Faux outrage over Willie Soon's disclosure? Joe Romm failed to disclose his political financial ties in a scientific paper

Romm YouTube Image

Joe Romm, of the political activist group: Center for American Progress

After the Willie Soon imbroglio there came news that Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., who is not a climate skeptic, is also under investigation (in what can only be seen as part of a broader witch-hunt). Pielke Jr. writes on his blog, “the Climate Fix” about undisclosed Conflicts Of Interest (COI):


 

I have Tweeted that undisclosed COI is endemic in scientific publishing. I have had several requests for elaboration.

Here is a great example.

This paper was published by ERL in 2010: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/1/014017/fulltext/

It has a list of 53 co-authors. The ERL publication policy states:

“All authors and co-authors are required to disclose any potential conflict of interest when submitting their article (e.g. employment, consulting fees, research contracts, stock ownership, patent licenses, honoraria, advisory affiliations, etc). This information should be included in an acknowledgments section at the end of the manuscript (before the references section). All sources of financial support for the project must also be disclosed in the acknowledgments section. The name of the funding agency and the grant number should be given, for example: “This work was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a National Cancer Institute grant R21CA141833.””

There was no COI disclosure whatsoever associated with this paper.

The 53 authors include (for example) Joe Romm, Hal Harvey and Amory Lovins each of whom had massive undisclosed financial COI (obviously and easily documented) associated with renewable energy and political advocacy. No doubt other co-authors do as well. Further, several of these co-authors have also testified before Congress without COI disclosure.

Two points:

  1. The lack of COI disclosure in this case does not mean that the paper is in any way in error.
  2. The lack of COI disclosure in this case does not in any way justify or excuse similar lack of COI disclosure by Willie Soon. But it does point to the incredible selectivity of outrage in standards of COI disclosure, e.g., as applied by the NYT and US Congress. The Soon case and the example here are exactly parallel.

If COI disclosure is a good idea, and I think that it is, then it should be applied consistently across academic publishing and testimony, rather than being used as a selectively applied political bludgeon by campaigning journalists and politicians seeking to delegitimize certian academics whose work they do not like.

 


 

To be clear on Pielke’s point, Romm is paid to run the political attack blog “Climate Progress” by the Center for American Progress, a progressive (liberal) political action group in Washington, DC. according to his bio there. According the the lastest IRS form 990 on file (required for tax exempt 501c3 organizations) Romm’s outfit collected over 39 million dollars in revenue in 2012. See form 990 here: CAP_300126510_2012_09818b30

The Center for American Progress has a long history of big political money:

Center-for-american-progess-moneyFunny how Joe Romm didn’t see the need to disclose such potential conflicts of interest to a highly paid political organization that politicizes climate, while writing a scientific paper about climate. Meanwhile his blog attacks Willie Soon saying:

Climate Deniers’ Favorite Scientist Quietly Took Money From The Fossil Fuel Industry

Joe, pot, kettle.

The label “paid shill” doesn’t really do justice here to Romm’s hypocrisy.

 

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168 thoughts on “Faux outrage over Willie Soon's disclosure? Joe Romm failed to disclose his political financial ties in a scientific paper

    • In the Ranking Member letter
      I am hopeful that disclosure of a few key pieces of information will establish the impartiality of climate research and policy recommendations published in your institution’s name and assist me and my colleagues in making better law. Companies with a direct financial interest in climate and air quality standards are funding environmental research that influences state and federal regulations and shapes public understanding of climate science. These conflicts should be clear to stakeholders, including policymakers who use scientific information to make decisions.
      My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships.

      So when will the conservative side of this committee have every testimony given by every EPA staff member show their financial interest is not filled with GreenPC, WWF, George & his Open Society, Tides & the rest. Afterall, we know about the revolving door to the Green Blob and how they want to either kill or put us back in caves. Just look at their ‘optimum population’ estimates.

    • Here is another pot and kettle trick.

      Three Sonorans News & Analysis – July 30, 2014
      While Tucson activists call for divestment, Raul Grijalva invests in Wells Fargo and Caterpillar
      Remember when the Tucson activist community, led by Derechos Humanos, had a protest at the Downtown Wells Fargo after passage of SB1070 and called for a boycott of Wells Fargo for its investment in the private prison industry and the Geo Group? Wells Fargo was also one of the top banks that kicked so many Latinos out of their homes during the mortgage crisis.
      Meanwhile Congressman Raul Grijalva was profiting by investing in Wells Fargo
      ……. We are proud when Raul Grijalva leads the charge to stop the Canadian oil pipeline, but why must he make money off of this also? It turns out he has his own conflicts of interest by profiting off of his actions when his wife bought stock in the competing oil pipeline company.
      http://threesonorans.com/2014/07/30/tucson-activists-call-divestment-raul-grijalva-invests-wells-fargo-caterpillar/

  1. I am no expert but have read many times that there is like a 10 to 1 differential in the amount of money going to the proponents of AGW compared to the skeptics. That’s a BIG pot vs. a little kettle.

    • The UNEP is now working directly for the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate), otherwise known as the 1%. This is what happens when you privatize what was previously the public domain. The UN is no longer working with governments, per their charter. They are working for, and with, transnational corporations that have escaped the jurisdictions of governments but will use their money. To make matters worse, in the USA these corporations were granted personhood four years ago. Because they are private, not one single citizen in the US (or elsewhere) can do a damn thing about it. This is one of the unintended consequences of the ‘smaller government’ crowd, who failed to see this coming or think it through, the same crowd who shriek ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’ in the same breath, as if the number of people the government has to serve hasn’t grown in 150 years, 10X times. That’s why there’s the equivalent of three Pentagons of private contractors in the DC area providing ‘security’ at 100X-plus government salaries. American citizens have no recourse to what they are doing, nor whose data they are accessing or manipulating. UNEP has upped their latest gravy train.
      Just take a look at these UNEP banners, and weep:
      UNEP Finance Initiative: Innovative financing for sustainability
      http://www.unepfi.org/

      • Yes crony corporatists are wreaking havoc. However the size of the problem is directly related to the size and power of gov’t. The bigger the gov’t the more they handout favors which disadvantage others. The reason gov;t has more people to serve is because of gov’t programs which increase dependency. All gov’t programs created to solve a problem increase the size of the problem. The gov’t program just gets larger and larger.

  2. The point remains. The attack on the man does not attack the science.
    The witch finders and mudslingers want to attack the science. They want to [find] the science wanting.
    But they can’t. And they know it.
    So they go for the man.

      • Dr. Soon’s paper was published by Harvard-Smithsonian many years ago. There has never been a retraction or a correction.
        Maybe you should just lurk, instead of trolling. That would immensely improve your lack of credibility.

