Shukla’s Gold

shukla millionRoger Pielke Jr recently made the remarkable discovery that, in addition to his university salary from George Mason University (reported by Pielke as $250,000), Jagadish Shukla, the leader of the #RICO20, together with his wife, had received a further $500,000 more in 2014 alone from federal climate grants funnelled through a Shukla-controlled “non-profit” (Institute for Global Environment and Security, Inc.), yielding total income in 2014 of approximately $750,000.

Actually, the numbers are even worse than Pielke thought.

  • Pielke had quoted Shukla’s 2013 university salary, but his university salary had increased more than 25% between 2013 and 2014: from $250,816 in 2013 to $314,000 in 2014.
  • In addition, the “non-profit” organization had also employed one of Shukla’s children (not reported, but say $90,000); and,
  • IGES transferred $100,000 from its climate grants to a second corporation controlled by the Shukla family (the Institute for Global Education Equality of Opportunity and Prosperity, Inc.), which in turn transferred $100,000 to an educational charity in Shukla’s home town in India, doubtless a worthy charity, but one that Shukla could have supported from his own already generous stipend.

Over a million dollars in total in 2014 alone.

In addition, Shukla’s long-time associate, James Kinter, participated in the same double dip, though on a less grandiose scale. Kinter, also a Professor at George Mason, doubled his 2014 university salary of $180,038 with $171,320 from IGES, for a total 2014 income of $351,358.

In today’s post, I’ll make an attempt to follow the money.  This analysis is not an audit as I obviously do not have access to original documents – only public information and, for the purposes of this note, only online research.  In addition, the history is quite complicated,as the institutions reach back over 30 years and have changed relationships over time.  I’ve examined NSF, NOAA and NASA online grant information, which covers only part of the period (NOAA to 2001; NASA to 2006) and placed a summary spreadsheet online here.

Because “warmists” regularly re-assure skeptics that income from research is strictly regulated under federal policies (e,g. Andrew Dessler here), the parties who ought to have the most interest in the structure are warmists, rather than skeptics, though the opposite seems to be the case thus far.

NSF Policy

Before discussing Shukla’s structure, I’ll first quickly comment on institutional policies, as both the federal agencies (NSF, NOAA, NASA) and the university (George Mason) purport to have policies that prevent double-dipping.

NSF policies purportedly regulate research compensation for members of university faculties by limiting their compensation in the academic year to their university salary, while permitting them to top up their university salary in summer months, but set their compensation at the monthly rate of their university salary (the “two-ninths rule”, as follows:

 611.1 Salaries and Wages

  1. All Grantees. All remuneration paid currently or accrued by the organization for employees working on the NSF-supported project during the grant period is allowable to the extent that:
    1. total compensation to individual employees is reasonable for the work performed and conforms to the established policy of the organization consistently applied to both government and non-government activities; and
    2. the charges for work performed directly under NSF grants and for other work allocable as indirect costs are determined and documented as provided in the applicable Federal cost principles.
  2. Colleges and Universities. Section J.10 of OMB Circular A-21 establishes criteria for compensation work performed on government projects by faculty members during and outside the academic year.

NSF’s policy is:

  1. Academic Year Salaries. To be based on the individual faculty member’s regular compensation for the continuous period which, under the policy of the institution concerned, constitutes the basis of his/her salary. Except as provided in GPM 616.2, “Intra-University Consulting,” charges to Federal grants, irrespective of the basis of computation, will not exceed the proportionate share of the base salary for that period.
  2. Periods Outside the Academic Year. During the summer months or other periods not included in the period for which the base salary is paid, salary is to be paid at a monthly rate not in excess of the base salary divided by the number of months in the period for which the base salary is paid. NSF policy on funding of summer salaries (known as NSF’s two-ninths rule) remains unchanged: proposal budgets submitted should not request, and NSF-approved budgets will not include, funding for an individual investigator which exceeds two-ninths of the academic year salary. This limit includes summer salary received from all NSF-funded grants.

Andrew Dessler, who, like most climate academics, has consistently denied that research funding has any impact on alarmism, summarized the above policy as follows:

Texas A&M pays 10 months of my salary to teach. The other two months of my salary are paid out of grants for doing research, but the University sets the amount I receive during those two months equal to the m$158.06onthly rate that the University pays me the other 10 months. Thus, the vast majority of my salary is completely disconnected with research.

There are many other obligations on recipients of federal research grants, many of which are summarized in the NSF Grants Manual.

George Mason University Policy

Shukla has been on the faculty of George Mason University since 1993 (1984-1992 University of Maryland) and, during that time, has obtained federal grants both in the name of George Mason University and the Institute for Global Environment and Security Inc. discussed below).

George Mason, like  most universities, has a policy on conflict of interest,  including a detailed policy on conflict of interest in federally funded research.   Under such policies, “non-profits” are classified as “business”, a protocol that seems very apt when large salaries are withdrawn by insiders from a closely-held “non-profit”:

“Business” means a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, trust or foundation, or any other individual or entity carrying on a business or profession, whether or not for profit.

The University conflict of interest policies require comprehensive and formal disclosure of personal and family financial interests to the Office of Sponsored Programs.

This policy applies to any person who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of any research funded by a Federal agency.  The responsible parties listed in this policy act as institutional officials for purposes of policy implementation, enforcement, and reporting.

Financial Conflict of interest” (FCOI) means a significant financial interest (SFI) directly and significantly affecting the design, conduct, or reporting of the federally funded research.

“Significant financial interest” means a financial interest consisting of one or more of the following interests of the investigator (and/or those of the investigator’s spouse and dependent children) that reasonably appears to be related to the investigator’s institutional responsibilities:

Investigators who apply for any federally funded research must disclose certain financial interests related to that research.  Specifically, each investigator must provide a list of his or her known SFIs (and those of his or her spouse and/or dependent children) related to the investigator’s institutional responsibilities.

As a part of the university’s application for federal funds, each investigator must certify (1) that he or she has no such interests or (2) that he or she has such interests and has disclosed them through the institution’s disclosure process.  The Office of Sponsored Programs maintains custody of the investigator’s certification.

 I have not attempted to make a comprehensive summary of obligations under George Mason University policy.

University of Maryland

Shukla worked at the University of Maryland from 1984-1992 as Professor, Department of Meteorology.  While at the University of Maryland,  Shukla established the “Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Interactions”  (University of Maryland, Dept. of Meteorology).

Nearly all of Shukla’s key associates at George Mason date back to the University of Maryland in the 1980s.  Edwin Schneider was a Research Scientist at the “Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Interactions, University of Maryland, Dept. of Meteorology” from 1984-1993,   James Kinter was Assistant Professor, Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland from 1984-87, subsequently becoming Research Scientist with “COLA, Univ. MD, College Park, MD” from 1987-1993. Daniel Straus was a Research Scientist at the “Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Interactions, University of Maryland, Dept. of Meteorology” from 1988-1993.  Paul Dirmeyer was a Graduate Fellow and Graduate Research Assistant at University of Maryland from 1986-92 before becoming a Research Scientist at “Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Interactions, Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland at College Park” in 1993.

NOAA and NASA online grant information does not go back that far (NOAA only to 2001; NASA only to 2007), but NSF grant data shows two almost simultaneous grants to the University of Maryland entitled “Predictability of Monthly and Seasonal Average Circulation of the Atmosphere”, totalling $2.9 million.  Shukla is PI for both grants, but there are different NSF officers for some reason.

Shukla and associates (with Schneider also appearing as PI) received a new round of NSF grants in 1991, again in the name of the University of Maryland.

Institute for Global Environment and Security, Inc. (IGES)

In 1992, Shukla, Kinter and Schneider, while still presumably employees of the University of Maryland, appear to have submitted a proposal to NSF for funding via a private Maryland non-profit corporation, then recently incorporated by Shukla (the Institute for Global Environment and Security, Inc.), as, on January 6, 1993, NSF awarded three grants to IGES totalling $1.7 million, with Shukla, Kinter and Schneider all acting as PIs or co-PIs.  Shukla named himself President.  The present outside directors are an artist (Nora Rosenbaum) and a photographic artist (Patricia Peck) – both of whom were related to Jule Charney –  and long-time friend of Shukla’s from Brazil (Antonio Moura).

With the funding, Shukla established the “Center of Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies” as a unit of the Institute for Global Environment and Security, Inc.  Kinter, Schneider, Straus and Dirmeyer all moved from the University of Maryland in 1993 to join the new enterprise.

In 1994, Shukla was appointed as Professor of Earth Sciences and Global Change at George Mason University.  Most of his COLA associates would subsequently obtain appointments, but, in the mid-1990s, Shukla appears to have been the only one. In 1994, IGES obtained its first five-year block grant ( a joint grant from NSF, NOAA and NASA) in the amount of $2.25 million/year for 1994-1998.  Over the years, IGES obtained increasingly larger five-year block grants in 1999, 2004 and 2009. IGES appears to have obtained additional special grants from time to time.

Concurrent with awards to IGES, Shukla also obtained NSF grants in the name of George Mason, sometimes with identical titles.  The first such award to George Mason came in 1995 with an award from NSF (Jay Fein once again, PI – Shukla) of $1.1 million entitled “Predictability of Short Term Climate Variations” – a very similar title to the IGES grant.

In the 1999 funding cycle, NSF awarded funds under the title “Predictability and Variability of the Present Climate” to both IGES and George Mason ($4.7 million and $1.25 million, respectively).  It is unclear from this limited record what the respective responsibilities of each institution were: whether the funds were all used for the ongoing research at the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (IGES) or whether there was a separate program at George Mason at the time.

Over time, the base block funding increased: from $2.25 million/year in 1994-98 to $2.75 million/year in 1999-2004, $3.25 million in 2004-2009 and $3,6 million/year in 2009-2014.  In addition to block funds, IGES also received special funds.  Total funding to IGES appears to be at least $75 million: online grant archives at NSF and NOAA show a total of over $28 million and $22 million respectively, but NOAA information is unavailable prior to 2001 and NASA does not provide information on amounts (or at least I have not located it).

Concurrently, George Mason University received at least $17.5 million (the total shown in the online NSF and NOAA archives).

IGES has filed 990 forms over the years, as first brought to light by Roger Pielke Jr.  and is online here as follows: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2001-2010.

Migration to George Mason

Over the years, functions and personnel of COLA (IGES) have migrated to George Mason, intensifying in recent years. The most recent grants to IGES Inc. appear to have been made in 2009-2010, though funding under these grants seems to have continued until 2014-2015. In recent years, George Mason University has made a number of announcements on the transiation of COLA (IGES) to George Mason, but the precise terms of each agreement are hard to figure out from the public record available thus far.

In 2002 (eight years after Shukla), Kinter, Schneider and Straus were all appointed to the staff of the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences department, George Mason University in 2002, coinciding with expansion of their climate program. All three continued their employment with IGES (COLA), where Kinter became Director in 2004.

George Mason’s webpage includes a lengthy list of university centers and institutions and, by January 2012 (the earliest web archived version), the Center for Land-Ocean-Atmosphere Studies was  included in the list (January 2012).

On May 10, 2013, George Mason University announced that IGES and COLA(IGES), organizations with “long-standing partnerships” with the University, were “joining” the University and would be “located within” the College of Science:

The Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) and the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), independent nonprofit research entities established in Maryland with long-standing partnerships with George Mason University, are joining Mason’s College of Science. An event celebrating these new groups will take place at 2 p.m. Monday, May 13, in Mason Hall, Rooms D3A and B.

IGES was established in Maryland in 1993 as a nonprofit to improve understanding and prediction of the variations of the Earth’s climate through scientific research on climate variability and climate predictability, and to share both the results of this research and the tools necessary to carry out this research with society as a whole.

As part of IGES, the world-renowned Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere-Studies (COLA) will also be at Mason. COLA is dedicated to understanding climate fluctuations on short- and long-term scales, with special emphasis on the interactions between Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces.

The institute and center will be initially located within the College of Science. All IGES and COLA staff supported by research grants will move from Maryland to Mason, and the staff will teach and conduct their ongoing research projects at Mason.

For the past 20 years, the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration have supported IGES and COLA research with an annual funding of about $4 million.

Once again, the university’s list of its centers in July 2013 includes the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies.

A year later (May 3, 2014), the University announced that Kinter and associates had been awarded $10.5 million from the NSF-NOAA-NASA group for continuation of the COLA work, now titled “Predictability and Prediction of Climate from Days to Decades.”:

Kinter and his team were awarded $4.5 million by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $2.5 million by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and $3.5 million by the National Science Foundation to work on a five-year project called “Predictability and Prediction of Climate from Days to Decades.”

Kinter leads the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies based at George Mason University.

The NSF grants archive shows a grant (1338427) bearing this title in the amount of $4.2 million with start date of Jan 1, 2014 in the name of George Mason University, while the NOAA grant archive shows a grant  (NA04OAR4310160) of $1.8 million with start date of January 2014 also in the name of George Mason, while I have been unable thus far to locate the corresponding grant in the NASA archive.

Shukla Compensation

Despite the various changes in grant structure, one constant (or rather steadily increasing amount) has been the several sources of compensation to Shukla and his wife.

In 2001, the earliest year thus far publicly available, in 2001, in addition to his university salary (not yet available, but presumably about $125,000), Shukla and his wife received a further $214,496  in compensation from IGES (Shukla -$128,796; Anne Shukla – $85,700).  Their combined compensation from IGES doubled over the next two years to approximately $400,000 (additional to Shukla’s university salary of say $130,000), for combined compensation of about $530,000 by 2004.

Shukla’s university salary increased dramatically over the decade reaching $250,866 by 2013 and $314,000 by 2014.  (In this latter year, Shukla was paid much more than Ed Wegman, a George Mason professor of similar seniority). Meanwhile, despite the apparent transition of IGES to George Mason, the income of the Shuklas from IGES continued to increase, reaching $547,000 by 2013.  Combined with Shukla’s university salary,  the total compensation of Shukla and his wife exceeded $800,000 in both 2013 and 2014.  In addition, as noted above, Shukla’s daughter continued to be employed by IGES in 2014; IGES also distributed $100,000 from its climate grant revenue to support an educational charity in India which Shukla had founded.

Discussion

There is a surprising link between the George Mason department and one of my earliest adversaries at NSF, David Verardo, Mann’s handler at NSF, who told him in 2003 that he didn’t have to provide data to me – that Mann was entitled to his view of climate and I was entitled to mine. Verardo’s wife, Stacey Verardo, is a colleague of Shukla, Kinter, Klinger and the others in the AOES department at George Mason, while Verardo himself is a member of the Adjunct Faculty at George Mason. (Update: David Verardo has commented below that his “wife is a geologist who has worked in the department long before climate dynamics was a part of the department” and “has no professional relationship with the climate dynamics group beyond serving in the same department and working on instructional issues that arise at the university” and that he himself “do not handle proposals from GMU because of obvious conflicts of interest but even more practical, the awards to climate dynamic research are not in my NSF program.”)

Shukla attracted attention as the lead author of the RICO20 letter, which was originally posted at the website of the Institute of Global Environment and Society Inc, though the professors all listed George Mason University as their affiliation.  Pielke Jr became curious about the institution that had chosen to initiate this offensive letter and had the bright idea of looking up their 990 filings, thus discovering Shukla’s double dip.

Five other George Mason employees were RICO20 signatories, four of whom are long-time Shukla associates: Dirmeyer, Straus, Paul Schopf and Barry Klinger. (It’s interesting that James Kinter didn’t sign it.)  The other George Mason RICO 20 signatory, Edward Maibach, is in some sort of climate communications and, together with Heidi Cullen, holds a $2,998,178 grant from NSF.  Many of the other RICO20 signatories had previous associations with IGES. Kevin Trenberth and Mike Wallace had both been on its “Science Advisory Committee” in the past.  Nearly all of the RICO20 signatories, including Trenbeth andWallace, attended a large symposium in April 2015 to honor Shukla – see picture at link.

