Hansen rakes it in

Disclosure Obtained by ATI Environmental Law Center Shows the Wealth Keeps Flowing for Dr. James Hansen

Monday, October 3, 2011
Contact: Paul Chesser, Executive Director, paul.chesser@atinstitute.org

As it waits for the resolution of its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit ( http://bit.ly/nnKpxS )  against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which seeks the outside employment permission records of global warming activist Dr. James Hansen, American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center has received the belatedly filed 2010 public financial disclosure of the renowned director of the NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

ATI obtained Dr. Hansen’s Form SF 278, which is required to be filed annually, also under the Freedom of Information Act. The disclosure revealed that Dr. Hansen received between $236,000 and $1,232,500 in outside income in 2010 relating to his taxpayer-funded employment, which included:

• Between $26,008 and $72,500 in honoraria for speeches;
• Between $150,001 and $1.1 million in prizes;
• Just under $60,000 in the form of in-kind income for travel to his many outside-income generating activities

The travel reporting marked the first time Hansen detailed such “in-kind” benefits, which included apparent first-class travel for him and his wife on trips to Australia, Japan, and Norway. The new detail raises the question of whether Dr. Hansen wrongly submitted forms in previous years, which he left blank and attested “none” in the space where he is required to report travel expenses taken as part of his outside employment, all in years in which he was busy with numerous paid outside activities of the same sort as he was in 2010.

“Now that Dr. Hansen’s outside income has come under scrutiny, we see a newfound attention to detail on forms where he reports about these sources,” said Christopher Horner, ATI’s director of litigation. “It also shows that Dr. Hansen continues to enjoy a healthy level of earnings that supplement – and for his curious exploitation of – the taxpayer-funded position he holds.”

As ATI detailed in its current lawsuit against NASA in federal court in Washington, Dr. Hansen admits this income began after he escalated his public – and often political – global warming advocacy, for which outside parties have spectacularly rewarded him.
ATI sued NASA because the agency refuses to make public any forms 17-60 – the application for permission for outside employment – by invoking the Privacy Act and calling their release “a clearly unwarranted violation’ of Hansen’s privacy.” These forms would demonstrate to the public and Congress whether NASA has signed off on Hansen’s lucrative activities, even though they raise serious questions under Ethics in Government Act rules. NASA’s withholding of the 17-60s is improper because Dr. Hansen, like other federal employees of the highest levels of pay and responsibility, waives certain privacy interests as a condition of his employment. Dr. Hansen is required to file the permission forms before most or all of his outside employment activities.

These requirements that cover Dr. Hansen include annual public financial disclosure that is vastly more detailed and personal than the one-page application for permission for outside employment and other activities. This is also true of senior government officials including Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, the President and Vice President.
ATI expects the media will share its curiosity about Dr. Hansen’s records at NASA, considering they have shown similar recent interest in others’ disclosures. For example:

• The Wall Street Journal‘s recent coverage ( http://on.wsj.com/oqypvi )  about Congress members’ public financial disclosures
• The Huffington Post on Thursday reported that some Democrats demand ( http://huff.to/oBI82s )  an investigation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s filings and the propriety of his wife’s income
• The New York Times‘ recently published a (serially corrected) 2700-word piece ( http://nyti.ms/pbIpcC ) that highlighted how public servants are “restricted from using their positions ‘for personal gain’ or on matters in which they have a direct financial interest,” and how they “must avoid outside work that can pose a ‘time conflict,’ and ‘detract from [the employee’s] full time and attention to his official duties,’” as those rules “were designed to promote the notion of a full-time [employee].”

“That Dr. Hansen very well may be the country’s first millionaire bureaucrat — thanks to this flood of outside income since 2006 all clearly related to his public employment – raises similar questions,” Horner said. “Given his high profile and the significant role attributed to him in the climate debate, his and NASA’s own record on this front should generate at least as much interest.”

See Dr. James Hansen’s 2010 SF 278 disclosure form here: http://bit.ly/oVJX1e


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The travel reporting marked the first time Hansen detailed such “in-kind” benefits, which included apparent first-class travel for him and his wife on trips to Australia, Japan, and Norway.

Another “do as I say not as I do” hypocrite.

Outside money that can unduly influence his scientific outlook.A potential corrupting influence that can cause damage to the institution he is a director of.To the field of science research.AND to those who holds a different view of the science.
In any case he is a person who does not have a neutral base to work from.A person who has made it clear that he is mixing politics with science.To promote a particular agenda.
Some would call it scientific advocacy.others will call it political propaganda.


