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« Self-criticism | Main | The same old story »

Happer days

Greenpeace are getting very excited about some of their latest "undercover" reporting. It seems that some of their staff posed as representatives of a coal-mining company and asked Will Happer to write them a report. Happer seems to have said yes, but said that the proceeds should go to his sceptic organisation, the CO2 Alliance.

I think their case is that Happer doesn't actually believe any of the things he says, but that in return for large quantities of money he is willing to say anything required. I'm not sure this is going to fly.

There is also a fairly feeble attempt to involve GWPF in the story, insinuating that Indur Goklany's report was reviewed only by people internal to GWPF. Benny Peiser has said in no uncertain terms that this is not true.


Professor Happer made his scientific views clear from the outset, including the need to address pollution problems arising from fossil fuel consumption. Any insinuation against his integrity as a scientist is outrageous and is clearly refuted by the correspondence.

Nor did Professor Happer offer to put a report "commissioned by a fossil fuel company" through the GWPF peer review process. This is a sheer fabrication by Greenpeace. 

The GWPF does not undertake externally-commissioned research and does not accept support of any kind from fossil fuel companies or anyone with a significant interest in the energy industry. The correspondence shows that Professor  Happer explained to the undercover "journalist" that there were several different forms of peer review and that the peer review process used by the GWPF is as rigorous as that for most journals. 

Greenpeace claims with no supporting evidence that the report by Dr Indur Goklany was reviewed exclusively by 25 scientists who are members of the GWPF's Academic Advisory Council (AAC). This is false. Dr Goklany's report, like most of our reports, was also reviewed by outside experts who are not scientific advisers to the GWPF.

The quality of Dr Goklany's report is self-evident to any open-minded reader. As Professor Freeman Dyson said in the foreword, "To any unprejudiced person reading this account, the facts should be obvious: that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide as a sustainer of wildlife and crop plants are enormously beneficial, that the possibly harmful climatic effects of carbon dioxide have been greatly exaggerated, and that the benefits clearly outweigh the possible damage."

Professor Colin Prentice of the Grantham Institute concurred even while claiming to be dismayed by the report's publication: "Much of it is quite correct and moreover, well-established in the scientific literature...the various benefits of rising CO2 are actually well established in the scientific literature, even if sometime ignored. They are indeed 'good news'."

The cack-handed attempt by Greenpeace to manufacture a scandal around Dr Goklany's report, and to smear Professor Happer's reputation, only points to the need for the Global Warming Policy Foundation to redouble its efforts to bring balanced, rigorous and apolitical research on climate and energy policy issues to the public's attention, as counter to the misleading noise and activist rhetoric from groups like Greenpeace.





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Reader Comments (103)

December 8, 2015: Greenpeace, in furtherance of what is in effect its war against every species on the planet, has now turned to what, on the face of things, looks to me like outright breach of the RICO, wire-fraud, witness-tampering and obstruction-of-committee statutes. I have called in the FBI.

Dec 8, 2015 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Re: Mailman

This gubulgaria led to this person.

A search also turned up this which states he is on the press team of Greenpeace UK.

Since he tends to appear in greenpeace related articles its a reasonable assumption they are one and the same.

Dec 8, 2015 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

I'm setting up a new organisation called "Green friends of peace, the earth and wildlife"

Anonymous donations will be gratefully received, the money will converted into life-giving CO2 via a modest collection of Ducati's.

Dec 8, 2015 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

Gulbulgaria: is it true that you are always behind the Times? Individuals in the GWPF may be “funded” by fossil-fuel companies (i.e. they work for them thus are paid by them, be they pump-jockey, mechanic or director); it is the GWPF that receives no funding from the fossil-fuel industry. Odd that you pounce on sceptics who might be funded by Big Oil, yet ignore those “environmentalists” and their organisations who are funded by Big Oil.


Hey all we do is put the price up and the free market will provide solutions.
Which is a pretty oxymoronic statement, in its own right. Do these buffoons truly believe that controlling prices is “free market”?

