NSF grants $700,000 for theater production on climate change

The Great Immensity A New Play (with Music) Tackling Our Planet's Future

Get your tickets!  The National Science Foundation has awarded $700,000 to the Civilians, a New York theater company for a great new show on climate change.  From the New York Times Arts Briefly (required reading for fly-over country):

“The Great Immensity,” with a book by Steven Cosson (“This Beautiful City”) and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”), tells the story of Polly, a photojournalist who disappears while working in the rain forests of Panama. The grant is a rare gift to an arts organization from the foundation, a federal agency that pays for science, engineering and mathematics research and education.

More information from Princeton:

Drawing on interviews with botanists, paleontologists, climatologists, indigenous community leaders, polar bear tour guides and trappers, The Great Immensity” gives voice to people whose stories make the reality of the present crisis accessible in fresh and compelling ways.

Rare gift?  That pretty much sums it up.  I suspect Return to Almora, published by IPCC UN Climate Chief Dr. Pachauri will be green-lighted for a Broadway production soon.

Click for more photos from his book release

Update:  Appropriate citation to Tom Nelson, who was first with this good news (Sunday at 6:30)…

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81 thoughts on “NSF grants $700,000 for theater production on climate change

  1. The ecochondriacs seem to have given up on using scientific arguments. It’s all propaganda from here on out.

  2. It’s a good job you in the USA have lots of spare taxpayers’ money to throw around. We in the UK have no spare taxpayers’ money and can only afford little 10:10 videos.

  3. And here’s what our tax dollars are buying…

    Project deliverables include the development and testing of online content, podcasts, and videos as well as special community education and outreach efforts in each community where the play is staged. Performances will be accompanied by post-performance panel discussions with the artists, local scientists and policy makers. After the completion of the initial tour, the play will be published, licensed, and made available to other theaters to produce independently.

    Clearly, the great recession has not reached the National Science Foundation…

  4. This is very frustrating. $700,000 of OUR money wasted on a theatrical production (is it kabuki?) concerning something that may or may not be a problem. I believe most of us could do more good in this world with $700,000.
    Think about the size of that amount of money for a bit. That is a LOT of money to give for a theatrical production from a science organization. The most infuriating thing to me is that it is for what amounts to indoctrination, not education. Under what authority does the NSF fund theatrical troupes? For that kind of money I could provide several children with a college level education in the sciences which would do this country more good than a play.
    This is theft of the taxpayer’s money plain and simple.

  5. If I was a US taxpayer, I would seriously look at a class action lawsuit. If putting on Broadway plays constitutes science education then the NSF has too long a leash.
    Or perhaps I should lobby my Physics department to give me credit in my statics & dynamics class for watching Fiddler on the Roof.

  6. Can’t wait for the number:”Springtime for Pachauri “. Or “Bombs over unbeleivers.”..

  7. What a hoot! Roger Sr is having problems getting grants from the NSF but Andrew Lloyd Webber would be a shoe in.

  8. I suppose this 700K grant is out of the, what’s it, 700, 800 billion, or 1 trillion stimulus money? A fine way to get the economy rebounding. But there’s a silver lining: once the play opens it’ll be our turn to say, ‘it’s worse than we thought’.

  9. I’m waiting for the stage adaption of this 10:10 video spoof. The scary thing is that far too many of THEM think along these lines.

  10. Surely the charter for NSF does not allow them to give money to theatrical productions! Someone has to be held responsible for this. Who is it? And who should we complain to? The General Accountability Office? The GAO is the investigative arm of Congress charged with examining matters relating to the receipt and payment of public funds. Or should we complain to our local Congressmen and women?
    I don’t know the answer, perhaps we should be complaining to both.
    The Acting Comptroller General who runs GAO is Gene L. Dodaro.
    By mail: Government Accountability Office
    441 G St., NW
    Washington, DC 20548
    By phone: (202) 512-3000 (Locator)
    By email: contact@gao.gov

