News & Politics

University Raked in Millions of Taxpayer Dollars With Fake Climate Research Scheme

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Stop me if you’ve heard this before: University applies for grants to study climate change and humanity’s role in altering our atmosphere. University receives overwhelming amount of attention for showing a clear link between the burning of fossil fuels and rising global temperatures. This attention leads the university to receive millions in public grants to continue its studies into anthropogenic global warming, while also funding other programs and enriching individual researchers in the process. Later we discover the university faked its research, claimed credit for studies it wasn’t responsible for, and was caught red-handed in a massive fraud that betrayed the public trust in an academic study that is funded by taxpayer money.

This is the story of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and the hacked emails that, in 2009, revealed that researchers faked climate data to create a global temperature rise that didn’t exist. This is also the newest story out of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP), based jointly at the London School of Economics and the University of Leeds.

Over the weekend, the Daily Mail published an explosive investigation into the fraud committed by CCCEP and what it calls the theft of £9 million ($10.9 million U.S.) in public funds.

The timing of the report is rather awkward for climate alarmists, who are set to meet this week at a gala event in London to celebrate their own accomplishments. As the Daily Mail reports,

On Friday, the CCCEP … will host a gala at the Royal Society in London in the peer’s honour. Attended by experts and officials from around the world, it is to mark the tenth anniversary of the blockbuster Stern Review, a 700-page report on the economic impact of climate change. The review was commissioned by Tony Blair’s Government.

The review argued that the world had to take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or face much higher future costs. It has exerted a powerful influence on successive British governments and international bodies.

The fraud is extensive, and multi-layered. The CCCEP is accused of forging grant applications by, among other things, claiming to have created already existing research, claiming responsibility for research conducted by rival organizations, and including research that had nothing to do with climate change. It’s no wonder, actually, that the grants were awarded without verification of prior research by the organization. After all, the chairman of CCCEP is Lord Nick Stern—who happens also to be the head of a major grant organization. According to the Daily Mail, “He is also the president of the British Academy, an invitation-only society reserved for the academic elite. It disburses grants worth millions to researchers – and to Lord Stern’s own organisation.”
It must be very convenient to be able to cut out the middlemen and simply award yourself a grant.

Apparently, one of the biggest government funders of CCCEP, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has “never checked the organisation’s supposed publication lists, saying they were ‘taken on trust.'”

Oops.

The details of the many layers of fraud are a graduate level study in ethics violations. Again, from the Daily Mail investigation:

The centre also gets generous funds from other government and private sources, such as American green billionaire Jeremy Grantham. This year, it was awarded a £374,000 grant to pay for a three-year CCCEP fellowship by the British Academy, presided over by Lord Stern. These grants make it one of the most lavishly funded institutions of its kind in the world, with an income since 2008 of more than £30 million.

Lord Stern has also become personally wealthy through his climate change work. When it last filed accounts a year ago, his company, NS Economics Ltd, set up to handle his public speaking income, had a bank balance of £349,000. He is also paid as an advisory director of the giant Spanish solar energy firm Abengoa SA.

This newspaper has found further papers on the 2008 to 2012 list sent to the ESRC which were in fact completed before the CCCEP came into existence. One of them, jointly authored with CCCEP co-director Simon Dietz, is by Lord Stern himself – and first published on April 23, 2008, six months before the CCCEP opened.

When reached for comment, the scientists whose work was commandeered were none too pleased.
Professor Richard Tol, a climate change economics expert from Sussex University, said: “It is serious misconduct to claim credit for a paper you haven’t supported, and it’s fraud to use that in a bid to renew a grant. I’ve never come across anything like it before. It stinks.”
This type of fraud is an ongoing story in climate science, with the temptation of potentially billions in government grants that influence scientists to prove the theory instead of following the data. This subversion of the scientific method is a major factor in the growing skepticism of claims of impending climactic doom.
In its report on the CCCEP controversy, The Daily Caller described how this fraud is perpetrated:

Studies that receive financial support from the public sector don’t have to disclose it as an ethical conflict of interest, even when that support is in the millions of dollars. Recent studies in the U.S. — which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses to support the scientific case for its Clean Power Plan — saw the agency give $31.2 million, $9.5 million, and $3.65 million in public funds to lead authors, according to EPA public disclosures.

The author who received $3.65 million, Charles Driscoll, even admitted to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the result of his study was predetermined, saying “in doing this study we wanted to bring attention to the additional benefits from carbon controls.”

Universities typically received about 50 percent of the money their researchers get in public funds if their investigations find positive results, making them deeply dependent upon federal funding and likely to encourage studies that will come to conclusions the government wants.

This is a feature, not a bug, in publicly funded climate research. Controversy after controversy has been exposed as governments push ever further for public policies that limit economic production in the name of saving the planet. Emailgate was the first fraud exposed, followed closely by Emailgate 2.0. The conflicts of interest in such government studies should be obvious. An incestuous relationship exists between governments that crave more control over economies and those they pay to produce scientific results that prove theories, who are then also paid to influence governments in lobbying efforts.