Tom Harris (mechanical engineer)
Tom Harris is a Canadian mechanical engineer, executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), former executive director of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project and a global warming skeptic. From May to September 2006, he was Ottawa operations director of the High Park Group, a public relations and lobbying firm active in the debate over global warming, whose clients include the Canadian Electricity Association, the Canadian Gas Association as well as those focused on the promotion of alternative energy. The Natural Resources Stewardship Project has been accused [by whom?] of being an astroturfing organization set up by High Park Group to promote the interests of its clients.
Work at the International Climate Science Coalition
The ICSC self-identifies as "a non-partisan group of independent scientists" However it has been described as "less to do with science than with public relations". Geochemist and National Science Board James Powell contrasts the mission and principles of the ICSC with those of the American Geophysical Union, describing the former as a "denier organization" that "know the answers and seek only confirmation that they are right. One group of minds is open; the other closed".
James Hoggan, public relations professional and Chair of the board of the David Suzuki Foundation, and Richard Littlemore of DeSmogBlog.com quoted and analyzed some paragraphs from the ICSC website. They noted that Harris' views as executive director of the ICSC were published from the same IP address and equated the tactics from members of the skeptic organizations New Zealand Climate Science Coalition and Australian Climate Science Coalition. The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition created the ICSC in 2007 and ICSC led the creation of the Australian Climate Science Coalition in 2008, and the Climate Science Coalition of America in 2010.
Speech at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change
At the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change hosted by the Heartland Institute, Tom Harris gave a speech in which he discussed what he called "information sharing" and "coordinated local activism":
- [...] We need regular high-impact media coverage of the findings of leading scientists — not just one or two publications, but we need to have hundreds all over the world. We need to have a high degree of information sharing and cooperation between groups, so that when Vincent Gray for example has an article published in New Zealand, we can take the same piece and we can (say) submit it to newspapers all over North America and Europe.
- Then we have a nicely well-coordinated response, where letters to the editor and phone calls are made. "Congratulations on publishing that article!" You know, it's interesting because I've had many of my articles opposed so strongly, by environmentalists through phone calls and letters to the editor, that they just simply dry up, they just won't publish us again. So this does have feedback, I mean, these are people that run these newspapers, and they're scared, and impressed, and encouraged, depending on the feedback they get.
- We have to have grassroots organizations doing exactly that kind of thing: coordinated local activism.
- "International Climate Science Coalition Appoints New Executive Director" (Press release). International Climate Science Coalition. April 7, 2008.
- "NRSP People". Natural Resources Stewardship Project.
- Gorrie, Peter (January 28, 2007). "Who's still cool on global warming?", TheStar.com.
- . retrieved November 2012
- Ben Cubby, Web Leak shows trail of climate skeptic funding, The Transcontinental Port Augusta, Feb. 17, 2012.
- Phil Plait. "Why Climate Change Denial Is Just Hot Air". Slate.com.
- James Lawrence Powell. The Inquisition of Climate Science.
- James Hoggan; Richard D. Littlemore. Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.
- Tom Harris (March 2008). "Global warming 'skepticism' -- "coordinated local activism"". International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC). Heartland Institute. Retrieved 18 June 2013.