Friday, 7 August 2009

It's a fact. A CFACT.

EIKE Klima CFACT Holger Thuss
Yesterday i pointed out that the EIKE-group which is behind the '60 German scientists dissent over global warming' open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel has a lot of ties with some well known astroturf groups.

It seems the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) deserves more attention than i gave it, hence this follow up post.

CFACT lobbying international
Like any normal organisation, CFACT needs some humble money to survive. Luckily for them, the organization did find some sponsors as sourcewatch discloses :

Media Transparency calculates that between 1991 and 2006 CFACT gained $1,280,000 from 18 grants from only two foundations -- the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

The Carthage Foundation granted $1,105,000 to CFACT between 1991 - 2006, while the Sarah Scaife Foundation sent $175,000 to the group between 1996 - 2001.


Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets website adds that Exxon has contributed a further $577,000 between 2000 and 2007

While looking at climate skeptics, i often see numbers Exxon is spending on different astroturf groups. $577.000 to one and the same group is a lot. Even for Exxon.

So why is this humble organisation receiving all that money ? The website of CFACT says about how things started :
Holger J. Thuss EIKE CFACT director lobby
Holger Thuss
In 1985, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) was founded to promote a positive voice on environment and development issues. Its co-founders, David Rothbard and Craig Rucker, believed very strongly that the power of the market combined with the applications of safe technologies could offer humanity practical solutions to many of the world’s pressing concerns.

Actually CFACT is a free-market tool set up specifically to lobby for libertarian solutions for environmental issues. Therefore, it's not a surprise that the advisory board of CFACT is full of well known climate skeptics like Sallie Baliunas, Pat Michaels, Sherwood Idso & Robert C Balling, who all are connected to free-market thinkthanks.

The Good Dr Thuss
According to his own CV, in 2004 Holger Thuss, a master in history, law & politics founded and became executive director of CFACT-Europe.

As you can see from his CV, Thuss is a man who is in the middle of European politics, serving a.o. the former president of the European Union, Jacques Santer. This probably explains why wikipedia tells us CFACT-Europe "quickly garnered a strong reputation for its public policy work in Europe"

For CFACT, Holger Thuss did what a lobbyist for a free-market group has to do : attack climate science. Thuss, together with the Institute for Free Enterprise, was organising the 2007 Berlin Climate conference where G.E. Beck & lobbyist S. Fred Singer were allowed to present their views.

An event repeated in June 2009, where some more well known skeptics were invited to speak. Well, at least Thuss did what his job-description is telling him to do : try to spread and promote climate-skepticism as much as possible.

Now you probably all are wondering : why is Jules wining about CFACT all the time, while the '60+ scientists for Merkel' letter was sent by EIKE, not CFACT.

Well, here's the answer : the president of EIKE is noone else but CFACT-Europe's executive director Holger Thuss. Auch.

So in 2009, still the lobby is using fake grassroots organisations, like EIKE, to pollute the climate change debate.

On the open letter to Angela Merkel, EIKE & CFACT director Holger Thuss is signing as nothing but a "concerned citizen". Yarly

As a little bonus, try looking at lobby-tool EIKE's scientific council and see if you recognize any names of scientists.