Wow, being a climate denier does not pay well enough, I think I’m going to switch to the alarmist side. That’s where the money is. Wahoo!

Jim, too.

I would like to know how many carbon credits he purchased from Al Gore’s companies to make all these trips. Even at $0.05 a credit he went through a lot of fossil fuel…
Do I sound hypocritical?

Richard Sharpe

It’s always about the filthy lucre.


what a tangle web we weave when first we start to deceive. Or in this case, if you challenge CACC orthodoxy, you must be in the pay of big oil or something – basically you’re doing it for money. Ah, but now we see there’s a money trail to personal wealth (beyond grants, etc.) if you are a major proponent of CACC. Lovely. I’d imagine there may be some laws broken if he hasn’t properly filed those pesky 17-60’s.

Ron Cram

No wonder Hansen allows Gavin Schmidt to work on RealClimate during work hours!! He has a personal money machine to protect!


It will be interesting to see the list of organizations who have given Dr Hansen “awards”.
I think its a problem when an organization gives a government scientist an “award” for producing science that helps that organization to promote their particular agenda. Such payments could have a very corrupting influence. If such things are permitted, then why not allow organizations to give “awards” to politicians who vote in a particular manner? Where would it stop?


This is clearly hyperbole: “That Dr. Hansen very well may be the country’s first millionaire bureaucrat”
Most government bureaucrats approaching retirement age are millionaires because of pension plans. A defined benefit plan paying 60% of the final salary for someone making $60k is worth over $1M.
It is funny that climate researchers have become like F1 drivers. You’re expected to show up, but most of your income comes from the outside sponsors.


All enabled by Dr. James Hansen personal ATM. American Tax Money.


With all this outside activity, how can he possibly be doing the job for which he is paid? Why is he allowed to keep the money when he is clearly working on his employer’s time and using material gained during his work?

This article is worth bookmarking as a quick answer to the Carbon Cultists who routinely chant “No scientist makes extra money from serving the holy cause of science. If you want to make that absurd claim, please cite just one example.” Okay, I will.


@mpaul If you think that American politicians aren’t getting “awards” for that influence their votes, you’re not well informed.
The issue of “follow the money” comes up all the time – I’m in complete agreement with full disclosure but it has to be for all involved, not just the ones you disagree with.

Frank K.

To be honest, I don’t care how much Hansen rakes in from private sector donors (he can be as rich as he wants to be). It is the million dollar taxpayer-funded climate science budgets that he controls that I have a problem with…
And, of course, his profligate use of fossil fuels to enrich himself and live a comfortable lifestyle is staggering hypocrisy. Maybe he thinks that airplanes fly using magical fairy dust…

Doug Proctor

This explains his propensity to getting arrested: it gives him street creds.
Seriously, if you get paid as much as he does, or wish to get paid as much as he did, then you must be upfront and a zealot. Straight from the Al Gore playbook.
How much would be hear about Hansen if he weren’t raking it in? Does money talk or call?

Beth Cooper

Do you remember the days when we thought of scientists as humble seekers after truth?
Aahh … but that was in the good old days, 1980 BC ( Before Climatescience.)

What in h*ll would Hansen be receiving prizes for? Biggest government shill? BIggest embarrassment? Biggest idiot? Biggest Fool?
I guess, in retrospect there are a lot of awards out there for stupid.


US Office of Government Ethics (5 CFR Part 2634)
“The purpose of this report (Confidential Financial Disclosure) is to assist employees and their agencies in avoiding conflicts between official duties and private financial interests or affiliations. [. . . . .]
Knowing and willful falsification of information required to be reported may also subject you to criminal prosecution”.

TBear (Warm Cave in Cold-as-Snow-Sydney)

What’s with the between `$236,000 and $1,232,500′ figure cited in the article?
Why is an accurate amount not provided, presumably in the documents filed by Mr Hansen?
Potentially a $Million/plus per year above salary from `outside sources’ all of whom, the Bear assumes, furiously agree with the prophet of doom side to Mr H? Could a USA politician possibly get away with `booster funds’ of that magnitude?
Love to know the identitiy of the organisations that provided so generously to Mr H’s big pile of cash. Bet they all love it when Mr H makes headlines by getting himself deliberately arrested and making faux-news around the world.


This is an unbecoming witch hunt. Skeptics should be better than this.


As the Romans said, cui bono. As true or truer today as it was then.

