The August 12, 2006 Globe and Mail had a front-page in the Globe Focus section "Meet Mr. Cool".
The article was by Charles Montgomery, and is available on his website: Mr. Cool.
Over the past four years, a coalition of oil-patch geologists, Tory insiders, anonymous donors and oil-industry PR professionals has come together to manufacture public consent for Canada's withdrawal from Kyoto. Through a Calgary-based society ironically dubbed the Friends of Science, they have leveraged Tim Ball and a handful of other "climate skeptics" onto podiums and editorial pages across the country.
"We started out without a nickel, mostly retired geologists, geophysicists and retired businessmen, all old fogeys," says Albert Jacobs, a geologist and retired oil-explorations manager, proudly remembering the first meeting of the Friends of Science Society in the curling lounge of Calgary's Glencoe Club back in 2002.
Mr. Jacobs says he suspects that the Kyoto Accord was devised as a tool by United Nations bureaucrats to push the world towards a world socialist government under the UN. "You know," he says, "to this day, there is no scientific proof that human-caused C02 is the main cause of global warming."
There are a lot of people who believe that marketing shapes reality.
I have bad news for them: nature obeys the laws of science, not the whims of politcal spin.
The fact that cranky old men and assorted nutjobs can shape the national debate is a sad testament to our unscientific, money-driven age.
There is a letter-sized piece of paper bearing the words "Friends of Science" taped to the wall in Kevin Grandia's Vancouver office. From that single sheet, Mr. Grandia has strung a web of string, leading to the names of individuals, free-market think-tanks, private companies and charitable foundations. And from them more strings lead, invariably, to the names of energy corporations.
Mr. Grandia is being paid full time by James Hoggan and Associates, a public-relations firm, to examine the connections between fossil-fuel companies, the climate skeptics, and the PR industry itself.
"Follow the money trail," says Mr. Grandia, ball of string in hand. "Why the hell do all of these lead back to oil and gas?"
Grandia and others blog at DeSmogBlog.
A few specific posts associated with the article are