I have a piece up on Spiked today, about Brendan Montague/Request Initiative and their ongoing attempt to use the FOIA to ‘find out’ about the GWPF’s donors.
The first question asked about anyone making a non-conforming argument in the climate debate is ‘who funds them?’ And so it is with the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) – a three-man, cross-party, independent think tank with charitable status, which dared to challenge climate orthodoxy. The Charities Commission rejected an Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request demanding to know who gave the GWPF its first cheque of £50,000. Several climate scientists have backed the call for the Charities Commission to reveal who backs the GWPF.
I’ve never been a fan of the follow-the-money argument, as all we need to do to show that the other argument is just as lame is to follow the money in the other direction. But perhaps more importantly, energy corporations don’t really care where they get their money from. If they can get more of it by doing less, so much the better for them. (Have they forgotten Enron already?)
This silly case must indicate that environmentalism is suffering intellectually lean times. Leo Hickman’s Guardian article on the case was especially poor, and the thinking lopsided. I perhaps unwisely suggested in a ‘tweet’ that the quality of the article reflects him being a w**ker. This led in turn to some Twitter exchanges, in which it was suggested I was a ‘troll’ rather than a proper sceptic, and the complainant — a somewhat naive and a little bit daft climate scientist — dropping me from her Twitter feed.
Funny, I suggested, that one can claim that the GWPF are guilty of ‘crimes against humanity’ — i.e. that their words are morally comparable to the systematic murder of people — and nobody bats an eyelid, but suggest that members of the Guardian’s environment department play with themselves, and your a troll. All the more an irony that the claim comes from the Guardian’s ‘ethical’ correspondent, whereas it was my ethics that were questioned, as though I had lost my moral compass.
A sense of proportion is all that it takes to see through environmentalism.