As Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Alberta Premier Ralph Klein continue to lead the anti-Kyoto charge on the political front, it now appears that that Tory activists are also working the public relations campaign to muddy the waters – especially by backing the activities of the Alberta-based climate change denial machine: “Friends of Science.”
Morten Paulsen of the international PR and lobby firm, Fleishmann-Hillard, is listed as the media contact for the Friends of Science. Paulsen is a well-connected conservative. Among other things, he was long-time Alberta Director of Organization for the Reform Party until its name change to the Canadian Alliance in 2002 and Director of Communications for Preston Manning.
Paulson also held other positions throughout the PC and CPC parties:
- 2006 – Co-Chair of the Alberta PC’s AGM and Convention
- 2004 – Campaign Manager, for Calgary North East MP, Art Hanger
- 2002 – Spokesman for the Canadian Alliance party
- 1996 – Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Leader of the Official Opposition, Preston Manning
Most recently, Friends of Science have financed and organized a speaking tour by the self-appointed climate expert Dr. Timothy Ball. It seems more than coincidental that a group of climate change skeptics, working with a Conservative Party insider, come together just as Harper and Klein begin the public spin battle to get out of Canada’s obligations under the Kyoto Accord. I
It is, in fact, another example of the degree to which the Tories have taken a page pulled from the 2003 Frank Luntz Republican playbook on dealing with the climate change issue.
Deny, deny, deny publicly and stall, stall, stall politically.