Monday, 21 December 2009
I must confess that until fairly recently I had not heard of Associate Professor Stewart Franks.
Franks swam into view when his name become associated with Family First's Senator Steve Fielding and the now notorious Assessment of Penny Wong's Response to My 3 Questions on Climate Change.
Now I do not call into question this academic's record, but I do wish he wouldn't misspeak concerning possible conflicts of interest arising from his research funding.
The Australian online states in Rebels of the Sun:
While not interviewed for Channel 4, hydro-climatologist Stewart Franks at Newcastle University in NSW is one such scientist. Like all other scientists quoted in this article, he says he has never received any funding from any industry, but is increasingly uneasy about the dangerous path the debate is taking, where alternative views are discouraged and reputations attacked and discredited. [my emphasis]
However, in 2007 Stewart Franks received a two-year project grant from Macquarie Generation worth $85,000.
Macquarie Generation is a state-owned corporporation with a core business producing and wholesale selling electricity on the National Electricity Market in Australia.
This corporation operates two of the largest coal-powered stations in New South Wales (consuming a combined total of 13 million tonnes of greenhouse gas producing coal per annum) and is part of the national energy industry.
Therefore, this academic did indeed receive funding from industry.
Which does give one pause for thought when Associate Professor Franks goes into print asserting that high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are not driving climate change.