Hansen gets FOIA'd on ethics issues with NASA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, January 19, 2011

Contact:

Christopher Horner, chris.horner@atinstitute.org

ATI Environmental Law Center Seeks NASA Records on Dr. James Hansen

Today the American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request with NASA, seeking records detailing whether and how ‘global warming’ activist Dr. James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has complied with applicable federal ethics and financial disclosure laws and regulations, and NASA Rules of Behavior.

This request seeks records of longtime, taxpayer-funded activist Hansen, in the knowledge that FOIA-released records and other documents show his GISS colleague, Dr. Gavin Schmidt, has edited the activist blog RealClimate on regular business hours when he is nominally working for the taxpayer. In fact, FOIA-released records indicate this third-party activism was considered part of Schmidt’s job, seeking to rehabilitate the discredited ‘hockey stick’ and otherwise promoting GISS’s activist line.

The request for Hansen’s ethics-compliance records comes on the heels of his latest adventures in public advocacy, writing in the Chinese newspaper South China Morning Post to blame the United States for modern climate change and his ritually exaggerated claims of future catastrophe, as well as some by now typically nasty sneering at American democracy in a follow-up article published on his website (now taken down but surely produced, as FOIA records have already revealed that so much of his privately posted work has been produced, on taxpayer time).

This is the latest in a long line of often radical behavior by Hansen that, were it engaged in by a government employee on the other side of the ‘global warming’ issue, would have resulted in discipline and possibly termination years ago. Dr. Hansen may state that he is speaking as a private citizen — in fora ranging from his testimony supporting lawbreaking in the name of global warming, to extreme public advocacy only tolerated, if even celebrated, because of his position with NASA — but the obvious truth is that he is trading on his platform as a NASA scientist to gain the wide audience he has (Hansen is an astronomer).

“It seems that Hansen’s access to and use of the media has so cowed his NASA superiors that his office has been allowed to operate unencumbered by applicable ethics requirements which other NASA employees, not so darling to the media, must comply with,” said Christopher Horner, ATI’s senior director of litigation. “In fact, in public court pleadings filed in Competitive Enterprise Institute v. NASA, NASA recently revealed that Hansen’s office operated for years in violation of these obligations.”

ATI’s requests build on that record, seeking specific records since 2004 relating to:

 

  • Required Approvals and Waivers for Outside Employment
  • Required Financial Disclosure/Conflict of Interest Disclosure
  • Internal discussion of possible or actual disciplinary actions

ATI looks forward to NASA’s compliance with this request, in stark contrast to how it has recently treated other requests for GISS records, with expectation that NASA will provide the responsive records in the statutorily permitted period of time.

See ATI’s Freedom of Information Act request to NASA seeking James Hansen’s records relating to compliance with ethics and financial disclosure laws. ( http://www.atinstitute.org/uploads/File/ATI_NASA_Hansen_Ethics_FOIA.pdf )

For an interview with Christopher Horner, senior director of litigation for the American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center, contact him at chris.horner@atinstitute.org.

Advertisements

113 thoughts on “Hansen gets FOIA'd on ethics issues with NASA

  1. Finally, someone woke up to the situation. With due respect, if Hansen wishes to be an activist, he should do it on his own dime.

  2. In light of the failure of previous legal attempts to spotlight the dishonest word and deed of those ‘official scientific’ voices calling for tyranny (of the noble cause,) one could predict that this attempt will also meet with delays, obfuscation, lies, whitewash and cover- up.

  3. Hansen should be made to cough up all the money paid to him by the government while he was doing advocacy work contrary to his job description.

  4. Finding a patsy for what they were ALL doing!
    Having no choice when the temperatures are dropping like a rock and precipitation is in full bore.

  5. Can’t the Senate pass some laws, retroactively, to make Hansen immune to these and turther FOIA requests? Seems only right, doesn’t it?

  6. Hansen should have been fired already, given the earlier post with the Washington Times article (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/18/hansen-would-rather-have-us-ruled-by-china/#more-31908):
    “The nation’s most prominent publicly funded climatologist is officially angry about this, blaming democracy and citing the Chinese government as the “best hope” to save the world from global warming. He also wants an economic boycott of the U.S. sufficient to bend us to China’s will.”
    Let him go work for the Chinese space program. Where does his salary come from if not the US economy? He has violated his oath of office as a federal civil servant (see http://www.opm.gov/constitution_initiative/oath.asp).

  7. @ Ali Baba
    Interesting choice of words….
    “What a bunch of losers. Lysenko had nothing on you guys.”
    I think you have that backwards, AGW is the perfect form of Lysenkoism…
    Lysenkoism is used colloquially to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives

  8. Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:43 am
    Can we also get full disclosure of who are behind and finances of the American Tradition Institute?
    …and so, it begins.

  9. This will probably go nowhere. It is disgusting how Schmidt and Hansen slack on their “jobs,” stealing tax payer money while they work on their hobby, but it is clear that they’ll be protected for toeing the party line.
    If they had any sense of ethics this wouldn’t be a problem, but greenies have long believed that the ends justify the means. Of course, their “ends” are also atrocities.

  10. The club that was previously lacking is now in hand.
    Congress can and should cut off all funding for NASA GISS without further delay.
    Call it a reverse earmark if you will.

  11. Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:43 am
    Can we also get full disclosure of who are behind and finances the American Tradition Institute?
    ========================================================
    Why? What difference does it make? Either Hansen failed to meet his obligations or he didn’t.