Dec 8, 2015 at 11:29 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Why the obsession with money from "fossil fuel" companies?

They generally seek to be good corporate citizens and give money to all sorts of things - arts prizes, scholarships, countless engineering bursaries, prizes, conservation groups, wildlife charities, aid and education in poor countries where they operate etc.

That doesn't make them saints and it doesn't make them sinister either. (and it's well-known that Exxon pays more tax than Google and Facebook combined - may the Greenpeace touts will think about that next time they Google anti-fracking propaganda or starts a Facebook campaign against drillers doing their useful work.)

They have no particular reason to care one way or the other what people think about global warming.

The evidence shows that "fossil fuel" consumption continues to rise whatever the public believe, despite 20-odd years of relentless anti-"fossil fuel" propaganda and trillions wasted on "renewable" schemes and their vainglorious champions.

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown


Don't forget Apple..... :-)

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:34 AM | Registered Commentertomo

E Rabett: Kettle meet Pot.

In a report on the climate promoters’ attack industry, you can see why they call themselves “green”:

Dollar amounts: Foundation Search databank and IRS Forms 990

The assets behind the Search and Destroy Workshop’s three sponsors is more than half a billion dollars,
$601,443,379, according to 2013 Forms 990.

• Kann Rasmussen Foundation $89,261,719;
• Mertz Gilmore Foundation $125,045,056;
• Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment $394,136,609.

Combined with the assets behind the many funders of all the Workshop’s participants,
the financial clout represented here is many billions of dollars.

Add to this many tens of billions from government agencies, all directed to support the party line,
and you have a fiscal juggernaut that is behind the campaign of public indoctrination.

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterCat

Tomo, Kellydown,

No secret but a significant sum of money behind the "green machine" comes out of silicon valley pockets. I know this from first hand experience in the world of VC's. It is driven not by principles but by greed.

In some ways fossil fuel reliant companies are caught between a rock and a hard place, nobody believes them whatever they say, the majority of them are principled but there are some who use an "appeasement" approach, demonstrating represent weak management.

Long term investment tip, stay away from shares of fossil fuel companies that also promote alternative energy, they are just trying to avoid confrontation, hiding behind buzz words like "social responsibility", etc, all B.S.

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike SIngleton

Jeremy Grantham's 2Q 2010 letter

Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future. But how to make money
around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me. In a fast-moving field rife with treacherous politics, there
will be many failures. Marketing a “climate” fund would be much easier than outperforming with it.

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:03 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)

IETA has about 170 member companies.... It was the largest non-government delegation at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 pushing for a global climate deal.

Its members include :-

BP, Conoco Philips, Shell, E.ON , EDF, Gazprom , Goldman Sachs, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley..

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

The Internationalist envirocommunist aristocracy all the way from Hollywood and London Luvviedom and full of, as ever.

We will take no lectures from a gang of dope addled silk shirt wearing pseuds who pretend to caring - you don't and we know it - as you do.

Greenpiss, a parody and a window on this egregious modern Zeitgeist - hypocrisy and all pious, precocious, preciousness, they have no shame, no conscience, in the end and no clue.

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"There is no requirement to declare source funding in the U.S.,” Clemente wrote. “My research and writing has been supported by government agencies, trade associations, the University and private companies and all has been published under the rubric of me as an independent scholar — which I am.”

"When asked if the paper that Happer agreed to write could be peer-reviewed, Happer told the undercover reporters that getting peer-review on a paper touting the benefits of CO2 might be difficult."

Pay for play

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

By the time Obama is no longer President, the FBI should have a bit more time to investigate Greenpeace finances, assuming they have finished with FIFA, and have any interview rooms/cells still vacant.

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:38 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Eli, who pays for the Greenpeace "whitepapers" that the IPCC likes to play with, and who peer reviews those?

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

Eli; did he lie?

Dec 9, 2015 at 3:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

Greenpeace slimeballs are very interesting to read.
I guess in a wealthy society where too many have lost the ability to be productive, Greenpeace can offer some parasites jobs as in their "research" scams.

