"Funding appears to be driving the science rather than the other way around." 3/8/15, peer reviewed study
11/16/1990, U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990
3/6/15, "Causes and consequences of the climate science boom," William Butos and Thomas McQuade
3/8/15, "‘Big players’ and the climate science boom," Judith Curry
"Big Players of any sort distort the normal systemic activity and render the emergent outcomes unstable and unreliable and create an ideal
breeding ground for incentives that motivate ideologically biased
people to circumvent normal constraints in the name of pursuing a "greater good"....[Forthcoming in Independent Review peer reviewed journal.] "Butos and McQuade are economists that have no apparent engagement
with the IPCC or climate science. As outsiders, the provide a fresh
perspective on the climate science/government/industrial complex."
From the paper:
"1. The Government’s Role in Climate Science Funding...[is] embedded
in scores of agencies and programs scattered throughout the Executive
Branch of the US government. While such agency activities related to
climate science have received funding for many years as components of
their mission statements, the pursuit of an integrated national agenda
to study climate change and implement policy initiatives took a critical
step with passage of the Global Change Research Act of 1990. This Act
established institutional structures operating out of the White House to
develop and oversee the implementation of a National Global Change
Research Plan and created the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)
to coordinate the climate change research activities of Executive
Departments and agencies. As
of 2014, the coordination of climate change-related activities resides
largely in the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy,
which houses several separate offices, including the offices of
Environment and Energy, Polar Sciences, Ocean Sciences, Clean Energy and
Materials R&D, Climate Adaptation and Ecosystems, National Climate
Assessment, and others. The Office of the President also maintains the
National Science and Technology Council, which oversees the Committee on
Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability and its Subcommittee
on Climate Change Research. The Subcommittee is charged with the
responsibility of planning and coordinating with the interagency USGCRP.
Also, the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy is housed within
the President’s Domestic Policy Council. While Congress authorizes
Executive branch budgets, the priorities these departments and agencies
follow are set by the White House. As expressed in various agency and
Executive Branch strategic plans, these efforts have been recently
organized around four components comprising (1) climate change research
and education, (2) emissions reduction through “clean” energy
technologies and investments, (3) adaptation to climate change, and (4)
international climate change leadership.....By any of
these measures, the scale of climate science R&D has increased
substantially since 2001. Perhaps, though, the largest funding increases
have occurred in developing new technologies and tax subsidies. As can
be seen from Table 1, federal dollars to develop and implement “clean
energy technologies” have increased from $1.7 billion in 2001 to $5.8
billion in 2013, while energy tax subsidies have increased from zero in
2001 and 2002 to $13 billion in 2013, with the largest increases
happening since 2010. The impact on scientific research of government
funding is not just a matter of the amounts but also of the
concentration of research monies that arises from the focus a single
source can bring to bear on particular kinds of scientific research.
Government is that single source and has Big Player effects because it
has access to a deep pool of taxpayer (and, indeed, borrowed and
created) funds combined with regulatory and enforcement powers which
necessarily place it on a different footing from other players and
institutions. Notwithstanding the interplay of rival interests within
the government and the separation of powers among the different
branches, there is an important sense in which government’s inherent
need to act produces a particular set of decisions that fall within a
relatively narrow corridor of ends to which it can concentrate
2. By any standards,
what we have documented here is a massive funding drive, highlighting
the patterns of climate science R&D as funded and directed only by
the Executive Branch and the various agencies that fall within its
To put its magnitude into some context, the $9.3 billion funding
requested for climate science R&D in 2013 is about one-third of the
total amount appropriated for all 27 National Institutes of Health in
the same year,
yet it is more than enough to sustain a science boom. Its directional
characteristic, concentrated as it has been on R&D premised on the
controversial issue of the actual sensitivity of climate to human-caused
emissions, has gone hand in hand with the IPCC’s expressions of
increasing confidence in the AGW hypothesis and increasingly shrill
claims of impending disaster.
