This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
Many of the scientists who signed an open letter have no problem with special interests influencing the world around them. They’re just trying to cheat by getting certain kinds of special interests banned from the playing field.
I’ve been writing about a nakedly political document recently signed by dozens of scientists (here and here). It is worth noticing one more thing about that obnoxious Open Letter to Museums from Members of the Scientific Community.
Although these people claim to be “deeply concerned” that museums compromise their integrity when they accept charitable donations from “special interests,” some of these people are themselves closely aligned with special interests.
Australian marine biologist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is a case in point. For years, I’ve been shouting from the rooftops that reports produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) can’t be taken seriously due to the fact that it recruits scientists closely aligned with activist green groups. But the geniuses at the IPCC have taken no notice. Instead, they thought it was a good idea to put a man who has spent his career cashing cheques from both the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace in charge of its latest chapter on the world’s oceans.
Twelve months ago, Hoegh-Guldberg was so unconcerned about special interests and the IPCC’s reputation he wrote the foreword to a WWF Australia brochure. And yet here he is, signing a letter that holds museums to a higher ethical standard than he himself has displayed. Hypocrisy, thy name is Hoegh-Guldberg.
Then there’s Michael MacCracken. The open letter tells us he’s the chief scientist for climate change programs with the Climate Institute. What’s the Climate Institute? Gee, it looks an awful lot like one of those special interests. Its website describes it as an “environmental organization.” In other words, this is a lobby group devoted to heightening “international awareness of climate change” and promoting “significant emissions reductions.”
For good measure, McCracken also pals around with the WWF. For several years he’s been part of one of their campaigns – the express purpose of which is to increase the public’s sense of climate change urgency.
And how about Stuart Parkinson? The open letter describes him as a climatologist and the executive director of a UK-based group called Scientists for Global Responsibility. That’s right, folks, here’s yet another special interest – an organization concerned about “peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability” – complaining about the influence of special interests.
I could go on for some time, but perhaps I’ll just end with Matt Lappe, whom we’re told is a paleoclimatologist, an environmental hydrologist, and the executive director of Alliance for Climate Education. This special interest is dedicated to inspiring “young people to break through the challenge of climate change.”
In other words, many of the people who signed this letter have no problem whatsoever with special interests influencing the world around them. They’re just trying to cheat. Rather than a level playing field, they want certain kinds of special interests banned from the playing field.
Integrity and ethics, indeed.