I am researching a short article on the possible relationships between financial investments and politics in the Media.
It occurs to me that not only do journalists follow the whims and wiles of their editors, who follow the foibles and fetishes of those who own their media vehicle, and those who advertise in their media; but that journalists may have personal investments, in say, pension funds, estates or businesses that may affect their public pronouncements.
Would you, James Delingpole, be prepared to go on the record about where you keep your money ?
Would you be willing to say publicly whose pension fund(s) you are relying on, and which kind of investments you are prepared to accept in making returns on that capital ?
Is your money ethically invested ? Do you take into account the risks and opportunities of fluctuating conditions when you decide your investments ? Do you follow future projections when making your financial decisions ?
Would you be willing to declare your interests in business and your professional associations ?
Would you be ready to admit which investments you have made, in order that I may ascertain whether this might influence your attitudes and opinions ?
You have the privilege of a very wide readership, and thus an influential platform from which to lead opinion, and so I feel it is important to discover whether your professed political positioning may relate to how you use your money.
Can you, hand on honest heart, declare that your writing is independent of your money, and that your politics is free from the influence of your investments ?
Now the only reasons I’m rising to Jo’s bait are a) because I know it will give you all so much pleasure and b) because of what it says about the delusions of the Warmist lobby. They really do seem to imagine, bless, that the only reason anyone could possibly have for being sceptical about AGW is if they were being bribed by sinister business concerns (Big Oil, etc) or had some similar vested interests.
The Independent On Sunday had another feeble attempt at resurrecting this myth at the weekend. But the sad truth (sad, that is, for those of us who really wouldn’t mind being funded by Exxon and wouldn’t feel compromised one bit) is that all the big money has long since migrated to the other side. For Warmists, there are fortunes to be made in lavish grant funding, carbon trading, government subsidised green non-jobs, and so on. For us sceptics there’s little more than the satisfaction of having right and truth on our side.
As Richard North points out, the amount Exxon spent over 10 years funding sceptics is as nothing to the quantities of public money which has been splurged on funding climate change alarmism:
Over ten years, the company paid a grand total of $23 million to sceptics (by no means the larger part of which was devoted to climate change) less than a thousandth of what the US government has put in, and less than one five-thousandth of the value of carbon trading in just the single year of 2008.
Against that, over the last 20 years, by the end of fiscal year 2009, the US government had poured in $32 billion for climate research. In 1989, the first specific US climate-related agency was created with an annual budget of $134 million. Today in various forms the funding has leapt to over $7,000 million per annum, around 50 fold higher.
That, of course, is only the US picture – and government funding. To that, one must add the hundreds of millions, if not billions, poured in by the charitable foundations, and the massive funding from industry – much of which ends up in the pockets of advocacy groups such as the WWF.
Then, albeit on a smaller scale, we have other nations around the world adding to the funds. In the UK we have seen that the Met Office has been given £243 million of taxpayers’ money on “climate research”, and that represents just the tip of the iceberg.
Today, the good Dr North has yet another shocking story about taxpayers’ money being squandered on global warming drivel. Turns out that man in charge of discredited Working Group II section (yep: the one which responsible for Glaciergate, Amazongate and Africagate) of the risibly flawed Fourth IPCC assessment report was paid over one third of a million quid for supervising this piece of tosh. His name is Professor Martin Parry.
Dr North reports:
Through his own personal consultancy, Martin Parry Associates, he was paid £330,187 by Defra, for the part-time post of: “Acting as Co-chair of Working group II at meetings of IPCC WG II and associated groups.”
Additionally, his consultancy was paid £10,690, again by Defra to “assess the global impact of climate change on world food supply and global food security” – the very issue in which Parry is supposedly expert.
That was, presumably, separate from the contract in the financial year 2002/2003 for a study on “Global Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security”. For that, Parry Associates were paid £64,020. That was the year, incidentally, that the Global Atmosphere Division of Defra supported 35 research contracts on climate change, in 21 different establishments, at a total of £12 million.
These sums, however, are only a small part of the total which went into preparing the WGII report. Defra also paid £1,436,162 to “provide the scientific and administrative Technical Support Unit (TSU) for Working Group II (WGII) on Impacts and Adaptation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and to provide support for the chair of WGII, Professor Martin Parry and the preparation of the IPCC AR4 Synthesis report,” paid via the UK Met Office.
An entirely separate sum of £1,144,738 was awarded to Working Group II Technical Support Unit under the amorphous title “An international commitment to provide technical support on climate change,” also paid to the Met Office.
This means that the scientists and experts who “volunteered their time” on WGII were paid to the tune of nearly £3 million (£2,921,777) by British taxpayers alone – which does not of course include the sums paid by other nations and the production costs, or the payments by the IPCC directly.
Let me run that one by you again, just in case the full horror didn’t sink in properly. YOU paid £3,000,000 of your hard-earned dosh in order to fund a farrago of nonsense concocted in order to justify still more of your money being spent in the future to deal with a crisis which only exists in the imaginations of corrupt scientists, EU apparatchiks, One-World-governmenters, carbon-traders, third world kleptocrats and hysterical eco-loons.
Just for your amusement, here’s Professor Parry two years ago, boasting on the BBC website about the, er, robust integrity of the IPCC review process.
Several thousand scientists are asked to review the authors’ drafts, at two different stages; and there are also two stages of review by governments.
The purpose of the review is to ensure that the assessments are a fair reflection of the views of the whole scientific community, not just of the authors themselves. Each chapter has two review editors to ensure that reviews are considered and responded to appropriately. The assessments are therefore stuffed with references regarding one tendency suggested by some sets of data, and other tendencies suggested by others.
It is a summary of what we know and – just as importantly – what we do not know.
Earlier he claims:
This is why they err, if anything, on the side of conservatism and have been criticised for not exploring the outer edges of knowledge.
And if you want to make yourself even more depressed have a guess where he is now.