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« A major FOI victory | Main | Bizarre science - Josh 141 »
Monday
Jan232012

What the greens spend their money on

Leo Hickman reports that a group called the Request Initiative is pursuing an FOI request against the Charities Commission, trying to force them to release details of who is funding GWPF.

Request Initiative is an organisation that places FOI requests on behalf of charities and NGOs. It is run by a chap called Brendan Montague who, by strange coincindence, came to interview me in at the end of 2010, on the first anniversary of Climategate. At that point he explained that he was a freelance journalist and was writing a story about the Climategate anniversary. Strangely, nothing ever appeared. I therefore note with interest that he placed his first FOI request to the Charities Commission about GWPF in 2010. I wonder if the "freelance journalist" bit was therefore not entirely true. I can't remember whether we discussed GWPF and its funding at all but I wouldn't have been able to tell him anything about it anyway. My recollection is that we talked mainly about Climategate.

In passing, I note that the use of an intermediary such as Request Initiative essentially conceals the identity of the requester. I wonder which NGO is so bashful about its activities? When I chanced upon the original FOI request on the web, I asked Bob Ward - the most obvious source - if he was involved. He appeared to be very reticent about replying but eventually said that he had nothing to do with it.

As for the FOI request, it has now apparently worked its way up to the Information Tribunal. I can't see that it will meet with any success there. I'm no expert in the DPA, but I can't see an argument that there is a public interest in disclosing donors' names because GWPF are a bunch of liars (or word to that effect) meeting with much success. In fact I would have thought that GWPF the Charities Commission would have a good case to ask for their costs to be paid.

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Reader Comments (147)

My reading of this is that the man-made global warming alarmists are getting very alarmed that their scam is rapidly disintegrating. They are doing everything that they can to shut down any debate and silence any opposition. Of course it won't work, because truth will out and the climate will do what the laws of physics ordain.

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"I asked Bob Ward - the most obvious source - if he was involved. He appeared to be very reticent about replying but eventually said that he had nothing to do with it."

Much as I dislike Bob Ward...this seems to me to be an innuendo too far.

Conflicted about this one. I can see every reason why some contributors to the GWPF might like to remain unidentified....because as soon as they are they can expect a savaging from the likes of Bob Ward. However I would much prefer funding from all sides to be out in the open. The FOI are in danger of setting some pretty interesting precedents here, I would have thought, if they decide the names must be disclosed. That has to be a good thing in the future!

Governments have grown to hate FOI....therefore it should be strengthened and augmented as much as possible!

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

And no comments allowed? Seems someone doesn't want any inconvenient statements or facts aired about the true intentions of the people making the request?

Further more, are these guys really saying that with a budget a fraction of a fraction of a percent of Big Green that these sceptics are some how "buying" the medias attention?

Further more I think it's quite obvious what would happen if the donors names were put in the public domain. Anyone who believes these people WON'T be targeted live in Laalaa land!

Mailman

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

"Climate scientists back call for sceptic thinktank to reveal backers"

I guess this headline may sound virtuous by virtue of the fact that a climate scientist calling for anything is intrinsically virtuous. But to my jaded ears it only says that someone who has a special interest in not being scrutinised too closely is attempting to aid harass a source of such scrutiny.

Whatever GWPF is it hardly has the clout or influence of many other NGOs, I don’t remember Greenpeace giving out full lists of its donors maybe they do?

I think this is an excellent example of the skewed morality that such a self-evidently “virtuous” science creates – you get to the stage where non-governmental outfits who have nothing like the clout of any other NGO in environment are seen to be virtuously pursued via loopholes only because they are a critical body who makes climate scientist have to justify themselves a bit harder. Meanwhile confidence bias reigns supreme behind the doors of bullsh*t organisations like CRU.

Didn’t the tobacco companies recently get pulled up for using intermediaries when requesting FOI’s? Surely if a charity is “fighting” against another one we need to see which ones are doing this and why? Or am I being too curious?

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I thought it was an alliance of 'big oil' and the Koch Brothers.

Still joking aside, I will show you mine, if you'll show me yours!