Chuck Nolan

“Jim, too. says:
October 3, 2011 at 7:56 am
I would like to know how many carbon credits he purchased from Al Gore’s companies to make all these trips. Even at $0.05 a credit he went through a lot of fossil fuel…
Do I sound hypocritical?”
I’d like to know if he is or was ever somewhat heavily invested, with Al Gore, in the climate exchange stock market while demonstrating against the evils of CO2.


Why does my government more and more remind me of our 1980’s opponents in the east? It used to be that government agencies knew that the taxpayer was ultimately their boss and they would not protect employees if they had done wrong, now NASA is trying to protect Hansen. What changed?

Please give the man credit, after all he is the inventor of the Hansenometer, a thermometer that can foretell temperatures thousands of years into the future.


Jit says:
October 3, 2011 at 8:40 am
“This is an unbecoming witch hunt. Skeptics should be better than this.”
No, it’s about a massive conflict of interest.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

The whole stinking “trough-at-our-expense” thing is disgusting. I suppose now, the parroted meme about Hero Hansen will arise, wherein he will be exonerated because of his “selfless service to society”. Bullfeathers.


R Taylor says:
October 3, 2011 at 8:43 am
“Please give the man credit, after all he is the inventor of the Hansenometer, a thermometer that can foretell temperatures thousands of years into the future.”
Even more important, he’s the inventor of GISTEMP, the only computer program that can cool the past.


“This is an unbecoming witch hunt. Skeptics should be better than this.”
I remind Jit that Hansen is the man who testified to Congress that anyone who disagreed with him should be tried for crimes against humanity. He wasn’t just being figurative in his language.
Who is the witch hunter here?
Hansen is not a witch to be hunted down, he is a ferret who needs to be ferreted out.


I wrote yesterday of the power of Hansen – and this only goes further to prove my point. Hansen isn’t the elephant in the room anymore he IS the entire room. Everything else in it is Hansen’s, untouchable, immune from, and protected all the way up to the President of the US in my judgment. That’s power folks. Why quibble about Hansen’s outside earnings? However, his outside earnings are merely a symptom of the total corruption of that entire department – That’s the real scandal. And believe me here in the real world if I get myself arrested that many times I’d be fired on the spot. Moreover, if I’m in my 70s to boot – I would have been quietly farmed off to the senile pasture fifteen years ago. At my job here in the oil sands I cannot earn an outside income using a single skill I use here at my job, nor can I participate with anyone or any business even somewhat related to my job otherwise I’d to found in conflict of interest and fired on the spot. Trust me – within fifteen minutes I would be escorted off the premises by security. I’ve seen it happen. BUT that’s here in the real world. Then the real question is – how does Hansen constantly avoid getting dismissed? No one on my work site can venture off the reservation – yet he remains untouchable? How does he do it?

Max Hugoson

Similar situation of John Kenneth Galbraith. During the 1980’s he was a “Full Professor” at Harvard. (Base salary, $70k.) He “earned” $4000 a speech, and typically had at least 50 speaches lined up per year. That means $270,000 (when it was worth about $600,000 a year now). Of course, his whole reason for existance was to promote every “wealth re-distribution” scheme on the planet. In the name of “helping the poor and down trodden”.
I would just ask one thing (if I could have a fantasy wish) : To compare his Charitable giving, with say…a Ronald Reagon, or even a (remember: Quaker stock) Richard Nixon. It would be a marvelous contrast.


Hmmm… raising bail after being arrested at protests doesn’t seem like much of an issue. Maybe it’s an “in kind” payment.
I wonder if he did receive any “in kind” transportation costs to attend the protests. That would be passing strange, but it would mean that the protest organizers would be saying something to the effect of, “We need someone with a high profile to get arrested to give the cause a boost. We’ll pay your way and cover bail, if you’d be so kind as to attend and get arrested. Uh, hotel not included as the accommodations will be taxpayer funded and frankly, they’re a little, uh, spartan.

Hansen isn’t the only one taking outside payola. Michael Mann was handed $1.8 million to study ‘mosquito vectors‘. But if anyone wanted to get a malaria study done they would go to either a biologist or an epidemiologist. Mann isn’t qualified. The cash grant was to keep him in line immediately following Climategate, and to show the “Team” where their bread is buttered.
Mann also gets payola from the government.
It is the unethical handing out of bribes like these that perpetuates the AGW scam.

According to this:
Both Hansen and Bob Watson hauled in $550k in 2010 in one joint ‘prize’ (i.e. a $1.1m payoff from big industry).
It is tough work corrupting science and stealing from society, but someone has to do it.