IGES’ webpage says that its corporate objective was to share “the fruits” of its research “with society as a whole”, though, in practice, an equally important objective seems to have been to share the fruits of its research funding with Shukla (and Kinter). The sheer lucrativeness of Shukla’s deal raised some eyebrows in skeptic blogs, but none so far at warmist blogs, not even at Michael Tobis’ aptly named Only In It for the Gold or among Barry Klinger and the RICO20.

351 Comments

  1. Joe Public
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    Those who live in glass houses really ought to learn to not throw stones.

    BTW – 2x minor typos:

    “…. his university salary had increased from 30.8% ….”

    ” … an educational charity in Shukla’s home time in India ..”

    Steve- fixed

    • sue
      Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

      Steve, Highlighted name is incorrect: Society not Security…

      • sue
        Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

        1st paragraph

  2. Pathway
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    As always if you want to know the truth just follow the money. Self interest is always the most important thing in any persons life.

  3. Jimmy Haigh
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    It would be nice to see a “spaghetti graph” showing the hockey stick of his various compensations over time…

  4. nickexperience
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Speaking as someone who works in contract and grant administration for a large public research university, it does not strain credulity to posit that his outside foundation income is being used to offset his academic year salary in addition to providing summer salary. Not saying it does, but I see it all the time. Superstar researchers get more grant money than they know what to do with and use it to offset their academic year salary, thereby saving the school some money. Paying his family members is the more morally questionable practice, assuming he’s not actually double-dipping.

    Steve: The record doesn’t suggest that he transferred money from IGES to Mason to fund his academic salary. If this proves to be the case, I’ll amend the post. Plus the very large salary to his wife is not the act of a man who’s looking to subsidize school costs. Nor for that matter is the diversion of climate grants to a charity in which he has a personal attachment.

    • Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

      IGES and GMU income reports are independent of each other.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

        A point about the IGES reports that I forgot to include in the post: the 990 report asks parties to report income from related organizations. Neither Shukla nor Kinter included income from GMU, though it is said to be related in webpages. (The definition of “related” for 990 purposes may well be different – if someone knows the precise accounting requirements, it would be interesting.

        • joe
          Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

          Steve – I havent had the time to provide a complete definition for “related organization”. However i have attached a link to the instructions to Sch R of the Form 990 which has a definition of control which is used for purposes of determining related organization. See page 2
          http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i990sr.pdf

          For a non profit, this definition can be a little tricky ie more of a subjective test.

          For a for profit enterprise, the definition is very precise under section 318 and 267 including the ownership attribution rules with the determining factor being strictly ownership.

        • MrPete
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

          With several decades involvement in non-profit governance, I’ve had more than my share of involvement in issues of (potential and real) conflict of interest.

          The bottom line: what needs to always be held up to the light of day is avoidance of any opportunity to quietly take advantage of a “corporate opportunity.”

          Thus, two organizations are “related” from a conflict of interest perspective if a person or entity is in a position to help direct any “corporate opportunity” to one or the other. This could be financial (funding, contracts, sales, purchases…), influence, people… almost any kind of resource.

          The appropriate standard is always to err on the side of disclosure. Auditors will always question a lack of disclosure in any even slightly gray area.

      • nickexperience
        Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

        I agree that it looks dubious, just saying that I’ve seen similar situations that are actually on the up and up. The period of time where the foundation wasn’t under the GMU administrative umbrella is more problematic. At any rate, salaries at public universities are in the public domain. You should be able to get that info relatively easily and see how much of his university salary came from the general fund. For instance, I have a faculty member at my university that makes $192,000/year, but only $24,000 comes from the general fund. The rest is from sponsors/gifts/royalties/etc.

    • Staten
      Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

      If done in the private sector, you would go to jail.
      If, you ever, ever gave false, returns on an investment. It’s called a Ponzi scheme.
      This A hole, just lied, for government cash.
      Lied, just lied outright. Never thought be caught.
      It’s amazing!

  5. Rob Potter
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    For me, the question is what is done with this money. I have been employed on many different types of grants in academia and I know that the funds granted to a PI are not salary for them, but funds used to employ people to do the research. Thus, the NSF grants to IGES and GMU are not in themselves anything to question, but rather the disbursement of funds is the issue.

    Looking at the analysis here, it appears that Shukla is paying himself a salary out of the IGES funds (and his wife and daughter) at the same time as drawing his GMU salary and – if true – this is both shocking and appalling. Not only should GMU have addressed this (through their own COI policy), but NSF as well – as Steve has listed. It appears that – by creating a “non-profit” institution Shukla has set up an agency to avoid the GMU and NSF oversight of how the funds are actually spent (not sure how this works as when I was managing a USAID grant, we had to account for things even when the funds had moved on to other institutions). There are words for this kind of thing.

    • nickexperience
      Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

      Another thing to look at is what Shukla presented on his “current and pending” document that is associated with grant applications. It is there that you divulge your income/effort on all of your current and pending awards. Agencies like NSF are concerned with awarding grants to PI’s that are already over-committed effort-wise. I would imagine that if he was double-dipping that this would be evident in his current and pending by showing more effort than he could logically provide annually. That is, if his current and pending wasn’t fraudulent.

  6. Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    Looks from the 990 like there are 2 additional Shukla’s employed at IGES, in addition to wife. Unless there is name confusion, it seems likely that there are 4 Shuklas on the payroll.

  7. mpainter
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    “The University conflict of interest policies require comprehensive and formal disclosure of personal and family financial interests to the Office of Sponsored Programs.”
    ###

    Should be a public record here, unless Shukla has neglected this step.

  8. Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Coincidentally there is a Research Asst. Prof. Ravi Prakash Shukla also employed by COLA. His focus is “Intraseasonal and interannual variability, predictability, and climate modeling employed in the GMU IGES department.”

    Apparently Shukla is a very common name in climate academics.

  9. MangoChutney
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Is the manager Shukla’s brother?

    Chandran’s uncles Shri Mahendra Shukla and Shriram Shukla had established in 1989 a non-profit society called Chandran Gramin Vikas Sansthan to help the poor people of rural India.

    http://www.iges.org/gandhicollege/cgvs.html

    http://www.iges.org/gandhicollege/aboutframe.html

    Steve: Chandran appears to be a son of Jagadish and Anne, brother to Sonia, and who died tragically in a motorcycle accident in 2004.

  10. stevefitzpatrick
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Well one thing is very clear, Dr. Shukla would never enrich himself at the taxpayer’s expense. Nor would any other climate scientist who works for him. /sarc

    Will he get away with it Scott free? History shows that when the fix is in for the politically connected, what appears to be clear criminal activity is simply waved away without prosecution. I will be shocked if there are ever any consequences for Dr. Shukla. Heck, I’ll be shocked if anyone at George Mason ever publicly acknowledges a problem with this obnoxious arrangement. A letter to a Representative or Senator (or two) might at least lead to a pleading of the 5th amendment in testimony, and give this episode the public exposure it deserves.

    From Wiki: “George Mason University, located in Fairfax, Virginia, United States, is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

    Hummm… double dipping on the residents of VA. Where is VA AG Cuccinelli when he is actually needed?

    • Steve Reynolds
      Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

      I’m amazed Shukla was not concerned writing that letter would draw attention to his finances. Even VW was not stupid enough to request investigation of the emissions of their competitors.

    • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

      “scot free” – a scot is a tax.

    • Streetcred
      Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

      http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/02/climate-alarmist-caught-largest-science-scandal-u-s-history/
      [blockquote]The plan by climate alarmists to have other scientists imprisoned for their ‘global warming’ skepticism is backfiring horribly, and the chief alarmist is now facing a House investigation into what has been called “the largest science scandal in US history.”

      Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology, has written to Professor Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University, in Virginia, requesting that he release all relevant documents pertaining to his activities as head of a non-profit organization called the Institute of Global Environment And Society.[/blockquote]

      Maybe he won’t get off “scot free” !

  11. Bob Koss
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Excellent research.

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but that 30.8% salary increase doesn’t look accurate to me.
    (314000 – 250816) / 250816 = 0.2519

    Steve: must have transcribed something wrong. fixed – thanks

  12. joe
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    A brief scan of the statement of functional expenses on Form 990 for the tax year 2014.

    1) the total program service expenses are 67% of the total expenses – 33% admin expenses
    2) compensation costs for admin is 31.67% vs 68.32% for program services.

    That is a high percent for the non core part of the business.

    Another observation –

    3) total number of employees is 45 with approx 40 working on the program services sector. That results in average compensation expense per program service employee of approx $56k which includes payroll costs, insurance, benefits, etc. which is apprx $44k for actual salary. The average salary for scientists should be should be much higher than that which likely means that organization is spending most of its program services on marketing/promoting/educating in field of climate science instead of doing actual climate science.

    Just an observation.
    I will let others more knowledgable with this organization reply to how much actual science this organization is actually involved in.

  13. michaelspj
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    I just talked with some folks at the Office of Sponsored Programs at UVa,and when I popped out the contractors and the numbers they pretty much said that can’t be done. It has to do with a statute that a state employee (Virginia faculty are state employees) cannot be paid to do the same job that he does for the state by another entity. In other words, it’s against the law.

    Now I’m going to an expert in academic and research law to verify.

    Look, he got $63 million from 01-14 in federal grants and contracts for his consulting company. Don’t you think George Mason thinks that there should be overhead going to it? But the form 990s offer not one bit of evidence that this is true; rather, the contrary is true, there are no such expenditures listed on their balance sheets.

    Steve: to argue the other side, George Mason clearly knew from the outset that IGES was receiving grants. If GMU administrators thought that they should be entitled to a greater share of the lucre, then they should had an opportunity to claim it, but didn’t. I see them as having the flimsiest claim. The real issue is whether the agencies did their jobs of protecting taxpayers.

    • stevefitzpatrick
      Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

      That is right, all expenditures were “internal” to the organization…. no outside payments to George Mason or anywhere else. Does seem…. ahem… doubtful. Also doubtful that his declared hours per week managing this independent non-profit company (30!) leave much time to work full time for George Mason….. even a genius can’t create more hours in a day than 24. Maybe there is a perfectly clear explanation…. maybe not.

      • joe
        Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

        Steve Fitzpatrick “even a genius can’t create more hours in a day than 24. ”

        You are obviously not a lawyer with billable hours

        • Chip Javert
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

          LOL; now all we have to do is make “lawyer” equal “genius”. Somewhere in all this, I suspect the work”crook” needs to come into play…

    • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

      I checked state employee registry. He is definitely still a state of Virgina employee.

  14. Ed Snack
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    Is there any indication of actual published research from these various “non-profit” entities or their employees ?

    Steve: the center did legitimate work.

    • Ed Snack
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Steve, should have looked that up myself I guess.

  15. Martin A
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    “Shukla attracted attention as the lead author of the RICO20 letter, which was originally posted …”

    I get 404 Not Found when I click on “posted”.

    • Armand MacMurray
      Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

      The copy of the letter at the website seems to have been deleted. Here’s a link to a snapshot from Sep 20, 2015, with the pdf still there:
      https://web.archive.org/web/20150920110942/http://www.iges.org/letter/LetterPresidentAG.pdf

      • michaelspj
        Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

        And why did he post it from his consulting company and not George Mason? Because doing so would have run afoul of GMU’s tax exempt status. So he sent it from his OWN tax-exempt! Anyone see a problem here?

        • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

          It is a bit odd that they removed it from the website so quickly. Particularly since my recollection is urging the Executive branch to take action on a matter does not constitute lobbying in the context of non-profit status.

          Further, when the letter was available it could have been accessed using a GMU uril which points to the same ip addresses. Note that cola.gmu.edu points to the IGES home page. The sub directories work the same. Given that everyone seems to be using the IGES url I assume that’s how the link was originally distributed.

          Kllinger noted in his explanation that COLA has been folded into GMU and Steve located press releases confirming same. The virtual evidence of this is confused. The entities apparently share resources in addition to employees.

          Steve: it’s really hard to figure out how COLA “joined” GMU. It doesn’t look like a merger or acquisition as I understand it in business. GMU doesn’t appear to have acquired title to IGES assets. IGES Inc. in 2014 looks no different than it did in 2013. Some COLA employees appear to have moved offices to GMU and have now been appointed to GMU staff. I’m not sure what else happened.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

          Could be just a simple physical relocation of IGES from Rockville, Md to GMU. In other words, an address change heaped up on the rhetoric of a press release. The consequences are that GMU is now providing support for a private corporation which nets the Shukla family a good deal of wealth skimmed from NSF funds. Time for a big, well-connected D.C.law firm.

        • Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

          Steve-

          Are the economic interest statements that were posted by Watts the only ones that were received by Horner? [[Steve: yes.]] I ask for several reasons.

          First, in their response the Commonwealth paraphrased Horner’s requests, “for all records related to George Mason (GMU) faculty Jagadish Shukla, Paul Dirmeyer, Ed Maibach, and James Kinter for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.”

          There were no records posted by Watts for Dirmeyer and Maibach nor were there any records for 2011 for any of the parties.

          Further, if the records are a complete set then it seems that both Shukla and Kitner have been tardy in submitting these statements and that there are missing statements for the years 2013 and 2014. The instructions for completing the VA Statement of Economic Interests states,

          “The filing of the Statement of Economic Interests is a requirement for employment in designated positions. Additionally,
          the statement is to be filed semiannually by June 15 and December 15.”

          For Kitner the filing dates on the records provided by Watts are 12/20/12, 1/6/14, 12/12/14, 5/31/15. In that date range there are 2 missing statements. Also, 12/20 and 1/6 appear to be late (or very early).

          For Shukla The records are dated 1/28/12, 1/6/14, 12/12/14, 6/11/15. Once again 2 records appear to be missing and 2 filings were late.

          Perhaps the GMU policy on filing differs from state requirements. My recollection is that policy for certain lower level positions is set by administrators of the respective departments. I haven’t looked into that possibility nor have I looked to see if the regulation recently changed.

          I stumbled upon this because an expense statement prepared on a COLA form that is available from the IGES website does not appear on any of Kitner’s statements. The statement dated 12/19/14 in the amount of 918.23 detailed a 12/18-19/14 trip to NOAA MAPP CMIP5 Workshop in San Francisco. It should appear on the 5/31/15 statement if it was reimbursed by GMU (Kitner’s agency). It doesn’t. Which suggests that it was reimbursed by IGES and that COLA had not been transferred to GMU by that date.

          ftp://iges.org/pub/kinter/People/ForStacey/Kinter_Expense_Statement_AGU_Dec2014.pdf

      • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

        Apparently the folks at IGES don’t like it when the wayback machine stops by for a snapshot.

        • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

          Knowing that Paul Driessen was likely to place a guest post at WUWT on the RICO letter (it is there as of short time ago today 9/29), I created a different variation of an archive backup for him, in case the Wayback Machine one fails. It is here: https://archive.is/YMe9V

          snip –

  16. Peter
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    This gross diversion of public funds could not have occurred without the cooperation of government bureacrats (wink wink.. nudge nudge). Whatever took place here, they are accessories. Conspicuous in the lucrative back scratching is NSF, whose bureaucrats handed out $3M for communication. These are the same bureaucrats who handed out $6M of public funds to develop climate games.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/26/5-7-million-nsf-grant-to-columbia-university-for-climate-voice-mails-from-the-future/

    Is NSF being paid to produce science or propaganda?

    • Patrick49
      Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

      “Kevin Trenberth a government employee wrote in one of the Climategate emails: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” and now he is one of the 20 asking the the President and the Justice Department to begin a RICO investigation into those who agree with his “travesty” conclusion. “As you know, an overwhelming majority of climate scientists are convinced about the potentially serious adverse effects of human-induced climate change on human health, agriculture, and biodiversity” . How many of these “climate scientists” receive US government grants since “He who pays the piper calls the tune”?