  11. Stumbled across this wee gem today,
    It’s O/T, but wanted to share.
    Unfortunately I don’t know who the author is so I can’t hat-tip them.
    ………….
    Moderator; Welcome to the 25th annual global warming debate. The score now stands at 17 wins for the warmists, and 8 for the sceptics, though I must note that the sceptics have won the last 5 in succession. As as a gesture of goodwill, given they lost the the last round, first comment goes to the warmist side.
    Warmist; CO2 emissions are causing the earth to warm up. The physics of this process are well known, and the result is that the planet’s temperature will continue to accelerate upwards, causing a catastrophe unless we act immediately to curb emissions.
    Skeptic; The well known physics of CO2 includes the fact that the warming effect of CO2 is logarithmic, and so subject to the law of diminishing returns. The amount of CO2 required to cause catastrophic warming is many times what we are capable of producing.
    Warmist; But the effects of CO2 are tripled or worse by positive feedback from water vapour.
    Skeptic; If that were true, the earth would have experienced catastrophic warming multiple times already, and it hasn’t. You are ignoring the negative feedbacks while extrapolating positive feedbacks for which there is no evidence.
    Warmist; The evidence of catastrophic change is already upon us, polar bears for example are going extinct.
    Skeptic; The polar bear population has tripled in the last decade…
    Warmist; Just because their population is increasing doesn’t mean they’re not going extinct. And warming has already caused increases in sea level that are swamping island atolls.
    Skeptic; Island atolls float. The only reason they are being swamped is the amount of buildings being constructed on top of them.
    Warmist; Sea level rise will only get worse as the warming accelerates, which it is. Consider the historical temperature record in this graph…
    Skeptic; That graph? The one based on 7 trees from Siberia with 50% of the weighting from just one of them? I have 51 reconstructions from around the world, each based on dozens of samples or more, that show a completely different picture.
    Warmist; Those 51 reconstructions were debunked by this reconstruction which appeared on the front cover of the prestigious IPCC AR4 report.
    Skeptic; Isn’t that the one where the researchers replaced part of the reconstruction with thermometer readings instead of tree ring data because the tree rings diverged from the theory? How is it that you can dismiss the last 60 years of tree ring data as being faulty while claiming that the other 1000 years are accurate?
    Warmist; You clearly don’t understand science. The temperature record from GISS clearly shows the earth has never been warmer.
    Skeptic; Can we see the raw data that went into that temperature record along with how the values were adjusted and the final results arrived at?
    Warmist; No.
    Skeptic; Why not? What have you to hide?
    Warmist; As I said before, you clearly don’t understand science so there is no point showing it to you.
    Skeptic; Well we departed from actual scientific discussion when you brought up polar bears extinction…
    Warmist; Exactly my point. Studies indicate that people with skeptic viewpoints are lacking in education, are intellectually deficient, or are psychopaths who care little about humanity, so you keep dismissing the graphs and charts on flimsy excuses.
    Skeptic; Flimsy excuses? You are proposing that we constrain the world economy, endanger the food supply, and sink the global standard of living to levels that will most certainly result in the death of millions based on data you won’t show me, anecdotal stories about polar bears that upon investigation are completely false, and reports that I dismiss because they are based on ridiculous notions like the worldwide temperature being represented by a single tree in Siberia, and you accuse me of flimsy excuses?
    Warmist; Precisely. You are psychologically incapable of evaluating the science objectively due to your defective upbringing and education. There may even be a genetic component to your psychosis, though evidence that skeptic views are increasing amongst the population suggests that these traits are more wide spread than previously thought. In order to safe guard humanity, it may be necessary to take steps to control sceptics in order to prevent them from destroying the rest of us.
    Skeptic; Uhm… that sounds like a threat.
    Warmist; Being defective in terms of upbringing and intelligence, it is not a surprise that you perceive a threat where none was made.
    Skeptic; Fine. Then explain to me what you meant.
    Warmist; Well, we’ve invented this little grey box with a red button on top (shows box), and when we press the button (presses button)
    Skeptic; (explodes, spattering blood and gore across the stage)
    Moderator; Oh my!
    Warmist; Having presented a robust scientific explanation of the effects of CO2, backed up by robust studies demonstrating the correlation with accelerating temperatures which will have catastrophic effects on humanity according to a myriad of robust scientific models, which sceptics are psychologically incapable of understanding, and have failed to rebut in this debate, the science is settled, and culling of the human population by those of us who do understand is required in order to save us from ourselves.
    Moderator; But…
    Warmist; (brandishes little box with button)
    Moderator; (hastily) I declare the debate resolved in favour of the warmists. This is a victory for science.
    Warmist; (brandishes little box)
    Moderator; (gulps) I meant a ROBUST victory for science. There is no further need for debate.[10/10]

