‘Grantsmanship’ Distorts Global Warming Science

‘Grantsmanship’ Distorts Global Warming Science

By Jerome J. Schmitt

Almost every day another species of plant or animal is “discovered” to be threatened by global warming. I read a new report concerning moose in Scandinavia  that are unexpectedly “threatened” despite what researchers admit is a growing population.  Penguins are in danger from loss of Antarctic ice  even though the Antarctic ice-cap is known to be growing with colder temperatures recorded in the southern hemisphere in recent years according to NASA.  Fortunately for these species — which hitherto managed to survive and thrive on their own for hundreds of thousands or millions of years — intrepid 21st Century researchers have arrived on the scene with Al Gore just in time to “rescue” them from climate change. How is it possible that such disparate species all around the globe are in such dire straights all at once? 

Perhaps it has less to do with actual species’ population trends and other such noisome facts and more to do with a novel nexus between the news-media and “grantsmanship” among academic researchers who have hit upon a winning formula: if one ties one’s research project somehow — even via the most tenuous and flimsy grounds — to global warming, one’s grant proposal will have much greater chance to be selected for funding, one’s chances of appearing on 60 Minutes or NPR are greatly increased, and as a consequence of this positive PR for one’s project, university and funding agency, one’s grant is more likely to be renewed. 

In contrast, if one continues to toil on relatively obscure scholarship where actual scientific data is important, trend lines have meaning, and logical debate is allowed, the chances of winning funding for one’s work are greatly reduced.  Scientists have learned therefore that they will be rewarded handsomely by identifying any tangential connection between their favorite studies and “global warming” alarmism. Like Pavlov’s dog with a PhD.

 

Scientists are people too and, like anyone, crave a moment in the limelight, with his or her work celebrated in the news-media as being “relevant”.  Thus a moose expert who has toiled in anonymity for decades will find that if he or she mentions that the moose might be “threatened” by global warming, he or she is suddenly lionized by the media as another “expert” chiming in about the dangers of climate change (cf. first link above).  And being an “expert”, it is difficult for the layman (i.e. your average person who has not toiled for decades studying moose) to refute the assertion no matter how spurious the moose-expert’s “science”.  We should acknowledge that even moose experts can be taken in by the anthropogenic global-warming hoax.   A plant expert sees the moose expert win enormous attention and acclaim and thus inspired concludes “suddenly” that his or her favorite plant is somehow also affected by climate change in the hope of drawing similar positive attention — and grant money.  

 

Let’s examine this media-grant nexus more closely and follow the money.  First, note that the source of funding for most basic scientific research in the US is the federal government (national governments in other countries) administered via funding agencies such as the DOE, EPA, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, NASA and at times the DOD. These funds originate in congressional appropriations.  These funds are “spent” at universities, national labs, and independent non-profit research labs via peer-reviewed grant competitions seeking cutting edge research projects to fund in the wide variety of scientific disciplines. 

These competitions are “refereed” by experts (peers) selected by the agency for the purpose of judging the competition (DARPA, by the way, uses a different mechanism for selecting their R&D contractors).  Peer review has served our nation well since WWII and has, for the most part, insured the high quality of the American scientific enterprise.  There is nothing wrong with “grantsmanship” per se — it is the scientific world’s version of “salesmanship” — but like good salesmen and women who know their customer, scientists know their customer wants projects relevant to “climate change”.

 

Peer review is intended to insulate the process from politics.  But in today’s hyper-politicized world of “climate change” alarmism, I believe the insulation has broken down — particularly since statist politicians view climate-change hysteria as pretext for seizing control of the global energy industry.  Here’s how this might work.  Although peer-review is the gate-keeper for selection of grant-projects, agencies set the scoring criteria against which proposals are measured.  Being human, agency bureaucrats also are highly attuned to congressional whims and desires — as well as public perceptions of research needs — and undoubtedly have added “climate-change” to their research mission and accordingly “relevance to climate-change” as criterion for selection of grant proposals. 

 

Congressmen and their staffers see “climate change” recorded in an agency’a official mission and are consequently more satisfied that the research funded with tax-payer dollars is “relevant”, “timely” and addresses a perceived “crisis” — the “experts” says so after all.  Grant writing biologists respond by pounding whatever square peg may be their research interest (moose, penguin — it doesn’t matter) by tenuous and tendentious arguments into the round hole of “climate change” alarmism and are rewarded with more grants.  
 

