the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Pots and Kettles – Follow the money

Posted by Jeff Id on September 13, 2010

Bob Ward (Andrew Montford’s recent nemesis), has written a piece titled – Why ExxonMobil must be taken to task over climate denial funding.  Before we get into that, his recent review of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion was incredibly biased, missed the technical meaning of nearly the whole thing and bordered so much on libel he was forced to change it.  The purpose of pointing this is to show the Taminoesque personality we’re dealing with and the fact that, intellectually,  Bob is perfectly comfortable with publishing pro-AGW climate disinformation.

In this case, Bob Ward goes after Exxon for funding conservative groups accused of publishing, you guessed it,  disinformation on climate. I hate to break it to him, but I’ve seen a lot more disinformation from main stream climate science® than I have from any conservative group.  Hockeysticks, melting Antarctic, melting Himalayas, melting sea ice, drought, ridiculously exaggerated sea level rise, expanding hurricanes, shrinking fish, sheep, birds and plants (no I’m not kidding on the last four).

So what Bob Ward is apparently saying, is that it’s ok to fund hockeystic temp curves which have no more relationship to temperature than a kid with a crayon, but not to fund those who point out the errors.  Clear now?

Well today, Barry Woods an anonymous reader (unless they want credit), pointed out that apparently Exxon funds are sent to— Bob Ward’s acceptable disinformation on climate.

Here’s a quote from his exxon bashing, and  a couple of links.  Whole article is above.

A few weeks ago, ExxonMobil revealed that it made contributions in 2008 to lobby groups such as the National Center for Policy Analysis and the Heritage Foundation in order to “promote informed discussion”. So I have now written again to ExxonMobil to point out that these organisations publish misleading information about climate change on their websites, and to seek guidance on how to reconcile this fact with the pledge made by the company. I believe that the company should keep its promise by ending its financial support for lobby groups that mislead the public about climate change.

• Bob Ward is the policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science.

A bit about Bob from here:

Bob Ward

Bob Ward

Bob Ward
Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Bob Ward joined the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in November 2008 from Risk Management Solutions, where he was director of public policy. He worked at the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, for eight years until October 2006. He has also worked as a freelance science writer and journalist, and has a degree in geology. Ward is a member of the executive committees of the Association of British Science Writers and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine Public Relations Association, and is a member of the board of the UK’s Science Media Center.

And finally the Exxon funding for the Science and Media Center, on which Bob is apparently a board member.

36 Responses to “Pots and Kettles – Follow the money”

  1. D.T. said

    Slightly off topic, but since it has come up before. A lawyer might know for sure, but using the registered trademark symbol (®) as parody is probably okay—unless intent is to deceive—: 906.02 Improper Use of Registration Symbol.

  2. Jeff Id said

    #1 – Think of it like a patent, if there’s no damage to the party owning the trademark, there’s no chance of prosecution for infringement.

  3. Atomic Hairdryer said

    Bob logic is strange logic. Funding Bob science is good. Funding not-Bob science is bad. Funding stuff like this-

    with $110,000 gets ignored because it doesn’t fit the Bob agenda. As Bob’s a PR man though, Bob might be trying to get Exxon to give more genorously though. In 2008 Exxon only gave $130k to non-US organisations. Bob’s organisations are non-US. Won’t someone think of the Bob? Bob also hasn’t looked at DeSmogBlog, or Hoggan’s client list as that includes Shell.

  4. David S said

    ExxonMobil are in good company funding the Science and Media Center. BP (who are of course long term supporters of the CRU), Shell and Monsanto are in there as well.

  5. M. Simon said

    Coal and nuclear bad. Oil and natural gas good.

  6. Alarmingly, Ward used to be publicity manager for the Royal Society. Look how he raves in his correspondence with Steve Durkin over Great Global Warming Swindle.

  7. curious said

    BW questions from the box linked Guardian article above (dated 1 July 2009):

    “In the letter, Bob Ward of the Royal Society writes: “At our meeting in July … you indicated that ExxonMobil would not be providing any further funding to these organisations. I would be grateful if you could let me know when ExxonMobil plans to carry out this pledge.”

