Doomed Planet

Dirty Rotten Climate Scandals

Shakespeare’s monster, Caliban, dreamed of clouds opening to  show riches ready to drop upon him. Climate scientists don’t have to dream about it – honors, awards and cash prizes rain down in torrents. Other scientists try to help humanity, but while climate scientists may kid themselves and others that they share that goal, their practical intent is to raise energy costs and harm nations’ energy efficiency via renewables. While they posture as planet-savers in white coats, some of them pocket awards of half-million dollars, even a million, and notch up more career-enhancing medals than a North Korean general.

A couple of local prizes are the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science ($A250,000) for ex-President of the Australian Academy of Science Kurt Lambeck last October, and in January UNSW Professor John Church pocketed a $A320,000 half-share of the 400,000 Euro BBVA Prize.

Both have done science work of international repute and their reputations in their specialist fields are deservedly high. However, Lambeck is a long-standing smiter of “deniers” and Church propagates via the ABC such lurid scenarios as  this: “… if the world’s carbon emissions continue unmitigated, a threshold will be crossed which will lead to the complete melting of the Greenland ice sheet. This, with melts from glaciers and ice in Antarctica will lead to a sea level rise in the order of seven metres.” 

There are many mickey-mouse awards in Australia for climate science and I’d be amazed if any post-doc climate person hasn’t won a gong. It’s particularly obnoxious that even schoolkids are incited to compete for climate awards by regurgitating climate doomism.

On the global stage, my tally of warmist cash awards to US climate doomsayer Paul R. Ehrlich is about $US2.6 million. For the climate scare’s originator, ex-NASA scaremonger James Hansen, about $US2 million. These rewards are not for getting anything right – their doom deadlines have proven to be utter tripe.

If you’re a climate scientist you can blot your copybook horribly but the prizes keep coming. You might not have heard of California’s Dr Peter H. Gleick, but read on. He’s been creaming it with prizes lately, $US100,000 from Israel’s Boris Mints Institute in April for the “Strategic Global Challenge of Fresh Water” and the Carl Sagan Prize last year for “researchers who have contributed mightily to the public understanding and appreciation of science.”  He’s scored more than 30 honors and awards all-up including a $US500,000 MacArthur “Genius” award for 2003.

Nice work, Gleick, but you’re the same man who in 2012 raided e-documents from the minor sceptic thinktank Heartland Institute.  Its CEO Joe Bast said that Gleick “impersonated a board member of the Heartland Institute, stole his identity by creating a fake email address, and proceeded to use that fake email address to steal documents that were prepared for a board meeting. He read those documents, concluded that there was no smoking gun in them, and then forged a two-page memo.” Gleick denied forging the document. The forgery, among other fabrications, showed Heartland receiving  $US200,000 from the Koch brothers’ Foundation, when the reality was a mere $US25,000, and even that sum was actually for a health-care study.

Gleick confessed he committed the thefts because he believed Heartland was preventing a “rational debate” on global warming, even though he had refused a Heartland invitation to a fee-paid after-dinner debate shortly before he stole the documents.  Gleick said

“in a serious lapse of my own professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received … materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name…I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues…My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists .., and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved. Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.”

As for Heartland being “well-funded”, its budget that year was $US4.4 million, of which maybe a third went on climate work, funding one conference, a blog and half a dozen climate reports. That compares with, say, WWF’s current budget in the US of $US230 million (Heartland’s, $US6 million), or the Australian Conservation Foundation’s current $A14 million.

The ironies about the much-honored Gleick didn’t stop there.  In 2011 he was founding chairman of a science ethics committee of the 60,000-member American Geophysical Union (AGU) and he immediately resigned membership when outed by Heartland. AGU president Mike McPhaden issued a toe-curling statement. The global community of earth and space scientists, he said, had

witnessed the shocking fall from grace of an accomplished AGU member who betrayed the principles of scientific integrity. In doing so he compromised AGU’s credibility as a scientific society, weakened the public’s trust in scientists, and produced fresh fuel for the unproductive and seemingly endless ideological firestorm surrounding the reality of the Earth’s changing climate.

