In the face of rising unemployment and record-breaking deficits, policy experts at the National Center for Public Policy Research are criticizing the Obama Administration for awarding a half million dollar grant from the economic stimulus package to Penn State Professor Michael Mann, a key figure in the Climategate controversy.
"It's outrageous that economic stimulus money is being used to support research conducted by Michael Mann at the very time he’s under investigation by Penn State and is one of the key figures in the international Climategate scandal. Penn State should immediately return these funds to the U.S. Treasury," said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project.
Professor Mann is currently under investigation by Penn State University because of activities related to a closed circle of climate scientists who appear to have been engaged in agenda-driven science. Emails and documents mysteriously released from the previously-prestigious Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom revealed discussions of manipulation and destruction of research data, as well as efforts to interfere with the peer review process to stifle opposing views. The motivation underlying these efforts appears to be a coordinated strategy to support the belief that mankind's activities are causing global warming.
"It's no wonder that Obama's stimulus plan is failing to produce jobs. Taxpayer dollars aren't being used in the ways most likely to spur job creation. The stimulus was not sold to the public as a way to reward a loyalist in the climate change debate. Nor was the stimulus sold as a way to promote the Obama Administration's position on the global warming theory. This misuse of stimulus money illustrates why tax cuts are a better way to stimulate the economy than letting the government decide where to spend taxpayer dollars. As is often the case, political considerations corrupt the distribution of government funds," said Deneen Borelli, a fellow with the National Center's Project 21 black leadership network.
"Mann's credentials as a climate change alarmist seems to fit the political criteria for stimulus funds sometimes known as 'Obama money'," added Deneen Borelli.
Mann is a central and controversial figure in climate change research. Mann's so-called "hockey stick" graph depicting temperature changes over a 1000 year period was used as evidence in the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2001 report to demonstrate that carbon dioxide from industrial activity is causing global warming. Mimicking the shape of a hockey stick, the graph showed a long time period of stable temperatures (the shaft) followed by a rapid rise in temperatures (the blade) during the last hundred years.
Critics of the hockey stick claim Mann manipulated data to eliminate periods of time such as the medieval warming period and the little ice age to eradicate the visual impact of natural global temperature variation. The emails from Climategate reveal that the inner circle of climate scientists were troubled by the methods Mann used to produce the graph.
"It's shocking that taxpayer money is being used to support a researcher who seemingly showed little regard to the basic tenes of science - a dispassionate search for the truth," said Tom Borelli.
The $541,184 grant is for three years and was initiated in June 2009.