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Surely, GWPF make an FOI request to identify the backers of Request Initiative. it's only fair.

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan_UK

When Greenpeace makes overt threats against individuals with statements like this:

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

And we be many, but you be few.

It is hardly surprising donors wish to remain anonymous.

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

+1 to Jack Savage's point on this - it would be more helpful if the GWPF was a little less secretive - OK there is a privacy issue but it makes it an easy target.

It is interesting to note a similar story on WUWT this morning where AW dug into the origins of another lobby group this time campaigning to make weather forecasters toe the line.

wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/22/forecastthefacts-org-political-activists-gagging-our-tv-meteorologists-on-climate-issues

FOI needs to be extended not capped or limited.

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris

I therefore note with interest that he placed his first FOI request to the Charities Commission about GWPF in 2010. I wonder if the "freelance journalist" bit was therefore not entirely true.

Your Grace, journalists are among the biggest beneficiaries of FOI laws. This has been so probably from day one.

If I am reading your imputation correctly, you mean to say that because he submitted an FOI request his journalistic credentials, freelance or not, is somehow questionable.

As far as I know, any citizen can submit an FOI request and credentials are completely irrelevant.

If that chap, Brendan Montague, is indeed a journalist, be it freelance, then it is bad professionalism on his part for not following up the interview with you with a link to the published article or, in the absence of that, a follow up contact explaining why a piece has not been issued.

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Surely, GWPF make an FOI request to identify the backers of Request Initiative. it's only fair.
Jan 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM | Ian_UK

Yes, I noticed they don't cover funding under the "about" section of their website - an administrative oversight, no doubt.

Brendan Montague himself is obviously from the top drawer of the investigative journalism profession, possibly Pullitzer material - here's his breathless account of how he was pipped on his first big scoop:-

I called the Sunday tabloid one bright afternoon with the name of a celebrity chef and tales of famous London nightclubs, glamorous hotels and sexual impropriety. The reporter I spoke to was Clive Goodman. He promised me the Screws would pay the most – but something about his conspiratorial tones turned me towards a more gregarious Sunday Mirror news editor.

The News of the World was not going to let this apparent front page get away. A rapid succession of calls to my mobile followed. These allowed the caller to access my voicemail – I had not set a password. My personal greeting gave them my real name and my place of work while the messages revealed the identity of my then girlfriend, who was the source of the story....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/26/news-of-the-world-phone-hacking

Woodward & Bernstein - eat your hearts out.

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Bish

I wrote a post just now and, after the verification box, got a message saying " your post will be considered for posting by an editor" or words to that effect.

Do we have pre-moderation now?

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Clearly not since that one went straight through - bizarre.

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

"Request Initiative is an organisation that places FOI requests on behalf of charities and NGOs."

Ambulance chasing warmers?

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Re: sHx

If I am reading your imputation correctly, you mean to say that because he submitted an FOI request his journalistic credentials, freelance or not, is somehow questionable.

You are reading it incorrectly. The bish is basing his doubt about his (Brendan Montague's) journalistic credentials on the fact that he claimed to be writing a story on climategate and it never appeared.

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Hi Bish

Is this the guy? :- http://www.brendanmontague.com/home

If so he told you a porky, His bio says he has worked for the Sunday Times since 2006:-

""Brendan is currently a reporter for the Sunday Times in London. He arrived at the newsroom in October 2006 and has filed a raft of front page stories on breaking news events and current affairs. He has broken exclusive stories about David Miliband, the future of Sat Nav systems, neuroscience and high heels.""

cheers

Patrick

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commentergrumpy granddad

Bish

the post verification system ha finally defeated me - I just got:-

"Your post will be visible on this site after it has been approved by an editor." - again.

I think the problem may be that the scrambled text defeats not only fiendish "bots" - but also my tired old eyes.

Ah well - I'll try again tomorrow.

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

The 'scoop' journalists list doesn't include a Bernard Montague but that's not conclusive if he's a freelance — my name was never on that list either.

Jan 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Terry S

I think you may exaggerate the problem in your earler post [09.15] The Board of GWPF has 9 listed members and the Academic Advisory Board has 26. I am not aware of any of them being targetted.

