Silencing skeptics – financing alarmists

Edward Markey (D-MA), other senators and Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) recently sent letters to institutions that employ or support climate change researchers whose work questions claims that Earth and humanity face unprecedented manmade climate change catastrophes.

The letters allege that the targeted researchers may have “conflicts of interest” or may not have fully disclosed corporate funding sources. They say such researchers may have testified before congressional committees, written articles or spoken at conferences, emphasizing the role of natural forces in climate change, or questioning evidence and computer models that emphasize predominantly human causes.

Mr. Grijalva asserts that disclosure of certain information will “establish the impartiality of climate research and policy recommendations” published in the institutions’ names and help Congress make better laws. “Companies with a direct financial interest in climate and air quality standards are funding environmental research that influences state and federal regulations and shapes public understanding of climate science.” These conflicts need to be made clear, because members of Congress cannot perform their duties if research or testimony is “influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,” it says.

The targeted institutions are asked to reveal their policies on financial disclosure; drafts of testimony before Congress or agencies; communications regarding testimony preparation; and sources of “external funding,” including consulting and speaking fees, research grants, honoraria, travel expenses and other monies – for any work that questions the manmade climate cataclysm catechism.

Conflicts of interest can indeed pose problems. However, it is clearly not only fossil fuel companies that have major financial or other interests in climate and air quality standards – nor only manmade climate change skeptics who can have conflicts and personal, financial or institutional interests in these issues.

Renewable energy companies want to perpetuate the mandates, subsidies and climate disruption claims that keep them solvent. Insurance companies want to justify higher rates, to cover costs from allegedly rising seas and more frequent or intense storms. Government agencies seek bigger budgets, more personnel, more power and control, more money for grants to researchers and activist groups that promote their agendas and regulations, and limited oversight, transparency and accountability for their actions. Researchers and organizations funded by these entities naturally want the financing to continue.

You would therefore expect that these members of Congress would send similar letters to researchers and institutions on the other side of this contentious climate controversy. But they did not, even though climate alarmism is embroiled in serious financial, scientific, ethical and conflict of interest disputes.

As Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT atmospheric sciences professor emeritus and one of Grijalva’s targets, has pointed out: “Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm, and trillions of dollars have been involved in overthrowing the energy economy” – and replacing it with expensive, inefficient, insufficient, job-killing, environmentally harmful wind, solar and biofuel sources.

Their 1090 forms reveal that, during the 2010-2012 period, six environmentalist groups received a whopping $332 million from six federal agencies! That is 270 times what Dr. Willie Soon and Harvard-Smithsonian’s Center for Astrophysics received from fossil fuel companies in a decade – the funding that supposedly triggered the lawmakers’ letters, mere days after Greenpeace launched its attack on Dr. Soon.

The EPA, Fish & Wildlife Service, NOAA, USAID, Army and State Department transferred this taxpayer money to Environmental Defense, Friends of the Earth, Nature Conservancy, Natural Resource Defense Council, National Wildlife Fund and Clean Air Council, for research, reports, press releases and other activities that support and promote federal programs and agendas on air quality, climate change, climate impacts on wildlife, and many similar topics related to the Obama war on fossil fuels. The activists also testified before Congress and lobbied intensively behind the scenes on these issues.

Between 2000 and 2013, EPA also paid the American Lung Association well over $20 million, and lavished over $180 million on its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members, to support agency positions. Chesapeake energy gave the Sierra Club $26 million to advance its Beyond Coal campaign. Russia gave generously to anti-fracking, climate change and related “green” efforts.

Government agencies and laboratories, universities and other organizations have received billions of taxpayer dollars, to develop computer models, data and reports confirming alarmist claims. Abundant corporate money has also flowed to researchers who promote climate alarms and keep any doubts to themselves. Hundreds of billions went to renewable energy companies, many of which went bankrupt. Wind and solar companies have been exempted from endangered species laws, to protect them against legal actions for destroying wildlife habitats, birds and bats. Full disclosure? Rarely, if ever.

