(National Sentinel) False Narrative: In a bid to fleece American and Western oil companies under the guise of claiming they are responsible for global warming-climate change, New York City file suit against them last week.
But now, one of the climate researchers targeted by Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s suit is firing back, pointing out that the legal argument — oil companies are part of a grand scheme to mask their role in warming by silencing climate scientists — is factually incorrect in several places.
Canadian economist Ross McKitrick said in a lengthy statement he published online that the “complaint contains numerous untrue statements about matters on which I have direct personal knowledge.”
“The idea that this work was done at the instigation of, or under payment from, Exxon or any other corporation either directly or indirectly through the Fraser Institute or any other group is wholly false,” McKitrick said.
The suit, filed earlier this month, seeks major monetary ‘damages’ for alleged environmental harm caused by the oil companies.
Democrats including DeBlasio are joining a spreading legal movement to extract money from oil giants, while divesting municipal pension funds of oil company profits.
“As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Left-wing environmental groups are cheering the lawsuits. They, too, claim that oil companies have engaged in a conspiracy to fund “deniers” in the climate science community to refute thus-far unproven, unsubstantiated claims that there is a scientific link between human activity such as the burning of fossil fuels and climate change.
At one point in their suit, NYC lawyers state “Exxon sponsored its own bogus scientific research by paying $120,000 over the course of two years” to the Fraser Institute, a conservative Canadian think tank.
The suit states that money went toward debunking the “hockey stick” graph created by climate scientist Michael Mann. The rebuttal “was rushed into print, without peer review and, in a departure from the standard scientific practice, without offering Dr. Mann and his co-authors an opportunity to respond prior to publication,” the suit adds.
“McIntyre and McKitrick paper was subsequently debunked, but the smear of Dr. Mann’s work remains available on the web today and continues to be cited by climate deniers. Exxon’s promotion by deception thus lives on,” it added.
Not so, says McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph.
He said Exxon did not pay him for any research, and that his work was subsequently published in peer-reviewed journals.
“The Fraser Institute was not involved with the hockey stick project and to the best of my knowledge they knew nothing about it until after it was published,” he said. “While I was a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute in 2003-04 this was an unpaid affiliation.”
“Our 2003 Energy and Environment paper was peer reviewed,” McKitrick said. “Regarding the issue of offering Mann a prior chance to respond, we had corresponded with Mann regarding problems we encountered replicating his results but he cut off the correspondence.”
He further noted that the suit’s claim his paper was “subsequently debunked” came from a climate science blog where Mann is also a contributor, not a peer-reviewed study.
The suit is “an empty and worthless attempt to deceive the court as to the disposition of a debate that went on for several more years.”
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