The sceptic cause has to be seen to be whiter than white. Just as donations to political parties of, I think over £5,000 must be declared, I think GWPF should have to do the same.

That is why I post under my real name. [Although I do understand why it is not possible for everyone]

Jan 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hewitt

Re: John Hewitt

Saying to somebody "We know where you live" is a threat. It is intimidation.

Lets say they get the donor list and there is an editor from a journal, an academic, a politician or whatever. Do you think that "Knowing who they are" and "Knowing where they work" they will just let them get on with their lives? I doubt it very much. They will use whatever pressure they can to get the people dismissed from their posts.

The sceptic cause has to be seen to be whiter than white. Just as donations to political parties of, I think over £5,000 must be declared, I think GWPF should have to do the same.

If the GWPF have to do that then every single charitable organisation should have to do the same. It has to be the same rule for everybody.

Jan 23, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

TerryS

I took a short cut with the quote. Let me give you a few preceding sentences:

It is run by a chap called Brendan Montague who, by strange coincindence, came to interview me in at the end of 2010, on the first anniversary of Climategate. At that point he explained that he was a freelance journalist and was writing a story about the Climategate anniversary. Strangely, nothing ever appeared. I therefore note with interest that he placed his first FOI request to the Charities Commission about GWPF in 2010. I wonder if the "freelance journalist" bit was therefore not entirely true.

So the bishop establishes his suspicion on two pieces of evidence. 1- Brendan Montague interviewed him, but he produced no story, 2- He was the first to submit an FOI request to GWPF.

My reply addresses exactly those two issues.

The second piece of evidence is irrelevant. It tells us nothing about Montague's journalistic credentials. If anything, it probably strengthens it because journalists have professional attachment to the benefits of FOIAs.

As for Montague not following up an an interview with a story as expected from a professional journalist, OK, that casts doubt on Montague's credentials. An interviewee who spared time for a reporter is entitled to some kind of response even if the interview didn't make it into a story.

Perhaps Brendan Montague is not a journalist but, you know, he might just be the real deal but in a deliberatly bad form against 'deniers'. We see the likes of them often.

The onus of proof is on Montague now to show why he is a journalist and not a fraud.

Jan 23, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

There is a Guardian piece by Brenda Montague here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/26/news-of-the-world-phone-hacking

It seems he is no longer interested in the sexual impropriety of celebrity chefs.

"I am much more interested in "following the money" and looking at organisations which create climate change, pollute, bribe, bully and attack trade unions. A much more worthy target of investigation."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/26/news-of-the-world-phone-hacking?commentpage=1#comment-2483226

Jan 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

If the GWPF receives public funds then they should of course declare as with every other NGO and charity that gets public cash! if not then the F.O.Ia shouldn't be used unless a crime is being hidden and the law is involved Montague is on a fishing trip !

Jan 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered Commentermat

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Did you notice Brendan Montague's footnote in the comments?

"Now I would not sell a story of that nature to the News of the World or any other newspaper. I am much more interested in 'following the money' and looking at organisations which create climate change, pollute, bribe, bully and attack trade unions. A much more worthy target of investigation."

Jan 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

This new captcha thingy is a pain.

Jan 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

sHx

I'm not really accusing anyone of anything. He told me at the time that he was freelance and ex-Sunday Times. He said he wanted to write a piece for the Climategate anniversary. My wondering about the truth of the "freelance journalist" was prompted by the thought that he might be doing some investigation of me for an NGO, as Request Inititiative seems to do work for such bodies. Leo Hickman has suggested Montague's work on GWPF is not NGO-backed, so perhaps not.

One further thought though: if this was freelance investigation/journalism, Montague's FOI request may indicate that actually I (or GWPF) was the story rather than Climategate, as he originally told me.

Jan 23, 2012 at 1:02 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Surely, the description "freelance journalist" is a very broad one and could be applied to someone who has at some time or other contributed an article to a journal, or someone who is not employed by any particular publication but makes his living from regularly contributing articles. One would naturally assume it was the latter.

