Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are Skeptical Scientists funded by ExxonMobil?


In an article titled, "Analysing the ‘900 papers supporting climate scepticism’: 9 out of top 10 authors linked to ExxonMobil" from the environmental activist website The Carbon Brief, former Greenpeace "researcher" Christian Hunt failed to do basic research. He made no attempt to contact the scientists he unjustly attacked and instead used biased and corrupt websites like DeSmogBlog to smear them as "linked to" [funded by] ExxonMobil.

To get to the truth, I emailed the scientists mentioned in the article the following questions;

1. Have you ever received direct funding from ExxonMobil?

2. Do funding sources have any influence over your scientific work?

3. Has your scientific position regarding climate change ever changed due to a funding source?

4. Please include any additional comment on the article,


Their responses follow,




John R. Christy, B.A. Mathematics Summa Cum Laude, California State University (1973); M.S. Atmospheric Science, University of Illinois (1984); Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, University of Illinois (1987); Science Master, Baptist High School, Nyeri, Kenya (1973-1975); Departmental Fellow, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1983); Senior Research Associate and Instructor, University of Alabama in Huntsville (1987-1989); Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville (1989-1991); Alabama Assistant State Climatologist (1989-1991); NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1991); NASA Technical Innovation Award, Marshall Space Flight Center; Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville (1991-1995); Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville (1995-1999); Expert Contributor, Climate Observations, National Academy of Sciences (1995); American Meteorological Society Special Award (1996); Expert Contributor, Satellite Observations for Climate National Research Council (1997); Member, Committee on Earth Studies, Space Studies Board (1998-2001); Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville (1999-Present); Director, Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville (1991-Present); Alabama State Climatologist (2000-Present); Fellow, American Meteorological Society (2002); Expert Contributor, Statement on Climate Change, American Geophysical Union (2003); Distinguished Alumnus, Science and Mathematics, California State University, Fresno (2007); Distinguished Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville (2008); Member, American Geophysical Union (AGU); Contributor, IPCC (1992, 1994, 1995, 2007); Expert Reviewer, IPCC (2013); Lead Author, IPCC (2001)

1. Have you ever received direct funding from ExxonMobil?

Christy: "No.

2. Do funding sources have any influence over your scientific work?

Christy: "I don't believe so."

3. Has your scientific position regarding climate change ever changed due to a funding source?

Christy: "No."

4. Please include any additional comment on the article,

Christy: "The connection between industrial interests and me is given by describing me as a "Marshall Institute expert". I spoke at a luncheon sponsored by the Marshall Institute, free of charge, to about 30 people. My remarks were incorporated into a booklet. That is the extent of my connection - hardly evidence to accuse one of being an industry spokesman."




David H. Douglass, B.S. Physics, University of Maine; Ph.D. Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1959); Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1959-1961); Member, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1961); Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Chicago; Associate Professor of Physics, University of Chicago; Professor of Physics, University of Chicago; Fellow, American Physical Society; Professor of Physics, University of Rochester (1968-Present)

1. Have you ever received direct funding from ExxonMobil?
Douglass: "No funds from Exxon Mobil or any other fossil fuel industry."

2. Do funding sources have any influence over your scientific work?
Douglass: "No."

3. Has your scientific position regarding climate change ever changed due to a funding source?
Douglass: "No."

4. Please include any additional comment on the article,
Douglass: "I have no research funds from the fossil fuel industry or any governmental body."




Bruce A. Kimball, B.S. Soil Physics, University of Minnesota (1963), M.S. Soil Physics, Iowa State University (1965), Ph.D. Soil Physics, Cornell University (1970), Soil Scientist, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (1969-1991), Certificate of Merit, U.S. Department of Agriculture (1974, 1992, 1998), Associate Editor, Soil Science Society of America Journal (1977-1982), Associate Editor, Transactions of the ASAE (1984-1987), Fellow, American Society of Agronomy (1987), Fellow, Soil Science Society of America (1987), Associate Editor, Agronomy Journal (1989-1991), Research Leader, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (1991-2006), National Program Leader for Global Change, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (1999), Fellowship, Science and Technology Agency of Japan (2000), Collaborator, Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (2007-Present), ISI Highly Cited Researcher; Expert Reviewer, IPCC (2007)

1. Have you ever received direct funding from ExxonMobil?
Kimball: "No."

2. Do funding sources have any influence over your scientific work?
Kimball: "Of course. There are a number of experiments I would like to do that I have not been able to get funded."