As if taking their cue after last week’s ruling by the Fish and Wildlife Service that the polar bear is “threatened”, the UN IPPC announced a new scientific study that concludes almost all species are already being damaged by “global warming”. Here’s a part of the UK Guardian’s account:
“When you look at a map of the world and see where these changes are already happening, and how many species and systems are already responding to climate change after only a 0.6C rise, it just heightens our concerns for the future,” Rosenzweig said. “It’s clear we have to adapt to climate change as well as try to mitigate it. It’s real and it’s happening now.”
In the UN’s view, adaptation undoubtedly requires world government to regulate energy and control the “crisis”.

The media add fuel to the flame of global warming hysteria by dutifully reporting every new species (preferably cuddly photogenic ones) reported by “experts” to now be threatened, thus allowing them to inexpensively recycle the same clips of glaciers calving icebergs into the ocean  (as glaciers have done for millions of years), and highlighting the alarming “relevance” of the particular researchers’ conclusions. Meanwhile, the university, the funding agency and congress get to bask in reflected glory (the media covered it so it must be highly relevant!).

 

It is this newly formed iron triangle (reserachers/government/media) of grantsmanship, knee-jerk media coverage, federal research agency log-rolling and congress’s desire to seem “relevant” by addressing a “global crisis” that creates more and more “discoveries” of species threatened by climate change.  This nexus creates a screeching, noisy feedback loop that is distorting science and corrupting the processes that insure research quality. 

In my view, it will take an august body like the National Academy of Science to step in to once again insulate science from politics.  And even they might fail. We may be doomed, not by global warming, but by this iron triangle’s distortions and fear-mongering that attempt to stampede our fellow citizens into foolhardy policies intended to “correct” an unfounded “crisis”.  

How Would Iran Read Obama?

How Would Iran Read Obama?

 

Reeling from President Bush’s criticism of the proposition that we should negotiate with terrorists, “as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” Barack Obama was at first indignant, declaring: “George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists.” But apparently he doesn’t consider Iran, for all the genocidal bellicosity of its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a terrorist state: on Monday he reaffirmed that he would indeed sit down with the leaders of Iran (as well as with those of Cuba and Venezuela), and that no one should be disturbed by this, since these countries “don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us.”

And speaking specifically about Iran, the presumptive Democratic nominee continued: “If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn’t stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. That doesn’t mean we agree with them on everything. We might not compromise on any issues, but at least, we should find out other areas of potential common interest, and we can reduce some of the tensions that has caused us so many problems around the world.”

Yes, he really said that “we should find out other areas of potential common interest.” He didn’t explain what these might be, but here John McCain’s comment was particularly apposite. “It shows naivete and inexperience and lack of judgment,” observed the GOP standard-bearer, “to say that he wants to sit down across the table from an individual who leads a country that says that Israel is a ‘stinking corpse,’ that is dedicated to the extinction of the state of Israel. My question is, what does he want to talk about?”

That’s not all. Obama is apparently not aware that Ahmadinejad has made it clear that he is in no mood to sit down with Americans unless the Americans know their place. “The American administration,” he said in 2006, “is still dreaming of returning the Iranian people 30 years backwards. As long as America has this dream, these [relations] will not happen.” What should America do instead? “They should wake up from this dream and see the facts. They should change their behavior and mend their ways. They should take a fair position. We have told them what they have to do, and if they do it, there will be no problem as far as we are concerned.”

“We have told them what they have to do, and if they do it, there will be no problem as far as we are concerned”! As if that weren’t clear enough, he warned America and its allies that “if you want to have good relations with the Iranian people in the future, you should acknowledge the right and the might of the Iranian people, and you should bow and surrender to the might of the Iranian people. If you do not accept this, the Iranian people will force you to bow and surrender.”

Would Iran’s Thug-In-Chief regard Obama’s invitation to sit down and chat as a sign that he was willing to “bow and surrender”? There is no reason to think he would regard it in any other way. Islamic law stipulates that Islamic forces may only ask for a truce with the enemy under two conditions: if they have a reasonable expectation that the enemy may convert to Islam, or — more commonly — if the Muslims are weak and need to buy some time to recover their strength to fight again more effectively. With this understanding, the Iranian mullahs might be forgiven for assuming that if Obama is coming to them hat-in-hand, he must be weak. Given Ahmadinejad’s oft-repeated declarations that Israel will soon cease to exist (it was only last week that he said that it was “on its way to annihilation”), weakness might not be the wisest thing to project to them at this point.

Unless, of course, the bright new President Obama is prepared to deal with a nuclear mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv. That will certainly give him and Ahmadinejad plenty to talk about.

