As many readers may already know, the Friends of Science radio ad campaign, first reported here back in July, has finally hit Canadian airwaves (hat tip to Kevin Grandia at Desmogblog). Unsurprisingly, the ads are full-on, unsophisticated attacks on climate science, complete with hardline contrarian nonsense about current global “cooling” and the pre-eminient role of the sun.
The ads also highlight the acquiescence of one of Canada’s foremost media outlets, Corus Radio, in the spread of palpable misinformation about climate change. Not only that, but the new campaign renews questions about Friends of Science funding and the hidden role of public relations professionals. And those questions lead straight back to the Calgary Foundation’s oil-patch funded Science Education Fund, and longtime climate contrarian PR specialist (and Conservative activist) Morten Paulsen.
Lord Christopher Monckton‘s tour of the colonies (a.k.a. Canada), first reported here two months ago, is finally at hand. The details of Monckton’s Apocalypse Cancelled luncheon lecture series were released late last week by tour organizer Friends of Science, the Calgary-based “astroturf” group devoted to opposing the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change. Fittingly, the centrepiece of the tour is a cluster of events in Calgary, the province of Alberta’s economic capital, and centre of the Canadian oil and gas industry.
Although event details have now finally been revealed, funding details for this latest Friends project remain mysterious. However, emerging evidence points to the possible role of the Calgary Foundation and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (the Winnipeg-based think tank that is also hosting two of the tour events).
[Update, Sept. 24: Be sure to read Monckton’s comments and my reply below.
Update, May 2, 2010: See the end of the piece for information on ex-Fleishmann-Hillard lobysist and Conservative activist Morten Paulsen’s possible involvement in the Monckton tour.]
It’s been quite a month for Friends of Science, the Calgary based astroturf group with a long history of engaging in climate science disinformation. First, RealClimate.org revealed that the supposedly “suppressed” EPA report, ostensibly by economist Alan Carlin, was based in large part on the pseudo-scientific musings of FoS director Ken Gregory (although it subsequently turned out that Patrick Michaels had a stronger claim on being anonymous lead author as detailed previously here and here).
Now it turns out that Friends of Science has big plans for this fall (which, not so coincidentally, will likely see another Canadian federal election). The group is co-sponsoring, along with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a cross-Canada speaking tour by none other than Lord Christopher Monckton, the “potty peer”. Also in the works is a cross-Canada “radio blitz” to promote Friends of Science and its website.
And it appears that at least some project funding will come via by anonymous tax-deductible donations to the preposterously named Science Education Fund at the charitable Calgary Foundation.