the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Nothing to Gain! Hansengate takes off.

Posted by Jeff Id on June 22, 2011

We are constantly told that climate scientists gain nothing for their work.  There are no incentives, yet often we find that is not the case.

A quote from Chris Colose, budding cliatoknowledgist left at Bart Verheggens blog alleging again that I am some kind of conpiracy theorist for even suggesting such a thing as a payoff might exist – silly me:

Chris Colose Says:
June 15, 2011 at 17:43>

There are certain people who equate the most conspiracy theories with the most eloquent and factual, but it is certainly not reasonable people with exposure to the goings-on in the physical science community. In fact very few scientists in climate have anything to benefit from economic suggestions or climate change action. We’d have most to gain by just saying everything was uncertain so we can get more funding from NSF.

This is just an accusation, but the godfather of the extremist claims and winner of the Air Vent’s most extreme quote of 2009 contest James Hansen potentially made just a tiny little profit for his work.  I know it will surprise you if it turns out to be true but this 1.2 million is outside of his otherwise paltry salary of  $180,000, pension plan and expenses received for various projects.

It should be no surprise that the propagandists at Fox News are again the only major media group to cover this obvious non-story at this point.

NASA Scientist Accused of Using Celeb Status Among Environmental Groups to Enrich Himself

The NASA scientist who once claimed the Bush administration tried to “silence” his global warming claims is now accused of receiving more than $1.2 million from the very environmental organizations whose agenda he advocated.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., a group claims NASA is withholding documents that show James Hansen failed to comply with ethics rules and financial disclosures regarding substantial compensation he earned outside his $180,000 taxpayer-paid position as director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Don’t worry folks, there is no money for the individuals in climate science.

The suit alleges:

– A shared $1 million prize from the Dan David Foundation for his “profound contribution to humanity.” Hansen’s cut ranged from $333,000 to $500,000, Horner said, adding that the precise amount is not known because Hansen’s publicly available financial disclosure form only shows the prize was “an amount in excess of $5,000.”

– The 2010 Blue Planet prize worth $550,000 from the Asahi Glass Foundation, which recognizes efforts to solve environmental issues.

– The Sophie Prize for his “political activism,” worth $100,000. The Sophie Prize is meant to “inspire people working towards a sustainable future.”

– Speaking fees totaling $48,164 from a range of mostly environmental organizations.

– A $15,000 participation fee, waived by the W.J. Clinton Foundation for its 2009 Waterkeeper Conference.

– $720,000 in legal advice and media consulting services provided by The George Soros Open Society Institute. Hansen said he did not take “direct” support from Soros but accepted “pro bono legal advice.”

Let’s not forget this tiny half million Mann got for ‘economic stimulus’.   Peanuts for the most brilliant, I know, but to the rest of us lesser folks a few hundred thousand here or there wouldn’t hurt our day much.


110 Responses to “Nothing to Gain! Hansengate takes off.”

  1. Ah yes, the sometimes reliable Chris Horner.

  2. Anonymous said

    a) So Nick, if Horner is wrong, please enlighten us to what parts of this story he got wrong.

    b) Jeff, the payoffs involve a lot more than cash. Fame and glory can motivate as well. The personal satisfaction of believing that one is involved in “saving the earth and all living things”. Professional acclaim, academic success, and the building of academic empires at one’s institution don’t hurt either. If the absence of scientific evidence were acknowledged, research budgets would be slashed, empires would crumble, speaking engagements would dry up, and climate scientists would have to forfeit their place as saviors of the earth and revert to their role as nerds checking on the weather.

  3. stan said

    Chris Horner’s record for reliability is certainly far better than that of Jones, Briffa, Mann, Rahmstorf, Steig, and Schmidt. And he doesn’t insist that the people of the world be forced to undergo wrenching changes in the lives on the basis of his work.

  4. RB said

    NASA Scientist Accused of Using Celeb Status Among Environmental Groups to Enrich Himself
    He gave himself those awards?

  5. Colose is wrong in any event. The governments of the world would not be ponying up “trillions” of dollars for “I do not know”. They are paying for “the debate is closed” affirmation. He just wants to be another Hansen – get the money and the science be damned.

  6. Jeff Id said

    RB,

    No but groups with money exerted influence on a federal employee in a position of power which supported their political agendas. We’ll wait and see if allegations turn out to be correct but #2 is correct that fame is also a motivation.

  7. gallopingcamel said

    As usual, follow the money! I note that Al Gore is on the march again so he must have found a new mother lode of funding too.

  8. kim said

    Square ‘pro bono legal advice’ with ‘$620,000 from an advocacy organization’. The class of those who’ve had torts wrought on them by these madmen exceeds the present population of the earth.

    Grandchildren, be witnesses.
    ============

  9. Thank you, thank you, Jeff, for all that you have done to elucidate the sordid history of this climategate puzzle.

    Thanks to the kindness of Fate for allowing me notice an abrupt change in attitude toward new discoveries [1] at NASA in 1972, I suspect that we are seeing the fruits of a government policy that was:

    a.) Implemented in ~1972,
    b.) Catalyzed by events in ~1962, and
    c.) Designed in ~1952 or before, as George Orwell wrote “1948” [2].

    c.) In 1952, Henry Kissinger, served as a consultant to the Director of the US PSYCHOLOGICAL Strategy Board while a graduate student at Harvard [3].

    b.) The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis convinced politicians and world leaders that they too would die in a full-scale nuclear exchange.

    a.) In 1972, Kissinger took President Nixon to China to meet with Chairman Mao and implement a plan ending the threat of nuclear annihilation [3]. Henry continued for many decades to be politically active “inside beltway.”

    1. “Xenon in carbonaceous chondrites”, Nature 240, 99-101 (1972)

    http://www.omatumr.com/archive/XenonInCarbonaceousChondrites.pdf

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1972Data.htm

    2. “1984” by George Orwell

    http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

    3. Henry Kissinger, Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia (retrieved 22 June 2011)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  10. “We’d have most to gain by just saying everything was uncertain so we can get more funding from NSF.” This is, I think, ignoring something rather important; namely that there would be no significant funding stream at all if scientists said they found that AGW was not a “problem”. If they find that it is indeed a problem, the funding doesn’t dry up because they say they are certain about it, they are given more funding to keep studying it because it is a national concern. The funding stream does not respond to progress in reducing uncertainty, it responds to the “importance” of an issue. To suggest otherwise is hopelessly naïve.