3. Has your scientific position regarding climate change ever changed due to a funding source?
Kimball: "No."

4. Please include any additional comment on the article,
Kimball: "Almost all of my work co-authored with Sherwood Idso has been about the effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on the growth of plants, and I have never published on whether elevated CO2 affects climate. Further, all of the CO2 work was funded by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy."


 
Richard S. Lindzen, A.B. Physics Magna Cum Laude, Harvard University (1960); S.M. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University (1961); Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University (1964); Research Associate in Meteorology, University of Washington (1964-1965); NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute for Theoretical Meteorology, University of Oslo (1965-1966); Research Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research (1966-1967); Visiting Lecturer in Meteorology, UCLA (1967); NCAR Outstanding Publication Award (1967); AMS Meisinger Award (1968); Associate Professor and Professor of Meteorology, University of Chicago (1968-1972); Summer Lecturer, NCAR Colloquium (1968, 1972, 1978); AGU Macelwane Award (1969); Visiting Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Tel Aviv University (1969); Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (1970-1976); Gordon McKay Professor of Dynamic Meteorology, Harvard University (1972-1983); Visiting Professor of Dynamic Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1975); Lady Davis Visiting Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Hebrew University (1979); Director, Center for Earth and Planetary Physics, Harvard University (1980-1983); Robert P. Burden Professor of Dynamical Meteorology, Harvard University (1982-1983); AMS Charney Award (1985); Vikram Amblal Sarabhai Professor, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India (1985); Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship (1986-1987); Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA (1988-Present); Sackler Visiting Professor, Tel Aviv University (1992); Landsdowne Lecturer, University of Victoria (1993); Bernhard Haurwitz Memorial Lecturer, American Meteorological Society (1997); Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow, American Geophysical Union; Fellow, American Meteorological Society; Member, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters; Member, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; Member, National Academy of Sciences; Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983-2013); Distinguished Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute (2013-Present); Lead Author, IPCC (2001); ISI Highly Cited Researcher

1. Have you ever received direct funding from ExxonMobil?

Lindzen: "No."

2. Do funding sources have any influence over your scientific work?
Lindzen: "My only funding has been from the government funding agencies: NSF, NASA, and DOE. They actually do influence scientific work."

3. Has your scientific position regarding climate change ever changed due to a funding source?
Lindzen: "No. My objections date back to the 80's."

4. Please include any additional comment on the article,
Lindzen: "I have never received any compensation from the Annapolis Center. I briefly served on the board as a favor to Harrison Schmitt. Since they never asked me to do anything, I resigned."




Ross McKitrick, B.A. (Hons) Economics, Queen's University, Canada (1988); M.A. Economics, University of British Columbia, Canada (1990); Ph.D. Economics, University of British Columbia, Canada (1996); Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada (1996-2001); Associate Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada (2001-2008); Member, Academic Advisory Board, John Deutsch Institute, Queen's University, Canada; Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute, Canada; Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Guelph, Canada (2008-Present); Expert Reviewer, IPCC (2007)

1. Have you ever received direct funding from ExxonMobil?
McKitrick: "No, I have never sought or received funding from Exxon or any other oil company. My research funding comes from SSHRCC, a peer-reviewed federal granting agency, and from internal university funds. In many case I don't have any external funding for research projects since I don't incur any costs. The theory that Exxon generates the academic research that contests climate alarmism is one of those tired cliches that appeals to stupid, lazy people who can't be bothered reading the papers and understanding the arguments."

2. Do funding sources have any influence over your scientific work?
McKitrick: "No of course not. If I was willing to change my views to ingratiate myself with a funding source I would by now be on the global warming alarmist bandwagon."

3. Has your scientific position regarding climate change ever changed due to a funding source?
McKitrick: "No, to the extent my scientific position on climate change has developed and changed over the years it has been due to the research I have seen and done, and the data that has been published. My views, and the arguments that support them, are copiously documented in my writings."

4. Please include any additional comment on the article,
McKitrick: "It is noteworthy that the article omits the fact that I am a tenured full professor at the University of Guelph, and only describes me as a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute. For an article obsessed with funding sources, they neglect to point out that my salary comes from the University, not the Institute, and my external research funding comes from SSHRCC. With regard to the Fraser Institute, to say it is "Exxon Funded" betrays the ignorance of the article authors. The Fraser Institute is the largest and most influential economic policy think tank in Canada and one of the most influential think tanks in the world. It is supported by annual donations from over 6,000 individuals, foundations and organizations, none of whom have any editorial control over research. I do not know which corporations donate in any given year, since I am not involved in fundraising and it does not affect me, since the Institute does not do any contract research, either for industry or government or anyone else, in order to maintain its editorial autonomy. The Institute has never had any involvement with my academic journal articles, either in the form of funding or collaboration.