      • I guess you have a problem with reading comprehension dbstealey
        ..
        From your link….
        ..
        “The study – funded by NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the American Petroleum Institute – will be published in the Energy and Environment journal. A shorter paper by Soon and Baliunas appeared in the January 31, 2003 issue of the Climate Research journal. ”
        Again, I repeat, the Harvard-Smithsonian doesn’t publish a science journal.

      • Are you an incarnation of Charlie the Tuna ??
        Izzat your definition of “credible” somebodies, or a comment on Dr. Soon’s Science ?
        Which of his sciences are you specifically referring to ??

      • Charlie the Wonder Dog, no-one credible is able to challenge Soon’s science.
        If they could, they would.
        But they can’t so they don’t.
        And nor do you.

      • Reed, you have a BS problem. It’s a journal and it’s about science. If you want to be more specific about what sort of science journal, then do so.
        Chuck needs to give the agitprop a miss. Nobody credible thinks that AGW is sound because who ever does is not credible. Enough of the childishness.

      • Thank you, Charlie the Wonder Dog, I thought we were out of microsecond trolls. Good to see you here. Please elaborate at length.

      • R.B.:
        Please give clear indication of exactly what you disagree with in Dr. Soon’s work. Otherwise we can all just assume you are wrong.

      • You are looking at our trolls from the wrong point of view, Ernest.
        In general, trolls are simply outsiders that won’t back down. Often, they are attention seekers and, in some cases, they are also emotionally stunted/disturbed people socializing the pain and noise echoing inside their heads. Those trolls are obviously uninteresting (in principle).
        However, in this case, our trolls are not only emotionally challenged outsiders. They are also a conduit to a belief system and, when they engage, they give away the instructions they receive from those they consider to be “experts”. They are, in short, lunatics and there is nothing I can think of that is more damaging to their cause than to give them the largest, loudest megaphone together with an invitation to elaborate at length.

      • Reed Bukhart
        You write

        I guess you have a problem with reading comprehension dbstealey
        ..
        From your link….
        ..
        “The study – funded by NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the American Petroleum Institute – will be published in the Energy and Environment journal. A shorter paper by Soon and Baliunas appeared in the January 31, 2003 issue of the Climate Research journal. ”
        Again, I repeat, the Harvard-Smithsonian doesn’t publish a science journal.

        It seems that the “problem with reading comprehension” is yours and applies to the words you have quoted.
        Your words say “The study” was “published in the Energy and Environment journal”.
        Energy & Environment is indexed in the ISI and is cited 28 times in the IPCC reports .
        Do you really want to claim that the Soon and Baliunas paper was not published in a “science journal” when it was published in a journal which the IPCC Reports have cited dozens of times? If so, then you are proclaiming the IPCC Reports are not presenting collations of scientific publications.
        Richard

      • @Reed and Charlie you’ve been intellectually mauled by “dbstealey”, what say you ??? or does your silence and irrelevance speak for itself ?

      • The is no “credible experiment that proves that the Hypotheses of the “greenhouse gas effect exists”!Below is a document that shows that the real scientists at NASA know that the GHGE does not exist (more than 40 years ago). All IPCC energy balances are in error because they do not include the heat generated by the molten rock below the earths surface as represented by volcanoes and under water heating.
        Climate Realists Article
        http://climaterealists.com/5783
        ALAN SIDDONS   HEADLINE STORY   JOHN O’SULLIVAN   NASA  
        NASA in Shock New Controversy: Two Global Warming Reasons Why by John O’Sullivan, guest post at Climate Realists
        Thursday, May 27th 2010, 3:06 PM EDT
        Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
        NASA covered up for forty years proof that the greenhouse gas theory was bogus. But even worse, did the U.S. space agency fudge its numbers on Earth’s energy budget to cover up the facts?
        As per my article this week, forty years ago the space agency, NASA, proved there was no such thing as a greenhouse gas effect because the ‘blackbody’ numbers supporting the theory didn’t add up in a 3-dimensional universe:
        “During lunar day, the lunar regolith absorbs the radiation from the sun and transports it inward and is stored in a layer approximately 50cm thick….in contrast with a precipitous drop in temperature if it was a simple black body, the regolith then proceeds to transport the stored heat back onto the surface, thus warming it up significantly over the black body approximation…”
        Thus, the ‘blackbody approximations’ were proven to be as useful as a chocolate space helmet; the guesswork of using the Stefan-Boltzmann equations underpinning the man-made global warming theory was long ago debunked. If NASA had made known that Stefan-Boltzmann’s numbers were an irrelevant red-herring then the taxpayers of the world would have been spared the $50 billion wasted on global warming research; because it would have removed the only credible scientific basis to support the theory that human emissions of carbon dioxide changed Earth’s climate.
        But, until May 24, 2010 these facts remained swept under the carpet. For the Apollo missions NASA had successfully devised new calculations to safely put astronauts on the Moon-based on actual measured temperatures of the lunar surface. But no one appears to have told government climatologists who, to this day, insist their junk science is ‘settled’ based on their bogus ‘blackbody’ guesswork.
        NASA’s Confusion over Earth’s Energy Budget
        But it gets worse: compounding such disarray, NASA, now apparently acting more like a politicized mouthpiece for a socialist one world government, cannot even provide consistent numbers on Earth’s actual energy budget.
        Thanks to further discussion with scientist, Alan Siddons, a co-author of the paper, ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon,’ it appears I inadvertently stumbled on a NASA graph that shows the U.S. space agency is unable to tally up the numbers on the supposed greenhouse gas “backradiation.” Why would this be?
        In its graphic representation of the energy budget of the Earth the agency has conspicuously contradicted itself in its depiction of back-radiation based on its various graphs on Earth’s radiation budget.
        As Siddons sagely advised me, “This opens the question as to WHICH budget NASA actually endorses, because the one you show is consistent with physics: 70 units of sunlight go in, 70 units of infrared go out, and there’s no back-flow of some ridiculous other magnitude. Interesting.”
        Climate Sceptic Scientists’ Growing Confidence
        Thanks to Siddons and his co-authors of ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon,’ the world now has scientific evidence to show the greenhouse gas theory (GHG) was junk all along.
        As the truth now spreads, an increasing number of scientists refute the greenhouse gas theory, many have been prompted by the shocking revelations since the Climategate scandal. The public have also grown more aware of how a clique of government climatologists were deliberately ‘hiding the decline’ in the reliability of their proxy temperature data all along.
        But NASA’s lunar temperature readings prove that behind that smoke was real fire. Some experts now boldly go so far as to say the entire global warming theory contravenes the established laws of physics.
        How NASA responds to these astonishing revelations may well tell us how politicized the American space agency really is.
        ##############################################################
        Short bio: John O’Sullivan is a legal analyst and writer who for several years has litigated in government corruption and conspiracy cases in both the US and Britain. Visit his Website: http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/johnosullivan

  3. Disclosure is a binary issue. But the nature and degree of the COI is something else. If the disclosure is meant to be a means of assessing potential bias, I’m coming up with different results for Romm and Soon.