Jan 23, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

looking at their filed accounts for the year to Jukly 2010, the GWPF had income of £500k. I suspect that Bob Ward's outfit gets rather more than that.

And in their Chairman's Statement, they explicitly say:
"There has been criticism in some parts of the media and elsewhere that we do not disclose the identity of our donors. In this we are not alone. Few think tanks do so. Unlike most other charities, think tanks tend to operate in controversial areas: indeed, that is part of their raison d’être. It is understandable that donors do not wish to be publicly engaged in controversy. This is particularly true of GWPF, where the soil we till is highly controversial, and anyone who puts their head above the parapet has to be prepared to endure a degree of public vilification. For that reason we offer all our donors the protection of anonymity.

However, in order to reassure those who might otherwise doubt our complete independence, our Protocol for the Acceptance of Gifts lays down that we do not accept donations either from the energy industry or from anyone with a significant interest in the energy industry. This was formally resolved at the first meeting of our Board of Trustees. Nor, for that matter, do we accept money from government."

Jan 23, 2012 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Just as I thought, The Grantham Institute and the Grantham Foundation do not disclose any details of their financial structure. They come across as a rather furtive bunch of organisations, to judge by their web-sites.

Jan 23, 2012 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

but I did find this:
"The Grantham Institute is committed to driving climate change
related research and translating it into real world impact. Established
in February 2007 with a £12.8 million donation over ten years from
the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, the
Institute’s researchers are developing both the fundamental scientific
understanding of climate change, and the mitigation and adaptation
responses to it. The research, policy and outreach work that the
Institute carries out is based on, and backed up by, the leading edge
research of academic staff at Imperial College London."

So Bob Ward and co get £1.2m per annum versus the paltry resources of the GWPF.

Jan 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

I would be very interested to know who funds the GWPF and why.

No doubt I am alone in finding the Chairman's statement (see diogenes at Jan 23, 2012 at 2:55 PM) both self-serving and unconvincing.

How do we know that the GWPF is not being run for the benefit of vested corporate interests if the sources of its funding are cloaked in secrecy?

Full disclosure is required. Exactly as sceptics are always demanding from 'the scientists'.

Jan 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

How do we know that the GWPF is not being run for the benefit of vested corporate interests if the sources of its funding are cloaked in secrecy?

You mean does it receive funding from "Big Oil" like the UEA?

The Chairman's statement says that they don't and until they do something that shows them to be untrustworthy I will believe them.

Jan 23, 2012 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

@BBD... you can demand all you like...

This is a democracy.

Full disclosure is a matter of choice. What I do with my disposable income is my business. Now you can decide to mark down what the GWPF does because of lack of transparency. Your choice.

This is a donation and not taxation.

Jan 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Exactly as sceptics are always demanding from 'the scientists'.
The difference, BBD, is that "the scientists" are using data to draw conclusions which we have no way of verifying and which governments are using to impose draconian measures in terms of taxes and which NGOs are using to persuade governments to impose draconian measures which will have the effect of virtually destroying western civilisation.
We are not (or at least I am not) asking "the scientists" to disclose their sources of funding only sufficient of their research for me, or at least any qualified scientist who wishes to, to examine their work and either replicate it or cast it in doubt. It's called the scientific method.
So there is no direct comparison between the two.
I presume you would also wish to see the funding for such as Grantham, Greenpeace, WWF, FoE, etc also made public?
I don't know what your problem is with the GWPF statement. It looks fairly anodyne to me and in fact goes further than a lot of think tanks or pressure groups would go in the same circumstances.

Jan 23, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

"No doubt I am alone in finding the Chairman's statement (see diogenes at Jan 23, 2012 at 2:55 PM) both self-serving and unconvincing. "

BBD, I think you are alone in your beliefs on this subject. You normally are.

Jan 23, 2012 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Leo Hickman says ' leading climate scientists' are supporting the FOI request, but names only James Hansen.

