Friday, February 02, 2007

Excellent Opportunity To Become A Paid Shill

It looks like someone doesn't like the new IPCC report, and they're offering cash payments to scientists who will join them:

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Travel expenses and additional payments were also offered.

Boy is that shameless. Not to long ago they would have at least tried to make it look innocent. Now they're openly offering bribes.

The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.

The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN's panel as "resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work" and ask for essays that "thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs".

Keep in mind that the letters were sent out before the Summary for Policymakers was released, and that the analytical work from Working Group 1 that the summary is based upon still hasn't been made public. Exxon-Mobil money can apparently buy you an awful lot -- including psychic powers, it would seem.

The letters were sent by Kenneth Green, a visiting scholar at AEI, who confirmed that the organisation had approached scientists, economists and policy analysts to write articles for an independent review that would highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the IPCC report.

"Strengths and weaknesses". Let's see, where have I heard that one before? I could swear that's a familiar phrase.

And we've got more to look forward to as well:

On Monday, another Exxon-funded organisation based in Canada will launch a review in London which casts doubt on the IPCC report. Among its authors are Tad Murty, a former scientist who believes human activity makes no contribution to global warming. Confirmed VIPs attending include Nigel Lawson and David Bellamy, who believes there is no link between burning fossil fuels and global warming.

Let's hope that on their plane ride this weekend, they don't do something drastic like read the report with an open mind. That might jeopardize the conclusion they reached before the report came out.