Natural Resources Stewardship Project
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
The Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP), a Canadian non-profit group, including a number of leading climate change sceptics, was launched October 12, 2006.  The website for the site, nrsp.com, was taken down in March 2008 and the group now appears to be defunct.
NRSP describes itself as a group that "will promote responsible environmental stewardship through:
- broad-based media, government and public relations;
- consumer education and advocacy;
- private initiative and the promotion of private property rights;
- market-based approaches; and
- sensible and efficient legislative and regulatory frameworks, particularly at the federal level." 
The NRSP maintains it has no direct connection with the Calgary-based group of climate change skeptics the "Friends of Science"  (FoS), even though the FoS's most outspoken member, Tim Ball, is now the Chairman of the NRSP. With the exact same purpose and goals, and most of the same scientific allies and members as the Friends of Science, the NRSP is viewed by many as a reincarnation of the FoS, after the FoS was "outed" by The Globe and Mail newspaper in August 2006 as being partly funded by the oil and gas industry. .
The NRSP project is led by Executive Director, Tom Harris, who, in November 2002, while in the employ of the public relations firm APCO Worldwide, organized a press conference titled "International Climate Experts Speak Out Against Climate Change Myths." . The press conference was sponsored by Talisman Energy Inc. and Imperial Oil (ExxonMobil's Canadian subsidiary).  Many of the same scientists and advisors now linked to the NRSP were present, including Tim Ball.
NRSP describes its "first priority project" as being "Understanding Climate Change: A proactive grassroots campaign to counter the Kyoto Protocol and other greenhouse gas reduction schemes while promoting sensible climate change policy." 
Incorporation and Canadian "Letters Patent" and Energy Lobbyists
The Canadian Federal Corporations (CFC) Data Online for the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, Corporation #4326741 BN #818837072RC0001, reports that the Natural Resources Stewardship Project was registered effective "2005/10/21" under the Canada Corporations Act - Part II.
According to the Department of Industry, Canada Corporations Act, the Natural Resources Stewardship Project of "Toronto, Ont." was granted letters patent number 432674-1 on "21/10/2005".—Government Notices published December 3, 2005, in the Canada Gazette 
As of "March 31 of the year of filing", the three directors were Timothy Egan, Julio Lagos, and Rohit Gupta. However, a "Notice to Clients" on CFC's webpage for the NRSP states: "Please note that directors residential addresses are no longer available online. The request for this information can be made in writing directly to Corporations Canada by: E-mail: corporationscanada AT ic.gc.ca or Fax: (613) 941-0601 or 941-5789. 
- Timothy Egan is "the president of the High Park Advocacy Group, and a registered lobbyist for the Canadian Gas Association and the Canadian Electricity Association."
- Julio Legos is "the High Park Group’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, whose biography says, 'Julio’s practice at HPG is focused on federal and provincial energy and environmental law and policy, particularly as they affect Canadian industry.'"
- Tom Harris, Executive Director, NRSP, is the former Ottawa Director of a public affairs and public policy consulting firm High Park Group (HPG). Harris has written several articles that dispute the science backing the Kyoto Protocol and other schemes to "stop climate change" through the reduction of human emissions of carbon dioxide. Prior to HPG, Harris was employed by APCO Worldwide and organized a press conference  in Ottawa that included Professor Tim Patterson , Professor Fred Michel , Dr. Tim Ball , Dr. S. Fred Singer , Professor Patrick Michaels , Dr. Madhav Khandekar , Professor Howard Hayden , and Professor J.T. Rogers. 
- Dr. Tim Ball, Chairman, resigned from the Science Advisory Board of FoS to head up NRSP (although he has since returned to the FoS Board). His credentials as a climatologist were challenged in an April 23, 2006, letter to the editor of the Calgary Herald by a Professor at the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Dan Johnson. Ball has filed a statement of claim against Dr. Johnson, the University of Lethbridge and the Calgary Herald.
Science Advisory Committee
The following are members of the group's Science Advisory Committee:
- Dr. Ian Clark, Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa
- Dr. Tim Patterson, Professor of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa
- Dr. Vincent Gray, Expert Reviewer for the IPCC and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of 'Climate Change 2001, Wellington, New Zealand
- Dr. Fred Michel, Director, Institute of Environmental Science and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Carleton University
- Professor Bob Carter, Australia, Research Professor at James Cook University (Queensland) and the University of Adelaide (South Australia)
NRSP Chairman Tim Ball, Baliunas and Patterson and are all members of the Friends of Science's Science Advisory Board, while Murty is a former FoS Board member.
