January 20, 2010
Michael Mann's Climate Stimulus
A case study in one job 'saved.'
As for stimulus jobs—whether "saved" or "created"—we thought readers might be interested to know whose employment they are sustaining. More than $2.4 million is stimulating the career of none other than Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann.
Mr. Mann is the creator of the famous hockey stick graph, which purported to show some 900 years of minor temperature fluctuations, followed by a spike in temperatures over the past century. His work, which became a short-term sensation when seized upon by Al Gore, was later discredited. Mr. Mann made the climate spotlight again last year as a central player in the emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, which showed climatologists massaging data, squelching opposing views, and hiding their work from the public.
Mr. Mann came by his grants via the National Science Foundation, which received $3 billion in stimulus money. Last June, the foundation approved a $541,184 grant to fund work "Toward Improved Projections of the Climate Response to Anthropogenic Forcing," which will contribute "to the understanding of abrupt climate change." Principal investigator? Michael Mann.
He received another grant worth nearly $1.9 million to investigate the role of "environmental temperature on the transmission of vector-borne diseases." Mr. Mann is listed as a "co-principal investigator" on that project. Both grants say they were "funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009."
The NSF made these awards prior to last year's climate email scandal, but a member of its Office of Legislative and Public Affairs told us she was "unaware of any discussion regarding suspending or changing the awards made to Michael Mann." So your tax dollars will continue to fund a climate scientist whose main contribution to the field has been to discredit climate science.