UCalgary Audit Censorship Overruled

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The Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has forced the University of Calgary to re-release part of an audit report, overruling censored information about a university payment to a PR firm that helped prepare and distribute a climate change denial video.

The audit report - censored and uncensored versions of which are attached - states that the University of Calgary paid APCO Worldwide more than $170,000 for “advice regarding video production, promotion of the video, distribution of the video, media relations services and other services.”

These payments were made under a “Research on Climate Change Debate” project being run by Professor Barry Cooper. APCO's services were untendered (in violation of university policy) and the university can find no contract describing or authorizing the work.

All of this has been reported before as an elaborate effort to allow a climate change lobby group called Friends of Science to circumvent federal tax laws.  By moving funds through the Calgary Foundation and Prof. Cooper's UCalgary slush fund, FOS was able to offer its donors tax deductibility on the basis that the money was being used for academic research. It's not clear what part of 'video production, promotion of the video, distribution of the video, media relations services and other services” constitutes academic research.

APCO also has a long and highly political history itself as a lobby and front group for tobacco companies and as an early intervenor in the corporate campaign to deny climate change.

We'll have more on all of this as the week unfolds. 

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The U of A attepts to assist in getting the truth about the AGW scam out to the people and the money launderers complain. Hilarious…..

First, it’s the U of Calgary (U of C is an acceptable, if ambiguous, shorthand), not the U of A. The U of A, aka the University of Alberta, is located 300 kilometers further north, in Edmonton. The two cities, and universities, have a semi-friendly rivalry; as an Edmonton native it’s something I’m compelled to correct.

Second, if Cooper was involved in the dissemination of truth, why would he need to lie about where the money was going (violating the academic integrity of not only his own career but also the entire U of C)? Only lies require lies.

Third, your summary of the parties involved indicates you haven’t read the documents involved. It’s apparent you can read, as you read enough to pass judgement on others. Why not read about the entire issue before forming an opinion? That would be the rational course of action, wouldn’t it? After all, it’s rather childish to let others do your thinking for you.

Interesting comment.
Made even more interesting considering AGW is based on well known lies and a lot of conjecture.
BTW; I live in Edmonton too.

So Gary, why did you call it U of A? Are you that ignorant, or are you just lying about living in Edmonton the way you lie about AGW?

The Cynical Politics of Global Warming and Its Hobgoblins By Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson June 11, 2008 “Cynical politics” may be a redundancy, but it is hard to imagine a mo1re cynical political issue than global warming (GW). 

Link: http://www.visandvals.org/The_Cynical_Politics_of_Global_Warming_and_Its_Hobgoblins.php 

Will do. thanks

This is going to be very interesting to watch.

Cooper is clearly creating a lot of problems for the U of C administration. I bet there are elements of that admin who are wondering just what the heck they are supposed to do next. When university administrations find themselves embroiled in craziness like this, my experience is that they circle the wagons and say as little as possible.

Although something a little sordid has clearly happened here, I hope no one will start calling the U of C community unethical. No doubt, there are lots of very good, entirely honest and ethical people there. The biological sciences crowd are world class and probably, like 100% of the academics I know, disgusted by this. But it’s a relatively little thing - less than $200k is a moderate research grant only. Cooper may be involved somehow, and, if so, probably not favourably, but that amount of money is not big enough for its disposition to have been _necessarily_ decided by any of the major decision-making entities in the university.

But it’s going to be very interesting to watch U of C be forced to come clean on some really dreadful decisions they have taken. I wonder if their own faculty have been pushing this appeal also?


I should say, that amount of money is the size of a moderate research grant only. Obviously, nothing about that money was in the form of a research grant in either its purpose or its administration.


You may be thinking of medicine or nuclear physics. This is not the size of a moderate research grant in Universities. Most individual scientists make do with under $50k, or even none, and have to cover costs where they can. Some augment their work out of pocket. This is why it is so comical to hear the deniers cry about all the money researchers take in by supposedly faking results and conclusions (which I suppose might seem normal, to some deniers).