  12. While your at it you can check on some of the contributors to the American Tradition Institute linked and researched . . . . thanks to google.
    Minnesotans For Global WarmingI can see this event being turned into a reason where blogs like M4GW can’t talk about “Global Warming” anymore because it’s too inflammatory. …
    http://www.m4gw.com/ – Cached
    Videos
    Merchandise (5)
    Global Cooling Deniers (27)
    Cartoons (7) Climategate (89)
    Cap And Trade (92)
    Current Events (20)
    More results from m4gw.com »
    I must get a better life. . . .

  13. Glen and Elftone, I had already read that page and it says very little. Just names of two people working for the organization and some pretty words. Nothing about who finances it. To me it seems like another astroturf organization. By all means, those have a right to make FOI requests too, but as I said, then we should have a right to look just as closely on them as well.

  14. Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:43 am
    Can we also get full disclosure of who are behind and finances the American Tradition Institute?
    _________________
    Right on cue Thomas. This is a classic Alinsky tactic – avoid the issue and the facts by accusing anyone who questions the dogma.
    In fact, as ATI is a PRIVATE institution, that does not operate on TAXPAYER dollars, then your rights to know about them are limited.
    Unlike Dr. Hansen who operates on TAXPAYER dollars and therefore has waived many of his rights to disclosure.
    Nice try, but attacking ATI is pure deflection.

  15. joe says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:54 am
    this is just silly. now we want government agencies to gag employees and control them?
    _________________
    Um, don’t know about you joe, but yes, I want ACCOUNTABILITY from those who are funded by my tax dollars.
    Please quote where in the Constitution it says there can be no conditions placed on an employee?
    In my Company we are required, as a condition of employment, to acknowledge and live by standards of integrity and ethics. Violating these, many of which are not illegal, is the quickest way to be shown the door.
    How is it you believe that a Federal employee should be exempt from such standards?

  16. Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:43 am
    Glen and Elftone, I had already read that page and it says very little. Just names of two people working for the organization and some pretty words. Nothing about who finances it. To me it seems like another astroturf organization. By all means, those have a right to make FOI requests too, but as I said, then we should have a right to look just as closely on them as well.
    ___________________________
    Simple question, Why?
    FOIA is, by design and principle, a tool to keep our Government in check. No where does it say we have a right to know who is making a request.
    That is the beauty of our Republic. The Government works for us not vice versa.
    Again, nice try. Alinsky would be proud. But just because you WANT to know does not mean you have a RIGHT to know.

  17. Is he in China interviewing for an Ambassador to the US job? He can always work for Joe Romm and George Soros. They hire rhetoric intensive libs.
    This came up in a lawsuit 1 year afgo when Horner sued for conflict of interest.

  18. David L. The constitution says: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” section 9 article 1

  19. I think blocking coal trucks is rather silly, but I don’t want the government firing people for their political activities. As for Hansen’s writing, it is his job to communicate with the general public. As a tax payer, I want to know what he is thinking about science and policy. Should he be prohibited from testifying before Congress?
    As for the American Tradition Institute it claims status as “a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable public policy research and educational foundation.” But if they are really just a PR firm lobbying for corporate interests, then I would challenge their tax exempt status.

  20. Elftone says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 am
    Hi Thomas – yes: this page should tell you all you need to know: http://atinstitute.org/about/
    ========
    Christopher C. Horner is the senior director of litigation for the American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center. He has authored three best-selling books on “global warming” and environmental policy, law and politics: 
    “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism” (Regnery, 2007), which spent half of 2007 on the New York Times bestseller list;
    “Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed” (Regnery, 2008) ;
    “Power Grab: How Obama’s ‘Green’ Policies Steal Will Your Freedom and Bankrupt America” (April 2010).
    Horner is a senior fellow with the Washington DC think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and is affiliated with European counterpart organizations. An attorney in Washington, DC, Horner has represented think tanks, scientists and Members of the U.S. House and Senate on matters of environmental policy in the federal courts.

  21. Henry chance says:
    January 19, 2011 at 11:07 am
    “Is he in China interviewing for an Ambassador to the US job? He can always work for Joe Romm and George Soros. ”
    That would diminish his value for Soros, as propaganda is far more effective when it comes from a supposedly trustworthy source like NASA.

  22. Moderators:
    re: My first post – I should have said “Illuminate the Periplaneta americanas”
    Sorry. I was overcome with zealousness! 🙂

  23. Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:43 am
    Glen and Elftone, I had already read that page and it says very little. Just names of two people working for the organization and some pretty words. Nothing about who finances it. To me it seems like another astroturf organization. By all means, those have a right to make FOI requests too, but as I said, then we should have a right to look just as closely on them as well.

    Hi Thomas – yes, two names and some pretty words (the usual marketing-speak), but it also says this:
    American Tradition Institute is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable public policy research and educational foundation.
    The relevant part of that is the 501(c)3 reference:
    http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html
    which states:
    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
    Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.
    The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.
    Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.

    In addition, ‘inure’ in this context is defined by the IRS (at http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=123297,00.html as:
    Inurement/Private Benefit – Charitable Organizations
    A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator’s family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.

    Although these definitions are relevant only to the IRS, they do place some pretty heavy restrictions on the funding with regard to the activities of the charity (lobbying is specifically called out above, for example). But it also means that any entity is free to make a charitable donation, according to their own intentions, whilst not being able to direct usage of said donation.
    The Institute will also, no doubt, be well aware of this:
    In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
    And, as one of the named individuals is a lawyer, it’s a pretty fair bet they won’t cross these boundaries.
    In the end, you’re SOL on this tack. Might be best to stop the arm waving, stop questioning motive, sit back and see where the FOIA chips fall.

