Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Haaretz Suddenly Sees the Need for Disclosure of the Financing of NGOs
a grand conspiracy! On the front page it runs a lurid expose of the
fact that some corporations have contributed funds to a US think tank
that challenges and questions the dogma of human-caused global
warming. (The story is not on their English site, only their Hebrew
site – at http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/science/1.1647215 - and I am
sure the reason is that English readers would just guffaw at the
Their discover goes like this. Some large corporations, including
Microsoft, Pfizer drugs, and General Motors, have made donations to
the Heartland Institute (http://heartland.org/ ), a think tank that
challenges politically correct theologies regarding education, the
environment, health care, and other matters. Heartland is actually
just a minor player in the global warming debates. There are
thousands of serious scientists who have no ties with Heartland who
also raise doubts about the idea that human activity is producing
Haaretz first dismisses out of hand the credibility of Heartland by
describing it as a "Neo-Liberal" think tank. Now the very use of that
nonsense word requires some interpretation. These days Marxists refer
to all those who reject Marxism as "Neo-Liberal." .When they use the
term, they do not mean people who newly want to vote for Obama or who
newly want to support affirmative action or spend more on welfare,
those the rest of us usually describe as liberals. Anyone using the
term "Neo-Liberal" is essentially a communist and someone who can have
nothing of intelligence to say about anything else in the world.
So when Haaretz dismisses Heartland as "Neo-Liberal," it means
Haaretz is condemning the think tank for not being communist.
Haaretz is simply recruiting itself into the broader assault on
Heartland that began a few days ago on the Far-Leftist Huffington Blog
in the US. See
The Huffington pinkies revealed that Heartland gets some funding from
corporations. Big deal. (Other Huffington "esposes" of Heartland are
). According to the data in the Haaretz piece, total corporate
support for Heartland comes to maybe a million bucks, almost enough to
buy a large apartment in a good neighborhood in Tel Aviv.
This is part of the Left's attempt to rescue global warming
theories from the "Climategate Scandals," in which it turned out that
promoters of the theory had cooked the books and distorted data. (See
) It comes in the very days when lots of other respectable
scientists and journalists are expressing skepticism about global
warming (see for example
reprinted below since you may not be able to open it - note that one
of the signers is a scientist at the Hebrew University!. It is so
nice to see the Hebrew University in the news for a change for
something other than treason!)
The main thing to be learned bout the Heartland Institute story is how
poorly funded the skeptics about global warming are compared with the
But for Israelis, the REAL story here – in my opinion – is how Haaretz
gets so self-righteous and aggressive about "exposing" the sources of
funding for a conservative think tank. This is the same Haaretz that
has been leading the jihad AGAINST any disclosure or transparency for
the myriad picayune anti-Israel extremist NGO's operating in Israel
with funds provided by the EU and other anti-Israel players.
• From the Wall Street Journal:
• FEBRUARY 21, 2012
The Not-So-Vast Conspiracy
Stolen documents show the tiny budget of global warming skeptics.
When did it become received media wisdom that global warming
skepticism was all the work of shadowy right-wing groups lavishly
funded by oil companies? As best we can tell, it started with a 1995
Harper's magazine article claiming to expose this "high-powered engine
of disinformation." Today anyone who raises a doubt about the causes
of global warming is accused of fronting for, say, Exxon, whatever the
Now comes a rare glimpse inside the allegedly antiscience behemoth,
with the online publication last week of documents purloined from the
conservative Heartland Institute. The files appear to contain detailed
financial, donor and personnel information and outline the
think-tank's projects. Chicago-based Heartland says one of the
documents is fake and warns that others may have been altered.
Given the coverage the story has generated, you'd think some vast
conspiracy had been uncovered. Heartland is, according to the
Associated Press, "one of the loudest voices denying human-caused
global warming, hosting the largest international scientific
conference of skeptics on climate change." The Vancouver Sun reports
that it is "heavily funded by right-wing industrialist Charles Koch,"
while the Virginian-Pilot dubs it "the ideological center of the
So how flush is Heartland? The documents show the group is expecting
revenues of $7.7 million this year, mostly from private donations and
grants. Mr. Koch's "heavy" funding came to $25,000 in 2011, though the
Heartland "Fundraising Plan" has it hoping for an increase in 2012. To
put those numbers in not-for-profit perspective, last year the Natural
Resources Defense Council reported $95.4 million in operating
revenues, while the World Wildlife Fund took in $238.5 million.