NRSP lists as "allied experts" a number of climate change sceptics from North America, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, England and Sweden.  These experts included Paul Copper, Madhav Khandekar, Rob Scagel, Tad Murty, Garth Paltridge, Ian Plimer, Gary Sharp, Lee Gerhard, Fred Singer, David Legates, Nils-Axel Mörner, Richard Lindzen, Robert Balling, Al Pekarek, Wibjörn Karlén, Peter Dietze, Hans Erren, Hans Labohm, David Wojick, Art Robinson, Hugh Ellsaesser, Howard Hayden, Zbigniew Jaworowski, and Richard Courtney.
The NRSP has pursued its "grassroots" campaign on climate change through online and print articles, letters to the editor, open-line radio appearances and a 2007 radio campaign in Canada and the U.S. The group also organized the Bali open letter signed by 100 climate change skeptics and published in the National Post. 
Bali open letter to U.N.
On Dec. 13, 2007, towards the end of the U.N. climate change conference held in Bali, indonesia, the Financial Post section of the National Post published an open letter to the UN signed by over a hundred climate change skeptics under the title "Don't fight, adapt" , along with the list of signatories . The letter casts doubt on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming", and argues that current climate change is within natural variations.
In an accompanying commentary by FP editor Terence Corcoran, headlined "A new call to reason," Corcoran describes this letter as having been "signed by more than 100 specialists" and having been "assembled under Robert M. Carter, a professor at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory of James Cook University in Australia." . Corcoran did not mention the role of the NRSP, nor the fact that Carter is one of the NRSP's scientific advisors.
In the runup to the Bali conference, an e-mail was circulated by the NRSP soliciting potential signatories of the open letter. On Dec. 6, 2008, a week before the publication of the open letter, the text of e-mail was posted at canadafreepress.com, freedominion.ca and bogotafreeplanet.com. The text has been removed from the Canadian websites, but remained for some time at bogatafreeplanet.com.  That text is now also missing, but the original web page has been archived at DeepClimate.org 
The NRSP e-mail clearly clearly suggests that a deal had already been struck to have the letter published in the National Post: "It is intended that this [open letter to the UN] ... will also be published by a major media outlet towards the end of the current UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali,Indonesia."
The e-mail also states that the open letter is "co-ordinated" by both NRSP scientific advisor Carter, and NRSP executive director Harris. In fact, all five of the NRSP Scientific Advisory Committee are also signatories, as are most of the NRSP's 25 "allied scientists." 
After the letter was published in the National Post Dec. 13, the NRSP sent out a press release on the Canada News Wire. The press release does not contain a text of the open letter, but instead links to the National Post online version of the open letter .
On January 2, 2008, a SourceWatch contributor sent an e-mail to National Post editor-in-chief Douglas Kelly, advising him of the above facts concerning NRSP involvement in the Bali open letter. This e-mail goes on to state:
"From all this, two reasonable inferences may be drawn:
"a) Terence Corcoran played a key role in an expertly organized and well funded public relations campaign designed to discredit the work of the IPCC and indeed the entire UNFCCC process.
"b) Even worse, Corcoran deliberately witheld information about the role of the NRSP in the open letter, and misled National Post readers about the true provenance of the letter." 
The e-mail asserts that Corcoran's behaviour "is a clear breach of journalistic ethics and damages the credibility of the National Post" and exhorts Kelly to publish a full correction and to consider appropriate sanctions against Corcoran including suspension or dismissal.
To date, there has been no response or correction from the National Post.
According to an October 16, 2006, CanWest News article, journalist Peter O'Neill asked Harris about who financially backs the NRSP. O'Neill reported that, according to Harris, "a confidentiality agreement doesn't allow him to say whether energy companies are funding his [the NRSP] group."  Subsequently, Harris stated that there was no "confidentiality agreement". He also insisted that "it is normal for non-profit entities like NRSP to protect the privacy of supporters by not publicizing contributions." 
"This is necessary given the nature of the issues we address and the fact that most people do not want to be harassed by lobbyists for support of our activities," he wrote in an edit to an earlier version of this article. 
However, Harris declined to indicate any instance of where disclosure of funders had led to harassment or why secrecy of corporate contributions was appropriate.
Dr. Timothy F. Ball, PhD, Environmental Consultant
Professor of Climatology (Ret'd)
205-27 Songhees Road
Victoria, British Columbia, V9A 7M6
P.O. Box 23013
Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2
Phone: 613 234-4487
FAX: 613 234-3325
Email: tom.harris AT nrsp.com
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch Resources
- An Inconvenient Truth
- climate change
- climate change skeptics
- global warming
- Kyoto Protocol
- sustainable development
- Natural Resources Stewardship Project in the Wikipedia.
- Bob McKeown, "The Denial Machine," CBC News: the fifth estate (Canada), aired November 16, 2006. See comment by Tom Harris on LiveJournal.com.
