[Coral-List] global warming

Greg Challenger gchallenger at msn.com
Fri Nov 17 15:05:15 EST 2006

While there may be compelling evidence for man's contribution, "paid by the oil companies" does not constitute a technical argument against the data presented by the skeptics.   If scientists disagree with conclusions, they should address the data.  BP and Royal Dutch Shell accept man's contribution and even endorsed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which is also not evidence of the validity of any data. To some, "paid by the oil companies" may sound like  "I don't have a rebuttal to their technical argument".    Plenty of good scientists have rebuttals....stick with them.

Greg Challenger

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Gene Shinn<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu> 
  To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> ; riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca<mailto:riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca> 
  Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 6:37 AM
  Subject: Re: [Coral-List] global warming

  Dear Mike, It all makes for good press regardless which side you 
  choose. Flip a coin.  No one is arguing that the earth has not been 
  warming since the little ice age. What seems to be lacking is 
  undeniable  evidence that increased Co2 is the major cause.  Models 
  based on theory may be acceptable to many but to geologists aware of 
  previous periods of warming (before SUVs) remain a little suspicious. 
  Was it modelers who promised us an intensive Atlantic hurricane 
  season this past summer?  Is an advertisement for a CBC TV special a 
  good source of scientific data? Here is a reply to the CBC TV special 
  that came out in the press just yesterday. It would seem there are 
  financial motives on both side of the coin.  Gene
  *Who is James Hoggan? *

  *Terence Corcoran *

  *16 November 2006*

  *National Post*

  To viewers of last night's edition of CBC-TV's The Fifth Estate, a 
  "documentary" titled The Denial Machine, the name James Hoggan will 
  be familiar. Mr. Hoggan is the talking head who loomed late in the 
  program to issue lofty pronouncements on the science of climate 
  change. His main role, though, was to provide a Canadian link in the 
  program's grand conspiracy theory about scientists who are skeptical 
  of global warming. For non-viewers of last night's presentation, 
  here's a hint of the show's theme: Exxon did it.

  Not much was said about Mr. Hoggan. He's mostly just allowed to run 
  on with his story, which by no coincidence is exactly the story The 
  Fifth Estate told. For a first-rate demonstration of dishonest 
  manipulation masquerading as investigative journalism, it's hard to 
  beat The Denial Machine. Using smear-a-minute techniques, host Bob 
  McKeown, under executive producer David Studer, advances the idea 
  that one or two U.S. global warming science skeptics -- particularly 
  Fred Singer and Pat Michaels -- have single-handedly turned the 
  media, plus the Bush and Harper governments, into climate change 

  Now, there isn't space here to snip away at all the anti-corporate 
  threads woven through Bob McKeown's warped tale. In brief: Exxon has 
  paid money to groups and organizations connected in some way with S. 
  Fred Singer, a distinguished environmental scientist and atmospheric 
  physicist. In 1990, he founded the Science and Environmental Policy 
  Project (SEPP), dedicated to exposing junk science. SEPP has produced 
  science reports on second-hand smoke, CFCs and ozone depletion, 
  ultraviolet radiation and cancer, plus much work on climate change. 
  In each case, Mr. Singer has taken contrary positions. His latest is 
  a book, Global Warming: An Unstoppable 1,500-Year Cycle, just 
  published by the Hudson Institute, also a likely recipient of Exxon 
  Foundation funds, as are the Brookings Institution and hundreds of 
  other U.S. organizations.

  As a recipient of corporate funds, directly or indirectly, Mr. Singer 
  is painted by The Fifth Estate to be a hack scientist for hire, a man 
  without credentials or expertise or integrity who should be ashamed 
  of himself for fronting for the likes of Exxon. Mr. McKeown confronts 
  Mr. Singer with the CBC's high moral rectitude: "Isn't that 
  misleading the public? Isn't that letting us think that it's coming 
  from an objective source, but it's not?"

  The smear here is the implication that Mr. Singer is not an objective 
  scientist because some corporate money supports his work, even though 
  the money may be only remotely linked. This is standard 
  anti-corporate fare, deployed to discredit ideas and people one 
  doesn't like. The main theme is that no corporation should be allowed 
  to support any activity anywhere that might coincide with a 
  corporation's agenda.

  As an aside, the fact that BP, Shell, the nuclear industry, giant 
  ethanol firms and others all support climate theory for their own 
  self-interested purposes seems not to bother environmental activists. 
  Confusingly, although not mentioned last night, Fred Singer is also a 
  big proponent of nuclear power, which he thinks is safe and 
  economical and would benefit from a major plan to put Exxon and coal 
  out of business. How does all that work in the conflict arena?

  This brings us back to Mr. Hoggan. The Fifth Estate follows the 
  currently hot green story line -- science skeptics are funded by 
  corporations, therefore science skeptics are dishonest fronts who 
  cannot be trusted. Scores of reports from green groups and leftist 
  media in Canada and abroad have pushed the idea. Earlier this year, 
  The Globe and Mail ran a lengthy piece by Charles Montgomery, 
  featuring Mr. Hoggan, claiming that the oil industry was behind 
  Canadian climate skeptic Tim Ball. Essentially the same story, also 
  featuring Mr. Hoggan, appeared in This Magazine, home of Canada's 
  left. Headline: "Playing dirty: Coming clean on climate change spin 
  -- how the PR industry sold the 'made in Canada' solution to global 

  Mr. Hoggan told This Magazine writer Zoe Cormier and the Globe's 
  Charles Montgomery (who rents space in Mr. Hoggan's office) the same 
  message. Essentially, "ethical" public relations firms and 
  corporations should not be engaged in "manipulating public opinion" 
  in important matters of public policy. If corporations do try to 
  fight policy, they run a risk. "If you don't want to end up looking 
  like those cigarette executives standing in front of Congress a few 
  years ago ... don't fight something that you are inevitably going to 
  lose." It is no surprise that the cigarette executive image is a 
  visual tipping point in The Denial Machine's nasty little piece.