The Request Initiative blog also names John Abraham, Stephan Lewandowsky, Naomi Oreskes and Clive Hamilton. Professors maybe, but of other 'ologies.

http://requestinitiative.org/2012/01/239/

Jan 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

so the GWPF with reported income of £500k is a threat, while Greenpeace and WWF-UK are not! It is laughable - figures below from Charities Commission:

Greenpeace £2.7m
WWF-UK £56.7m

Jan 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Re the funding of Bob Ward and the Grantham Institute, this comes from the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, which was of course co-founded by Jeremy Grantham, who is also co-founder and chief strategist of investment management company GMO, LLC.

In a NY Times article last year, Jeremy Grantham is quoted as saying: "But it's very important to me to make a lot of money now, much more than when I was 40 or 50. Other than what I need for living, it all goes into the foundation."

According to this site, the top holdings from the GMO U.S. Core Fund at the end of June 2011 included Wal-Mart, Procter and Gamble and Coca-Cola.

Also - Philip Morris and Exxon Mobil.

Jan 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

A little disinformation goes a long way. So it's highly cost-effective.

Yes, I would like to see full disclosure by every group that seeks to influence public opinion and public policy. That is the only way to identify the workings of corporate vested interest. And when an organisation refuses to reveal it's sources of funding, the only reasonable response is to assume that they are covering something up. Something discreditable.

Jan 23, 2012 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Brendan Montague's footnote via "Dreadnought" comment above: "...I am much more interested in 'following the money' and looking at organisations which create climate change, pollute, bribe, bully..." Notice how Montague leaves out a critical element of such a pursuit, namely showing how a literal exchange of money results in a corresponding fabricated false climate assessment at the hands of a skeptic scientist.

This half-backwards pursuit, revelations of guilt-by-association alone, is the only defense the AGW side has ever had to offer to the public when anyone points out the work of skeptic scientists. And it goes all the way back to the early '90s when Al Gore first started running into major opposition to his claims. His response wasn't to have AGW scientists wipe out the skeptics - the public would only see such debates as complicated contradictory arguments. He instead sought to cast doubt on the integrity of people like Sherwood Idso, as in what's seen at thumbnail pgs 35 onward at this Greenpeace scan of Al Gore's April 9, 1992 US Senate hearing where he grilled Idso about his ties to the Western Fuels Association: http://research.greenpeaceusa.org/?a=view&d=2882

If Montague does 'follow the money' and ends up NOT finding anything remotely indicating a conspiracy to confuse the public over 'settled science', might he then point his FOIA inquiries toward Al Gore's Senate and Vice Presidential files, in order to find out why Gore's various narratives about corrupt skeptic scientists do not line up right, and why that particular situation ends up looking like a conspiracy of enviro-activists to confuse the public over the credibility of skeptics? I doubt it.

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/11168/Climate-Depot-Exclusive-Smearing-Skeptic-Scientists-What-did-Gore-know-and-when-did-he-know-it

Jan 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell C

BBD says

And when an organisation refuses to reveal it's sources of funding, the only reasonable response is to assume that they are covering something up. Something discreditable.

Had you written
And when an organisation refuses to reveal it's sources of data and methods and agreements and emails, the only reasonable response is to assume that they are covering something up. Something discreditable.

then we would know you were concerned about the science practiced at CRU.

Jan 23, 2012 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I am not certain of the funding behind Request Initiiative because of its highly opaque website. However, it does get funding from a "charity" called The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, whose last accounts show total income of £8.8m.

"Where the money comes from
UnLtd Millennium Awards are funded by the income from a legacy of £100 million granted by the Millennium Commission. This legacy is carefully invested so that the income can be obtained for awards for the future - this is what is called a permanent endowment.

The Millennium Commission is the only distributor of lottery funds to good causes who some time ago decided to provide awards to individuals. Around 25,000 of these have been made so far and they have been so successful that they decided to provide the legacy to UnLtd to carry on this work for the future."

The objects of this "charity" are:

1 the relief of poverty
2 the promotion of education and training
3 the advancement of other purposes beneficial to the community

these objects are to be carried out only by grants of money to individuals.

so this grant to Request Initiative is possibly ultra vires.

I hope that Hansen is concerned by this.

Jan 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Philip Bratby

Odd that you go to the trouble of quoting me:

And when an organisation refuses to reveal it's [sic; oops] sources of funding, the only reasonable response is to assume that they are covering something up. Something discreditable.

