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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)

The idea that the output of any think tank (whether the GWPF or the Grantham Institute) should be evaluated on the basis of their funding I find only explicable in terms of an extremist epistemology that I thought had been banished to dustbin of history a generation or more ago. My view is that for a piece of work to be called sound science it must either/both
- Substantiate the conclusions by showing the methods and data on which the results were derived (like a pharmaceutical company aiming to launch a new product). This should be sufficient to enable replication, or at least comparison with alternative results.
- Give clear and novel explanations about the world, that cannot be explained by existing theories - preferably a novel prediction of future states.
To fling out results that cannot be replicated is a conjuring trick. To try to fortify the conclusions by biased opinion polls, and then denigrating, or even attacking opponents, is bordering on the thuggery of banana republics. Like a judge in a criminal case, we should always take a dim view of witness intimidation or jury nobbling.

Jan 24, 2012 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

Bravo. That is an excellent summation. Says it all for me. I am constantly bemused by the lack of shame and/or self-awareness of the strange asymmetry of the people basically saying - Well they want to question the science so that is the reason why we need to know their funding. - Totally creeps me out.

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

That last was in response to Manicbeancounter

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I asked the necessary question.
Necessary for you, maybe. Nobody else has found it necessary.
What I find necessary is to give no quarter to environmental groups or individuals whose objective is patently to disrupt the work of those with whom they disagree.
Leopard has it spot on:
"... they want to question the science so that is the reason why we need to know their funding."
(Note the ellipsis there, BBD. Just so that you can't accuse me of misquoting or anything! :-))
We can go one step further:
Since they disagree with us they must be funded by Big Oil because everyone who disagrees with us is but we can't prove it which really pisses us off. So we'll try and find out using FoI because it's important that we know.
Not sure why it's important that they know but there you go!
A look at the detailed report from the Commissioner would seem to bear out this hypothesis of mine. It becomes clear as we read through that what the requester is really aiming for is to find out whether GWPF gets any money from the oil industry, still stuck as they are in their rather infantile mindset that where the money comes from matters.
But, as BBD says above, "what matters is the science". The NGOs are a "vast irrelevance".
So presumably the GWPF and who funds it is also "a vast irrelevance", BBD.
Or have you just shot yourself in the foot?

Jan 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike,

I think you are being charitable there. I think the REAL reason they want to know who the donor is is so they can target that person and force them to stop donating to the GPWF. That single act would probably cause a lot of damage to the GPWF and make it much harder for them to operate.

It would just be a bonus if it turns out the funding is from big oil

Mailman

Jan 24, 2012 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Lots of ranty stuff deleted on this thread.

Jan 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

[Stop please]

Jan 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Mailman
Perhaps I'm in a good mood! Your explanation is equally possible. My experience of green groups and individuals (fairly extensive) is that they have a limited number of preferred bogeymen — further evidence that 'greenery' is a religion — and if you are opposing them then you must be in the pay of one or other of them.
Their opposition to GWPF would certainly encompass threatening and intimidating anyone who was funding it but their starting point will almost certainly be an assumption (nay, a certainty!) that that individual or group will be connected to the oil industry.
I mean, why else would anyone oppose them? Either you're a paid shill or you're slightly insane. They don't have any other concept of things!

Jan 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

[Done]

Jan 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Mike Jackson

Necessary for you, maybe. Nobody else has found it necessary.

That's because they aren't sceptics. Sceptics check everything

What I find necessary is to give no quarter to environmental groups or individuals whose objective is patently to disrupt the work of those with whom they disagree.

I feel the same way about vested corporate interests.

It becomes clear as we read through that what the requester is really aiming for is to find out whether GWPF gets any money from the oil industry, still stuck as they are in their rather infantile mindset that where the money comes from matters.

Unbelievable. Look, the clue is in the name: Global Warming POLICY Foundation. Here is a 'think tank' that seeks to influence public policy by casting doubt on climate science (I know it claims to be neutral but that it patently untrue, so please do not bother digging out the statement; it will be met with deserved derision).

So of course it matters where the money is coming from. Are you seriously telling me that you don't care that vested corporate interests are trying to influence public policy?

Are you seriously claiming that there's no need to ask the necessary question: where is the money coming from?

Because if you are, I will say clearly now that I do not believe you.

Jan 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Jiminy Cricket

Oh sorry. Unlike you, I value my anonymity. But of course I admire you for having the courage to use your real name.

Don't be daft.

Jan 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

[Done]

Jan 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Of course this is merely YOUR interpretation BBD.

