Post image for Why Doesn’t Greenpeace Demand a Congressional Probe of James Hansen’s Outside Income?

The Heartland Institute plans to pay Indur Goklany, an expert on climate economics and policy, a monthly stipend to write a chapter on those topics for the Institute’s forthcoming mega-report, Climate Change Reconsidered 2012. Earlier this week, Greenpeace and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) called for a congressional investigation of Goklany. In addition to being an independent scholar, Goklany is a Department of Interior employee. Federal employees may not receive outside income for teaching, writing, or speaking related to their “official duties.”

But as I pointed out yesterday on this site, climate economics and policy are (to the best of my knowledge) not part of Goklany’s “official duties.” It would be shocking if they were. Goklany is a leading debunker of climate alarm and opposes coercive decarbonization schemes. Why on earth would the Obama Interior Department assign someone like that to work on climate policy?

Greenpeace and Grijalva have got the wrong target in their sites. The inquisition they propose might actually have some merit if directed at one of their heroes: Dr. James Hansen of NASA. Hansen has received upwards of $1.6 million in outside income. And it’s not unreasonable to assume that most or all of that income was for teaching, writing, and speaking on matters “related to” his “official duties.” [click to continue…]

Post image for Climate McCarthyism: Democrat Congressman Demands Hearing on Interior Employee Linked to Heartland

Yesterday, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) requested that the House Resources Committee investigate whether Department of Interior employee Indur Goklany accepted “illegal outside payments” from the Heartland Institute, and “what confidential information Goklany may have shared with Heartland officials in the course of negotiating his payment agreements.”

Grijalva made this request in a letter to Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Ranking Member Ed Markey (D-Mass.). The alleged ‘issue’ arose because one of the stolen Heartland documents, the Institute’s 2012 budget, proposes to pay Goklany $1,000/m to write a chapter on economics and policy for a forthcoming book, Climate Change Reconsidered: 2012 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.

Grijalva, citing a letter from Greenpeace to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, claims federal employees are not allowed to take payment from outside organizations, particularly for “teaching, speaking and writing that relates to [their] official duties.”

I fully understand why Greenpeace and Grijalva want to harass and silence Goklany. Goklany is one of a handful of indispensable thought leaders in the climate policy debate.  He has demonstrated, for example, that, largely because of mankind’s utilization of fossil fuels, global deaths and death rates related to extreme weather have declined by a remarkable 93% and 98%, respectively, since the 1920s. He has also demonstrated that, even assuming worst-case impacts from the UN IPCC’s high-end warming scenario, developing countries in 2100 are projected to be much richer than developed countries are today. Nobody takes the hot air out of climate hype like Indur Goklany! So naturally, Greenpeace guttersnipes want to besmirch and muzzle him. [click to continue…]

Post image for Is BOEMRE Harrassing Polar Bear Biologist Charles Monnett?

Last month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) suspended wildlife biologist Charles Monnett, who is being investigated by the Department of Interior’s (DOI’s) inspector general (IG). Monnett is the lead author of a 2006 study (linking loss of Arctic sea ice to the first documented finding of drowned polar bears.  The paper helped galvanize support for DOI’s listing of the bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Al Gore touted the study in An Inconvenient Truth.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) condemned the IG investigation as a “witch hunt” (Greenwire, Aug. 10, 2011, subscription required). Last week, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Greenpeace sent a letter to DOI Secretary Ken Salazar accusing BOEMRE of trying to muzzle scientists whose research may impede the granting of permits to drill for oil and gas in the bear’s Arctic habitat.

The transcript of the IG’s February 23, 2011 interrogation of Monnett shows that the IG “sent agents with no scientific training to ask decidedly unscientific questions about bizarre allegations relating to the polar bear paper,” CBD and Greenpeace contend. I can’t help but agree. What’s going on? [click to continue…]

Post image for Climategate Update

Citing the potential for “financial harm,” the University of East Anglia last week denied a Freedom of Information request by “Hockey Stick” debunker Stephen McIntyre for the controversial Yamal temperature data. This is the third time he has been rebuffed by the University, which was scandalized by last year’s Climategate controversy over, among other things, inappropriate avoidance of FOI requests.

The University of Virginia last week said it will use “all available exemptions” to avoid having to turn over documents related to debunked “Hockey Stick” creator Michael Mann in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Tradition Institute. This stands in stark contrast to the University’s treatment of Dr. Patrick Michaels, a climate skeptic. When Greenpeace asked filed a FIOA for his records, the University was willing to comply readily.