Why is there so much preoccupation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions when it is well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CO2 contribution to the overall greenhouse effect is so weak that it can be easily supplanted by small changes in clouds and water vapor, or natural climate-changing constituents?

http://notrickszone.com/2016/09/19/new-paper-documents-imperceptible-co2-influence-on-the-greenhouse-effect-since-1992/

Friday, 18 June 2010

Schools' Low Carbon Day - Hoax, Scam, Astroturf, or Genuine?

The lack of a telephone number, a street address, and people's names on the website promoting Schools' Low Carbon Day has got me unsettled. (http://www.lowcarbonday.com/)

They claim to be a 'group of concerned mothers', but do not identify themselves

They claim to have created a registered charity, but I was not able to find any registration for it in Britain.

The site is somewhat timeless, other than the 24th June date in the title, and also fails to include any news about what is happening other than a flier near the top of the homepage claiming 1,600 schools have registered. No details of when they did so, or where they are, or what they might be planning.

I have done a little, inconclusive, digging on the web, and have put the results below, inspired by Kipling's verse:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.



What: The site states 'Our vision is to set aside a morning to teach children all over the country about climate change, to focus children on their own energy consumption and to inspire children and their families to cut their carbon footprint.'. Teaching plans are offered, as is advice for parent and pupils on how they can change their energy consumption, and other actions claimed to be good for the climate. All stuff that could readily be garnered from the many sites pushing it.

Why: Four possibilities occur to me.
1. Hoax. Someone or some group assembled the site to see what would happen
2. Scam. Someone or some group wants to entice payments from schools and parents.
3. Astroturf. Someone or somegroup wants to give the impression of 'grass-roots' support for climate alarmism.
4. Genuine. There really is a group of 'concerned mothers' who want to help save the planet.

Of these, I currently find 2. and 3. the most plausible. The site is very slick, and well put together. Too slick, and too lifeless, for 4. Too much work for 1.

When: The Day is scheduled to be Thursday, 24th June 2010. It is not clear when the initiative began, but right at the foot of their website pages, there is a copyright claim dated 2009 for 'Mothers Against Climate Change'.

How: The website invites schools and parents to register their interest, and receive packs of some kind. The site also provides lists of things they could do on the day, and of habits they should cultivate to be good (walk to school, eat less meat, switch off lights, and so on).

Where: Presumably the UK. But this is not made explicit. They refer to 'cars' rather than 'automobiles', and the school categories offered on the registration form are 'State' and 'Independent' - both terms used in the UK, but not, for example, in the States.

Who: No information on the site, other than the talk of 'concerned mothers' and 'a registered charity', and a copyright notice at the foot of the homepage for 'Mothers Against Climate Change'.

I think the charity may be called 'Cooling the World' or 'Cool the World', but I could find no reference to in on the Charities Commission site for England and Wales (http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk), nor in the equivalent office in Scotland (http://www.oscr.org.uk/). Same null results for 'Mothers Against Climate Change'.

I also found reference to a Facebook group called 'Moms Against Climate Change':
http://www.facebook.com/MomsAgainstClimateChange, which seems to be based in Canada, and which has produced an apparently oleaginous promotional video (http://www.earthfeed.com/the-trouble-with-the-climate-change-movement). I do not belong to Facebook, and so I have not looked at this further.

More Googling led to the name 'Erica Robb', said to be a founder of 'Cool the World', and a promoter of low carbon day here: http://www.healthypages.co.uk/newsitem.php?news=6265

This link names an 'Erica Charles' as the founder of 'Cool the World': http://naturalmatters.net/news-view.asp?news=4151

I found an intriguing FOI request asking if the UK Department for Education had paid any money to a charity called 'Cooling the World' - they denied having done so (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/payments_to_cool_the_world_2 )

They have a sidebar with quotes in it. There are only four: 2 from politicians (Ed Balls, Greg Clark ), 1 from Sir John Houghton, and 1 from a Juliet Davenport who runs a company selling 'green power' (http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/)

There are links to marketing sites for carbon trading and 'green-tariff'; electricity suppliers (see: http://www.lowcarbonday.com/low_carbon_day.php, and scroll down to 'Offsetting emissions')


Anyway, enough of this amateur sleuthing. Perhaps others may be able to dig more deeply into this.