In gratitude and to keep the money train on track, many of these recipients contribute hefty sums to congressional candidates. During his recent primary and general campaign, for example, Senator Markey received $3.8 million from Harvard and MIT professors, government unions, Tom Steyer and a dozen environmentalist groups (including recipients of some of that $332 million in taxpayer funds), in direct support and via advertisements opposing candidates running against the champion of disclosure.

As to the ethics of climate disaster researchers, and the credibility of their models, data and reports, ClimateGate emails reveal that researchers used various “tricks” to mix datasets and “hide the decline” in average global temperatures since 1998; colluded to keep skeptical scientific papers out of peer-reviewed journals; deleted potentially damaging or incriminating emails; and engaged in other practices designed to advance manmade climate change alarms. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based many of its most notorious disappearing ice cap, glacier and rainforest claims on student papers, magazine articles, emails and other materials that received no peer review. The IPCC routinely tells its scientists to revise their original studies to reflect Summaries for Policymakers written by politicians and bureaucrats.

Yet, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy relies almost entirely on this junk science to justify her agency’s policies – and repeats EPA models and hype on extreme weather, refusing to acknowledge that not one Category 3-5 hurricane has made U.S. landfall for a record 9.3 years. Her former EPA air quality and climate czar John Beale is in prison for fraud, and the agency has conducted numerous illegal air pollution experiments on adults and even children – and then ignored their results in promulgating regulations.

Long-time IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri has resigned in disgrace, after saying manmade climate change is “my religion, my dharma” (principle of the cosmic order), rather than a matter for honest, quality science and open, robust debate. The scandals go on and on: see here, here, here, here and here.

It’s no wonder support for job and economy-killing carbon taxes and regulations is at rock bottom. And not one bit surprising that alarmists refuse to debate realist scientists: the “skeptics” would eviscerate their computer models, ridiculous climate disaster claims, and “adjusted” or fabricated evidence.

Instead, alarmists defame scientists who question their mantra of “dangerous manmade climate change.” The Markey and Grijalva letters “convey an unstated but perfectly clear threat: Research disputing alarm over the climate should cease, lest universities that employ such individuals incur massive inconvenience and expense – and scientists holding such views should not offer testimony to Congress,” Professor Lindzen writes. They are “a warning to any other researcher who may dare question in the slightest their fervently held orthodoxy of anthropogenic global warming,” says Dr. Soon. Be silent, or perish.

Now the White House is going after Members of Congress! Its new Climate-Change-Deniers website wants citizens to contact and harass senators and congressmen who dare to question its climate diktats.

Somehow, though, Markey, Grijalva, et al. have not evinced any interest in investigating any of this. The tactics are as despicable and destructive as the junk science and anti-energy policies of climate alarmism. It is time to reform the IPCC and EPA, and curtail this climate crisis insanity.

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About the Author: Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for CFACT and author of Cracking Big Green and Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death.

  • shijocj

    As Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT atmospheric sciences professor emeritus and one of Grijalva’s targets, has pointed out: “Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm, and trillions of dollars have been involved in overthrowing the energy economy” – and replacing it with expensive, inefficient, insufficient, job-killing, environmentally harmful wind, solar and biofuel sources – So carbon monoxide from burning fossil fuel is no harm to nature , no harm to humans … and wind energy is harmful because turbines kills birds and solar because it reduces heat in region by absorbing and converting to electric with 0 emissions and leads to more snow (that explains recent high snow in east cost)… nice one…

    sometime back I have seen a movie where developed world full of idiots..but never expected this to happen..see what one MIT comes up with… frown emoticon

    • ilma630

      Prof Lindzen has NEVER said carbon MONoxide is harmless, but rightly looks to the evidence for considering whether the claims for carbon DIoxide (a colourless, harmless trace gas that all plant-life needs) have any merit. His expert consideration based on said evidence is that man’s CO2 is not the driver of global temperatures, and any warming effect that CO2 generally may have is minor and therefore not of any concern, and certainly not dangerous. It is actually more likely to be beneficial.

      • shijocj

        Could be correct but no one is sure about that…. then why we assume it is still not the case? Even lets say CO2 is not the issue, why can’t we promote the emission reduction by fossil fuels since they do not last and we need more efficient technologies to survive in future energy needs when human civilization moves to Type one Kardashev and more… If the incentive of new technology is gone then we cannot progress on to next level since energy production is the first requirement for that….

