Mitchell Anderson

Primary tabs

Mitchell Anderson's picture

Personal Information

Profile Info

Mitchell Anderson is a Vancouver based researcher and writer.

He worked for eight years as a staff scientist at Sierra Legal Defence Fund and has written extensively on environmental and social policy issues for a variety of national and international publications.

His blog is found at:

The Real “Climategate” Story – Current Climate Satellites are Woefully Inadequate

The media missed the real story about the so-called “climate-gate” scandal.

After thousands of emails were mysteriously stolen from the University of East Anglia and distributed just before the climate conference in Copenhagen, many news outlets seemed content to report the story as it was presented to them rather than bothering to read the emails in the context they were written.

A closer look at these candid messages reveals a very different problem than the supposed scientific conspiracy theory that’s been in high rotation in the media. This previously unreported story also shows why launching the long-mothballed Deep Space Climate Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is more urgent now than ever.

Lets start with perhaps the most widely distributed and misunderstood of the stolen emails, of October 12, 2009 from Dr. Keith Trenberth to Michael Mann, which reads:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

Climate Criminal Action Figures?

Check out this fine compendium of the world’s most prominent climate cranks in this week’s Rolling Stone. Tim Dickinson succinctly summarizes the wretched roles played by seventeen of the worst offenders in preventing climate progress.

Among the guilty:

  • The Profiteer -Warren Buffett CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
  • The Disinformer - Rupert Murdoch CEO, News Corporation
  • Burning Man - Rex Tillerson CEO, ExxonMobil
  • The Drudge of Denial - Marc Morano Founder, Climate Depot
  • God’s Denier - Sen. James Inhofe Republican, Oklahoma
  • The Pundit - George Will Commentator, ABC

Collect them all at the Rolling Stone. Maybe they should come out with action figures too…

Inhofe's Bizarre Cameo at Copenhagen

The leading elected “climate skeptic” in the United States got a taste of just how marginalized his world-view is when he breezed through Copenhagen last week.

The infamous Senator James Inhofe flew nine hours to Denmark and left hours later when he could only muster a handful of reporters to hear his conspiratorial views on climate change.

According to Politico, Inhofe’s whirlwind visit was meant to deliver two messages: that climate change is a hoax, and that the US will never pass cap and trade legislation.

Decked out in black snakeskin cowboy boots, Inhofe’s loopy views did not seem to win over the few reporters on hand to hear them in the conference centre stairwell.

A reporter asked: “If there’s a hoax, then who’s putting on this hoax, and what’s the motive?”

It started in the United Nations,” Inhofe said, “and the ones in the United States who really grab ahold of this is the Hollywood elite.”

One reporter asked Inhofe if he was referring to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another reporter — this one from Der Spiegel — told the senator: “You’re ridiculous.”

His important work done, Inhofe burned another tank of jet fuel flying back to Washington.

On a completely unrelated note, the Oklahoma politician has received $662,506 in contributions from oil companies between 2000 and 2008, making him the leading recipient of oil funding in the US Senate where he is the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

However, one should not assume Senator Inhofe is soley concerned with interests of the oil industry. He also received $152,800 in coal contributions during the 110th Congress.

Army of Climate Lobbyists Descends on Ottawa

Ever wonder why Canada is so resistant to moving on climate change? Maybe it has something to do with the 1,500 climate change lobbyists pounding the halls of Parliament.

An illuminating article from the Montreal Gazette spills the beans on the explosion of carbon lobbyists shilling in our nation’s capital.

According to the Gazette, since 1996, an army of 1,570 lobbyists have descended on our nation’s capital with a specific focus on climate change. Their client list has steadily increased since that year from just 13 to 109, and you can bet that they are not representing Greenpeace.

In the first eight months of this year, the oil industry compromised the largest lobby on Parliament Hill representing 24 different companies and associations and of course all the big oil corporations. This lucrative stable of carbon clients also includes ten massive carbon emitters within the coal and mining industry.

Who Is Bankrolling the "Friends of Science"? (Part II)

The Calgary Foundation is at it again.

This prominent Alberta charity is once more shoveling money through their “Science Education Fund” to organizations and projects that seem specifically unfriendly to real science, but helpful to the Friends of Science.

The Foundation’s latest relevant gift was in the amount of $142,685 paid to the Frontier Center for Public Policy.

The last time we heard of this fund was in 2006, when the Calgary Foundation was using it to channel petro dollars through the University of Calgary to the Friends of Science, with the assistance of Dr. Barry Cooper – long-time friend and mentor of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Friends of Science were at the time running a public campaigning against climate action while denying that their funding was coming from the oil and gas industry.

Who Is Bankrolling the "Friends of Science"?