  17. Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    This example of Jagadish Shukla’s vast remuneration is just the tip of an iceberg of money-flow around the World which is sustaining the rotten structure of CAGW/Global Warming/Climate Change. As Steve says, “follow the money trail”.

  18. Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    As Judith Curry points out, the Greenpeace-driven RICO promoters targeted Willie Soon for an alleged failure to disclose funding. However, failure to disclose funding is however practiced by the people who targeted Soon.

    https://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/koomey-romm-soon-funding-disclosure/

  19. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    I’m surprised to see Lennart Bengtsson on the list of confirmed attendees, knowing the flak he received. Did he returned on his contrarian opinion about the IPCC and climatology?

    • Chris Schoneveld
      Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

      Curious indeed!

    • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

      Prof Bengtsson’s presentation at the symposium may be found here.

  20. dfhunter
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    I feel a bit deflated after reading this Steve.
    so the ballpark figure is approximately $750,000 for 2014.

    thanks to Roger Pielke Jr. & this follow up from Steve for the glimpse into how to expand your salary.

    will now approach the boss for another $50 grand to study my garden:-)

  21. Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    re no reaction “so far at warmist blogs, not even at Michael Tobis’ aptly named Only In It for the Gold”

    I am not sure why I should be expected to have an opinion about this, My blog’s title is a sardonic reference to how little most of us, including me, have been paid for our services.

    Whether there is an extreme high pay outlier, and whether that outlier’s remuneration is legitimate or not may be of interest to others.

    I find it irrelevant to the main scientific and policy issues that interest me.

    Dealing with large sums of grant money, appropriately or otherwise, is certainly no core competence of mine, more’s the pity. I certainly would not want to be seen as defending the practices that are being alleged in this discussion, but I am also not the right person to be investigating these allegations or commenting upon them.

    I see nothing to support the implication that I am in some way obligated to express an opinion on these matters.

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for your opinion.

    • Steve Reynolds
      Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

      Michael: “I certainly would not want to be seen as defending the practices that are being alleged in this discussion…”
      That is sincerely good to hear. I will be very surprised though if very many on the warmer side will say that or even acknowledge the issue.

    • Don Monfort
      Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

      Well, we hope that someday you will get paid what you deserve for laboring away in obscurity and keeping your mouth shut while the clever ones making the big bucks use every underhanded trick in the book to intimidate dissenters.

    • jddohio
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

      Tobis “Whether there is an extreme high pay outlier, and whether that outlier’s remuneration is legitimate or not may be of interest to others.

      I find it irrelevant to the main scientific and policy issues that interest me.”

      Your lack of interest is part of the problem. Warmists delude themselves and think they are pure as the driven snow and that evil skeptics and corporations manufacture disinformation. If warmists would look at the huge amount of money they take in (maybe not you)and the huge amount of power they want to exercise on the world’s economies, they might be less self-righteous and uninformed. Warmists are looking for flaws in those who have different opinions, but totally fail to examine themselves. The RICO letter is a perfect example of this.

      JD

      • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

        I dispute the analogy.

        This idea that we “warmists” are some sort of tight-knit organization with responsibility for what each other says or does quite baffles me.

        The RICO question is about whether self-interested corporations willfully misrepresented evidence at their disposal in support of their own practices, similar to the behavior of tobacco interests a few decades ago. In such a case there is (and I think there should be) a legal responsibility.

        Whether such a case is plausible or true or legally provable in the case at hand is (again) well outside my own expertise. I’m not making any claims about that myself one way or the other.

        But that the question is not about anything like what I and my friends say on our blogs or what you and your friends say on yours. You and I are free to interpret or misinterpret the evidence, but a corporation should not be entitled, and arguably is not entitled, to systematically misREPRESENT it.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

          Tobis,
          By what exact legal theory do you claim that corporations should not be allowed to “misrepresent” anything? Who decides? There is a narrow case about health claims for products where a corp can not claim that their toothpaste cures cancer. But we are talking here about oil companies giving money to causes they support, including to support Phil Jones and universities. These secondary organizations publish papers and blogs and do interviews and make videos. This is illegal in your mind? By what law? What about freedom of speech.
          By the way, the tobacco settlement was pure government bullying and stealing. Everyone knew that tobacco was harmful. The big tobacco companies weren’t fooling anyone. Alcohol ads make it look like their product will make you life more elegant, hipper, more fun–misleading? Put them in jail? Alcohol surely kills far more people than CO2.

        • More Brocato
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

          Tobis,

          There is an incredible “wiggle room” in these statements to grant support for all sorts of behavior, which is what makes the RICO statement dangerous.

          “Self-Interested Corporations” can (and should) equally apply to green companies, but doesn’t.

          Moreover, “willfully misrepresenting” “evidence” can easily be taken to mean not accepting climate model projections as necessitating certain policy outcomes– and attempting to convincing others of the same. There’s no way to guarantee it doesn’t based on the statement.

          Every month there’s a squabble about what various ice cores, sediment cores, and other proxies are saying with regard to temperature or precipitation.

          Rasmus’s famous “learn from mistakes” paper (that got rejected multiple times for obvious reasons) underscores the point about how few steps one needs to make the “willfully” “misrepresenting” “evidence” line.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

          Michael, let me ask you ask question: do you believe that the “evidence” shows that climate risk can be averted for “1%” of GDP, as Shukla’s corporation suggests here:

          one per cent

          I (and probably many others) would be very willing that society accept such measures at that sort of cost. However I am very dubious of the cost estimate and am concerned that supposed remedies are like taking laetrile. Is it your considered view that climate risk can be avoided for spending merely 1%? Or do you regard the 1% as misinformation?

        • David L. Hagen
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

          mtobis Re:”a corporation . . . arguably is not entitled, to systematically misREPRESENT it.”
          Do you then agree that IPCC, Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature then not entitled to claim 95% confidence that > 50% of global warming since 1950 is due to anthropogenic causes? Consider that 35 year CMIP5 model projections (1979-2014) “only” err by 400% too hot vs actual satellite tropospheric tropical temperatures? See John Christy’s testimony, May 13, 2015

        • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

          Replying to Loehle above: furthermore the Master Settlement has room for tobacco companies to pass on costs of the settlement to their products, i.e, tax-paying customers. It allowed government to present itself as victor over corporate evil and the companies involved to avoid destructive losses.

        • jddohio
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

          Tobis “The RICO question is about whether self-interested corporations willfully misrepresented evidence at their disposal in support of their own practices, similar to the behavior of tobacco interests a few decades ago. In such a case there is (and I think there should be) a legal responsibility.”

          There is so much wrong with this statement I don’t know where to begin.

          1. The fact that corporations are self-interested has no bearing on their liability. They are supposed to be self-interested. Also, do you seriously contend that for instance, Michael Mann and Peter Gleick aren’t self-interested. This is a classic instance of the pot calling the kettle black.

          2. Misrepresentation, by itself is not actionable. If so, politicians could be sued all of the time and family members could sue each other. Generally, you start with legal fraud in determining liability for misrepresentation. In Ohio the elements of fraud are:
          ““(a) a representation ***,
          “(b) which is material to the transaction at hand,
          “(c) made falsely, with knowledge of its falsity, or with such utter
          disregard and recklessness as to whether it is true or false that
          knowledge may be inferred,
          “(d) with the intent of misleading another into relying upon it,
          “(e) justifiable reliance upon the representation or concealment, and
          “(f) a resulting injury proximately caused by the reliance.”

          If any one of the above elements are missing, you don’t have a fraud case.

          If you want to think about a nasty case of misrepresentation that is not actionable, you might want to consider Obama’s statement that under Obamacare no one would lose their pre-existing health coverage. If he had been truthful, the Act would not have passed. However, he lied to enact the law.

          3. RICO is essentially the legal equivalent of neurosurgery in medicine. It is a very complicated with numerous branches & limitations. There is both civil and criminal RICO. There are 35 predicate crimes, such as “gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter…” The most relevant predicate offense to our discussion is fraud, which is not easy to prove. So, your simplistic statement about liability for willful misrepresentation is grossly inaccurate. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act

          4. If you want to apply a simplistic, moralistic standard, you may want to consider James Hansen’s liability for fuel poverty deaths in the UK. (Approximately 2,500 about 4 years ago.) He consistently and influentially advocates for the severe reduction of the use of fossil fuels. As opposed to his wild guesses as to the negative consequences of the use of fossil fuels, we have direct evidence of deaths caused by the high expense of fossil fuels — of course, his policy prescriptions have the effect of increasing the cost of fossil fuels.

          JD

        • jddohio
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

          My latest post missed a simple, obvious point. Tobis, do you really think that Shukla is not “self-interested.” Maybe you might want to hold him accountable in this matter.

          JD

        • Joseph W.
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

          JD – In RICO cases (particularly the civil ones) the most common underlying offense is federal mail or wire fraud. (Schmuck v. United States gives a really broad interpretation of how the mail/wire transaction has to relate to the scheme.)

          While the statute is read pretty broadly, absent some recent change I don’t know, the “scheme to defraud” has to be about property rights. McAnally v. United States, 483 U.S. 350, 356 (1987), says the statute is designed to protect property rights, and not, for example, “the intangible right of the citizenry to good government.”

          To my mind, questions about good environmental policy are closer to “good government” than property rights, and therefore don’t fall within the scope of the mail/wire fraud statutes.

        • bmcburney
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

          In recent years it has become almost impossible to convince “warmists” that their opponents have civil rights which ought to be respected. Perhaps it would be more effective to make a direct plea to self-interest.

          I therefore note that, in general, evidence of “willful misrepresentations” on the part of skeptics, like lavish funding by the Koch brothers, has actually been very difficult to find in the real world. Skeptics may (or may not) be wrong but there is very little evidence that they are insincere. At the same time, however, the Climategate e-mails provide direct evidence that Hockey team members “hid the decline”, overstated their confidence levels, hid concerns regarding “the pause”, and took other actions which might be considered has “willful misrepresentation” or “concealment” (another form of “misrepresentation”) of facts. There is also evidence showing attempts to hide “bad” data and “bad” statistical analysis.

          Supposing that there were any basis for applying the RICO to the AGW controversy (I agree with JD that there is none), I think it might be easier to apply it to the signatories of Mr. Shukla’s letter than to the nominal targets.

        • Joseph W.
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

          Since the RICO20 letter relies on an analogy with the DOJ’s lawsuit against tobacco companies, I found this page on the subject, where interested persons can find the trial court’s ruling in that case (and other stuff).

          A couple of things I note (from a quick read of the RICO findings in the trial court’s opinion) –

          #1, the tobacco companies are accused of doing and then hiding (or destroying) research contrary to their interests — unlike CAGW skeptics, whom I always see accused of not doing any research, and therefore having nothing to conceal.

          #2, the court acknowledges that, in this context, “a statement of opinion cannot constitute fraud,” citing de Mango v. United States, 636 F.2d 714, 720 n.) (D.C. Cir. 1980). Which seems to rule out “Political RICO”–as well it should.

        • jddohio
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

          Joseph W “JD – In RICO cases (particularly the civil ones) the most common underlying offense is federal mail or wire fraud. (Schmuck v. United States gives a really broad interpretation of how the mail/wire transaction has to relate to the scheme.)

          While the statute is read pretty broadly, absent some recent change I don’t know, the “scheme to defraud” has to be about property rights.”

          You seem to be more knowledgeable than me. The basic thrust of my comment was that RICO was much more complicated than the manner it was described by Tobis. I am not an expert in RICO but I do know that you have to prove much more than misrepresentation and self-interest. Tobis and the signers assume that they have a good handle on RICO, but from everything I see, they don’t.

          JD

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

          JDO,

          browsing through commentary on RICO, I noticed commentary http://rico.uslegal.com/rico-and-statute-of-limitation/ that the US Supreme Court had ruled that there was a 4-year statute of limitations on civil RICO, a decision that seems to have been interpreted as an effort to foreclose litigation going well outside the purpose of the original legislation.

        • Joseph W.
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

          JD – Only a little bit; it’s been a long time since I had anything to do with a RICO case, and that was nothing like this one. And I think your point is correct.

          I have just been reading the D.C. Circuit’s appellate opinion in the tobacco case as well…which to my mind further supports your view, that RICO doesn’t apply here. Mail/wire fr**d, as a RICO predicate act, requires specific intent to defr**d…being badly mistaken, disagreeing with government-funded research, or what have you, wouldn’t get you there.

          In Philip-Morris, the court did find such specific intent based on suppressed research; but I don’t see how you’d get there with CAGW skeptics being attacked in the letter. (I’ve heard of someone else covering up verification scores that didn’t support his conclusions…though I think even that’s a million miles from a real RICO case.)

          The court also addresses (though it rejects) the application of the Noerr-Pennington doctrine (which I did not know about before now). That’s a First Amendment line of cases protecting “an attempt to persuade the legislature or the executive to take particular action with respect to a law…” — it didn’t apply in the tobacco case because the court found specific intent to defraud (i.e., the executives were lying on purpose about research they had covered up). But it would apply to people doing public advocacy against “alarmist” measures….unless you’ve got that specific intent. (“Were these statements false, but not deliberately so, Defendants would have a better argument.”)

        • stevefitzpatrick
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio,
          “The basic thrust of my comment was that RICO was much more complicated than the manner it was described by Tobis.”

          I have observed that most every substantive issue is much more complicated than how Micheal Tobis describes it. That seems to me why Tobis’ can be so certain he is right about all things related to global warming, global population, and inevitable, disastrous Malthusian outcomes. Maybe a kinder description is that Mr Tobis is remarkably naive about many, many things….. much like Malthus.

        • James
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

          Thus the death of the recent Mannian plea, “if you see something, say something.”

        • Joseph W.
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 5:11 AM | Permalink

          I thought it was, “If you see something, sue somebody.”

        • Joseph W.
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 7:12 AM | Permalink

          I said:

          While the statute is read pretty broadly, absent some recent change I don’t know, the “scheme to defraud” has to be about property rights. McAnally v. United States, 483 U.S. 350, 356 (1987), says the statute is designed to protect property rights, and not, for example, “the intangible right of the citizenry to good government.

          Addendum: After McNally, Congress added this definition so that a scheme to defraud can includes “a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible benefit of honest services.”

          …though I don’t believe this changes the conclusion to be drawn, that political spin isn’t the right line of goods.

        • Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

          jddohio’s points 1-3 of Sep 29 10:50 are sound and I have no objection to them.

          I have carefully taken no position on whether RICO applies to fossil fuel corporations’ willfull misrepresentations, if any. To be frank I do believe that there have been such misrepresentations, but my opinion is hardly important. The issue is whether such misrepresentations, if any, rise to the level of provable fraud.

          I take no public position on this; that’s for people more immersed in law than myself.

          Clearly there can be no just law against being self-interested or even incorrect. But there ought to be some consequence for some malicious level of misrepresenting information in corporate self-interest. e.g., the recent behavior of Volkswagen, or the behavior of tobacco interests in the 50s and 60s.

          jddohio’s point 4 is very dubious as reference to his points 2 demonstrates.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

          Michael says:

          To be frank I do believe that there have been such misrepresentations

          Can you provide an example of such a misrepresentation that stands out for you?

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

          mtobis: the volkswagon case involves breaking a regulation by falsifying test results.
          The consequence for anyone “maliciously” misrepresenting information is that people stop trusting them. Politicians face this constantly. Companies that lose trust can quickly go out of business. Legislating against misrepresentation or going after such with the police is a very slippery slope, because what some people are sure is the truth is a matter of opinion or they can be completely wrong, but if they control the police they can enforce their whims.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

          Legislating against misrepresentation …is a very slippery slope,

          Nope. There is already a great deal of legislation against certain kinds of misrepresentation, especially to the public. It is not a “slippery slope”. It’s a pretty fundamental principle. Misrepresentation is what prosecutors went after in the Enron case, for example, not making mistakes or bad investments.

