A few weeks ago Dave Hansford, the environmental writer for the New Zealand Listener, wrote an article on how global warming deniers create an illusion of dissent:
In November, three members of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition – Bryan Leyland, Owen McShane and Vincent Gray – spoke at UN climate talks in Denpasar in support of a US-based conservative group, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). They told delegates “climate change is a non-problem” and that they should “have the courage to do nothing”.
Leyland says CFACT did not pay him to attend the Bali talks, but acknowledges some expenses were met by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, funded “almost exclusively from rich people”, he says, “who are worried about this issue entirely out of their concern for sound science and the fate of free enterprise”.
People like oil giant ExxonMobil. The Union of Concerned Scientists says the oil giant gave US$16 million ($19.6 million) to conservative groups – CFACT among them – between 1998 and 2005. The union says this was “to manufacture uncertainty” on the issue of climate change.
ExxonMobil’s reports show it has granted $791,500 to Heartland since 1998, and its public affairs adviser, Walter Buckholtz, appears on Heartland’s 2005 tax return as its “government relations adviser”.
Heartland’s Joseph Bast responded with a letter demanding that Hansford be fired.
Hansford reports ExxonMobil’s giving to conservative groups, including my organisation, The Heartland Institute, between 1998 and 2005. He fails to report what percentage of the total income of the conservative movement, or Heartland in particular, this amounted to. For Heartland, it was never more than 5% of the organisation’s annual budget. I’m sure it was far less than 5% of the entire movement’s income during this time.
If funding dictates an organisation’s views on global warming, then why aren’t conservative groups 95% in the alarmist camp? …
Umm, because the other 95% of their funding doesn’t come from folks who wnat Heartlan to support IPCC?
I don’t know how writers like Hansford sleep at night. If he has even a shred of personal integrity, he should apologise for his attacks on the growing number of scientists who say the threat of global warming has been over-sold, and promise to never again write on this subject. And his publisher should accept nothing less.
And that’s what has happened. Gareth Renowden has the full story.