Monday, July 4, 2011

The hypocritical Coral Whisperer

A recent post by Coral Whisperer Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg on his tax payer funded blog "Climate Shifts" reveals Physicist Professor Willie Soon of Harvard University's Center for Astrophysics has received funding from (shock-horror) companies involved in the fossil fuel industry (including "dirty" coal). However this is no secret, Prof. Soon's sources of funding are well known and have been disclosed as part of the normal publishing process. Other sources of funding have included: the US Government, USAF and NASA.
In comments Professor Hoegh-Guldberg reveals he has also received funding from (shock-horror) companies involved in fossil fuels (including "dirty" coal) - namely Rio Tinto who own Rio Tinto Alcan. (In 2008 Rio Tinto mined over 72Mt of "dirty" coal that helped power our economy, our hospitals, our schools, our theaters, our universities thereby saving and enriching millions of lives in the process). According to Rio Tinto's publicityThe Great Barrier Reef Research Foundation and Comalco Aluminium Limited (Comalco), a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto, have formed the Future Reef partnership to support research-based initiatives to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
According to The Great Barrier Reef Foundation. This major four year $1 million partnership between the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Rio Tinto Alcan was specifically developed to foster understanding about the environmental impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.
Listed on Professor Hoegh-Guldberg's project page is this project:

2009 - 2014  Ensuring a Sustainable Queensland through the Science-Based Solutions to Climate Change on the Great Barrier Reef
Abstract:  Climate change poses a growing threat to the future of the GBR and the industries and people that depend on it (GBR 2006, > $6 billion revenue; 60,000 jobs). Our response to climate change requires the world's best practice science to underpin the development of effective management and policy. This Fellowship research program will bring about a quantum leap in our understanding of how to respond to climate change (including developing key management tools) by attacking core issues (global warming, ocean acidificiation) with significant resources and one of the largest networks of research, industry and management agencies focused on coral reefs.
Researchers:   Hoegh-Guldberg, I. O.
Funding Bodies:  Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Total Funding:  $ 1,441,000

The total funding from fossil fuel sources cited on Professor Hoegh-Guldberg's blog for Professor Soon is $1,033,100 between 1994 and 2010. It seems that Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has eclipsed that amount in a single grant, worth over $1.4 Million from sources associated with fossil fuels. Not bad for a coral whisperer. Best not to mention Professor Hoegh-Guldberg's connections with Greenpeace.

The question now is: Will Professor Hoegh-Guldberg return the funds tainted by "dirty" coal or risk being branded a hypocrite? I'm sure Rio Tinto would be interested to know what the good Professor thinks of their product.

For the ABC, will they now provide coverage of where Professor Hoegh-Guldberg gets his funding from, including "dirty" coal. Didn't see that on Australian story.

1 comment:

  1. Am I correct to translate ABC as Australian Bullying Communists?


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