  11. Bruce said

    What did Hansen do to need 720,000 in legal advice — drive off a bridge with a drunk intern in the back seat?

  12. RB said

    Jeff,

    You could say that fame is a motivation same as for most people, but IMO one can’t become an advocate with a plan to win awards. Therefore, I don’t see how money (from potential awards) could have been an incentive.

    Horner: …. …because Hansen’s publicly available financial disclosure form …
    So, he disclosed it. I wonder why it is on the lawsuit.

  13. Postscript: George Orwell is a pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), “best remembered for his political commentary as a left-wing anti-totalitarian.” [1]

    “The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.” [2]

    1. “George Orwell bibliography”, Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia (retrieved 22 June 2011) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell_bibliography

    2. “Why I Write” by George Orewll, Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia (retrieved 22 June 2011) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_I_Write

  14. Jeff Id said

    RB,

    What if when you make ever more extreme predictions you get ever more recognition. Then people start giving you awards for your crazy policy/advocacy statements. You publish wilder results, more awards/rewards appear on and on. It would explain quite a bit of the guy’s blatant advocacy.

  15. Carrick said

    Jeff ID:

    Don’t worry folks, there is no money for the individuals in climate science.

    Hansen??? You’ve got to be kidding me. He’s a bit player.

    Look at Al Gore or T Bone if you want to see how the game gets played.

  16. Jeff Id said

    RB, I”m a little surprised that it would be hard for you to figure out how this works.

  17. Carrick said

    RB:

    You could say that fame is a motivation same as for most people, but IMO one can’t become an advocate with a plan to win awards. Therefore, I don’t see how money (from potential awards) could have been an incentive.

    I don’t think it’s the money per se that drives Hansen. It’s the power to influence others that is truly the addictive intoxicant. Fame and fortune are just epiphenomena.

  18. dana1981 said

    Tell you what Jeff, I didn’t think you were a conspiracy theorist before, but I sure do now. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/climate-change-is-real-we-are-causing-it-and-it-is-happening-right-now-open-letter-from-scientific-community/#comment-13386

  19. RB said

    Jeff,
    I guess I’m a bit naive :) although anybody who reached Hansen’s organizational level would have to have the politician in him. I’m willing to give him the benefit of doubt that he didn’t do it for the money. But I do wonder if Bill Gates turned to full time philanthropy with a plan to win the Nobel Prize, because that seems to be a workable plan with his resources.

  20. Carrick said

    Dana, how does pointing out that Hansen in fact benefit from his government/leadership position turn one into a conspiracy theorist?

    Or is that just the best you can do today in your “attack the messenger” form of logical argument?

  21. Dana – it is not a conspiracy. Right now it is an investigation to find out if hansen violated his terms of employment. There does not seem to be a question that he got the money (nor does he deny it). So where is the conspiracy? Perhaps English is not your first language, so your post was poorly worded?

  22. Carrick said

    This is the real message:

    In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., a group claims NASA is withholding documents that show James Hansen failed to comply with ethics rules and financial disclosures regarding substantial compensation he earned outside his $180,000 taxpayer-paid position as director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    Which involves an ethical violation.

    But lets call people “conspiracy theorists” if they bring it up, shall we?

  23. dana1981 said

    Hint – that blue text in my last comment is a link. That means you can click on it, and it will wisk you away to another page where I provide further explanation.

  24. Carrick said

    Phil, I’ll be surprised if Dana replies, but my guess is the “conspiracy” is in NASA allegedly refusing to divulge potentially embarrassing documents. I guess Dana can’t imagine that NASA might not want to divulge the documents, not to protect the global warming crusaders, but rather just a standard bureaucratic CYA maneuver.

  25. Dana@23 – Hint – trolling for blog traffic is no better than spamming.

  26. Carrick said

    Thanks for the lesson on using URLs Dana. That was the most coherent contribution you’ve made to this discussion.

  27. Carrick said

    As near as I can make out, the gist of Dana’s argument is that by discussing the legal theory in the law suit, Jeff has become a conspiracy theorist.

    This is the best ad hominem Dana could come up with?

  28. dana1981 said

    Oh goodness.

    Carrick @24 – “Phil, I’ll be surprised if Dana replies” (3 minutes after I replied – hopefully drafted while I was replying).

    PhilJ @25 – suggests I’m “trolling for blog traffic” for a blog that’s not mine and that I’ve never contributed to

    Carrick @27 – “As near as I can make out, the gist of Dana’s argument is…” something Dana never said or suggested.

    Since I apparently have to spell it out, I don’t particularly care about the lawsuit in question. My issue is with the lie within the suit (propaged by Jeff by quoting it in this post) that Hansen got $720,000 in legal advice from Soros. If something comes out of the lawsuit, then we can talk. But the fact that there is a blatant lie within the lawsuit does not bode well for its accuracy or chances in court.

  29. TerryS said

    Re: Dana

    > I don’t particularly care about the lawsuit in question. My issue is with the lie within the suit (propaged by Jeff by quoting it in this post)

    Err.. So you are saying Jeff should have lied about the contents of the suit?
    Or… Everybody should conspire together to not mention the lawsuit since you believe it contains a lie?
    Or… Anybody who mentions the lawsuit is a conspiracy theorist?

    I have no knowledge about whether the contents of the lawsuit are true or false. I will leave it to a court to decide.

  30. Carrick said

    Dana, thank you for replying. ;-)

    I actually agree with you about the lawsuit, from what I know of it anyway. There is no problem with Jeff pointing out that the lawsuit was filed, nor with him forming his own opinion on it.

    None of this involves conspiracy theories. The closest I could come up with for a case that Jeff commenting on the lawsuit made him a conspiracy theorist (and I’m sure there are those who will do so)… was “something Dana never said”. Of course I labeled it as something you Dana never said too.