The article's dishonesty is also revealed by their comment about the Global Warming Policy Foundation -- "funders unknown". Had they checked http://thegwpf.org/who-we-are/history-and-mission.html they would see that it is funded by individuals and charitable trusts, and does not accept donations from energy firms or from any individual with a significant interest in an energy company."




S. Fred Singer, BEE, Ohio State University (1943); A.M. Physics, Princeton University (1944); Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University (1948); Research Physicist, Upper Atmosphere Rocket Program, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University (1946-1950); Scientific Liaison Officer, U.S. Office of Naval Research (1950-1953); Director, Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and Professor of Physics, University of Maryland (1953-1962); White House Commendation for Early Design of Space Satellites (1954); Visiting Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cal Tech (1961-1962); First Director, National Weather Satellite Center (1962-1964); First Dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences, University of Miami (1964-1967); Deputy Assistant Secretary (Water Quality and Research), U.S. Department of the Interior (1967-1970); Deputy Assistant Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970-1971); Federal Executive Fellow, The Brookings Institution (1971); Professor of Environmental Science, University of Virginia (1971-1994); U.S. National Academy of Sciences Exchange Scholar, Soviet Academy of Sciences Institute for Physics of the Earth (1972); Member, Governor of Virginia Task Force on Transportation (1975); First Sid Richardson Professor, Lyndon Baines Johnson School for Public Affairs, University of Texas (1978); Vice Chairman and Member, National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmospheres (1981-1986); Senior Fellow, The Heritage Foundation (1982-1983); Member, U.S. Department of State Science Advisory Board (Oceans, Environment, Science) (1982-1987); Member, Acid Rain Panel, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1982-1987); Member, NASA Space Applications Advisory Committee (1983-1985); Member, U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Waste Panel (1984); Visiting Eminent Scholar, George Mason University (1984-1987); Chief Scientist, U.S. Department of Transportation (1987-1989); Member, White House Panel on U.S.-Brazil Science and Technology Exchange (1987); Distinguished Research Professor, Institute for Space Science and Technology (1989-1994); Guest Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institute (1991); Guest Scholar, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institute (1991); Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University (1992-1993); Distinguished Research Professor, Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University (1994-2000); Commendation for Research on Particle Clouds, NASA (1997); Research Fellow, Independent Institute (1997); Director and President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project (1989-Present); Expert Reviewer, IPCC (2001)

1. Have you ever received direct funding from ExxonMobil?
Singer: "Yes. An unsolicited and unexpected donation of $10,000 more than a decade ago."

2. Do funding sources have any influence over your scientific work?
Singer: "None Whatsoever."

3. Has your scientific position regarding climate change ever changed due to a funding source?
Singer: "No."

4. Please include any additional comment on the article,
Singer: "1. We are funded almost 100% by private donations from individuals.

2. I note that Exxon and other companies are funding supporters of AGW with direct grants to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

3. I note the common smear tactic of such terms as 'linked to' in the final analysis, since Exxon pays taxes to government, the multi-billions of tax money suporting AGW science are 'linked to' Exxon etc."

The following gave a general statement,



Indur M. Goklany, B.Tech. Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India (1968); M.S. Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University (1969); Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University (1973); Julian Simon Fellow, Property and Environment Research Center (2000); Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute (2002-2003); Julian Simon Award (2007); Rapporteur and Principal Author, Resource Use and Management Subgroup, IPCC (1988-1992); Reviewer, WGI, II, and III Reports, IPCC (1989-1991); U.S. Delegate, IPCC (1988-1992, 2003-2004); U.S. Technical Advisor, Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for UNFCCC (1990-1992); US Delegate, UNFCCC (2007); Expert Reviewer, IPCC (2005-2007); Assistant Director of Programs & Science & Technology Policy, U.S. Department of the Interior (Present)

General Comment:
Goklany: "As its name reveals, Carbon Brief's entire raison d’etre hinges on the notion that carbon dioxide is a harmful substance. Therefore it is hardly surprising that it would attack any individual or organization that would dare suggest that CO2 is not as harmful as it would have us believe.

Readers can judge for themselves who has a greater financial stake in the man-made global warming issue: I, who has never taken a sous from Exxon-Mobil, or Carbon Brief whose very existence depends on perpetuating the notion CO2 is a harmful, if not downright dangerous, gas.

