Thanks for this, Phil, I am just back from covering the Paris press
conference for Science and one of the scientists mentioned it to me. I was
looking for the source.

best, Michael

On 2/2/07, Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>  *Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study*
> Ian Sample, science correspondent
> Friday February 2, 2007
> Guardian
> 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.
> The UN report was written by international experts and is widely regarded
> as the most comprehensive review yet of climate change science. It will
> underpin international negotiations on new emissions targets to succeed the
> Kyoto agreement, the first phase of which expires in 2012. World governments
> were given a draft last year and invited to comment.
> 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".
> Climate scientists described the move yesterday as an attempt to cast
> doubt over the "overwhelming scientific evidence" on global warming. "It's a
> desperate attempt by an organisation who wants to distort science for their
> own political aims," said David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit at the
> University of East Anglia.
> "The IPCC process is probably the most thorough and open review undertaken
> in any discipline. This undermines the confidence of the public in the
> scientific community and the ability of governments to take on sound
> scientific advice," he said.
> 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.
> "Right now, the whole debate is polarised," he said. "One group says that
> anyone with any doubts whatsoever are deniers and the other group is saying
> that anyone who wants to take action is alarmist. We don't think that
> approach has a lot of utility for intelligent policy."
> One American scientist turned down the offer, citing fears that the report
> could easily be misused for political gain. "You wouldn't know if some of
> the other authors might say nothing's going to happen, that we should ignore
> it, or that it's not our fault," said Steve Schroeder, a professor at Texas
> A&M university.
>  The contents of the IPCC report have been an open secret since the Bush
> administration posted its draft copy on the internet in April. It says there
> is a 90% chance that human activity is warming the planet, and that global
> average temperatures will rise by another 1.5 to 5.8C this century,
> depending on emissions.
> Lord Rees of Ludlow, the president of the Royal Society, Britain's most
> prestigious scientific institute, said: "The IPCC is the world's leading
> authority on climate change and its latest report will provide a
> comprehensive picture of the latest scientific understanding on the issue.
> It is expected to stress, more convincingly than ever before, that our
> planet is already warming due to human actions, and that 'business as usual'
> would lead to unacceptable risks, underscoring the urgent need for concerted
> international action to reduce the worst impacts of climate change. However,
> yet again, there will be a vocal minority with their own agendas who will
> try to suggest otherwise."
> Ben Stewart of Greenpeace said: "The AEI is more than just a thinktank, it
> functions as the Bush administration's intellectual Cosa Nostra. They are
> White House surrogates in the last throes of their campaign of climate
> change denial. They lost on the science; they lost on the moral case for
> action. All they've got left is a suitcase full of cash."
>  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.


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
[log in to unmask]