 His transgression … is a tragedy that requires us to stop and reflect on what we value as scientists and how we want to be perceived by the public… It is the responsibility of every scientist to safeguard that trust.

This has been one of the most trying times for me as president of AGU… How different it is than celebrating the news of a new discovery … These rare and sad occasions remind us that our actions reverberate through a global scientific community and that we must remain committed as individuals and as a society to the highest standards of scientific integrity in the pursuit of our goals.

Within three weeks of Gleick’s confession, I kid you not, water tech company Xylem awarded him a “Water Hero” award. Thereafter he won a Lifetime Achievement Award from a  Silicon Valley Water Group (2013), was honoured by the Guardian newspaper in 2014 as a world top-ten water guru, and in 2015 he received the Leadership and Achievement Award from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. The same year he received an Environmental Education Award from the Bay Institute. The major Carl Sagan and BMI Prizes followed in 2018 and 2019. Transgressions by warmist scientists are soon forgotten and readily forgiven.

While the Gleick case is one of horror, other climate-award material goes into the comedy file. The Climategate emails exposed two of the climate world’s top “experts”, Phil Jones and Mike Mann, horse-trading for new honors for themselves, via reciprocal recommendations. Jones, at the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit, ran the HADCRUT4 global temperature data series underpinning the IPCC warming scare. He managed to literally lose raw data (failure to back-up) and hid incriminating emails subject to FOI demands.[1] Michael Mann authored the infamous  “Hockey Stick” paper used as a logo by the 2001 IPCC report as proving current warming is CO2-caused and unprecedented in the past 1000 years. Mann’s paper also managed to ‘disappear’ the Medieval warming[2] and the 300-year Little Ice Age to 1850. Mann’s sceptic foe, Mark Steyn, published an entire 320-page book, A Disgrace to the Profession comprising rejections of Mann’s findings, not by sceptics but by orthodox climate scientists. [3] 

Here are two climateers at work. (emails from 4/12/2007). Mann to Jones:

By the way, I am still looking into nominating you for an American Geophysical Union award; I’ve been told that the Ewing medal wouldn’t be the right one. Let me know if you have any particular options you’d like me to investigate…

Jones selects his own award:

As for the American Geophysical Union—just getting one of their Fellowships would be fine.

Mann then lets Jones know that he (Mann) himself happens to lack a Fellowship of the AGU and adds in brackets, “(Wink)to inspire Jones to do something about it. (pp105, 118).

The matey honors system at the AGU continues to this day. The selection committee last year for the AGU’s annual $US25,000 Climate Communication Prize (won by Mann last year) included prominent warmists Katharine Hayhoe, Stefan Rahmstorf, Richard Somerville and Kevin Trenberth. Recipients included the same Katharine Hayhoe (2014), Stefan Rahmstorf (2017), Richard Somerville (2015)  and  Kevin Trenberth (2013). A network clearly operates.  Winners Gavin Schmidt (2011), Mann (2018) and Rahmstorf (2017) jointly contribute to their realclimate.org blog. The AGU seems aware of incestuousness and has these unusual guidelines for the prize-winner selection:

Nominators and potential nominees…are urged to restrain from contacting members of their respective award selection committee while the AGU nomination and selection process is in progress…Persistent or frequent contact on topics related to the award nomination could potentially be viewed as an attempt to influence…

In the big global league, climate bureaucrat Christiana “Tinkerbell” Figueres, who oversaw the 2015 Paris pseudo-agreement from her UN perch, staggers under the weight of honors. They include the  Shackleton Medal, the Grand Medal of the City of Paris, the Legion of Honor, the German Great Cross of Merit, the Guardian Medal of Honor, the 2015 Hero of El Pais award, the Global Thinker Award, Four Freedoms Award and the Solar Champion Award from the woke folk of California. Quite a haul considering she still can’t distinguish between weather and climate. She achieved perpetual quotability with this ripper from  February 2015, in an official UN press release:

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.