    • Does anyone know if scientists working in CRU and publish papers state a possible conflict of interest?
      The Climatic Research Unit has in the past / present received funding from the following:
      Greenpeace International, Reinsurance Underwriters and Syndicates, WWF, EPA, British Petroleum, Shell, Sultanate of Oman as well as the following two funders:

      Climate and Development Knowledge Network
      “…..aims to help decision-makers in developing countries design and deliver climate compatible development……”
      =======
      Earth and Life Sciences Alliance
      “…..addressing the challenges of a changing climate, the Alliance not only carries out fundamental research but also applies the findings to real world scenarios…..“

  4. “The US government has spent over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, education campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks. Despite the billions: “audits” of the science are left to unpaid volunteers. A dedicated but largely uncoordinated grassroots movement of scientists has sprung up around the globe to test the integrity of the theory and compete with a well funded highly organized climate monopoly. They have exposed major errors.”
    PDF version of Joanne Nova’s full report on the trillions of dollars sloshing around in the climate alarmist troughs, “Climate Money” is available from SPPI : http://tinyurl.com/mygw7b

      • Cat,
        For full details, I’d suggest you read the Climate Money report. It came out in 2009, and could clearly use an updating.
        However, it does put all the pieces of the puzzle together, in one place–including an overview of the fake “science” behind the scam, as well as the funding sources.
        It’s all there–and can be updated with the latest year’s government spending, via your link.
        Thanks! Great job.
        Kent

      • Catcracking, thanks for that report. AGW funding isn’t just “sloshing”. It’s gushing. And it will continue to gush after this president leaves office until the pressure behind “climate change” initiatives are shown to fraudulent and wasteful. How long it will take to quash these funding sources is not in my crystal ball, but I have a feeling we’ll be up to our knees in stagnant research grants for the foreseeable future.

    • When elected members of congress give full and complete disclosure of their own personal conflicts of interest and sources of funding for their election campaigns; then, and only then do they have standing to question any scientists COI status.
      So ante up or shut up.

      • George,
        This is one of a “top ten” list that should become a mandate for public servants: Complete disclosure AND divestment into blind trusts of ALL investments/holdings. Period. No exceptions.

  5. How could a paper have 53 co-authors and no conflicts of interest?
    How could a paper have 53 co-authors? Other than: “you list me as a co-author on your paper and I’ll list you on mine then we’ll each have two papers rather than one.”

    • I believe there is an inverse correlation between the number of co-authors and the quality of the paper. The more co-authors, the crummier the results.

      • The old Journal of Irreproducible Results, now the Annals of Improbable Research, once pointed out that one medical paper regarding a particular drug had 1 author for every 2-3 words in the paper. Every physician who had taken part in the drug test was listed as a coauthor. This sounds very familiar. Spread the fame, or spread the guilt? If anything is found wrong, well, certainly MY part of the paper is right!

    • You show me a US patent with 53 named inventors, and I will show you an invalid patent due to fraudulent inventorship.
      To be an inventor of a patentable invention, one must be the SOLE origin of at least one named essential element of at least one allowed claim of the invention. Otherwise one is not an inventor. Invention is an exclusive process, not a group think.
      The US patent courts take a very dim view of fraudulent claims of authorship of patents, and companies who try to pursue riches on the basis of fraudulent patents.

    • Did you read the paper?
      Here is the “disclosure” as written in the paper:
      “In this letter we propose standard characteristics for an avoided power plant that have physical meaning and intuitive plausibility, for use in back-of-the-envelope calculations and characterizing energy savings results. We also propose naming the annual energy savings of such a plant as a new unit in Art Rosenfeld’s honor (the Rosenfeld) because Dr Rosenfeld continues to be the most prominent advocate of characterizing efficiency savings in terms of avoided power plants.”
      Citing this “paper” with 53 co-authors as an example of failure to disclose COI is clearly absurd.
      This is not a “scientific paper” needing any disclosure of any kind by any of the 53 authors.
      Seems to me that comments posted here should have a “disclosure” : Before I posted, I read the quoted paper.
      So, from now on, when you post you MUST include your COI, otherwise your comment will be deleted.
      I am leaving now before this policy is implemented.

  6. I think an excellent disclosure would be that no Green or lefty progressive org has ever funded my work! The other side, who take freely from the oil industry and from foundations (Rockefeller) that were built on fossil fuels can’t say they haven’t been funded by all and sundry. What is wrong with these bloody oil companies anyway – yeah I know, they are opportunists working against coal and also jumping into subsidized renewables. Can the unbelievable (to an old guy like me) moral degradation society over the last 50 years be reversed? Please don’t say, hey, there were bad guys before that. The difference is no one even remarks on the amorality of today.

    • Well…I ain’t cheap, but I AM easy. And if any of the Greenies want me to shill for them, please DO reach out. I’m getting ready to begin existence on a fixed-income, and would welcome any GREENbacks that I can find.

  7. The hypocrisy is breathtaking – and scary. The supporters of CAGW seem to have reached the point of having the “cult” label applied to them. It’s no longer about scientific truth but, to borrow from Patchy, it has become their religion, their dharma. Religious fervor most often goes awry and results in much pain and suffering. It is worrisome to say the least.

    • Breathtaking and scary is a good description. For me the thing that elevates this stuff from just “goofy” to downright “scary” is that it is both endorsed and even encouraged by the highest elected office in the land, as well as a majority of the major media outlets. I could never have believed this could happen in our day had I not seen it with my own eyes.

    • It has been an escathological cargo cult from almost time zero. The fact that many of the “leaders” are leftovers from the zpg cult speaks volumes. This is not the first time that folks have been told to “go up the mountain” to be saved, and I dare say it is not going to be the last either. It is just another Millerite religion in different clothing. The fact that Al Gorge was a divinity school dropout is not accidental.

  8. John Podesta is the chairman at the Center for American Progress. The CAP calls itself non partisan but that’s damn hard to believe. John Podesta was Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration. Scowling John and his flashy brother Tony Podesta are cofounders of the Podesta lobbying group. We’re talking big money here and deep Washington tentacles. John Podesta was brought in by Barack Obama to further Obama’s climate initiatives. Perhaps those two charming people discuss their strategy while flying in the world’s largest private jet to a golf game or fund raiser. Maybe, once the jet lands they can further discuss it traveling in Obama’s man of prestige 40 vehicle motorcade. In any case, I think what you’re seeing here is Chicago style take no prisoners politics. Obama brought the corrupt Chicago political machine to Washington. They don’t care how many lives they ruin.