Sadly for you the law doesn't agree and no doubt Hansen et al would all have made the exact same allegations as you BUT the judge didn't agree. Quite clearly there is no public interest in the name of the individual being made public, and dare I say it, the judge is quite right to consider the safety of the individual in question because just like the animal rights terrorists, crazy green can be unpredictable.

Now you can bleat as much as you like but that doesn't change the fact that the law doesn't agree with you.

Mailman

Jan 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Are you seriously telling me that you don't care that vested corporate interests are trying to influence public policy?
I would expect everyone to try to influence public policy — you, me, mailman, the Bishop — since we are all likely to be affected by what public policy turns out to be and how it is put into practice.
What you call "vested corporate interests" (a phraseology that immediately betrays your political stance in this matter) are as entitled as anyone else to lobby governments, take advertising space, and in other ways attempt to influence government and also to influence us to use what little influence we have to influence government.
But I have never yet come across reputable business enterprises (I'm excluding the Mafia, loan sharks, and crooked landlords) behaving in the way that environmental groups do. They lie, they distort, they threaten, they bribe, they break the law at every turn in the name of some greater good. And for what?
To bully governments and people into doing things which they want done but which they know full well no democratic country has ever or would ever vote for.
And you know this yourself.
The Greens have used Fukushima as leverage to persuade Germany to close down its nuclear power plants and the French PS has concluded an unholy alliance with the EELV for the French presidential elections. Part of the deal is a closure of a significant amount of French nuclear capacity.
So half of Europe is going to be sitting in the half-dark in a couple of years time and you're trying to tell us that the ENGOs are "irrelevant".
And you say that the science is all that matters when it is patently evident to anyone with half a brain that it's "the science" that is irrelevant. If I proved conclusively to you tomorrow morning that AGW was total bullshit it wouldn't faze the eco-luddites one iota. They'd take a deep breath and move seamlessly into whichever scare is next in line.
So no, I don't really care that your "vested corporate interests" are trying to influence government. If they succeed I am likely to be a lot better off, a lot healthier, and a lot better able to use what influence I have to better the lot of people who are dying now for lack of food, lack of clean water, lack of proper sanitation than I (or they) will be if the eco-luddites and their useful idiots ever get the chance to implement their policies.

Jan 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike

Calm down.

Jan 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Never been calmer, Your Grace! :-)
Not a word in there I wouldn't repeat in a court of law.
Except "bullshit", maybe!!

Jan 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike

A slight correction. The PS/EELV pact is for the Assembly elections rather than the Presidential ones. It may turn out to be a suicide pact if Bertrand Delanoë carries out his threat to run unofficial Socialist candidates in constituencies where the PS are not opposing the EELV candidate.

Jan 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

As so often happens I find myself having some sympathy for BBD's position, but not actually quite agreeing with it.

(1) I would be much happier if the GWPF did declare its funding sources. Its failure to do so undermines its credibility.
(2) However, it is in the end up to the GWPF whether it declares its funding sources. It's not clear to me that they are under any legal obligation to do so.
(3) That said, it is not unreasonable for their opponents to request such information and to enquire whether they are legally obliged to release it.
(4) But such enquiries shouldn't be carried on the point where they constitute harassment.

My views on CRU are similar:

(1) I would be much happier if CRU was open about all its data, methods, and emails.
(2) However, it is in the end up to CRU whether it discloses this material. It's not clear to me that they are under any legal obligation to do so beyond responding to FOI and EIR requests, and they are permitted to use legitimate exemptions, even where I consider it foolish of them to do so.
(3) That said, it was not unreasonable for me to enquire whether the exemptions they claimed were in fact legitimate.
(4) But I don't intend to persecute CRU with trivial FOI requests, tempting though it might seem. Of course other people may draw the "unreasonable" line somewhere else.

My view on anonymity is complex:
(1) I have no problem with anonymous posters.
(2) I have no problem with anonymous posters claiming to be experts.
(3) I can, however, be legitimately sceptical about claims of expertise from anonymous posters.
(4) Anonymous posters have no right to complain about the anonymity of other posters.

And following on from (4) is where I disagree with BBD about the GWPF. I have a legitimate right to criticise the GWPF for keeping their funding secret: they have a legitimate right to ignore my complaints, but my criticism is not unreasonable. However as long as BBD chooses to remain anonymous any criticism he makes about the GWPF's decisions can simply be ignored. He is in no position to complain. Until now I have simply chosen to ignore all his posts on this topic, and after this post I shall return to that position.

