The Oreskes Attack: Background on the Participants

The Oreskes Attack: Background on the Participants
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Here is yet more background on the remarkably high-profile battle over a purported paper that has yet to be published, but nevertheless attracted a huge amount of attention from the denier press.

The new paper is said to “update” the excellent Science article by Dr. Naomi Oreskes who reviewed 928 randomly selected papers on global warming, and found that none questioned the consensus view that human-activity, through the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, is a major contributor the climate change we are now experiencing.

This study has been a sore point for the climate denial industry for a long time. But it seems that a new effort is underway to discredit Oreskes’s seminal piece. The latest attack appears to come in collusion among an endocrinologist, a British Lord and a Republican, oil industry-friendly think tank operating in Washington, DC.

The endocrinologist is Mr. Klaus Martin-Shulte, who has prepared the paper that presumes to refute Dr. Oreskes’s original findings. A consultant in endocrine surgery at King’s College Hospital in the UK, Mr. Shulte seems to have spent his professional life comfortably under the radar.

That is, until an article appeared on a site called Dailytech about a soon-to-be published paper by Shulte finding that “less than half of all published scientists endorse global warming theory.”

Here’s where the British Lord and the DC think tank come into play. The British Lord goes by the title of The Third Viscount Lord Monckton of Brenchley (inset), a well-know player in the attack on conventional climate science. Here’s some more background on Brenchley.

Brenchley has another role as “Chief Policy Advisor” for a DC-based “think” tank called the Science and Public Policy Institute. In fact, in July of this year Brenchley published a paper in his role with the Science and Public Policy Institute panning Oreskes and her 2004 paper on the scientific consensus on the causes of climate change. A major focal point of Brenchley’s argument is the yet-to-be-published article by Mr. Shulte.

So here’s the time-line so far: Brenchley and the Science and Public Policy Institute release a report dated July, 2007, containing research findings from a paper that has not yet been published.

Now on the Science and Public Policy Institute’s website you can also find “open letters” written by Shulte regarding his research. Seems like the Science and Public Policy Institute has a direct pipeline (no pun intended) to Martin-Shulte.

All starts to seem a little too cozy, doesn’t it?

And once you start to look into the background of the Science and Public Policy Institute, the term cozy appears to be too much an understatement.

The Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) was founded by a long-time Republican staffer named Robert Ferguson. According to the SPPI website, Ferguson “has 26 years of Capitol Hill experience, having worked in both the House and Senate. He served in the House Republican Study Committee, the Senate Republican Policy Committee; as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jack Fields (R-TX) from 1981-1997, Chief of Staff to Congressman John E. Peterson (R-PA) from 1997-2002 and Chief of Staff to Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) in 2002.”

Until recently, Ferguson worked for an oil-industry funded think tank called Frontiers of Freedom. The Frontiers of Freedom are one of the most active groups in the attack on climate science and have received over $1 million in grants from oil giant ExxonMobil.

Ferguson ran the “Center for Science and Public Policy.”

According to ExxonSecrets, “Ferguson set up the Center for Science and Public Policy in early 2003, after receiving a $100,000 grant from ExxonMobil in 2002. Exxon has continued to fund the Center each year since then, to the tune of at least $50,000 a year.”

So what is the relationship between Ferguson, the Science and Public Policy Institute and this new yet-to-be-published study by Mr. Shulte? Who paid for Shulte’s research? Anybody?

The Oreskes Attack: Background on the Participants

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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