university of calgary

Tue, 2011-09-13 20:16Richard Littlemore
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Talisman funded Friends of Science skeptic film

Calgary oil company Talisman Energy has been outed as the major funder behind a Friends of Science video series that falsely tried to claim legitimacy by tacking a University of Calgary logo on its opening credits.

Postmedia reporter Mike De Souza has an excellent article in the Calgary Herald, exposing Talisman as the largest donor in a complicated campaign to sluice cash through the Calgary Foundation and the University of Calgary to finance phony “education” projects. The University has long since distanced itself from the Friends of Science, although it never disciplined Prof. Barry Cooper, the political scientist, climate change skeptic and Calgary Herald columnist who set up the fake U of C Education Fund to launder oil money that was being used to finance climate denial films, radio ads, political advocacy and public campaigns.

But even after exposing all of its own dirty laundry in an audit, the University continued to protect the funders, keeping donors such as Talisman out of their reports. De Souza, to his credit, finally wedged the name loose in a Freedom of Information request.

Tue, 2011-01-11 14:47Emma Pullman
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Study: Climate Change Will Continue for 1,000 Years Even with Zero Emissions

It’s only early January, and already we’re witnessing what could be the most devastating climate change story of the year.  A new study in Nature Geoscience this week shows that even if we go to zero emissions and completely halt our wholesale burning of fossil fuels, climate change will continue for the next 1,000 years. 

If only we could take solace in saying, “I told you so” to climate change deniers and the fossil fuel lobby fighting to confuse the public about climate change.  Such proclamations seem trite and trivial, however, when we’re faced with the burning reality that our dirty oil addiction is cooking the planet in an irreversible way. 

The study, conducted by University of Calgary and Environment Canada’s climate centre at the University of Victoria is the first full climate model simulation to make predictions 1,000 years into the future.  Dr. Shawn Marshall and his team explore the question: “What if we completely stopped using fossil fuels and put no more CO2 in the atmosphere?  How long would it then take to reverse current climate change trends and will things first become worse?”  Using simulations with the Canadian Earth System Model, the research team exploredzero-emissions scenarios if humans completely stop burning fossil fuels in 2010 and 2100.  

The article shows, devastatingly, that climate change will continue even if we stop our use of fossil fuels immediately.  We’ve had that much of an impact.  With this news, Canada’s head-in-sand approach to climate issues just won’t cut it. 

Fri, 2008-08-01 11:37Richard Littlemore
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Canadian "Friends of Science" Linking to U.S. Political Campaign

The organizer of a Calgary fundraising event for Republican Senator Sam Brownback has told the Globe and Mail that he also plans to divert some of the income to Friends of Science, a Canadian “not-for-profit” group that is already facing accusations of interfering illegally in the Canadian electoral process.

It is against U.S. law for Canadian citizens to financially support U.S. political campaigns, so Canadians cannot donate directly to Senator Brownback. It is, as yet, unreported how Friends of Science intends spend any income generated from this new source, but the organization has a history of financing highly political advertising campaigns during the course of an election.

Wed, 2008-04-16 11:32Richard Littlemore
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U of Calgary: No Disciplinary Measures "At This Time"

Updating the story about the University of Calgary's damning audit of its relationship with the Friends of Science, U of C general counsel Charlene Anderson told the Calgary Herald yesterday that no disciplinary action is planned “at this time,” but “that might change at any time so the university is looking into that.”
Tue, 2008-04-15 15:32Richard Littlemore
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University of Calgary Audit Exposes Friends of Science Wrongdoing

A University of Calgary audit into its relationship with the climate lobby group, Friends of Science (FOS), suggests that in setting up two trust funds on behalf of FOS, U of C Professor Barry Cooper likely contravened Revenue Canada and Elections Canada laws - and, in diverting money to his wife and daughter, most certainly broke rules at the University itself.
Sat, 2008-03-08 09:05Jim Hoggan
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Canadian Business Wag Has No Business Talking Science

“An issue as important as global warming should not descend into a shouting match between the faithful and the heretical.”

That was the subhead in the print version of Jack Mintz’s March 17 column in Canadian Business and, up to that point, he was making pretty good sense. But then Mintz took to shouting about the heretical Dr. David Suzuki, a man who continues to infuriate certain segments of Canadian society and, especially, Canadian media by honouring science over the theology of unlimited Alberta oil exploitation.

Fri, 2007-11-02 08:04Richard Littlemore
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Friends of Science Caught in the Gauntlet

The Friends of Science - the nearly bankrupted Canadian climate change denial organization - comes under fire in the University of Calgary student newspaper, the Gauntlet, which asks a few pointed questions about why the university has not done more to sever the frequent (and financial) associations between Friends and the school.

Most particularly, Jon Roe at the Gauntlet suggests that Professor Barry Cooper, a political scientist who has promoted the connection and helped hide the oily source of the Friends' declining revenue , should be held accountable for having damaged the university's reputation by his actions.

Mon, 2007-10-29 11:40Richard Littlemore
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Good News: Friends of Science Running Out of Friends

The most recent newsletter from the Calgary-based oil-industry front, the Friends of Science, offers two bits of heartening news:

First, FOS reports that “Our financial support is presently approaching an all time low.”

Second, the continuing effort by the University of Calgary to distance itself from FOS affairs has forced the organization to cancel a climate “debate” conference. 

Thu, 2007-08-16 15:49Kevin Grandia
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Friends of Science "educational funding" facing U of C audit?

UPDATE: sent this email to the University of Calgary today requesting an update. I'll let you know what I hear back.  

According to this email exchange (pdf.) posted to sourcewatch, it looks like the University of Calgary is considering an audit of the controversial 'Science Education Fund' that was used to fund the oil-industry backed so-called 'Friends of Science.'

The exchange is dated back to March, 2007 with no further updates. I've sent off an email to the University of Calgary requesting an update.

If any of our readers has an update, send me an email at desmogblog [at] gmail.com.

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