Jan 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Jones

Dreadnought
Correct. I was conflating the two. In fact (ironically) the PS/EELV pact looks like boosting the UMP vote round here but since that's the equivalent of boosting the Tory vote in East Ham it doesn't mean a great deal!
I suspect it will backfire in quite a few places and I don't really think the PS needs to put itself in thrall to that bunch of idiots but I'm not yet au fait enough with French politics to be sure.
Since I don't have a vote I don't need to get worked up about it.

Jan 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

JJ

However as long as BBD chooses to remain anonymous any criticism he makes about the GWPF's decisions can simply be ignored. He is in no position to complain. Until now I have simply chosen to ignore all his posts on this topic, and after this post I shall return to that position.

Er, no. My anonymity has no bearing whatsoever here. What is - or should be - of paramount concern is that whatever entity is funding this 'think tank' (with its clear aim to influence policy) doesn't want its identity made public.

Having corrected that logical error, I will go back to ignoring everything you say (see how childish and stupid this sort of remark sounds btw?)

Jan 24, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Sorry BH, if I had noticed your cutting I would not have continued. I did think it was relevant to the thread, but your call.

Jan 24, 2012 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

BBD
You assume that there is an "entity" funding GWPF.
While obviosuly you might be right, it is equally possible that you might be wrong and that the funding comes from a large number of individuals who support its aims.
Given the amount of money that Grantham puts into his pro-GW efforts I might be tempted to help redress the balance by contributing to an organisation that takes a different view, but I'm not accountable to you if I do that.
If I choose to do that anonymously that is my right. You do not have the right to force the Foundation to disclose my name so that you can then apply pressure to me (by whatever means) to discontinue that support.
You would be the first to complain if the boot was on the other foot.
And I take Jonathan Jones' point.
You value your anonymity. Fair enough. But the only word that describes someone whi takes that stance and then chooses to criticise someone else for taking the same stance is 'hypocrite'.

Jan 24, 2012 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson

Please tone it down

Jan 24, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

We could, I suppose, imagine that the board members of GWPF would allow Lawson to make a public statement that GWPF did not take energy money while knowing that to be untrue. If so it would be staggering. There are a lot of people with big public reputations to maintain on that board.

It seems to me to be a quite extraordinary conspiracy theory to suppose that this is what is happening.

Jan 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

BH

Ha! Priceless.

If there is nothing to hide, why the secrecy?

Jan 24, 2012 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD

Could you fill in the blanks about what you think a person should be sceptical about with regards GWPF's stance? I mean speaking for myself I believe the GWPF when they say aren’t sponsored by energy concerns, why shouldn’t I?

However I wouldn’t have cared if they were, but even so, if you could show they are lying on this issue you would have really big story. Is there something that indicates they are lying on this or is there something else you think they are hiding?

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

You think it's plausible that Lawson would lie about it and all the board would go along with it? Seriously?

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:02 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Why refuse disclosure in the first place? And fight the FOI? The problem faced by the GWPF is that it is clearly hiding something and no matter what Lawson says, he will not be believed. The longer the GWPF persists in secrecy, the more doubt will be raised over its motives. This cannot end well.

Too many people are getting interested now.

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

It would be a breach of DPA to disclose the names of donors.
GWPF is not fighting the FOI, the Charities Commission is.
GWPF are not "clearly hiding something", that is your somewhat implausible supposition. It is more likely that they are protecting the privacy of donors who want to remain anonymous. This is, as I have pointed out, a legal obligation.

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:28 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

BBD

Why refuse disclosure in the first place? And fight the FOI? The problem faced by the GWPF is that it is clearly hiding something and no matter what Lawson says, he will not be believed. The longer the GWPF persists in secrecy, the more doubt will be raised over its motives. This cannot end well.

Too many people are getting interested now.

This only seems to be enlisting the reader into a competition to see who has the most febrile imagination. I'm not motivated to make up anything wild myself.

GWPF wants donations. The better discretion they offer their donors the more likely they will get more donors. This is probably true of the most fluffy charities. By all means tell people you donate to a charity, but starting from the default position that they will fullfil privacy is always the best assumption. BBD can you be at all more specific? Imagine you are talking to someone really innocent who can't imagine what you are thinking.

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

You think it's plausible that Lawson would lie about it and all the board would go along with it? Seriously?

Those new to this sort of thing will need to note how it's done. Nobody actually tells lies because that can get you into trouble. Rather, you tell half-truths instead (emphasis added):

The GWPF is funded entirely by voluntary donations from a number of private individuals and charitable trusts. In order to make clear its complete independence, it does not accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company.

It is possible to be indirectly funded by the energy industry via 'charitable trusts' which are themselves beneficiaries of corporate donation. This is not, in the strict definition "accept[ing] gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company." So Lord Lawson has not lied, nor was the board required to support a false statement.

