Evolution and climate change: Conservative ranks now include skeptics of both.

Already alarmed over funding cuts to basic research, scientists say two appointments in particular are worrisome. Mark Mullins, the executive director of the conservative-leaning Fraser Institute — and a former adviser to the Canadian Alliance Party — was recently appointed to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which funds university research projects that have included studies on climate change.

Dr. Mullins is an economist and critic of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations-sanctioned scientific body that has authored warnings of floods, famine and extinctions that triggered political efforts around the world to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

More than 200 Canadian scientists have contributed to the IPCC’s work and most of them are employed by the federal government.

The 18-member NSERC already includes another Harper government appointee, mathematician Christopher Essex, who wrote a book challenging the “myth of climate change.”

On the same day Dr. Mullins was appointed to NSERC, April 23, another skeptic of global warming was appointed to the board of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, which funds large research projects. John Weissenberger is a close friend of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a former chief of staff in the Harper government and a geologist who works for Husky Energy in Alberta.

Dr. Weissenberger has written opinion pieces in the media and on his Internet blog expressing his “skepticism about global warming.” That and other comments by the two appointees on the public record were compiled by NDP researchers and verified by The Globe and Mail.

Both Dr. Mullins and Dr. Weissenberger told The Globe and Mail they are well-qualified for the positions, and both said they have no intention of using the posts to advocate for reduced funding for climate science.

from the Globe and Mail.




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