Press coverage has focused in particular on Heartland's plans to
produce and distribute "educational material suitable for K-12
students on global warming that isn't alarmist or overtly political."
Heartland is budgeting $200,000 this year for the effort, which in the
past has "had only limited success," per one of the documents. Little
wonder if teachers aren't returning Heartland's calls: Last year the
World Wildlife Fund spent $68.5 million on "public education" alone.
As for "the largest international scientific conference of skeptics,"
Heartland will, according to the documents, spend all of $388,000 this
year on the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.
That's against the $6.5 million that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change costs Western taxpayers annually, and the $2.6
billion the White House wants to spend next year on research into "the
global changes that have resulted primarily from global
over-dependence on fossil fuels."
In the pages of Rolling Stone last summer, Al Gore warned of the
"Polluters and Ideologues [sic] . . . . spending hundreds of millions
of dollars each year on misleading advertisements in the mass media."
He had the wrong spenders.
No Need to Panic About Global Warming
There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to
'decarbonize' the world's economy.
Editor's Note: The following has been signed by the 16 scientists
listed at the end of the article:
A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have
to consider what, if anything, to do about "global warming."
Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly
all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global
warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of
distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic
actions on global warming are needed.
In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter
of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the
American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: "I did not
renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy]
statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is
occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions
in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems,
security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce
emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.' In the APS it is OK to
discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a
multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is
In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the
message that increasing amounts of the "pollutant" carbon dioxide will
destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very
prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of
scientific "heretics" is growing with each passing year. The reason is
a collection of stubborn scientific facts.
Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for
well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as
one can see from the 2009 "Climategate" email of climate scientist
Kevin Trenberth: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of
warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." But the
warming is only missing if one believes computer models where
so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify
the small effect of CO2.
The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the
smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing
projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how
much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment,
those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to
weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our
chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.
The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and
odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key
component of the biosphere's life cycle. Plants do so much better with
more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2
concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This
is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2
concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better
plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management
contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past
century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from
additional CO2 in the atmosphere.
Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many
young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious
doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up
for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to
worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal
Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the
politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the
recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over
the past thousand years. The international warming establishment
quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed
from his editorial job and fired from his university position.
Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.
This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it
before—for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko
hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed
that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois
fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and
some were condemned to death.
Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the
issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which
Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly
reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word
"incontrovertible" from its description of a scientific issue? There
are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question
"cui bono?" Or the modern update, "Follow the money."
Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing
government funding for academic research and a reason for government
bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments
to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that
understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big
donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet.
Lysenko and his team lived very well, and they fiercely defended their
dogma and the privileges it brought them.
Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully
and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any
candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific
argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even
if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive
greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.
Princeton physics professor William Happer on why a large number of
scientists don't believe that carbon dioxide is causing global
A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist
William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio
is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth
unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially
beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to
share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and
life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now.
Many other policy responses would have a negative return on
investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that
may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.
If elected officials feel compelled to "do something" about climate,
we recommend supporting the excellent scientists who are increasing
our understanding of climate with well-designed instruments on
satellites, in the oceans and on land, and in the analysis of
observational data. The better we understand climate, the better we
can cope with its ever-changing nature, which has complicated human
life throughout history. However, much of the huge private and
government investment in climate is badly in need of critical review.
Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and
improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back
expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based
on alarming but untenable claims of "incontrovertible" evidence.
Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the
Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the
Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting;
Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and
Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American
Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of
Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer,
professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of
technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former
head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology;
Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James
McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney
Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences;
Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne;
Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir
Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk
Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antonio
Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.