        • ilma630

          There are plenty of fossil fuels to last for the foreseeable future (decades), with new reserves, especially of shale gas & oil, continually being discovered. Then there are sea-bed methane hydrates which are considered to dward shale in volume, potentially lasting centuries.

          As with all energy supply systems, market forces and competitive advantage of new sources/technologies will naturally emerge, just as coal replaced wood, and oil replaced coal. These transitions can take 50 years and cannot be forced by governments on a political whim.

          Renewables have never demonstrated the capability to replace FFs, but nuclear technologies, e.g. Thorium, is one such technology that could, but is being starved of R&D investment and focus by governments’ ideological focus on renewable subsidies.

          One should also note that to date, there is still no empirical evidence that man’s CO2 emissions have any effect of global temperatures, with the last 18+ years of no rise being evidence of that. Contrary to what people like Al Gore etc. say, the science is definitely *not* settled. All the claims about global warming are based on models that are demonstrably wrong.

          • shijocj

            Firstly fossil fuels are not enough and we cannot keep using that… I don’t know why in the world u think we can burn all of that into atmosphere!!!! Man!! u should walk India or China to know what is the effect on that..and so the first violates the second..if u wait the technology to come after this is burned then there will be no human left to do research..and u know why nuclear is the last option because it is the most dangerous one!! we have enough examples on that and that technology need to be handled very cautiously until we get fusion reactors in place. It is better to deal with solar and wind and MIT says those are causing emission which is the most stupid thing I ever heard..No clue why he tells that!!!! ………………Also It is also NOT proven that man’s CO2 emissions at what ever high or low quantity it may be, will not have any effect of global temperatures, with the last 18+ years of data..Right? (And also it is proven that CO2 at higher quality is fatal for life weather it is for man, animals or plants or algae) …So on what is the basis of the telling that man made emission is not causing issues???

            • ilma630

              I think you need to do some research into facts rather than regurgitating the rhetoric put out by the peddlers of doom, governments, ecomentalists and even those scientists who are hooked onto the CAGW funding gravy train.

              There is no, repeat, no empirical evidence that man’s CO2 (~3% of total atmospheric CO2) causes any global temperature change that could be considered dangerous. If you know otherwise, please produce it (after all, you’re the one making the claim that CO2 is dangerous). There is none, period. All you are going on is vested interest driven by errorneous computer models that have very little observational data going in and are built on human biases. The so-called consensus is a political construct designed to shut down any contrary view from that desired by those politicians who want to levy tax and impose regulation, i.e. impose dictatorial rule.

              The desire for solar and wind as a replacement for fossil fuels is wholly misplaced. They have never been able to demonstrate any ability to supply reliable and cost effective power, and rather than being a net contributor to the economy, they drain it, whilst simultaneously pushing tens of thousands into fuel poverty and causing the premature death of thousands of elderly who cannot afford the increased costs of heating. In fact the subsidies paid to wind and solar are an effective wealth transfer mechanism, from poor to rich, which any compassionate person would find morally repugnant.

              As for nuclear. More facts. It is demonstrably the safest of all power generation industries, with the best safety record of all, even more than wind and solar. The move to Thorium will provide a significant step to even greater safety, with a temperature rather than pressure based process (Fukushima could never happen), much greater fuel consumption so little waste, and no nuclear weapon material by-product. Thorium is an abundant mineral currently discarded but with enough worldwide to last for hundreds of years.

              You should also check what CO2 concentrations are harmful to man and plants, as it certainly isn’t the 400ppm we have now, or even 800 or 1600ppm. Do you realise that you breathe out 40,000ppm? If that’s so dangerous, why would you leave a child to sleep in a closed room? Why also do glasshouse crop growers add CO2 to the air, up to 3 or 4 times atmospheric concentration if not because plants benefit and grow better, with higher yields and lower water requirements. Why do you think the planet is unequivocally greening with the increasing CO2 levels we see today, if not because CO2 is fundamentally plant food.

              I’m sorry, but all your claims are preposterous nonsense, all easily refuted by facts from a little checking, and simply refuted by rational argument.

