NRSP: Not Really Sufficiently Principled

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A column in the Toronto Sun yesterday sets a new low in the disingenuous disinformation campaign by the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP).

NRSP Executive Director Tom Harris (the PR guy) and Chair Dr. Tim Ball (the other PR guy) launch an attack on the well-respected Dr. John Stone, vice-chair of Working Group 2 (WG2) of the UN‘s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), characterizing him as a “highly politicized bureaucrat” who has been too quick to accept that the effect of CO2 on climate change is settled science.

Harris and Ball instead advance the testimony of their witness, “Dr. Richard Courtney, a UK-based climate science consultant and IPCC expert reviewer,” (my emphasis) who says that climate science is anything but settled.

But Richard Courtney is hardly a source to be taken seriously. In fact, there is every reason to believe that if he has a Ph.D. at all, he got it out of a box of cracker jacks.

Courtney is really just another PR guy. He’s a union official and a Technical Editor for CoalTrans International, the journal of the international coal trading industry, and his principal expertise seems to be in coming up with imaginative and self-promoting ways to suggest that climate change is either not happening or that its cause remains a deep, dark mystery. It would be embarrassing to any real scientist to be seen on the same newspaper page with this guy.

Having presented Courtney as something he is not, Harris and Ball move on to one of their other favourite “experts,” Dr. Tim Patterson, who repeats the strained claim that climate change is an unavoidable result of a warming sun, a position that has been conclusively and repeatedly dismissed, including in this reference by one of the world’s foremost astrophysicists.

We have seen before how shameless Harris and Ball can be in representing their energy industry clients. But it never ceases to surprise me that big city dailies – even dailies as undiscriminating as the Toronto Sun – continue to publish their palaver when 30 second on Google would have proven to be what it is: fallacious and silly.

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