 

52 Seconds of Obama Unilaterally Disarming America

52 Seconds of Obama Unilaterally Disarming America

Rick Moran
Watch the most incredible video yet on Obama’s naive and dangerous policies:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl32Y7wDVDs

In 52 seconds, he rattles off what an Obama presidency would mean for our national defense; slowing down of existing programs to build new weapons, cutting “tens of billions” of dollars in “wasteful” spending, scrapping missile defense completely, and setting up an “independent defense priority review board” (you can imagine the anti-defense liberals sitting on that board) to make sure we don’t waste any money building “unnecessary” weapons.

That’s not all. Obama wishes upon a star for a “nuclear free world” and to that end, he will not allow any new designs for nukes nor will be build any new ones. He wants to talk to the Russians about re-targeting our missiles and “deep cuts” in our nuclear arsenal.

This is dangerous and stupid. Slowing down current weapons projects only makes them more expensive over the long term (but it looks good politically because of the money saved up front). He calls the anti-missile system “unproven” – and thank God for that because the only way to “prove” that it works is to shoot down an incoming missile. Recent successes have been incredible – shooting down a target traveling at Mach 7 is no simple matter. And almost every test shows improvement.

Why scrap the system now after spending tens of billions of dollars and when we are close to success? Lunacy!

I shudder when I think his 1960′s style liberal friends have a go at the defense budget. Considering the fact they don’t think we face any threats, we’ll be lucky to keep the Army band.

Then there’s his pie in the sky notion of a nuclear free world. Everyone wishes for that. Heck, I wish that the moon was made of Velveeta cheese but wishing will never make it so. And somehow, I just can’t picture him and Putin on the same page about much of anything. Obama, the charmer, the ideologue and Putin, the aggressive, canny, ruthless autocrat.

Maybe we can convince a grown up to hold his hand during those negotiations.

In effect, Obama wants to gut the military to make sure we never go to war again. He has said as much on the campaign trail. And if a time ever comes, God forbid, where we would find it necessary to project our power to the far flung corners of the earth in order to protect Americans or American interests under an Obama presidency, I fear the military would be forced to tell him that it wouldn’t be possible.

Obama is McGovern, Carter, and John Kerry all rolled into one when it comes to maintaining and improving our defenses. He would be a disaster as president and this video shows very clearly why.

