Talk:Natural Resources Stewardship Project

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Moved from main page by JQ

Yesterday I sent the following e-mail to the editors of Wikipedia to have the above corrected - no response as of 13:30 EST October 24, 2006 so I upload the letter to help people understand what is real and what is not about NRSP: - - ________________________________________ - From: Tom Harris [1] - Sent: October 23, 2006 11:59 PM - To: '' - Subject: mistake and bias on your Web site concerning our organization - - Dear Sir or Madam, - - There are several blatant errors in your description of our new organization I request be corrected immediately, please: - - URL: - - Says: - “The Natural Resources Stewardship Project is a Canadian non-profit organization presenting itself as undertaking "A proactive grassroots campaign to counter the Kyoto Protocol and other greenhouse gas reduction schemes while promoting sensible climate change policy." It is headed by lobbyist Tom Harris and global warming skeptic Tim Ball. It replaces an earlier organisation Friends of Science. - The NSRP has been criticised as an Astroturf organization [1].” - - 1 – I am not a lobbyist and never have been. Media have asked me about this as they have not found my name identified on the lobby registration. I have explained that is because I am not a lobbyist and main stream media have accepted that and do not make the mistake on your site. - - 2 – It has nothing to do with Friends of Science which I imagine continues as before (you would have to ask them). - - 3 – Yes, we have been criticized as an “Astroturf organization” by a group whose stated purpose is to discredit scientists and organizations who disagree with their point of view on climate change – why would you use this strange source for your Web site instead of, say, the Edmonton Journal, who described us as “a new non-profit organization that seeks to promote "sensible environmental and natural resources policies based on science, engineering and economics" (see - - Sincerely, - - Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (thermofluids) - Executive Director - Natural Resources Stewardship Project - P.O. Box 23013 - Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2 - - e-mail: - Web:

Just to clarify, you're not the Tom Harris who's associated with the High Park Group? He claims the same qualifications as you [2] and offers direct lobbying services [3]. For the moment, I've deleted the description of you as a lobbyist in view of your objection, but unless there's some kind of mistaken identity here, it will go back in. JQ 03:07, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Looks like you didn't get it the first time - here is my answer to you again[edit]

As before, "I am not a lobbyist and never have been. Media have asked me about this as they have not found my name identified on the lobby registration. I have explained that is because I am not a lobbyist and main stream media have accepted that and do not make the mistake on your site."

Also, unless you are biased against us, you should highlight the fact that we ahve received good and bad coverage and so I added that to your description.

This isn't an answer. I assume that you are the Tom Harris associated with the High Park Group, in which case that information should be reported. JQ 05:53, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I have removed the desmogblog link since it is misplaced being listed in the list of complimentary media coverage.

Removed reference to "sucker punching" a female reporter, which is clearly offensive, inflammatory and incorrect[edit]

The "Sucker Punch" comment is also listed in the wrong list, that list supposedly reserved for complimentary media coverage.

Suggested external link[edit]

I'm associated with this website, but believe it an appropriate and unique source regarding the NRSP's background and associations. Wikipedia guidelines prevent me from posting it as an external link, so I propose it here for a neutral party to consider:

Dbarefoot 18:49, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

If you mean The fanciful world of the "Friends of Science", I skimmed it just now. What's the connection to NRSP? Are you saying one project is the successor of the other, and that you disagree with FOS's critique of global warming science? --Uncle Ed 09:26, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Funding controversy[edit]

Cut from article:

The NSRP has been criticised as act of Astroturfing. [citation needed] Harris rejects this criticism but refuses to reveal the sources of its funding. [4]. NSRP has been complimented in other coverage. [5] and [6]

I guess what our editors are trying to say here is that some advocates question the project's reliance on tainted sources like Big Oil and want to make the point that NRSP is "beholden to the energy interests and can therefore be dismissed, they are not objective but in the pay of Big Oil". Our task as editors would be to find a statement like that and quote it, as well as any opposing points of view.

Our readers may also be interested in any specific statements about natural resources the project has made. Does NRSP have a position on conserving forests, reducing CO2 emissions, or anything like that? --Uncle Ed 09:23, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Some blogger in Canada made the association between NSRP and astroturfing. Should we call him pro-AGW blogger Joe Blow or PR agency president or just give his name in double square brackets, so readers can click on him for more info?
I appreciate the cite, but "has been cricised as" are classic weasel words. See also Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words.
  • "(Critics, detractors, fans, experts, many people, scholars, historians, ...) contend, say that ..."
I'm not asking for the mention of astroturfing to be taken out. It actually sounds like astroturfing to me, and anyway astroturfing is too cool a word to omit! If wanted it out, I would have deleted it, instead of doing a Wikipedia:text move.
I like following policy, and if we disagree on how to apply it we should discuss that - which is much better than accusing others of "pretending not to know", wouldn't you say? --Uncle Ed 21:09, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Cut from article:

The NSRP has been criticised as act of Astroturfing.[1]

I don't know why FeloniousMonk (1) deleted the attrib tag or, worse, (2) reverted it on the grounds that was "misused". The purpose of the tag is to alert editors to a Weasel word, and "has been critised as" is an example of weasel words.

