On Chris Essex, Politics, Accountability and Climate Change Denial

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University of Western Ontario statistician Dr. Christopher Essex, previously an energetic campaigner in the battle to deny climate change, has apparently decided to take the reward for his political lobbying and head for the hills.

Essex,  appointed Tuesday to the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), has distinguished himselves in certain circles as one of the climate “experts” who deny the international consensus that humans are causing climate change. He co-authored a book, Taken by Storm, with the notorious climate change denier Ross McKitrick (he of the anti-hockey stick campaign) and he has been touted from the beginning as one of the Friends of Science, the oil-industry funded front group that lobbies against climate change policy. Essex has been a featured speaker at Fraser Institute Kyoto-bashing sessions, and he was one of 19 Canadians who signed the Letter of 60 to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, again urging inaction on the climate file.

But for all his criticism of others who join the public debate on climate change policy – for all of his own efforts to politicize an issue that he himself insists should be decided by climate change professionals – Essex has now disappeared from view, ducking phone calls and leaving e-mails unanswered. We are left to guess about the implications of his appointment to one of the nation’s largest science granting councils.

We at the deSmogBlog wanted to ask Dr. Essex if he sincerely doubts that humans have caused climate change; if he continues to advocate that Canadian government NOT take action against climate change; and whether his political views will affect his performance on NSERC? We’d also love to know whether he thinks his appointment was related to the fact that he is one of a very small minority of Canadian academics who are prepared to publicly support the Harper government’s hostility to the Kyoto accord.

So, we’d be delighted if Dr. Essex would provide answers in any way he chooses. (We have left ample phone numbers and email addresses, already.)

And if he answers in print, we will post his comments here unedited and in full.

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