In the meantime, I will complete my notes challenging their claims about climate, whoever they are, and hope to publish these here today or tomorrow.

17 comments:

  1. The Whois on their web domain is no good either - they are clearly taking steps to prevent identification. Why don't you email them and ask?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Bish, I have tried twice. First to ask for information on their materials. Second time was to give them a link to this site, and offer to publish any comments from them.

    I have just now had a reply from the Charity Commission to my enquiry about them. Extract: 'It is not clear from the website what registered charity is backing this initiative as a project. Our register does not contain a specific charity called Low carbon for Schools although it could be a small part of a large charity which may be registered with us, perhaps under a different name.'

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kevin,

    Thank you very much for the information. I will pass some of the details on to the Charities Commission to see if that can help them track down the charity which the Schools' Low Carbon Day site refers to.

    I would prefer not to see the personal details (address, house on Google Maps) here, but I cannot edit comments, only delete them.

    Unless you are tracking this and are able to repost without those details, I propose to delete your posts shortly, after first copying them to repost most of them, including your name/sitelink.

    ReplyDelete
  5. KevinUK (http://www.climateapplications.com)has been doing some more sleuthing, and with some success. Thanks again, Kevin!

    John,

    Have done a bit of detective work and have turned this up

    http://whois.domaintools.com/cooltheworld.co.uk

    http://www.who.is/whois/cooltheworld.co.uk/


    lowcarbonday.com and cooltheworld.com are all hosted on the same IP address (web server) and it appears the the domain name registrant of cooltheworld.co.uk at least is one 'Ian Charles' of Reading,in Berkshire.

    Erica Robb is the owner of Primrose, London an on-line garden furniture and accessories company based in Reading

    http://www.primrose-london.co.uk/about_us.html

    Erica Charles nee Robb, hubby Ian and their 3 kids are clearly 'true believers' even to the extent of offsetting their companies carbon footprint.

    "Primrose goes carbon neutral - we have offset 100% of our footprint
    Primrose recently commissioned EnviroSave to complete a review of our carbon footprint, measuring carbon emitted as a result of business travel and from our office and warehouse facilities.

    As a result of the initiative we have developed an Energy Management Plan for 2010. Our goal is to cut our carbon footprint by at least 10% in 2010. We will also be reviewing our packaging, increasing the recycled component of products and sourcing more products locally.

    In addition we have offset our 2009 carbon footprint of approximately 70 tonnes of CO2.

    Our selected offset project for 2009 is in Ratchaburi Province, Thailand.
    "

    They are so concerned about saving the planet that they even prepared to sell those highly efficient carbon neutral heating devices known as patio heaters

    http://www.primrose-london.co.uk/electric-outdoor-heaters-c-1299_1300.html

    Don't you just love Google!

    By the way please keep digging on the fake charity and funding front with this one. I'm sure you'll hit pay dirt shortly.

    Please God, save us all from the likes of this middle class do-gooder who is happy to foist climate change propaganda on our kids.

    ReplyDelete
  6. have sent the additional information to the Charities Commission in case it can help them track down any real charity here. In the meantime, I have heard from them again this morning:

    'I have still not been able to locate this organisation on the Register of Charities.

    If an organisation is falsely claiming to be a registered charity, unfortunately this does not fall within our jurisdiction. The Commission has no powers of prosecution and we advise anyone who feels that an organisation is providing misleading information, to contact their local trading standards office for advice, you may also want to notify the police.'

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you try to register a school to take part, there is the option to have your school included in the "list of participating schools" on their website. I can't find any such list on the website, does that mean that that number of signed up schools is embarrassingly small ?


    Hyperthermania

    ReplyDelete
  8. I received yesterday evening a reply from the LowCarbonDay website address. Here is my response to it sent about 3 hours ago:

    'Dear Ms Robb,

    Thank you very much for your reply - it is a relief to know there is someone running the event. I was becoming a little concerned over just what was going on.

    I understand from your letter that your charity is not in fact registered. I think it would be reassuring for parents, school staff, and education administrators to know a bit more about it before getting involved. Can you tell us how many people are involved, what your constitution or articles of association are, how long you have existed, and how you see your organisation interacting with schools etc into the future. More details of schools which will have participated would also be helpful, not only for my concerns, but I suppose all this would also help you gain more publicity and even support.

