Tom Harris

Tom Harris

​Tom Harris

 Credentials

  • B. Eng. (thermofluids).
  • M. Eng. (thermofluids).

Source: [1]

 Background

Tom Harris is the Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), a group of climate change skeptics that has received funding from the Heartland Institute. Before starting work with ICSC, Harris was the Executive Director of the now-defunct Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP)

Prior to working with the NRSP, Harris was a Director of Operations of the Ottawa office of a Canadian PR and lobbying firm called the High Park Group (HPG). Harris has also worked with APCO worldwide, a group known for creating The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) which worked to advance tobacco industry interests.

Stance on Climate Change

Tom Harris's International Climate Science Coalition asserts that “global warming has generally been highly beneficial,” and that “Global climate is always changing in accordance with natural causes and recent changes are not unusual.” [2]

Key Quotes

We want to use the tools of the pros when it comes to lobbying. That's not something our group is focused especially on, but other groups like Heartland are indeed good in that area. We want to, of course, continue to conduct good science and to promote its use through climate policy. Now there are various groups doing this already and I'm sure you've heard of them all, I won't list them, but there are several components missing, and these are things that we hope to incorporate into the new International Climate Science Coalition.

“We need regular high-impact media coverage of the findings of leading scientists – not just one or two publications but we need to have hundreds all over the world. We need to have a high degree of information sharing and cooperation between groups so that when Vincent Gray, for example, has an article published in New Zealand, we can take the same piece, and we can (say) submit it to newspapers all over North America and Europe. Then we have a nicely well-coordinated response where letters to the editor and phone calls are made, 'Congratulations on publishing that article!'

“You know, it's interesting because I've had many of my articles opposed so strongly by environmentalists through phone calls and letters to the editor that they just simply dry up; they just won't publish us again. So this does have feedback, I mean, these are people that run these newspapers and they're scared, and impressed, and encouraged, depending on the feedback they get.

“We have to have grassroots organizations doing exactly that kind of thing coordinated local activism. And finally, as I said, we need unbiased polling and good press coverage.” [3]

Key Deeds

July 7 - 9, 2014

Tom Harris was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [13]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9.

March, 2014

Harris supports comments made by climate science denialist and creationist scientist Roy Spencer, of the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

Dr. Spencer had said he would be using the phrase “global warmng Nazi” to describe anyone who had used the term “deniers” in reference to people's position on human-caused climate change. 

In a comment on Spencer's blog, Mr. Harris said: “Those who personally attack others in despicable ways simply because they disagree with their opinions on science matters are indeed behaving like Nazis. They are clearly trying to silence opposition through bully boy tactics, just like the Nazis.”

Harris referred readers to a radio phone-in, where he had called CFRA 580 News Talk Radio host Nick Vandergragt to complain of what he claimed was unfair treatment at the hands of environment group Ecology Ottawa.  Harris told Vandergragt:

The environmental groups are not just.. like.. you know, home clubs that get together and talk about the weather. They actually affect society. They write letters, they go out and protest and actually take action and they are changing our society and they are ruining our society.

February, 2014

Tom Harris appears as part of a three-person panel on international radio program Voice of Russia alongside Benny Peiser, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and Georgy Safonov, of Russia's Higher School of Economics. 

Harris tells listeners that Russian solar scientists were predicting “a new little Ice Age by around 2055”.  He said that the “massive problems that we have due to climate change occur all the time” and said conditions could return to “global cooling” and those felt by Napoleonic forces in their 1812 invasion of Russia.

November 6, 2013

Tom Harris appears on Canada's Sun News Network to discuss the case of “climate refugees.” Harris says, “This is a real problem. If we bow to this, there's all sorts of other things we're going to have to bow to. For example, right now, Micronesia, believe it or not, is suing the government of the Czech Republic because of their coal stations because Micronesia says that the CO2 emissions from the Czech Republic are destroying the corals and making the islands sink … It has nothing to do with the West and our CO2 consumption.” [12]

See the video, below:

May 21 - 23, 2012

Tom Harris was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland's ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations.

February, 2012

The Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS) issues a damning report into a university climate change course being delivered by Tom Harris to students at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

CASS researched materials being used by Harris in his course, titled “Climate Change: An Earth Sciences Perspective” and found more than 140 errors. The authors also found that four guest lecturers and contributors chosen by Harris to supplement the materials were all associatied with Harris' climate change denial PR group the International Climate Science Coalition.

CASS said:

On auditing the course, CASS discovered that key messages for students contradict accepted scientific opinion. These messages include: denying that current climate change has an anthropogenic cause; dismissing the problems that carbon dioxide emissions cause because CO2 is plant food; denying the existence of the scientific consensus on the causes of climate change; and claiming that we should prepare instead for global cooling.

In a CBC news report, Harris defended the course and said he saw nothing that needed correcting. 