    The letter, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, adds: “I would be grateful if you could let me know which organisations in the UK and other European countries have been receiving funding so that I can work out which of these have been similarly providing inaccurate and misleading information to the public.””

    Presumably they replied “Sure Buddy, just check your pay packet!”. However the challenge over identifying inaccurate and misleading information remains….

  8. andy said

    Look Bob is not too bright, he is paid to shout and scream on the web and defend his views which has become very difficult of late due to the lies and bad behaviour of the ‘scientists’.

    Have some sympathy for him.

  9. andy said

    [snipped by request]

  10. Athlete said

    Off topic,
    congrats Jeff on a complete dismantling of KK on his ridiculous thread over at C-a-S. I guess he never is going to address the points you made at comment #32. Typical of the “spend other peoples money” crowd. KK wouldn’t know a social engineer if it hit him in his wallet.

  11. Don Keiller said

    The irony borders on the surreal.

  12. andy said

    Actually I take back my last post about bob it was beneath me, he is neither a ‘shill’ or any thing else and I apologise. Can jeff remove post 9.

  13. Barry Woods said

    no need to be anonymous

  14. kkloor said


    You’re joking, right? Jeff did a fine job dismantling himself on that thread. All I had to do was get out of the way.

  15. Jeff Id said

    #14, Not everyone sees the world from left color glasses.

  16. Brian H said

    So now any firm/organization that contributes to research that might disagree with the official line must be fingered, censured, and punished?

    A more anti-science stance would be hard to imagine.

    How very “Curious”.

  17. SteveE said

    You really can’t trust those big oil funded deniers can you, ouch! (imagine tongue in cheek smily here if I could make one)

  18. Graeme said

    Bob mis-steps.

    1. Open barrel of tar.
    2. Take paint brush in preferred hand.
    3. Dip paint brush into barrel of tar until brush is well covered.
    4. Paint tar over self.
    5. Repeat until self is covered in tar…


  19. kdk33 said

    “shrinking fish, sheep, birds and plants”

    You forgot disappearing lizards

  20. andy said

    Thanks for snipping my post above Jeff. I will post when I am less tired and cranky next time.

  21. Kan said

    To Mobile, Shell, BP, and to all other large Corps:

    when you straddle the fence, all sides shoot you.

  22. Alex Heyworth said

    Think I should repeat my comment from the thread at Keith’s here:

    The thing about Obama (and Bush, and all the rest of them) is that he is a politician. To quote P J O’Rourke “Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit. A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty— their power and privilege— to State, Masses, Mankind, Planet Earth, or whatever. This state, those masses, that mankind, and the planet will then be run by … politicians.”
    These politicians are supported by bureaucrats. Again, to quote P J O’Rourke “Bureaucrats want bigger bureaus. Special interests are interested in whatever’s special to them. These two groups bring great pressure to bear upon politicians who have another agenda yet: to cater to the temporary whims and fads of the public and the press.” (Both quotes from All The Trouble in The World [1994]).

    A pox on all their houses.

  23. Alex Heyworth said

    Sorry, wrong thread. Should have been on the thread about Obama.

  24. GrantB said

    Steady on chaps – Bob has an unfinished PhD on palaeopiezometry which I understand is about stress determination in deformed rocks. Although no doubt an honest and worthy profession, you just don’t see a lot of palaeopiezometerologists on the telly or in the press. No wonder he opted for the more visible and lucrative profession as a climate science PR spinner.

  25. Barry Woods said

    It is not about ‘credit’ just being open…

    Fiona Fox, Director of the Climate amd edia Centre (exxon funded !!!)
    who infamously on BBC Newswatch (23/04/2010) said:

    “it is unnecessary….misleading…inaccurate… to always have a sceptic to balance the views of the climate scientist” Fiona Fox – Director, Science Media Centre

    “Fight the good fight for accuracy, in fact. On Climate change there has been a real change.. People like Richard Black and Roger Harrabin [BBC Environment, journalist/analysts] , fighting internally [at the BBC] to say we DON’T have to have a sceptic every time we have a climate story.”