Dec 9, 2015 at 3:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Memo to Eli:

Do rabbits get popcorn lung ?

Dec 9, 2015 at 4:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

If someone is arguing from authority and presenting no evidence then their opinion matters and can be bought.
If someone is presenting a logical scientific argument with verifiable facts then the matters of funding, opinion, bribery, coercion, bias, favouritism etc are all completely irrelevant.
Greenpeace really are desperate. (maybe they need to examine their own position as well)

Dec 9, 2015 at 7:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith L

“Greenpeace are getting very excited about some of their latest "undercover" reporting. It seems that some of their staff posed as representatives of a coal-mining company …”.
I think they were posing as representing Middle East oil and gas interests which is odd.
With oil and gas prices tanking there's nothing the established Middle East producers e.g. Saudi Arabia would like better right now than for governments to imposed restrictions on oil and gas production.

Dec 9, 2015 at 7:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristopher Hanley

I see that our resident troll has been at it again. A little sketch (below) to remind him that he speaketh with a forked tongue. Nobody is impressed by his rantings.

Dec 9, 2015 at 7:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas

I seem to have has some trouble with that link to Youtube for the gubulgaria comment - better luck this time.

Dec 9, 2015 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas

None of the above seem particularly interested in what Will Happer actually wrote, which is close enough to simony to make a Bishop blush :

Dec 9, 2015 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Climate Home formerly the RTCC alarmist website, has oil, mining and chemical sponsors/partners, yet nobody cares about that at Greenpeace.

Dec 9, 2015 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Well it's at least clear Greenpeace have been unable to find any past payments from fossil fuel companies so they are just inventing stuff now. The idea that fossil fuel companies would fund pro-CO2 stuff is quite ludicrous. The public use the product because they need it. No more, no less.

By contrast, the amount of funding oil companies provide for alternative energy research is staggering because if there ever was an alternative to fossil fuels on the horizon then they would want to be deeply involved.

The entire premise is flawed and shows total misunderstanding of basic economics by green activists. High fossil fuel prices are great for fossil fuel companies even if it reduces demand. The worst case scenario for them is low prices and increased demand like now. There is a glut of diamonds in the world too but the circulation of diamonds is deeply restricted by the cartels so that the price doesn't drop. Restricting oil supply in order to hoist prices is the reason for the existence of OPEC for Pete's sake! More than likely it makes business sense for shale oil suppliers to form their own cartel to reduce supply now too. It was to prevent cartels of oil companies such as standard oil that forced the creation of the anti-trust laws in the US. Maybe Greenpeace should concentrate their limited intellect in preparing a sensible alternative energy plan. Oh wait - they did - and it calls for lots of small natural gas plants. Are they in league then with gas suppliers?

Dec 9, 2015 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

This is the beginning of the end of the deniers.

Happer is just the horderves. Greenpeace will soon follow this inconsequential skirmish with the much anticipated disclosure of unequivocal evidence regarding the true scandal, that is, the billions of dollars spent by BigOil in their conspiracy of greed against our planet.

Prepare to be overwhelmed.

Dec 9, 2015 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterAila

Happer is just the what?

Dec 9, 2015 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterDangerousdaze

"I shall also be asking the Bureau to investigate Greenpeace’s sources of funding. It is now an enemy of the State, an enemy of humanity and, indeed, an enemy of all species on Earth."


Dec 9, 2015 at 9:55 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Aila, have you been watching 'Come Dine With Me' instead of doing your *homework?

[*French homework...? TM}

Dec 9, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterGavin

Christopher Hanley

"Enron officials later expressed elation at the results of the Kyoto conference. An internal memo said the Kyoto agreement, if implemented, would "do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States."