A champagne socialist from the top end of town in Costa Rica, she views a halt to growth in the West with equanimity: “Industrialised countries must stop growing — that’s fine. But developing countries must continue to grow their economy in order to bring their people out of poverty…”

Paul R. Ehrlich, now 87, has been showered with lucrative prizes. He has spent the past 50 years making horrific predictions about planetary and human doom. None of these have remotely been fulfilled, such as his 1969 prediction of disastrous global famine by 1975, requiring compulsory birth control via sterilising agents in food and water.  

As a close-to-my-home example, he gave an address at Perth’s Murdoch University on October 2, 1985, concluding that unless Western countries went into wealth-sharing with the Third World, there would be lethal consequences for civilisation such that “the handful of human beings that survive the resultant collapse may, if they are lucky, be able to eke out a livelihood hunting and gathering.” He warned that by 2000, we could have a billion people perishing from hunger, with those famines leading in turn to a thermonuclear war that “could extinguish civilisation”. He continues to this day to be sought out by the media for yet more doomsday mayhem.

Ehrlich big-money prizes for ecological brilliance have included

# 1990: MacArthur Fellows “Genius Grant”, currently $US625,000. At the time the award range was $US155,000 to $US600,000. Ehrlich would have been at the high end.

# 1990: Sweden’s Crafoord (OK) Prize, currently $US745,000. He shared the award with biologist E.O.Wilson. As a guesstimate, $US200,000-plus at the time.

# 1993: Heinz Foundation Award, $US250,000

# 1993; The Volvo Environmental Prize. Currently $US170,000.

# 1998: Tyler Prize, $US200,000.

# 1998: Heineken Prize, $US200,000

# 1999: Asahi Glass’s Blue Planet Prize, 50 million yen (about $US420,000 at the time).

# 2009: Ramon Margalef Prize, 80,000 Euros (about $US110,000 at the time).

# 2013: BBVA Frontiers Award, 400,000 Euros (about $US530,000 at the time).

Total, about $US2.6m ($A3.75m).

James Hansen is known as the father of the CO2/global warming  campaign. He produced, concurrently with Syukuro Manabe,  the first crude computer models of C02 warming. The successor models despite decades of ‘refinements’ continue to significantly exaggerate actual warming.[4]  Hansen’s cash awards total about $US1.5m, including $US800,000 from Taiwan’s Tang Foundation last year. The Tang  citation read

Undaunted by the gravity of high government and the powerful doubts of business, this former NASA climate scientist attended a government hearing in 1988 … His brave, farsighted testimony before congress has since been known as the Hansen Hearing.

The reality was that the 1988 hearing was stage-managed by his pal and Democrat senator Tim Wirth. Wirth timed it for the predicted hottest summer day in Washington, and he also sabotaged the building’s air conditioning to ensure everyone would be sweating for the TV cameras.

Hansen while at NASA in 2001 accepted a $US250,000 award from Theresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democrat luminary John Kerry. In 2004 Hansen endorsed John Kerry as presidential candidate, a doubly contentious act as he was still a government NASA director. Hansen at NASA  also admitted in a 2003  issue of Natural Science that the use of “extreme scenarios” to dramatize climate change “may have been appropriate at one time” to drive the public’s attention to the issue. He’s referred to coal trains as “death trains” (annoying Holocaust survivors) and was arrested twice at climate demonstrations.
Among his windfalls:

# 2001: Heinz Award: $US250,000

#2007: Dan David Prize: $US330,000

# 2008: PNC Bank Common Wealth Award: $US50,000

# 2010: Sophie Prize: $US100,000

# 2012: Stephen Schneider Award: $US10,000

# 2016: BBVA Award:  $US450,000

# 2018: Taiwan’s Tang Prize. $US800,000.

Total $US1.99m.