    Longwinded root to answer your question…it’s just you. SamT beat me too it.

  31. Don B said

    I am aware of a real estate transaction in which the US Government is being sold land for wildlife habitat. The seller, trying to speed the closing, offered to waive a fee the government was liable for under the contract; he was told that if that were done, everyone involved would be investigated to make sure a federal employee was not being bribed.

    Rock stars like Hansen live in another universe.

  32. 28.dana1981 said
    June 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    PhilJ @25 – suggests I’m “trolling for blog traffic” for a blog that’s not mine and that I’ve never contributed to

    Goodness indeed. SO you are now alleging that someone hijacked your name and posted to that blog? If I were you, I would be more concerned about the ID thief than your lack of comprehension of the English Language.

  33. Anonymous said

    In the federal government, there are conditions on outside income to prevent bribes of high officials–Hansen is sort of high up and may have some such conditions. If you have such restrictions you could get in trouble for taking money from political/advocacy groups, as some of his benefactors are. This includes pro bono legal advice.

  34. Re: Bruce (Jun 22 11:44),
    “What did Hansen do to need 720,000 in legal advice”
    It’s actually a good question that people inclined to attach any credibility to yet another outlandish claim from Horber might like to ponder. $720K would seem to imply major litigation.

    Here is Hansen’s account of the matter.

    So where did the 720,000 number come from? This is an ancient furphy from that other reliable source Newsbusters. Hansen spoke to a lawyer from GAP. GAP got a $100K grant from a Soros entity SOF. SOF had a total budget for the year of $720K for combatting “politicisation of science”. So, in this lala land, Hansen got $720K from Soros.

    ATI is off on another fishing expedition. And sending around photos of the fish in advance.

    Here is their long and rambling lawsuit. You might note that they don’t even allege there that Hansen received $720K. They merely allege that in 2007 an IBD editorial said so. That’s the sort of thing you folk are relying on.

  35. Jeff Id said

    Nick,

    As one with too much experience with lawsuits, large claims are not the exception but the rule. Both sides then work to the middle. If the FOI had been granted the suit wouldn’t have been filed.

    I wonder though if there is anyone who thinks setting up large monetary awards which can be given to random non-elected officials who support particular positions is an acceptable practice. After all, we in the US have no power to remove this clear idiot from office and he is being incented to expand his idiocy to our detriment.

  36. stevefitzpatrickzpatrick said

    Carrick,

    It’s the power to influence others that is truly the addictive intoxicant.

    I think it is more than that. For people of the left, like Hansen, the real intoxicant is the power to force people to live as you want them to… it is on a par with raising income taxes. Of course, those same restrictions on how you are allowed to live do not apply to rich, powerful, and influential leftists… like Al Gore, and to a lesser extent, even James Hansen. Al Gore bitching about how much CO2 we emit as he zooms all over the world in his personal jet is as bad as it gets.

  37. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Jeff,

    Not sure why, but entering my name sometimes leads WordPress to partially duplicate my name and jumble it. You seen this behavior before?

  38. Jeff Id said

    WordPress does a lot of fancy stuff. It is still the best free blog software out there IMHO but in having the free version, I have no ability to change much more than the look.

    It is difficult to find a 3 column look which is much better than this either.

  39. Jeff #35,
    “As one with too much experience with lawsuits, large claims are not the exception but the rule. Both sides then work to the middle.”
    That seems to be a good reason then for not hyping the filing of such a suit as “Hansengate takes off”.

  40. Bruce said

    Nick: “That’s the sort of thing you folk are relying on.”

    Actually, most skeptics love original data and documents. Why do you and your people want to keep them hidden?

  41. Frank K. said

    The heck with the graft and greed…Hansen gets a $180,000/year salary from NASA??? And that doesn’t count benefits and pension…I knew it was six fig

  42. Frank K. said

    [comment got cut off] …I knew it was six figures, but WOW… sounds like the stimulus money did some good after all!

  43. Jeff Id said

    Aw Nick, if you can’t have fun on a blog, what is left?

    Hansen is up to his ears in the program. I’ve named a half dozen insane quotes from an alleged scientist which even you wouldn’t want to defend (for fun). Now there is compiled evidence accusation of payoff. You simply cannot point to one aspect and say gee well it’s only fifty thousand or twenty thousand. The point is the collective and time will tell.

    You don’t compare CO2 with death trains and have a sane mind. In a realistic world, he would have been thrown to the street for that. You don’t publicly advocate illegal destruction of CO2 producing power plants and retain a high profile, high paid job. In a sane world that wouldn’t be allowed.

    The man is corrupt, selfish and evil in my opinion.

  44. RB said

    I don’t see what’s the big deal about his salary. He works in New York, has 40 years experience, plenty of awards before Republicans and Democrats decided to form different opinions about climate change and top state university professors get similar salaries.

  45. Jeff Id said

    #43

    Was that too strong :D

  46. timetochooseagain said

    44-The salary he kids paid is not the issue it’s the money on the side. Although frankly, if I were the one employing Hansen he’d be out of a job and not paid at all.

    Nick as usual is pointing to one claim and concluding that since it’s dubious, all of them must be wrong. Nick, I know you’re smart enough to have read fallacy files, so I won’t direct you there, I’ll just say that since you are not stupid, you are doing this on purpose, it’s pretty pathetic, and nobody is buying it except your fellow believers.

  47. Re: timetochooseagain (Jun 22 21:53),
    “Nick as usual is pointing to one claim and concluding that since it’s dubious, all of them must be wrong.”
    Well, lets look at the others:
    1. A shared $1 million prize from the Dan David Foundation
    A very public award. It was probably shared three ways. Many high profile awardees, eg Tony Blair.
    2. Yes, a Blue Planet prize – again, all highly public. Many other awardees in Hansen’s kind of position.
    3. Yes, the very public Sophie Prize.
    4. Speaking fees totaling $48,164 … Well, OK. Over how many years?
    5. A $15,000 participation fee, waived…
    That just means he was invited. Happens all the time.

