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Maritime Morning – Andrew Krystal

“Friends of Science” — not so friendly

November 10th, 2009

I never write about clients that advertise and support my broadcast fees. I never complain about clients — quite the opposite in fact. News 95.7 Halifax and 88.9 Saint John and 91.9 Moncton, have all been particularly effective in cutting through the clutter and not just capturing the listener, but motivating the listener to actually become a customer of the people who advertise. I would argue that our listeners are more engaged with advertisers than any other station that I have ever heard or worked at. Local advertisers have told me this too.

As a free-marketer I welcome all comers. You can advertise whatever you want, as long as it complies with broadcast standards. Please contact our sales department or email Shannon Tilley ( and he will set you up with a great radio campaign.

We are glad to have you aboard.

I even welcome “flat earthers” to our advertiser fold. These are special interest groups or organizations that promote an agenda that may be kind of daffy, odd and of narrow interest. In the case of the “Flat Earthers” they are folks who may promote “clean coal” (an oxymoron) or the fact that this or that petroleum company works “for a greener tomorrow” and also invests in that regard (preposterous and a lie). You know the commercial spots: “Big oil is on your side” etc. Then you might see shots of the countryside and the smiling faces of children and then shots of concerned scientists in lab coats darkly scrutinizing a vial and holding it to the light, discerning your future, looking out for your family. Just what Big Oil is supposed to do.

While we may be used to this kind of perfidy from the coal and oil industry (and their respective lobbies) I was shocked to hear a commercial on our stations that tendentiously attacks the scientific study of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming. This organization has been funded by the oil industry and their lobbies and agents (shall we say oil industry related people); moreover, “Friends of Science” went to great efforts to conceal that fact according to Kevin Grandia, Desmogblog editor and head researcher for “The Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.”

Put it this way: when a murder happens you look for motive and means, right? The same holds true for global warming deniers. The oil and coal industry has a lot to lose with the green revolution, cap and trade schemes, alternative fuels, etc., and a general suppression of demand and major developed world abandonment. The less public support there is for research in alternative fuels etc., the longer the hydrocarbon party can go on. Even a small delay in kicking the oil habit means untold billions.

With such big money involved, sowing the seeds of doubt has a huge payoff. So, despite the egregious lies, it is worth it.

Years from now, it will be very interesting to revisit these “Friends of Science” commercials and their hilarious false declarations. They sound dated now.

The last time radio or TV audiences experienced this kind of industry push-back occurred with the tobacco lobby. They actually had doctors going around smoking and saying cigarettes tasted great.

They were desperate then too; sunset industries always stamp their little feet before the end.

All I can say to the oil lobby is this:

“Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

And please call Shannon Tilley.

13 Responses to “ “Friends of Science” — not so friendly ”

  1. Tom Harris Says:

    My e-mail to Shannon Tilley follows:

    From: Tom Harris []
    Sent: November 11, 2009 4:15 PM
    To: ‘’
    Subject: Thank you for running the Friends of Science adds – they are generally quite correct

    Dear Shannon,

    I got your e-mail contact from Andrew Krystal’s nasty little piece concerning the Friends of Science ad – see . I would like to thank you for airing their ad. Debate about things as uncertain as the future of global climate change is exceptionally important in society, especially when hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake. Andrew is totally wrong to be opposing this and contradicts his own assertion at the beginning of the piece that “I never write about clients that advertise and support my broadcast fees. I never complain about clients”

    But then writes:

    “In the case of the “Flat Earthers” they are folks who may promote “clean coal” (an oxymoron) or the fact that this or that petroleum company works “for a greener tomorrow” and also invests in that regard (preposterous and a lie).” and continues with more logical fallacies that amount to nothing more than ad hominem and motive intent attacks.

    Please speak with Andrew about this Gestapo like attack (much of which is unfounded – FOS question the causes of global climate change, as do all good scientists; they are not “climate change deniers”, and most of their funding, so I am told, comes from non-energy sources (as if that mattered anyways)). Unless Mr. Krystal is disciplined for his attack, I wouldn’t blame FOS for not advertising with your station in the future.