          There are important distinctions in types of misrepresentation, which are important topics in tort. There is a difference between intentional and unintentional misrepresentation; and, for unintentional misrepresentation, between reckless and non-reckless misrepresentation. Due diligence is generally a defence to misrepresentation.

          It seems to me that American non-lawyers often get wound up in free speech talking points, which don’t seem relevant to me for most misrepresentation issues (on which American and Canadian law are probably pretty similar.)

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

          Steve: “Nope. There is already a great deal of legislation against certain kinds of misrepresentation, especially to the public. It is not a “slippery slope”. It’s a pretty fundamental principle. Misrepresentation is what prosecutors went after in the Enron case, for example, not making mistakes or bad investments.”
          There are laws against financial misrepresentation such as making claims for products that are false.
          There are laws against making false health claims for products.
          But the RICO20 case is not about such financial or health claims. It is about a) the basic science and how it should be interpreted and b) public policy. In the cases above, it is possible to prove the claims false (at least sometimes) but in the public debate on climate change it is only possible to CLAIM you have proven something. AND there is no financial transaction. The link between selling gasoline and arguing that climate change won’t be that bad is so very tenuous and indirect.

        • clays
          Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

          Steve:

          I am normally on the same page as you, but have to take issue with your comment on legislating against misrepresentation. It is a slippery slope and this has been recognized by US courts. A recent case that you may have seen SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST, et al., v. OHIO ELECTIONS COMMISSION. This decision overturned the Ohio False Claims Act on first amendment grounds. This was a 9-0 decision at the Supreme Court (largely on procedural grounds) with the substantive ruling at the district court. Some excerpts from the decision:

          “For starters, the Supreme Court held flatly in 2012 that: “The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simple truth.”

          “Plaintiffs argue that Ohio’s political false-statement laws are unconstitutional because they invade a citizen’s right to speak freely in politics. As Plaintiffs put it: “[We are not] arguing for a right to lie. We’re arguing that we have a right not to
          have the truth of our political statements be judged by the Government.” … The distinction is critical and is based on the
          quintessential truth that “[t]he First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Government outweigh the costs.”

          In technical terms, in order for legislation against misrepresentation to survive a court challenge, it has to pass a strict scrutiny test. This is a very high bar. Of course there is legislation that passes this bar (including laws against fraud), but most misrepresentation would be protected speech. Craig’s comments are on the money.

    • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

      “extreme high pay outlier” Right Tobis. Who exactly is doing “denying” here?

  22. Not Sure
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    Interesting names in that list of participants.

    James Baker, Clinton Foundation
    Julia Slingo, Met Office, UK

    • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

      which list is Slingo in? – I’ve lost track of this a bit

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

        In the second to last paragraph of the post Steve McIntyre has linked to a ” large symposium “.

      • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

        Participants at the “Shukla Symposium” sponsored by IGES, COLA, GMU and NOAA earlier this year.

        The original post mentioned it as: “Nearly all of the RICO20 signatories, including Trenbeth and Wallace, attended a large symposium in April 2015 to honor Shukla.” The “honor” part seems to refer to the name of the event; the program appears to be a typical scholarly conference.

        • jarlgeir
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

          There are six Shuklas on the participation list. Must be a lucrative business…

      • Green Sand
        Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

        Attended the plenary and subsequent working party nepotism discussions?

  23. Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    IGES seems to have taken the letter down?

  24. kramer
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    Just gotta follow the money:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-26/did-goldman-sachs-sacrifice-australias-prime-minister-his-doubts-about-global-warmin

    • pesadia
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

      Perhaps they are trying to avoid becoming victims of their
      own rash actions.
      It’s called “Unintended Consequences”
      Hopefully, they are too late/

  25. Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    http://www.iges.org/

    Ack!

    This website should be taken down immediately as an hypothetical affront to the surmised aesthetic standards of the global community!

    • Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

      My apologies for the use of the word “immediately” when “forthwith” would, in context, have been more appropriate.

  26. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Cue the “fossil fuel company-funded smear campaign against an immigrant” articles.

  27. Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    The National Science Foundation is under the direct oversight of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, specifically the subcommittee on Research. This subcommittee also oversees university research policy, including infrastructure and overhead. The subcommittee Chair is Barbara Comstock of Virginia whose 10th District may actually touch the main campus of George Mason.

    Just in case there are any NSF or George Mason insiders with relevant information “lurking” on this site, you should be aware that there is a whistle-blower link at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for alerting them to fraud and abuses. Be aware that Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) represents Fairfax, Virginia (where George Mason is located) and is the ranking member of the subcommittee on Government Operations.

    • David L. Hagen
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

      Posted request to Rep. Barbara Comstock’s FB

      • David L. Hagen
        Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

        Chairman Lamar Smith of the Science, Space and Technology Committee has noticed, requested info and ordered info be preserved.

        • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

          I hope the Chairman’s focus on the RICO20 letter’s “partisan political activity” is not the sole investigative goal of his staff or else much of this effort will be wasted. Absurd amounts of money will continue flowing from taxpayers to climate researchers at dozens (hundreds?) of redundant entities who will continue to behave exactly as Shukla, et al., have behaved — with the only difference being the foolhardy publication of the RICO20 letter.

          Congressional committees rarely dig into the details of federal agency budgets because that is very hard to do. Much of Congress’s discretionary authority on such matters is simply delegated to the various agencies with little effective follow up. A major frustration for fiscal conservatives is the failure of Republicans to actually control spending and better manage the massive federal bureaucracy. Instead we get political circuses like the Planned Parenthood showdown. I’m not particularly optimistic that the Shukla Scandal will lead to a more thorough examination of NSF, NASA, NOAA grants, expenditures and priorities.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

          It is my bet that this affair will be viewed as an opportuniy to delve into this smelly mess of climate alarmism that has issued from publicly supported science and academidians, all abetted and fomented by the present administration. Discredit is the name of the game. Dave Verardo, an old DC veteran, understands this very well.

          I would imagine that there will have been formal agreements between George Washington University and Jagadish Shukla, hammered out by attorneys, addressing the status of IGES and COLA within the framework of that institution, the so-called “partnership” referred to in the press release issued by GMU in 2013. These agreements will cover, in the first instance, the employment of Shukla by GMU, and in the second, the absorption by GMU of IGES and COLA within that institution. I predict that the terms of these agreements, when brought to light, will cause the university immense discomfort.

        • j ferguson
          Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

          My own dyslexia may have prevented me from grasping the full import of all this, but it looks a lot like this is really about a group of true believers attempting to ensnare nonbelievers in the machinations of the judicial system. Their complaint seems to be that the nonbelievers are disrupting (to use the process term du jour) the marketing of their predictions regarding temperatures sometime in the future.

          Surely predictions are not a protected class; or are they?

          It also occurred to me that this letter might have been intended more as a honey-pot to accumulate signatures which would forever identify their owners as a bit daft.

          And it seems to have worked.

          It brought to mind Breugel’s work referenced below.

          https://www.google.com/search?q=bruegel+blind+men&espv=2&biw=1262&bih=527&tbm=isch&imgil=9TEG1MqdJZkd4M%253A%253BmxUkwJEmU6l8WM%253Bhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fmydailyartdisplay.wordpress.com%25252F2011%25252F07%25252F11%25252Fthe-parable-of-the-blind-by-pieter-bruegel-the-elder%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=9TEG1MqdJZkd4M%253A%252CmxUkwJEmU6l8WM%252C_&ved=0CDUQyjdqFQoTCKqqiM-IrsgCFUrYHgodhQMDag&ei=JNwTVqqIN8qwe4WHjNAG&usg=__DNMekmZgxSnxt4S3YQkhjggz3jo%3D#imgrc=9TEG1MqdJZkd4M%3A&usg=__DNMekmZgxSnxt4S3YQkhjggz3jo%3D

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Oct 12, 2015 at 3:31 AM | Permalink

          opluso,
          There are people who spent whole careers in science without drawing from any public fund. I did, I suppose that Steve McI did. We prospered or failed on the quality and commercialisation of the science.
          There is a huge gulf between those that feed from the public purse and those that fend for themselves. The former have far less pressure to perform and to show the benefit of further public funding, however obtained.
          I suggest that matters like the one discussed here will continue to trouble society while ever there is such an imbalance between numbers in these two groups.
          As ever, accountability is a key word.

    • David L. Hagen
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

      Steve. You could pay for your website and hobby.
      House Oversight confidential whistleblower link. 10% to 30% whistleblower rewards are won for successful prosecution.

      If the Justice Department enters the case begun by you the Whistleblower, and if the Government prosecutes the case and wins, the Whistleblower is entitled to a maximum of 25% and a minimum of 15% of any funds recovered by the Government as a result of the verdict or settlement.
      If the Justice Department elects not to participate and the whistle blower proceeds alone, the maximum award increases to 30 percent

  28. johnl
    Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    Aren’t they always?

    the numbers are even worse than Pielke thought

  29. AntonyIndia
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    Ironic: 23/24 April 2015, Shukla Symposium on Predictability in the Midst of Chaos http://cola.gmu.edu/symposium/

  30. EdeF
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

    For what its worth, US gov’t funding for scientists, engineers is roughly 66% for compensation and about 33% overhead, less overhead the higher the salary. Double dipping is not allowed. You must account for 100% of your time from one or more charging objects that represent various projects you are working on. Scientists and engineers are white collar employees and are paid the same regardless of how many hours they put in. Time off is used more that overtime, which is hard to approve. Now, university life, think tanks, gov’t contractors likely may have much different rules. I could see a private contractor bid and win a contract for say $10m and do the work with
    $9m and pocket the rest. As long as the bid is open, competitive and fair…..and the work gets done, who cares. If there is multiple dipping, looks like the NSF gov’t managers have got some ‘splainin’ to do.

  31. GeneDoc
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 1:43 AM | Permalink

    Did they produce anything of value for all of this? Are there any prominent/worthwhile studies that anyone can cite? I’m going to send a link to this extraordinary story to my program officers at the NIH and ask how I can get in on this…(kidding). My colleagues are all aghast that there are some in Congress who want more oversight of the NSF granting process. Tip of the iceberg, I fear.

  32. AntonyIndia
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

    A move from the University of Maryland to George Mason University in Virginia sounds “big” for any non local till you look at the map and realize that the distance between the two is at maximum 22 miles as the crow flies or 11 miles only if you work at the Arlington campus. Of course there is the Washington D.C. traffic and moreover a different jurisdiction.
    IGES was started a few miles back into Maryland and still has its business office in there in Rockville http://www.iges.org/map.html

  33. More Brocato
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

    Ed Maibach is the director of a Climate Change Communication outfit at GMU … It seems odd that he lent his name to the RICO list considering he works with the AMS surveying its members on their views about Climate Change. You might think that would “chill” the academic discourse.

    Perhaps he was complying with a favor request.

    • mpainter
      Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

      Ed Maibach, second signatory of the RICO 20 Letter, might have composed the letter. In fact, he may be the originator of the idea. The letter smacks of attention seeking, something devised with an eye toward its publicity value, and that is Maibach’s line. His little corner at GMU is essentially a school for aspiring young climate change propagandists.

      Steve: some of Shukla’s online PPTs for presentations show that he had already drunk Oreskes-type kool-aid

  34. Craig Loehle
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    If I was working at a university and also owned a small business like a coffee shop, I would not be required to account for hours in that second business by the uni. Perhaps as the head of the nonprofit Shukla was operating in that mode, but in that case they should not report 30 hrs per week for his time there.

    • Rob Potter
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

      Yep, but I would expect that you would have to declare the coffee shop business on your annual COI form so that it could be noted as non-conflicting. Also, I bet you couldn’t host a department party in your coffee shop and send the university the bill – at least not at the universities I have worked at!

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

        Yes. I also bet that if the coffee shop was on Univ property I would have to pay rent.

  35. stevefitzpatrick
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    From the IGES website under personnel, there is listed as a grad student someone named Teresa Cicerone. Cicerone…. hummm… I think I have heard that name once or twice before in climate science.

  36. michaelspj
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Shulka is allowed only 8 hours per week in consulting by GMU. Read the GMU faculty handbook. There’s an exception if the Dean permits it but no way in heck would the dean authorize 28 hours per week, which Shukla reports on his 990. He can’t perform the duties that are a part of his state of Virginia employment (i.e. basic and applied research) for external compensation. That’s the law. And yes, a nonprofit incorporated in Maryland must “exclusively” be doing charity, education, or science. Lobbying President Obama to imprison those that IGES does not agree with is clearly none of the above.

    All it takes is a local Commonwealth’s Attorney (maybe one from Comstock’s district?) and we could be looking at a considerable scandal. Governor McDonnell went to jail for bit over a hundred thousand in illegal income. How about a million per year to his family for years and years and years, including 360K/yr for a GMU employee who was being paid by his company to do what he was supposed to be doing for GMU?

    • stevefitzpatrick
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

      The university will almost certainly cover for him; the dean will say that 28 (or 30!) hours is OK…. only in this exceptional case of an outstanding green advocate like Shukla. I will be truly shocked if he suffers any consequence at all for the obvious double-dipping.

  37. pesadia
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    Further to my earlier post about unintended consequences,I find it supremely ironic that it was the same unintended
    consequences which brought our host into this debate when
    a certain person (who should be knighted) popped an interesting leaflet into his post box all those years ago.
    The rest, as they say, is history.

  38. tomdesabla
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    http://t.co/Uu63D9Wv8V

    UNBELIEVABLE!

    • tomdesabla
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

      Why does this remind me of the scene in the Simpsons movie where Lisa goes door to door to clean up the lake. As she goes up to one house, the house collapses and turns into a boat, and steams away. I tried to find it on Youtube, but couldn’t.

      Very appropriate in this case.

    • Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

      Yes, unbelievable. Will we find out that he lied to his diary, too?

    • sue
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 11:22 PM | Permalink

      Wow! Is that a big eraser I see:) WTH

    • Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

      Here’s the text of the new letter, posted at the same URL where the old one was:

      The letter that was inadvertently posted on this web site has been removed. It was decided more than two years ago that the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) would be dissolved when the projects then undertaken by IGES would be completed. All research projects by IGES were completed in July 2015, and the IGES web site is in the process of being decommissioned.

      • AndyL
        Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 4:49 AM | Permalink

        Are they saying the letter should not have been published, or just that it was inadvertantly posted in the wrong place?

        • Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

          Good question. Nothing here expresses regret about the threatening content does it?

          And as a technical aside, did this single paragraph really require full PDF format?

          Your taxpayer dollars, etc.

        • Oswald Thake
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

          Doh! They’re saying that IGES is being wound up because “the Science is settled,” of course.

        • Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

          It’s a placeholder. In pdf format for the sole purpose of reflecting the original url, which is by now disseminated widely.

        • Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

          A URL with .pdf at the end can point to a standard HTML page or anything else for that matter. But I would concede it sets an expectation.

  39. Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    Shukla writes about himself in his third person professional biography:

    Professor Shukla is an institution builder.

    http://www.iges.org/people/shukla.html

    This gives the sentence quite a bit of flavor, does it not?

    • tomdesabla
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

      http://t.co/Uu63D9Wv8V

      IGES is done.

      Over with.

      Finito.

      Disbanded.

      I assume that means that COLA and CREW are done as well. CREW link on the IGES website is already dead.

      It is really hard for me to believe that I am seeing this thing that I cannot believe is happening as a result of Robert Pielke Jr. and our host.

      What I want to know is who is going to pick up this story.

  40. General P. Malaise
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    and why are these people not prosecuted? yes I know / rhetorical and sarcastic

  41. rabbit
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Typo: Institute of Global Environment and Society, not Security.