    So remind me, what is actually wrong here? Should the awards not exist? Should Hansen refuse them? Do we object to awards in principle? Award bodies that don’t agree with us? Envy?

    And why do we need a court case to find out about them? And why is it news?

  48. Frank K. said

    RB said
    June 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    “I don’t see what’s the big deal about his salary…”

    Well I just wanted to thank him for showing us all in the real world of 9% unemployment how to make do with less in order to save “the planet”… And I bet he has a great bonus package too! What a guy!! THREE CHEERS FOR SELF-SACRIFICE!

  49. Dana said

    Scientists aren’t allowed to accept scientific awards, Nick. C’mon now, get your head screwed on right. Your tinfoil hat clearly keeps falling off.

  50. Re: Jeff Id (Jun 22 21:26),
    Since you asked, yes. I think Hansen is a fine and honorable man, and a first-rate scientist.

  51. Jeff Id said

    Nick,

    I believe your honesty, but don’t understand how you could make the statement ‘first rate’.

    Truly stunned.


    Nope, disappointed.

  52. Kan said

    Why not just release the good old Form 17-60 for Hanson. Nothing could be easier (it is in no way a matter of privacy). In this era of change, hope and more change, transparency was the number 1 goal.

  53. Re: Jeff Id (Jun 22 22:57),
    “but don’t understand how you could make the statement ‘first rate’.”
    Well, Jeff, all your “Hansengate” demonstrates is that a lot of others see it as I do.

  54. Jeff Id said

    Okay.

  55. Carrick said

    I like Hansen too (I think he’s a very smart guy). There are issues with respect to responsible conduct of scientists that I think he abuts against, if not crossing over and violating entirely.

    I’ve no problem with his salary.

    As to why we need a court case, because NASA is refusing to divulge the information freely, which they should have done from the start. No reason in the world for this not to be completely transparent.

  56. “because NASA is refusing to divulge the information freely”
    Divulge what information? That Hansen got awards?

  57. timetochooseagain said

    53-“lot of others see it as I do.” So a good ol’ boy network of backslapping leftist academics agrees with your gushing opinion about one of their fellow leftist academics? Wow you must feel so validated.

    56-The awards are “very public” according to you (which doesn’t make them any less disgustingly inappropriate) so obviously NASA is being asked to divulge information beyond merely that. But keep guessing and maybe you’ll have a sudden burst of insight.

  58. kuhnkat said

    Nick, I like the way you and Dana conflate what people like me read with what Jeff and other normal people talk about!! 8>)

    “That’s the sort of thing you folk are relying on.”

    Uh, no, What whackos like me rely on is that James “coal trains of death” Hansen went before congress in 1988, when there was only about 10 years of unadjusted satellite data and little else, and told the world that we were going to effectively burn up the world if we didn’t drastically reduce our CO2 output. Over 20 years later we have INCREASED our CO2 output and temps have stabilized for half of that time lreaving us matching his NO INCREASE scenario, but, y’all still try and tell us that he was right!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    But back to that CERTAINTY over 20 years ago. THAT is where the conspiracy theories come from. Why was Hansen so positive? How did Congressional members hear about him to invite him and his toy model to Washington?? What did they think they were going to accomplish, and, since we are talking about WASHINGTON DC, who thought they could profit from it and how?? What happened that such a PROPHETIC NUTJOB was able to keep his job at an alledgedly hard science group and carve out an empire where he had control over one of the primary records that would support or kill his prophecies???

    Y’all wouldn’t know a real conspiracy if it bit you in the…

  59. Mescalero said

    A word of caution here, because I’m a long-time veteran of NASA and aerospace industry related ethics situations.
    If Hansen fully disclosed his activities and compensations on the required forms, as I would have been required to do,
    there aren’t any problems. What can the critics say if Hansen contributed some or all of this non-NASA compensation
    to charitable causes?

    I think the bigger questions are the following: (1) how did Hansen charge his time to support these events, and (2) are
    there questions regarding unprofessional conduct? The answer to (2) is a no brainer–many of his actions can be
    easily written up as unprofessional conduct. The answer to (1) requires access to his weekly time charge records, and
    it isn’t clear to me that access to these records have been demanded in this lawsuit. Then there is his organization’s
    involvement with the Real Climate blog, a far bigger bone of legal contention that needs investigation.

  60. timetochooseagain said

    58-“How did Congressional members hear about him to invite him and his toy model to Washington?” Kuhnkat, I think I can answer that. The Senators who did the inviting were, as I understand it, Al Gore and Tim Worth. Now, Al Gore apparently became obsessed with environmentalism and global warming while flunking divinity school, learning from a professor who was later not so enthusiastic about all this business. At any rate, in cozy with a lot of environmentalist groups and going around hunting for academics who shared his particular brand of insanity, Gore and Worth and Hansen all stumbled upon one-another at some point and it was a match made in heaven, and the rest is history. Really it’s not at all hard for these kinds of things to happen, when the parties involved are (independently!) all seeking the same things, not a conspiracy at all, just the invisible hand of the leftist heavily subsidized marketplace of “ideas”.

  61. kuhnkat said

    And by the way, I wonder what Nick would be arguing if Lindzen, Ball, Spencer or some of the other gentlemen called sceptics and deniers had gotten similar monetary gain from the Koch Bros or Big Oil funded groups and the Alarmists were attacking them for being bought!!

    Well Nick, have you defended any sceptics or deniers accused of receiving money?? It would look really good for yoiu right now if you could point to a thread where you had defended the other side as doggedly as you are defending these Alarmists.

  62. Well, KK #61
    Lindzen received the Leo Huss Wallin prize in 2006, roughly equivalent to the Sophie prize. And no, I didn’t defend him. For the simple reason that no-one, AFAIK, attacked him.

  63. Carrick,
    NASA’s reasons for refusal are here. They sound pretty right to me. They argue that the items are personnel records for which an exemption exists. It is possible for ATI to argue that public interest (in what?) overrides personal privacy, but NASA says that they didn’t make that case adequately.