To make it more clear: the reason we have a policy or guideline against weasel words is that it doesn't say WHO (in this case) criticized the group. Whether it's only their viewpoint or not is not the problem; it's just an awkward sentence.

The article should either state outright that NRSP engaged in astroturfing, or say that Jim Hoggan (or whoever is mentioned in the ref) offered the criticism.

Unless other editors feel that this particular case of weasel words has a good reason to go against conventions, in which case I'd like to know what justifies the exception to the rule.


  • NSRP claimed to be grassroots.
  • (Blank) said it's not grassroots, but just a front.
  • (Source) said this situation is a good example of astroturfing, because while they claim to be grassroots they are really just a PR campaign by a special interest group.

I'm spending so much time on it, because several articles suffer from the same sloppy writing. Encyclopedia writing should not be sloppy, but crisp and brisk and to the point. Readers should not have to (1) click on a footnote and then (2) follow that footnote offsite, and read somebody's blog, just to find out that Jim Hoggan thinks NRSP astroturfed. Why not just say it in the text? --Uncle Ed 23:26, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

  • By the way, the reason I cut the same thing twice is that the first time I had the wrong tag: {cn} or {fact} was not correct, because I don't feel the fact is "in dispute" or even questionable. It was a matter of writing style. The writing seemed sloppy[who?] - oops, better to say I thought the writing looked sloppy.
  • I created the new {weasel word} tag just for this type of thing, where the problem is not lack of backup for the assertion, but lack of a subject for the sentence, i.e., we don't know who is making the assertion.
  • We could just as easily say that foxes are considered a danger to livestock[who?] - but our readers would be curious about what sort of people thing so. Better to say farmers consider foxes a danger to livestock. That would satisfy the question raised by the {attrib} tag. The reader would then think, "Well of course farmers would object to foxes." --Uncle Ed 23:33, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
The {weasel word} tag is totally inappropriate here. It concerns euphemisms, and you are arguing about active versus passive voice. On the general point, a Google search for NRSP+Astroturf shows that this criticism has been made many times. So, unless you want a long list, it's better to make the general statement and pick one source. However, if you prefer we could write something like "The NRSP has been criticised on many occasions as an act of Astroturfing. A partial list of those making this or similar criticisms of the NRSP as an industry-funded body includes ...." JQ 01:03, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, the only source for that criticism I've been able to find is blogger Jim Hoggan, who called it:

"a classic example of an astroturf group - a surprisingly well-funded PR team that presents itself as a grassroots organization."

I'm thinking of a full rewrite, because:

  1. It apparently no longer exists.
  2. Establishing a "proactive grassroots campaign" was only one of its initiatives - and I think you and I would agree that establishing and grassroots contradict each other.
  3. Their main aim was to criticize the Kyoto Protocol
  4. The strongest criticism against the group was that it was pro-industry, and that critics guessed it was industry-funded, too.
    • If this means that critics suspected an ulterior motive or a lack of objectivity due to industry funding, then the article should say so.

Please fix this article. --Uncle Ed 01:20, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Will doJQ 03:10, 19 March 2007 (UTC)


  1. ^ New Canadian Astroturf Group Tim Lambert. Deltoid, ScienceBlogs. October 13, 2006.