  42. A. Scott
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Higher profile press on the issue … cites Climate Audit among others …

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/29/mystery-scientists-remove-letter-asking-obama-to-prosecute-global-warming-skeptics/

  43. jim2
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Here’s his CV up to around 2006.

    iges.org/people/shukla_completeCV.doc

  44. jim2
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    Looks like Jagadish is himself a denier. From the article:

    “From the Climategate 2.0 collection, Shukla writes,

    … It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.”

    http://junkscience.com/2011/11/22/climategate-2-0-ipcc-models-not-worth-a-darn/

  45. jim2
    Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    Here is a presentation by Shukla driving home the point that climate models don’t work.

    http://aosc.umd.edu/~seminar/data/y11spring/umd_aosc_110317_shukla.pdf

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

      What are you up2, Jim2?

      • jim2
        Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

        Just getting a idea where Shukla stands.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

          See the letter he put on his website before he disappeared it. That should tell you where he stands.

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

          Also see the above post. That will also tell you where he stands:on pile of $$$$ skimmed off NSF grants.

    • Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

      Here is the summary of the presentation:

      • The most dominant obstacle in realizing the potential predictability of intraseasonal and seasonal variations is inaccurate models, rather than an intrinsic limit of predictability.

      • Our inability to improve climate simulations using ultra-high resolution models is not primarily limited by lack of knowledge of science, but lack of powerful computers and a critical mass of scientific staff.

      This suggests he in not a model “denier” but believes the “perfect” solution can be obtained once all the scales are resolved. He considers computing resources for climate simulations on the same level as nuclear fusion and space travel research.

  46. Posted Sep 29, 2015 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    Shukla’s behavior looks like a triple dip if you include family members’ receipt of part of associated grant funds as a dip.

    John

    • Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

      Or perhaps a quadruple dip? The $100k grant from IGES to a “domestic organization” turned out to be for the purpose of educating rural children in India. And the recipient organization is simply another Shukla family operation.

      Given that 99.7 percent of IGES’ funding came from the government for “research in climate variability, climate predictability and climate change” it smells like inappropriate conversion to transfer any portion of those grants to an entity that will spend them overseas on activities unrelated to the IGES mission. http://www.iges.org/gandhicollege/igep.html

      The purpose of the pass through grant may be entirely noble but as someone elsewhere in these comments pointed out, the contribution should have been a personal one from Prof. Shukla. The fact that it was not suggests the IGES was treated at least partly as a cookie jar for family and friends.

      By the way, the 2014 form 990 for the IGEP (recipient of the $100k) shows that the IGEP had total assets at the end of 2014 (savings, cash and investments) of $292,948. This is for an organization with total receipts (2010-2014) of only $389,643. In 2014 the IGEP gave a $100,000 check to the Indian education effort and $640 in non-cash supplies.

      So it would appear that the 2014 grant to India was essentially the only activity ever undertaken by the IGEP. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/550610012

  47. Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

    At the April 23, 2015 COLA symposium were at least a few influential people in climate science, including NAS member and NOAA senior research scientist at the GFDL Isaac Held who spoke there is pictured talking afterwards. Also there was NAS member and Princeton Professor of geophysics George Philander who is pictured here on left side.
    Shukla and Trenberth survey the world from the Great Wall of China together here.
    It’s all about friendship.

  48. Ted Carmichael
    Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

    Hi, Steve. Thanks for posting this. I previously worked for a university, and currently work for a small (for profit) research-based start-up, that is currently funded by two NSF grants. Although the salary numbers for Shukla are surprisingly large, I’m guessing that he probably has not violated the regulations on “double dipping” his salary. (I agree with what someone else said, that hiring family members may be much more problematic.) However, it is interesting that this idea of double dipping has, in just the last few years, emerged as a sensitive issue at the NSF.

    For example, there is a program called SBIR/STTR at most US funding agencies, for small businesses. In short, the SBIR mechanism funds the small business itself, and the related STTR mechanism funds the small business along with a university partner. In 2014 it was fine for a faculty member to found a company, apply for an STTR grant, and pay for part of his/her university salary out of the university portion of that grant. In fact, this is the whole point of an STTR funding mechanism … otherwise, that faculty member would just use the SBIR mechanism instead. However, in 2015 this was no longer allowed. It is now considered “double dipping,” to simultaneously own the company that gets a grant, while also taking a university salary that is supported, in part, by that grant.

    As with many things, when there is a shift in policy at a place like the NSF, it is usually due to someone taking advantage of research funds in a way that follows the letter of the law, but not the spirit. This is probably the impetus behind the policy change on double dipping at the NSF. (In this case, the new policy inadvertently undermines the entire purpose of the STTR program. But that is probably just an unintended consequence of the policy change.)

    Anyway, all of that is just to point out that the NSF has, very recently, become more particular about “double dipping,” regarding faculty and small-business concerns. But also that this concept is in flux, and every funding agency (and, in some cases, the individual program managers) have a lot of leeway in interpreting these regulations appropriately.

    I think it is probably a good guess that Shukla has been careful to follow the letter of the law here. He probably very purposefully lists only 28 hours a week at the non-profit, in order to be considered “part time” … probably due to GMU policy on outside work. Also, the NSF grant process requires justification for salary levels at the small business that are to be funded by the grant, and there are independent auditors at NSF who review this information. So Shukla likely had to write a sentence or two showing that his salary for running a non-profit (part time!) or conducting research at the non-profit is in line with what others make for similar work. (His university salary here isn’t an issue, since NSF will assume GMU is following reasonable procedures. But his GMU salary may have been part of the justification of his non-profit salary.)

    I also think that GMU will examine very closely their current policies, as this situation does not look good for them. (And Shukla will be in hot water if there is any area where he did not disclose something that he was supposed to disclose.) I would also guess that the NSF Program Managers who are funding Shukla will have to justify their actions as well, in light of this unusual situation. It is likely that the policy at NSF may shift once again, due to the terrible optics of this guy (along with his family) making such a large amount of money from these grants. Kudos to you and to Roger for shining some light on this situation.

  49. Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    Sllde 47 of the following presentation depicts “Irish Adaptation: Floods of 2007”. The accompanying picture shows men standing in ankle high water drinking beer. Another caption reads “Crowds panic as flooding threatens Ireland.”

    Hardly a Gandhian approach..

    ftp://iges.org/pub/shukla/2013.05.21.Brookings.IASG.ppt

    • Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

      A version of the image (without the COLA, IGU and GMU logos nearby) can be seen here.

    • michael hart
      Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

      That slide is at least funny (to me).
      Slide 55 takes a swipe at Richard Lindzen in a manner that is nasty.

      • Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

        The Lindzen swipe was a bit unprofessional but he has taken this kind of abuse for a long time.

        The ethnic slur was the greater surprise. My sense is that academia is particularly sensitive to behavior that is politically incorrect and offensive. I would have expected someone in the audience or in his office to politely suggest that slide be removed.

        • Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

          I’ve read other Shukla-authored stuff that suggests he has a tin ear. I was really surprised to see so many people attaching their names to his letter. I assume they know him well and I’d expect them to be more careful but it seems that overreach has become endemic in the AGW “industry”.

        • seanbrady
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

          Look again. If you open the presentation in PowerPoint, then underneath the slides are what appear to be his speaking notes. The Irish slide has the following note:

          “JOKE! The Irish are known for drinking alcohol, so this is how they adapt to climate variability!”

          There’s three things wrong with this slide:

          1. What kind of idiot do you have to be to need this note under the slide? If the “Irish are known for drinking alcohol” would the you also know that? without prompting? And if you put a humorous photo into your presentation, wouldn’t you expect yourself to remember that the photo is a joke?

          2. The picture is a mix of slightly offensive and slightly amusing. The note below it is pure offense.

          3. I’ve been to Ireland probably 40 times. Nothing about that photo is Irish, including the look of the people. I did a TinEye search and sorted by date. Most of the early appearances of this image are on Romanian websites and I’d say that’s where this photo was taken. Someone later added a “Welcome to Ireland” caption and then many humor blogs posted it. I’d bet any money that did not get permission to use this photo, but just pulled it off a random website.

        • Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

          -seanbrady

          I understand why some folks find this “funny” although I disagree. And while the note makes it clear that this was meant as a joke it also makes it clear that whoever wrote that note endorses the stereotype.

          Apparently the people in the forum and his colleagues were not offended. If I were Dr. Shukla I might reflect on Dr. Hunt’s experience. “There but for the grace…”

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/11708560/Jonathan-Dimbleby-UCL-resignation-Sir-Tim-Hunt-doesnt-deserve-this.html

      • Jud
        Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

        Speaking as an Irish person I do find it offensive.
        Mildly offensive and nothing I would get too annoyed about – but offensive just the same.
        Particularly considering the source.

        • D.J. Hawkins
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

          Speaking as another of Irish descent (upwards of 7/8), I think it’s hilarious, even if the true origin of the photo is Romanian. That sort of “take it in stride” attitude is very Irish. Can’t have a bit o’ water disturbin’ yer afternoon pint, now.

        • John Archer
          Posted Oct 17, 2015 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

          Jud,

          I side with D.J.Hawkins on this.

          But as SeanBrady above suggests, they don’t look that Irish to me either.

          In my experience the Irish have a pretty good sense of humour. And if the caption read “English Workmen” they too would laugh and enjoy the joke. In both cases they’d leave the professional doomsayers to get on with their panic-mongering, though I’d much prefer they take a short break from their drinking and ‘bottle’ them in the traditional way, pour encourager les autres, naturellement. But, as you say, given that particular source, I can well understand why you find it offensive. I would too, were I Irish.

          In any event, racial targeting of this kind is laughably choice coming from such an alien parvenu, a Westernised Oriental Gentleman™ no less, a caste not exactly noted for its truthfulness and honest dealings and that most of us here in the UK never wanted as so-called fellow countrymen but who are very quick to get their feet under the table. (But much like everything else that’s wrong with the West, the actual people had no say in it despite being told that we live in a democracy. Well, maybe some day, but not just yet, eh.)

      • Michael Jankowski
        Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

        It is funny. But it violates the ethics policies of any number of companies and universities, so…

    • seanbrady
      Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

      Another interesting thing:

      If you google center of ocean land atmosphere studies you’ll see the following summary on the search results page:

      IGES Home Page
      http://www.iges.org/
      Putting hurricanes in a broader context. The Institute’s Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies is jointly sponsored by NOAA, NASA, and the National …

      But if you click on the link that language is gone. Unless I’m missing something, NASA and NOAA have recently been banished to the bottom of the “About COLA” page in the paragraph headed “Support”.

    • Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

      Shukla presentation slide 63: this guy thinks that coal-fired electricity plants have higher efficiency than natural gas plants. He doesn’t have a clue. So I suppose that goes for the rest of his writings as well.

  50. Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

    Steve:

    Because “warmists” regularly re-assure skeptics that income from research is strictly regulated under federal policies (e,g. Andrew Dessler here), the parties who ought to have the most interest in the structure are warmists, rather than skeptics, though the opposite seems to be the case thus far.

    And later, to Michael Tobis contra Sir Nicholas Stern, no less:

    Michael, let me ask you ask question: do you believe that the “evidence” shows that climate risk can be averted for “1%” of GDP, as Shukla’s corporation suggests here:

    I (and probably many others) would be very willing that society accept such measures at that sort of cost. However I am very dubious of the cost estimate and am concerned that supposed remedies are like taking laetrile. Is it your considered view that climate risk can be avoided for spending merely 1%? Or do you regard the 1% as misinformation?

    The “probably many others” I’d accept. The terminology and line of argument of our host is I think more inclusive here than it has often been (understandably so in more technical threads). These last two pages are immensely helpful. Thanks also jddohio for taking apart the shoddy legal foundations of any RICO action. But threats are threats and Pielke Jr is probably not the only one who has wanted out. Thanks to Roger and everyone for this spirited fightback.

  51. Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    Ted Carmichael, there are no terrible optics here, unless you count the optics here, as in CA, as how everyone else sees this. This news has attracted no attention. Shukla has taken down the letter and will wait it out, which would be surprisingly easy.

    Why would the NSF investigate or look into this? His actions are on the books.

    • Ted Carmichael
      Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

      Hi, Shub. I had a closer look at the most recent IRS filing, and it appears that “several years ago” an independent law firm was engaged to determine an appropriate salary for the president. So this would be all the justification that the NSF auditors would need.

      In regards to the grants made to IGES, there are two basic components for any NSF grant: the direct research expenses (which include salaries or partial salaries for researchers performing the grant objectives, as well as related research expenses, such as equipment, travel – to conferences and such – and publication fees); and the indirect costs, usually called “F&A” (Facility and Administrative Cost) or “overhead,” which every university negotiates independently with the NSF. This usually ranges between 45% and 60%. GMU’s rate appears to be 52%. I *think* independent organizations, such as IGES, simply use 50% as their F&A, but I’m not sure.

      The short of it is, this amount goes to the organization itself, off the top of any grant, to pay for … well, facilities and administration. I am guessing, since Shukla gets a salary from the university AND from the institute (which is now a part of GMU, as Steve pointed out), there is a “split” of some kind between these two entities for the F&A. In as much as Shukla is paid to be the president of IGES, his salary (as well as that of other administrators) would be paid out of the indirect costs of the grants that go to IGES. In as much as he performs research as a member of the GMU faculty, THAT salary would be partially or wholly covered by the direct costs of the grants. (If he performs research for IGES, then part of his IGES salary will be paid by direct costs as well. It can get complicated very quickly – but basically all *research* salary portions and amounts, whether at GMU or IGES, are direct costs of the grants and thus must be approved in advance by the funding agency.)

      The president of the institute thus likely has a lot of leeway to spend the remaining F&A, and must only adhere to: laws that regulate non-profits or university “institutes,” and the regulations of GMU governing conflict of interest and dual salaries (full time faculty salary and part time institute salary).

      Though the amounts are surprisingly large, Shukla has probably covered his bases here.

      • mpainter
        Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

        The question that arises here is how much support for the research in terms of premises, equipment, etc., was furnished by GMU and how much by IGES. What did IGES do other than receive funds and pay them out? Where is the concept of value for public dollar? The IGES business looks like shell corporation set up to benefit the Shukla family at public expense. I don’t see how that squares with the law. It certainly does not square with ethics. No one will defend such graft.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

          Well, the largest research expense for most fields IS the salaries, for all the scientists and researchers. There are a few fields (physics and medicine come to mind) that have a lot of other expenses, such as specialized equipment, or drug trials. But in my discipline (computer science) you just spend time – coding, analysis, literature reviews, etc. And that’s true of a lot of disciplines. (Even physics, if you don’t need a Large Hadron Collider.) So it may be that Shuklas’ institute is performing a lot of legitimate research, even if salaries are by far the largest expense. (Some of his past grants have listed a LOT of publications related to the grant. Sometimes the publication queue takes a long time.)

      • michaelspj
        Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

        I don’t believe so. It is very clear that state employees in Virginia, which include university faculty, cannot e compensated by an outside entity for what would normally be their duties as a state employee. With regard to an atmospheric scientist at George Mason, this would include doing basic research sponsored by outside grants and contracts.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

          Obviously, Shukla figures to circumvent his obligations to Virginia law via IGES Inc.,a shell corporation located in Maryland. This dodge needs to be tested in court. I don’t think Shukla will get away with it; it’s too obvious.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

        Ted, I agree that your analysis would represent Shukla’s rationalization. However, Shukla’s method of attempting to circumvent the apparent intent of NSF rules is fairly obvious and it’s hard to believe that NSF hasn’t encountered this sort of technique in other circumstances (e.g. medical grants) and made rulings on it. If researchers can legally double-dip, then more will do so unless the loophole is closed.

        The reaction of climate researchers to Shukla’s double-dip thus far seems to be shut-eyed denial – that it is impossible for researchers to appropriate research funds e.g. @JacquelynGill:

        Ha, no. No one’s salary is even close to that. And grant money doesn’t go to us. It goes to research

        gill

        • CaligulaJones
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

          “grant money doesn’t go to us. It goes to research”

          Other than buying mainframe time and some office supplies, wouldn’t most of the grant money go to salaries and wages?

