Calgary, Alberta, Canada
April 22, 2016 – Posted by Michelle Stirling, Communications Manager
PressProgress, a media project of the Broadbent Institute, has updated an earlier report in which it announced that PostMedia had pulled a Friends of Science advertorial from its publications; in fact, the story entitled “Climate Leadership Catastrophe” is still running on PostMedia. The Friends of Science Society story is selectively placed on-line according to its digital schedule for specific audiences. The advertorial recounts some of the Friends of Science activities over the past few years and announces that Dr. John D. Harper, former director of the Geological Survey, and Ezra Levant, will be speaking at Friends of Science May 10th event in Calgary.
Tickets on Eventbrite: http://ezra-levant-climate-leadership-catastrophe.eventbrite.ca
However, PressProgress was quick to recycle old news, attacking Friends of Science for a previous very successful, low-budget ad campaign wherein Friends of Science Society’s billboards won international attention – first, for its provocative concept that climate change might be affected by more than humans, the ‘biological moss’ of the earth. One of the billboards featured a dramatic sun flare and a tiny earth in near relative proportion. This was intended to give the viewer a clue that perhaps the sun, a dynamic body that is a million times the size of the earth (so big that it affects earth’s tides, geomagnetism, atmospheric concentrations of gases, ocean currents, winds, and other planetary bodies) might also affect climate on earth. The ad campaign stated the opinion of Friends of Science that the sun is more influential on climate change than ‘you’ or CO2 – carbon dioxide.
Second, the media and some members of the public were so incensed by this notion that humans might NOT be the main cause of climate change, that the ad and the story were widely repeated in international media, drawing the scorn of Anthropogenic (human-caused) Global Warming proponents. Numerous complaints were filed with Ad Standards Council of Canada.
Third, the original print ad copy won an international marketing award, with its sidebar telling the audience that “…there is no 97% consensus, they’re fooling you.”
At the time of the Montreal billboard campaign in the fall of 2014, the National Program Director of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation published a blog condemning Friends of Science and encouraging Sierra Club followers to engage in a point and click cyber harassment attack on the billboard media provider. Other ‘charitable’ organizations also started a petition against Friends of Science Society’s media provider.
Friends of Science issued a press release and letter demanding that the Sierra Club Canada Foundation stop this harassment of a legal business operation, saying that, in the opinion of Friends of Science Society, charities are granted their special status to do things to the ‘public benefit’ – and that cyber harassment did not appear to fit that category.
A concerted campaign by several activists to try and shut down Friends of Science Society’s democratic right to hold a dissenting view on climate science continues to this day. Most recently, a group of prominent Canadians via the tax-subsidized charity Ecojustice filed a request for inquiry through the Competition Bureau claiming ‘deep pockets’ are funding Friends of Science alleged ‘denialism.’ In fact, Friends of Science Society has a nominal annual budget as noted by Wikipedia’s authors.
As shown below, a quick glance at the financial power behind the environmental movement in Canada gleaned from the CRA and related public records, expose the claims of Ecojustice that Friends of Science Society has some kind of financial influence on markets to be a laughable, disproportionate claim.
Ironically, Friends of Science Society reports its tiny annual budget is one tenth that of the interest earned by the investment fund of the David Suzuki Foundation. Most of the taxpayer-subsidized ENGO Charities are in favor of blocking taxpaying, job creating pipelines and resource/energy development while they advocate for renewable energy like wind and solar, all of which can only be produced and installed on the grid with fossil fuels. One might wonder if this activity is addressed by the Competition Act.
According to a thesis by McLevey (2013) pro-renewables, anti-oil sands activist groups like David Suzuki Foundation and Pembina Institute have had disproportionate influence in the media.
Furthermore, Friends of Science is, in fact, a group of scientists and science-minded citizens who have reviewed climate science over the past 14 years on a voluntary basis, and issued relevant reports, much like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does – in fact, some of the Friends of Science Society scientists have been expert reviewers of IPCC reports.MLK Rotary slides April-May 2016 [Dr. Khandekar would like to especially thank Shalan Khandekar for her assistance on the power point.]
In December 2015, Friends of Science filed a request and issued an open letter to PEN International addressed to Margaret Atwood, Canadian author, human rights and free speech activist and Vice President of Pen International for assistance in their bid for continued freedom of speech and scientific inquiry. Neither PEN nor Ms. Atwood has replied to the request for assistance to this point in time (April 22, 2016).
Friends of Science notes that freedom of speech is a Canadian Charter Right and a fundamental principle of scientific inquiry and democracy.