The climateers just don’t know when to leave well enough alone, apparently Not only is Peter Gleick being celebrated as a hero by many climate campaigners, but their allies can’t resist trying to find some way to change the subject back to the Heartland Institute. And in doing so they’re about to commit their next major blunder. This is a double-down bet they will surely lose.
Buried in the legitimate Heartland documents that Gleick purloined is a little detail that has long been publicly known to anyone paying attention: Heartland has paid some small sums of money to Indur Goklany to contribute to Heartland’s large NIPCC Report (for Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change). Heartland is not the first to commission work from Goklany. The Cato Institute has published several books from Goklany, including most recently The Improving State of the World, which, like my Almanac of Environmental Trends, notes the relation between economic growth and improving material, social, and environmental conditions around the world. He wrote much of this book while a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
The “problem” here, according to the climateers, is that Goklany—Goks (“gokes”) to his many pals—is a career employee of the Department of the Interior. Goks never cites his
Interior Department position in his independent work, and when he appears on panels at Cato, AEI, or elsewhere, he omits his government title. This contrasts rather sharply with James Hansen, who never stops trading on his title as “NASA chief climate scientist” when he pontificates publicly about climate science and especially climate policy, which is not the field of expertise of his NASA domain.
Moreover, while Goklany has accepted low four-figure honoraria to produce original, published written work, Hansen receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees, and a multiple six-figure prize from a private foundation. In all, Hansen has received more than $1.6 million in outside income. Climate alarmism has been very, very good for Hansen’s family finances. Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva has called for a congressional investigation of Goklany, demanding an inquiry into whether Goks broke Interior Department ethics rules.
This seems extremely unlikely, but if Goks did, then Hansen should be in much more trouble. So bring on a hearing, I say, but let’s subpoena Hansen and his complete records of outside payments as well. Equally fun will be quizzing Hansen on many of his non-scientific statements such as his encouragement of civil disobedience (that is, vandalism) against coal-fired power plants. This will not go well for the climateers, especially since Hansen is a manic depressive.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth recalling again that back in 2006 I was on a panel with Hansen in New York at the New School, where he compared his treatment by the Bush Administration to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Gulag. What had the Bush people done? Asked for prior notification of his press contacts and interviews, and then listening in on his press calls. There was no prior restraint or censorship of Hansen. Hansen thinks this is the equivalent of being gassed in Auschwitz? Really? I posed to him the question of whether he understood why people think him an alarmist. But this is the quality of mind of the leading figures of the climate campaign.
I repeat: what a bunch of losers.