CALGARY, AB/ Troy Media/ - The Globe and Mail recently ran an article about Friends of Science's latest press release featuring an image of our new billboard which stated that "Global warming stopped naturally 16+ years ago."
While we were pleased that the Globe picked up the story, there was so much its article missed.
Our press release, for instance, challenged a letter from Greenpeace which threatened corporate officers for alleged 'climate denial.' It also announced a report entitled "Power. Full Benefits" that rebuts the Pembina Institute's push for a renewable energy strategy in Alberta. These are important initiatives.
But the Globe article focused on only one main area: our sources of funding.
That, in itself, didn't bother us: we are 100 per cent funded by our members. But instead of calling us to verify its facts, the Globe decided to rely instead on seven-year-old incorrect information.
The Globe relied on an old story about Calgary-based Talisman Energy's contribution to a University of Calgary Science and Research for the production of a science-based documentary about how and why the sun drives climate change. This funding story has been used to try and delegitimize Friends of Science before, suggesting vested interests.
While Talisman is an oil company, the person who authorized the contribution is an Oxford-educated astrophysicist by the name of Dr. Jim Buckee. The funding went to the U of C video production fund, not to Friends of Science. This relevant information was omitted.
Buckee shares Friends of Science position that the sun is the main driver of climate change.
If the Globe had done some basic research in its own archives, it would have come across an interview it did back in 2007:
Globe: You've been called a climate-change denier. Fair label?
Buckee: I'm not a climate-change denier. The climate changes all the time and the question is what causes it. It could be caused by changes in sun activity - we don't know for sure. It has been warmer in the past.
Globe: Are you really an astrophysicist?
Buckee: I have a PhD from Oxford in astrophysics. I worked on radio emission mechanisms in pulsars.
Had the Globe contacted us first, they would have been directed to watch Climate Catastrophe Cancelled - the video production from 2007 that is posted on Friends of Science web-site. Then the Globe could have seen expert earth, atmospheric and astrophysical scientists explain how the sun affects climate.
This wasn't the only bias the Globe showed in its story. It also focused on DeSmogBlog's opinion of Friends of Science. DeSmogBlog is not exactly a scientific or impartial source.
DeSmogBlog, you see, was founded by James Hoggan, president of the Vancouver public relations firm, Hoggan & Associates. He is now Chairman of the Board of the Suzuki Foundation. According to DeSmog's website he is also ". . . the former chair of Climate Project Canada - the Canadian chapter of Al Gore's global education and advocacy organization. "
If you read the Globe article you probably don't know that DeSmogBlog is funded in part by TIDES Canada Initiatives, and was set up with funding from Endswell Foundation, a Canadian Charity and predecessor to TIDES Canada. TIDES is promoting the Clean Energy Canada campaign pushing . . . renewables. TIDES Canada and many of its senior people are closely allied with Social Venture Networks, whose mandate is to 'move capital into renewables.' The driving premise behind much of the "renewables" industry is the assumed threat of catastrophic human-caused global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels. In other words, there are unstated vested interests associated with DeSmogBlog's opinion of Friends of Science.
The lack of global warming for the past 16+ years is largely because the sun and other natural forces outweigh the influence of human industrial carbon dioxide.
Friends of Science only "vested interest" lies in the scientific evidence, insights on climate science and our initiatives.
So, Globe and Mail, we'd be happy to tell you more. Next time, call us.
Michelle Stirling-Anosh is the Communications Manager of Friends of Science.