    She also asked at the Guradin Climategate debate a question… In such an angry tone it was noticeable to all the other journalists there.

    She was basically saying the Guardain were being irresponsible, for talking about the issues.

    Fiona also chaired this debate: How to Report Change after Climategate.

    The Guardian guy said:

    “I used to think sceptics were bad and mad but now the bad people (lobbyists for fossil fuel industries) had gone, leaving only the mad.”


    I do try, to provide evidence, ie original source audio, so ‘anyone can check’ for themselves.

    The audio is quite, long, but it might be worth Jeff’s while to listen to it, to see how the media think. (Fiona Harvey – Finacial Times, Fiona Fox, Richad Black – BBC, David Adam – Guardian)

  26. Barry Woods said

    Are Journalists the problem…

    From the audio 34 minute in, approx:

    In the audio of the debate,
    Fiona Fox – Director of the Science and Media Centre,
    talking about the journalists attending a SMC media briefing,
    where the scientists were being asking questions about climategate, IPCC, and refusing to answer some questions. ie should Pachauri resign, etc

    Q: What should the scientists be doing differently:

    A: “The journalists, ALL said to Fiona Fox, following the scientists poor media performance in the last few months and next few years,

    The Journalists present said:

    “The scientists have got to go FURTHER than the SCIENCE NOW, to WIN the argument with the public.”

    So what are trhe activists journalists/media doing if they are thinking this?

  27. kim said

    Heh, Keith got so far out of the way on the Gavin thread that he didn’t even notice Gavin abandoning the Hockey Stick.

    Inches separate
    The Quick and the Freshly Dead.
    Gavin beats retreat.

  28. stan said

    Damn. Athlete (10), I can’t believe I went and read that whole comment thread at Kloor’s. [Jeff, remember — do not argue with fools or wrestle in the mud with pigs.] Reminded me of why I told myself not to go back there. I’ve never seen Kloor make an intelligent point. Or Bart either for that matter (who shows up once). Bart lost me for good when he argued that it wasn’t the climate scientists who demonstrate hubris, but rather non-scientists who disagree with them since the climate scientists are the experts. {game, set, match} Alice in Wonderland found more rational arguments when she tried to get Humpty-Dumpty to make sense.

  29. kim said

    Bart’s logic should have been exposed in graduate school and Keith moderates my haiku into oblivion.

    Enuff of it, idn’t it Jeff?

  30. MikeH said

    The assumption made (by Bob et al) is that since oil is bad therefore companies that sell oil are bad therefore such companies should not be permitted to express nor fund any opinion at all (oh but it’s OK if they fund Bob and his friends who happen to share the same opinion). This is so undemocratic and anti-freedom! It puts to the lie that these people (like Bob) believe in open discussion and debate. They demonstrate through their actions and words that they do not support any such freedom at all. Star chamber anyone?

  31. stan said

    Oh, and by the way Jeff, if you (or I) were so inclined, we could have a lot of fun with Tom Fuller’s observation that Obama is merely a mainstream Democrat. I think Fuller is in San Fran. If so, it may appear that way to him considering the average Dem he encounters in SF, but it would be really hard to place Obama in the American mainstream given that BO-zo had the most liberal voting record of any senator during his time in the senate and all kinds of people who voted for him are bolting away from him in horror at what he’s done since the election. He came to America’s attention as the most left-wing senator, got elected, and appalled a lot of voters by going even further to the left. Is that a mainstream Democrat?