  The essence of Mr. Hoggan's message is that PR agencies and 
  corporations should not be able to support and fund climate science 
  that runs contrary to the official global government science. "I 
  don't think that the people who are involved in this should be able 
  to get away with it."

  So who is James Hoggan? He's a public relations man, based in 
  Vancouver. His firm, James Hoggan and Associates, is positioned as a 
  feel-good local operation with clients in all the "right" public and 
  private sectors. He also sits on the board of the David Suzuki 

  One of his side efforts is a blog operated out of Hoggan and 
  Associates. Funded by retired Internet bubble king John Lefebvre, the 
  blog has one full-time and three part-time staff. They spend their 
  time tracking down and maliciously attacking all who have doubts 
  about climate change and painting them as corporate pawns.

  There has been no mention on the blog, nor on The Fifth Estate, of 
  James Hoggan's client list. They include or have included the 
  National Hydrogen Association, Fuel Cells Canada, hydrogen producer 
  QuestAir, Naikun Wind Energy and Ballard Fuel Cells. Mr. Hoggan, in 
  other words, benefits from regulatory policy based on climate change 

  But it is as a climate commentator that Mr. Hoggan gets carried away. 
  On The Denial Machine, Mr. Hoggan is allowed to go on at some length 
  about how climate skeptics are not true scientists, are not 
  qualified, or have no expertise.

  That takes some gall. Here's a totally unqualified small-town PR guy 
  making disparaging comments about scientists he says are unqualified 
  while he lectures the rest of us on the science. "If you look in the 
  scientific literature, there is no debate," he tells Mr. McKeown. It 
  doesn't seem to bother Mr. McKeown that Mr. Hoggan has no expertise. 
  It is also a little rich to have a member of the Suzuki Foundation 
  board pronounce other scientists unfit and unqualified for climate 
  assessments, while geneticist David Suzuki roams the world issuing 
  barrages of climate change warnings at every opportunity.

  When I called Mr. Hoggan yesterday and asked, among other things, 
  whether he thought David Suzuki is qualified to comment on climate 
  issues, Mr. Hoggan said, "I'm not interested in doing an interview 
  with you. Thanks very much for your call."

  At the end of The Denial Machine, Mr. Hoggan confidently declares 
  that most of the 60 scientists who signed a letter earlier this year 
  asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reopen the climate science 
  issue are science hacks. The letter was first published on this page 
  last April 6. "We looked into the folks who were on that, and all but 
  19 were Americans and most of them are kind of infamous characters 
  from the states who worked for the tobacco industry."

  In fact, only 12 are Americans and at most two, counting Mr. Singer, 
  have done past science work on tobacco. About 20 are Canadians, while 
  others are from about a dozen other countries, from France to Norway 
  to Australia and the Netherlands. Readers can check the names on the 
  letter, which we've reposted today as an Online Extra at 
  www.nationalpost.com<http://www.nationalpost.com/> .

  Through the whole episode, The Fifth Estate did not do one bit of 
  science verification. No mention, for example, of Mr. Singer's role 
  as one the first to notice that the United Nations' claim that we are 
  living through the hottest period in 1,000 years had to be 
  statistically wrong. Without spending one second looking at the 
  science, the CBC crew smeared and discredited the skeptical 
  scientists with corporate associations. Exxon did it. James Hoggan, 
  however, is the real villain.

  >I can always depend on Gene to turn my crank, but this time I will hold
  >my tongue. Instead, I will direct -listers to:
  >-which is a CBC TV special shown last night, tracing the histories of
  >those scientists who are global-warming "skeptics." It may be viewed
  >on-line, and for those who have access to CBC TV, will be repeated at
  >some future times.
  >Turns out there are no surprises, and some surprises.
  >No surprises: the skeptics aren't skeptical at all, they are funded by
  >Big Oil, in most cases through channels that are hard to uncover.  They
  >are paid to say what they say, no matter what the science. Amongst
  >serious climate scientists, the debate is over. Was over a decade ago.
  >One surprise, at least to me: many of these so-called "skeptics" are
  >retreads from the Great Tobacco Court Cases! Remember all those PR
  >firms, and those "scientists", who kept saying "correlation is not
  >proof?" Well, their job was to delay action while the cigarette
  >companies raked in more dough. The same people now show up as "climate
  >skeptics." Their role, again, is to delay action. It's a dirty game
  >On Thu, 16 Nov 2006 14:27:55 -0500
  >  Gene Shinn <eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu>> wrote:
  >>    Co2 global warming advocates might find this of interest.
  >>  http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=265956<http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=265956>
  >>  --
  >>  No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
  >>  ------------------------------------
  >>  -----------------------------------
  >>  E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
  >>  University of South Florida
  >>  Marine Science Center (room 204)
  >>  140 Seventh Avenue South
  >>  St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  >>  <eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu>>
  >>  Tel 727 553-1158----------------------------------
  >>  -----------------------------------
  >>  _______________________________________________
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  >>  Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
  >>  http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list<http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list>
  >Mike Risk
  >Marine Ecologist
  >PO Box 1195
  >Durham Ontario
  >N0G 1R0


  No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
  ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
  E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
  University of South Florida
  Marine Science Center (room 204)
  140 Seventh Avenue South
  St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  <eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu>>
  Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 
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