AEI Linked to Fraser Institute

Kenneth Green, the “visiting scholar” who last year offered $10,000 payments to any scientist who was willing to provide an “independent” analysis of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was the former Director of the Centre for Studies in Risk and Regulation at The Fraser Institute - which is set to release such an “independent analysis” on Monday.

For those who are attending the London press conference, it might be reasonable to ask if any of the contributors to this report actually received the $10,000 payment.


That Guardian article does not say when the letters were sent out; in your post here you write “last year.” Can you clarify when these letters were sent? Was it after April 2006, when the Bush administration posted the draft on the internet?

The one that was made public (by Andrew Dessler) was dated July 5th. His linked article links in turn to a pdf of the letter. On reading it again, I notice a reference to events to be held around the time of the AR4 release, which underlines the connection between the letter and the FI event. That in turn raises the interesting question of why it’s the Fraser Institute and not one of the more usual “belief tank” suspects such as AEI itself.

For the record, the only connection between AEI and Fraser Institute is that I happened to work at both places. I left Fraser Institute in May 2004, and worked for a year in a non-policy position before joining AEI. I had nothing to do with Fraser’s recent efforts on climate change, nor did I even know they had it planned. Ken Green (Yes, that Ken Green)

Ken, the Fraser Institute and the AEI have engaged in these efforts to brainwash the uninformed, confuse the uneducated, and to mislead the general public about climate change long before 2004. Their tactics have been the same for more than a decade, long before you left the FI.

Ken, it appears from a quick glance at your various “research” projects that you only conduct one type, which is trying to produce evidence that your corporate sponsor is not harming the environment and/or health of the population. It would be nice to think that as a scientist you are using sound science in your “research” but unfortunately it seems that they all use the same tactics, deny the work in the scientific literature and put your own spin on what your clients want, to make it appear as “science.”

That is dishonest Ken and is what is giving science and scientists a bad name.

Before I set pen to paper regarding climate change in 1997, I read the WGI volume of the Second Assessment report cover to cover. When I did set pen to paper, in 1997, I acknowledged the IPCC as the best source of information, acknowledged the climate is warming, and acknowledged that human causality is plausible, and probably responsible for some of the warming.

I also read WGI of the TAR cover to cover, as an expert reviewer, and accepted its major findings as well in subsequent writing.

I have NEVER been a climate science skeptic, and I invite you to read my work to see that. I AM a climate-policy skeptic, as are many many others.

As for the whole “corporate sponsors” routine, that’s just an ad hominem, and probably hypocritical slur. I doubt that you would say that your principles are bought by your employer, and that you’d say anything they want you to, and I doubt that anyone else does either.

I have news for you: With a doctorate in environmental science and engineering I could make more money in many other jobs that would use my abilities. I work in public policy because I want to protect people’s rights to live their dreams, free of government interference, unless they are hurting others *as demonstrated to the same level of certainty we all want used if accused and placed on trial.*

Given the state of climate policy in North America, you're in good company among “climate-policy skeptics.”

I acknowledge that the case against you is entirely circumstantial. AEI, your current employer, offers a $10,000 bounty to any scientist willing to criticize the IPCC report - an offer made over your signature and quickly leaked to people like us. (And that, presumably, would have discredited any report that AEI then produced.) The Fraser Institute, your former employers, later releases just such a criticism.

If you say it's coincidence, we have to take your word for it. Certainly the “great” minds at AEI and the Fraser Institute are on record as thinking alike.

As to your “beyond reasonable doubt” standard for action on climate change, I think that's insensibly silly. I don't buy car insurance because I know - beyond reasonable doubt - that I am going to get in an accident. You don't buy health insurance because you know - beyond reasonable doubt - that you will get sick. We do so because there is a reasonable risk that we would bankrupt our families if we didn't take the precaution and got unlucky.

Now, the IPCC's certainty - at 90+ per cent - may well meet the standard of “beyond reasonable doubt.” It certainly works for me. But even if not, the risks we face from unbridled climate change is a great deal worse than a bankruptcy in the Littlemore household.

If, as a result, you want to argue for good climate policy, I'm with you. If you continue to argue for NO climate change policy, then we can only continue to read something into the fact that you suck up money from corporate sponsors and arrive, coincidentally, at a view that defends their interests.

So you don’t consider what you said regarding the SPM on WG1 on TAR as supporting the sceptics? Your words certainly have a different meaning to the words of the scientists I know.

“May you be judged by the company you keep” is still a very valid statement.

So I wonder how long you would last at the AEI if you woke up tomorrow and said “hey guys, global warming is happening, we should end oil subsidies and shift to renewables.” Or, “ya know, Exxon is wrong to funding third party think tanks like us, they should speak for themselves.” Or, “maybe Al Gore’s movie isn’t so bad.” BTW, what the hell is a think tank anyways? It’s like a treehouse gang with an account at Kinko’s.