No longer on Washington Post website, republished here

Dec 9, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

The idea of this to re-enforce the big lie that the oil companies oppose the concept of global warming which hasn't been true since 1998 when the Kyoto Protocol was signed on the basis of Enron's carbon trading scam and gave them the opportunity to make huge fortunes from corrupt carbon trading systems. Probably the biggest single criminal operation in history.

"As many people in Kyoto suspected at the time, the reality has been very different. At the demand of the United States, the Kyoto rules were tweaked to allow rich countries to buy their way out of their targets, a move that gave birth to the multi-billion carbon trading industry."

Dec 9, 2015 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

By the sound of it Aila has been experimenting with mind-altering substances in his bedroom. Somebody should tell his mother.

Dec 9, 2015 at 11:07 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike SIngleton

absolutely... one could also consider them fashion victims in the sense that some in senior management pounce on something new and trendy and go along with received wisdom from the style gurus and end up looking very silly indeed.

esmiff - some excellent info = thank you.

Dec 9, 2015 at 11:21 AM | Registered Commentertomo

James Hansen in the Guardian.

Governments today, instead, talk of “cap-and-trade with offsets”, a system rigged by big banks and fossil fuel interests. Cap-and-trade invites corruption. Worse, it is ineffectual, assuring continued fossil fuel addiction to the last drop and environmental catastrophe.

Dec 9, 2015 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

esmiff, delete "cap and trade with offsets", insert "crap and turd, with kick backs". Then it makes more sense.

Dec 9, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie

The system collapsed under the weight of its own corruption. Now they want to use government money to re-build it.

Telegraph 29 Nov 2015

The auditors also said that attempts to stamp out endemic fraud in the EU’s flagship Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), from which billions of pounds of “carbon credits” have been stolen by criminals, are “not adequate” and continue to leave “significant security weaknesses.”

The verdicts will be deeply embarrassing on the eve of the United Nations climate summit in Paris, where European leaders will claim the ETS as their flagship achievement to tackle climate change.“The truth about the ETS is that it has completely failed,” said Raoul Ruparel, deputy director of the Open Europe thinktank.

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

The link to Patrick Moore's FBI report in the 9th December update appears to point to the wrong URL.

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Sorensen

is greenpeace saying their people would never write an article or do a study, and ask money from someone?
they must be so well on the state teat that they do not need it, then.

Hows their CFO doing btw, is he still in prison

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusCold

" greenpeace saying their people would never write an article or do a study, and ask money from someone?
Dec 9, 2015 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusCold

Greenpeace will do almost anything if they think it advances their cause, subject to serious risk of prison for violence etc. But they, and their supporters, will certainly say anything, about anybody, if they think it advances their cause. This is because they have found they never get punished for what they say, or even appraised critically by MSM journalists.

Probably for historical reasons, especially in the US, they are in the situation where they believe that merely mentioning someone's name in the same sentence as 'money' and something to do with fossil fuel corporations or 'chemicals' is sufficient to cast a shadow in the reader's mind.

That may still work with their hard core supporters, and those who speak the Lapine language, but is probably now more than a little boring for most of the population. Screaming louder isn't helping them to move global-warming up from the bottom position in public opinion.

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart


Prepare to be overwhelmed.
You really have a problem, Aila. Not just with spelling French idioms in the English language, but you really, really hate people, don't you? I wonder what you have in mind for the definition of 'overwhelming'...Are you a Green Jihadist, by any chance?

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Greenpeace (UK only) spent £8,222,294 campaigning last year. How many research papers did they buy with that?

They employ 130 people and the average salary is £44,400 (UK average is £26,000)

It pays to work for greenpeace.

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

"Do rabbits get popcorn lung?"

Based on where Eli's head appears to be, a more appropriate medical worry would be popcorn colon.

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

Correction: UK average is £26,500

Dec 9, 2015 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Greenpeace's reporting is not 'investigative journalism' as much as it is 'cargo cult investigative journalism'. Yes, it bears the hallmarks of investigative journalism... There are people playing the part of journalists, and they acted out an investigation... But that is the end of it.

