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Denial-a-palooza Round 4: 'International Conference on Climate Change' Groups Funded by Exxon, Koch Industries

In what has become an annual non-event, the Heartland Institute will gather the who’s-who of the global warming denial network together in Chicago this weekend for the fourth International Conference on Climate Change

As in years past, the event is expected to receive very little mainstream media coverage.  The deniers like to think the reason is some liberal media conspiracy.  In reality, the lack of interest stems chiefly from the fact that this denial-a-palooza fest is dripping with oil money and represents a blatant industry effort to greenwash oil and coal while simultaneously attacking the credibility of climate scientists.

Despite the lack of press interest, the show must go on.  After all, the Chicago meet-up will provide deniers and industry front groups a chance to coordinate their ongoing efforts to smear the reputation of the IPCC, and they can reminisce about the Climategate non-scandal like boys in the schoolyard kicking around a rusty old can.

For insight into the underlying aim of the Chicago denier conference, let us take a look at the funding sources for the sponsoring organizations.

Institute for Energy Research Admits It Was Behind Anti-Wind Study

Danish journalists have confirmed that The Institute for Energy Research commissioned and paid for the anti-wind energy study released last year by a Danish think tank that claimed Denmark exaggerates the amount of wind energy it produces (it doesn’t), questioned whether wind energy reduces carbon emissions (it does), and asserted that the U.S. should choose coal over wind because it’s cheaper (it’s not when you count the true costs of coal).

The Copenhagen Post reports:
“A controversial report critical of the wind energy industry from conservative think tank CEPOS was commissioned and paid for by an American think tank with close ties to the coal and oil industries.”

That American think tank is the Institute for Energy Research, which has received $307,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998 and unknown additional sums from other oil and coal industry sources.  The Guardian reported last year that the Institute for Energy Research has received recent funding from KBR and trusts set up by Koch Industries, which has multiple ties to IER and its sister organization American Energy Alliance.

Plagiarism? Conspiracies? Felonies? Breaking out the Wegman File

Did Edward Wegman’s team commit plagiarism in preparing its 2006 Congressional report on the so-called MBH Hockey Stick? Objectively, yes.

Is there a conspiracy to confuse and distort climate science? Absolutely. If you doubt it, read the John Mashey paper attached (or our book, Climate Cover-up).

Have any crimes been committed? That’ll be for a judge to decide. But given that misleading Congress is a felony offense, there might be some justifable nervousness among the people who coached Wegman through his attack on the scientistists behind the Hockey Stick.

The inspiration for these questions, and some fodder for the answers, is presented in painstaking and well-documented detail in the attached paper (see new version 1.0.1, updated Feb 11, 2010). Prepared by the computer scientist and entrepreneur John Mashey, it is a roadmap, a reference source and a timeline for the campaign of deceit that began in the 1990s and has come to something of a crescendo with the recent thefts of the East Anglia emails.

The Cato Institute and Patrick Michaels - It's a Small World After All

It’s not often the public gets to follow the money trail, so it was a treat this week when PR Watch revealed the Cato Institute has been bankrolling a consulting company owned by notorious climate denier Patrick Michaels to the tune of $242,900 since April 2006.

Michaels is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and according to tax documents uncovered by PR Watch for 2006 and 2007, Cato ponyed up almost a quarter million to Michaels’ firm New Hope Environmental Services for “environmental policy” services.

Small world eh?

Ad features 100 scientists willing to stoke the climate crisis

Who on earth might have, say, half a million dollars to drop on an advertising campaign aimed at getting Americans to doubt the well-established science of climate change?

Well, if you answered “the oil industry,” you might be on a good track. The Cato Institute, which sponsored a series of full-page ads in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, is famously a paid apologist for organizations like the American Petroleum Institute (API).

We know, for example, that the API has been conspiring since the late 1990s, to sow doubt and confusion about climate science. And the signatories to this new ad - these “100 scientists” - also include a large group that has added handsomely to their livelihood in the last 10 years by taking money from think tanks and coal companies to deny climate change.

Ivar Giaever

ivar-giaever

Ivar Giaever

 Credentials

  • Ph.D., Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1964).
  • Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Norwegian Institute of Technology (1952).

Source: [1]

Friends of Science: Facts from the Coal Industry's Favourite Scientist

There are few people in the climate change denial industry who have Pat Michaels' demonstrated willingness to cuddle up to big coal.

So, it's no surprise that the discredited Friends of Science chose Michaels as keynote speaker for the Friends' Fifth Annual Luncheon Event.

You Might Die - But it Will Cost Too Much To Do Anything So Let's Not.

If you were told that you had a fatal disease and a Doctor told you how to get better, but then an economist came along and told you that the cost of treating you would be too high so it would be better not to do anything - would you sit there and wait to die?

It's that kind of inane logic that governs this quote from Cato Institute Senior fellow, Jerry Taylor who said, “scientists are in no position to intelligently guide public policy on climate change.” Scientists can lay out scenarios, but it is up to economists to weigh the costs and benefits and many of them say the costs of cutting emissions are higher than the benefits”.

Why Exxon makes Koch Giggle

As regular readers of DeSmogBlog know, ExxonMobil has been a regular target of bad ink for their continued funding of “think” tanks and industry associations that spread misinformation about the scientific evidence for human-caused global warming.

While Exxon is continuously vilified as the leader of the attack on climate change science, the Koch Foundation is heavily involved in the same type of activity, but receives very little of the bad press.

Anyone want to start www.kochsecrets.org?

Open Market not open for discussion

As part of DeSmog's daily scan of who's saying what and where about climate
 
change, we of course troll the numerous blogs run by the climate change denial lobby. One thing that is striking is the number of these blogs that do not allow you to comment on the posts they write.

Here are a couple of examples, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's blog, the “Open” Market and the Cato Institute's Cato-at-Liberty.

This is “blog spin” pure and simple. By not allowing comments on your site, there is no sharing of ideas or disagreement, which is one of the best features, if not the most most important and beneficial aspects, of blog technology.

So Cato and CEI, get down from your preaching pulpit and open up your blogs to your fans and, of course, your detractors. What are you afraid of?

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