  9. But can’t they see that the source of funding really does not matter. The more funding for any science, the better. The only thing that counts is the quality and honesty of the research – and that will (ideally) be revealed by other scientists checking on its findings. Access to plenty of funds only means that money will be available for research into idiotic subjects of the eye-rolling sort (and God knows, we get plenty of that from the alarmists) – but that only means that the money is probably wasted. And, you never know, the researcher may just be lucky and come across something of real value during his/her (otherwise useless) research.

    • But can’t they see that the source of funding really does not matter.

      Sorry… that only holds true in an ideal world where the awarding of grants is not based on implied/assumed results. There are two places biases can show up. One is in which proposals are accepted (e.g., you want to study the relationship between ‘A’ and ‘B’ or you want to determine why ‘B’ is a function of ‘A’). The second is in any restrictions/objectives placed on the research by the funding agency (e.g. you are to study how ‘A’ causes ‘B’).
      One way of monitoring biases in funding would be for the journals to not only require a list of funding sources and any attached requirements and objectives for the research to be performed, but also require the actual request/proposal documents that led to that funding. Of course the journal would need a strict policy of not publishing a paper until the required funding information had been provided.

      • What really matters is that the data and algorithms are provided so that others could test the veracity
        of the work. That will stop all this nonsense about who funded what.

    • AndyE says “But can’t they see that the source of funding really does not matter.”
      I have no idea what they cannot see; but observations show that source of funding DOES matter. The impact can be subtle.
      Consider the hypothesis that peeing in the ocean raises sea level. It is easy enough to show that it does. If that is all you show, then you can conclude it reasonable to outlaw peeing in the sea. But if you show the confounders, such as that all water that went into the pee started in the ocean and is merely returning to its source, then you have told a very different story.
      One truth but two stories!

      • No Michael. The mean sea level data that was collected is the only problem when it come to disclosure. The analysis is open for anyone to read and disagree. Strictly speaking we need to have faith in the data if its too difficult to repeat. We do not need to have faith in the discussion of the results and the conclusion.
        This attack on Willie Soon is because an experienced academic putting his name to a paper that finds fault in data from others. Charlie the Less Than wonderful above shows why this is about keeping sceptical opinions out of academic journals. The great unwashed need to believe that peer-reviewed publications are divine. That’s propaganda and not science.

    • That’s a Pollyanna view, unfortunately. The first and most predictable response to most skeptics is to attack them as shills, paid or otherwise.
      I still remember the 2003 Soon and Baliunas Climate Research furor, because I read the paper and found it to be convincing. The first response was to attack the authors as paid shills. The next response was to attack the journal’s editor, publisher, and reviewers as inept. The journal’s publisher conducted an investigation and found that the manuscript had 4 reviewers, each of which provided detailed, critical, and helpful evaluations, the editor properly analyzed the evaluations and requested appropriate revisions, and the authors revised their manuscripts accordingly.
      Despite every evidence that the peer-review process was proper, several of the journal’s editors and the journal’s publisher eventually resigned to try to quell the anger. As far as I can tell, the only legitimate scientific criticism of the work is itself invalid, since they complained that the warming of each proxy was not “contemporaneous across the globe”. Today the Warmists don’t hold their own ideas to this standard, instead saying that the entire globe doesn’t have to heat up at once, and having record cold in the US is further proof that we broke the climate.
      Although you are correct in principle, Global Warming is not a scientific pursuit and has not been for a while. It is a political agenda, and attacks based on funding or perceptions of bias are an effective tool in political debates.
      At my university we have a strict Conflict of Interest policy. The stated purpose of the policy is to reduce or eliminate any PERCEPTION of a conflict. It doesn’t matter whether your work is completely solid and unbiased, some could use any perception of bias to attack you or your institution. It’s the new politicization of science, and I guarantee that it’s not about silencing those getting money from the government or the regular funding channels it’s about silencing those who think to challenge the orthodoxy or mainstream, like Willie Soon.

    • Nobody gives away truckloads of cash without an ROI (return on investment) of some kind. Funding sources always matter. Sometimes the impact is benign, more often then not, its not. But it certainly may be subtle. It may not impact the PI, but it will impact somebody in the feeding chain.

      • Nobody gives away truckloads of cash without an ROI (return on investment) of some kind.

        Sure they do. Trust funds do it all the time; same with foundations; they are required to by law. It ain’t philanthropy that drives most foundations. Foundations must spend 10% of their annual income in order to stay tax-exempt, which allows them to pay for all the other stuff (the 90%) the foundation owners use to benefit themselves. I met the sister of a dead fashion designer. She inherited his foundation. She spent 10% on fund-raising (always great hotels) and a couple of inner-city school grants, then used the remaining 90% to buy a CPW penthouse (the office), renovated it for a couple of million, and spent her days having expensive massages and dinners. She crowed to me about her great good luck. Foundations are how the uber-rich avoid taxes; the hoi polloi are fooled into thinking they’re generous, caring, or give a s**t. Not all, but most. Only 11,000 sq ft of Bill Gates’ massive compound across from Seattle is considered his ‘home’. The rest of the grounds, the olympic-sized poolhouse with the in-pool bar, the theatre section, the 20-car garage, the two-story dining section, the library and tech center, the gardens, the dock, the servant’s quarters, and more, are foundation-owned.
        Then there is the issue of corporate tax write-offs, or ‘good will’. You can frequently lower your tax rate with them.

    • Gov’t decisions are always political. More funding only means more garbage. Reduce taxes by 50% and you would see huge increased amounts of private research and innovation. Our standard of living would increase.

  10. When do we see the Inspector General investigation?
    Pandora’s box is now open for business and the business forecast is looking quite good!
    We need a write your congressman campaign on these items for certain.
    Inhofe, where are you?

    • ossqss,

      Inhofe, where are you?

      What Don Perry said. Add: you are advocating for the exact thing Anthony is excoriating.

      • ossqss,
        I am thinking of your grandkids’ future. If that means tarring and feathering Willie Soon, so be it. See how this works now?

