Heartland critic: Pot calls kettle black?

OPINION
BY IAN WISHART

American computer scientist and business consultant John Mashey has been making hay from documents suggesting conservative think tank Heartland has funded climate skeptics.

The irony is that the firm Mashey and three colleagues consult for, Techvisor, touts for business advising on “cleantech” and climate change issues. There is no disclosure in the PDF that Mashey prepared on Heartland of his role with Techvisor or its “clean energy” clientele.

Nor is there any reference to Techvisor’s financial interests in the climate change gravy train in Mashey’s covering article on DesmogBlog.

Nor does DesmogBlog’s biography of Mashey mention his links to Techvisor and its climate change consultancy work.

But then, given DesmogBlog’s own undeclared financial conflicts of interest, in my opinion it’s not surprising.

I’m not taking issue here with Mashey’s analysis which I haven’t examined…I am merely noting that it’s a bit rich for those making money from the global warming scare to be criticising others for spending their money counteracting the climate untruths spun by “Big Green” and its PR hacks.

UPDATE: John Mashey protests that his consultancy is commercially small meat. The issue from my POV however is not quantum but purely the issue of disclosure, especially from someone highlighting disclosure issues. A commercial financial interest in the climate change gravy train needs to be disclosed. DeSmog has been deservedly pinged in my view.

2 Comments

  1. I absolutely accept your assurance that John has not actually made money from the climate change industry, but with respect that’s not actually my point. The company touts for the business at the current time, and in my view that is a potential, if as yet unrealised, conflict of interest. It should have been declared in my view.

  2. As the founder of Techviser (note spelling) I would like to set the record straight.

    John Mashey’s blogging on climate related issues is not related to his work at Techviser. He researches climate-science related issues and blogs about it on his own time.

    He attends seminars on climate-related issues as an individual. He is a volunteer on the Portola Valley Sustainability Committee for which he receives no remuneration.

    His Techviser income in the past few years has been almost entirely in computer architecture related consulting. He also advises Streetline Networks (http://www.streetline.com/company/management-team/advisory-board/), which saves people time finding parking spaces, thereby saving fuel and therefore could be considered a cleantech company.

    As a consultant, I have served as a mentor for Cleantech Open – again pro bono work as a volunteer. I also serve for no pay on Portola Valley and San Mateo County committees for sustainability.

    To suggest that John Mashey benefits financially from his blogging is totally wrong. He is supported by his own savings. He believes that it is in the public interest to ensure that sound science is not attacked by those who, possibly because of conflicting belief systems, lack of scientific education or vested interests, contradict straightforward facts.

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