Climate and environment prizes, honors and awards have flowed to those who are not merely catastrophists but million-dollar fraudsters. Canada’s Maurice Strong, for instance, built some of his huge wealth from stockmarket insider deals and oil developments. He was the godfather of the global environment from when he organised the 1972 Stockholm Environment Conference. He was founder and executive director of the UN Environmental Program which joined forces with the World Meteorological Organisation to create the IPCC. He chaired the 1992 Rio summit and openly advocated for world governance under the UN, financed by a 0.5 per cent tax on global finance to raise $US1.5 trillion a year.

In his 1999 autobiography, Strong predicted that in 2031 nation states will implode, with a breakdown of international order, food and energy scarcity, more climate deaths than from WW1 and WW2, and Americans dying like flies from heat because there is no electricity for air conditioners. Global  population falls to the level of 2001, “a consequence, yes, of death and destruction – but in the end a glimmer of hope for the future of our species and its potential for regeneration,” he wrote.[5]

In 2005 the FBI, investigating the Iraq “Oil for Food” program’s prolific corruption, turned up a 1997 cheque to Strong for $US998,000 from a corrupt  South Korean businessman who later proved to be a bagman for Saddam Hussein. Strong in 1997 was working for UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, and had organised the UN’s Kyoto climate treaty that same year. When the cheque came to light, Strong lit out for Beijing (China has no extradition treaty with the US) and lived out his days there, still honoured as an honorary professor at three Chinese universities. He said later, “I didn’t just run away to China, I already had an apartment here.”  

In 2003, just two years before the cheque scandal went public, the US National Academy of Sciences gave Strong its highest honor, its Public Welfare Medal, for “extraordinary use of science for the public good”. This was its first-ever Medal award to a non-US citizen. “Very few individuals have contributed so much to the path toward a sane and sensible future for world society,” the Academy said. “He is an idealist who is truly a citizen of the world.”

He was “very special guest of honor” at the 2012 Rio second climate summit. When he died in 2015, the esteem continued with Canada’s governor-general attending his funeral. No attempt was ever made to prosecute Strong over the cheque.

Strong’s 50 or more honors (apart from his 52 honorary doctorates) included Commander of the Golden Ark (Netherlands), Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil), Order of the Polar Star (Sweden) and Companion of the Order of Canada. In his Beijing era he got a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Cataloguing all the climate prize stuff going on would involve an essay the size of the Encyclopaedia Britannia. I need to wash my dog so I’ll stop here. To all past and future climate prize winners, my sincere congratulations.

Tony Thomas’s new book, The West: An insider’s tale – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ’60sis available from Boffins Books, Perth, the Royal WA Historical Society (Nedlands) and online here

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[1] HADCRUT4 is still riddled with errors, as Melbourne’s John McLean demonstrated in his Ph.D. thesis last year: “The HadCRUT4 data, and any reports or claims based on it, do not form a credible basis for government policy on climate or for international agreements about supposed causes of climate change.”

[2] Mann, ClimateGate email (4/6/03): I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2000 years, rather than the usual 1000 years, addresses a good earlier point that Jonathan Overpeck made … that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “Medieval Warm Period”, even if we don’t yet have data available that far back.

[3] Mann two months later (31/7/03) refers to his own data as “dirty laundry” to be closely guarded from examination. He emails a colleague:  “I’m providing these [data] for your own personal use, since you’re a trusted colleague. So please don’t pass this along to others without checking with me first. This is the sort of ‘dirty laundry’ one doesn’t want to fall into the hands of those who might potentially try to distort things.”

[4] IPCC AR5:  “… an analysis of the full suite of CMIP5 historical simulations [computer models]   reveals that 111 out of 114 realisations show a [temperature] trend over 1998–2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend [actual temperatures] ensemble. This difference between simulated and observed trends could be caused by some combination of (a) internal climate variability, (b) missing or incorrect radiative forcing, and (c) model response error.” [chapter 9, text box 9.2, page 769]

[5] Strong, M.: Where on Earth Are We Going? Texere, 2001, p21-22.