    May I post your letter as a comment on my blog? I think it will be reassuring to others as well. Or perhaps you would like to do your own posting to it directly?

    I will be posting more comments on details from your website when I get time, possibly tomorrow or the day after. I would welcome your reaction to them. My point of view is essentially that great care is needed with this topic and how it is presented to children if you are not to (a) mislead and (b) disturb or frighten or depress them. I have been studying physics, climate, and statistics at different times over the past 40 years, and I have not yet come across any evidence to warrant the extraordinary levels of alarm which have been so widely promoted over the past 20 years or so. I believe you may well be genuine, and have naturally enough picked up on this alarm, and of course you are not alone. The political establishment (in which I include, sadly, the Royal Society) in many countries has adopted it with some gusto. I hope to show on my blog why this is not warranted.

    Best regards,'

    ReplyDelete
  9. John,

    Two days to go now to School's Low Carbon Day. I can't wait (NOT)!

    I'm glad to hear that you found the info I dug out from my Google searches useful. You'd be surprised who is on my mailing list :-) and who I regularly help out with 'digging' for info. When 'digging for info' on Google I find its best to read most of the links on at least the top 10 to 15 pages that Google finds for you. I was lead to most of the info I mannaged to dig out on Erica Robb by a forum called 'GrumpyOldT***t'. For obvious reasons 'm not going to link to it here.

    Anonymous is quite right to point out that there is no list on the web site of the schools who will be participating in 'low carbon day'. That doesn't of course stop the web site from currently claiming that "Over 1600 schools registered representing more than 600,000 pupils
    " have subscribed. If there was a list then you can rest assured that if any of my kid's schools were on it, I'd be ringing them up to find out why they'd subscribed.

    Apologies by the way for including a Googlemap link and address inmy original post. I just thought it was ironic that the very person who was so concerned about climate change had decided to purchase a house on a former Thames flood plain and so put in the link to Google to demonstrate the point.

    The Robb's business isn't that far from the Thames either and perhaps they became concerene dabout climate change in July 2007 after witnessing this sight - the Thames flooding at Pangbourne.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0uAbhaICL8

    ReplyDelete
  10. John,

    I've been doing some more digging and although I'm not quite there yet, I'm feeling confident that pretty soon we are going to find a link between the Charles's and the funders of 'Cool The World'. I think D J Ward was barking up the wrong departmental tree so to speak.

    I've just been checking out the 'Mothers Against Climate Change' Facebook group and I think it is a red herring. I also don't think there is any link whatsoever to the people responsible for this blatant piece of climate change propaganda video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwrrikNeFZg&feature=player_embedded

    I certainly hope Erica Charles visits this blog and realises just who she is ill-advisedly associating herself and family business with. At the very least I'd advice her to drop the 'Copyright Mothers Against Climate Change 2009' line from the footer of her web sites.

    ReplyDelete
  11. OK John,

    Nearly there!

    Have a look at this for a example of having your 'snout in the trough'.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/cleantechsummit/speakers-juliet-davenport

    Now I'm going to take a wild guess that the supply of the Charles's green energy is 'Opposite of Bad' Energy.

    Now look who

    "has been appointed to the Government's Renewables Advisory Board (who are now advising Ed Miliband) and the board of RegenSW – the South West's renewable energy agency. She also sits on Ofgem's Environment and Advisory group and Ofgem's Microgeneration Steering Group."

    And as a trained atmospheric physicist from Merton College, Oxford I'm sure Juliet is an expert on the positive climate feedbacks built into the GCMs and has been advising Ed Miliband and now Chris Huhne appropriately that the science is 'settled, clear and unequivocable' - man's emissions of CO2 and other greenhouses gases are causing our planet to warm uncontrollably.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes, that is relevant. The Schools' low carbon day website is very slick, and almost without links. Except two commercial ones: one to a carbon trading info site, and one to Ms Davenport's company. A company which has been benefiting from the astonishingly generous taxpayer funding of windfarms.

    ReplyDelete
  13. John,

    Just thought you might like to know that you've made it on to Jim Prall's skeptics list

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/skeptic_authors_table.html

    I presume this now makes you officially a skeptic.

