Prosecute the torture.

March 3, 2015

Yes, Let's Follow The (Science Denier) Money

This past Sunday, the editorial board of the Tribune-Review published this:
Writing in National Review Online, Henry Payne reminds that “the overwhelming majority of climate research funding comes from the federal government and left-wing foundations.” And, he adds, that money goes “only toward research that advances the warming regulatory agenda.” So much for fair and balanced scientific inquiry. [Bolding in original.]
This is the paragraph from the Henry Payne piece at the National Review that the braintrust quotes:
In truth, the overwhelming majority of climate-research funding comes from the federal government and left-wing foundations. And while the energy industry funds both sides of the climate debate, the government/foundation monies go only toward research that advances the warming regulatory agenda. With a clear public-policy outcome in mind, the government/foundation gravy train is a much greater threat to scientific integrity.
Notice something?  It's in that second sentence - the one that says the energy industry funds both sides of the debate while the government only funds the research advancing the warming regulatory agenda.

Then there's this sometime later:
Despite claims that they are watchdogs of the establishment, media outlets such as the Times have ignored the government’s oversized role in directing research. And they have ignored millions in contributions from left-wing foundations — contributions that, like government grants, seek to tip the scales to one side of the debate.
They're still clinging to the idea that there's still a debate going on about climate science.  The purpose of Payne's argument is to show that guv'ment funding is looking to sway scientific "opinion."

So let's take a look at the funding of the sources he cites.  I mean if he's looking to uncover a link between "who funds" and "the opinions of those funded", then those links should tell us about his side of this "debate."


Payne's piece started with this:
Citing documents uncovered by the radical environmental group Greenpeace, a group of media outlets — including the New York Times and the Boston Globe — have attacked global-warming skeptic Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon for allegedly hiding $1.2 million in contributions from “fossil fuel companies.” The articles were the latest in an ongoing campaign by greens and their media allies to discredit opponents of the warming agenda.
The Times wrote of Dr. Soon:
He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.

The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.
 And then started defending Soon with "experts" of his own:
“It is a despicable, reprehensible attack on a man of great personal integrity,” says Myron Ebell, the director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who questioned why media organizations were singling out Soon over research funding.
 Hmm..According to the Bridge Project, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has recieved $21,931,523 in funding over the years, including:
  • $3.925 million (17.9% of the total) from Foundations controlled by Tribune-Review owner Richard Mellon Scaife
  • $1.775 million (8.09% of the total) from The Petroleum Institute, Exxon Mobil and PhRMA
  • $2.732 million (12.46 of the total) from Donors Trust or Donors Capital Fund
Why include the Donors Trust?  Here's why (from the Times):
Dr. Soon also received at least $230,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. (Mr. Koch’s fortune derives partly from oil refining.) However, other companies and industry groups that once supported Dr. Soon, including Exxon Mobil and the American Petroleum Institute, appear to have eliminated their grants to him in recent years.

As the oil-industry contributions fell, Dr. Soon started receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars through DonorsTrust, an organization based in Alexandria, Va., that accepts money from donors who wish to remain anonymous, then funnels it to various conservative causes.
So about those three groups of sources (Scaife, oil, and the shadowy "Donors Trust") amount to about 38% of the funding received by Ebell and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Does any of that funding sway their opinions?

Next experts Payne mentions:
Indeed, experts in the research community say that it is much more difficult for some of the top climate scientists — Soon, Roger Pielke Jr., the CATO Institute’s Patrick Michaels, MIT’s now-retired Richard Lindzen — to get funding for their work because they do not embrace the global-warming fearmongering favored by the government-funded climate establishment.
Pielke's inclusion in that short list is confusing as he accepts the findings (with some caveats) of the IPCC.  From his Congressional testimony:
Nothing in this testimony should be interpreted as contradicting the assessment of climate change science provided by Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC has concluded that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity are an important driver of changes in climate. And on this basis alone I am personally convinced that it makes sense to take action to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
So, I guess that in one way or another, he's embracing"the global-warming fearmongering" Payne's saying he doesn't.  How embarrassing for Payne.

Perhaps Payne's discussing Pielke's father, Roger Pielke - who has a PhD in Meterology (his son's PhD is in Political Science) and is still attached to the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Boulder, Colorado.

Did you know that CIRES is one of the 16 such institutes working with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration?

And that NOAA is a big part of the guv'ment funded climate establishment?

So tell me again why either Pielke is on Payne's list?

As for the last two names on Payne's list, Michaels and Lindzen, turns out BOTH are CATO guys, the former the Director for the Center for the Study of Science and the latter a Distinguished Senior Fellow.

As it's a right wing/libertarian organization, why wouldn't Payne's "funding link" criticisms also invalidate their participation in this "debate"

As if there is a "debate" on whether "greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity are an important driver of changes in climate" (to quote one of Payne's experts).

And we already know there isn't any "debate" on it.


Heir to the Throne said...

"And we already know there isn't any "debate" on it. "

Sounds like Radical feminist Jessica Valenti on rape culture.
“I think like a lot of people I’m exhausted of having to talk about rape culture in a framework that assumes its existence is up for debate.”

Rape culture proves the the Duke Lacrosse players were guilt of Rape and the system and police approved of their actions just like it did when Social Justice Warriors Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky were getting payback
as part of the poor 99% against the rich 1% Petit family by just setting up a perimeter, waiting 1/2 hour for them to finish and lying about when they got there.

Ol' Froth said...


Dayvoe said...

HTTT: at least TRY to stay on topic.

You'll look like less of an idiot if you do.

Heir to the Throne said...

Funny how all progressives beliefs are not up for debate.

Ol' Froth said...

Blogger is free want to discuss what interests you, start your own freakin' blog.

Heir to the Throne said...

A team of climate researchers and activists fail to disclose federal funding and scold climate sceptic Willie Soon for not disclosing funding

Ol' Froth said...

That's the best you can do? The post you cited shows that the authors DID disclose the funding in their orginal work. I'll add that in Soon's case, it wasn't JUST that he didn't disclose the funding, but that he was producing a "product" (his own word) for the benefit of his funders. Don't think you can remotly make the same case for Koomey and Romm.