So where is all the money coming from?

In one of the worst non-profit fundraising environments in decades, how is that the so-called “Friends of Science” (FoS) who only months ago seemed to be begging for donations to keep the doors open are suddenly rolling out a national radio campaign and flashy new website likely worth more than a quarter of a million dollars?

Informed sources tell us that the FoS nation-wide radio “blitz” would cost on the order of $60,000 per week. It also seems they recently revamped their once bare bones website to a Cadillac version at a ballpark cost of around $30,000 or more.

The source of the massive infusion of mystery money remains unknown but rest assured, Desmog Blog will not rest until we get to the bottom of this.

It is also strange that an organization that is spending so much cash on paid media advertising, seems so reluctant to discuss their point of view, or supporters with the actual reporters.

We have had numerous reports of media outlets trying unsuccessfully to have FoS fess up on their curious funding windfall, or even answer the phone.

Bankrupt National Post Eats Crow on Climate Change

The sprawling stable of climate change deniers in the employ of the National Post must be choking on crow after their editorial board finally admitted earlier this month that climate change is real, dangerous and caused by humans.

According to the Post:

The Earth is warming, and human activity is likely to blame. Climates are changing across the world, including in Canada’s far north. In other parts of the world, some crops will fail, some species will be pressed to extinction and some low-lying territories will be flooded.

Imagine that. Only about two decades after the scientific community came to exactly the same conclusion, Canada’s most business-friendly newspaper has belatedly acknowledged that several of its most prominent and vociferous critics of climate science don’t apparently have a clue what they are talking about.

This terse editorial flip-flop is apparently meant to smooth over years of printing polemics to the contrary from the likes of Terence Corcoran and Lorne Gunter.

Robert Redford's Sundance Channel Broadcasts Climate Denier Propaganda

Much-loved actor and director Robert Redford launched the Sundance Channel fourteen years ago to broadcast independent and progressive films from around the world.

It is therefore surprising that the network chose to broadcast the notoriously inaccurate “Great Global Warming Swindle” this week.

When this pseudo-scientific “documentary” was first broadcast on British television to an audience of 2.5 million in 2007, real scientists were appalled. The British Antarctic Survey released a statement that “any scientist found to have falsified data in the manner of the [film] would be guilty of serious professional misconduct.”

The film was so loopy that several of the individual scientists featured in the “documentary” released their own statements to show how their interviews were used out of context to support the flat-Earth view that climate change was not real.

Dr. Carl Wunsch, a professor of Oceanography at MIT released a statement that read in part:

I believe that climate change is real, a major threat, and almost surely has a major human-induced component… Many of us [in the scientific community] feel an obligation to talk to the media—it’s part of our role as scientists, citizens, and educators… Channel 4 now says they were making a film in a series of “polemics”. There is nothing in the communication we had …that suggested they were making a film that was one-sided, anti-educational, and misleading. I took them at face value—clearly a great error.”

Groups Impersonated by Big Coal Testify Before Congress

DeSmogBlog spoke this week to one of several groups impersonated by Big Coal to block the Waxman Markey Bill, and they are not happy.

Lisa Maatz, director of public policy and government relations for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) had just finished testifying before a Congressional hearing in the fraudulent letter scam:

It was very clear to me that this was specifically targeting certain members using the names of reputable groups because those groups could be influential with those members, and it wasn’t just a fluke, it wasn’t just an accident.”

No doubt. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a coal industry umbrella group, is on track to spend an incredible $44 million on lobbying efforts in 2009. This includes almost $3 million dedicated to “outreach to individuals and groups representing the interests of minorities, seniors, business, and veterans.”

Bonner and Associates sent out numerous forged letters misrepresenting just such grassroots groups. In the case of the now-closed AAUW Charlottesville office, Bonner used the personal address of the former chapter president and the name of the late and well-loved AAUW historian Anne Waldner.

Maatz wonders: “How did they come up with that name? Clearly some work was done to find something that would feel on the surface as legitimate.”

Astroturf-Busting Hotline Launched

Groups Seek New Evidence in Bonner Scandal

A coalition of groups, including some that were impersonated by coal lobbyists fighting against U.S. climate change legislation, have banded together in search of further evidence of wrongdoing in the ballooning fraudulent letter scandal.

Five prominent non-profits have launched the “Polluter Fraud Hotline” (1-866-363-4648), inviting average citizens or industry insiders to blow the whistle on any deceptive or illegal tactics that big polluters and their lobbyists are using in opposition to clean energy legislation.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW), National Wildlife Federation, NAACP, and Center for American Progress Action Fund and Sierra Club are also calling for Congressional action to ensure that this type of orchestrated deception of elected lawmakers never happens again.