    They are clearly aware that it will go to court – personally, I’d back NASA lawyers against these ATI characters any day.

  64. kuhnkat said

    TimeToChooseAgain,

    I am not trying to PROVE a conspiracy here. Just pointing to the types of things that would attract accusations of conspiracy. Yet, the fact that conspirators met accidentally doesn’t detract from the conspiracy. I tend to think that whether we can consider it a conspiracy or not they were looking for fellow travellers. There is only specualtion that some shadowy group was assisting these people in meeting.

    Another dig here for conspiracists is the alledged issue around Mann’s Doctorate. Alledgedly he was stuck and he hooked up with a Climate type who smoothed the bumps for him. The next thing you know Mann, who had not studied Paleoclimatology was the dahlink of the community with the hottest paper out being touted by the IPCC and erasing e-mails and passing the orders on at the behest of Phil Jones. Such is the stuff of conspiracy theories. How did this man go from a nobody to one of the pillars of Goreball Warming so quickly?? Why would his paper get the softball treatment required to make it into a reputable publication?? What made him think that he would get softball treatment coming from the outside?? Just taking a chance?

    Most damning of all, I bet if Jeff plotted Mann’s earnings it would be a…. wait for it……… HOCKEYSTICK!!!

  65. kuhnkat said

    Nick,

    I guess you must not go to those blogs where he was being attacked. Should I find links for you??

  66. kuhnkat said

    Nick,

    thanks for the link to the Leo Huss Walin page!! My kind of whackjobs.

    “The politicization of science has created widespread acceptance of highly questionable ideas in certain areas of natural sciences and medicine. This phenomenon is obviously greatly harmful to science, but even more so for society which suffers substantial damage from questionable or incorrect advice emanating from the scientific community. “

  67. Bart said

    Jeff,

    If you find the quoted salary for one of the world’s most eminent climate scientist outrageous, I wonder what you think of some banker’s salary. Are you perhaps a socialist in disguise I wonder?

  68. Lynn Clark said

    #60 Timetochooseagain:

    Tim Wirth’s last name is spelled with an ‘i’, not an ‘o’.

    And what about Wirth’s admission that they opened all the windows in the hearing room the night before Hansen’s scheduled testimony so that the air conditioning wouldn’t be able to keep the room at a comfortably cool temperature during the hearing? Anything’s fair in the name of saving the planet and humanity, right?

  69. kim said

    Worse, Lynn, I believe the only way we know about that particularly sinestral manipulation is that Wirth bragged about it to a television reporter. Shoots paw.
    =====================

  70. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    I don’t have any problem with the quoted NASA salary; it actually seems relatively modest for the position (although the retirement benefits boost the total significantly). Lots of university professors make a lot more than $180K.

    Nick Stokes: Looks like in 2010 Mr. Hansen pocketed close to US$1 million in prizes. Combined with his long term employment by NASA (with generous retirement benefits), he should be financially secure. This might be a good time for him to move into retirement. Then he could just do some speaking engagements for generous fees, some environmental protests (you know, the CO2 death trains), maybe write a book or two for the faithful, and play a lot more with his grandchildren. Heck, he could even fly around in Al Gore’s private jet to attend international AGW negotiations!

    He sure doesn’t want to be scientifically active if climate sensitivity turns out to be under 2 C per doubling. That would be embarrassing. Seems a good time for him to exit… stage left.

  71. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Jeff #43, #45,

    I don’t agree with corrupt and evil. I am sure his intentions are good.

    But he is a self-promoter, and strikes me as moderately delusional, and of course, is more than a bit nutty. I think it very likely that he has inhibited real scientific progress over the last 15 or so years, especially WRT a better definition of climate sensitivity. I really do wish he would just retire. But I don’t think he will.

  72. RB said

    Steve,
    Jeff also thinks Obama is evil, in the same class as bin Laden is evil. Not different from “either you are with us or you are against us.”

  73. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    RB,

    Mr. Obama is a committed socialist. His primary goals are ever increasing public control/supervision of private action and greater equity in distribution of wealth (AKA wealth transfer). His political philosophy is that of Jimmy Carter… but with a more polished presentation. Even though I strenuously disagree with Mr. Obama about his political philosophy and goals, I don’t believe that makes him evil.

    But I am sure there are people who would consider Mr. Obama ‘evil’, just as there are those who consider, say, Ronald Reagan to have been fundamentally ‘evil’. I don’t think that kind of moral characterization is helpful, since it makes political compromise more difficult.

  74. kim said

    The Master of Light
    Was Goethe not this sad one.
    My fist is fuller.
    ==========

  75. Beth Cooper said

    F.A.Hayek in ‘The Road to Serfdom,’first published in 1944, makes some comments that apply to Climate ‘science’ today. He describes the importance of creating a myth to justify collective support as an essential feature of totalitarian movements,(chapter 11,’The End of Truth.’) A pseudo scientific theory becomes an important part of the official creed to direct everyones action. Once science has to serve a class, a community or a state, instead of truth to evidence,the sole task of argument is to vindicate and propogate the official science. This leads to a general intellectual climate of complete cynicism with regard to the spirit of independent inquiry and truth.

  76. timetochooseagain said

    62-Lindzen is not an employee of the Federal government.

    67-Bankers salaries are not paid by the government. I think Hansen and every government employee makes too much money being a government employee. How much one makes that you have actually earned in the eyes of consumers of one’s good/service and the policy of one’s company, if successful, I have no problem with and nor does Jeff. A socialist would be someone like you, who thinks the Banker should be robbed to pay some government employee whose work is not worth jack squat to the private market place, so by definition worthless.

    64 & 68-The definition of a conspiracy:

    1. the act of conspiring.
    2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
    3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
    4. Law . an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
    5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

    Individuals acting independently in their own interest, even if it is to use government power to stop the rest of us from doing the same, is not a conspiracy. It is insidious. But not a conspiracy.