  24. What ethics rules are applicable to a position like Hansen’s? Is he considered an executive branch employee? Does he have a GS level? Is he senior executive service? I wonder if things work differently where academics meets government, as is seems to with GISS, than it does for the rest of the federal government.
    I’d think Hansen has substantial investments in various green companies and technology, and that his position in GISS would create the appearance of a conflict of interest between his position at GISS and his investments.
    Maybe that is the point, or part of the point, of this FOI request, but its not clear from the article. To me, how he spends his time between work and activism is less important than how he financial benefits from his position, or the decisions he makes while in his position.

  25. This will prove what, exactly. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done non-job related work during “traditional” working hours.
    Radical!

  26. joe says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:54 am
    this is just silly. now we want government agencies to gag employees and control them?
    Does the name Stanley McChrystal ring a bell? Were you ok with it when he was gagged, I mean fired and his career terminated, for speaking his mind? His punishment resulted from speaking out about incoherent policy, not advocating a different form of government.

  27. KD, ATI may be private but as a tax-exempt entity it is required to make some records public:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501%28c%29
    If ATI wants to be secretive they shouldn’t request tax breaks and the right for donors to deduct contributions from their taxes. As a non-American I suspect I don’t have a right to request that information, but Americans do have that right. That is the beauty of your republic.

  28. I would suppose that the MSM allies of Hansen&Co are readying the counter attack line already.
    Poor hard working honest scientists being attacked by those with a right wing political motive etc? Spread around by a client media and blogosphere with the volume turned up to maximum to deflect attention from the real issues. Attack the motives of the accuser, smear the whistleblower and claim victimhood, its worked before on many occasions and the people who are going to use these tricks are experts at the game.
    Its buzzword bingo time, McCarthyism will go like hotcakes, right wing and big oil will do well of course. Palin will do well with claims of ecocide and denier/denialism being popular and well worn. I can envisage the SEJ/NUJ/NASA GISS/Woods hole institute of whatever the hell they are/AP & Reuters/realclimate/Huffpo email systems running red hot with suggestions and attack profiles.
    Its all so predictable by now so enjoy!

  29. Mike @ January 19, 2011 at 11:32 am
    Mike,
    If you wish to challenge ATI’s status as a 501(c)3, by all means go for it; but, don’t go unprepared. While you’re at it, perhaps you could also challenge the status of the Center for American Progress as well.
    Let us all know how that works out for you.

  30. “Dr. Gavin Schmidt, has edited the activist blog RealClimate …”
    Can someone here please reproduce a post from RealClimate which they assert is “actvist?”

  31. FYI: ‘Thomas’ above is [most probably] the Swedish person Thomas Palm who is a most frantic CAGW-ist and especially (one of more) in regard of ‘defending’ mr. Hansen (+the ‘team’), regardless of what. One speciality of TP is to continously change subject in any debate in which he takes part and that as soon as anyone asks about the slightest of relevant fact of either topic.
    One can follow his ‘doings’ on: http://www.theclimatescam.se (Swedish).
    The travesty w this person is, that he’s suppousedly well and highly educated (KTH)
    but, as so very many other of alike educated (ie. the ‘Lysenkoistics’, the ‘Race-biologists’ which, btw, was initiated by a certain mr. Arrhenius.. and more..) he has yet to learn how to sight the woods, even if there might be some trees in the way…
    Anyway, the positive thing about TP’s + ilk’s (ie. the UI, Vof) ‘activities’ here in Sweden is that there is a definite (finally!) opening of minds/enlightement/ about CAGW even among some of the MSM.
    (Excuse me IF namned person is the wrong one!)
    Brgds from the Bestcoast of Scandinavia!
    //TJ

  32. Much to the consternation of the West Virginia delegation in Congress, the coal industry, and the working people of the Mountain State, the agency took the unprecedented step of revoking a mining permit that it had issued four years ago to Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia.
    http://www.patriotactionnetwork.com/forum/topics/obama-coal-crackdown-sends?commentId=2600775%3AComment%3A3101244&xg_source=activity
    Retro activley killing a permit. Hansen won.
    When a company has 250 million invested and the EPA chokes them, we have tyranny.

  33. Scott B: I remind you that FOIA requests don’t need a “point”.
    To think that they need a “point” is to think like a politician or pundit.
    FOIA is about the simple facts of the matter, which is what scientists use.

  34. Laurie Bowen January 19, 2011 at 10:39 am says:
    While your at it you can [sic] …

    ALL the ‘publik skool’ grads are out today …
    Take note: “you are” is contracted thusly: ” you’re
    .

  35. Noelle says:
    “Can someone here please reproduce a post from RealClimate which they assert is ‘actvist?’ ”
    I no longer visit there since 100% of my comments have been deleted, so I’m not one to relay that info. But it doesn’t take a posting to be an activist. Censoring any opinion that contradicts realclimate’s belief in catastrophic runaway global warming due to CO2 emissions is plenty “activist” for a blog paid for with taxpayer funds.

  36. Cal Barndorfer says:
    January 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    This will prove what, exactly. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done non-job related work during “traditional” working hours.

    Of course, had your employer discovered your non-job related work during normal working hours and determined that it was excessive, he might have warned you to stop non-job related activities (unless he didn’t appreciate your performance any more, in which case he might have fired you then and there according to the terms of the agreement you probably signed when you were first hired.) If, then, you decided to ignore your employer’s advice and he discovered you hard at non-work again, he might have fired you citing the agreement you probably signed when you were first hired as well as the previous warning.
    We, the US citizens, as Gavin’s and Hansen’s employers, have discovered they may potentially be engaging in excessive non-job related activities during working hours. The procedure from here can be expected to proceed in a similar fashion except that many of us, as their employers, no longer appreciate their respective performances.
    Mark

  37. Perhaps ThomasJ, whoever he is, could take his libel somewhere else. He doesn’t seem entirely balanced with his cries about race biology and lysenkoism.