    Regardless, on behalf of scientists across Canada who are still actively debating the causes of climate change. I thank you for airing the ad, despite the flack you have undoubtedly received from some of your peers at the station.


    Tom Harris
    Executive Director
    International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
    P.O. Box 23013
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K2A 4E2


  2. JimD Says:

    According to the Washington Post, Exxon Mobil switched sides a couple of years ago, Andrew. They have not funded any anti-AGW groups since 2007, and were named Green Company of the Year for 2009 by Forbes Magazine. You know why? Because there is more money to be made in scamming people into believing the earth is going to hell in a handbasket if they don’t stop driving/eating meat/having kids/farting, than by selling oil.

    If you really want to follow the money, take a look at Al Gore. Since becoming Evangelist No. 1 in the Climate Change Cult, his net worth has gone from $2 million to $35 million. He is projected to become a billionaire once all the scams are legislated.

  3. Ian Says:

    Given your’s and Richard’s many previous negative comments on the lies told by climate change deniers, I was quite startled by the ads for Friends of Science and interested to know how you would respond.

    I am even more startled by your frank, honest criticism of an advertiser on the show.

    This column and the previous one taking to task the odious Brian lee Crawley has moved you up several notches in my estimation.

  4. Thomas Newton Says:

    It is wierd to hear that ad, followed immediately by Richard Zurawski, dialectically opposed.

    A disjunction at least.

  5. Thomas Newton Says:

    Sorry, diametrically opposed, not dialectically. Hey, they both work.

  6. Don Simpson Says:

    I heard the ads and they sound good to me. Global warming has never had the evidence on it’s side, just politics. It’s quite telling as to where the science really lies when you see partisans like Desmogblog calling for these ads to be removed from the airwaves. I’m glad someone is promoting another point of view as Global warming certainly has not panned out as the predicted warming by climate models has not occured by any metric. Science calls for alternative points of view to be brought forward when a theory fails to predict future outcomes. We may just have it all wrong with global warming and anyone with alternative theories should be given as much opportunity to be heard a global warmers. Freedom of speech and the scientific process calls for no less.

  7. Mark L'Ecuyer Says:

    I am open to hearing both sides of the climate change debate and welcome these ads.

  8. Sam Spade Says:

    Global warming or no global warming…can anyone deny that it is probably a bad idea to be sending every pollutant now to man into the air. Have a look at a picture of the earth from outerspace…looks like a fragile little orb to me

  9. Robert Taubman Says:

    Re: Don Simpson Says:

    Like other deniers, Mr. Simpson seems to believe there are “alternative theories” out there somewhere. This is not a freedom of speech issue, it’s a matter of science versus spin. But then some believe the world will end in 2012. Go figure.

  10. David King Says:

    Whats the big deal about being paid by big oil? Does money buy opinions?
    Big government spends more money buying climate scientists than big oil does. US government spends $30 billion for pure scientific climate research from 1989-2007 vs Exon $23 million.

    Richard Zurauski could settle this once and for all by providing just a single piece of evidence showing higher co2 means significantly higher temperatures today.

    So far he can’t produce the goods even with the backing of his 2500 IPCC scientists.

    A thing is true only if it can be proven true. Kyotyo has failed and Copenhagen will fail. Why? Because the world is not fooled anymore by climate scientists who use put downs to anyone who disagrees with them, low base ad hominem attacks, baseless assertions bluff and bluster and censorship like desmogblog.

    Why anyone would use desmogblog as a source whose only purpose in life is to smear scientists who disagree with them. And whose top financial benefactor John Lefebvre who is facing prison time for pleading guilty to money laundering charges. And used that money to start desogblog. Talk about dirty money.


  11. Dan Kearney Says:


  12. David Says:

    I wonder who funds the University of East Anglia?

  13. JimD Says:

    I hate to say I told you so, but last weeks revelations (Google “climategate” if you’re still in the dark or in denial) should finally relegate the threat of “global warming” to the history books.

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