NRSP News Releases and Correspondence
- "Science-based Environment Group Preparing for Launch. Scientists Ready to Speak about Climate Change Realities," NRSP, October 12, 2006.
- "Clean Air Act an improvement on what we had before, but problems remain, says new environment group NRSP," CNW Telbec, October 19, 2006.
- [http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris110306.htm "NRSP Applauds NSERC Appointment," NRSP (Canada Free Press), November 3, 2006.
- "AMS Council, Amend Draft Statement on Climate Change" dated December 10, 2006; posted by Andrea Saul at NH Insider.
Articles by NRSP Staff & Members
- Fred Michel, "Open Kyoto to debate Sixty scientists call on Harper to revisit the science of global warming," National Post (Canada), April 6, 2006.
- Tom Harris, "Scientists Throwing Cold Water on Theories of Climate Catastrophe," Canadian Free Press, June 4, 2006.
- Tom Harris, "Scientists call for 'reality check' on climate change," The Windsor Star (Canada), June 5, 2006.
- Tom Harris, Editorial: "Environmental Heresy. Failing to question the scientific assumptions underlying Kyoto isn't fair to citizens concerned about climate change," Vancouver Sun (Canada) (FF.org), June 8, 2006.
- Tom Harris, "Scientists respond to Gore's warnings of climate catastrophe. 'The Inconvenient Truth' is indeed inconvenient to alarmists," Canada Free Press, June 12, 2006.
- Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris, "Environment Commissioner Should Stick to Auditing. Gélinas’ environmental evangelism based on a misunderstanding of her role and the fundamentals of climate science," Frontier Centre for Public Policy, October 20, 2006; Canada Free Press, October 21, 2006.
- Tom Harris, "Al Gore, Global warming, Inconvenient Truth. The gods must be laughing," Canada Free Press, November 7, 2006: "Al Gore's 'truth' has little to do with science, yet his influence continues to grow - we need to more closely assess what he is actually saying."
- Tom Harris, "Al Gore, Global warming, Inconvenient Truth. A sample of experts' comments about the science of 'An Inconvenient Truth'," Canada Free Press, November 7, 2006.
- Tom Harris and Tim Ball, "Expressing doubt about climate catastrophe a risky venture. Without questioning, climate debate reduces to fundamentalism," NRSP (Canada Free Press), January 2, 2007.
- Fred Michel, "Climatic hubris: The Ellesmere Island ice shelves have been disappearing since they were first mapped in 1906," National Post (Canada), January 16, 2007.
- Tim Ball, Opinions: "Climate Change: Politics and Science," Energy Tribune, January 22, 2007.
- Tom Harris, "Asking the right questions about climate change," NRSP and Dr. Ian Clark (Canada Free Press), January 31, 2007.
- Tom Harris and Tim Ball, "NRSP cautions against relying on February 2 UN climate report. IPCC documents have a history of bias and misrepresentation of actual science findings," NRSP (Canada Free Press), February 2, 2007.
- Tom Harris and Tim Ball, "Auditor General right to remove Environment Commissioner. Gélinas' environmental evangelism conflicted with her role as auditor," NRSP (Canada Free Press), February 4, 2007.
- Timothy Ball, "Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?" Canada Free Press, February 5, 2007.
Articles & Commentary on the NRSP
- Archived links on Tim Ball posted by DeSmogBlog.
- "Global Warming Skeptics: A Primer. Guess Who's Funding the Global Warming Doubt Shops?" Environmental Defense, October 25, 2005. Relates to staff and Science Advisory Board members.
- Richard Littlemore, "Discredited Friends of Science Re-emerge as the Natural Resources Stewardship Project," DeSmogBlog, October 12, 2006.
- Jim Hoggan, "NRSP: Not Really Science People," DeSmogBlog, October 13, 2006.
- Tyler Hamilton, "Insight into climate change PR spin," Clean Break Blog, October 13, 2006.
- Tim Lambert, "New Canadian Astroturf Group," Deltoid (ScienceBlogs.com), October 13, 2006.
- Richard Littlemore, "NRSP: Not Really Serious People," DeSmogBlog, October 14, 2006.
- Richard Littlemore, "NRSP: 'Scientists' Who Hate Science Journals," DeSmogBlog, October 15, 2006.
- Peter O'Neill, "Climate-change 'skeptics' hopeful Harper accepts their view," CanWest News Service (The Vancouver Sun), October 16, 2006.
- "Clean Air Act an improvement on what we had before, but problems remain, says new environment group NRSP," CNW Telbec (Canada), October 19, 2006.
- Richard Littlemore, "Uh oh ... the NRSP is Praising Harper's Climate Change Bill," DeSmogBlog, October 19, 2006.
- Lorne Gunter, "Climate consultations will seem endless. But when the time comes for choices, will the Tories have the courage to act?" The Edmonton Journal (Canada), October 20, 2006.