  38. _Jim says:
    January 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    Laurie Bowen January 19, 2011 at 10:39 am says:
    While your at it you can [sic]… . . . .
    Gee, Jim . . . it’s just a comments page.
    Just for you, I will try to be more careful. . . . Sorry

  39. Too bad their request goes back only to the year 2004. They should look at his full record since 1978 when he first joined NASA GISS. He was then an astronomer attached to the Pioneer Venus probe but he quit before the spacecraft reached its destination and joined GISS because “The composition of the atmosphere of our home planet was changing before our eyes…” I was alive then and my eyes did not notice any such change in the atmosphere that he speaks of. His first job there was to devise a basic GISS temperature analysis scheme for estimating global temperature change. And lo and behold, when his scheme was implemented it began to show global warming that other schemes had missed. In three years after joining GISS he was the boss which makes one think that this and not the atmosphere was his reason for leaving the Pioneer project.

  40. Cal Barndorfer says:
    January 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm
    This will prove what, exactly. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done non-job related work during “traditional” working hours.
    Radical!
    ************************************************************
    I agree, Cal. Hansen advocating against his own government while on their payroll could be described as radical.

  41. This statement alone brands Hansen as an utter, total, fool. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word. China’s “Green” policy is the virtual, 21st Century version of the Potmkin Villiage.

    “The nation’s most prominent publicly funded climatologist is officially angry about this, blaming democracy and citing the Chinese government as the “best hope” to save the world from global warming. He also wants an economic boycott of the U.S. sufficient to bend us to China’s will.”

  42. I didn’t do any research on this, but I can assure you with 100% certainty that it is Exxon, Big Coal, Timothy McVeigh, Sarah Palin, the Freemasons, BP, and various and assorted puppy killers. DUH!

    Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:43 am
    Can we also get full disclosure of who are behind and finances the American Tradition Institute?

  43. “Of course, had your employer discovered your non-job related work during normal working hours and determined that it was excessive, he might have warned you to stop non-job related activities (unless he didn’t appreciate your performance any more, in which case he might have fired you then and there according to the terms of the agreement you probably signed when you were first hired.)”
    My employer sits right next to me and has no problem with taking time during the day to do some personal non-work related activities because I make sure all necessary work business is completed before I leave for the day. Sometimes I can even work from home if I like, in which case I pick my own hours of operation.
    My point is, you have no evidence of any wrong doing on the part of Gavin Schmidt since you have no idea what his work environment is like or what is considered acceptable behavior while he’s there.
    You can see some relevant pages from NASA’s employee handbook here: http://nasapeople.nasa.gov/employeebenefits/benefits/handbook/chapter7.htm
    Note the variety of different schedules proposed as well as the fact that some employees are allowed to work an “Irregular Work Schedule”…

  44. Harry Bergeron says:
    Scott B: I remind you that FOIA requests don’t need a “point”.
    To think that they need a “point” is to think like a politician or pundit.
    FOIA is about the simple facts of the matter, which is what scientists use.
    You won’t get an argument from me about that. Though, I assume that ATI will be trying to make a point with the results of their request. And that was where my question was directed. After ATI gets the information they’ve requested, I’d rather ATI focused more on financial conflicts-of-interest, rather than proving that Hansen sent too many scaremongering AGW emails from his work computer, or whatever. Both would be ethical violations, but, to me at least, finacially benefitting from using his NASA position to promote his agenda is the more concerning of the two.
    Let’s suppose Hansen owns stock in Windmills-R-Us. His railing against coal power generation would take on a new light, wouldn’t it?

  45. Re: Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    Well, see how’s responding… if it isn’t the famous T, the tipping point, Palm!
    Wow! Congrate!
    BTW: TP: who is paying you for your very close to 7/24 time you’re spending keeping watch/’answering’/commenting/diverting… on the various blogs & other media…?
    WWF? SNF? SEI?… or who is paying your lunch and more… ? 😉
    No regards!
    //TJ

  46. Cal Barndorfer the web site realclimate has no part to play in Schmidt or Hansen work role , if they have been working on what is their personal hobby but charging the time spent doing it to the tax payer, and then they have been committing a fraud. What they do in their own free time is their concern, but they are receive a wage to attended a place of work to perform a role, which the web site Realclimate plays no part in.

  47. Arno Arrak says: January 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    …They should look at his full record since 1978 when he first joined NASA GISS. He was then an astronomer attached to the Pioneer Venus probe but he quit before the spacecraft reached its destination and joined GISS because “The composition of the atmosphere of our home planet was changing before our eyes…”

    Right now I’m searching out the original sources of information for what I’ve read, namely that Venus emits more energy than she receives (from the Sun) and that this was measured (by Pioneer / Venera probes). The quality of my source so far leads me to believe that the information is probably correct but I want to check for myself. Reasons other than CAGW could have made NASA coy about loudly proclaiming their measurements. But if it is correct that energy output exceeds input, then (a) it should be common knowledge to Hansen, and (b) it kills the runaway GHG hypothesis for Venus stone dead. Venus has to have a hot core for output to exceed input.

  48. There is a world of difference between “Irregular Work Schedule” and carrying on private business on a public computer and while on the public clock. I’m ex-Civil Service and, believe me, what Schmidt and Hansen are pulling would have had them booted years ago if their asses weren’t being covered by someone.