Did a graduate degree with less than 25k in research funding, including stipend and research costs. I knew other grad students doing their grad work with no financial support. I tend to think its this way in all sciences, plenty of bare bones research programs except for the more prominant scholars.

Right you are - standard NSERC grants in the life sciences are in the 20-30k range, per year. You COULD view those grants as being for five years as a rule, so they have a total value of 5 X 20 or 30k = ~~~~~$150k. I don’t want to overgeneralize.

I was thinking more of the CFI - type grants, which are closer to big single infusions of money. These are very often in the 300-500k range. They’re fairly common for new researchers in the last 6-7 years.

But I am not disagreeing with you - $200k would be a really nice grant for just about anyone!

Grad students these days are guaranteed ~$18.5k salary per year, which comes from various sources. That applies to the sciences in Ontario universities, but there is some variation. The folks in Arts have usually less generous stipends for various reasons.

This PR thing at U of C, of course, is nothing like a research grant and seems likely to be, at minimum, a little unsavoury.


……for the denier crowd. Gary and Zog come to mind.
I think it was Franklin? maybe Lincoln who said this, and they should take it to heart..”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.”

… it seems, thus raising the question of whether the last part of the quote is now proven.

I love the constant ad hominems from these guys. So long as you don’t respond directly, you can just sit back and chuckle at the pure troll nature of them. Conversations with the deniers seem to skip right over anything of substance.

So, I’ll just walk right into this alternate reality: Gary - why is it “nonsense”?


Where have you been?
Or do you only read popoganda from RC and the like?
The last two years have of papers (all way way newer than anything in the outdated IPCC schlock) have shown no corrolation between CO2 and last century’s little warm spell.
On the other hand good corrolation between the sun and warming is clear.
Couple that with the obvious errors and dumb assumptions in the GCM’s increadibly bad quality of measurement and Jim Hansen’s fudging and ….. on and on and on…….
It is absolutely amazing that anyone still buys this scam anymore.

But then, People are smart, crowds are stupid.
It’s just a fact.

Like I always say, read, learn and think.
You too can be deprogrammed.

Have a good one.

Thanks Garry.

You mean “correlation” and “incredibly” and “propaganda”.

So, thanks for making the effort to explain what you described as “nonsense”. Too bad about the random insults thrown in there, as though for good measure.

Now try to do it again, but this time with a modicum of rigour. Cite real references in real journals. Not web sites, or blogs, but scientific journals. You didn’t actually say anything in your last message, you just claimed that people who thought mainstream scientific claims were credible were “stupid”, could be “deprogrammed”, susceptible to “propo[sic]ganda”, and the like.

I would be willing to respect your opinion more if it could be defended specifically rather than by resorting to these very general statements.

So, once more from the top, with feeling.



I wonder if they can fire Cooper yet. Let him earn his living from the Fraser Institute, like most Canadian denialists.

Come to think of it, was the Fraser Institute involved in this shady business at all? Wouldn’t it be nice to take it down too?

Firstly; it is incumbent on you believes to prove your case.
Realists need simply illustrate that you have not.
Secondly; as I have stated often, the definition of “Credible on reality denialist sites like this is:
Agreement is credible, all else is lies.
Therefore I simply suggest people search it out for themselves and not take my word for anything.
It is easy to find and abundant.
Look for
Historical cycles,
Sun spot influences,
30 year climate cycle shift,
CO2 sensitivity papers that show how GCMs grossly over estimate it’s influence,
The effects of water vapor and clouds on temperature feedbacks,
Then review surfacestations.org and see if you even trust the numbers.
The compare James Hansen’s fudge with the other standard measures.
Then review historical sea level rise that shows current trends are perfectly normal,
Then look for the recent peer reviewed paper on Greenland ice melt slow down,
The volume of contradictory information is staggering.
But posting links here is silly since the only response is to attempt to smear anyone and everyone that has a dissenting (realist) view.
31000 scientists of the real “overwhelming consensus” can’t all be wrong.

I appreciate that you are trying to present a case but I am dismayed that you think these internet-surfer style statements constitute one.

I’m afraid you have also bought into some impressively obvious propaganda.

I won’t worry about your ability to make a coherent case anymore.

Thanks for trying though.