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

          I would imagine that many true believers have yet to hear of the Shukla affair.

        • Michael Jankowski
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

          When I was a grad student writing proposals for research grants, part of the funding certainly went towards salaries.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

          >>“grant money doesn’t go to us. It goes to research”

          >Other than buying mainframe time and some office supplies, wouldn’t most of the grant money go to salaries and wages?

          Well, also ~50% goes to the university. I.e., if you get a grant for, say, $2,000,000, then add on another 50% or so ($1,000,000) to cover F&A. GMU’s F&A rate is ~52% apparently, which is pretty standard. But yes – most of the direct costs (the $2,000,000) would be for salaries and wages.

      • stan
        Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

        Ted Carmichael,

        If the government entities involved knew and approved, the scandal is worse.

        There is a nasty smell here. If Shukla pulled this off with the government and university asleep at the switch, it’s bad for him and implicates them in negligence. If they knew and colluded, it’s bad for him (although perhaps with lesser legal downside) and worse for them.

        Either way, it’s less about the individual liability and more about the ugly smell and stain on the whole process and the cause. Something is obviously rotten in more states than Denmark.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

          Well, I think it definitely looks bad. Especially since he is employing family members at very high salaries. But I’m not sure what rule or law he is meant to have circumvented here. Steve said, “Shukla’s method of attempting to circumvent the apparent intent of NSF rules is fairly obvious;” however, it is not obvious to me, I’m afraid. Which rules is he circumventing? (I’m really asking here – it’s not just a rhetorical question.)

          I’m not defending Shukla, because he is certainly an outlier, getting paid a ridiculously high salary at GMU, and again at the non-profit (now institute at GMU) that he founded. But remember: this institute was founded over twenty years ago, and has grown to become quite a large research company, with some 30 employees, and another 15 or so grad students. It makes sense that the president of this company (who is largely responsible for its success) might have accumulated a large salary in that time. And it kind of makes sense that a scientist with a long publication record and significant achievements would make such a high salary, even at a public university. (It is certainly not unprecedented.)

          It also makes sense that the NSF doesn’t care who runs the non-profit research institute, as long as it produces well for the grants it receives. And GMU apparently doesn’t care if a member of the faculty is also a part-time president of a non-profit. Shukla has received a LOT of significant grants, under various program managers and at THREE different funding agencies. That’s pretty dang impressive. actually. (Although that fact also reflects a long-standing problem at funding agencies, IMO … those who have received a lot of grants in the past find it easier to continue to receive grants, because program managers are risk-adverse, and it is easy to justify giving more money to a productive researcher.)

          I fully support an investigation to ensure rules were followed, and (if so) reflection on those rules, to determine if they are sufficient. But I’m not sure we, or GMU, or the NSF, should disallow someone from working two jobs. Or disallow someone from hiring his wife or daughter, per se … especially when these employees are prominently listed on the company’s website (i.e., not hidden).

          There is a LOT of room for abuse when you create, and basically control, a non-profit organization. Some of the laws in this area are ridiculously lax, depending on the state. I’m just having a hard time figuring out what rules have been bent or broken in this case, and what rules need augmenting, specifically.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

          Which rules is he circumventing? (I’m really asking here – it’s not just a rhetorical question.)

          Ted, my comment is based on the understanding that the research time of academic faculty is part of the expectations of their academic appointment and the perception among a number of academics that they are entitled to two-ninths of their annual university salary from research grants. And that the artifice of setting up a research corporation is the sort of thing that NSF would have run into lots of times.

          The sort of argument that you are presenting is the sort of thing that Shukla would argue in defence. Because of the conflicts of interest, his disclosure statements would obviously have to be meticulous and disclose everything. I now have copies of the Statements of Economic Interest by Shukla and Kinter for 2012-2015 (filed pursuant to Virginia legislation, sample form is shown here: http://law.justia.com/codes/virginia/2014/title-2.2/section-2.2-3117/)

          Question 7 is:

          Do you or a member of your immediate family, separately or together, operate your own business, or own or control an interest in excess of $5,000 in a business?

          Shukla answered NO even though a non-profit is specifically included as a “business” for the purposes of this legislation. Because he answered NO, he did not file Schedule F describing the business.

          question 7

        • Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

          mpainter:

          Obviously, Shukla figures to circumvent his obligations to Virginia law via IGES Inc.,a shell corporation located in Maryland. This dodge needs to be tested in court. I don’t think Shukla will get away with it; it’s too obvious.

          It seems that a possible rationale for Shukla not to have filed a schedule F was that the IGES which paid him and is family was a Maryland entity and he felt it did not apply to question 7 since in question 8 it refers to Virginia businesses. Of course, this fails since IGES operates in Virginia (through COLA) even if IGES is incorporated in MD has an office there. According the the Maryland corporate lookup IGES was formed 12/04/1991 by Shukla who is registered agent and sole owner of the corporation. There is no entity filing in MD or VA for COLA. It may be that IGES is dba (doing business as) COLA.

        • Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

          As I expected, COLA is a dba of IGES, which has an active listing in the US System for Award Management , which was updated by Shukla in March 2015. His wife and Kinter are named as alternative points of contact. Someone with a government login can view their contracts.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

          Hi, Steve. Thanks for the additional info. FYI – it is very confusing, but (as I understand it) the two-ninths rule applies only to summer salary. That is, say an academic makes $100,000 per year at a university. This is assumed to be for 9 or 10 months, during the normal (non-summer) academic year. Therefore, a researcher can earn more money (termed “supplemental salary”) for working the summer months. The NSF uses the two-ninths rule in calculating the maximum that can be charged to the NSF for summer salary … for this example, that would be ($100,000 / 9) * 2 = ~$22,222. So, regular salary can be charged to the grant, and supplemental salary can also be charged to the grant. If the researcher above is 100% funded by, say, two NSF grants, then he can earn ~$122,222 per year, or ~22% above his “salary.”

          All of those monies would be paid to the academic via the university, and the university would charge the appropriate amounts to the grant.

          I’ve never been tenure-track faculty, so I don’t know all the various rules for funding the normal (9- or 10-month) salary from a grant. But I assume even tenured faculty can fund a large part of their time via a grant (such as: “buying out” part of a teaching load). Regardless, this wouldn’t matter at all to a faculty member; they don’t care whether their university salary comes from the university, or through the university from a grant. Whatever percentage of salary is allowed to be funded (by the university’s rules) will just be charged to the grant as mentioned above.

          The more complicated part – and where Shukla may run into trouble – is in properly allocating time spent working on multiple grants. This is further complicated by the fact that he basically had two jobs: a full-time academic at GMU, and a part-time president at IGES. The portion of his faculty job that is funded by a grant is up to the university to monitor (with Shukla’s help, as PI). Further, for his part-time IGES job he has two roles: as president and as a researcher (PI, co-PI, or senior staff). The president salary would be paid out of F&A, as mentioned above. I guess he could also earn income as a researcher, but here I really don’t know. And I don’t know if summer supplemental applies to IGES, or how it would apply for a part-time position.

          Presumably Shukla has been careful to allocate and report time spent on various activities for the two entities that received grants for which he was PI, co-PI, or senior staff. But even large research universities have, from time to time, screwed this up.

          In regards to ownership of the non-profit organization, the technical answer is: no one owns it. (I had to look this up.) So I guess Shukla’s response in the above is correct, even before it was folded into GMU.

          Steve: question 7 is more than who “owns” it. It also asks who “operates” it and clearly Shukla and his wife operate it. Also whether they have an “interest” of more than $5,000. “Interest” is a defined term and appears to include earning more than $5,000 though the terminology is complicated and I’d defer to specialist knowledge on this.

        • Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

          Steve,

          I considered his response to that question, too. It may have been answered correctly. A difference between regular companies and non-profits is ownership. U.S. Non-profits don’t issue stock and they are usually controlled by some sort of Board of Directors.

          In 2014 there were 4 directors including Shukla named in the 990. He probably had only one of four votes. Although it may have been worth millions of $ to Shukla – technically it had no value and the Board, not Shukla, controlled the company.

          The size of the board, how board members are appointed, the length of their terms, etc, are written in a company’s by-laws. You would have to request the by-laws of IGES to understand the specifics of how that company operates. Like other 501c3 corporations IGES indicates in the 990 that the by-laws and financial statements are available upon request. You or others have probably already made the request.

          On a related note he did make (at least) one mistatement. On January 6, 2014 he answered “no” to the following:

          Offices and Directorships.
          Are you or a member of your immediate family a paid officer or paid director of a business?

          The IRS 990 from 2013 shows otherwise.

        • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

          Stunning analysis and counter-analysis, guys.

        • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

          The organization structure of IGES is detailed in this document.

          ftp://iges.org/pub/kinter/Projects/omnibus/NOAA_site_visit_Oct08.pdf

          While there may be a legal appearance of a Board controlling a company there are times when their authority has been relinquished to the chief executive. Given that the Board of IGES was stocked with friends that may have been the case.

          Keep in mind that a Board’s primary role is to retain an executive, set their compensation and conduct periodic reviews of the executive’s performance. In many cases we see a chief executive who only participates in the Board ex officio. They might attend all of the Board meetings except those relevant to their employment. But when discussions of compensation or employment contracts occur, the executive is (or should be) asked to leave the room. Given that Dr. Shukla appears to be a voting member, the Board minutes of IGES should reflect the manner in which they handled this internal conflict.

          Even though a Board may relinquish its authority it cannot dodge responsibility and liability. In the state where I live volunteer board members for non-profits have protection from liability but we are not fully immune. Out of an abundance of caution Directors and Officer Liability policies are often provided.

          Even if Dr. Shukla filled out the form incorrectly it’s a bit of a no-harm, no foul situation except for 2013. He disclosed his relationship with IGES in another section of the form.

          Steve: are you sure of this? He failed to disclose his income from IGES (Schedule G-3). That seems pretty relevant.

        • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

          Nope. My no-harm, no foul comment was a bit flippant. It was intended strictly in the context of question 1 vs. question 7.

          Question 9 is another matter. No matter how I read the question for Schedule G3 the answer seems to be Yes.

          That suggests that every Commonwealth employee that does outside work for >$1,000 must answer in the affirmative to this question. Examples of this should be easy to track down.

          Steve: I think so. It doesn’t make sense that they would require respondents to list $1000 travel reimbursements in detail and not require them to disclose $500,000 in family compensation from a 501(c)(3). Schedule G-3 sure looks like a location where that could and should have been disclosed.

        • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

          Let me amend that slightly. The answer depends on the definition of “service”.

          Obviously Dr. Shukla, his wife and his daughter are paid employees of IGES. In response to question 6 he discloses that relationship and that their compensation is >$10,000/year.

          Does being an employee also constitute a furnishing a service under G3? That seems a bit redundant. Or is this section intended for things like accounting services?

        • Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

          Samples:

          1. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth McClanahan discloses employers other than the state in response to Question 6 and separately discloses parties that she “represented” on G3.
          http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/729495/va-mcclanahan-elizabeth-2012.pdf

          2. Dr. Ralph Northam, Lt Governor, lists an employer other than the state in response to Question 6 but leaves G3 blank.
          http://ftpcontent4.worldnow.com/wwbt/PDF/LGNortham-December2014.pdf

  52. Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Kevin Trenberth’s signature on the letter highlights the public relations value the participants probably felt they would generate, now proven to be a disaster instead. Consider that Trenberth was the 2013 recipient of AGU’s “Climate Communcation Prize” along with (I presume) the $25,000 in prize money.

    I doubt that there is any chance that Trenberth’s participation in the RICO20 letter would be found to run afoul of NCAR/UCAR conflict of interest or ethical standards. The one question in my mind is the use of Trenberth’s NCAR identifier without an obligatory disclaimer that NCAR had nothing to with the RICO20 letter. Nevertheless, it might be interesting to investigate.

    Perhaps appropriately, the Climate Communication Prize description is garbled on Trenberth’s bio page:

    The Climate Prize highlights the importance of promoting scientific literacy, clarity of message, and efforts to foster respected and understanding of science-based values as they relate to the implications of climate change. The Climate Communication Prize is for communication of climate science – not scientific research.

    Kevin Trenberth, CGD Distinguished Scientist, 2013 Climate Communication Prize

    • Posted Oct 31, 2015 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

      “…and efforts to foster respected and understanding of science-based values as they relate to the implications of climate change.”

      A statement on a prize awarded for communication really said that?

  53. climatebeagle
    Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Maybe as our host is always saying, watch the pea.

    If IEGS really closed in July 2015, then Jagadish Shukla and family have lost ~$250k (2015) and ~500$k/year (2016-) in income. Is there a new non-profit that has been setup to perpetuate their expectations?

  54. Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    This particular scheme was pretty much what was proposed to us. Propose research — get grants — funnel the money to scientists who would do with it what they wanted. In return they would pass back some papers that had been reworked to look new. What’s not to like? Everyone makes money, the grant givers look efficient….

    Well, sometimes the truth comes out. The company that is holding the bag looks bad. They look bad because it is bad.

    We declined this “Golden Opportunity”. No more money from NRC. Oh well!

    That’s the problem.

  55. subtle2
    Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    “most men only care for science so far as they get a living by it, and they will worship error when it affords them a subsistence.”

    — Conversations of Goethe, October 17, 1825.

  56. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    George Mason policy on outside employment http://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/policies/outside-employment/

    George Mason University recognizes the importance of providing a systematic approval process so that appropriate outside employment opportunities can be approved and formally acknowledged. The employee/employer relationship between the employee and the University is continuous and it encompasses any and all work performed for the University.

    Employees may engage in certain employment outside the university, provided that the employee has obtained prior written approval of his or her supervisor and the employee complies with all relevant University policies, including policies regarding conflicts of interest, and annual leave; and records annual leave when performing outside employment during normal or scheduled working hours. Permission to engage in outside employment must be renewed annually in writing.

    Employees may not engage in outside employment which the supervisor has determined, in his or her sole discretion:

    Interferes with the employee’s regular responsibilities and duties; or
    Results in any actual conflict or appearance of conflict with his or her University Employment responsibilities; or
    Results in a situation of unfair competition for the University.
    When performing outside employment:

    Approval of outside employment does not preclude the requirement to work additional hours for the University in urgent situations;
    The employee performing outside employment is solely responsible for work performed in the course of outside employment, and the University is not responsible for such work;
    All outside work is performed in the employee’s individual capacity;
    No University-owned resources may be used including, but not limited to, office supplies, computing equipment or network access;
    The employee does not officially represent the University and is not an employee or agent of the University when acting in that capacity; and
    The views, thoughts, and expressions of the employee do not represent the views or position of the University.
    Employees engaging in outside employment are encouraged to provide all other employers and customers a written statement that explains all such restrictions.

    • mpainter
      Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

      Shukla joined GMU in 1994 as Professor, according to his cv. George Mason U recruited him from the University of Maryland.
      Shukla founded COLA in 1984 and IGES in 1991 or 1993 (his two cv, one abbreviated and the other complete, give contradictory dates for the IGES organization). The point is, there would have been discussion about the status of COLA and IGES between GMU and Shukla, for Shukla would have brought these entities to GMU, eventually. An agreement on these points would have been reached, presumably, before Shukla accepted employment at GMU. These discussions and agreements are public documents at GMU, I assume. There may have been an agreement regarding Shukla’s outside “work” at IGES, his own privately held corporation, after all. The whole point I am trying to make is that there should be a cache of public documents at GMU that bears on the questions raised here.

      • Ted Carmichael
        Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

        @mpainter: included in that cache (presumably) would be the “Permission to engage in outside employment must be renewed annually in writing,” from the supervisor (who is probably the department chair).

