Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In the beginning, Lord Lawson's Idea... the GWPF

I keep trying to finish my response to Will H's last comment, but in the process, all sorts of interesting diversions distract my attention.  Stories that stand alone and that I see as evidence supporting the message I'm trying to enunciate far better than my clumsy words can.  This one is another look at some of the "great people on the other side" of this debate, their motives and maneuvers.

A popular political myth is that today's vocal opposition to the overwhelming scientific "consensus" is some sort of noble intellectual effort.  When in actuality it's no such thing!  Here's an inside look at just what an orchestrated cynical, power-politics driven act it really is.

Brendan Montague wrote this a couple months back.  I've posting some interesting excerpts, hoping it will encourage you to read the complete version.

By Brendan Montague • Tuesday, September 8, 2015 

This DeSmog UK epic history post explains how Lord Lawson’s climate denying Global Warming Policy Foundation was actually created.

Lord Lawson in 2008 was congratulated in private for his pamphlet attacking climate science and policy by a handful of peers and MPs, mostly from the Tory party. Some even suggest he set up a new foundation to take the fight against climate mitigation to the government of the day.

At the time, there existed small, intimate groups who were furious that the Climate Change Act had become law; almost all had some relationship to Exxon- and Koch-funded think tanks in the United States, and were accepting funding from British oil and tobacco companies.

David Henderson, a member of free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) academic advisory council, regularly attended meetings about climate change, and was often found lobbying Richard Ritchie, the political apparatchik for British Petroleum (BP).

Climate Denier Meetings

Henderson resurrected his climate denier meetings for economists and policy wonks at Westminster Business School. Among the regular attendees was ... 

Peiser declared “the death of global manmade warming theory” to the newsletter subscribers in November 2007, ...
The following year, Peiser spoke at the Heartland Institute climate change conference in the United States, not for the first time enjoying complimentary flights, hotel room and a generous £1,000 fee for a 30-minute presentation. Heartland at the time was funded by ExxonMobil and foundations supported by the oil billionaire and free market sugar daddy Charles Koch.

Tarring Scientists

The IEA, still receiving funding from BP and British American Tobacco, was also tarring climate scientists ...
The think tank produced Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists. The pamphlet was penned by Morris, Henderson, Alan Peacock and Byatt, all free market advocates...

Lawson, Peiser, Henderson and Chris Horner of the American ExxonMobil-backed Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) were all invited speakers during April 2007 at the European Parliament for the event Climate Change: Evaluating Appropriate Responses charged by the then Tory MEP Roger Helmer. Helmer has since defected to UKIP ...

Relying on Deniers

There was some difficulty finding academics willing to go against the almost universal understanding of the climate science. Lawson made contact with economists, but when it came to climate scientists, he had to rely on the reliable American deniers, almost all of whom had some association with oil companies – almost always Koch and ExxonMobil.
Lord Christopher Monckton, ...

Monckton added: “I communicate with Nigel Lawson from time to time, with Benny Peiser quite regularly on various matters…”

Lawson and Singer

Lawson was, during this period, in almost weekly contact with S Fred Singer, the grandfather of US climate denial, according to the latter. Singer spoke alongside Lawson at the Centre for Policy Studies in June 2008 after Lawson had persuaded Thatcher’s old think tank to attack climate science.

Lawson himself had some housekeeping to deal with. ...
By the time Lawson sold out, CET had worked for many of the major oil companies, including the Polish state-owned coal monopoly, and had aggressively sought work among tobacco companies. ...

Horner’s Idea

In 2005, Horner, the CEI attorney, set out plans for a new European think tank attacking climate change. He proposed the group be called the Sound Climate Policy Coalition. But his secret plan, set out in an apparent funding proposal to energy companies, was exposed. ...

And he denied S Fred Singer was influential at the beginning. “Fred Singer is not involved with the GWPF. ... So he was not involved and we didn’t ask him, we didn’t look for his advice and, to my knowledge, this claim that he was somehow communicating with Lord Lawson is nonsense.”

Singer later spoke alongside Lawson at the IEA event where he announced the founding of the GWPF.

Peiser also argues that Lord Monckton was not involved in the GWPF. “Yes, but you know from what we do that we don’t deal with Christopher Monckton, and we never have, and so you should know there is no relationship.” He added: “Lord Monckton has had no, absolutely no, contact with me or Lord Lawson. Zero.”

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