament.

As I was saying…

Here’s an article in today’s The Province detailing how Alberta and the Canadian auto industry (including its union) don’t want to make significant changes. Rather, they want to go with plan “GHG Lite” phased in as slowly as possible.

Of course they like to frame the issue as a choice between the environment and the economy, which is a false choice. If the Canadian auto industry were more proactive, like the Japanese manufacturers, in making hybrids (and even moving towards fully electric cars), Kyoto would not “cripple their bottom line.”

That second advisory looked to me to be a transparent effort to get more coverage. We’ll see how well it works. It’s a bit early yet to see the Tuesday papers, but as of this moment I can’t find any coverage.