  12. Great, almost a million dollars.
    We have two wars, unemployment reaching near 10%, budget deficits at unprecedented levels, and therre is money to spend on this ?
    Propaganda to support the dying AGW facade?
    Incredible, US citizens, remember November !
    -Jay

  13. “Drawing on interviews with botanists, paleontologists, climatologists, indigenous community leaders, polar bear tour guides and trappers, “The Great Immensity” gives voice to people whose stories make the reality of the present crisis accessible in fresh and compelling ways.”
    So they’ll be scouring the planet looking for anyone who has experienced a drought, a flood, a melting glacier or anything else. Every time there’s a dead polar bear, they’ll trot someone out to show the ravages of climate change – sorry climate disruption. No bit of ice that melts, nor heatwave, nor drought, flood, earthquake or solar eclipse will escape their notice. Be prepared for a flood of alarmist anecdotes, and a drought of common sense.

  14. Hey, everybody, let’s look on the bright side. This leaves the door wide open for a $700,000 NSF grant for a counter-balancing theatrical viewpoint.

  15. @crosspatch…..Sen Inhofe may be interested in this, but is most definately interested in the enormous sums of taxpayor money spent by NASA, GISS and CRU producing agenda driven science. If the republicans take the Senate in November, the ensuing senatorial hearings into the “science” produced by these entities will be “the show to end all shows”.

  16. Agitprop. “Political propaganda (especially communist) communicated through art, literature or cinema.” November 2 can’t come soon enough.

  17. evanmjones says:
    October 4, 2010 at 9:25 am
    – I do object when it’s pubic money.
    Even worse when it’s public money.

  18. Mark says ; ‘I’m waiting for the stage adaption of this 10:10 video spoof.’
    Just make sure you look under your seat before settling down!

  19. No worries, it’s just another case of “social promotion’s” fruits, only this time right from Nursery School on up. They’re all still stuck exactly at Children’s Cartoon ‘grade level’ so it’s really “Educational Justice!” [you ignorant rednecks].

  20. And I bet y’all haven’t considered the boost the play will give to the self-esteem of the Muslim Nations!

  21. “Drawing on interviews with botanists, paleontologists, climatologists, indigenous community leaders, polar bear tour guides and trappers, The Great Immensity gives voice to people whose stories make the reality of the present crisis in fresh and compelling ways.”
    Does this mean that WUWT will be a major character in this play?
    If so, we must nominate whoever plays Anthony for an Oscar or whatever the stage equivalent is, because he will steal the show.

  22. NSF spending our money on propaganda should be a firing offense. At least if public flogging isn’t on the table.

  23. The “reality” of the current crisis? Inconvenient “truth”? “Art”? “Science” Some people need to seriously invest in dictionaries.

  24. Unbelievable that they’d throw more money away on useless tripe in this particular time of fiscal apprehension. #$@%^#$&@!#^%$!@!@#……..that’s about all I have to say about that.

  25. OK, the phone number that I showed above doesn’t get you to a human – it’s just a recording giving the same info as the web site.

