I'm a little under the weather (which is not as chronic as being under the climate), but I wanted to add something to what I said the other day about thug operator Raúl Grijalva, Democrat Representative from Arizona and Ranking Member of the House UnEnvironmental Activities Committee. It is not a small thing when even a jumped-up twerp hack announces that the national legislature of the world's superpower is targeting seven private citizens for disagreeing with him. In this case Commissar Grijalva is clamping the electrodes to various climate scientists - Robert Balling, John Christy, Judith Curry, Steven Hayward, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, Roger Pielke Jr - on the following pretext:
My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships.
This would be an hilarious thing for any elected official in Washington to say, but is particularly so when Grijalva's fellow Democrats and the US media are doing their best not to notice that designated President-in-Waiting Hillary Rodham Clinton has, via her husband and her foundation, taken tens of millions of dollars from some of the most disgusting governments on earth. I wonder if that "influenced" Mrs Clinton in any way. For example, shortly after Secretary of State Clinton brokered a huge deal between Algeria and General Electric, both GE and the Government of Algeria made significant contributions to the Clinton Foundation.
But why worry about that when you can launch a congressional investigation into Judith Curry's travel expenses from 2007?
This story started when the Big Climate enforcers decided that the environmentally responsible response to a peer-reviewed paper by Willie Soon was to destroy his career. So The New York Times and various other papers all ran pieces suggesting Soon was on the take from the fossil-fuel crowd and thus bringing into disrepute the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who should fire him.
But just how high is the pile of fossil-fuel used bills that Willie Soon is gamboling and frolicking in like Scrooge McDuck? Christopher Monckton has the numbers:
The Center deducts 30-40% of any external grant to cover its own overhead costs. Indeed, the director of the Center has recently admitted that Dr Soon ends up with less than half of each grant. Much has been made of the fact that he has brought in some $1.2 million in grants over ten years. That means he received an average of less than $60,000 a year, out of which he had to pay his research costs, including travel, equipment, materials, publications and research assistance. On what little was left, he has managed to feed his young family. In some years, he'd have been better off flipping burgers.
As a working scientist, Dr Soon has no authority to sign any research contract to receive any grant, let alone to decide or to dictate the terms of such contracts. Those matters are reserved to the Center.
As has been shown by public reproduction of facsimiles of the contracts between the Smithsonian and relevant external providers, Dr Soon's signature is not on any of the contracts that have been made with the Observatory to support his research. It is, therefore the Center that carries the responsibility for accepting and properly administering the external payments that support his work. He is merely employed by the Center to discharge research that is paid for out of the external grants for which the Observatory has entered into contracts.
So it's a bit like demanding the Clinton Foundation fire the janitor for all this dodgy Saudi money they're raking in.
Sixty grand a year. Keep that in mind as you read about the cash sloshing around on the other side. Sharon Stone is famous for uncrossing her legs a couple of decades ago, but who knew she can still command 350 grand to attend an "environmental" event?
Stone, the star of such films as Basic Instinct, has been accused in a federal lawsuit in New York of failing to show up for paid anti-Chevron appearances in Ecuador. The actress backed out of gigs scheduled for April 2014, in which she was to be the latest in a parade of celebrities who've condemned the company, according to MCSquared, a U.S. public relations firm that's suing the actress and her talent agency for $352,000. MCSquared alleges that the actress didn't return a $275,000 fee paid to her via American Program Bureau, a speakers bureau in Boston. The firm said it also spent $77,420.09 "to accommodate Stone's diva-like requests, including first-class airfare tickets and luxury hotel suites for herself and her three companions," along with hair and makeup services and personal guides...
In its February 24 lawsuit, MCSquared said that it paid various celebrities, including Stone, to travel to Ecuador and criticize the company. Just before she was scheduled to appear in April 2014, however, Stone backed out because of health problems, the suit said. According to the Washington Free Beacon, other celebrities paid by MCSquared for appearances in Ecuador include Mia Farrow and Danny Glover. Last September, Farrow took to Twitter, in a post she's since deleted, to confirm that she'd been paid a "speaking fee" for her visit to Ecuador. She added: "I wouldn't have gone if I didn't believe in the cause."
American Program Bureau, which the suit said collected Stone's appearance fee, did not respond to a request for comment.
Sharon Stone's bottom line is entirely her affair, and I'm certainly sympathetic to her so-called "diva-like" demands for first-class seats, because it's very difficult to uncross your legs in coach. But she makes the denialists look bush-league. Willie Soon's 60 grand a year is a mere three-quarters of travel expenses for a single event for one celebrity environmentalist. For the cost of getting one planet-saving celebrity idealist to attend one eco-protest you could fund Willie Soon's corrupt fossil-fuel suck-uppery for six years.
Incidentally, I don't know whether Sharon Stone has testified to Congress, but many of her Hollywood chums have - Kevin Costner, Seth Rogen, Nicole Kidman, Robert Redford, Ben Affleck, Stephen Colbert, Elmo... Has Commissar Grijalva demanded to know their speaking fees and travel expenses for 2007?
I would say the difference between Miss Stone's "appearance fee" and Prof Soon's grants is reflective of the broader cash gulf between the believer and denier sides. But that excludes the most influential money of all. Powerline's John Hinderaker writes:
Governments, ours and many others, pay billions of dollars every year to climate scientists who come up with alarmist predictions. Why? Because the main point of global warming alarmism is to frighten voters in the U.S. and other Western countries into turning over more power to government. This is why no one makes any serious effort to address emissions from China and India, which together dwarf ours; moreover, theirs are increasing rapidly while ours are diminishing. It's not about the climate, on which CO2 has, in any event, little influence. It is about government control over the economy.
Or as John told Politico:
I believe that it is government money, not private money, that is corrupt, because government is the main party in interest in the global warming controversy.
Government pays researchers to come up with pretexts for more government. But there are still a few researchers out there, swigging jeroboams of champagne on their 60-grand non-government grants, who produce evidence unhelpful to the case for more government. What to do about them? Shortly before the New York Times hit job on Willie Soon, someone set up a fake email account in his name using the Russian server Yandex and started sending out emails to prominent deniers. For example, when Commissar Grijalva decided to target the seven individuals above, he or some no-name dweeb in his office couldn't resist leaking the info in advance to their climate-change pals - including the guy who set up the fake Yandex account. And so the email printed above wound up going out to the denial community:
Bad things coming for these boys and girls.
Roger Pielke Jr.
Again, it's not a small thing when associates of a US congressman - even a relatively peripheral slug like Grijalva - use email fakery and Russian servers to threaten individual citizens. It is disturbing that so many prominent persons in a free society are increasingly at ease with ever more coercive and indeed fascistic methods.
As I said the other day in response to that lame pretext for his thuggery:
Likewise, the electorate cannot evaluate Grijalva's performance of his duties if it's influenced by undisclosed relationships.
To which chum with the fake Russian email account did he leak a head's up of his inquisition in order to intimidate his targets? And, if he won't disclose that, why should anyone disclose anything to him?