    Now why am I not on it?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow all pretty interesting and digging into this site. Curious why the big intrigue though? I am, however, very entertained by this. And it does seem that maybe it's just an attempt to seem grassroots. Very corporatey-like...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Picked up a copy of our local free rag (The Crosby and Litherland Champion)this week and was perhaps not that surprised to find a piece on 'School's Low Carbon Day' at St Mary's College, Crosby.

    Vol 17, Issue 33 dae 11 August 2010

    "St Mary's College in Crosby have backed a natinwide project bringing children together to tacle climate change.

    The college recently took in a national Schools Low carbon day which putthe spotlight on ways pupils and their families can reduce their impact in the environment.

    Around 1,500 schools across the country with almost 600,000 pupils in total, wre involved in the campaign which was organised by Cool the World, a voluntary organisation formed by a group of young parents.

    St Mary's head of science, Bob Johnston, said: 'The aim was to set aside a day to teach children about the importance of energy conservation and climate chnage. As part of this exercise, we also aske staff, students and their families to pledge to do somethimg to reduce their carbon emissions'

    On Low Carnon day people were asked to walk or cycle to St Mary's rather than use a car. The lights and computers att he school were used as little as possible, and only cold fodd was available at lunchtime.

    In addition, pupils were encouraged to have ab 'earth hour' when they returned home, trying not to switch anything on or use any energy for at least 60 minutes.

    'We were delighted at the response to this event' said Bob Johnston, 'It was a very useful way of highlighting the practical steps we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint'"

    For thos ewho don't know St Mary's College is a fee-paying Catholic School that is the bain of local residents in Kimberley Drive, Crosby who have to suffer all the 4x4s and other gas guzzling cars that block their access to their homes during the school run. Most pupils who attend the school are not local to Crosby but instead are driven in (a few are bused in) and so are very unlikely to have walked to cycled to school on Schools Low Carbon Day.

    Clearly this was a 'feel good' day for the teaching staff and not in any way a serious attempt at tackling climate change.

    I suspect none of science teaching staff bothered to do do any research to find out who was behind the organisation of this event (as I and other did) namely a business woman and her friends and family who clearly are just 'greenwashing' their business that amongst other things sells 'patio heaters'. The organisers of this event are also so concerned about future climate change and its dire consequences that they choose to live in a house built on a former flood plain yards from the River Thames.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Picked up a copy of our local free rag (The Crosby and Litherland Champion)this week and was perhaps not that surprised to find a piece on 'School's Low Carbon Day' at St Mary's College, Crosby.

    Vol 17, Issue 33 dae 11 August 2010

    "St Mary's College in Crosby have backed a natinwide project bringing children together to tacle climate change.

    The college recently took in a national Schools Low carbon day which putthe spotlight on ways pupils and their families can reduce their impact in the environment.

    Around 1,500 schools across the country with almost 600,000 pupils in total, wre involved in the campaign which was organised by Cool the World, a voluntary organisation formed by a group of young parents.

    St Mary's head of science, Bob Johnston, said: 'The aim was to set aside a day to teach children about the importance of energy conservation and climate chnage. As part of this exercise, we also aske staff, students and their families to pledge to do somethimg to reduce their carbon emissions'

    On Low Carnon day people were asked to walk or cycle to St Mary's rather than use a car. The lights and computers att he school were used as little as possible, and only cold fodd was available at lunchtime.

    In addition, pupils were encouraged to have ab 'earth hour' when they returned home, trying not to switch anything on or use any energy for at least 60 minutes.

    'We were delighted at the response to this event' said Bob Johnston, 'It was a very useful way of highlighting the practical steps we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint'"

    For thos ewho don't know St Mary's College is a fee-paying Catholic School that is the bain of local residents in Kimberley Drive, Crosby who have to suffer all the 4x4s and other gas guzzling cars that block their access to their homes during the school run. Most pupils who attend the school are not local to Crosby but instead are driven in (a few are bused in) and so are very unlikely to have walked to cycled to school on Schools Low Carbon Day.

    Clearly this was a 'feel good' day for the teaching staff and not in any way a serious attempt at tackling climate change.

    I suspect none of science teaching staff bothered to do do any research to find out who was behind the organisation of this event (as I and other did) namely a business woman and her friends and family who clearly are just 'greenwashing' their business that amongst other things sells 'patio heaters'. The organisers of this event are also so concerned about future climate change and its dire consequences that they choose to live in a house built on a former flood plain yards from the River Thames.

    ReplyDelete