      • Brandon, I am hesitant to even engage you. You act like you have it all figured out. I put it to you that you have it exactly backwards. It is civilization that is tenuous, not the environment.
        All your “comforts” could be removed very quickly through natural means.
        I find it hilarious that you do not see your own hypocrisy, i.e., sitting in warmth and comfort in front of a computer, probably satiated from a nice meal that you got from going to the grocery store in your automobile (is it an import?), wearing decent clothes, etc.. Are you smart enough to understand what I am saying here?
        Renewables are going to have to become a WHOLE LOT better in order to supply the same energy stability that so-called “fossil fuels” provide today without back-up.
        I read your responses to others and come to one inescapable conclusion. You should be ignored because following your lead, we as a species would be sunk. Sorry about the news, buddy.

      • Gates says:
        I am thinking of your grandkids’ future.
        Like just about everything Gates writes: that’s a bunch of horse manure.
        Anyone concerned about our grandchildren would support cheap electricity. That is the #1 way to bring about a wealthy society. But the alarmist cult hates cheap electricity. What does that tell us about them?

      • Brandon, you are so nice to think of the grandchildren of others! And others who think of your grandchildren can tar and feather perceived opponents, like Mann et al, and that’s all good for you? Nothing like a nitwit to open his mouth and prove what we could only guess at if you said nothing (thanks Mark Twain).

  11. This is strange because it appears that Steig, Mann et al are actually not supporting the Soon et al witchhunt. Probably the only time in AGW history that Skeptic and Alarmist scientists are in agreement. LOL

  12. Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi. Guess who is who. A self-appointed nobility is spreading like plague.

  13. Meanwhile it seems like the number of scary AGW (Climate Change) stories getting created out of well paid individuals imaginations is increasing. Unfortunately the crooks running this scam have lots of money, most of it from taxpayers, but also from oil and gas energy companies wanting to sink the coal industry.

  14. The money spent on the fight against global warming in North America already provide results. They are not given in vain.

  15. 53 co authors? Doesn’t Willis have a law that’s applicable to that sort of thing? I used to have a piece of Devon motto-ware pottery with the saying on it ‘Mud thrown is ground lost’. Sorta sums it up really.

  16. Eliza, it’s not strange at all. The Harvard Smithsonian didn’t back Soon at all. They gave up his personal e-mails, the same stuff that UVA wouldn’t give to Cuccinelli for his investigation in the case of Mann. Grijalva is asking U of C for all correspondence related to Pielke’s testimony preparations. It’s precedent that could come back on Mann.

    • John,
      Correctomundo.
      Harvard-Smithsonian originally published the Soon/Balunias link.
      Ever since, they have been under pressure to monkey-pile on the ad hominem attacks against Dr. Soon [and to a lesser extent, Dr. Balunias].
      Like the craven cowards they are, they did just that.

      • The Harvard-Smithsonian didn’t publish that paper.
        ..
        Reading is fundemental
        ..
        “will be published in the Energy and Environment journal”

      • @Reed Bukhart,
        You may be an expert on these publications, I don’t know.
        What I do know is that Harvard-Smithsonian published Drs. Soon & Balunias’ item [linked above]. No one else published it, AFAIK. But I could be wrong.
        Splitting hairs like you’re doing wins no points. The fact remains that all the baying of hyenas is based on ad hominem attacks. If you want to monkey-pile on people just because that’s the latest narrative, you can do that here. There is no censorship.
        But the rest of us can point out exactly what you’re doing, if not why. That’s how the truth gets sifted from the ad hominem carp.

      • Dbstealey.
        All you have to do is read the link you posted.
        .
        Not too hard to do.
        Down at the bottom is says…
        “The study – funded by NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the American Petroleum Institute – will be published in the Energy and Environment journal. A shorter paper by Soon and Baliunas appeared in the January 31, 2003 issue of the Climate Research journal. ”

        You are confusing a press release with the actual published paper.

      • And your point is… what?
        This article is about fake outrage. Is that your motivation, too?
        You’re just doing more nitpicking. What, exactly has Dr. Soon done that violated any laws or agreements? Chapter and verse, please.

  17. Did Soon have a conflict of interest? I don’t see it. I believe that the data has orchestrated his research, not his past funding sources. Does solar influence on climate in any way benefit the fossil fuel industry? That’s laughable. Like somehow if us skeptics weren’t around we’d all be driving EVs and powering our homes, businesses, and industry with windmills and solar panels by now; I would say good luck with that. Soon has as much conflict of interest involving his research as Galileo did.

    • Soon only has a conflict of those who disagree with his vista of climate mechanics. Odd that the “flat earth society” would be the ones who have the big picture of ‘Earth within the Heliosphere’, instead of the myopic mainstream idea; ‘Earth, the victim of it’s own fragile climate processes, tipped by our very presence here’.

  18. You just have to understand what passes for Morality to all good Leftists today:
    “Moral”, and “Good” = Anything done by myself or anyone I, the leftist, likes. Because we are “Moral” and “Good” people, anything we do is by definition “Moral” and “Good”.
    “Immoral”, ” and “Evil” = Anything done by anyone who doesn’t believe like I do or who I, the leftist, oppose. Because they are “Immoral” and “Evil” people, anything they do is by definition “Immoral” and “Evil”.
    Once you accept that this is their view of the world, then everything else falls into place. Every action they take is in accordance with this belief.
    And never forget that if you point this out to them, well you have just proved that you are EVIL!!!

    • Essentially correct, except that with their belief in “Moral Relativism” the concept of “EVIL” becomes a null hypothesis, so they develop PC substitutes. In this case it’s their own definition of “Science” as in Scientific Consensus, and redefine “Good Science” and “Bad Science” according to how useful a given study is to their cause, not how well it describes/predicts nature. It’s sort of Orwell all the way down.

  19. Joe Romm is a white guy. Christopher Monckton, a co-author on the most recent paper with Willie Soon, is a white guy.
    Willie Soon is an Asian guy with a distinct accent. (NPR makes sure to play long sound bites of his remarks so that everybody listening in to the “National Public” network doesn’t mistakenly think the guy is English or a native-speaker of the American vernacular.
    Do you suppose the people who are under-respectful of Soon might be a teeny tiny bit racist, or “dog-whistling” to those who might be racist, in attacking the accented-Asian guy instead of the “clear-speaking” white guys?

    • Well Dr Soon is, or at least he was a little “Asian quaint” in his written English, which I found quite charming in the e-mails I exchanged with him. Which is why he had the good sense to have a co-author on his remarkable book, on the Maunder Minimum, and sun-earth connection.
      Gee ya think this Arizona heavyweight bully might be getting a couple of my e-mails to Dr. Wilie ??

  20. Let us not forget that 350.ORG has taken money from “big oil.”
    They took $200,000 from the Rockefeller foundation to get started.
    As long as your motive is pure, I.E. to keep third-world countries from using coal and oil, then it’s ok?