  77. Jeff Id said

    #72,

    RB, I get into enough trouble without people putting words in my mouth for me. ;)

  78. We are like blind men examining the elephant and trying to decide what it really looks like.

    During our study, we rely on binary thinking skills to label others in the AGW story as either good guys or bad guys. George Orwell has already forecast that we will all arrive at the same conclusion that Winston did in the book, “1984”:

    “Winston, now free, sits at the Chestnut Tree Café, where dismissed Party members go to drink. He enjoys a glass of Victory Gin and watches the telescreen. He accepts everything the Party says and does. Without acknowledging it to himself, he can still smell the rats. On the table, Winston traces “2 + 2 = 5” in the dust.”

  79. Reference for quote:

    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/1984/section10.rhtml

  80. RB said

    Jeff #77, I believe I put your own words “to take out an even more evil man” in your mouth.

  81. timetochooseagain said

    80- Even if one believes Obama is not the least bit evil, surely this does not change the fact that Bin Laden was more evil? 0< +number after all. ;)

  82. Jeff Id said

    RB,

    Thanks for the clarification. I wonder why I don’t think the same way you told me?

    I’ll work harder to follow your guidelines in the future.

  83. RB said

    Jeff,
    It would be hard to believe that one could describe Obama as “evil” and bin Laden in the same breath as “more evil”. I suppose that likewise, with Hansen, your usage of “evil” means something entirely different from common usage, probably similar to -and my words- people I “like” and people I “hate”.

  84. stan said

    You have to love the reactionary instincts of a true lefty like Bart (67). Just can’t help it. Banker’s are private. We may be appalled at the pay of all kinds of folks — CEOs, athletes, actors, hedge fund operators, bankers et al, but private ain’t public and the distinction makes all the difference in the world.

    Bart — I’ve read the socialist question you ask Jeff four times and it still makes no sense at all.

  85. Carrick said

    Steve F:

    I don’t agree with corrupt and evil. I am sure his intentions are good.

    I think he is corrupted to some extent…by the spotlight and the attention he’s received.

    People start believing their own press releases after a while, if they mentally block out everything that disagrees with their own views.

  86. stan said

    re: 76 on conspiracy — looking at option 5, people can be part of a conspiracy without directly communicating or working together (i.e. acting independently). A simple concurrence in action is sufficient. If I see you chasing after someone with the obvious intent of hurting him and I stick my foot out and trip him thereby helping you, I have joined with you (even if I’ve never met you or even seen you before).

    If some people fudge data, exaggerate claims, interfere with peer review, slander opponents, etc. and others, after observing all this, choose to join in the same activities, we can conclude they are part of a conspiracy (within the general use of the term) even if they do not communicate or directly coordinate with the others. It is sufficient that they concur in the actions. Indeed, mere silence could be enough, if there was some expectation that they would ordinarily object.

    Different example — let’s assume that a newspaper editor (we’ll call him say … Ben) comes into possession of information that would be devastating to a president (let’s call him say …. John). And suppose he would ordinarily be expected to publish the story because of its national importance. But he chooses to suppress the story because he knows John needs it suppressed and he is a friend and supporter of John’s. I would say Ben’s suppression of the story meets the 5th definition of conspiracy by concurrence even the he doesn’t “act” at all. We can think of all kinds of similar examples where police or govt officials fail to act in accordance with their duties in furtherance of a conspiracy. Even without communication with the miscreats — often times they simply know what is expected of them.

  87. timetochooseagain said

    86-I actually find definition 5 to be, first, a very rare use of the word conspiracy (that’s why it is not even close to the primary definition). Second, when people speak of a “conspiracy theory” they surely don’t refer to such a ludicrously broad definition as 5, under which almost anything could be called a conspiracy.

    The point is that it is indeed paranoid and unnecessary to suggest that a conspiracy of the more typical kind must be the explanation of, well, almost anything, but climate shenanigans in particular. Especially since one can explain (but not excuse!) these things with much more reasonable “theories”.

  88. Jeff Id said

    RB, I am very unhappy with the direction that Obama is taking the US. It will cost people their lives. Especially poor people. Also, the US is/was the only hope for free people on this rock. Europe is lost to socialism and not turning back. Just look at Greece if you need an example of how the population/government reacts to overspending and government nanny systems. The government just grabs ever more. Hansen is an instrument to that goal, he is an overpaid advocate for leftism in a powerful government position. It is my very firm belief that he knows he is overstating the problem of AGW for specific political goals. It is also my belief that these awards are a form of quid-pro-quo for unelected officials.

    Thus the group is dishonestly directing events toward the brink entrapping ever more of the population with every ‘gift’, bailout, social program since Obama took office. Were it done without such intended devastation, it wouldn’t be evil, but it is intended. No matter what tax level they extract, the programs cannot be supported and the country will be bankrupt. I think that those who can’t see the Alinsky style plan are fools, and I know those of you think I’m crazy. You can’t spend this much without an economic disaster, does anyone expect government to cut itself at that point? It won’t, ask greece. The population riots when they even suggest it, plan fulfilled.

    The world is a harsh place, liberals need to realize that nothing comes for free and the government should be there only for emergency, not for every aspect of our lives. Individually, your results may vary depending on skill effort and luck. Collectively, we have nothing.

  89. Jeff Id said

    #87 When I read conspiracy, I think of a group plan, not evil plan just plan. Perhaps that is my own bias but definition 5 is a valid one IMHO. In my 88, many would define it as a conspiracy under def 2,3,4 but I don’t see it that way. Large groups of people still believe in collectivism and redistribution as a good idea. Whole media organizations are formed around developing these thoughts and maintaining them across the world. They believe in what they are doing despite all evidence to the contrary. Politicians conspire under definition 5 all the time. There is no law breaking, no fraud, not even bad intent excepting that a few eggs might break, but there is a collective plan and an agenda to weaken and control the success of capitalism to be replaced by any variety of central controls. No it isn’t written or controlled by some dude in a dark room, but it is groups of people working toward a common goal.