July, 2011

Harris was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change.  [4]

See a video of his speech below:

June, 2011

An International Climate Science Coalition strategy and fundraising document, compiled by Tom Harris, discusses the group's PR plan.  The plan includes an extensive campaign to place opinion columns and letters in newspapers and online media websites and to call radio phone-in programmes. The document says:

For rational public policy to triumph in spite of the powerful obstacles we face will require that the vast majority of the public and opinion leaders from across the political spectrum come to regard man-made global warming fears as unfounded and regularly say that it is unfounded

Elsewhere in the document, Harris writes:

To avoid electricity brown-outs, then black-outs, fuel shortages and soaring costs, we must derail the climate change scaremongering that is driving these dangerous trends. If we don’t, unemployment will rise quickly as companies and governments face debilitating energy costs. Collateral economic damage will be most severe in rural areas that are already seriously challenged. Reduced funding for education, health care, defense, science and worthwhile environmental programs will follow, eventually threatening national security.

March 4, 2008

Harris's ICSC promotes the Manhattan Declaration which states that “global warming is not a global crisis” and that “there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.” [5]

The declaration was agreed at the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change.

Harris was also a speaker at 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. In his speech, Harris discussed “information sharing” and “coordinated local activism” for climate change skeptics. See video of his presentation below:


November 7, 2006

Some suggest that Tom Harris has edited the Wikipedia page for the Natural Resources Stewardship Project to remove his connection to the High Park Group. [6]

Harris also made numerous attempts to modify the information on his SourceWatch page as well as the SourceWatch pages for the Natural Resources Stewardship Project and Friends of Science.

November, 2006

Harris posted comments on numerous blogs and websites criticizing the CBC's documentary, The Denial Machine.

 Affiliations

The International Climate Science Coalition

Harris is the executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC).  The Coalition is an organization of scientists, economists and policy experts who have united to promote a better public understanding of climate science.  In particular, the International Climate Science Coalition offers an alternative to science projections and policy recommendation of the United Nations' International Panel on Climate Change.

The ICSC regularly publishes information denying the theory of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.  Its science and policy advisory boards are filled with climate change skeptics, including  Tim Ball, David Bellamy, Scott Armstrong, Vincent Gray, Kesten Green, Chris de Freitas and Nils-Axel Morner.

High Park Group

Harris was the Director of Operations of the Ottawa office of the High Park Group until October, 2006. The High Park Group is a lobbying organization for the energy industry.

Harris has attempted to remove this fact from the NRSP entry on Wikipedia and Sourcewatch. He also denied his employment with the High Park Group in a comment on Deltoid.

His by-line in some Canada Free Press articles was misleading, calling him “a mechanical engineer and Executive Director of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project.” But in articles published in the Windsor Star, Vancouver Sun, the Hawaii Reporter and even another in Canada Free Press, Harris is listed as “a mechanical engineer and Ottawa director of High Park Group, a public affairs and public policy company.”

Harris's connection has been removed from the High Park Group website, and archived records have also been deleted according to SourceWatch.

APCO Worldwide

In 2005, Harris was listed as an “associate” for the public relations firm APCO Worldwide, with his areas of expertise being communications; science; technology; energy and environment. [7]

APCO was hired by Philip Morris in 1993 to create a front group titled The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC). TASSC manufactured a public relations campaign with the purpose of discrediting any science that suggested tobacco increased cancer and heart problems. It also advocated industry-friendly positions on global warming and pesticides. TASSC labeled environmentalists as promoting “junk science” whale the Coalition advocated what they describe as “sound science.”

Apart from Philip Morris, APCO also received funding from Chevron, ExxonMobil (at least $30,000), Dow Chemical, the National Pest Control Association, 3M, and numerous tobacco and oil companies.

The Natural Resource Stewardship Project (NRSP)

Harris was formerly the Executive Director for the now-defunct Canadian lobby group called the “Natural Resource Stewardship Project” (NRSP). [8]

Two of the three directors on the board of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project were also senior executives of the High Park Advocacy Group, a Toronto-based lobby firm that specializes in “energy, environment and ethics.” [9]

The NRSP was also home to the prolific climate change skeptic Dr. Tim Ball.

 Publications

According to a search of Google Scholar, Tom Harris has not published any articles in peer-reviewed journals.

 Resources

  1. “'Climate change is REAL' - well, so what else is new?” NRSP (blog), November 6, 2006.”

  2. Core Principles,” International Climate Science Coalition. Accessed December, 2011.

  3. Youtube Video. “Global warming 'skepticism' – 'coordinated local activism',” uploaded by user frankbi on September 29, 2008. This is an excerpt of Harris's speech at the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change.

  4. Speakers,” Sixth International Conference on Climate Change. Accessed December, 2011.

  5. Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change,” The International Climate Science Coalition.

  6. Tim Lambert. “Now Really Secret Payments,” Deltoid, November 7, 2006.

  7. Ottowa Key Staff, APCO Worldwide. Archived June 5, 2004.

  8. NRSP People,” Natural Resources Stewardship Project. Archived February 13, 2007.

  9. Our Team,” High Park Group. Archived July 1, 2006.

  10. Tom Harris,” SourceWatch Profile.

  11. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Tom Harris.

  12. Tom Harris on Sun News: Phony Climate Refugees,” Heartland Institute, November 6, 2013.

  13. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.

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