    • How about over $10 million under The Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s ‘sky’ org. Can’t remember the name right now. Vivian Krause got the tax returns. Google her.

  21. For the first time the NYT had the super cold record ice story on its front page! With a poem about how spring will come so why is anyone worried.
    Yes, the same paper running the witch hunt against Soon had to admit this cold winter was very cold, record cold and they are pissed they have to admit he was right and their global warming buddies are wrong.
    They will never ever apologize.

  22. It is obvious but I will state it for all to understand. Government support is pure and without reproach. Industry support is evil and needs to be rooted out and exposed for its disgusting base nature. Once again I ask is the sarc tagging required?

    • Ah yes, and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell declaring:
      —–begin cut & paste———-
      “I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of Interior,” she told employees yesterday. If there are, she said, they should visit some of the public lands managed by the agency — say the melting permafrost in Alaska or shrinking snow packs in the high Sierras. “If you don’t believe in it, come out into the resources.”
      And now the Jewell mission statement:
      “You and I can actually do something about it,” she reiterated for the Interior staff. “That’s a privilege, and I would argue it’s a moral imperative.”
      —–end cut & paste———-
      Source:
      http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2013-08-02/jewell-no-climate-change-deniers-at-interior/
      Of COURSE Government funded studies are FREE from BIAS! (cough, cough) /sarc off
      Seriously,
      That’s one of the reasons why, after 33 years, I retired.
      I just was not proud to work for the Department anymore.
      Instead of Science, it appeared to me to become a fig-leaf for political power-grabbing.

  23. What you don’t understand is that money from environmental activists is good. Not like evil oil money. Therefore no disclosure is needed because they are the good guys /sarc

  24. Progressives in the US live and wallow in hypocrisy. They see hypocrisy as a badge of honor, to point out the faults of others while lying to hide their own. The Progressive credo: “If you aren’t lying, you aren’t tryin’.”

    • +1. I actually think this is a DNA issue. There’s some gene that completely blinds them to hypocrisy.
      Typical conversation:
      Prog: “All of your points are just talking points from Big Oil”
      Me: “But…everything you’ve said is from MoveOn, RealClimate, and 350.org, and is completely unsubstantiated.”
      Prog: “See?…Big Oil.”

  25. The fact of the matter is that many journals simply don’t require you to discuss your financial support at all. Oftentimes, financial support is noted not because the journals require it but the granting agencies. Not mentioning financial support should not be automatically be construed as dishonest – only where there is significant potential for conflict of interest.

  26. To close the loop – the TomKat Foundation is a major contributor to CAP, according to the link to their form 990 above – CAP_300126510_2012_09818b30. the Tom Kat Foundation is Steyer’s foundation, named for him and his wife Katherine. According to this NYT article, Steyer also was the major financial backer of Greener Capital “a venture capital firm that invests in renewable energy startups.”
    http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/a-foil-for-the-koch-brothers/?_r=0
    So Joe Romm’s funding comes from someone with a major financial interest in the renewable energy industry.

  27. When Romm went after Naomi Klein a couples years back you could see clear evidence that some of the more strident individuals really had their own “agendas,” not a common purpose. Now with the Grijalva and Pielke fiasco it starts to hit a critical mass. After all, we can’t let facts get in the way of each player’s personal story-line. I’ll boldly predict that Paris will be a giant nosebleed, and if I’m wrong, well … I’ll never admit it

  28. Grijalva’s, Boxer’s, Markey’s and Whitehouse’s inquisitional inquiries wrt disclosure of funding sources are part of a tired old scripted myth. Their scripts are the same as the paranoid mythology of an oil funded con$piracy believed fervently in by Naomi Oreskes in her irrationally premised book ‘Merchants of Doubt’ (published 2010). To show Oreskes’ con$piracy theory is myth we only need to use a corollary Feynman’s original version** of his fundamental scientific concept (philosophy of science).
    My corollary of Feynman’s original view** of scientific method is as follows: If you know who enabled (funded) a piece of climate focused scientific research, the validity of the scientific research is the same as if you did not know who enabled (funded) a piece of climate focused scientific research.
    OK, there will be endless finely tuned administrative parsing of conflict of interest policies focused on funding sources. I understand that will happen. But that kind of conflict of interest meme is not of scientific essence, that conflict of interest meme is just a subjective socio-political perception issue. Within the scientific method the discussion of conflict of interest in doing research should only be focused on the researcher disclosing in his research any of his findings and any of the data he saw that were contrary to his research findings.
    ** Feynman’s original version of his fundamental scientific concept (philosophy of science),

    Feynman said,
    “In general, we look for a new law by the following process: First we guess it; then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right; then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is — if it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong.”

    John

    • Thanks for this, I often forget that a brief dose of Feynman solves many of our problems, both personal and scientific

      • Mark from the Midwest on February 27, 2015 at 11:22 am

        Mark from the Midwest,
        To me he seemed to be healthily irreverent toward self-important members of his community, and fairly humble of himself.
        John

    • John Whitman is right is saying “But that kind of conflict of interest meme is not of scientific essence, that conflict of interest meme is just a subjective socio-political perception issue.”
      Also, AndyE was right earlier when he wrote “But can’t they see that the source of funding really does not matter. … The only thing that counts is the quality and honesty of the research – and that will (ideally) be revealed by other scientists checking on its findings.”
      Funding sources do not constitute a conflict of interest in any meaningful sense. Otherwise, any Assistant Professor who wants to get tenure obviously has a conflict of interest. If a topic has any policy implications, which is really the only case where we care about a conflict of interest, then anyone with a political or moral philosophy has a conflict of interest. So basically, anyone who is breathing has a conflict of interest. And I have not noticed dead people doing much research.
      Some might say “of course everyone has a conflict of interest, we just want them disclosed”. That will be the end of science.
      Conflict of interest, with respect to publishing, should be tightly defined to only cover things like a direct financial interest in the work or giving editorial input to people not listed as authors. Otherwise, it will be like labels on bottles of chemicals: when everything is labelled hazardous, it makes it hard to spot the genuine hazards.
      Funding can create bias because of the way that peer review encourages herd behavior by researchers. That is a problem, but disclosing funding sources will do nothing to reduce the problem.

      • Mike M. on February 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

        Mike M.,
        I think we can un-cynically expect that savage internecine tribal spats about credibility between advocates of rival climate focused scientific research funding sources will be the rule. But the climate focused scientific research itself, independent of funding source credibility spats, stands by itself in the hot crucible of an open and free scientific marketplace of discourse about all climate focused scientific research.
        John

    • Grijalva and Boxer (that’s Ma’am Boxer) need to be reminded of an old fighter pilot’s words of wisdom:
      “Tracers work equally well in both directions ! ”
      PS That’s how you actually get to be an OLD fighter pilot.

