Douglas Leahey

Douglas Leahey

Credentials

  • Ph.D., Air Pollution, Meteorology, New York University, New  York, NY, (1971). [1]
  • MSc., Meteorology, McGill University, Montreal, PQ, (1966). [1]
  • BSc., Physics (Honours), Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, (1963). [1]

Background

Douglas Leahey is an environmental consultant in Calgary. Leahey’s main focus has been in the area of gas flaring in the oil and gas sector. According to his resume, Leahey has been an expert witness for numerous oil companies such as Syncrude Canada Ltd, and Petro Canada on air quality issues relating to Alberta tar sands expansion. [1]

Doug Leahey is the past president and director of the Canadian climate change skeptic organization “The Friends of Science” (FOS).

In an August 2006 Globe and Mail feature, the FOS was exposed as being funded in part by the oil and gas sector and hiding the fact that they were: [2]

There was plenty of money for the anti-Kyoto cause in the oil patch, but the Friends dared not take money directly from energy companies. The optics, Mr. Jacobs [founder of the Friends of Science] admits, would have been terrible. This conundrum, he says, was solved by University of Calgary political scientist Barry Cooper, a well-known associate of Stephen Harper. As his is privilege as a faculty member, Prof. Cooper set up a fund at the university dubbed the Science Education Fund. Donors were encouraged to give to the fund through the Calgary Foundation, which administers charitable giving in the Calgary area, and has a policy of guarding donors’ identities. The Science Education Fund in turn provides money for the Friends of Science, as well as Tim Ball’s travel expenses, according to Mr. Jacobs.

And who are the donors?

No one will say. “[The money’s] not exclusively from the oil and gas industry,” says Prof. Cooper. “It’s also from foundations and individuals. I can’t tell you the names of those companies, or the foundations for that matter, or the individuals.” When pushed in another interview, however, Prof. Cooper admits, “There were some oil companies.”

Stance on Climate Change

Leahey is a signatory to an open letter which declared:

“Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’” [3]

Key Quotes

“A critical mass of science shows the Kyoto Protocol is built on a faulty assumption; that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant. The Federal Government is prepared to spend almost $10 billion in a problem that may not exist.  At the same time, Canada is causing real damage every day with lead pollution – a substance that has been known for generations to be a serious health hazard.  It’s time to put the brakes on Kyoto, and accelerate the cleanup of real pollution.” [4]

Key Deeds

February 4, 2018

In January 2018, more than 200 scientists endorsed an open letter calling on the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to remove climate change denier Rebekah Mercer from its board and to “end ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.” The New York Times reported that those among the AMNH letter calling for Mercer to step down were Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. [7]

Leahey was among a group of climate change deniers who responded with their own open letter, calling for the AMNH “not to cave in to this pressure.” The letter was signed by numerous individuals with ties to groups funded by the Mercer Family Foundation such as Will Happer of the CO2 CoalitionRichard Lindzen, a fellow at the Cato InstituteCraig Idso, the chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. There are a number of signatories affiliated with the Heartland Institute, which has received over $5.78 million from the Mercer Family Foundation since 2008. [8]

The letter reads: [9]

The Earth has supported abundant life many times in the geological past when there were much higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is quite likely that future generations will benefit from the enrichment of Earth’s atmosphere with more carbon dioxide.

Make no mistake, the agitators are not defending science from quackery — quite the contrary!”

March 4, 2008

Leahey is a signatory to the Manhattan Declaration which was presented at the end of the Heartland Institute’s 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. [5]

The Declaration states that “Global Warming is not a global crisis,” that “there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change,” and that “all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.”

September, 2007

FoS released a 2005 video titled Climate Catastrophe Cancelled. Their 2nd edition was released in September, 2007. The FoS website describes their video as follows:

Contrary to claims that the science of climate change has been settled, the causes of the past century’s modest warming is highly contested in the climate science community. The climate experts presenting in the video demonstrate that science is quickly diverging away from the hypothesis that the human release of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide, is having a significant impact on global climate. “There is absolutely no convincing scientific evidence that human-produced greenhouse gases are driving global climate change,” stated climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball. He added that the Canadian government’s plan to designate carbon dioxide as a “toxic” under CEPA is irresponsible and without scientific merit. “Carbon dioxide is a staff of life, plain and simple. It makes up less than 4% of greenhouse gases and it is not a toxic.”

The video features prominent climate change skeptics including Tim Ball, Sallie L. Baliunas, Ross McKitrick and Tim Patterson.  According to SourceWatch, costs recovered from the U of C for “video production” in 2005 amounted to $80,731.

April 2006

Leahey is listed as a signatory of the 2006 open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The letter, titled “Open Kyoto to Debate,” urged inaction on climate policy while debating the existence of climate change. [3]

2005

FoS released a radio ad campaign in late 2005 that featured ads denying the existence of climate change. 

The first ad denounced the One-Tonne Challenge: 

“You’ve been told about global warming, right? You know, take the One Tonne Challenge, turn down your heat and cool the planet. But have you been told the truth? Are you really causing global warming? Find out: watch our video at friendsofscience.org.”

The second ad discussed what FoS considers global warming myths:

“Here’s an easy true and false quiz. Ready?

  1. Global warming has caused more violent weather worldwide.
  2. The earth is warmer today than in the last thousand years.
  3. Carbon dioxide is dangerous pollution.

If you said yes, you’ve been misled. Get the real answers at friendsofscience.org, then ask your MPs why they want to spend billions on global warming theories.”

According to SourceWatch, the ads were funded by Professor Barry Cooper of the U of C’s research fund and partially supported by donations funneled through the University’s Science Education Fund. [6]

Affiliations

According to his resume, Leahey has been an expert witness for the public board of numerous large oil and energy companies including: [1]

  • Shell Canada Ltd.
  • Mobil Oil Ltd.
  • TransAlta Utilities Corporation of Canada Ltd.
  • Canterra Energy Ltd.
  • Panther Resources Ltd.
  • Inverness Petroleum, Ltd.
  • Western Decalta Petroleum (1977) Limited
  • Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Shell Canada Resources Limited
  • High Level Energy Ltd.
  • Cimarron Petroleum Ltd.
  • ICG Resources Ltd.
  • Amoco Canada Petroleum Company Ltd.
  • Strathfield Oil & Gas Ltd.
  • Amax Petroleum of Canada Inc.
  • Rider Resources Inc.
  • Post Energy Corp.
  • Startech Energy Inc.
  • Crestar Energy
  • Stampede Oils and Anderson Exploration Ltd.

Publications

According to an ISI database search of 22,000 publications, Leahey has not published any research on human-induced climate change.

Resources

  1. Douglas M. Leahey, Ph.D.,” DM Leahey & Associated Limited, February, 2002.
  2. Charles Montgomery. “Mr. Cool,” Globe and Mail, August 12, 2006.
  3. Open Kyoto to debate,” National Post, April 11, 2006.
  4. Combat Real Pollution,” (Press Release), Friends of Science, May 25, 2005.
  5. CLIMATE EXPERTS WHO SIGNED MANHATTAN DECLARATION,” International Climate Science Coalition. Accessed January, 2012.
  6. Friends of Science,” SourceWatch profile.
  7. Robin Pogrebin and Somini Sengupta. “A Science Denier at the Natural History Museum? Scientists Rebel,” The New York Times, January 25, 2018. Archived February 13, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tAIv4
  8. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.
  9. mnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF – Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.

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