        • Diogenes60025

          How about we use what is cost effective, safe & reliable now, and use the other stuff when we can’t afford that any more?

    • Diogenes60025

      The vast majority of all fossil fuel using machines do not emit material amounts of carbon monoxide.

      • shijocj

        Right! .. Both are harmful to environment..Still I do not get why MIT professor tells clean energy sources are bad!!!

        • Diogenes60025

          No, CO2 is benign. You emit it. Plants consume it. It naturally converts to carbonate mineral.

          • shijocj

            yes..but that is the normal process..but stop saying that the more carbon we put is taken off by earth..For that to happen there should be a change in natural balance either ecology evolution or ecology damage. Tell me what is the change occurred in last 100 years so that this is accommodated!! ecology is like energy it cannot be created or destroyed..it can just be converted if it is not converted it will accumulate and what ever gets accumulated without getting into cycle will eventually destroy the whole system..it is simple like that…….

            • Diogenes60025

              It is a simple equilibrium-seeking mechanism. The ecosystem is generally strongly-buffered alkaline. In seawater, for example, CO2 + CaO => CaCO3 (calcite, or limestone). Since seawater is highly basic, and has nearly infinite buffering capacity, it absorbs all the carbon dioxide it can, and looks for more.

              The only reason atmospheric CO2 is rising is that the earth is warming, and emitting more CO2 from rotting vegetation. The wonderful climate satellites that were just launched have observed that the most CO2 is coming from South America, Africa, South Asia (including China) and Europe.

    • sweetsuzee

      The sky’s falling researches make reference to carbon DIOXIDE (CO2) not carbon monoxide. Weather changes are cyclical, not man-made, and what has been written about ad nauseum for the past 4 decades is no different than the past. Here’s an article worth reading regarding the Arctic warming –

      The Washington Post

      NOTE: Read to the end – IMPORTANT INFORMATION>

      The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway

      Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

      Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

      Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
      * * * * * * * * *
      I must apologize as I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post – 93 years ago.

    • Trevor Kidd

      Yes, shijocj, wasn’t this the movie you starred in?

      • shijocj

        yup..of course i was there !!! As the guy who saves all those idiots 😛 Oh buddy!! It is not the knowledge make people dump its the attitude and selfishness… u know what ??? u know that what u say might not be true but still u want to stick to the point since u do not want to compromise yourself out of what lifestyle u got regardless it takes the cost of whole future!!! I am not telling take immediate action or get rid of what u got.but at least be pessimistic on going against climate nature…. Yes to whom I am talking right????

  • ilma630

    If Grijalva thinks organisations like Greenpeace are ‘ok’ as they are ‘concerned’, he should think again. Someone with such childish, immature and blinkered thinking as he demonstrates has no place in government. He should consider resigning – due to simple embarrassment.

  • Diogenes60025

    The “NGO Ghoul” hypocrites grow sleek and powerful off of ordinary peoples’ misery–and then they they make it worse. They have a lot of excellent adventures in some of the nicer places in the world, though.

  • Diogenes60025

    It’s OK to use fossil fuels and emit CO2. Our climate is pleasant and productive, and getting better. This is normal because earth is in an interglacial period. Increased carbon dioxide emissions are the result of warming, not the cause.

    Only 3% of all carbon dioxide emissions arise from human activities. 97% are from natural sources. The ultimate reservoir of CO2 is limestone (CaCO3) and other carbonate rocks. CO2 is sequestered as carbonates for tens of millions of years. Attempts to limit human fossil fuels use will ruin America’s energy infrastructure, and not affect warming.

    The cost of controlling CO2 is not worth any conceivable benefit. The International Energy Agency estimated the cost of worldwide “decarbonization” at $44 trillion. The entire cumulative savings of mankind is estimated at $150 trillion. The United States, the EU and the UN are proposing to spend nearly 30% of mankind’s wealth on a foolish boondoggle, with no clear benefits.

    The existence and causes of global warming are undetermined. There is no definitive proof that global warming is occurring; or that it is caused by human use of fossil fuels. The proxy data (tree rings and polar ice cores) used by scientists has been shown to be faulty. All of the climate models that predicted dramatic warming have been wrong.