  26. And they keep saying there is no spending that can be cut from the Federal Budget. May I present item #1 for elimination, and I thank you! And then there is NASA, GISS….and a whole host of other programs engaged in rewarding the dimwits pushing the AGW nonsense, all to the detriment of the middle class taxpayer. So much for their pretended concern for the middle class.

  27. Now I see why they can fund a play.

    “NSF’s FY 2010 Budget Request is $7.045 billion, an increase of $555 million (8.5 percent) over the 2009 plan of $6.49 billion. In addition, since investments in science and technology foster economic growth and create high tech, high-wage jobs, NSF received a one-time appropriation of $3.0 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, raising the agency’s overall FY 2009 appropriation to $9.49 billion.”
    http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2010/index.jsp

    A drop in the bucket for these guys.
    Here are their areas of funding. I can’t see anything for “entertainment” but maybe it’s there somewhere.
    http://www.nsf.gov/funding/
    Oh wait! I think I found something close:

    “So, in addition to funding research in the traditional academic areas, the agency also supports “high-risk, high pay-off” ideas, novel collaborations and numerous projects that may seem like science fiction today, but which the public will take for granted tomorrow. ”
    http://www.nsf.gov/about/

    Or maybe not. :0)

  28. “If the republicans take the Senate in November”
    Alas, there just aren’t enough of the other party up for election in the Senate this cycle, it will probably have to wait until the next one. But we can probably look forward to stalemate as one party controls the House and the opposite party controls the Senate and at this point, stalemate is better than what we have now.

  29. If you use the fraudnet site above, you can e-write directly to the GAO fraud waste and abuse people. You don’t have to give your name.

  30. There is no truth in the rumor that the CRU and Penn theater outreach troupe will be providing the cast, currently believed to comprise:
    Happy – the Polar Bear – Michael E. Mann
    Captain Phil – Philip Jones
    Stowaway – Rajendra Pachauri
    Jonah – Keith Briffa
    Prompt – Ron Oxburgh, George Monbiot, Muir Russel, and Geoffrey Boulton
    PR – Gavin Schmidt

  31. @ PaulH from Scotland
    That’s very, very funny. Thanks.
    Not often you get to crack a smile when the subject at hand is AGW…
    Dominic

  32. Can you imagine the return on investment they could get if they gave McIntyre and McKintrick 700K to hire a few interns to audit the temperture books? Hahaha

  33. This seems to be another little “nudge” emanating from various Gov’t agencies, such as EPA, at the behest of those who wish to regulate every aspect of life as we know it. Some of us object. Strenuously. We see this kind of propaganda for what it is – another “nudge”. At what point do the accumulation of nudges add up to a shove, and how many shoves does it take to get folks, attention? Perhaps when the shoves are administered by a guy in a brown shirt with a bayonet attached to the end of a rifle?

  34. JAN says:
    October 4, 2010 at 10:32 am
    Enneagram says:
    October 4, 2010 at 9:14 am
    – Can it be a comedy?
    It’s a travesty.

    Whichever it is, it is sure to be a tour de farce, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  35. PaulH from Scotland says:
    October 4, 2010 at 9:46 am
    Stumbled across this wee gem today,
    It’s O/T, but wanted to share.
    Unfortunately I don’t know who the author is so I can’t hat-tip them.>>
    Hat tip accepted, glad you enjoyed it. Wrote it for one of the 10:10 threads, don’t remember which one.

  36. Well, I guess if this happened in the UK, we’d just whimper a bit and suck it up as usual these days.
    I have hope, though, that the guys who kicked us out in 1776 might be made of sterner stuff.
    Supreme court anyone?

  37. CuriousGeorge… you’re dancing on the razor’s edge of a Godwin’s Law violation. Let’s put down our hyperbole and back away slowly…

  38. The belief in AGW may soon pass. The New York Times, however, will still be with us, to ensure that educated idiocy remains fresh and constant.