    Fuller’s contention does deserve some examination, although perhaps not the way he meant. As a matter of logic, a claim that Obama is a mainstream Democrat does not necessarily rebut your claim that he wishes to bring socialism to the USA. Do mainstream Dems wish to bring socialism to the US? I don’t think so, but I think the percentage of Dems who do is likely much higher than many folks realize. There’s a reason someone like Van Jones can get a White House job. His record may indicate he’s a far left-wing, communist nut job, but the people in the White House were perfectly comfortable with him and well aware of his views when he got the job. He fit in. It was only when his views got aired to the general public that it became imperative for him to go. (see also Rev Wright and his anti-American views) Ayers and Dohrn may be unrepentant terrorists and professed left-wing revolutionaries, but they had no trouble getting faculty positions at Northwestern and Ill-Chicago or becoming influential in Democratic politics in Chicago. There are millions of Democrats who loved Castro, Mao, Ho, Che, and the Sandinistas. There’s a sizeable group who supported the NVA in Vietnam (see e.g. NY Times publisher Sulzberger), cheered with the avowedly Stalinist group ANSWER when it organized anti-war rallies with Democratic officials a few years ago, and love Chavez today.

    Most people would be surprised at the extent to which Democrats like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry once had ties with communist front groups funded and directed by Moscow. Or the way Ted Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, John Tunney were willing to cooperate with the Soviets to sell out America, if it would help them defeat Ronald Reagan and the GOP. Or as David Horowitz has related from his own personal experience, there are a whole lot of Americans who were raised as “red diaper babies”, schooled in Marxism at the “little Red Schoolhouse” or in Marxist summer camps, organized the SDS and other New Left fronts in the 60s, were at the forefront of demonstrations against the Vietnam war, embraced McGovern, and grew up to become integral parts of today’s Democrat Party. Their number is not by any means close to a majority of Democrats, but they are very influential in the activist core which dominates the inner party workings.

    Obama has led the govt’s steps to dominate the auto industry, banks, financial industry, and health care. His EPA has asserted the right to control every aspect of our lives through CO2 regulation. He’s expanded the size of the federal govt to unprecedented levels. His thuggish, gangster govt tactics trampled on the rule of law on a number of fronts — e.g. Chrysler bondholders, strong-arming BP to the detriment of the legal system, threatening insurers’ free speech rights, refusing to enforce the law against favored special interests, trying to bypass Congress and impose his own law with regard to card check (and CO2).

    Are these steps toward socialism? I don’t really care how anyone chooses to parse the semantics. All I know is that it damn sure is NOT the representative democracy with Constitutional protections for our liberty of the type established by our founders and still cherished by a majority of Americans today.

  32. tonyb said


    From over the pond-where we would generally be regarded as generally quite centrist or to the left of centre-I would rate Obama as pretty left wing by our standards and very left wing by US standards. However his record and aspirations were plain for all to see even from this side of the Atlantic so I’m not sure why people should be surprised at what he has been doing.


  33. stan said


    I agree that it should have been clear. But see how people such as Mort Zuckerman and Ann Althouse who now regret supporting and voting for him.

  34. Derek said

    Shucks the Kenyan born, Indonesian educated, kid is doing just what he said he would.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    btw – Anyone seen a birth certificate yet. ?

    Again, sorry couldn’t resist.

    I also agree with Tonyb, it was obvious over here what he is, way before he got elected.
    “energy prices will necessarily skyrocket.” – was a give-away really.

  35. Atomic Hairdryer said

    re: GrantB

    Steady on chaps – Bob has an unfinished PhD on palaeopiezometry which I understand is about stress determination in deformed rocks

    Shame he didn’t finish that and work out a voltage to temperature correlation. Could have opened a whole new field of paleoclimatology and he could have been a serious climate scientist instead of a PR guy. Hook the data to an analogue synth and could have made money selling ‘songs of the ages’ to greens bored with whale song.

  36. It is a disturbing – if unsurprising – trend among the left these days. They do not want to debate in the arena of facts and ideas, because those often run counter to their spin. So to avoid it, they seek to stiffle the basic and most important right in the United States – freedom of speech. Obama proposed it. Sebelius is doing it. Waxman tried it. So Bob Ward can be partially excused for thinking the right in the colonies had been revoked.

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