NRSP: Lobbying Without Accountability

Thu, 2007-02-01 19:34Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

NRSP: Lobbying Without Accountability

“If Canada delayed CO2 reduction decisions by, say, a year, while the science was more closely examined, what would be the impact on global climate?

“Essentially none.”

Tom Harris, the Natural Resources Stewardship Project

The piece from which the above quote is taken, published on the ever accommodating “Canada Free Press” site, is typical of the material produced by Tom Harris, PR guy extraordinaire, whose former boss, Timothy Egan at the Toronto-based lobby firm, the High Park Group, urged Tom to start the Natural Resources Stewardship Project to lobby Canadian government and the Canadian public on climate change.

The NRSP 's stated purpose is to block the passage of any climate change regulation. And the High Park Group is an energy industry specialist that would have to declare the source of the funding for this lobby effort if Tom Harris was still operating in-house.

Now, surprise, Tom can solicit “scientific” assistance and work full-time trying to colour Canadians' understanding of this issue, while refusing to say who's paying his bills.

We can only guess.

Previous Comments

“It is a bit like a hockey game where the majority insists on playing without learning to skate or use a hockey stick.”

It seems to me that it is the minority who are tightly grasping onto a hockey stick. The majority has seen the usefulness of the “hockey stick” but realize that there is much more to the science than just that. They have advanced beyond the one horse race that the deniers are still holding onto in the hope that the referee will call a penalty for “playing with a broken stick”. Unfortunately for them, the stick is a good old-fashioned wooden one that will not break.

If the science is uncertain, how can Mr Harris make the assertion that one year doesn’t matter? It’s like the old pairing of: “Global Warming isn’t happening AND Kyoto isn’t even sufficient to tackle the scale of the problem…um…the one that isn’t happening.”
If they want to play the up the uncertainty, it’s up to reasonable people to point out that there is uncertainty in the other direction. Uncertainty should not be cause for confident inaction. If it’s such an important issue to them to nail down the uncertainty, then why don’t they fund research rather than op/ed essays?
That has to go down in the books as champion double-talk for avoiding a question:

What is your background as it relates to climate science?

Most of those grabbing the spotlight on this issue have little or no post-secondary training in science or technology, let alone the exceptionally complex field of global climate change. While politicians apparently don’t think it necessary to ask for the climate-related credentials of those who testify before government committees, the rest of us should stop making this mistake. As Professors Chris Essex and Ross McKitrick explained in their award-winning book, Taken by Storm, “the stage is populated by many people whose desire to save the world is deemed an acceptable, even preferable, substitute for technical understanding… It is a bit like a hockey game where the majority insists on playing without learning to skate or use a hockey stick.” Activists are as entitled to express their opinions as anyone, but Canadians must take what they are told about climate science from those with no formal science education with a rather large grain of salt.
ha ha, the one point that they feel fits their story, 440 million years ago, comes up again.

Harris started this thread at Free Dominion, linking to an NRSP press release about the IPCC report:

“http://www.freedominion.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=74944&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0”>

Of course, in that forum Harris is preaching to the gullible choir. I apologize to anyone who visits there and finds their IQ has gone down as a result.

But it is interesting that Harris starts threads in the FD forum “Conservative Party of Canada Issues” instead of the one called “Global Warming and Other Junk Sciences” or the forum called “Fight Kyoto” (named after Ezra Levant’s book). And the NRSP press release argues that the IPCC report has been politicized. How hypocritical!

Sorry, that link above doesn’t work right: FD link
No kidding - what a lot of bitter people who feel left behind somehow. http://www.freedominion.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=74944&start=0

Harris posted on another Free Dominion thread at this link here. The fourth post down, with a link to a CFRA radio call-in show recording, where Harris sounds like a plausible rogue indeed, who just wants PM Harper to spend a year letting Canadians study the science.

The recording starts abruptly, and it’s not clear whether he had been described by the radio host as someone with an agenda, or just presented as an ordinary caller. Later in the call he mentions his NRSP group and how it has been smeared, etc., etc.