What's interesting about Carbon Brief's "analysis" is that it is devoid of intellectual content. It doesn't present any science, data or reasoned argument refuting – or even questioning -- the contents of the papers cited in Popular Technology. Instead it uses that time-honored technique used by those who have no arguments: guilt by association. This is first cousin to an ad hominem attack. The irony is that on its web page, ABOUT US, it has a Comments policy which states:

- Stay on-topic: stick to the subject of the blog you are commenting on. Off-topic comments (even if reasonable, polite and interesting) may be deleted. Comments which contain links to inappropriate, irrelevant or commercial sites may also be deleted.

- Advance the discussion: we welcome evidence-based comments and links to useful resources. Persistent comments along the lines of "this is just alarmist/denier nonsense" with no supporting evidence may be deleted.

- Be polite: comments which contain swearing or which abuse other participants in the debate may be deleted. No ALL CAPS shouting please. Particularly:

- No ad hominem attacks: vigorous debate is fine, but not personal attacks or accusations (Underlining is added).

So will Carbon Brief follow through on its policy and delete its blogs that refer to its so-called "analysis"?

Normally when I have the time, I am happy to discuss and debate my views, science, reasoning, etc. But in the case of Carbon Brief, I'll make an exception and refuse to engage, since its "analysis" reveals its lack of intellectual content.

Although I cannot, and have not avail myself of Exxon-Mobil's munificence, since the vast majority of my career has been in government, I have no doubt that some of its dollars have found their way into my pocket, via the moneys Exxon-Mobil pays in taxes. I have no idea who or what funds Carbon Brief, but I hope it keeps away from any government largesse: that’s contaminated with tax payments from all kinds of companies that produce and use fossil fuels."




Sherwood B. Idso, B.S. Physics Cum Laude, University of Minnesota (1964); M.S. Soil Science, University of Minnesota (1966); Ph.D. Soil Science, University of Minnesota (1967); Research Assistant in Physics, University of Minnesota (1962); National Defense Education Act Fellowship (1964-1967); Research Soil Scientist, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (1967-1974); Editorial Board Member, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Journal (1972-1993); Secretary, American Meteorological Society, Central Arizona Chapter (1973-1974); Vice-Chair, American Meteorological Society, Central Arizona Chapter (1974-1975); Research Physicist, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (1974-2001); Chair, American Meteorological Society, Central Arizona Chapter (1975-1976); Arthur S. Flemming Award (1977); Secretary, Sigma Xi - The Research Society, Arizona State University Chapter (1979-1980); President, Sigma Xi - The Research Society, Arizona State University Chapter (1980-1982); Member, Task Force on "Alternative Crops", Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (1983); Adjunct Professor of Geography and Plant Biology, Arizona State University (1984-2007); Editorial Board Member, Environmental and Experimental Botany Journal (1993-Present); Member, Botanical Society of America; Member, American Geophysical Union; Member, American Society of Agronomy; ISI Highly Cited Researcher; President, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (2001-Present)

General Comment:
Idso: "I presume that all of the original basic scientific research articles of which I am an author that appear on the list were written while I was an employee of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service; and, therefore, the only source of funding would have been the U.S. government. I retired from my position as a Research Physicist at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in late 2001 and have not written any new reports of new original research. Since then, I have concentrated solely on studying new research reports written by others that appear each week in a variety of different scientific journals and writing brief reviews of them for the CO2Science website. In both of these segments of my scientific career, I have always presented -- and continue to present -- what I believe to be the truth. Funding never has had, and never will have, any influence on what I believe, what I say, and what I write."


Conclusion:

The scientists unjustly attacked in the Carbon Brief article are not "linked to" [funded by] ExxonMobil. The Carbon Brief and any other website perpetuating this smear should issue a retraction.

3 comments:

NikFromNYC said...

ExxonMobil must have funded *these* guys though:

http://oi53.tinypic.com/do6g74.jpg

Roald A. said...

Instead, a collection of articles and blogs rather strongly suggests this fossil fuel accusation is itself a disinformation campaign that was essentially created by a group of enviro-activists in 1996. Please see: "The '96-to-present smear of skeptic scientists" http://climategatecountryclub.com/profiles/blogs/the-96topresent-smear-of

stewgreen said...

Roald A. The link above died in 2012
The latest grab from Wayback was version #11 in Dec 2012 http://web.archive.org/web/20120105014159/http://climategatecountryclub.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-96topresent-smear-of

It is just a list by some amateur
- Still it is up the guy accusing skeptics Christian Hunt to prove his claims (I don't know his report, but it is normal MO for dramagreens to first passionately shout liar at some one else whilst telling bare faced lies themselves)
(- proving that there is a big conspiracy against skeptics in another matter)