3. The recent pattern of federal climate science funding, moving toward
emphasis on the development of technologies and their subsidization
through the tax system, suggests that climate change funding has become
more tightly connected to agencies like the Department of Energy, NASA,
the Department of Commerce (NOAA), EPA, and cross-cutting projects and
programs involving multiple agencies under integrating and coordinating
agencies, like the USGCRP, lodged within the Executive branch. The
allocations of budgets within these agencies are more directly
determined and implemented by Administration priorities and policies. We
note that the traditional role of NSF in supporting basic science based
on a system of merit awards provided (despite some clear imperfections)
certain advantages with regard to generating impartial science. In
contrast, even a casual perusal of current agency documents, such as The
National Science and Technology Council’s The National Global Change Research Plan 2012-2021, shows that those driving this movement make no pretense as to their premises and starting points.
4. To be sure, the very opaqueness of these allocations and their
actual use only provides for “ball park” estimates. However, we believe
that the results presented in Table 3 come closer to a useful accounting
than what previously has been provided. We have combined data from
Leggett et al. (2013) and the AAAS Reports for Fiscal Years 2012 and
2013 (the only years for which the AAAS provides detailed budgetary data
for climate science R&D and climate-related funding). This
constrains Table 3 to including data only from 2010 through 2013. We
have adjusted budgetary data and categorized it in light of discussion
points 1-5 above. Note that the estimated aggregate expenditures for
climate science and climate-related funding (excluding tax subsidies)
from 2010-2013 in Table 3 are about twice that of the Leggett findings.
5.5 Funds administered by the Treasury Department in Table 2 are
credit lines and loans channeled through the World Bank earmarked for
international organizations to finance clean technologies and
sustainable practices; consequently such funds would also more
accurately be considered as climate-related sustainability and
8. This summary and the detail in Table 1, however, do not capture the
full scale of federal funding for climate science R&D. Two
complications must be considered to capture a more accurate estimate.
First, the entries in the first row of Table 1 for climate science only
refer to monies administered by the Executive branch via the office of
the USGCRP and does not include all climate-related R&D in the
federal budget. For example, the entry in Table 1 for the USGCRP in 2011
is just under $2.5 billion; yet the actual budget expenditures for
climate science-related R&D as calculated by the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) total about $16.1
In addition, since USGCRP funding is comprised of monies contributed
from the authorized budgets of the 13 participating departments and
agencies, a more accurate estimate of climate-related R&D requires
deducting USGCRP funding from the aggregated budgets of those 13, most
of which are included in Table 2.
9. Leggett et al. (2013) of the Congressional Research Service provides
a recent account of climate change funding based on data provided by
the White House Office of Management and Budget (see Table 1, below).
Total expenditures for federal funded climate change programs from
2001-2013 were $110.9 billion in current dollars and $120.2 billion in
2012 dollars. “Total budgetary impact” includes various tax provisions
and subsidies related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (which are
treated as “tax expenditures”) and shows total climate change
expenditures from 2001-2013 to be $145.3 billion in current dollars and
$155.4 billion in 2012 dollars.
10. The USGCRP operates as a confederacy of the research components of
thirteen participating government agencies, each of which independently
designates funds in accordance with the objectives of the USGCRP; these
monies comprise the program budget of the USGCRP to fund agency
cross-cutting climate science R&D.
The departments and agencies whose activities comprise the bulk of such
funding include independent agencies such as the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Environmental
Protection Agency, US Agency for International Development, the
quasi-official Smithsonian Institute, and Executive Departments that
include Agriculture, Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology), Energy,
Interior (the US Geological Survey and conservation initiatives),
State, and Treasury.
11. The past 15 years have seen a sustained program of funding, largely from government or quasi-government entities.
The funding efforts are spread across a bewildering array of sources
and buried in a labyrinth of programs, agency initiatives, interagency
activities, and Presidential Offices, but what they seem to have in
common is an adherence to the assumption that human activity is
primarily responsible for the warming observed in the latter part of the
20th century. Funding appears to be driving the science
rather than the other way around. And the extent of this funding appears
not to have been heretofore fully documented."...
11/16/1990, U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990
News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Vast machine to finance climate science boom via US taxpayers was put in place in 1990 before most people had ever heard of climate scientists. The US political class by 1990 mandate established that endless US taxpayer dollars would create and fund a new global climate science industry. White House and 13 Executive Agencies via 1990 USGCRP (US Global Change Research Program) has been bleeding US taxpayers for at least 25 years-Independent Review study
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