Barack Hussein Obama 50 Lies and Counting

Barack Hussein Obama 50 Lies and Counting

1.)” Selma Got Me Born ” – LIAR, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 -
Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965.
2.) Father Was A Goat Herder – LIAR, he was a privileged, well educated youth,
who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.
3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter – LIAR, he was part of one of the most
corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had.
4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom – LIAR, your cousin Raila Odinga
has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in
Kenya. It is the first widespread violence in Decades.
5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian – LIAR, she does her daily ” Salat “
prayers at 5 a.m. according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity
wouldn’t allow her to have been ‘one’ of 14 wives to 1 man.
6.) My Name is African; Swahili – LIAR, your Name is Arabic and ‘Baraka’ ( from
which Barack came ) means ‘blessed’ in that language . Hussein is also Arabic, and so is
OBAMA .
7.) I Never Practiced Islam – LIAR, you practiced it daily at school, where you
were Registered as a MUSLIM and kept that Faith for 31 years, until your wife made you
change, so You could run for Office.
8.) My School In Indonesia Was Christian – LIAR, you were Registered as MUSLIM
there, and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for ‘making faces’ ( check your own book ).
9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian – LIAR, not One teacher says, You could speak that
Language.
10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia, I Have More Foreign Experience – LIAR, You
were There from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn’t even speak the language.
What did you learn, how to study the Koran and watch Cartoons ?
11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs – LIAR, except for Africa ( surprise ) and
the Middle East ( bigger surprise ), you have never been Anywhere else on the planet and have NO Experience with Our closest Allies .
12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion – LIAR, you were quite content
in High School to be “Barry” Obama, no mention of KENYA and no mention of ‘ struggle to
Identify ‘ – your classmates said You were just fine.
13.) An EBONY Magazine Article Moved Me To Run For Office – LIAR, Ebony has yet to find the
Article you mention in your Book . It doesn’t, and Never did , exist .
14.) A LIFE Magazine Article Changed My Outlook On Life – LIAR, Life has yet to
find the Article you mention in your Book. It doesn’t, and never did, exist.
15.) I Won’t Run On A National Ticket In ‘08 – LIAR, here you are, despite
saying, “live” on TV, that You would Not have enough Experience by then, and You are all
about, having: ‘Experience First’ .
16.) Present Votes Are Common In Illinois – LIAR, they are common for YOU, but
not many others have 130 ” NO VOTES ” .
17.) Oops, I Mis-voted – LIAR, only when caught by Church groups and democrats,
did you beg to change your mis-vote.
18.) I Was A Professor Of Law – LIAR, you were a ” senior lecturer “, ON LEAVE .
19.) I Was A Constitutional Lawyer – LIAR, you were a “senior lecturer” ON LEAVE !
20.) Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill – LIAR, You didn’t Write it,
Introduce it, Change it, nor Create it!
21.) The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass – LIAR, it took just 14 days from Start to
Finish .
22.) I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill – LIAR, your Bill was Rejected by Your own
Party for its pandering and LACK of all Regulation – mainly because of your Nuclear
Donor, EXELON from which, DAVID AXELROD came .
23.) I Have Released My State Records – LIAR, as of March 2008, State Bills You
sponsored or voted for, have Yet to be released, exposing all the ” special-interests pork “
hidden, within .
24.) I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens mess – LIAR, you were Part of a large
group of people who ‘remedied’ Altgeld Gardens. You failed to mention Anyone else but
Yourself in your books.
25.) My Economics Bill Will Help America – LIAR, your 111 economic policies were
just combined into a Proposal which Lost 99 – 0 , and even YOU voted AGAINST Your own bill.
26.) I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois – LIAR, even your own Supporters claim
to have “not seen” BOLD action, on Your part.
27.) I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year – LIAR, they were Not YOUR Bills,
but rather handed ‘ to ‘ You after their creation by a fellow Senator, to assist You in a
Future bid for higher Office.
28.) No One Contacted Canada About N.A.F.T.A. – LIAR, the Canadian Government issued
the names and ” a Memo of ” the CONVERSATION, Your Campaign had with Them .
29.) I Am Tough On Terrorism – LIAR, you missed the Iran Resolution Vote on
Terrorism and your good friend ALI ABUNIMAH supports the Destruction of Israel.
30.) I Am Not Acting As President, Yet – LIAR, after the N.A.F.T.A. Memo, a dead
terrorist in the F.A.R.C. in Colombia, was found with a letter stating how You and he, were
working Together on getting F.A.R.C. recognized Officially.
31.) I Didn’t Run Ads In Florida – LIAR, you allowed National ads to run 8-12
times per Day, for TWO weeks – and you still : Lost .
32.) I Won Michigan – LIAR, No You Didn’t.
33.) I won Nevada – LIAR, NO You did NOT.
34.) I Want All Votes To Count – LIAR, you said: ” let the Delegates decide “.
35.) I Want Americans To Decide – LIAR, you prefer Caucuses that Limit the Vote,
Confuse the voters, Force a Public vote, and only operate during Small ‘windows’ of time .
36.) I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate – LIAR, you passed 26 ; most of which
you didn’t write Yourself.
37.) My Campaign Was Extorted By A Friend – LIAR, that friend is threatening to
sue if you Do Not stop Saying this. ( Obama ‘has’ stopped saying this. )
38.) I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics – LIAR, you used “Tactics” to eliminate
Alice PALMER from running against you.
39.) I Don’t Take P.A.C. Money – LIAR, you take loads of it.
40.) I don’t ‘have’ Lobbysists – LIAR, you have over 47 Lobbyists, and counting.
41.) My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Advertisement – LIAR, your own campaign
worker made the ad’ on his Apple in one afternoon !
42.) My Campaign Never Took Over MySpace – LIAR, Tom who started MySpace issued
a Warning about this advertising, to MySpace clients.
43.) I Inspire People With My Words – LIAR, you inspire people with OTHER
people’s Words.
44.) I Have Passed Bills In The U. S. Senate – LIAR, you have passed “A BILL”, in the U. S. Senate – for Africa, which shows YOUR priorities.
45.) I Have Always Been Against Iraq – LIAR, you weren’t ‘in Office’ to vote against it, unlike Kucinich who seems to be out gutting You, Obama ; AND, you have voted to Fund it Every single time . You also seem to be ‘stepping back’, from your Departure date – AGAIN .
46.) I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care – LIAR, your ‘plan’ leaves us All to Pay the narrow 15,000,000 who ‘don’t have to’ Buy it.
47.) I Only Found Out About My Investment Conflicts Via Mail – LIAR, both Companies, You cite as having sent you letters about this Conflict, have ” No Record ” of Any such letter ever being created, or sent.
48.) I Am As Patriotic As Anyone – LIAR, you won’t wear a Flag pin and you don’t put your hand over your heart during the National Anthem.
49.) My Wife Didn’t Mean What She Said About Pride In Country – LIAR, your wife’s words follow lock-step in the vein of WRIGHT and FARRAHKAN, in relation to their Contempt and hatred of America .
50.) WAL-MART Is a Company I Wouldn’t Support – LIAR, your WIFE has received nearly a Quarter of a Million dollars through ” TREEHOUSE “, which is connected to Wal-Mart.

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