  90. RB said

    Jeff,
    Don’t have too much time right now, but I think that government could do more to spend less during good times and should be counter-cyclical during bad times. I believe that the U.S. is experiencing something similar to Japan, but on an accelerated time scale where the first ten years of Japan in the 90s has so far been collapsed into two years for the U.S. because the stimulus hasn’t so far been stop and start like for the Japanese. I also believe that but for government efforts to stem the collapse, we would have experienced a full breakdown of the system. I don’t expect anybody on this blog to agree with any of this. I also believe there is a limit to how much the government can take on that can be serviced by a growing economy, I don’t know where the limit lies, but what we have is similar to 1940s America in terms of percentage of GDP and the deficit naturally goes down as the economy starts growing again. I also think the bond market perceives this spending to be responsible which is why we haven’t seen a yield tick-up and when worldwide stock markets turn down, the U.S. treasuries are still the go-to safe asset. I’m sure when the economy starts growing again, we’ll have volatile bursts of high inflation, but if the concern is about a growing economy, that would be a good thing. For what it’s worth, Obama isn’t seen by the left as one of them either – for his banking bailouts, support for intrusive monitoring, belated troop withdrawals and for splitting the middle in his stimulus plans between tax cuts and government spending.

  91. RB said

    “…the group is dishonestly directing events toward the brink entrapping ever more of the population..””
    I wouldn’t call the banking sector leftists.

  92. Mark T said

    Definite ignorance of economics… shame, really, because it is this same ignorance that pervades our political leaders (not just dems) and is exacerbating the crisis we are currently experiencing. How many times must we beat our heads against the wall before noticing that’s why our foreheads are bleeding? So what’s it going to take, the US devaluing the dollar and its elimination as the world’s reserve currency before finally we get it?

    MMark

  93. Jeff Id said

    RB,

    “I wouldn’t call the banking sector leftists.”
    “support for intrusive monitoring,”

    There are a large group of people who missed the transition of the liberal party to what it is today. They have no interest in personal freedom, rights, or privacy, other than for drugs and sex. I’ve heard the same nonsense over and over and often wonder when people will wake up to what they are doing. The republican party is the almost same thing in different clothing. I consider the republicans of today a slower path to the same result.

  94. RB @91 – I would. I would not call them socialists or communists. But you have to realize there is a big difference between an entrepreneur (one who builds a big company) and an MBA. The latter really could not start a company if they had to, but they are charged with running them. Which means maximizing profits. Now there are basically 2 ways to do that. One is to out compete the competition. But refer back to my earlier statement about them not being able to start a company. out competing is similar to starting one, so most do not opt for that route. The other way is to eliminate the competition. And how do you do that if you are not going to beat them in the marketplace? Get Government to do it for you. So they suck up to whomever is in power (or who they think will be). So in 04 they were “rightists” and in 08 they were “leftists”.

    Small companies are generally conservative. large corporations are merely parasites of power.

  95. Anonymous said

    Carrick #85,
    “People start believing their own press releases after a while, if they mentally block out everything that disagrees with their own views.”
    Yes, and especially senior scientists who are relatively well known, as both Charles Munger and Thomas Kuhn noted some time ago.

  96. hum said

    73.Steve Fitzpatrick said
    June 23, 2011 at 9:43 am
    RB,

    Mr. Obama is a committed socialist. His primary goals are ever increasing public control/supervision of private action and greater equity in distribution of wealth (AKA wealth transfer). His political philosophy is that of Jimmy Carter… but with a more polished presentation. Even though I strenuously disagree with Mr. Obama about his political philosophy and goals, I don’t believe that makes him evil.

    Steve, as is typical with these people is that they do not want their income or wealth impacted, just everyone else. The Obama’s have earned millions in the last several years from book royalties and he has given some to charity unlike his VP Biden who has given almost nothing. However if Obama really believed in helping the poor or equalizing he would give all of the money he has made outside of his 1/2 million a year that he will earn for the rest of his life courtesy all of us. Even at that if he really believed he would give most of that 1/2 million and live on less than 100,000. Families can still live pretty good at 100,000.

    The fact that these people do not do this while they lecture all the rest of us about how unfair our system is, is hypocritical to an extreme. These people use poor people as tools to gain political power and wealth. “If you vote for me I will take care of you and make the rich pay their fair share”. They could care less about the poor, they just want the vote. If they really cared all like minded liberals could pool their money and implement what they are talking about and show the rest of us how their way works so well. That has and will never happen. Why? Because they don’t care about anyone but themselves. I would like any liberal that responds to this to tell me why if they are truly committed to their beliefs, they don’t start now. Why do they have to wait for the rest of us. If the benefit is really there wouldn’t 1/2 the benefit right away be a lot better than nothing. Come on, show the rest of us the way. Anybody want to take bets on whether this will happen?

    Sorry Jeff, there is my rant for the month.

  97. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Jeff #88,

    You seem pretty negative about the future… you make it sound like three wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Individual freedoms and individual liberty are very difficult to maintain in the long term; history makes that much clear. Is there a way to avoid de facto socialism? I am not certain, but I fear there may not be. Your comment, “your results may vary depending on skill effort and luck” is the crux of the issue; many people consider big differences in results immoral, and consistently support ever more government involvement in economic activities. They are the wolves.

  98. Craig Loehle said

    There seems to be some confusion as to why this is important. There are regulations designed to keep higher up government officials from being bribed. It can be unclear who is a “high up” and who is simply a well-paid researcher. The dividing line is more or less whether you can influence policy, legislation, or contracts. When I worked for the gov’t 22 yrs ago, they extended the restrictions (in the wake of a scandal) to everyone, so when I gave a short course I could only accept a coffee mug as payment, no honorarium. Those earning extra income raising dogs or farming were ok, since it was not related to their work. Then they relaxed it for low level people. But much of the money Hansen has gotten is from advocacy/policy groups, especially his pro bono legal advice (still reportable and still a problem). Just calling it a “prize” does not get him off the hook. If Hansen works for Columbia university then government rules may or may not apply to him. It is not so obvious. If he is a NASA employee posted at Columbia, they do.

  99. I doubt if anyone involved the AGW story is “bad.”

    They simply took government money, reported what the government wanted told, and conveniently overlooked conflicting data and observations.

