It is understandable that donors do not wish to be publicly engaged in controversy. This is particularly true of GWPF, where the soil we till is highly controversial, and anyone who puts their head above the parapet has to be prepared to endure a degree of public vilification. For that reason we offer all our donors the protection of anonymity. However, in order to reassure those who might otherwise doubt our complete independence, our Protocol for the Acceptance of Gifts lays down that we do not accept donations either from the energy industry or from anyone with a significant interest in the energy industry. This was formally resolved at the first meeting of our Board of Trustees. Nor, for that matter, do we accept money from government.
This week Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, delivered the foundation's annual lecture in London. During his speech
, posted on the GWPF website
, Cardinal Pell claims global warming has "stopped", that CO2 is "not a pollutant, but part of the stuff of life" and that if CO2 in the atmosphere was doubled, then "plants would love it".
We call on all people and nations to recognise the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses. We appeal to all nations to develop and implement, without delay, effective and fair policies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change on communities and ecosystems, including mountain glaciers and their watersheds, aware that we all live in the same home.
In a report on Independent Catholic News
, several Catholic figures accused Cardinal Pell of being out of step with the science. Tim Aldred, head of policy at Catholic charity Progressio
, told ICN: "It is strange that the Cardinal calls for action only on the basis of evidence, whilst apparently dismissing the evidence-based conclusions of (amongst others) the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and NASA."
In February, Cardinal Pell was criticised
by the director of Australia's Bureau of Meteorology Dr Greg Ayers during a Senate hearing.
Dr Ayers said the Cardinal appeared to be taking his climate change science from Heaven and Earth - a book by Australian geologist and mining company director Professor Ian Plimer, who is also on the GWPF academic advisory council.
Dr Ayers said the book was "misleading to all Australians". He also noted that Cardinal Pell had previously written, incorrectly, that nitrogen was a greenhouse gas.