A leprechaun, a unicorn, a vampire and a dragon were among the mythical characters who appeared at the House Environmental Resources and Energy committee meeting to deliver the message, “We are myths. Climate change isn’t.”
The action was organized by the Better Path Coalition in response to the announcement that a paid climate-denier had been invited to discuss the claims in his self-published book.
“The science is clear. Climate change is not a myth. Not one taxpayer dollar should be wasted on engaging in a desperate attempt to perpetuate a manufactured debate. With 12 years left to address climate change, our government should be working overtime to ban greenhouse gas production and lead the state to a renewable energy future,” said Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, founding member of the Better Path Coalition.
“It’s unconscionable that someone with apparently so little experience or expertise in the field of climate science would be invited to address this committee,” said Tim Spiese, Lancaster Against Pipelines, another founding member of the Coalition. “Even for our lawmakers to sit for an hour and listen to him spew his dangerous lies and industry propaganda is a waste of taxpayer resources. It would be laughable if so much were not at stake. The science is clear. The task is daunting. Why is Gregory Wrightstone speaking to our legislators in our state’s capitol when there is so much work to be done?”
Gregory Wrightstone was invited by committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe.
Wrightstone’s biography refers to 35 years as a geologist, but provides no detail. A citation search of his writings produces an unpublished Master’s thesis from 1985 and then a gap until 2009 when his publications list his various affiliations as Range Resources, Texas Keystone, and Mountaineer Keystone. He is on the Advisory Board of the Heartland Institute and a contributing writer for the Cornwall Alliance, a project of the James Partnership. The Conservative Transparency database reports that more than half of its 2012 income came from the “dark money” Donors Trust whose sister organization, Donors Capital Fund, has donated and given grants to the Heartland Institute.
“Since 2007, the gas industry has invested $11.3 million dollars in our political process in Pennsylvania. Chairman Metcalfe alone has received more than $53,000. Perhaps the myth that needs to be dispelled is that we have a government here that works for the people. Who needs to bring a paid climate denier like Wrightstone to Harrisburg? Our government’s loaded with them,” said Feridun.