And then fail to address what I am actually saying. Shub does that too. It's very disappointing.

By the by, what is it that the CRU is supposedly hiding? I thought that it made the HADCRUT data available last year. In fact I am under the very strong impression that there is nothing untoward about the HADCRUT temperature reconstruction except that it probably under-accounts for Arctic warming and so does not accurately capture the extent of warming over the last decade. I understand that HADCRUT4 will go some way to correcting this cool bias.

Jan 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

diogenes

I still very much want to know who funds the GWPF and why. Don't you? Or are you not really much of a 'sceptic' after all?

Could that be it?

Jan 23, 2012 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I would have expected BBD to be a little more charitable in welcoming a token lone voice of challenge to the asinine and economically devastating energy policy currently pursued with suicidal zeal by his champions. After all, he has voiced his own spleen on renewables policy in more than a few threads.

But alas, the higher duty to defend the faith, which necessitates discrediting and eliminating all opposition, prevails.

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Your Grace, the additional info has helped. I am with you on this. I hadn't heard of the guy until today to be honest. So he is a journalist of some kind with a distinctly trite, literary style:

I called the Sunday tabloid one bright afternoon...

Actually, "it was a dark and stormy night".

Brendan Montague seems to take a delight in portraying himself in the middle of a maelstrom and fighting on the side of the angels.

And then there is this:

...but something about his [Clive Goodman's] conspiratorial tones turned me towards a more gregarious Sunday Mirror news editor.

"More egregious", more like it.

He is wasted in journalism. He ought to be writing spy novels.

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

BBD

The president and trustees of the GWPF have made a declaration that they do not receive funding from the energy industry or government. I have not seen anything from them that would make me suspect that their motives are anything different from whsat they openly state.

I am much more concerned about the far greater resources available to organisations such as the Grantham Institute, WWF and Greenpeace which have been conducting a campaign of, if you want to be charitable, disinformation.

That makes me a sceptic. Your view makes you as suspect and believable as, for example, a supporter of an organisation such as CND in the 1980s, which was heavily funded and influenced by the DDR.

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

[Namecalling]

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I am not certain of the funding behind Request Initiiative because of its highly opaque website. However, it does get funding from a "charity" called The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, whose last accounts show total income of £8.8m.

"Where the money comes from
UnLtd Millennium Awards are funded by the income from a legacy of £100 million granted by the Millennium Commission. This legacy is carefully invested so that the income can be obtained for awards for the future - this is what is called a permanent endowment.

The Millennium Commission is the only distributor of lottery funds to good causes who some time ago decided to provide awards to individuals. Around 25,000 of these have been made so far and they have been so successful that they decided to provide the legacy to UnLtd to carry on this work for the future."

The objects of this "charity" are:

1 the relief of poverty
2 the promotion of education and training
3 the advancement of other purposes beneficial to the community

these objects are to be carried out only by grants of money to individuals.

so this grant to Request Initiative is possibly ultra vires.

I hope that Hansen is concerned by this.
Jan 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM diogenes

Fascinating dg.

So a charity, set up with £100m of public lottery cash to promote "social entrepreneurs" - which illustrates its website with pix of starry eyed multiculti kiddies setting up youth clubs - actually doles out the cash to dodgy failed tabloid hacks who want to dabble in the dark arts of political PR.

Maybe they should keep some money in reserve for rehabilitating the more colourful characters currently explaining themselves to the Leveson enquiry.

Then, if they've got any left over - for "the advancement of other purposes beneficial to the community" - they could bung it all to a really worthy cause like Bob Ward's institute.

Jan 23, 2012 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

leading climate scientists' are supporting the FOI request, but names only James Hansen.

The statement is both accurate and at the same time hilarious , when you resorting to 'boiling oceans ' Hansen as you chief mod of support your really are in the shit.


BBD , simple question do you support such transparency of funding for such groups or only those you don't like ? Oddly if receiving money from Oil companies means you views can't be trusted your going to have to ignore some surprising groups or people , start with the CRU and the IPCC .

Jan 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

[No]

Jan 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

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