  49. Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    And: It’s very much to prefer to keep quiet and hope that people only think you’re out of any common sensed (not to mention any other) mind, than to open your mouth and prove that you really are.
    //TJ

  50. Ah, as soon as it begins to smell of a courtroom, our taxpayer-funded data-screwing friends are running in circles like roaches smelling an insecticide…
    Hansen and Mann must stand a trial. They falsified and misrepresented information multiple times to secure a substantial public funding of their private ideological agenda. They continue to harm their country and to undermine the reputation of their public institutions by making false, unsubstantiated, exaggerated, hysterical claims.
    In a sane society egocentric maniacs of their ilk would never be allowed to speak on behalf of the scientific community. But we don’t live in a sane society.

  51. Cal Barndorfer –
    Your commentary is disengenuous, naive and misrepresents what is known to have actually happened. Schmidt, et al, have clearly spent taxpayer funded time and used taxpayer owned resources improperly to support the RealClimate.org website.
    When caught out, they went back and tried to get rid of the evidence by deleting the Date/Time stamps from the realclimate.org site’s archives.
    They can’t do the same with the internet hosted copies.
    Just use the wayback machine and check the Date/Time stamps on their postings-
    http://web.archive.org/web/*/realclimate.org

  52. Thomas, unless you specifically explain otherwise, I shall assume ThomasJ was right and that you are the Thomas he suspects. Certainly your response makes me suspect that ThomasJ was correct. If so, thank you both, now we know what to expect.

  53. Cal Barndorfer says:
    “This will prove what, exactly. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done non-job related work during “traditional” working hours. ”
    Again with the politician/pundit thinking. Have I spotted a trendline here?
    The scientist waits for the data and doesn’t insist on knowing what it “will prove” ahead of the results.

  54. There are limitations on political activities by Federal and some state employees due to the Hatch act. Consider whether Hansen violated any of the following:
    • May not use their official authority or influence to interfere with an election
    • May not solicit, accept or receive political contributions unless both individuals are members of the same federal labor organization or employee organization and the one solicited is not a subordinate employee
    • May not knowingly solicit or discourage the political activity of any person who has business before the agency
    • May not engage in political activity while on duty
    • May not engage in political activity in any government office
    • May not engage in political activity while wearing an official uniform
    • May not engage in political activity while using a government vehicle
    • May not be candidates for public office in partisan elections
    • May not wear political buttons on duty.
    cheers,
    gary

  55. Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Can we also get full disclosure of who are behind and finances the American Tradition Institute?

    Indeed! If anybody is deserving of my financial donations, it is ATI. I’m seriously thinking of sending them a check.

  56. But if they are really just a PR firm lobbying for corporate interests, then I would challenge their tax exempt status.
    So what, exactly, does Greenpeace do other than lobby? How about the Sierra Club? It would be a total and utter disaster for the environmental groups if groups like ATI were to lose tax exempt status. Far worse for them than the other side, who do much of their lobbying via tax paying entities anyway.
    I’m always stunned how the greenies totally ignore that “their” side does exactly what they accuse their opponents of (lobbying, receiving funds from “Big Oil”, conflicts of interest etc).
    Carl: My point is, you have no evidence of any wrong doing on the part of Gavin Schmidt since you have no idea what his work environment is like or what is considered acceptable behavior while he’s there.
    Carl, did you read the article? We know that Schmidt worked on the web site during working hours. It seems that he was allowed to. The article says so.
    But “wrong doing” and what is considered acceptable by your boss are different matters. Oliver North came into some grief about that! Merely saying that he was allowed to do something does not make it right.
    In any case, we know what Schmidt was up to thanks to a an FOIA request. What is wrong with doing the same for Hansen? If he did nothing he wasn’t allowed then he is fine, just like Schmidt.
    Joe: this is just silly. now we want government agencies to gag employees and control them?
    Interestingly the NZ equivalent, NIWA, sacked their chief warmist – Jim Salinger – for far less. He appealed, naturally, and lost.
    My guess is that NZ employment law makes it harder than in the US (in general sacking people is quite hard here).
    But do you really want to run with your concept that the government should not “gag” employees? Can you not see where that would end up? Imagine if a senior EPA official was to state that his personal view was that CO2 was not a pollutant! Would that be worth gagging? Because I bet a large number would like to say it. Or if a senior State Department official admitted that she had been quietly sabotaging any agreement in Cancun? Allowing all government employees the chance to speak their mind freely would be a disaster, it doesn’t matter where on the political spectrum you are.

  57. Mike says:
    January 19, 2011 at 11:32 am
    As a tax payer, I want to know what he is thinking about science and policy. Should he be prohibited from testifying before Congress?
    And just how does the FOIA request and response process conflict with the above, your and our individual need and right to know about our own Government, which the FOIA instead seems to aid?
    Mike, why do you think the FOIA access, which was actually designed especially for use by any individual citizen, even exists as a rightful legal process within our system the first place?
    Or else, just what do you have against this form of Governmental transparency in our Constitutional system where the people, even as individuals, are in control of their own lives and their representative Government, “of, for, and by the people”, in constrast to, say, a Statist or Communist system where people exist almost as vassals in a system “of, for, and by the Government” and essentially have no individual rights, access, or even status as free thinking and acting entities in their own right?

  58. “There is a world of difference between “Irregular Work Schedule” and carrying on private business on a public computer and while on the public clock.”
    Where’s the evidence that they were on the public clock?
    “Your commentary is disengenuous, naive and misrepresents what is known to have actually happened. Schmidt, et al, have clearly spent taxpayer funded time and used taxpayer owned resources improperly to support the RealClimate.org website.”
    So, knowing that NASA allows employees to work irregular work schedules, you just need to provide evidence that on the dates/times in question they were on the public clock.