8 comments
  • en passant

    Tony,
    I believe! I believe! Omm! Omm!
    In the Post-Popper/Feynman science belief, no matter how stupid trumps facts and your lying eyes every time. Get with Greta and the Klimate Kult Kids (KKK) or the Australian Musicologist from Graz will send you to a Denier Death Camp.
    Woke up!
    What a pathetic world we live in where people exist whose sole function is to daily commit fraud for money and rewards.

  • rod.stuart

    A part of the saga that is relatively unknown is the background in which Maurice Strong was born and raised.
    Following the Russian Revolution and WWI, movements condoning Communism were rampant in many regions in Canada. Strong’s parents were deeply involved, as much of the attraction of the ideology stemmed from the fact that many in Western Canada considered themselves victims.
    The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was one of the most famous and influential strikes in Canadian history. For six weeks, May 15 to June 26, more than 30,000 strikers brought economic activity to a standstill in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which at the time was Canada’s third largest city. Strong’s parents were involved in the organisation of this event as thick as thieves.
    They no doubt had a considerable influence on Strong’s subsequent development.

  • ianl

    The HARRY READ_ME file from Climategate is phenomenal in its’ description of the frustration of a Harry Harris who incautiously accepted the task of “cleaning up” the HADCRUT4 database. The indecipherable mess he found and describes is awesome in its’ full awfulness.
    The Aus database comes in for special slanging from Harry.
    Harry’s diatribe is the essential reason I know our informing data prior to the 1979 satellite deployment cannot be improved from the weak thing it is. It is hopeless in its’ corruption.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    The “Harry Read Me” file documents a CRU climatologist/programmer’s efforts to update 11,000 files of important climate data between 2006 and 2009. He admits that much of it is utterly worthless. Some of his comments (page number in parentheses):
    – “Am I the first person to attempt to get the CRU databases in working order?!!” (47)
    – “Cobar Airport AWS (data from an Australian weather station) cannot start in 1962, it didn’t open until 1993!” (71)
    – “What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah — there is no ’supposed,’ I can make it up. So I have : – )” (98)
    – “You can’t imagine what this has cost me — to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO (World Meteorological Organization) codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’ database of dubious provenance …”

    Virtual data:data created by computer. See confirmation bias, counterfactual world, evidence, in silico.
    https://www.amazon.com.au/Devils-Dictionary-Climate-Change-impress-ebook/dp/B07DWNCTLK

  • en passant

    I can feel my blood beginning to boil …
    Must be climate data at work

  • Doubting Thomas

    If ever the world comes to its senses, the United Nations headquarters in New York City will be reduced to a smoking ruin, and in its place a monument should be built with a roll of honour of those who fought the good fight to expose the Global Warming/Climate Change panic for the massive fraud that it is. Far surpassing the South Sea Bubble in relative scale, it has ruined the reputation of genuine ethical scientists and glorified mere charlatans.

    The roll should include at least the following individuals who have born the righteous burden, in no particular order:

    Anthony Watts
    Andrew Montford
    Judith Curry,
    Stephen McIntyre,
    Ross McKitrick,
    Harry Harris,
    Willie Soon,
    Ian Plimer,
    Garth Paltridge,
    Mark Steyn.

    There have been many others, too numerous to mention here, whose contributions have been equally valuable. But those listed have been the most influential for the average lay person, certainly for me.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Shamefully, I forgot to mention three of the best, Australia’s own Joanne Nova, Jennifer Marohasy, and the exceptionally brave Peter Rudd.

  • wstarck

    It seems to have become standard practice in the climate change cult that whenever a prominent adherent is exposed for any misconduct their reputation be restored by the bestowing of awards, usually entailing substantial cash as well. Really, not unlike the pensions for martyrs of the other current holy war.

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