ScienceBlogs is a reliable source for the statement in the text that NRSP has been called an Astroturf group. It obviously *is* an Astroturf group, but I guess Wikipedia can't say that in the absence of an authoritative conclusion to that effect, as opposed to published criticism.JQ (talk) 22:50, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what MN's objection to this is. Perhaps he'll talk here instead of just reverting William M. Connolley (talk) 17:07, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Deltoid blog is nought but an attack blog, the blog has lifted this story from another blog whic his an attack piece. In is ib breach of both wp:rs and wp:blp perhaps you guys should read the blog post and follow the links from were lambert lifted his story. Do not use an opinon blog as wp:rs mark nutley (talk) 19:23, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
BLP doesn't look relevant, and Deltoid isn't an attack blocg, your personal vendetta aside William M. Connolley (talk) 21:45, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Blp is always relevent, i do not have a personal vendetta, comment on the content not the editor please. All deltoid links i have removed lead to attack pieces, it is not wp:rs and can`t be used mark nutley (talk) 22:02, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Further to this, you WMC have argued time and again the James Delingpole`s Blog in the telegraph is not wp:rs The most recent being here [7] even though the wp:rs rules state Some newspapers host interactive columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professional journalists or are professionals in the field on which they write and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control However you seem to be under the impression that deltoid blog written by your friend, which has no editorial control is wp:rs? Could you explain to me please why you think this is acceptable? mark nutley (talk) 22:59, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Neither Delingpole's blog nor Lambert's is RS for the purposes of WP:BLP, and I did not revert the deletions in the case of BLP articles. But NRSP is not a person. As a statement of opinion about an organization, there is no problem here.JQ (talk) 00:03, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Wrong, read the blog post the ref links to, then read the links to were lambert lifted the story from. You can`t go around accusing people of astroturfing based on a blog post which lifted his story from another blog. As stated before,deltoid blog is not wp:rs for anything as it has no editorial control. It is just the opinions of a computor scientist writing outside if his area of expertise. Deltoid can`t be used as a source full stop, that`s policy mark nutley (talk) 09:27, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Who wrote this article? Yet another blog ref used to support an accusation of astroturfing, this time a pr guy`s blog called desmogblog. Once the page is unprotected i will be removing this as well per wp:rs mark nutley (talk) 15:06, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

DesmogBlog is not a reliable source. It needs to be removed as a reference from this article immediately. Cla68 (talk) 12:33, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
  • By the way, once the blog is removed, this article will only have one source. I checked Infotrac and ProQuest NewsStand and got about 200 hits on this article's title. So, once protection is lifted I'll be able to source this article better. Cla68 (talk) 22:53, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Ask 2/0 to remove the protection, it has been proved that the refs i removed were not reliable mark nutley (talk) 22:57, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

What evidence is there to suggest that DeSmogBlog is not a reliable source for the opinions of its contributors? What evidence is there that it misrepresents them? It seems to be a reliable source for the opinions of Hoggan and its other contributors. What evidence is there to the contrary? Guettarda (talk) 23:54, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Who is Jim Hoggan and why is his opinion on anything notable? If he is the one who wrote the Vancouver Sun article on this subject, then his opinion is already included in this article. Cla68 (talk) 00:13, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
He is a pr guy who set up desmogblog, go take a look at it. His opinon is already in the article via the Toronto Star edit mark nutley (talk) 00:19, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
I think there is enough information in the 2007 Star and 2008 Vancouver Sun articles to start an article on the DesmogBlog, if anyone wants to do so. Cla68 (talk) 00:25, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Hoggan's opinion is notable because it's been cited by others, such as Revkin and Monbiot. Grandia is a HuffPo contributor, and an occasional contributor to the Guardian's Environment blog. Hoggan is also "Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation, an executive member of the Urban Development Institute and Future Generations and a Trustee of the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education" - the first, at the very least, suggests that he's a notable voice on the environment in Canada. Guettarda (talk) 00:33, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
So has antony watts and steve m, yet you say they are not reliable nor notable, in fact what you say about them is not very nice is it mark nutley (talk) 00:37, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Really? Anthony Watts is also chair of the Suzuki Foundation or something comparable?[citation needed] If McI has written an analysis of this issue, please do point to it. Guettarda (talk) 00:41, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Quick search of LexisNexis shows reference to DeSmogBlog from the (print, not blog) versions of the NY Times (Business/Financial desk), the New Zealand Herald, the Toronto Star and the Guardian. Guettarda (talk) 00:39, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
mark, please don't personalize debates. Trying to show that someone, who doesn't have their own BLP article in Wikipedia, is notable enough to include their opinion on a subject is a thorny problem and I don't have an easy solution to it. Again, based on Guettarda's comments, I think an article could be started on the Desmogblog and then it probably could be used, with attribution, as a source of opinion in WP articles. But then again, I'm fairly liberal with sources so the WP:RS board regulars may not agree. Cla68 (talk) 00:43, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry Cla, your right of course. The desmogblog thing is also being discussed [8] on the RS notice board btw mark nutley (talk) 00:54, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and started the article. Cla68 (talk) 06:24, 9 March 2010 (UTC)


For your consideration. MastCell Talk 01:04, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

  • That first source looks fine. The second only implies that this group is financed by the energy lobby. Cla68 (talk) 05:20, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Done. I removed the material sourced to the blog, but if someone wants to expand with more information from the Toronto Star, that would probably be fine. Cla68 (talk) 23:20, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oops, nevermind, the Star article appears to have been misattributed by whoever put it there. Cla68 (talk) 23:26, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oops again. I was looking at the wrong Star article. The 2007 Star article contains a lot of good information. Cla68 (talk) 23:29, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

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