  29. Pesky “apostates”, pointing out flaws in “settled science”, are targets for witch trials. It changes the subject, and sends the message, “!(F = me)”. A “true believer” is not in danger of the barbecue.
    There is one standard for “The Team”, and another one for the “Enemies List”.
    This is just “Scientific Suppression 101”. If it weren’t for the development of the internet, most people would only whisper about it in “safe” company. When science threatens the power that be, it becomes a blood sport.

  30. There is a good reason why people feel compelled to discount the science in these situations. Credibility.
    If a scientist knowingly violates protocol when publishig his or her work, can that same scientist ever truly be trusted? If they are willing to disregard one protocol, why not five of ten?
    It’s called reasonable doubt. It can just as easily be avoided by adhering to protocol. If people find this to be good reason to question the legitimacy of the science, the scientist alone is to blame. If you get caught cheating you shouldnt be surprised when people call you a cheater.
    As for the selective outrage, that’s been a staple of the left for years now, As my grandmother used to say, “it all depends on which baby pees on you.”

  31. All this is so sad and predictable. We should not be surprised at the perfidity of those who want to wipe out our way of civilization.
    It is science Jim, but not as as we know it.
    R.I.P. Spock.

  32. Experience has taught me that ‘mud slingers’ invariable have a more than adequate supply of their own ‘mud’. They readily accuse others of doing what they themselves do. The ‘debate’ degenerates to a contest of ad hominems.

  33. The global warming crowd are not scientists. They are political operatives disguised as scientists and using fake science to impose their political beliefs upon everyone else. They will use any means – moral or immoral, legal or illegal. They have no conscience. They have no ethics. They have no sense of fair play. ‘Whatever it Takes’ is their mantra. Stop treating the global warmers as reasonable honest people. They aren’t !

    • Ever notice that, on the cover of AlGore’s book, the hurricane-the one emerging from the smokestack- is turning the WRONG WAY?
      Dumb.
      And a divinity school dropout, too!
      Preachy, but can’t be bothered to get his facts straight.

  34. People believe that climate science, as an institution, has been corrupted by money and politics. The CAGW advocates now want to show that: (1) the corruption goes both ways since skeptics take money as well, and (2) peer review is flawed because it didn’t pick it up.
    Exactly how does this help their cause?

    • “The CAGW advocates now want to show that: (1) the corruption goes both ways since skeptics take money as well…”
      Actually, I don’t think this is at all accurate. While WE believe that is what’s happening, they have no belief whatsoever that their funding is in any way corrupt. They’re not saying “It’s ok for US to be currupt because YOU are TOO.” They believe they are pure, and anyone who disagrees with them is pure evil.

  35. I Googled :”W Soon, climate” and the first 3 pages consist entirely of quotations from media groups and others condemning him , usually with a quote from Gavin Schmidt that “his (Soon’s) work is virtually worthless” . If that is so , why the frenzy to bury him?
    The Wiki article is malicious in the extreme and really quite shocking. It is difficult to see how any sceptical approach to CO2 related physics can ever now be carried out given this atmosphere of sheer hatred of non- consenting ideas.
    Incidentally the 2003 Climate Research article with Sallie Baliunas, which caused staffers to lose their jobs, is freely available . It seems to be a comprehensive analysis of the work of very many research groups , the sort of work that, in less febrile times , would be a classic research tool for subsequent young researchers.

  36. It’s pretty clear that the Warmists believe they can’t possibly ever have a conflict of interest, so long as their research and findings are supportive of “the cause”. In their world, there are only 2 things that need to be discerned: those things that support “the cause” and those things that are in conflict to “the cause”.

  37. Ok, so how about banning all fossil-fuel funding, for anything to do with weather, ecology, emissions or climate. That’ll fix it.
    And who will lose out the most?
    R

    • how about enacting smart regulations that will allow individual homes, churches and small business to profit from the investment of solar and battery storage equipment investments (as well as the inherent safety gains by having local power generation in the event of a potential natural disaster)?

      • Who doesn’t have that now? If you generate electricity, through ANY means, and you have excess…it goes back to the grid via a Smart Meter, and you get paid for it. At least in most areas in the U.S. that I’m aware of.

  38. Agenda 21 = Global Governance is the aim. Climate Change is the key to it. Once you put the two together the rest becomes obvious.

  39. Another major difference between Soon’s papers and this one by Romm is that the latter is not exactly addressing anything which is politically controversial (a method for measuring energy efficiency, really?), and I doubt Romm was called to testify to Congress on this not-so “heated” issue.

  40. Anyone who has worked in, or with, a government bureaucracy knows that they pad their annual budget requests. The same is true of university departments. If any funding is unspent toward the end of a fiscal year (or grant period) there is a mad scramble to shovel dollars out the door and make it look like even more money is needed next time. Climate research is no different.
    Can the race for funding distort science? Of course it can. Can personal bias distort science? Of course it can. Trust the scientific method, not the scientist.

  41. I’d suggest annual revenues on the graphic as a better indicator of their effect on the debate. Assets show more of a war chest kind of information.

  42. Except the Joe Romm paper has nothing to do with climate change science of. In this pathetic attempt of false equivalency your article is a total and complete FAIL.
    The true issue here is that the individual entities who GAIN THE MOST from preventing real and necessary regulations that will help save American lives are FUNDING science that is beneficial to their arguments AND this DIRECT funding, (which happens to result in the deaths of hundreds of millions of humans) is not being disclosed.
    So, tell me, where do you stand with Donor’s Trust and Heritage Foundation support for your disinformation campaigns? (that will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of humans – and tens of thousands of Americans)???

    • Jai,
      Not to put too fine a point on it but you are [trimmed].
      [Please do not insult fruitcakes on this site by comparing them to CAGW acolytes. They have feelings too. Dates, nuts, fruits, …. calories. All sorts of good things. .mod]

    • Hundreds of millions? Huh. I’m really afraid to ask this…but I just gotta.
      What’s the math behind that one?…AND, is that figure “net”? Meaning does it indicate the number of deaths MINUS the number of lives saved because they can afford heat, running water, electricity, etc?

