Tech Central Station

Tech Central Station (TCS, TCS Daily)

Background

Tech Central Station (TCS) is a now-defunct website that published commentary, news and analysis. From its founding in 2000 until fall 2006, TCS was run by the Republican lobbying firm DCI group and hosted by James K. Glassman, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). [1]

In 2006, Tech Central Station was purchased by Nick Schulz who had been its editor since 2001. TCS announced that “on September 19, 2006, DCI Group LLC announced the sale of TCS Daily to its editor, Nick Schulz.  As part of this process, our previous sponsorship agreements have expired. Updates about the transition in ownership will be posted on this page as they are available. ” [2], [3]

TCS was initially funded by a number of corporate sponsors including AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil, General Motors Corporation, McDonalds, Merck, Microsoft, Nasdaq, and PhRMA. TCS reported that all of these sponsorships expired at the time of the sale.  [3]

In 2003, Washington Monthly wrote that Glassman and TCS had given birth to the concept of “journo-lobbying” in Washington. It also noted that TCS shared staff and offices with DCI group, the public relations firm running it. For example, four of the five co-owners of TCS were also co-owners of DCI group. Three of TCS‘s sponsors—AT&T, GM, and PhRMA—had all used DCI‘s services as well. The magazine notes that “it is startling how often the opinions of TCS’s writers and sponsors converge.” [14]

Contributors to Tech Central Station have included many prominent climate change skeptics, as well as individuals associated with a variety of conservative think tanks including the International Policy Network (IPN), the Sustainable Development Network (SDN), the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the Scientific Alliance.

TCS Mission

According to an early archive of the TCS website, from 2000: [4]

“For too long, silicontrepreneurs have contemplated a false choice: ignore Washington or else descend into Gucci Gulch and behave just like old-fashioned special interests. Either stick to the business of making great products or else join the old game of pleading for special favors and urging restrictions on the competition. But there is another option – to promote an optimistic high-tech agenda of freedom and opportunity, with no apologies. 

Our mission is to articulate that agenda and to embolden people who love technology and know that it can only flourish in a free economy. Ultimately, we want to convince policymakers that the tech industry’s future success rests on the same foundation that’s been essential to its brilliant history. Tech companies need an environment where the creators of new products are free to grow and innovate. “ [4]

The group portrayed itself as an “online meeting place for technology news, analysis, and market intelligence providing a unique blend of investment insights, plus the one crucial ingredient for market success: a free-market agenda for high technology.”

Stance on Climate Change

Washington Monthly noted that after the launch of Tech Central Station, which boasted ExxonMobil as a sponsor, James Glassman began regularly attacking the Kyoto treaty and the science behind climate change—while he had seldom remarked on the subject before. [14] 

“When it came to the subject of climate change, on which he had seldom remarked before TCS was launched, Glassman became equally prolific, attacking Kyoto or the science of climate change in 40 columns for the site, many of them syndicated elsewhere. Meanwhile, he also took to the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal, the St. Louis Dispatch, and The Washington Times to trash Kyoto; in none of them did he disclose TCS’s connection to ExxonMobil,” the magazine profile noted. [14] 

ovember 28, 2000

According to a TCS press release, a report that claimed to challenged mainstream assumptions about climate chnage science “came from James K. Glassman,” wand was organized by climate change denier S. Fred Singer. The report criticized recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) coming out around the COP6 Climate Change conference in Holland:  [5]

“Writes Glassman, “Climate does change. It has changed for thousands of years, according to readings of ice cores and tree rings. The question is whether climate change will continue to be cyclical and out of the control of humans, or whether something utterly new is going on.””

Singer’s conclusion was that ““The overwhelming data point to no detectable global warming over the past 60 years.””  [5]

Funding

Available records have listed the following Sponsors on the TCS website between 2001 and 2006. In addition to those below, Sourcewatch notes additional funders have included National Semiconductor and Qualcomm, although this information no longer appears to be available in internet archives. [6]

Sponsor2001-12-142005-12-302006-01-302006-02-092006-03-172006-09-28
ExxonMobilYYYYYY
General Motors CorporationYYYYYY
Freddie Mac YYYYY
Merck YYYYY
PhRMA YYYYY
McDonalds YYYY 
American Beverage Association YYYY 
Gilead Sciences    Y 
Nasdaq YY   
AT&TY     
Lockheed MartinY     
MicrosoftY     

Koch Funding

According to publicly available 990 forms, the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation gave $25,000 to the Tech Central Science Foundation in 2004.

Exxon Funding

Tech Central Station was also singled out as an organization receiving financing aid from ExxonMobil. Two US Senators urged ExxonMobil to cease their financial assistance to such groups, including TCS:

“We are convinced that ExxonMobil’s long-standing support of a small cadre of global climate change skeptics, and those skeptics’ access to and influence on government policymakers, have made it increasingly difficult for the United States to demonstrate the moral clarity it needs across all facets of its diplomacy,” they said. [7]

According to ExxonSecrets, TCS received at least $95,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [8]

Key People

Name2000200120022005200620072009Description
Nick Schulz  YYYYYEditor in Chief
James K. GlassmanYYYYY  Host
Alan Oxley   YY  Co-Host, TCS Asia-Pacific
Craig Winneker   YY  Editor, TCS Europe
Duane Freese   YY  Senior Writer/Columnist 
Max Borders   YY  Managing Editor
Ray Patnaude    Y  Art Director
Matt Briney YY    Web Properties Manager
Sally Anderson  Y    Media Relations/Operations Director
Ted Jarrett Y     Operations Manager
David AlmacyY      E. Director
Justin PetersonY      Producer
Sallie Baliunas Y     Co-Host [10]