        • mpainter
          Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

          I can see the headlines:

          University Gave Green Light to Professor Who Pocketed $ Millions in Research Funds

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

      Please pardon me, I am getting old. I read you words above thus –

      “appropriate outside employment opportunities can be approved and ‘family’ acknowledged”

  57. 4TimesAYear
    Posted Sep 30, 2015 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  58. Adrian O
    Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

    Brilliant!
    Makes one check one’s wallet, to see if the cash hasn’t been sucked by Shuklas.

    The US budget has $2700 million allocated for such things, i.e. it finances about 2700 Shuklas (used as a unit of climate aberration.)

    The madness will have a chance to stop ONLY when this obscene amount of money will be cut by about 99%, to the normal financing of a science with worse results than palm reading. At only $10k/year the Shukla family would have to find another remunerating activity.

    The study here helps bring that day closer.

  59. Les Johnson
    Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Blowback: “the unintended adverse results of a political action or situation.”

    http://realclimatescience.com/2015/10/karma-strikes-back-against-climate-criminals/

    • mpainter
      Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

      Who precipitated the issue into the political arena?
      The global warmers did years ago when they started agitating for political measures. And finally their political activism has brought the predictable reaction.
      There will be a din of squawks from the climateers. The louder they squawk, the more the attention they draw on this Shukla affair.
      Loving it all the way.

    • mpainter
      Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

      There might be a problem with the Rockville address. The phone number there is no longer a working number. This office could be shut down. Hope the chairman has sent an email to Shunkla at GMU.Otherwise, Shunkla and associates will be frantically deleting/shredding the evidence.

      • Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

        I’m sure at least one of the Shuklas are reading the preservation order here. I hope that U.S. Rep Smith’s committee is having the order served personally. Ideally they will include a subpoena with it. Thank you Rep. Smith, Steve McIntyre and Roger Pielke, Jr. for your efforts. There are not many academic career paths like Shukla’s for scientists who simply administer science.

    • Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

      The full Lamar Smith letter is here.

    • tomdesabla
      Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

      Good.

      Now I ask again, who is going to pick up this story?

      No major outlets yet.

      C’mon Matt Drudge where are you?

      WAPO…NYT…HUFFPO…

      crickets so far.

  60. pottereaton
    Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    This is the kind of high-quality, in-depth investigative journalism that has been conspicuously missing from mainstream media. Well done, Steve.

  61. AntonyIndia
    Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Here is a link to the 2006 version of that disclosure form: http://law.justia.com/codes/virginia/2006/toc0202000/2.2-3117.html

    There are also versions of the Code of Virginia for 2010, 2011, 2013.

  62. Adrian O
    Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    The question is, given all the facts, why did Shukla make waves?

    The answer is that for people like him, truth becomes relative.
    A matter of power over others, and a matter of money. Lots and lots of money.

    Warming IS what people like him SAY it is. People who look at the actual temps readings are to be subjected to RICO prosecution.

    Since they disturb the order of things. The order in which Shukla is at the top.

    That total loss of any sense of reality is why the second in command at the EPA thought he was James Bond…

    But somewhere, somewhere deep, they have a bit of awareness left. That is why they asked, unsuccessfully, for immunity from prosecution, like what the UN representatives have.

    Awareness that it could all come down crumbling upon their heads.
    Which, hopefully, is what happens as we speak.

  63. gallopingcamel
    Posted Oct 1, 2015 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for your tireless work. You are the BULLDOG.

  64. Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 2:17 AM | Permalink

    Many thanks Steve and Roger for working this story.

  65. MikeN
    Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    Who is in the picture? It doesn’t look like anything from McKenna’s Gold.

  66. David L. Hagen
    Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    National Review picked up McIntyre’s evidence. Getting Rich off Climate Extremism

  67. Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    My earlier comment was rightly corrected that nobody owns a non-profit. Even though Shukla created IGES a non-profit immediately belongs to the public for the purpose of benefiting the public. A board of governance is set up that perpetuates the operation, including setting the compensation given to those working for the non-profit. This leads to the natural question of conflicts of interest. The US government entity assigned to oversee and enforce compliance is the US Treasury’s IRS. The head of the IRS department in charge of investigating conflicts of interest in non profits from January 2006 to May 23, 2013 was Lois Lerner, who at that point was put on paid administrative leave due to her possible involvement in focusing department resources to target conservative leaning non profits for special scrutiny (harassment). She refused to testify, citing here constitutional right not to self-incriminate, when called before the congressional committee investigating the scandal. She stayed on paid leave for many months before voluntarily retiring with full benefits (which is another scandal).

    We shouldn’t count on the IRS to investigate IGES under the current administration. But if we can have access to see who the individuals are controlling the funding for NSF, NOAA and NASA for the IGES, COLA, CREW grant contracts perhaps we can connect the dots. If one or more are on the staff of GMU or that would be an incestuous relationship indeed. Also we need to investigate the IGES board member list for they were responsible for the Shukla family’s and Kinter’s pay.

    The larger question is did Shukla invent this scheme or is this a recurring model for climate science funding. It could be that there is a whole circle of beneficiaries, each with some liability but not enough for individual prosecution. This seems like what civil RICO enacted to handle. But I think sunshine will do more good than our Department of Justice (even if anyone there dared to work in conflict with the administration’s views).

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

      As I read the rules for 501(c)(3) corporations, it is presumed that they are charities receiving donations. IGES had zero or negligible donations. All its income came from research grants with NSF-etc, but these grants do not appear to have been “charitable donations” to be disbursed by IGES, but contracts for IGES to do research. In practical terms, is it not the case that IGES Inc. might as well have been an ordinary for-profit corporation carrying out research contracts for NSF etc?

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

        It would certainly seem to be the case that NSF and other grants come with the stipulation that all the money be spent on the research, compared to “donations”. This is one of the reasons the salary restrictions are in place. This also makes the donation to India school very…iffy.

        • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

          It’s a 501C3 classified as U99.

          From Guidestar…

          Physical Address: 4041 Powder Mill Rd
          Suite 302
          Calverton, MD 20705
          EIN: 52-1761388
          Web URL: http://www.iges.org
          Telephone: 240-833-8195

          NTEE Category: U Science and Technology Research Institutes
          U99 (Science and Technology Research Institutes, Services N.E.C.)
          Ruling Year: 1992

        • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

          Non-profits receive money from many sources including the government. A food bank receives an annual grant from the USDA. An after school care program serving low-income families gets a bit for each child. A shelter might receive government funds for a generator. These are all real world examples.

          Also, keep in mind that the university itself (GMU) is a 501c3. It receives lots of grant money.

          Steve: Are you sure? George Mason University Foundation Inc is a 501c3. “Universities” are often established by charter.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

          If one accepts the premise that NSF and the other Grantors determine the use of the funds per their stipulations, and that no sort of arrangement devised by the recipient may circumvent those stipulations, then Shukla has no ground to stand on. The matter may go to the courts, but what judge would look favorably on Shukla’s pocketing of 10(?) million $ in funds meant for research?

        • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

          GMU – a state school – was an unfortunate example. Yes, there are private colleges which are 501c3 corporations.

      • joe
        Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

        Steve receipt of govt grants is allowed and there is no prohibition on the percent of govt grants vs public support. See Schedule A part I, question 7 and Schedule A part II. This is a non issue.

        The bigger issue that I see is the tax on excess benefits under Section 4958 of the IRC. With the total family compensation in excess of $800k, it strikes me as an obvious case of excessive compensation. There is a substantial body of tax case law on subject of unreasonable compensation specifically in the area of compensation vs dividends in the C Corp arena along with very aggressive approach by the IRS attacking the lack of reasonable compensation in the S Corp arena. The same methodology is used to determine reasonable compensation in the non profit arena. Basically, what would a comparable salary for the services rendered be with a similarly situated employee, ie what is the market price for his services. The tax on the excess benefit is 25% of the amount paid.

        The good news for IGES is that the IRS budget for exams/audits is extremely low such the probability of an exam is extremely low, even with the publicity. FWIW, I used to handle 5-6 exams a year, over the last 10 years, I now handle approximately 1 exam every two years while the volume of clients has tripled over the same period which should give you a sense of the audit probability.

        A secondary issue with the organization is that there is a prohibition against 501(c)(3) converting assets to the benefit of any private individual. (the term is innur as i recall). A violation of such can cause the lose of the 501(c)(3) status. (this last statement/comment is with the caveat that I am not as expert on this specific issue. I work with approx 14 non profits/private foundations and this issue doesnt exist in any of my clients, so again I am making this statement with out having done any research on this specific issue). This is likely a moot issue since the organization as I understand is shutting down.

        • joe
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

          Steve receipt of govt grants is allowed and there is no prohibition on the percent of govt grants vs public support. See Schedule A part I, question 7 and Schedule A part II. This is a non issue.

          The bigger issue that I see is the tax on excess benefits under Section 4958 of the IRC. With the total family compensation in excess of $800k, it strikes me as an obvious case of excessive compensation. There is a substantial body of tax case law on subject of unreasonable compensation specifically in the area of compensation vs dividends in the C Corp arena along with very aggressive approach by the IRS attacking the lack of reasonable compensation in the S Corp arena. The same methodology is used to determine reasonable compensation in the non profit arena. Basically, what would a comparable salary for the services rendered be with a similarly situated employee, ie what is the market price for his services. The tax on the excess benefit is 25% of the amount paid.

          The good news for IGES is that the IRS budget for exams/audits is extremely low such the probability of an exam is extremely low, even with the publicity. FWIW, I used to handle 5-6 exams a year, over the last 10 years, I now handle approximately 1 exam every two years while the volume of clients has tripled over the same period which should give you a sense of the audit probability.

          Expanding on this issue of excess compensation and the 25% tax, this maybe a moot issue. Since the organization is dissolving, and with the assumption that the organization is actually audited by the IRS and the tax assessed, there are no assets to attach. Outside provisions under the laws of the state of incorporation which would allow for board members to remain liable for outstanding debts, collectability would be doubtful. There is not a provision to similar to section 6672 to attach the assets of the responsible person, so even though there is a clear excess benefit under 4958, the issue may be effectively moot.

          A secondary issue with the organization is that there is a prohibition against 501(c)(3) converting assets to the benefit of any private individual. (the term is innur as i recall). A violation of such can cause the lose of the 501(c)(3) status. (this last statement/comment is with the caveat that I am not as expert on this specific issue. I work with approx 14 non profits/private foundations and this issue doesnt exist in any of my clients, so again I am making this statement with out having done any research on this specific issue). This is likely a moot issue since the organization as I understand is shutting down.

        • Duke C.
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

          Read schedule O at the end of the 990 Pdf. Compensation for the President was determined by an “independent” law firm. It was also disclosed that the President determines compensation for senior management members (who all happen to be family). Don’t know if that would pass the smell test if IRS decides to take a closer look, however.

        • Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

          To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.​…​

          The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

          http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Exemption-Requirements-Section-501(c)(3)-Organizations

        • joe
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

          Duke – The determination of reasonable compensation is based comparable compensation for comparable services, ie market compensation, what compensation he could earn for performing comparable work for a similar organization. The term often used in tax cases is facts and circumstances. Granted determining fair and reasonable compensation is much more subjective than your typical rank and file employee, though it is still retains some objectivity. There are a lot of procedural steps that can be taken to reduce the risks of loss of compensation deduction upon examination (presuming the irs agent raises the issue). One of the many steps is to “paper up” your documentation that the comp was reasonable. Using an “independent law firm” to “approve ” the comp is one of those procedural steps. However, the test for unreasonable compensation still remains a subjective test based on the facts and circumstances. Does using a “independent law firm” pass the smell test – maybe, maybe not depends quite frankly on how astute the IRS Agent is.

          I will add that the IRS was extremely aggressive in the pushing unreasonable compensation with closely held C corporations in the 1950’s through the early 1980’s. (due to the excess compensation being converted to non deductible dividends which were taxed at the same rate as compensation at the individual level).

          I will add that the IRS attack on unreasonable compensation has almost completely fallen off the radar screen since at least the year 2000.

    • Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

      Yes, the 501(c)(3) corp typically facilitates donations by allowing the donor to deduct the donation from their taxable income. If your getting all your funding from the government then the 501(c)(3) may get less scrutiny since it is presumed the corp governance assures 100% of the grant is being applied to good or service with no profit expectation. The only other benefit for the use of the non-profit corp is that Shukla could arms-length from his salary, and feel justified not to answer question 7 with a schedule F disclosure. I’m not a lawyer or non profit expert but certainly Shukla had a conflict of interest needing schedule F disclosure, especially since he had enough of an interest in IGES/COLA to have his pay set by the IGES board (presumably).

      • Ted Carmichael
        Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

        Hi, Ron. On this question (why organized as a non-profit), I had assumed it looked better, or was thought to look better, on grant applications that his research entity was not-for-profit. For-profit firms can certainly get research grants – it happens all the time. But perhaps he was advised, decades ago, that a non-profit is more in line with the stated purpose of the company.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

          Shukla organized COLA in 1984. In 1991 he erected a shell corporation, IGES, and put COLA inside of that. Shukla has some explaining to do. The IDES-COLA shuffle does not seem to be justifiable for the purposes of conducting research. Shukla must show why it was not meant as a means to skim the grants of multi-millions.

        • Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

          I am guessing that COLA was incorporated as a MD non-profit but then when he wanted to start CREW, and perhaps other “research centers” he formed IGES as the parent and dissolved COLA’s corporate status. Presumably the COLA board of directors became the IGES board. Questions: do universities encourage professors to start their own centers and societies? Are they to be housed in the university, at the professor’s home residence, an office? IGES has an office in a building around the corner from Shukla’s home now but in searching IGES grants they list his home residence as the headquarters. Maybe the office is a recent addition. Is the office where the board meets? What happens there? Back to the sifting…

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

          Was COLA incorporated at its formation? I am assuming that it was founded as some sort of organization, not a corporation. Am I wrong?

  68. Adrian O
    Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    The George Mason University may get into a lot of trouble as well.

    An NSF grant is typically divided in 3, with 2/3 going to the recipient, and 1/3 given to the school PRECISELY FOR THE JOB of making sure that the grant is used properly. There is no such overhead on big instrumentation money, which goes 100% to the grantee’s lab.

    That is, congress through the NSF decided NOT to police grant use (an immense enterprise on a national scale), but instead to pay the universities a hefty chunk to police it. This policy comes from times long past, when they were concerned about not bloating the government bureaucracy.

    From time to time, more than a decade apart, the NSF does a full audit of one random unlucky institution, akin to the IRS statistical compliance check. I remember that Duke was subject to such a probe in math, about 15 years ago, with the use of every dime checked. After that (which did not come out that well) the NSF changed a lot of policies.

    Needless to say, in the case at hand the George Mason University did not really earn its millions. As a watchdog…

    The NSF, in Washington, is in turn in the business of convincing congressmen and senators that it administers the funds properly, so as to justify its next appropriation.

    THAT is the only mechanism which the Senate has for changing policies in this case.

  69. Adrian O
    Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    The typical arrangement is that the university salary is considered pay for 9 months of work (though paid in 12 installments)

    That is so as to allow 2 more months of employment by the NSF, for instance. Those 2 months have to be specified precisely and approved by the university, usually 0.5 month in the winter and 1.5 months in the summer. For quite a few years now, such things are a dream of the past in basic science, since science was starved of funds by the climate fellows.

    The university is supposed to administer all funds other than this extra salary directly. They would buy plane tickets, computers, etc., as requested by the grantee, after a thorough internal review in several stages. Equipment bought from one’s grant belongs to the university as NSF administrator, but can be transferred to another university when the recipient moves.

    The NSF mandates such controls, and a grant can only be approved if there is a university able and willing to police its use.

    Steve: I understand that that is the typical arrangement, but that’s obviously not what happened with IGES. Having said that, the university overheads seem exorbitant.

    • Ted Carmichael
      Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

      Hi, Adrian. You said, “The NSF mandates such controls, and a grant can only be approved if there is a university able and willing to police its use.” I’m not sure what your point here is, but being a university is not a requisite for getting a grant from the NSF, NIH, DARPA, etc. Lots of private companies get this, both for-profit and nonprofits.