Jit says:
October 3, 2011 at 8:40 am
This is an unbecoming witch hunt. Skeptics should be better than this.
Jit, its about graft. Hansen even wrote about it himself. I mentioned his receiving graft in one of my posts. His comments can be seen here.
Hansen is getting paid a large amount of money for his advocacy and his position on the federal payroll. Yes, this is an unseemly conversation to have, but it is a necessary one. Whether or not this violates law, is only one question.
“Few people have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” ———- Washington, George
The fact is, Hansen is receiving 7 figures for his advocacy. At the very least, it needs acknowledged and weighted. Not from the perspective of his notions, but from the perspective that he is an employee of the federal taxpayer………. or is that only his part-time endeavor?


Having endured years of having peer reviewed papers I have quoted as reasons to question the so called consensus climatology, be verbally put down with a retort “no sane person listens to that idiot, he’s not a scientist, he is a shill for big oil, big tobacco” “sold his soul for the corporate buck” with the same vicious mantra applied by warmist trolls on the many so called science blogs on the internet. Not only that, the campaign to discredit seemed to be well organized to intentionally “frame the debate” and imply corruption by these contrarians that didn’t accept the teams science meme or their self proclaimed dominance of Climatology.
Its wearying to the point of it (the intentional framing of such scientists) becoming a standing in joke between scientists remarking that they hadn’t seen any of these huge cheques or monetary largesse that trolls claimed they should be getting.
I hope that the senate calls Mr Hansen and his associates to account, for the good of science and setting the record straight. yes I would love to see that, and it should be demanded by those scientists that have had their reputations sullied because they dared to question and probe climate science.
Boy I guess this will stir up an ants nest of protest from those who want to hide the decline of climate science.

Michael D Smith

klem says:
October 3, 2011 at 7:55 am
Wow, being a climate denier does not pay well enough, I think I’m going to switch to the alarmist side. That’s where the money is. Wahoo!

It would be the first documented case of a skeptic going alarmist. If the alarmist science won’t get ya, the money just might. Except you’re probably too ethical for that, which is part of the reason you’re skeptical.
The reverse happens all the time, alarmists give up the money and go rogue, often becoming outspoken critics of the climate science herd mentality. At least they can sleep at night.

son of mulder

Does the income track CO2 or a Hockey Stick?


Getting arrested while protesting must not have affected his income stream.

Hugh Pepper

It seems to go unnoticed or unacknowledged that the vast majority of Dr. Hansen’s income is in the form of prizes ($150k to 1,250k).(He also writes books, but this is not noted.) His work is regarded around the world by serious scientists and national agencies as ground-breaking and first class. By demonizing him, you deny your readers and corespondents the opportunity to benefit from the richness of his work.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

KenB says:
October 3, 2011 at 9:38 am
Boy I guess this will stir up an ants nest of protest from those who want to hide the decline of climate science.
Please! You’re insulting ants. I think on the outside it’s a hornet’s nest, and on the inside, mostly Blatella germanica. Oh…silly me. Ants ‘toe the company line’, don’t they.

Etaoin Shrdlu

Bottom Line: Crime pays!


@ various commenters
“I can’t prove he’s wrong, but I can prove he’s bad, so you shouldn’t believe him.”
I don’t like it when the other side play this card “Dr Z is in the pay of Big Oil… therefore you can assume he/she is lying.”
Rise above, prove argument wrong.
Maybe I’m naive – but if you can play like Corinthians and still win – now that’s cool.

Mikael Pihlström

It’s the American way, no? Work hard and you deserve your wealth? Besides, being
awarded prizes is kind of out of his control? If his contributions will result in avoiding
or alleviating effects of future climate catastrophes, it is money well spent, methinks.

Hansen has been proved consistently wrong since the 1980’s.
And I resent my tax money being wasted on alarmist propaganda by scofflaws like James Hansen.


I just don’t understand how a senior public servant would have the time to earn all that money on the side if they were doing their job properly. Has anyone asked for Hansen’s timesheets? Do his bosses insist that he not make money privately from his taxpayer-funded role?
Where I worked, senior public servants were not allowed to accept private income (such as speaking fees) related to their public employment. What is the ethical and legal framework that allows Hansen to do this?

Mikael Pihlström would believe everything Elmer Gantry told him.

Mikael Pihlström

Sorry, don’t know any E. Gantry. He posts a WUWT?


Not counting Soros.org for “politicization of science”
http://www.soros.org/resources/articles_publications/publications/annual_20070731/a_complete.pdf [ page 143 ] “politicization of science ($720,000).”?

Roger Knights

Clime pays.

tom T

Where can I get first class tickets for two to all those places for $60,000?