If it’s Not Evil, Fraser Institute should open its books

If it’s Not Evil, Fraser Institute should open its books
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UPDATE: the Calgary screening of Not Evil Just Wrong was today and nobody showed up – seems even in the oil patch they’re not interested.

We sent this out to our Canadian media distribution list. Will be interesting to see if the journalists who cover this Not Evil Just Wrong film ask the tough questions.

Here’s the release we put out:

The Fraser Institute has announced its support of a new film called Not Evil Just Wrong, which denies the realities of human-caused climate change. The producers of the film and the Fraser Institute must come clean on their motivations.

This isn’t the first time the producers of the film Not Evil Just Wrong have pushed out a pro-industry propaganda film. Their last effort was a pro-coal mining film called Mine Your Own Business, billed as a portrayal of the dark side of environmentalism and its campaign to halt mining development in third world countries.

It was later revealed that Mine Your Own Business was sponsored by Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company that was attempting to set up a gold strip mine in the Romanian village that was the subject of the film.

The Fraser Institute, an industry-backed think tank based in Vancouver, BC, is promoting the debut of the film, apparently as part of an ongoing campaign to lobby against action on climate change. (The Institute had sponsored cross-Canada tours by U.K. contrarians Nigel Lawson and Christopher Monckton within the last two weeks.)

This also tracks with a longer record of climate change contrarianism on the Institute’s behalf. It has frequently promoted speakers who deny or minimize the likely effects of climate change, and it sponsored a major attack on the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Although not forthcoming about the source of its funding, the Institute is also known to be a frequent recipient of grants from the fossil fuel industry. For instance, they have received $120,000 from oil giant ExxonMobil for work on climate change. The Fraser Institute has often called on government to increase openness and transparency – whether of Labour Relations Boards, Hospitals, or Schools – so such transparency should also be followed by the Fraser Institute.

“We’ve been following these guys for years”, said Kevin Grandia, managing editor of the climate change website DeSmogBlog.com. “Whenever someone says climate change is nothing to worry about, we ask three questions: 1) Are they a scientist?

2) If so, are they conducting and publishing research in the field (or have they ever)?

3) Are they receiving funding from the fossil fuel industry? In four years of research, we’ve hardly found anyone who can pass that test, and certainly no one who is associated with the Fraser Institute.”

“The current campaign coincides with preparations for Copenhagen climate summit, at which world powers will attempt to negotiate a follow-on agreement for the Kyoto Protocol. Reporters should be questioning that timing,” said Jim Hoggan, co-founder of the DeSmogBlog and author of the new book Climate Cover-Up: the crusade to deny global warming.

The Fraser Institute and the producers of this film have shown in the past their willingness to produce a pro-industry message, trumped up as an independent analysis, Hoggan said. Reporters should be asking who is paying for the production and promotion of this film. We should have a right to know if fossil fuel companies are behind this ongoing campaign, this inflammatory attack on accepted science.

If it’s Not Evil, Fraser Institute should open its books

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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