Tom Harris, the fossil fuel industry shill, has objected to me calling him a shill. Per his comment on my posting concerning the campaign against wind power:
Only an idiot or someone being dishonest would say that calling someone a paid shill is not name calling. BTW, I have no employers. You just made that up too.
To which I responded:
My, my. Look who's resorting to name calling.
Shill, n. the confederate of a gambler, pitchman, auctioneer, etc. who pretends to buy, bet, or bid so as to lure onlookers into participating.
The fossil fuel industry pays you (directly or indirectly, it makes no difference and you know where the money is coming from) to make false statements promoting their business and undermining their competitors for the sake of fooling the public. That is being a shill. And, it also qualifies them as your employers.
Or, would you care to rehash your long, storied career working on the behalf of the fossil fuel and tobacco industries?
The thing that I wonder about is why you are so determined to deny this when the public record on it is so extensive.
Mr. Harris' response to this follows:
Are you a liar or just forgetful, Keating? I have told you several times in the past that I have never worked for the fossil fuel and tobacco industries. In fact, as I explained to you before, I was an anti-tobacco activist and was instrumental in getting smoking banned on long haul flights in Canada.
Mr. Harris says I'm either a liar or forgetful, thereby questioning my credibility. Let's look at the facts and you decide.
He denies this, but he has a long track record that is hard to hide. He was the Executive Director of the now defunct Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP), which was controlled by energy business lobbyists. He was the Director of Operations for High Park Group (HPG), a registered lobbying firm for energy clients, and worked for APCO Worldwide which promoted fossil fuel interests. He is also affiliated with the Heartland Institute which is a leading climate change denier organization, promotes tobacco interests, and is funded by the fossil fuel industry to spread climate change denial misinformation. Possibly his worst reference is his association with the so-called ‘Friends of Science,' even though they are the furthest thing from being friends of science, or society for that matter. This group has been shown to receive its funding from the fossil fuel industry, something they went to great lengths to hide (why is that?).
Today, Mr. Harris describes himself as being the "executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition" (quote taken from his postings). The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) was founded by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition in 2007, which is a climate change denier organization and is cosponsor with the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). In turn, ICSC created the Australian Climate Coalition, another organization devoted to denying climate change, and the Climate Science Coalition of America. Yes, the last one is also an organization devoted to denying climate change.
But, there's more. After APCO, Mr. Harris became strongly involved with the Heartland Institute, which is a major promoter of the tobacco industry. Once again, by promoting Heartland, he is promoting the things they do. And, in both cases, he knew about their involvement with tobacco before he became associated with them. In that light, it is not possible to say Mr. Harris does not promote tobacco. His efforts are most certainly promoting that industry.
Now, as the "executive director" of ICSC, one of Mr. Harris' functions is to go every media outlet he can find and post editorials and letters either promoting the fossil fuel industry or undermining their competitors. A casual review of these letters finds them full of inaccuracies and falsehoods.
For instance, Mr. Harris states the “debate rages in the science community” about how much human activity affects climate change. This is an extremely misleading statement because he uses it to call into question the issue that the science is settled. Yes, the science is settled (much to his dismay). Manmade emissions are creating climate change. There is no debate in the climate science community on this issue. Is there work to do on the details? Of course. There is even debate on the particular details. This does not qualify as a ‘raging debate’ on whether manmade climate change is real or not. With the exception of a few fossil-fuel supported individuals, the climate science community is essentially in unanimous agreement. Which brings up the question – why is it so many of the people who insist manmade climate change isn’t real are also receiving funds from the fossil fuel industry?
I saw one today where he stated 6.5% of all grain grown is diverted to produce biofuel for the purpose of fighting climate change. In fact, the major purpose for converting grain to biofuel is to reduce imports of oil by substituting ethanol for gasoline. So, why did Mr. Harris make such a misleading statement?
And, of course, it has already been discussed how he is engaged in a campaign against wind power.
So, you decide. Am I a liar or forgetful when I state Mr. Harris is a paid shill for the fossil fuel industry?
And, it is not name-calling, either.