Authors

Authors listed at Tech Central Station, between 2004 and 2005, have included:

PR Watch noted in 2003 that Okonski had written an article for TechCentral Station during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg where she had said “Africans are sacrificed on the altar of trendy green delusions.” [9]

Actions

November 16, 2004

Willie Soon, Science Director at Tech Central Station and Sallie Baliunas, Enviro-Science Editor, Tech Central Station were among those listed as “climate experts” who signed an open letter to Senator John McCain regarding the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACAI). The letter suggests the Arctic has “experienced past warming that can not be attributed to greenhouse gas concentrations.” [12]

November 14, 2001

TCS columnist Duane D. Freese asserts that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP meetings “didn’t deal with the underlying science of climate change.” According to Freese, the science is not settled, and global warming could be beneficial: [13]

“The problem with this settled science approach to global warming is that no one – other than extreme environmentalists – fully buys it. Scientists themselves disagree about the extent to which human emissions of CO2 have an effect on climate change, with some even arguing that any effect is beneficial.”

August 30, 2001

James K. Glassman interviewed Bjorn Lomborg, “The Skeptical Environmentalist” about his views on a number of issues including climate change. [10]

“I try to say the Kyoto agreement, even if it was completed in full and the U.S. participated would do almost no good,” Lomborg said in the interview. “It would postpone warming for about six years longer than 2100. On the other hand, it will cost an amazing amount of money. ”

November 28, 2000

James K. Glassman brought forward a report criticizing science behind the COP6 Climate Conference that was organized by climate change denier S. Fred Singer. According to the TCS press release: [5]

“To examine the science of global warming, a group of seven scientists was brought together by S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist who is professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia, the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service and, most recently, chief scientist for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Singer’’s conclusion: “The overwhelming data point to no detectable global warming over the past 60 years.” […]”

The group of “seven scientists” cited by the TCS report included G.R. Weber, a noted climate change denier from Germany. Glassman wrote that the seven “scientist” group also met for a press conference “laying out the case against warming – or, more precisely, the case that we don’t know enough about climate to be sure (or anywhere close to sure) that the Earth is getting hotter and that humans can do much about it if it were.” [11]

TCS‘s reporting of COP6 included interviews with a variety of climate change deniers, and generally put forward views not held by the scientific majority:

Publications

Tech Central Station has routinely operated as an outlet for prominent climate change deniers. View the attached spreadsheet for a complete list of TCS Authors and Publications between 2004 and 2005 (.xlsx).

Below are some sample articles, by author, produced by TCS while in operation:

Alexandra Liddy Bourne

Bjorn Lomborg

Christopher C. Horner

David R. Henderson

David R. Legates

George Taylor

Hans H.J. Labohm

Howard C. Hayden

Joel Schwartz

Kenneth Green

Mark Steyn

Marlo Lewis, Jr.

Paul Reiter

Richard S. Lindzen

Robert C. Balling, Jr.

Ronald Bailey

Roy W. Spencer

Sallie Baliunas

Steven Milloy

Tim Patterson

Tomasz Teluk

Walter Cunningham

Willie Soon

Contact & Address

TCS Daily listed the following contact information, as of July 2006: [15]

P.O. Box 33705
Washington, DC 20033
Phone: 800-619-5258
Email: [email protected]

Resources

  1. About Us,” Tech Central Station. Archived October 29, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/xeTuX
  2. Something Old, Something New,” TCS Daily, September 19, 2006. Archived May 1, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Enhi5
  3. About TCS Daily,” Tech Central Station. Archived October 11, 2007. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/XZF1u
  4. About Tech Central Station,” Tech Central Station. Archived August 15, 2000. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/CDhd7
  5. (Press Release). “An Attack on Science:” Global Warming Assumptions Suspect at COP 6 Climate Conference,” Tech Central Station, November 28, 2000. Archived December 3, 2000. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/fXGz7
  6. Tech Central Station,” SourceWatch. Accessed May 1, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/v7BqR
  7. Senators to Exxon: Stop the Denial,” ABC News, October 27, 2006. Archived May 1, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/SWLZH
  8. EXXONSECRETS FACTSHEET: TECH CENTRAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OR TECH CENTRAL STATION, TCS.
  9. Strange Bedfellows,” Centre for Media and Democracy: PR Watch.org, First Quarter 2003 (Volume 10, No. 1). Archived July 5, 2008. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/IygTI
  10. The Skeptical Environmentalist Finds Hope for the Human Condition,” Tech Central Station, August 30, 2001. Archived November 27, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/KJB9V
  11. James K. Glassman. “Day 4 – TCS on Location at COP 6 Global Climate Change Summit,” Tech Central Station, November 22, 2000. Archived April 26, 2001. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hSLkM
  12. Climate Experts Respond to Arctic Climate Impact Assessment,” PR Newswire, November 16, 2004. Archived April 29, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/JXFL4 
  13. Duane D. Freese. “The Toothless Kyoto Dragon,” Tech Central Station, November 14, 2001. Archived March 18, 2005. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/EXNnF
  14. Nick Confessore. “Meet the Press How James Glassman reinvented journalism — as lobbying,” Washington Monthly, December 2003. Archived January 28, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/V79Q8
  15. “Contact,” TCS Daily. Archived July 1, 2006. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/vcalD 

Other Resources

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