    Why should rational people believe climate activists? Climate action proponents just don’t seem trustworthy. Thoughtful people can discern the truth about climate change, even if they are not scientists. For example, if proponents of a policy use deceptive arguments in promoting that policy, that policy, and its “scientific” basis are suspect. Also see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new

    Arguments for regulating CO2 emissions are suspect. The peer review process has been distorted, in large part to present fossil fuels use as a threat. See “The Liberal War on Transparency” by Christopher C Horner; ISBN 978-1-4516-9488-8 and “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science” by Dr. Tim Ball; ISBN 978-0-9888777-4-0.

    • wally12

      @ Diogenes60025: I agree with nearly all of your comments. However, It appears that you should have said that “man made global warming hasn’t been proven”, rather than global warming has not been proven. The earth has definitely been warming and there is definitive proof. I believe most skeptics and alarmist agree that warming of the earth has been occurring. They believe that the earth has been warming since the ice age. That is not the question. The question is that has the earth warmed at a faster rate in recent times?
      I believe that the River Tornio in Finland provides the proof that the earth has been warming without the need to rely on actual temperature records. The River Tornio has been monitored and data collected for the earliest ice break up from1693 to 2000. I trust the data since climate scientists nor skeptics had an agenda back in 1693. The dates of ice breakup on this river show that on average has occurred at earlier dates for those 307 years. Of course, the warmers have used this data in an attempt to prove that it is due to humans and CO2 emissions. Their claim falls apart since an examination of the curve shows a straight line of warming for the past 307 years. If CO2 is to be believed as the driver of warming, then the rate of change on the graph should change. There is no “inverted hockey stick”. None. That proves that CO2 and human activity of burning of fossil fuels are not significant drivers of warming. Instead, the warming is predominately from natural causes.

      • Diogenes60025

        Good point. I’ll edit that statement. Thanks.

  • joe

    Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) hasn’t had an original thought in 25 years. He’s a Democratic hack and Obama sycophant, like federal Democratic legislators in other states who have put in their time.

    These Democratic incumbents believe we the American people are stupid, serve at their pleasure and are their ATM’s tax wise! Their king is Obama who violates the US Constitution and uses the federal government bureaucracy against his enemies (the American people).

    Try writing these incumbents using facts about man made global warming/climate change and see the lies and Democratic clap trap (no facts) of their responses!

  • Derick Smith

    “…not one Category 3-5 hurricane has made U.S. landfall for a record 9.3 years.” Really? And how much is big oil paying you to spout this drivel?

    • Mike Albertone

      Nice how you just say “really?” without coming up with any instances where a Category 3-5 hurricane has made U.S. landfall during that time. If you can’t dispute the fact, don’t bother responding.

      • Derick Smith

        Hurricane Wilma made landfall along the Gulf coast as a category 3 in 2005. Shall I spend a little time to give you facts about alarming weather around the world, or is your world just the US?

        • Mike Albertone

          It looks like from my research that there is debate about whether Hurricane Wilma was a Category 2 or Category 3 Hurricane while it was in Florida, so I think that is debatable. The bigger point is whether severe weather incidents are more frequent now, in the U.S. or otherwise, than they have historically been. I hear people claim that they are and I hear others say that they are not, but I never see actual stats.

          • Derick Smith

            Mike, this is a minor point, which detracts from the overall issue. I am not a US citizen and do not reside in the US. I do not have any political affiliations that unduly influence my stance. What I do see (and have seen) is overwhelming evidence of change in the world during my lifetime. What my children are growing up with is vastly different to what I did. This is more than climate change – the social, economic, environmental and lifestyle changes are alarming to say the least. What is clear is that change in the attitudes of people worldwide has to happen or we are going to leave a legacy to our children and grandchildren that says we knew but did nothing.

  • a fool

    i don’t believe in global Warming! i believe we are walking into Global Cooling~~towards ice age!

  • vchris

    How about posting a copy of the letters?

  • Mervyn

    If non-government sourced funding is deemed a potential conflict of interest for skeptic scientists, the same should apply to the pro-man-made global warming scientists relying on government funding … the old ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’.