    The US government has paid well for this same practice in the space science community since at least the mid-1970s.

    E.g., at the birth of the Solar System every atom of primordial helium was accompanied by “strange xenon” (Xe-2) with the heaviest isotope, Xe-136, enriched by a factor of ~2 relative to normal xenon (Xe-1):

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1975Data.htm

    Researchers at the University of Chicago discovered this [Science 190 (1975) 1251 & 1262]. A violent supernova birth of the Solar System was implied [Trans. Missouri Academy Sci. 9 (1975) 104; Science 195 (1977); Nature 277 (1979) 615, etc.]

    Although confirmed by numerous analysis of meteorites and the plunge of the Galileo probe into Jupiter’s He-rich atmosphere in 1995, this empirical fact is still ignored.

    The climate scandal sprouted from this historical misinformation about Earth’s heat source – the Sun.

  100. harrywr2 said

    Dana said
    June 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Scientists aren’t allowed to accept scientific awards, Nick?

    It’s not that he is a scientist, he is a Federal Employee.
    The rules as to what a Federal Employee may accept is quite burdensome.

    http://www.justice.gov/jmd/ethics/generalf.htm#6

    “An employee may not receive compensation — including travel expenses for transportation and lodging — from any source other than the Government for teaching, speaking or writing that relates to the employee’s official duties. “

  101. David JP said

    Jeff and all,

    Did you read this?
    June 2011: PSIA – New American Socialism

    That is the first time I’ve seen history described in a different way. Interesting, so I’ll pass it along.

  102. Thanks, David (101), for the link to “New American Socialism”.

    A more fitting name might be “New World Totalitarianism”.

    It seems to have sprouted about the time Henry Kissinger took President Richard Nixon to China in 1972 to meet Chinese Chairman Mao. The Cuban Missile crisis apparently convinced Henry Kissinger and many world leaders that they would all die in a full scale exchange of nuclear weapons if they didn’t find a way to end nationalism and national boarders.

    1972 is about the time I started noticing a great reluctance of NAS and space scientists funded by NASA to “see” evidence that the solar system formed directly from poorly mixed supernova debris. By 1976 they started “overlooking” evidence of linked chemical and isotopic variations in the material that formed the entire solar system.

  103. Geoff Sherrington said

    PhilJourdan said immaturely “Small companies are generally conservative. large corporations are merely parasites of power.”

    I built a small company at 29 years of age. Later I worked in management of a medium-large company by world standards. I find your comment uninformed and would assume it is guesswork, not experience, derived from reading too many opinion peices. Here’s an exercise for you that is more or less on topic about supplemented income. Dig into public sources and calculate the “donations” or similar help in kind that large corporations to private people voluntarily give each year to the public from their profits or disposable income. I can tell you that if this type of support for the underprivileged was to stop and be taken up in full by governments, there would suddenly be a most substantial new budget item. My concern derived from earlier posts here is that too many of these ‘voluntary donations’ are being channeled not to the needy, but to the greedy, as semi-intangible payback.

    Think down the road a little. A corporation makes a billion dollars a year net profit. Do you think it is turned into coin ad tossed into a pit so that directors and sharholders can swim in it like Scrooge McDuck? No, it is invested back into the community. It helps people. Be careful when you bite the hand that feeds you. I have no idea what you mean by “parasites of power.”

  104. Kan said

    The response from NASA regarding the issue of Gavin Schmidt and form 17-60 in the FOIA is especially choice.

    Basically it says “sue us”. ATI did. Tax dollars stimulating new jobs.

  105. Geoff Sherrington @103 – My statements are hardly ill informed, nor born out of opinion pieces. My opinion is based upon first hand observation and experience. Your response, once you got the puffery out of the way, was totally non-sequitur. I said nothing about corporate Philanthropy. Only how the corporation behaves in a political sense. You can argue that Immelt is not an anal clone of Obama, but few will heed you since his positioning of his head makes the 2 of them look like a human centipede. And he is but one of the examples of the large corporation. On the other hand, it is the small business man who is hurting the most due to the socialistic policies of the current administration, and they are the ones complaining the loudest (falling on deaf ears as it is). Immelt never created anything. He RUNS one of the largest companies in the world. That was my distinction and I stand by it.

    Just a word of advice – 1st rule of debate – debate the issue on the table – not the issue you wish it to be.

  106. Jeff Id said

    PhilJourdan,

    I’m not taking sides in the discussin but I don’t believe that Geoff was referring to philanthropy, but rather expansion of operations.

  107. Jeff Id @106 – I was taking his “donations” and how if it would be “replaced” by government as the “philanthropy” that I mentioned. I did not argue about whether large corporations gave money to the communities they serve, only that one should not assume just because they are “business” (or banking as that is what started the thread) they are conservative politically.

  108. timetochooseagain said

    I could care less about the political beliefs of a company, regardless of it’s size; it is a good if it does not try to use the political system to distort the market to it’s advantage, bad if it does try to get the political system to exercise state power to give it an advantage. Size of the company somewhat correlates with this, but the size of the company itself is not the inherent problem with it’s political capitalism, the problem is that it does not play fair and try to honestly compete in the free market.

  109. Mark F said

    108: Every country in the world uses its power to gain advantage for their corporations and other wealth-generators. Every government in the world is subject to lobbying by one means or another, to establish and maintain favorable trading conditions for same. Usually, the most effective wealth-generators (or political power generators) are the ones gaining favor from their governments. Call it capitalism or anything you wish – the practices transcend political labels – it’s all about power, and this means it’s all about wealth. China, Russia and Iran are just as adept at it as are the countries in the so-called capitalistworld. The world is full of “not so nice” people, far worse than Americans or Capitalists – get over it.

  110. timetochooseagain said

    109-I didn’t call it capitalism (ie free market capitalism, because it isn’t) I called it political capitalism. I don’t know what you could want me to get over, perhaps the fact that this practice exists? If so, well no way! I won’t stop until this practice is wiped out, at least in the US, were it is significant, even if not as much as other parts of the world.

    I think your comment however is directed at a misunderstanding of my post, not what I actually meant.

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