  59. But… but… even if Hansen did his missionary work on the taxpayer’s dime, he had to, to save the planet. Rules are for the sheep, not the shepherds. He probably has a Five Year Plan, or three, like his Chinese heroes.
    So we really must forgive any little trangressions of such a messiah. Without his dedication we probably wouldn’t realize that 2010 was the hottest year or that all the cold weather is yet another sign of The Warming.
    Is his wife’s name Tammy Fae by any chance?

  60. Carl, you missed my point.
    First, I clearly stated that the his response was contingent upon finding your non-work activities excessive. Clearly your boss does not, but that is immaterial since my point was about Gavin’s boss, not yours. That’s how analogies work – compare a hypothetical situation to the actual situation. Whether or not the hypothetical is possible or even plausible is immaterial, the point is how the hypothetical applies to the real.
    Gavin’s boss, as well as Hansen’s, is the tax-paying public. They set up a company called NASA that has certain rules as well the Hatch act that govern employee behavior while on duty. Gavin has most certainly made posts to RealClimate during normal NASA working hours though whether he was on duty has not been determined. It is not difficult to view this as probable cause, but an FOIA suffices since his efforts are subject to such scrutiny by law – probable cause is not even required.
    Mark

  61. Cal Barndorfer says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Where’s the evidence that they were on the public clock?

    If he was posting from NASA resources, it does not matter if he was on the public clock, he was using public resources. Furthermore, as I noted in my previous post, simply acknowledging that irregular work hours are possible does remove the probability he was on the clock.

    So, knowing that NASA allows employees to work irregular work schedules, you just need to provide evidence that on the dates/times in question they were on the public clock.

    Or using public resources.
    An FOIA request will provide this information, and, assuming his (their) innocence, no further action will be required. No other legal wrangling is necessary to get the information.
    Mark

  62. Cal Barndorfer says:
    “Where’s the evidence that they were on the public clock?”
    It was on the blog time stamps — until realclimate found out people were questioning the 24/7 comments and articles moderated and posted by you-know-who. Then they took the time stamps off.
    That’s OK. The internet never forgets.

  63. Thomas says:
    January 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    KD, ATI may be private but as a tax-exempt entity it is required to make some records public:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501%28c%29
    If ATI wants to be secretive they shouldn’t request tax breaks and the right for donors to deduct contributions from their taxes. As a non-American I suspect I don’t have a right to request that information, but Americans do have that right. That is the beauty of your republic.
    ____________________________________
    Thomas, you are presuming facts that are not in evidence, i.e. that ATI wants to remain secretive. Come back when you have fact that ARE in evidence.
    Again, whether you, I or even our President WANT to know more about ATI, doesn’t mean we have the RIGHT to know more.
    Isn’t a clear separation of privacy rules between PUBLIC and PRIVATE sectors nice? You should try it where you live and maybe your country, too, would be the envy of the world!

  64. Ok, I am in the Uk, so don’t know the details of US working practises but I have long since felt that it was/is ‘unethical’ that any senior scientists or researchers engage in partisan type activities – a la Hansen and Schmidt. Notwithstanding the work time issues commented on by others – it is one thing to be pro-‘some group or other’ and support them in your ‘spare’ time – but any supposed real scientist should be ‘remote’ from political or idealist alignments as clearly this illustrates that such ‘other’ motivation could enter ones work.
    The AGW propoonents (funny typo that – so I’ll leave it!) sure like to bleat about other scientists funded by ‘big oil’ etc – so whats good for the goose,….
    But on a more serious note – any scientist may well follow a path of research based on his/her particular ‘pet’ theories and ideas BUT they should always remain impartial at the genuine scientific and investigative stages. I absolutely detest Realclimate with a vengeance because it is so biased and I will never go there again. If you think about it, the effect that these type of ‘linked in’ people can have on all our lives by their politically or ideologically motivated leanings can (and is) quite devastating. This is not the way a real scientist works – he looks at stuff, researches, etc and produces apolitical and honest results and interpretations. The political implications and decisions should be left to others – if not – as in the current case of AGW theory –
    the division line is blurred and the science is tarnished (thats a polite way of describing it!).

  65. As a 501(c)3 organization the ATI should be preparing a Form 990 tax return which is open to inspection according to the rules as noted in the Instructions to Form 990. These are available as downloads in the IRS website.
    I am in full support of the FOIA requests. This act does wonders in making government accountable, one request at a time.

  66. James Hansen came to the UK to testify on behalf of those activists who broke the UK law by invading the Kingsnorth Power Station. The law breakers were acquitted, possibly because of the impassioned testimony of JH. I wonder if Mr Hansen was on holiday when he came to the UK or whether he was being funded by Greenpeace, his employers or Christian Aid. I am very pleased that he is being subjected to the ‘rigours’ of the FOIA and hope that it operates more effectively in the US than it appears to do in England. The man has done untold damage to the cause of science and his latest diatribe in a Chinese newspaper makes one wonder if he is not seriously in need of a smart kick up his backside, or, more charitably, some sympathetic counselling…perhaps with a hockey stick.
    Tony

  67. I’m very serious, I think it is long past time that taxpayers (WHO PAY HIS SALARY) begin to demand that he gets booted from his job. He’s been arrested and jailed. He’s testified on behalf of saboteurs of a power plant of an important US ally-England. He’s spoken out in favor of a totalitarian political system (China’s) in favor of our own. (By the way, Jimmy boy, how pleasant do you think it’d be to be in one of their jails?). As a ‘public’ employee, while he can certainly cast his vote for the candidate of his choosing, he has taken public sides in previous elections, receiving a 250k grant from Theresa Heinz Kerry (who, by the way, owns how many ‘carbon footprint’ mansions?). I’m serious, all of us should begin to contact NASA and begin to demand his ouster. How can we do this? I’m fairly certain his actions would justify job termination. And if they do, I hope and pray, that it cuts off his pension too.

