There are still people who assume that anyone who questions climate orthodoxy is clearly in the pay of “Big Oil”, and receives regular brown envelopes stuffed with used notes.
The truth, of course, is quite the reverse. In his book “Watermelons” (please read it!), and falling over himself to make generous estimates, James Delingpole says that the energy industry could have contributed up to $200 million to sceptical organisations over the last fifteen years. Delingpole also quotes Richard North’s estimate that over a similar period, the EU alone has spent over $100 billion promoting climate alarmism. That’s billion with a B, by the way, not million with an M. That would be five times as much as the Manhattan Project that created the atomic bomb (and it was our money, by the way — when did we vote for that?).
Then you can add the spending by the UN, the USA, individual EU countries (including local authorities); NGOs; Think Tanks and what-all. Promotional spending on climate alarmism is almost certainly at least a thousand times greater than the pittance received by sceptical organisations.
My good friend Emeritus Professor Fred Singer of the University of Virginia allegedly received around $10,000 of funding from an energy company, about 20 years ago. Yet eco-warriors dismiss any reference to him today because he’s “funded by big oil”. The hell he is. He’s spending his retirement and his own money to try to bring a little common sense into the debate.
Just for the record, I’ve been campaigning on the climate and energy issue (because I think it’s of critical importance to our country and my constituents) for five years, and I’ve never received a penny of funding from big oil, or anyone else (except MEP information fund money from the European parliament).
So what about the other side? There’s Tim Yeo, said by the Daily Telegraph to be making £140,000 a year from Chairing “green” companies. He’s also the (Conservative) Chairman of the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee in the Commons. No conflict of interests there then.
There’s also our old friend Mr. John Gummer, now Baron Deben. According the Christopher Booker, John Gummer is Chairman of Forewind (the clue is in the name), planning to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm in the North Sea; and Chairman of Globe, an international green lobby group/NGO. Baron Deben has been nominated by David Cameron as the new Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, created under the preposterously expensive and infamous Climate Change Act.
We sceptics have for years been accused of being hypocritical and venal, yet none of us (to my knowledge) was. Are Yeo and Gummer hypocritical and venal? You’ll have to judge for yourself — I couldn’t possibly venture an opinion. But I can say one thing with certainty. With such a massive conflict of interests, they are both hopelessly compromised and therefore unfit to serve as Chairmen of such public Committees.