The Company You Keep: Greenpeace USA (née Ozone Action) Executive Director Phil Radford; Vapor as Smoke

The about-to-retire Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, Phil Radford, unabashedly points to Ross Gelbspan as “the lone voice, the moral compass, the beacon that has inspired countless people, me included, to demand our country and our future back from the coal and oil interests behind global warming” (full text here). Gelbspan, as I’ve pointed out at this blog and in my prior online articles, has a rough time keeping any of his narratives straight about the ‘coal and oil interests behind global warming’, or more specifically, just how those ‘interests’ directed skeptic climate scientists to lie to the public. Is Radford any better at straight talk and full disclosure on this matter? Hardly.

Always keep two things mind: First, whenever prominent people accuse skeptic climate scientists or skeptic organizations of being corrupted by fossil fuel industry money, their source is ultimately, if not directly, from Ross Gelbspan’s so-called ‘investigative work’, which was basically only hinted at in an old Ozone Action April 1996 report about skeptics’ illicitly funded efforts to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact”. And second, Greenpeace USA was taken over by Ozone Action in 2000, but they kept the Greenpeace name. Radford, being an ex-Ozone Action official, certainly remembered the importance of Gelbspan and that particular phrase, since mentions of both appear no later than the 4th page of Greenpeace’s September 2013 “Dealing in Doubt** report. [ **11/10/15 Author edit: that link now diverts to a generic Greenpeace url, but is preserved at this archive link, or is otherwise in a different format at Greenpeace’s current PDF file version. ]

Greenpeace USA, under Radford’s leadership, is relentless when it comes to efforts to portray skeptic scientists as crooks, as his own letter to Arizona State University about skeptic scientist Dr Robert Balling ably shows – the ASU newspaper article about the matter describing material from it also mentions Gelbspan just 7 paragraphs further down the page (full text here). An interesting coincidence?

Oddly enough, Radford was seemingly not especially proud of his Greenpeace affiliation to note it on material distributed to church organizations, as I detailed back in one of my 2010 articles at American Thinker. This disclosure problem got worse later – I had to ask the editor to add a note to it in 2012 showing how the detail about Radford’s employment at Ozone Action disappeared from his Greenpeace bio. His latest bio version still doesn’t mention Ozone Action, but opts for a strange twist by stating “For a full biography, see” Instead of saving whales now, Greenpeace is saving virtual text? Since Wikipedia is a place where entries can be changed by anyone (though not permanently for the global warming information, as Lawrence Solomon pointed out), then Radford must be quite confident that unfavorable information about him will never remain at Wikipedia.

But wait, there’s more. There’s the problem with Radford’s work history between his time at Ozone Action and his start at Greenpeace, a.k.a. what he describes on his LinkedIn resumé as “Founder, CEO, and Chief Climate Change Campaigner at Power Shift” (full text here, backed up here). Power Shift? Never heard of it, despite an internet search for it that turns up glowing accounts of its accomplishments.

Among the top internet search results is the web site. At first glance, its only association with Radford seems to be a blog post tag to his guest April 12, 2012 guest writer piece. Its “History” page for the site gives no indication that it is any older than 2007, and an extended search into the site only refers to him as Greenpeace’s leader. So, you’d think that was a dead end, the wrong “Power Shift” site.

Or is it? Despite being told on more than one occasion that simple internet searches tell me all I need to know about the global warming issue, we all know intuitively that much more is found from in-depth searches.

Deeper searching turned up EnviroLink, a site linking to various others, including one dating from 11/29/2001 which had Radford directly associated with a “Power Shift” web site. Radford apparently touted his site as “the only national organization working exclusively to stop global warming”, despite unmistakable global warming work being down at Greenpeace right around the same time, and entire reports by them on the topic months earlier.

EnviroLink’s non-functioning link for Radford’s site at least provides something to use in the Internet Archive search site. An odd situation occurs when you click on any of the blue circles for the 2002 versions of the site. The archive page first displays as a square having an animation of various words that morph into the PowerShift logo, then the screen welcomes viewers and asks them to click on the navigation links at the bottom. Click on any of those and all results default to the current home page for The composite photo below shows that sequence. I have no idea what prompts the default to the current site urls for or Most troubling, there seems to be no way that I know of to view the late 2001 to 2003 content of Radford’s site.

Power Shift sequence

Notice one other illogical bit with the archive links seen in my composite photo. The web site url is “” – view a close-up of that here –  and the window playing the words/logo animation is “” Wouldn’t it be more sensible to have the url be “”? My educated guess is that it actually was – type the words “” into your browser window and watch what happens:  it automatically redirects to the site. Put the url string into the Internet Archive and see what happens for results in 2002-3. It takes you to the same square home page as the above “shiftpower” ones, but minus all the content, and having a mirror-reverse url string of “”

Perhaps a small window into Radford’s ‘PowerShift/ShiftPower’ world is seen in the July and September 2001 Internet Archive captures of the “” ‘under construction’ version, despite what little text is there. The smokestack image is especially intriguing to me. Murky as it is, I recognized it as the mirror image of Ross Gelbspan’s 2004 “Boiling Point” book cover. One has to wonder if Radford simply copied the image* [1/30/17 Authors edit: click on that link now and it tells you the Corbis image company is gone. Seems its new owner hasn’t kept the image, but I can still prove Corbis had it with this screencapture] from the internet – which, incidentally, he has oriented correctly – or if perhaps he was inspired by an earlier usage of it, the cover of the late Dr Nancy J. Sell’s 1992 “Industrial Pollution Control: Issues and Techniques” book. There’s quite an irony if the latter is the reason either Radford or Gelbspan chose that particular image: Dr Sell wrote on pg 14 that “To date there is no evidence for global warming or cooling.” Just a paragraph later, she mentioned speculation about a coming ice age, and her chapter endnote for that particular point cited no less than the arch-enemy of both Gelbspan and Radford**, skeptic climate scientist Dr S. Fred Singer.

Dr Sell may have chosen the image because it might be of an oil refinery. Whatever the case may have been for Gelbspan and Radford, similar widespread imagery of coal-fired power plants pushed by global warming promoters is disingenuous at best. CO2 power plant emissions are colorless, water vapor emissions are basically white. However, when viewed with the sun behind the vapor, it can take on an ominous look ….  which seems to greatly appeal to global warming promoters.

As ever, examination of anything to do with the Gelbspan-Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action accusation against skeptic climate scientists yields nothing but appearances of missing information, narrative derailments and other crippling problems. They can’t even keep their ‘smokestack’ imagery straight.


**What’s Radford’s source for the ‘Oregon Petition fake skeptic names scandal’ he mentions at his HuffPo article? Ozone Action promoted that story in April and May of 1998, a year prior to his arrival there. They stand accused of planting the Spice girl name in the petition by a person directly associated with the collection of the signatures, while other ‘fake’ names in the oldest available name list appear little more than only last names identical to some celebrities, or full names common enough to be shared that way. But of course, this ‘scandal’ is beset with deeper problems.