  68. What tangled webs…
    NASA bosses must be in a quandary about this exquisite snare laid by ATI; such a seemingly simple request, but what profound consequences.
    I am hesitant to lay out the choices and consequences facing NASA and their masters over the FOIA request, as spin agents are afoot, but the ultimate consequences will not be good for the power elite.
    They will make the most of it, as they always do, but their campaign to control you by controlling the air you breathe has been slowed.

  69. As a 501(c)3 they must produce a Form 990 and have it available upon request. This form will tell you how much the principals of the organization make it salary and benefits and will also list major donors if above a certain threshold.
    Depending upon how long they have been in operation <2 years they may have postponed filing their first 990, which the IRS allows for….
    I work for one so I know some of the rules…

  70. I realize this is an Anthony post, but I’d love to see more of Chris Horner’s posts here. Even though this is a science first site, he generally covers the policy that the science is designed to impact and he does it smartly.

  71. Cal Barndorfer says:
    January 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm
    So, knowing that NASA allows employees to work irregular work schedules, you just need to provide evidence that on the dates/times in question they were on the public clock.
    ______________________
    Hey Cal, I’ve got an idea. How about we issue an FOIA request to gather the evidence you’re asking for? Oh wait…….

  72. I don’t want my tax dollars paying the salary of a man who has such disdain for his country.
    I don’t want my tax dollars paying the pension of a man who has such disdain for his country.
    For having such disdain for his country, I suspect more funding is forthcoming from the Nobel committee. So, he shouldn’t need any more of my tax dollars…

  73. I heard a while back that it was Al Gore who kept Hansen from being fired a long time ago. Go figure.

  74. Well, I’ll try this again since Hansen’s adoration of Chinese totalitarianism is mentioned and I’m in earlier on this thread. My tribute again to James “Coal Train” Hansen:
    http://i632.photobucket.com/albums/uu44/themaverickone/hansen2.jpg
    Can I get a witness? C’mon already. That’s good stuff. Ok, not great, but I dig it. Feel free to use it next time Chairman James gets in a rage over that pesky little democracy thing. As always, Cheers!

  75. I don’t understand the people opposing a FOIA request.
    This is only about information that should be public in the first place.
    Anyone can file a FOIA at any time.
    Yes, you take public money and it belongs to the public.
    What are they trying to protect or hide, and why in this world would they want to do that,
    ….since the science is settled

  76. Judd says:
    January 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm
    “I’m very serious, I think it is long past time that taxpayers (WHO PAY HIS SALARY) begin to demand that he gets booted from his job. He’s been arrested and jailed. He’s testified on behalf of saboteurs of a power plant of an important US ally-England. He’s spoken out in favor of a totalitarian political system (China’s) in favor of our own. (By the way, Jimmy boy, how pleasant do you think it’d be to be in one of their jails?). As a ‘public’ employee, while he can certainly cast his vote for the candidate of his choosing, he has taken public sides in previous elections, receiving a 250k grant from Theresa Heinz Kerry (who, by the way, owns how many ‘carbon footprint’ mansions?). I’m serious, all of us should begin to contact NASA and begin to demand his ouster. How can we do this? I’m fairly certain his actions would justify job termination. And if they do, I hope and pray, that it cuts off his pension too.”
    ============================
    Repeated here in hope that people will read this. Spot on, Judd.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  77. Gavin Schmidt is reported to be blogging during working hours. I see many here are calling for an inquiry into it.
    I think it should be widened though to ALL Government employee’s that have a blog or post articles to blogs or read blogs such as Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen (he also speaks at skeptics conferences did you know? and probably on the taxpayers dime too) the list is endless…

  78. ShrNfr says: / January 19, 2011 at 11:09 am / David L. The constitution says: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” section 9 article 1
    That didn’t seem to matter in 1993 when Bill C. got his retroactive tax hike.

  79. Martin,
    Don’t be silly. We don’t need a dragnet. Only totalitarian-minded climate alarmists would want that.
    But in the case of Schmidt and Mann [who owns RealClimate], there is verifiable proof that they’ve wasted countless hours blogging, censoring, moderating, deleting, editing, and writing wide-ranging articles every month.
    I’d like to see their written job descriptions. Betcha blogging isn’t one of their job duties.

  80. Thomas said January 19, 2011 at 9:43 am”
    “Can we also get full disclosure of who are behind and finances the American Tradition Institute?”
    And you get extra points for naming all of the fossil fuel/Self-Interested Corps front organizations that has Chris Horner as a key player. Here’s the funding fact sheet for the Competitive Enterprise Institute => http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php
    … yet a high percentage on this site will claim equivalence (actually worse) between funds used to propagandize in support of vested interests in terms of “corporate profits first, last & always” with funds in support of advancing scientific knowledge.

  81. Smokey said January 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm”
    “I’d like to see their written job descriptions. Betcha blogging isn’t one of their job duties.”
    I’d bet huge amounts that it most certainly is ….