In fact the 'journalists' are not journalists -- they are campaigners, who are setting out to find what they believe already to be the case, not to discover whether what they believe is true or not. And the not-journalists' investigation is not an investigation. It is theatre -- the point being to act out an investigation, hoping that the effect of acting it out will stand for an actual discovery.

By accounting for their investigation in some kind of narrative pastiche of 'investigative journalism', Greenpeace hope that the reader will believe that something has been actually uncovered. "Aha!" they proclaim, while pointing at nothing of substance.

Hence Harrabin's tweets:

Climate #sceptic academics for hire? @Greenpeace @thegwpfcom @Revkin @DECCgovuk

Charity comm has opened case into @thegwpfcom after #coal funding sting. … It's NOT a formal investigation. @ECIU_UK

The *reporting* of the process is the punishment, of course. And Harrabin's journalism is in this respect the same quality as Greenpeace's. The Charity Commission *cannot* "open a case" "informally". Opening a case is a *formal* process. What Harrabin means is that the Charity Commission is *not* opening a case.

But the facts of the matters he reports on never troubled Harrabin, who, like Greenpeace, has long tried to claim that the GWPF is a 'fossil fuel lobby group'. All that counts for Harrabin is that climate sceptics have been investigated, accused and are to be investigated further. No matter that the investigation found nothing...

BS journalism is rife. Environmental journalists especially are preoccupied less with the question "is this true" than "how can I make this true". It is to reporting what vomit is to eating.

Dec 9, 2015 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Harry Passfield, Aila has put us all on notice that Greenpeace have more devastating news to follow.

As Aila knows something that no one else does, an enquiring mind might ask about Aila's source, and whether there is a link back to the Greenpeace bad publicity department.

The Greenpeace bad publicity department, have a well deserved reputation to live upto, and opportunities in Paris will soon be over. Apart from the BBC and Grauniad, most of the media have not found anything new or interesting to report.

It is the imaginative accountancy practices of Greenpeace around the world, that would really interest the public, but sadly Greenpeace want to keep that a secret from their donors, and other media benefactors.

Dec 9, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Ben Pile (Dec 9, 2015 at 2:03 PM): 'cargo cult investigative journalism' searching for evidence to support a 'cargo cult science'…
...Feynman must be turning in his grave.

Dec 9, 2015 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

GC, as Aila is supposed to be a Scottish girl's name (meaning from a strong place) perhaps the Bish can confirm that the IP address is in fact in his neck of the woods. Talking of woods, its also a Hebrew name meaning Oak, but my favourite derivation is that it is Finnish: 'bringer of light'. Well, she's certainly thick as two short planks and definitely sheds no light.

Dec 9, 2015 at 2:24 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

golf charlie / Ben Pile

don't forget the UK's rotten domestic news wire service for the legacy dead tree press....

The Press Association.

I've tried challenging them on both climate and fracking at local (rag) and national (London HQ) level about bobbing lies promulgated by their "journos" - they are at least as toxic as the Guardian - possibly even more so...because they are one level removed from the targets of the disinformation they spout.

Dec 9, 2015 at 2:38 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Isn't there some sort of ethics commitee somewhere that can be brought into this?

Dec 8, 2015 at 3:20 PM | Mike Jackson

I fear Ethics Committees are a waste of space. Indeed, I know of one high-ranking professional, who, whilst helping to write a Code of Ethics for his profession, was breaking one its cardinal tenets. When the profession was informed of this, they carefully swept it under the carpet, injuncted the person who notified them, and carried on as if nothing had happened. Said perpetrator is still at the top of his profession.

Dec 9, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Ethics Committee. The Americans have one with far reaching powers called the FBI. Unfortunately the current US President appears to have provided some form of immunity to Green groups waging war on humanity around the world.

I have no affection for D.Trump, but he does seem to threaten those involved in anti American activities, and this does seem to worry the BBC and Grauniad.

Dec 9, 2015 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Heck, you could report Disney princesses to the FBI. They would nod and giggle.

Dec 9, 2015 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

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