ChequeMate: Amy Enrages DeSmogBlog Accountant

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DeSmog fans who have been following our conversation with Amy Ridenour of the National Centre for Public Policy Research will surely be entertained by her recent post . Amy complained earlier that we had used a photo of her husband, NCPPR second-in-command David Ridenour, without her permission. She proposed to charge us a dollar for one-time usage and promised to donate the dollar to charity.

I though a buck-a-shot was a good rate, so I sent her a cheque (that’s a check drawn on a Canadian bank) for $20, assuming we might want to feature David again. But cynic that I am, I was worried about what charity Amy might nominate, so I took the liberty of making the choice myself: Greenpeace. I can’t say that I am entirely surprised that Amy objected, but now she’s threatening to keep the cheque indefinitely, an eventuality that is sure to get me in trouble with my extremely fussy accountant. Life can be so hard.

And this could be all so much fun if it weren’t for the underlying seriousness of the issue. Amy complains that we are giving short shrift to “all that democracy stuff.” She says that in respecting the global consensus on climate change, we are somehow disenfranchising those who would “vote” for another conclusion.

Two things: first, this isn’t an election, it’s science. You don’t get to nominate a pet theory on the basis that it suits your political pals – or you shouldn’t. Second, even if we were to cast this in democratic terms, majority rules. All the best scientists in the world agree climate change is a pressing threat. For that matter, most of the best oil company executives agree with them. When those votes are counted, what right does a rump of Exxon-funded deniers have to disrupt the policy process further?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course, but I still look forward to Amy’s spin. In the meantime, given that I don’t have her permission to use David’s photo, I have adorned this post with a picture of her testifying before a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on July 22, 2005, in regards to her involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal. I presume this shot is in the public domain, but if she insists, I’ll pen another cheque – and pick another beneficiary.

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