  39. I’m afraid you Americans are complete Amateurs when it comes to giving money for barking mad climate related arts projects.
    Britain has been leading this field for 15 years and our latest candidate for the hotly contested title ‘Climate change project indistinguishable from a Monty Python sketch’ has a clear leader in a £500,000 project called “Nowhere island.” It is a lump of Norway that will be sailed round the South West of England during the Olympics to demonstrate that when it comes to wanton gullibility the British Govt has no equals;
    http://www.nowhereisland.org/press/downloads/AH-Nowhereisland-Info-v2-lowres.pdf
    I did protest last year to the Arts Council about this, and with Govt cut backs it may be that this pathetic project has already been given the chop. If not its time for another complaint and see what the Daily Mail makes of it.
    Tonyb

  40. @ EthicallyCivil says:
    October 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm
    Ok. Scratch the last sentance, and subsitute: Perhaps when the shoves are administered by an employee of the IRS/EPA, etc. with a Notice to Appear attached to a clipboard?

  41. @tonyb,
    that is so brilliantly awful I wish I’d thought of it. I mean, from the ‘grass is always greener..’ camp of job envy, how much fun would it be to do that?
    And there was me logging in complain about the 10:10 funding. P Gosselin has a list of funders on his blog: http://notrickszone.com/2010/10/03/protest-sony-and-the-1010-partners-no-pressure-to-do-so/
    One of the Sponsors is the Esmee Fairburn Foundation. From their Website http://www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk: “Work we have funded” 2009 – ‘Main Development Fund’ under ‘Environment’
    10:10 – £70,000
    Towards the salary of the director and a contribution to core costs for a campaign to cut CO2 emissions by 10% in 2010.

  42. NSF is wasting taxpayer dollars to support theater propaganda productions? Looks like the NEA is smarter – not a chance they would be so foolish.
    How many ways can you spell [self-SNIP]!
    Justified funding opportunities in Science are endless. Its a shame we can’t vote the NSF out of their positions as well in November.

  43. …Polly disappears while in the rainforest…
    Wasn’t this a South Park episode? Will Al Gore play Man-Bear -Pig?

  44. What are friends for, if not to award grants from a government agency that supports science to a theatre group that produces propaganda for that “science.” It is great to hang out in NYC and DC. The people you meet there are so wonderful, not to mention monolithic in belief. But the best part is that they are so friendly and often open doors for their friends. Let’s all go for a lap around the reservoir!

  45. Hmmm.
    Wish I’d though of that.
    However its not too late to pitch in….
    Orwell – The Musical.
    Set in a dystopic future, the musical explores the exploitation of malleable minds
    via Malthusian techniques of brain washing and propaganda, spin and edutainment.
    Andrew Lloyd Weber is writing the score, lyrics however will be provided by various
    private think tanks.
    As you can imagine details are sketchy, shady, disinforming, misinforming, partly-true, not true and entirely factual but misframed…however we have managed to get our hands on some early productions notes:
    Lead intro – Susan Boyle: I dreamed of green, of days gone by.
    I dreamed of green of days gone by,…
    We marched in the streets and demanded hangings!
    for the folk who just would not try,
    to limited their excess Carbon cravings.
    Back then milk only cost 15p,
    but now the Euro’s crashed and so the carbon market,
    you can’t get a pint for less than ten pound fifty,
    at least the unbelievers all got shafted…
    Boyle has declined to comment on when the production will go ahead.
    We do know a little about the grand finale, during which Eco-criminals are marched on stage and ‘RECYCLED’, to a rousing ballad.
    Lead Finale – Choir: Orwell’s that ends well.
    ORWELL’s that ends well,
    the streets are clean and clear,
    so’s the rivers, sea and air.
    ORWELL’s that ends well,
    Polar bears thrive and frolic freely,
    their antics quite unseemly,
    as they devour limb and tendon,
    never mind dear comrades,
    we no longer have to defend them!
    ORWELL’s that ends well,
    Now the loyal rule the earth,
    a playground for the most deserving,
    and the rest are resting in the dirt,
    some moments past were quite upsetting,
    the cries and screams will linger long,
    but now there’s no regretting,
    cos the poles have ceased a-melting,
    and the Smelt are back to Smelting.
    Continues… (Notes remain confidential – until leaked, partly leaked, stolen, liberated, released)
    The entire production will be performed nude in strong daylight to limit the casts carbon footprint, no electronic equipment will be used, except for the cattle prods, used to amplify the performers singing volume.
    Pricing and venues to be announced, dictated, narrated, implied, injected, beamed, scanned or branded at a future date.

