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THREAD: Decided to google the forty-eight “practising geoscientists” who signed this letter…
None of the information was hard to find. I did not waste more than about an hour of my life doing this. I am not a scientist or a journalist, and I do not know much about geoscience. So, no doubt there is a lot more that I missed. But here is what I've learnt…
Of the 48 people that signed the letter, I could not confidently identify 9. I think one works for BP and another works for Shell. Many are not experts in any recognisable way. But it doesn’t really matter. Because, of the remaining 39, all have links to gas and oil companies.
Here is a copy of my v basic notes:

(As an aside, I just want to point out that 40 of the 48 signatories are white men who are very often semi-retired. They are not the people who will have to live with the consequences of their work.)
IN SHORT: Several signatories openly brag about their industry funded research. Many used to work for oil and gas companies. Quite a few still work for those companies. And others are not even practising scientists, but directors of a business in the energy sector.
Of course, this isn’t news. We all know that the fossil fuel industry is deeply corrupt. These companies have a long history of bribery, manipulation and misinformation.
But it is worrying that, time and time again, our newspapers fall for these fairly obvious pieces of bought propaganda. Since being published in The Times, various other newspapers have picked it up, most notably The Independent.
Any responsible journalist would refuse to publish this letter or, at the very least, publish it alongside the appropriate context. But, for some reason, this never happens.
It is the same reason that lobbyist groups like The Taxpayers Alliance, the IEA, or The Adam Smith Institute are able to masquerade as thinktanks. Wealthy corporations always find ways to subvert democracy. These tactics are not in any way new.
In fact, this particular letter was supported by Lancashire for Shale, a group which masquerades as “local”, but is really funded by Cuadrilla. It used to be called the NW Energy Taskforce, which was also funded by Cuadrilla, and which some of the signatories were linked to.
Many of the universities these signatories come from have received millions of pounds in donations from fossil fuel companies, and work with industry to provide services in the oil and gas sector. It would not surprise me if companies involved in fracking were a part of this too.
In fact, I would go one step further. It would not surprise me if this letter was written by somebody who is currently being paid by Cuadrilla, or a recipient of Cuadrilla funding.
This came just three days after Cuadrilla repeated calls for an urgent review of our fracking regulations, and five days since Ineos described the same regulations as “unworkable”. I suspect this is just one part of a coordinated campaign form the fossil fuel lobby.
Of course, I would love to be proved wrong... [ENDS]
(As a post-script, please see this...)
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