  43. jai mitchell says:
    …that will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of humans…
    That is one of the most egregious examples of psychological projection I’ve read here in a long time — and I’ve read a lot of them. Projection like that seems to be a tactic of the alarmist cult.
    The deaths of millions must be laid at the feet of reprobates like you and your alarmist pals. The use of fossil fuels has proven to not only save lives, but the raising of fuel costs due to using food as fuel certainly causes mass deaths. The worldwide riots a few years ago, from the Middle East to Mexico, were due to ethanol laws jacking up the cost of food staples. But of course, that was A-OK with you and your pals.
    So you are complicit with the murder of millions, just because you are promoting your debunked “carbon” Narrative. Further: the rise in harmless CO2 has been proven to be entirely beneficial to the biosphere; there is no downside. It lowers the cost of food, and it is beneficial to the entire biosphere. But you want it curtailed — starving lots of folks.
    I have no doubt that you can rationalize your failed position, rather than admit to those indisputable facts. You rationalize everything that you don’t project onto others. Really despicable.
    So let’s ask the residents of countries like India, China, Russia, Mexico, and a hundred other dirt poor countries if they agree with you — or if they agree with scientific skeptics.
    You know damn well what the answer would be: they would tell you and your pals to BUTT OUT! Your constant, self-serving do-gooderism is killing them, and the ones who escape starvation cannot save enough money to raise themselves out of poverty: almost all their meager income goes to feed them and their families. But YOU want to make life even harder for them! In a just and honest world, you and your ilk would be serving long terms in the penitentiary.
    And one more thing: you are terrified of being ‘censored’ here, but you never say a word about the non-stop censoring of skeptics’ comments in the mainstream media, or in alarmist blogs. Hypocrite. This is one of the few sites that doesn’t censor. But if it did, what are you gonna do about it? Your comment makes you sound like a preemptive crybaby.

    • ” The worldwide riots a few years ago, from the Middle East to Mexico, were due to ethanol laws jacking up the cost of food staples.”

      WRONG….

      The Middle East food staple is wheat, not corn. Ethanol is made from corn, not from wheat.

      • No, the people of the Middle East eat bread made from wheat. The rising price of CORN did not impact them.

      • Let’s discontinue this pointless discussion. Wheat and corn are substitutes for each other. So I’m outa here [unless you decide to goad me like before. As you know, I rarely turn the other cheek.]
        If you need to argue with someone, argue with these folks. If they don’t explain the ‘substitution effect’ to your liking, there are plenty more who will explain it for you. It’s Econ 1A.

      • Ok…I’ll take a stab 😉
        So…when people who NORMALLY buy CORN as a food source, suddenly find that CORN has INCREASED in cost due to increased demand caused by being used to manufacture ETHANOL, they to some degree turn to OTHER sources, such as WHEAT, etc…which in turn puts INCREASED pricing/inventory demands on WHEAT.
        See what I did there?
        And you can cap the whole ethanol thing off with the admission by Gore, who brought this fresh hell to us to begin with, admitting that actually, ethanol ISN’T all that good for the environment either, but he did it because he “felt bad” for the farmers, which we know is crap. He did it because he needed their votes.
        That last part was just bonus pts for ya 🙂

        • jimmaine

          And you can cap the whole ethanol thing off with the admission by Gore, who brought this fresh hell to us to begin with, admitting that actually, ethanol ISN’T all that good for the environment either, but he did it because he “felt bad” for the farmers, which we know is crap. He did it because he needed their votes.

          And King Ethanol maintains its voting power NOT because it is useful for the country, but because the Iowa caucus is the FIRST presidential voting area – and each of those small-town caucus can be dominated by very, very small but organized groups who then control the voting and speeches at each individual meeting in each individual small town. (Often, as few as 15 – 25 are in a meeting. Importing 8 enthusiastic and “informed” and dominant people into a meeting of 20? Easy to set the agenda.)
          In the past (when the farmers were the majority of the people in the meeting), if you didn’t support “corn as fuel” then you don’t get the “corn vote”. In 2008, the enviro’s used the ethanol argument as renewable fuel to against global warming continue the subsidies. (That is, use out-of-state tax monies to go to the federal government, which then writes policy to send that money to Iowa voters (er, farmers).
          Obola used this small meeting very profitably in 2008 by busing in additional pro-Obola students to the these small meetings from out-of-state universities and out-of-town universities to the area. (Don’t ask where he got the money to do this. Don’t ask where he got the “organizers” to get the “students” together in the college towns to get on the busses. You are not supposed to be able to ask those questions – hence the need for Internet Neutering Act (er, Equality) by the democrat party elites.)

      • jimmaine,
        Thanks for that explanation. When one good or service becomes high priced, another, similar product is substituted. In Economics this is referred to as the principle of “substitution”.
        People are not going to starve, or even waste a lot of their income, on wheat, when corn is cheaper, and vice-versa. Ethanol has disrupted the food supply, and that is the reason for the food riots in Mexico, Libya, Sudan, and other countries when ethanol mandates became law.

    • Jai said
      Quote
      Except the Joe Romm paper has nothing to do with climate change science of. In this pathetic attempt of false equivalency your article is a total and complete FAIL.
      Unquote
      Hypocrite, ethics only apples to one aspect of science eh, …………………………….

  44. The abstract of the paper contains the phrases “climate change solutions” and “coal-fired power plants.” Furthermore, the body of the text states:

    The amount of carbon savings calculated in this letter for one Rosenfeld (based on an avoided existing coal plant) assumes that one or more additional things happen to affect this economic calculus.
    (1) A price on carbon emissions will be put in place that significantly raises the marginal cost of coal plants;
    (2) increased regulation of criteria pollutant emissions will create large retrofit costs or increased marginal costs (many existing coal plants have up until now been `grandfathered’ so that they are allowed to emit many more criteria pollutants than new coal plants); and/or;
    (3) retiring coal plants will become an explicit policy goal and incentives or standards will be put in place to encourage this outcome.
    Because of the urgency of the climate problem and because of coal’s significant contribution to it, we believe these changes are likely for many countries in the coming decade. Each of these actions represents a significant shift from the status quo, but more importantly, they represent an internalization of societal costs that heretofore have not been included in the operational and investment decisions of electric utilities. They are not by themselves sufficient to guarantee significant coal plant retirements, but in combination with investments in energy efficiency or new low carbon power generation resources (which would be the driving force for such retirements) they would allow that outcome.

    This goes beyond the simple definition of a unit of measurement. It includes advocacy of policy for changes in society by eliminating one sector of electrical energy production and replacing it from other sources. To think it unnecessary to provide COI information from the authors is clearly risible.

  45. Rather than concentrating on the nature and sources of research funding, how about critics directing their attention to the contents and findings of research papers by scientists like Soon?
    But no… that would be too dangerous to the global warming establishment in case it finds out the IPCC mantra is childish nonsense.

  46. May I be so bold as to suggest a new Reference Page on WUWT?
    This would be to ‘crowd-source’ (or whatever term is popular now) to encourage WUWT readers to post the financial backers of the various ‘Warmist-mongers’, so that we may better see who is backing the pseudo-science.

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