Unfortunately, everything leaves a paper trail.

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BH

GWPF are not "clearly hiding something", that is your somewhat implausible supposition.

And this is yours:

It is more likely that they are protecting the privacy of donors who want to remain anonymous.

The difference is that what I suppose is more likely to be true than what you suppose.

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

If the shoe was on the other foot I would say that there is wiggle-room in the phrasing of what Lawson said. However, if I were a board member of GWPF, I would not risk my reputation in the way you suggest is happening.

You don't seem to accept that GWPF has a legal obligation here - is that right?

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:43 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

It is possible to be indirectly funded by the energy industry via 'charitable trusts' which are themselves beneficiaries of corporate donation.

Unfortunately, everything leaves a paper trail.

Oh dear how disappointing. Sounds like similar plot line Crichton used for enviro- charities in State of Fear ;)

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

A propos of the subject of funding, a couple of tweets I sent Leo H's way last night might amuse:

@leohickman Did you know that the Green Alliance is funded by Shell and BP? It's a scandal!

@leohickman Did you know that the Green Alliance has someone on board of NERC? Most UK research on the environment is tainted by big oil!

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

BH

You don't seem to accept that GWPF has a legal obligation here - is that right?

That is not what I said.

The GWPF is hiding behind the claim that its private backers have requested anonymity. What it is hiding will remain a matter for conjecture for the moment.

Even the notion that private backers have some sort of right to anonymity is unacceptable. Those who seek to buy influence in public affairs must be named and accountable. The alternative is the (further) erosion of democracy.

Surely you would agree?

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

It's a tricky question. The ability to support civil society organisations anonymously is an important bulwark against totalitarianism. Given things like the notorious Greenpeace "we know where you live" thing, I think it is not unreasonable for people to expect privacy.

Supporting a tiny (nay microscopic) think tank is hardly "buying influence", a phrase which usually means something quite different to the one you are trying to give it. It allows views to be aired that would not normally be heard. I was once told that the universal "greenness" of the MSM is because of the amount of advertising income that comes from green organisations.

Jan 24, 2012 at 10:11 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Of course it goes without saying that when I'm running the country the government will be so irrelevant to daily life that nobody will want to buy its influence.

Jan 24, 2012 at 10:15 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

So sending money to GWPF is "buying influence" but sending money to any greenie group you care to mention that is trying to influence government policy is not?

Jan 25, 2012 at 5:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Surely if people wish to support private organisations (whether they be charities, churches, artistic bodies or even blogs with tip jars) is nobody else's business, unless they specify that their donations can be publicised. The same goes for privately owned businesses. Depending on the jurisdiction, public companies have disclosure requirements for donations of varying types for the benefit of their shareholders.

What I do with my own meagre funds is not the business of busybodies who do not understand the difference between disclosure requirements relating to other people's money (eg publicly funded bodies and public companies) and invasion of the personal privacy of individuals.

Jan 25, 2012 at 7:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

Seems we are just going around in circles here. It's quite obvious WHY a donor would want their name kept private, least they get harassed by Eco-jihadis to stop them donating.

Secondly, BBD, you need to keep this on perspective here. We aren't talking about the hundreds of billions of dollars of tax payer money that is p1ssed away on big green by governments. You are getting your panties in a twist over peanuts. Tell me, what kind of influence do you think the GPWF has with its rediculously small budget?

If there are problems with Mann Made Global Warming (tm) it's not because of groups like the GPWF. The problems are with the science and scientists involved in the religion you have come to love.

Mailman

Jan 25, 2012 at 8:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

By the way BBD, how much influence do you think you can buy for £500k?

Now let's compare that to the billions being spent by Big Green!

Seems to me you are barking up the wrong tree?

Mailman

Jan 25, 2012 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

BH

It's a tricky question. The ability to support civil society organisations anonymously is an important bulwark against totalitarianism. Given things like the notorious Greenpeace "we know where you live" thing, I think it is not unreasonable for people to expect privacy.

The problem here is the exercise of covert influence by vested interest. Corporate money pulling the policy strings. Not holding back totalitarianism. Come on.

Idiots making empty threats (eg Gene 'we be many' Hashmi) are more dangerous to the ENGOs they 'represent' that to anyone else.

Supporting a tiny (nay microscopic) think tank is hardly "buying influence", a phrase which usually means something quite different to the one you are trying to give it.

What of Lord Lawson's little chats with Paul Dacre (the editor of the Daily Mail), for example? Or the links with Stacey Interntational (publishers of a range of sceptical books, most notably THSI)?