- Bryan Zandberg, "Coping with Climate Dread. Enviro experts battle despair as doom scenarios roll in," The Tyee (Canada), October 20, 2006.
- Richard Littlemore, "NRSP Team Finally Earns Publishing Credit," DeSmogBlog, October 23, 2006.
- Brooke Hogemann, "Science group studies climate change," Airdrie Echo (Canada), October 25, 2006.
- Richard Littlemore, "NRSP's Tom Harris Sucker Punches a Rookie," DeSmogBlog, October 25, 2006.
- Cato, "In reply to CO2 - dangerous or not? by Tom Harris. Subject The agenda of NRSP," forums.macleans.ca, October 26, 2006.
- Richard Littlemore, DeSmogBlog, November 4, 2006: "NRSP Makes it on the Sourcewatch List"; "NRSP 'Expert' a Half-Hearted Denier"; and "NRSP: Climate Change Deniers-Are-Us."
- Kevin Grandia, "Are the Estonians funding the NRSP?" DeSmogBlog, November 6, 2006.
- Tim Lambert, "Now Really Secret Payments," Deltoid (ScienceBlogs.com), November 7, 2006.
- Richard Littlemore, "NRSP: Climate Change Denial Wrapped Up as Science," DeSmogBlog, November 7, 2006.
- Andrew Nikiforuk, "If You Can't Stand the Heat . . .," The Globe and Mail, November 11, 2006.
- Licia Corbella, "Canada should breathe easy. An inconvenient truth for the pro-Kyoto crowd," The Calgary Sun (Canada), November 14, 2006.
- "The denial machine," Danforth Greens (Canada), November 20, 2006. See comments by Tom Harris.
- Richard Littlemore, "NRSP Boss Busy Bashing CBC's Fifth Estate," DeSmogBlog, November 20, 2006.
- "tom harris and tim ball: spinning black gold," where'd that bug go? Blogspot, November 21, 2006.
- Richard Littlemore, "Lonely NRSP 'experts' Shouting into the Wind," DeSmogBlog, December 5, 2006.
- Mike Byfield, "The Greening Of Stephen Harper," DOB Magazine, January 8, 2007.
- M.J. Murphy, "Climate Change Deniers Get Political," BigCityLib Strikes Back Blogspot, January 10, 2007.
- Richard Littlemore, "NRSP Bashing Gets Gritty," DeSmogBlog, January 11, 2007.
- M.J. Murphy, "Natural Resources Stewardship Project Is The Friends Of Science Resurrected," BigCityLib Strikes Back Blogspot, January 11, 2007.
- Alison, "They call it science. We call it bullshit," Creekside Blogspot, January 11, 2007.
- Richard Littlemore, "National Post Heralds Another Denier," DeSmogBlog, January 17, 2007.
- Saskboy, "Climate what? We don’t have one of those; Lots of environment news like SWEEP," Abandoned Stuff Blog, January 17, 2007.
- Jim Hoggan, "NRSP Controlled by Energy Lobbyists," DeSmogBlog, January 18, 2007.
- "Tim Ball Rewrites the 'Truth' Once More," DeSmogBlog, January 24, 2007.
- Peter Gorrie, "Who's still cool on global warming?" The Toronto Star, January 28, 2007: "Naysayers: From conservative bunkers, they plan on sowing enough doubt to derail action against drastic planetary damage done by human activity."
- Tim Collie, "Warming may swamp state? Worries rise. But some scientists doubt inferences from U.N. report" and "Global warming could swamp Florida within 50 years, U.N. report suggests," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, February 2, 2007.
- Desmogblog, "NRSP: Lobbying Without Accountability," Daily Kos, February 2, 2007.
- Richard Littlemore, "NRSP Steps up the IPCC Bashing," DeSmogBlog, February 3, 2007.
- "DeSmogBlog: IPCC Criticism Fits into Canadian Climate Change Denial Campaign. Big-Oil Funded Fraser Institute Not Credible on the Science of Global Warming, IPCC Author says," CCNMatthews, February 5, 2007.
- Richard Littlemore, "Dr. Tim Ball: The Lie that Just Won't Die," DeSmogBlog, February 5, 2007.
- Eugene Plawiuk, "Fraser Institutes Flat Earth Report," Le Revue Gauche Blogspot, February 5, 2007.
- ↑ Understanding Climate Change: The Natural Resources Stewardship Project reconsiders the Kyoto Protocol (Kyoto Accord) and Canada's environmental policy.. web.archive.org. Retrieved on 2009-11-01.
- ↑ Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to ... - Google Books. books.google.com. Retrieved on 2009-10-23.
- ↑ Jim Hoggan. www.desmogblog.com. Retrieved on 2009-10-23.