International Journal of Inactivism (now supplanted by Decoding SwiftHack)

2008/12/20

The Way of the Astroturf V: no nefarious or lobbying connections

Filed under: International Climate Science Coalition,Tom Harris — stepanovich @ 19:31

cite as: F. Bi. 2008. The Way of the Astroturf V: no nefarious or lobbying connections. Intl. J. Inact., 1:193–194

Dan, commenting at New Matilda, brings up inactivist Tom Harris‘s past employment at the Canadian PR and lobbying firm High Park Group. (The same SourceWatch article later points out indications that Harris was in the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP) even while he was still in HPG.) So, what does Harris do? Answer: ignore ignore ignore :

No one has shown I have any nefarious or lobbying connections, for one simple reason – I DON’T. It would be obviously offensive if I asked you the same question since it would imply that your opinion is for sale. Why will you not extend me the same courtesy?

(Also, even if — even if — he were a lobbyist for vested interests and you can prove that, it’ll be very very wrong to point that out. Because it’ll be an ad hominem, which is Latin for “oh lookie I’m being crucified by evil inquisitors who refuse to discuss only what I want them to discuss oh noes”. Note, however, that comparing people to dictators, like so:

dazza complains: “Sometimes one could wish for godlike powers to silence these people” – yes, this is the wish of most of the dictators in history. Thankfully, our countries still allow dissent from the politically correct wisdom of the gods.

…is not an ad hominem attack.)

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3 Comments »

  1. Unfortunately, the above excludes my response on the New Matilda Website to the nonsense claims on SourceWatch. Here was my response:

    For a time ‘Professor of Ethics’ Clive Hamilton, got away with the “paid lobbyist for energy companies” claim against me and I simply ignored him since I have never been a lobbyist of any kind and most people know that. However, Graham Young, the Australian On-Line opinion editor asked me to respond properly since Hamilton made the assertion in a piece he wrote for On-Line opinion and so I did. Hamilton had no substantial justification for his assertion (which isn’t surprising since none exists since it is not real) and so the editor judged in my favour and eventually ruled against Hamilton, posting an editorial note (and even posting the whole discussion between the editor, Hamilton and myself) on line – here it is so you can see the “paid lobbyist” claim is bogus:

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7580&page=2

    The unsupported claims about NRSP are also included in this link.

    I could make up an ad hominem (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem) attack against Tim Flannery [Australian climate scientist who is promoting the hypothesis in favour of Al Gore’s catastrophe dogma] too, you know, but it would be unprofessional and beside the point since the discussion is about what is correct scientifically, not the background of the person who presents the idea.
    I often know I am succeeding when my intellectual opponents depart from intellectual arguments on the topic at hand and start attacking me and my background. That won’t work anymore though – people can think for themselves about the issues (which is all we are encouraging – I can respect those who disagree with us for valid reasons). The public are also becoming generally too well informed for that ol’ “you’re wrong because I don’t like the company I think you keep” trick now.

    Tom Harris
    Executive Director
    International Climate Science Coalition
    Ottawa, Canada
    http://www.climatescienceinternational.org

    Comment by Tom Harris — 2008/12/23 @ 05:25 | Reply

  2. BTW, my Posting about Dazza’s comment is obviously not an AH attack since it is a comment on what this person said, not the person themselves (about whom I obviously know nothing since Dazza is anonymous) – see the definition of AH in my posting above.

    Tom Harris
    Executive Director
    International Climate Science Coalition
    Ottawa, Canada
    http://www.climatescienceinternational.org

    Comment by Tom Harris — 2008/12/23 @ 05:37 | Reply

  3. posting an editorial note (and even posting the whole discussion between the editor, Hamilton and myself) on line – here it is so you can see the “paid lobbyist” claim is bogus:

    I don’t see any “discussion” or any place where you took up the offer to “respond properly”. All I see is that Clive Hamilton brought up your connections to the lobbyist High Park Group, and you and Graham Young simply ignored it.

    And now you’re pretending that it means you have somehow ‘refuted’ Hamilton.

    BTW, my Posting about Dazza’s comment is obviously not an AH attack since it is a comment on what this person said, not the person themselves

    Yet you have no qualms about screaming “Ad hominem! Ad hominem!” when I commented on something you said.

    Now seriously, why should anyone seriously believe that you’re just a ‘skeptic’ who’s concerned with the science of climate change, when you go around comparing people to dictators?

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/12/23 @ 11:21 | Reply


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