  46. Make it a musical farce, please!
    Theme song follows, with an appropriately ‘campy’ version…
    The Great Pretenders

  47. Gotta love this line:

    … initiated a yearlong collaborative project lying at the intersection of the environment and the performing arts.

    You can take that any way you like …

    “We start with a topic we’re interested in and try to learn as much about it as possible,” Friedman said of the play’s origin, adding that at the outset of a project, “it’s almost like journalism.”

    “It’s nice when you’re teaching to feel like you’re challenging your students, but also to feel that they’re challenging you back,” he said.

    Perhaps we should send them some real information then? I left ’em a note to come over and visit, anyways.

  48. RitchieP;
    ‘it was withdrawn following complaints about its graphic scenes of exploding climate change refuseniks.’>>
    I see. We’ve gone from being associated with people who deny mass murder to being associated with people who were murdered en mass. Don’t like either, but the trend is worse.

  49. Tonyb, Verity
    Esmee Fairbairn… that name rang a bell, I think I know what it is. Transition Towns! … creative responses to the “twin challenges of Peak Oil and Global Warming”… well a lot of creativity which would be good but there is sweet f*** a** when it comes to scientific checks beyond the official line – oh, and strict censorship, I cannot post contrarian views there despite my total courtesy and relevance AFAICT, and despite their claims of openness, and of course few even know I’ve been censored.

  50. A hacker friend of mine was able to download a copy of the proof-of-concept video that was part of their preliminary NSF grant request. The lyrics are still first-draft, so they’re tentative, but it’s pretty well shot, given that the video team were working on spec. He’s generously uploaded it here:

  51. At last! the Great Propoganda Musicale!
    Just imagine… All those distinguished dignatories at the glittering First Night. Look! There’s Michael Mann and , um, is that Phil Jones, I can only see the back of his head, do you think it’s him ? Hey, there’s Al Gore dispensing gracious gestures from the Royal Box ? Listen carefully, you might be able to hear the accolades of the Main Stream Media… Wonderful really 🙁

  52. David Corcoran [October 4, 2010 at 8:58 am] says:
    The ecochondriacs seem to have given up on using scientific arguments. It’s all propaganda from here on out.

    Oh, I am so stealing that. Thanks Dave

  53. davidmhoffer says:
    October 4, 2010 at 11:55 am
    PaulH from Scotland says:
    October 4, 2010 at 9:46 am
    Stumbled across this wee gem today,
    It’s O/T, but wanted to share.
    Unfortunately I don’t know who the author is so I can’t hat-tip them.>>
    Hat tip accepted, glad you enjoyed it. Wrote it for one of the 10:10 threads, don’t remember which one.
    …………
    David,
    Thanks heaps for that piece.
    What I liked most was your ability to humourously crystallise the scientific issues around the story of the day. You reminded me of ‘speedy’ who often posts in a similar style on Jo Nova’s excellent blog.
    As an ex-advertising strategist, I believe such an approach is highly effective for ‘climate waverers’ (as 10:10 like to call them).
    More please!

  54. I wonder if any of the climate disruption skeptic authors have ever been legitimately approached by anyone offering to buy other media reproduction rights to their works. I cannot imagine any broadcaster, Fox included, that would even contemplate broadcasting a fictional or semi-fictional TV series critical of the current CO2-driven climate catastrophe consensus.

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