Friends of Science

Friends of Science

Friends of Science is a Canadian non-profit organization founded in 2002, "Made up of active and retired engineers, earth scientists and other professionals, as well as many concerned Canadians, who believe the science behind the Kyoto Protocol is questionable." According to their website, the goal of Friends of Science is, "To encourage and assist the Canadian Federal Government to re-evaluate the Kyoto Protocol by engaging in a national public debate on the scientific merit of Kyoto and the Global Warming issue, and to educate the public through dissemination of relevant, balanced and objective technical information on this subject." [cite web
url =
title = Friends of Science
accessdate = 2007-04-30
] Its scientific advisors are Madhav Khandekar, Chris de Freitas, Tim Patterson and Sallie Baliunas. The current president of Friends of Science is Douglas Leahey.

Friends of Science has produced a 23 minute on-line video [citeweb
url =
title = Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: What You're Not Being Told About the Science of Climate Change
accessdate = 2007-03-05
] that claims to contrast the views of politicians and scientists on the question of climate change. The scientists on the video included consultant Tim Ball, Professor of Geology Tim Patterson of Carleton University, and Professor of Political Science Barry F. Cooper of the University of Calgary, all of whom are known for skepticism with regard to the mainstream scientific view on global warming. Scientists representing the mainstream view were not represented.


Friends of Science disputes the scientific consensus on global warming, claiming on the basis of its interpretation of satellite and balloon temperature records that no significant global warming has taken place over the last three decades.

Friends of Science states: [citeweb
url =
title = Myths/Facts: Common Misconceptions About Global Warming
accessdate = 2007-03-05

: "Accurate satellite, balloon and mountain top observations made over the last three decades have not shown any significant change in the long term rate of increase in global temperatures. Average ground station readings do show a mild warming of 0.6 to 0.8 C over the last 100 years, which is well within the natural variations recorded in the last millennium. The ground station network suffers from an uneven distribution across the globe; the stations are preferentially located in growing urban and industrial areas ("heat islands"), which show substantially higher readings than adjacent rural areas ("land use effects")."


Friends of Science has been criticized as an Astroturfing organization [citeweb
url =
title = Who's still cool on global warming?
accessdate = 2007-03-05
] [cite web | title=Getting Astroturfed | first=Sarah | last=Veale | publisher=View Magazine | accessdate=2007-04-24 | url=] with close links to the oil and gas industry. [citeweb
url =
title = The Denial Machine - a CBC documentary about climate scepticism and funding
accessdate = 2007-03-05
] Their funding sources are unclear; MP John Godfrey said, "Financial links between the petroleum industry and climate change skeptic groups in the United States are well documented... We need more transparency about who is behind this campaign in Canada." [ [ Friends of Science Newsletter, September 2006] ] They themselves say their "efforts to bring balance to the climate change debate are being restricted because of our lack of funding. We have mostly relied upon the good nature of our members, with some contributions from Charitable Foundations. There has also been some funding from “big oil”. But they seldom smile on us. They appear to believe that marketing is more important than historical climate information…Your support is essential for getting things done! Without it, we will probably have to shut down operations within the year." [ [ Friends of Science Newsletter, April 2007] ]

Funds do not come directly from industry donors but are instead solicited for the Calgary Foundation, a charitable funds administrator which maintains a policy of not disclosing the identity of donors. The donations are then passed on to the Science Education Fund, an account at the University of Calgary set up by Prof. Barry Cooper. In the final step, the Science Education Fund uses those funds to support the activities of the Friends of Science. [cite news | author = Charles Montgomery | title = Mr. Cool: Nurturing doubt about climate change is big business | publisher = Globe and Mail |date = 2006-08-12 | accessdate = 2007-05-01 | url =] Friends of Science does not disclose details of their funding sources, though Cooper has stated that their funds are "not exclusively from the oil and gas industry."


ee also

*Natural Resources Stewardship Project
*Douglas Leahey

External links

* [ Friends of Science website]
* [ Sourcewatch: Friends of Science] – more details on the history and funding of FoS.
* [ Charles Montgomery, "Meet Mr. Cool," "Globe and Mail", August 12, 2006] – an exposé about FoS and its former head, Tim Ball.

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