  82. Jack Greer,
    Since you’re so pure and green, you don’t use fossil fuels, right?
    Hypocrite.
    You say, “corporate profits first, last & always” like it’s a bad thing.
    Economic illiterate.
    The fact is that corporate profits first, last & always, is a fiduciary duty of publicly traded corporations. Operating to maximize shareholder profits is a legal requirement. Officers of public corporations have been sent to prison for not protecting the shareholders’ interest — which is to make the maximum profit within the law. Ever hear of Bernie Madoff?
    All your link shows is a bunch of disgruntled, unhappy nay-sayers trying to make honest citizens look bad.
    If the companies they castigate have done wrong, they should be prosecuted. Funny thing, though, out of hundreds of thousands of corporations, it is newsworthy when someone is caught violating their fiduciary duty. It rarely happens.
    Grow up. Learn how the real world works. People who hate “the rich” have one thing in common: they will never get rich. Your petty jealousy, and coveting your neighbor’s goods, and and class envy get tiresome.

  83. @Smokey says January 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm:
    First, I do what I can where practical – just finished the energy audit and associated work at our new home. Second, when propaganda is advance in similar context as used by the tobacco industry for decades, yes, that’s a bad thing … and, fyi, I’m a finance major with keen interests in world economies and power structures, which I do spend significant time studying. BTW, I’m a capitalist.
    I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment about many “not knowing how the real world works”.

  84. Martin says:
    January 19, 2011 at 8:18 pm
    Gavin Schmidt is reported to be blogging during working hours. I see many here are calling for an inquiry into it.
    I think it should be widened though to ALL Government employee’s that have a blog or post articles to blogs or read blogs such as Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen (he also speaks at skeptics conferences did you know? and probably on the taxpayers dime too) the list is endless…
    *****************************************************
    Let’s see, Judith Curry is an employee of Georgia Tech, which is not government employment, though it is a state funded school.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Curry
    Roy Spencer is an employee of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, again, a state funded school but not government employment. He does do some work for NASA, but it is not his primary emplyment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_%28scientist%29
    Richard Lindzen is an employee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which gives him the exact same status as Curry and Spencer, an employee of a state funded institute, but not a government employee.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lindzen
    0 for 3, Martin. That makes your batting average almost as good as Hansen’s.

  85. Others here have said that the purpose of this is to silence Hanson. As an American citizen and taxpayer, a firm supporter of the first amendment, I don’t want to silence him, I simply don’t want to pay him to spout his opinions instead of doing his job. Do his job on my time and preach on his.

  86. joe says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:54 am
    this is just silly. now we want government agencies to gag employees and control them?

    Precisely what do you think Hansen, Scmidt, Cullen, and others have been doing for decades with their subordinates? Are you seriously going to argue Hansen at al have a one-sided privilege to gag everyone else while they totally ignore their own obligations to their employers?

  87. The deletion of the Date/Time stamps from the realclimate.org site’s archives is an admission that there was something to hide. Realclimate’s ignorance of the Wayback Machine is typical of their ignorance in general.

  88. So do I have this right?
    We have the American Tradition Institute which appears to be a government funded activist organization harassing other supposed government funded activists by exploiting the FOI laws.
    What exactly is the motivation for this?
    Is Chris Horner doing this out of the goodness of his heart or is he being paid a big fat salary?
    Is he a lawyer? Lawyers typically except to get paid mucho doleros.
    Is he getting paid more than your typical climate scientist?
    Inquiring minds would like to know.

  89. LazyTeenager says:
    January 20, 2011 at 3:51 am
    So do I have this right?
    We have the American Tradition Institute which appears to be a government funded activist organization harassing other supposed government funded activists by exploiting the FOI laws.

    Hi LazyTeenager – um, no, you don’t have it right. The ATI is a charity under 501(c)3. As for “exploiting” the FOI laws, perhaps you could explain what you mean?

  90. “If he was posting from NASA resources, it does not matter if he was on the public clock, he was using public resources.”
    This is starting to sound a bit petty. Now it’s a big deal that in his off hours he might have been using the company internet connection or the company computer? Since neither is paid for by the hour, I don’t see the drain to public resources unless you’re referring to some sort of potential wear and tear on the equipment…

  91. I’ll exemplify it this way Mr. Horner is looking for information about Mr. Hansen’s work, research etc. . I do not know if this is new but yesterday I read this:
    Researcher who proved continental drift theory dies – January 12, 2011
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2011/01/researcher_who_proved_continen.html
    When you read the article you find the theory was old but took time to prove . . . it took even longer for the Tectonic theory to be accepted . . . I remember discussing it in Science class in the 1970’s and many were skeptical. Knowledge gets found, lost, hidden or just plain forgotten.
    As I read the FOIA there were many references to many statutes . . . of which would have to be researched because there are no links attached to easily reference.
    Hansen has the right to research and collaborate, and Horner has a right to know, even if it is a limited right . . .

  92. Sad to read that Hansen is (was?) an astronomer. No wonder he and his climate “science” are so derided amongst the community of real astronomers. As the say, if you can’t do science, become a global warmist.

  93. “The deletion of the Date/Time stamps from the realclimate.org site’s archives is an admission that there was something to hide. Realclimate’s ignorance of the Wayback Machine is typical of their ignorance in general.”
    If it’s proven they did that in order to hide their fraudulent use of their work time with NASA, then we can talk about: US Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 73, section 1516.

  94. JPeden says:
    January 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm
    “Yes, it’s quite flattering. Maybe it could even go ‘T-shirt’ for him.”
    Thanks JPeden. I surrendered a 1/2 hour sleep for that self-amusement and I’m glad that at least one other person got a chuckle out of it. Thanks for the shout out. Like pullin’ teeth sometimes in this joint sometimes. Off to bed. Another 13-hour day tomorrow and, yippee, we’re working through the weekend. Pleasant dreams and as always, Cheers!

Comments are closed.