An anti-science climate denialist “think” tank (the word “think” clearly does not actually applyl here) is said to have received a big chunk of money from some anonymous source, and an effort has been made to find out who that source is. This is all happening in Britain where all the legal systems are strange and alien to me. Here’s a teaser and a link to the details.

THERE IS “enormous public interest” in naming the climate sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation’s seed donor and “a pressing need to scrutinise” any links he has with the oil and coal industry, an information tribunal judge heard today (Friday, January 27, 2012).

Brendan Montague, the co-founder and director of the Request Initiative, asked the tribunal to reveal the name of the wealthy public figure who gave £50,000 to launch Lord Lawson’s think tank, an increasingly influential charity which attacks climate science and has called for changes to climate policies.

Mr Montague’s initial Freedom of Information request was refused by the Charity Commission in 2010 and that decision was upheld by the Information Commissioner on the grounds that it would be “unfair” to release personal data without permission from the funder.

However, Mr Montague took the case to the Information Tribunal arguing there is a “legitimate public interest”…

Read the rest here.

In a related matter, do consider visiting the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund page on Facebook. As you may know, I’m being threatened with a law suit for, like, a zillion pounds by a climate science denialist in Britain. I may need help! But if not me, than someone. Climate denialists will stop at nothing to force their bankrupt agenda.

Comments

  1. #1 Drivebyposter
    January 27, 2012

    In a related matter, do consider visiting the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund page on Facebook. As you may know, I’m being threatened with a law suit for, like, a zillion pounds by a climate science denialist in Britain. I may need help! But if not me, than someone. Climate denialists will stop at nothing to force their bankrupt agenda.

    Has anything actually happened with that? Or was/is it still just trolls

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    January 27, 2012

    Well, I was served with a scary email and a lot of people said bad things about me. The John Birch society chipped in some money to enhance the suit against me. Then everything got quiet and I’ve not heard a thing since then.

  3. #3 Drivebyposter
    January 27, 2012

    Hmm interesting. I guess they just stopped trying for a lawsuit? Or never really tried in the first place…

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    January 27, 2012

    The John Birch society chipped in some money to enhance the suit against me. Then everything got quiet and I’ve not heard a thing since then.

    Possibly someone noticed that you live in a state with an anti-SLAPP statute.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    January 27, 2012

    I wonder if my legal team knows about that? :)

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    January 28, 2012

    In all seriousness, Greg, I’ve found that lawyers are capable of amazing feats of ignorance regarding their own States’ laws. I’ve only retained lawyers three times in my life, and once was for creating a trust. Both of the other times I had to point out relevant Arizona statutes to them.

  7. #7 Alan
    January 28, 2012

    Careful what you wish for Greg, do you really want to extend FOI so far into NGO’s that political operatives can keep tabs on who donates how much to what? If you take away the founder’s political privacy you’re taking away everyone’s political privacy.

    But bullshit or not, WTF is so ‘charitable’ about writing press releases in the hope of getting on TV? Why the hell isn’t someone paying tax on that marketing money?

    PS: I’ve have a BSc and been interested in AGW for 30yrs, as an informed layman I have been full convinced of the robustness of the IPCC processes for about 15yrs. I’m optimistic, compared to 20yrs ago the science is winning hands down.

    As long as EVERYONE has a voice the truth will prevail and will continue to gain ground until the shills and flat-earther’s finally become as politically irrelevant as the original April fools. Such people are fair game for ridicule but should otherwise just be ignored.

    But as infuriating as trolls are (paid or otherwise), I don’t want to be in a world where they’re stomped to extinction just because they can’t, won’t, or are paid not to, accept the obvious. Do you?

    If you don’t, then take a serious look at the reporting style of Peter Sinclair’s youtube series “Climate crock of the week” and compare it to your own angry rants on AGW.

    Like you and me he is not a climatologists. However he is a highly regarded journalist and it’s some of the best investigative reporting I ever seen, with just the right amount of ridicule and derision.

    As the saying goes; “Don’t get angry, get even”

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    January 28, 2012

    Careful what you wish for Greg, do you really want to extend FOI so far into NGO’s that political operatives can keep tabs on who donates how much to what? If you take away the founder’s political privacy you’re taking away everyone’s political privacy.

    I’m not sure what you think I’m wishing for! I’ve expressed no wishes here.

    This is Britain. In the US, this conversation would not be happening.

    Frankly, I think the British system is bad because political and philosophical differences can be settled in ways that do not relate very much to reality, but rather, litigation. In American, on the other hand, the system is bad because picking your nose can be considered free speech protected by all the resources available, and a non profit that says it supports “transportation innovation and research” can actually be a non-profit that tries to force creationism into our schools (to pick an example).

    I am happy that in the US you can’t teach creationism in public school science classrooms in an form but I am not happy that this is because of the Establishment Clause. Prohibiting forcing religion down student’s throats in science classroom should actually be the rule of the land because it is wrong and stupid.

    But, we work with what we have to work with!

    Like you … he is not a climatologists.

    Much of my research and training is in paleoclimate. I was on the faculty of the Lake Research Center (a climate research center) for 6 years, and I’ve had a number of MA and PHD students who did climate and paleoclimate research. Climatology is not my main area but it is very central to my work and interests!

    But overall, yes, we share some concerns. But if we step back even one or two paces the entire system suddenly comes into focus as problematic everywhere but for different reasons.

  9. #9 Alan
    January 29, 2012

    “I’ve expressed no wishes here.” – Fair enough.

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