And of course, the political lobbying. Please let's not try and pass off the GWPF as a harmless, little fluffy thing. Apparently, it is very successful. ;-)

Nor are the modest private donations by readers of this blog even remotely the issue. Again, come on. Let's not let the focus drift. Accidentally, of course.

Anyway, the spotlight will be back where it belongs on Friday. Let's see what happens next.

Jan 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I'll ask you again BBD, how much influence do you think £500k can buy?

And now let's compare that to the BILLIONS being p1ssed away on Big Green.

Mailman

Jan 25, 2012 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

What of Lord Lawson's little chats with Paul Dacre (the editor of the Daily Mail), for example?

Should Lord Lawson not be allowed to speak to Mr Dacre? Would Lord Lawson be unable to speak to Mr Dacre without funding from big oil?

Or the links with Stacey Interntational (publishers of a range of sceptical books, most notably THSI)?

Well, Lord Lawson was at the launch of Bob Carter's book. Apart from that I'm not aware of too many links. And again, do you think these links are somehow illegitimate or that they would not happen without funding from big oil?

I think your imagination is running away with you.

Jan 25, 2012 at 9:10 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

That is the great thing about the GWPF the fact it is very successful. It is pushing at an open door. I think money spent on GWPF gets a far better return in influence against the green sanctimony dollar which is fairly well saturated. Because there is far more work to be done against the retarded enviro othrodoxy (against the fact there really is no where else to go in green influence nowadays) with regards government/industry/education. It is all monolithically singing from the same smug idiotic Huhne-like songsheet. All that is left for green groups is lobbying for personal positions in the quangos and advisor roles, getting in with the great and good in cushy positions in government and media.

I think that is why GWPF provokes such hatred - it is a campaign of personal stakes it is harming the comfy sphere of group think witness "...casts doubt on the work of climate scientists". Casting doubt is the worse crime. They will call any dissent "misinformation" - as if there can only be one repository of thought - that is what it is to be committed to the authoritarian scientism mindset.

Jan 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Well,

It’s the year 2000. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is working on an important document. So where does their important meeting take place? At a university? A government office building? Somewhere where the optics are neutral? Nope. These geniuses conduct their three-day meeting in the New York offices of a green lobby group, the Environmental Defense Fund.

No clearer indication of the reach of the green lobby group. And how do we know all of this? Only because blogger Tom Nelson, who has been methodically working his way through the 5,000 Climategate2 e-mails, discovered one that spells it all out.

Donna Laframboise writes about it on her web site - and I read about it on the GWPF web site.

I say thank goodness for individuals like Tom Nelson and Donna Laframboise and all contributors to the GWPF.

Jan 25, 2012 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

I don't care who gives you money. Show me your arguments. Show me your data. Taking about money is irrelevant. Does the WWF and Greenpeace deserve any blame for getting their material stuffed into the IPCC? Of course not. They have every right to do what they do - provided they don't break the law. And there is no law against being stupid either.

Who deserves a tongue-lashing is the IPCC.

I ask you for your data and you ask me about my funding. That shows your weakness. It is as simple as that. Only 'environmentalists' say 'hey, you asked me for stuff, I can ask too!'. BBD, keep doing what you are doing - i.e., relentless narrow-minded pursuit - and it will be clearer to greater numbers of people what the game is really all about.

Jan 25, 2012 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Andrew's point above (9:10 AM) about Nigel Lawson being able to speak whether or not the GWPF exists or not is a good one. The main resource the GWPF have, and the main cause of whatever influence they have, is the 'goodwill' (or, in some quarters, badwill) associated with the names and contacts of the heavyweights on its board of trustees - Lords Turnbull and Lawson e.g. Assuming no-one is suggesting that these people are being paid gigantic fees by GWPF to lend their names to it, then that huge contribution in kind comes essentially for free.

Jan 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

As Mailman said, we are going round in circles — with BBD as ringmaster.
The reason that he and the other true believers have a visceral hatred of GWPF is that it puts forward a coherent argument against their fairly incoherent beliefs in the catastrophic aspects of global warming.
Lawson, in the DE article today, is on record as saying that he does not dispute global warming or that CO2 may have a minor role to play bu that's not good enough for the Faithful.
And the GWPF is the first mainstream organisation (sorry, Your Grace, I don't think blogs count, influential as I believe this one is) to take the argument to them. For years they have been able to get away with virtually any scare story they liked and it's becoming apparent that some of their claims made 10 or 15 years ago are simply not happening and not going to happen. The GWPF is probably rhe most high-profile UK organisation that is calling them out on this.
The only purpose of pestering the GWPF for the names of its backers is to attempt to cut off their funding and shut them down and BBD is disingenuous in the extreme if he believes otherwise.

Jan 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

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