Lawrence Solomon was kind enough to popularise my name. So its time to return the favour, and ask, “who is he”? And indeed, what is “Energy Probe”?
If you read the wiki entry on EP only a few hours ago, you would have found that Energy Probe is a Canadian non-governmental organization which promotes alternatives to polluting coal and nuclear power. Energy Probe’s executive director, Lawrence Solomon, is a prominent environmentalist… Now I admit that it is possible to be an environmentalist and also a frothing-at-the-mouth GW septic, but I don’t think LS has managed that trick. And oddly enough, it turns out that the text was written by… Solomon.
So I tried to find some sources about Energy Probe, and essentially failed. They look very much to me like a pro-property rights right-wing pro-coal astroturf group, possibly one with a better history. Their first principle is We work for environmental sustainability by promoting property rights (private or communal), markets, the rule of law, the right to know, accountability through liability, cost and risk internalization, economic efficiency, competition, consumer choice, and an informed public.
So… if anyone knows anything about them, preferrably with a good source to back it up, do let me know.
[Update: Thanks to all those who commented and/or mailed. Probably the most interesting thing about all this is the lack of info about him, which is curious for “Canadas leading envirnomentalist”. I’ll stick with the astroturf theory for the moment. Also worth looking at is Cloak of Green -W]
[Late 2016 update: Ryan O’Connor, author of The First Green Wave: Pollution Probe and the Origins of Environmental Activism in Ontario (University of British Columbia Press, 2015), contacted me; I’ll quote him: Essentially, Solomon joined Energy Probe (EP) in the late 1970s as a volunteer. Energy Probe was at this point a semi-autonomous sister project of the slightly older Pollution Probe (PP), which is one of Canada’s oldest and most reputable environmental activist groups. Solomon made himself useful as a volunteer and it turned out he had a knack for fundraising. When Pollution Probe and Energy Probe formally severed their relationship and became completely autonomous organizations circa 1980, Lawrence was one of the leading proponents of EP separating. (Members of PP were unaware that EP intended to separate until they were presented with the fait accompli.) Lawrence was from the beginning an advocate for using market solutions in environmental issues, and used his influence over the years as a guy that could raise money for the group to shift EP’s formerly pragmatic approach to one that was in line with his thinking. Now the organization is renowned in Canada as, more or less, a libertarian think-tank.]