      You also said, “…and 1/3 given to the school PRECISELY FOR THE JOB of making sure that the grant is used properly.” I have never heard this, that this is the sole or main reason, during ~10 years at a university (as a grad/PhD student, then as a post-doc). The overhead is called F&A, which is Facilities and Administration. So there is certainly the aspect of implementing the requirements and having proper controls, etc. But there is also the aspect of using the university’s “facilities.” Buildings, lab space, computers (those not purchased by the grant), equipment, office supplies, and so forth. That F&A is generally 1/3 of the grant does seem large at first. I certainly thought so. But every university has to negotiate this independently with the NSF (and presumably other funding agencies also). So I imagine the details of expenses within that process of justification is much more extensive than one could come up with during just a few moments reflection.

      • Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

        Does the 1/3 that goes to the university part of the itemized expenses on the IRS form 990? Or, does that 1/3 come out before passing through IGES?

        I notice on the IGES 2012-2014 filed 990s that the board only sets the compensation for Shukla but he sets the compensation for his Kinter and Mrs. Shukla. Kinter is a key employee, not an officer, and Mrs. Shukla is the only other officer 2012-2014, but she is missing from the 2012 and 2013 Schedule J (compensation for officers and key employees); only J Shukla and Kinter are there. She does join them on schedule J in 2014. Perhaps just the tax preparer’s oversight.

        • Adrian O
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 12:46 AM | Permalink

          Ted,

          You may be right. That is only my limited experience as a professor of mathematics and mathematical physics. I am sure a hospital or any accredited institution can administer a grant, but a hermit researcher alone on an island cannot.

          The “administration” part refers to the paperwork and the policing of the grant, which is usually taken very seriously by the institution.

          Here is an example. In the fall, Apple offers free ipods with computers. If the computer is a work computer bought with NSF money, the freebie has to be refused, since it could in principle be an incentive for buying an unnecessary computer. To be sure of that, the computer has to be ordered through the purchasing services of the university, and the request is subject to a large number of checks for about a month.

          Steve

          In the Sputnik years, the US was really worried about losing the science race with the Soviets.

          Rather than create institutes with pure research positions like in Europe, the US decided to keep research in universities.

          Namely, to give money to researchers so they work during the summers, and to the universities, which as you said make money off the overhead, to police the grant and to cut researchers some slack. In math that means about 1/4 less teaching.

          The university overhead was limited a while ago to 50%, i.e. to 1/3 of the grant excluding the equipment.

          The extra salary paid to the grant recipient is strictly limited to 2 months, that is to 2/9 = 22% of the university salary, and those MUST be months of vacation. The extra salary CANNOT be paid during the months of university employment.

          The trick of creating an institute which then pays one’s whole family 220% of one’s salary rather than the maximum 22% from an NSF grant is unusually creative, and is definitely against the spirit and maybe the law of NSF grants.

          No wonder the institute is being dissolved as we speak…

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 7:12 AM | Permalink

          You say:

          I am sure a hospital or any accredited institution can administer a grant, but a hermit researcher alone on an island cannot.

          Alan Betts of the RICO20 appears to have got ongoing NSF grants despite being a “hermit researcher”.

        • Adrian O
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

          We keep hearing that the NSF is out of money (as the money goes to Shuklas these days,) so people should apply instead for defense related grants.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

          From the website of Alan Betts:

          After moving to Vermont, Alan Betts was funded as an independent scientist by the National Science Foundation for 30 years on long-term grants (most recently by grant AGS05-29797, 2005-2012).

          It appears that Alan Betts has subsisted on NSF grants, NOAA grants, and NASA grants for the past 30 years….!!

        • Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

          ‘Subsist’ = http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/simpleSearchResult?queryText=betts+alan

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

          Hi, Ron. Some of the grants have GMU as the primary organization. For those, GMU gets ~1/3rd of the grant for F&A. IGES would not get anything, unless they were a sub-award on the grant (and approved as such at the time the grant was made). For the ones where IGES was the primary organization, they get the F&A … I am not sure if it is close to the same rate but I think it is. (There are a few options here. For example, IGES could itemize more costs in the grant proposal budget, but then would have to use a lower F&A rate. The fixed rate F&A gets a lot of needless paperwork out of the process.)

          FYI – Regarding the 2/9ths rule Adrian said, “The extra salary CANNOT be paid during the months of university employment.” Actually, this changed slightly in recent years. The limit on supplemental salary is the same, but it can be paid throughout the year, instead (as previously) just during the summer.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

          I forgot to mention … regarding a “hermit researcher,” I’m not sure if this is common, but I’m pretty sure it’s not disallowed. Small businesses can compete for most grant solicitations. In fact, the SBIR/STTR program was set up explicitly for small businesses … about 5% of the budget for the major funding agencies goes to this program. Our company has received three SBIR/STTR grants now, with only three people at the company (and only one person for the first one). Judith Curry mentioned recently that her company was also started through the SBIR/STTR program. So a small business can certainly keep up with the administrative oversight needed to monitor an NSF grant.

      • Adrian O
        Posted Oct 7, 2015 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

        Steve,
        RE:Alan Betts
        You are right. Climate is the big elephant in the China shop. All betts are off… (to make an involuntary pun)

        As to Verardo and the NSF, I withdraw my comment too.

        There will be a big backlash on NSF and on research, when the big climate scam is finally exposed.

        It’s not all together undeserved, because too many scientists who were able to look at the data, understand it and take a position kept silent instead.

    • Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

      Oh – and – Alan Betts also has NNG05GQ88A for $483,870 from NASA, which seems to run concurrently with an NSF grant 0529797….

  70. Adrian O
    Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    There was a certain relaxation of outside work policies due to the fact that the best molecular biology professors wanted and were able to start their own companies.

    Universities, rather than remain with only second rate profs, allowed such work. Unfortunately in math such things are rare, so I don’t know the extent of such policies. They would also depend on the university.

    Steve Wolfram, who started the Mathematica software, went through 5 universities or so, starting from Princeton, till he found the U of Illinois where they allowed him full rights on his software.

    How different though it is to start something, biology or software, that people want, rather than suck public money through your relatives…

    • michael hart
      Posted Oct 2, 2015 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

      “How different though it is to start something, biology or software, that people want, rather than suck public money through your relatives”

      At risk of being seen to editorialize, I can only agree.

  71. Brian R
    Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 2:03 AM | Permalink

    I applaud all the work that has gone into exposing this transgression. Unfortunately it will all be for naught. It might sway a few “undecideds”, but will fail to sway any “true believers”. It might result in a congressional hearing or two, but the average person has a memory that is only as long as the current news cycle. It will quickly fade from the headlines and nothing will come from it. Shukla and others may loss their college jobs but will quickly get picked up at some “green” NGO and spin the the whole thing in their favor.

  72. Tony Mach
    Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    Just searched for David Verardo, and this was the fourth result:

    A scientist working to “to clear up a backlog of grant applications in [NSF’s] aeronomy program” getting handled very very ethically (?) by David Verardo, “a section head who also serves as the [NSF] division’s ethics official”.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2013/10/special-report-can-nsf-put-right-spin-rotators-part-2

    Some of you probably already known this, but I thought I might want to share this in this context.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

      Readers of early encounters may recall Verardo refusing to ask Mann to provide data as follows (see tag verardo and here)

      His[Mann’s] research is published in the peer-reviewed literature which has passed muster with the editors of those journals and other scientists who have reviewed his manuscripts. You are free to your analysis of climate data and he is free to his. The passing of time and evolving new knowledge about Earth’s climate will eventually tell the full story of changing climate. I would expect that you would respect the views of the US NSF on the issue of data access and intellectual property for US investigators as articulated by me to you in my last message under the advisement of the US NSF’s Office of General Counsel.

      This execrable assertion was later relied on by Stephen Schneider in his book (See quote here):

      The National Science Foundation [David Verardo] has asserted that scientists are not required to present their personal computer codes to peer reviewers and critics, recognizing how much that would inhibit scientific practice.

      • mpainter
        Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

        That some in the NSF holds such views as expressed by Verado will shock and disgust most scientists. Verado is an ethics enforcer in the NSF. In my view, the issue presented in the incident cited by Steve McIntyre above is as important as the Shukla affair, or even more so. I pray that the House Committee on Technology and Science delves into this matter of “secretive science” being encouraged by government employees.

        The principles espoused by Verado is the antithesis of science, and Science and the general public both need to be protected against against the evils that such perversions entail.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

          Furthermore, I have long held the view that publicly funded research, especially that performed by those in the public sphere, is set squarely in the public domain. Proprietary claims by scientists to such work need to be swatted down.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

          “Proprietary claims by scientists to such work need to be swatted down.” Why? If I do all the work, why should the NSF claim all the outcomes? Just because they pay my salary? I don’t think that would work. There are too many smart people out there who would eschew the publically funded system if all their patents and data and results, at the end of the day, belonged to the government.

          Besides, it is better this way, for the exact same reason a “market economy” is generally the best way to organize an economic system. The best market decisions are those where the majority of them are made by the individuals who best know the terrain (needs + desires), rather than trying to control the market from a distance, and in a top-down manner. Same with scientific accomplishments. The NSF wouldn’t have any idea what to do with all the diverse output of 10,000 (or whatever) scientists, and it would be ridiculous, I think, to expect them to. Best to recognize the fact that discoveries that benefit individual scientists will also benefit society, and let the individuals figure out the best ways to use them.

          I do recognize that there is tension, between releasing data/methods/innovations into the public domain vs. keeping some aspects proprietary. Tension is probably a good thing, because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The key, for me, is reproducibility. I don’t think journals should publish results whose methods are so obscure that they cannot be reproduced. But that’s on the journals, not the NSF. A researcher who spends ten years collecting data should get first dibs on analyzing it, also. I think most people agree with that. But does “reproducibility” mean, here is my data, see if you get the same results? Or is it, here is how I collected my data, so go out and get your own and then compare results? I don’t think there is a single answer that covers every situation.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

          Ted Carmichael, you say:
          “Just because they pay my salary?”
          ###

          Yes, that is one reason. This is how it is done in the business world.There are other reasons.

          You confusedly apply principles of economics and business to the sphere of science and scientific research, and such principles simply do not apply there.

          Anyone who wishes may leave the public sphere to enter business. But to claim that your public position as a scientist secures for you proprietary rights over your work is absurd. This principle could be extended to any public employee. Think about it.

        • davideisenstadt
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

          TED:

          ” Why? If I do all the work, why should the NSF claim all the outcomes? Just because they pay my salary? ”

          uhhh….yes Ted, precisely because of that fact.

          i know the guy who brought the product “spandex” to market for Dupont….he led the team that discovered it, helped prepare the patent applications and helped develop some of the product’s many applications…one of the first:
          compression bandages for burn victims…all of the product he worked on belonged to Dupont.
          If you wish to maintain ownership over your work product, work for yourself.
          So too for the woman who developed kevlar (also at Dupont), the use of which has saved thousands of lives.
          Their work is called “work product”; typically one’s work product belongs to one’s employer.

          really, your comment is that of an ingrate.

          BTW, why dontcha go and listen to NPR, they just did a piece on the guy who created the birth control pill…he gave the patent rights to searle, for a few reasons. Among them, two of them were:
          1) a desire to get this product out to as many women, as quickly as possible, in order that their lives were helped as soon as possible, and
          2) he felt an obligation to do so, since Searle FUNDED HIS WORK.
          You are more obtuse than the warden in “Shawshank Redemption”

        • EdeF
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

          My mantra was: share everything you develop, make the team better even if you don’t get the credit, and I was funded exclusively by the US taxpayer. But, having said that, we had a few folks who didn’t do that. One of them came from academia, a theoretical physicist. Ok, he was the only one who wouldn’t share.

        • Michael Jankowski
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

          …If I do all the work, why should the NSF claim all the outcomes? Just because they pay my salary? I don’t think that would work. There are too many smart people out there who would eschew the publically funded system if all their patents and data and results, at the end of the day, belonged to the government…

          Do “too many smart people” avoid university employment? The situation is the same with any university research.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

          Hmm. There’s been quite a lot of pushback on this idea that individual researchers own their own ideas and the fruits of their efforts. Mpainter says, “To claim that your public position as a scientist secures for you proprietary rights over your work is absurd.” Davidiesenstadt believe I am an ingrate (I think), and – somewhat confusingly – used the example of a researcher who “gave” the patent rights for a drug to a drug company. (The confusing part is, if he gave them the rights, that implies he, not the drug company who funded his work, had the choice.) Michael Jankowski uses the example of researchers at a university giving up proprietary rights to that university to, presumably, support the idea that researchers don’t own the results of their research.

          Actually, this last is not quite true. It is true that, as a few discoveries started to become quite lucrative, most universities started to assert rights over the work done there. In the early years they tended to demand too much, or drag out negotiations, and often no one made any money at all due to the interference and delay. Lately they have worked it out in advance, and more systematically, and tend to give 35%-60% of the royalties to the inventor. But only if it is directly a result of the inventor’s university responsibilities and was invented with significantly use of university resources. These percentages vary widely; for example, Yale takes 30%-50%; CMU takes only 15%. Smaller amounts tend to, paradoxically, be more successful. (Less resistance to sharing, probably, among the inventors.)

          At many companies, every single idea you come up with belongs to the company. And at many others, a reasonable split is the policy. I think a lot of the difference comes down to why a person was hired. If they are hired specifically to find X, then of course the company gets most or all of the benefits of X, once it is found. But research at a university is different. The ideas are wholly from the individual. And if they get funding from the NSF (or whomever), they still come up with (and explain) the process they will use, their goals, how they will test those goals, what they expect to achieve, etc. And the NSF doesn’t mess with patents or proprietary rights at all. In all cases, these are preserved for the researchers and his/her company or university, according to the agreement those entities have with each other.

          Mpainter: I’m sorry the analogy to economics was confusing. Perhaps I didn’t explain it well. In a capitalist economic system the individual has the most to gain or lose, and the most relevant information generally, and therefore tends to make the best decisions for meeting his or her own wants and needs. Likewise, the inventor of some idea or invention has the most motivation to see that idea through to the market, and giving some benefit to society; as well as the best information on how to achieve that, generally. Therefore, as with a capitalist system on economic matters, individual control of innovative results and inventions is probably the best system over all.

          At least, that is what the NSF, NIH, DARPA, ONR, and others have decided, per their policies on patents and such.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

          Ted, your position is that public employees who are scientists are in business for themselves with proprietary rights to their work. Hence they are a special class with special rights not enjoyed by non-scientists.

          This position is insupportable in our society. That public universities are abetting this is deplorable. It needs to be remedied.

        • davideisenstadt
          Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

          Ted: the reason there is “push back” is that you, when employed by an institution performing research that other’s pay for you to conduct, simply aren’t “an individual researcher” …youre an employee.
          Its really that simple, and absent a specific agreement regarding the ownership of your work product, the research you conduct while employed is work product, the property of your employer.
          As for one of the examples i cited, the researcher in question had a colorable claim to his research, since he was, in fact independent…Searle provided him with progesterone, and helped him formulate the proper blend of progesterone, and inadvertently at first, estrogen.
          While he could have asserted rights his rights to the patent, he chose not to, because of the two reasons he cited.. Neither one of which involved him making more money or having greater control over the fruits of his research.
          You owe it to yourself to read up on the development of the birth control pill. really.
          As for the other two examples I citied, both products covered by patents, both discovered and developed by employees, not “individual researchers”..the fruits of both avenues of research belonged to their employer, in these cases, Dupont.
          I note that you didn’t even attempt to address them.
          There is simply no excuse for the stand that you take.
          Read your statement again:

          ” Why? If I do all the work, why should the NSF claim all the outcomes? Just because they pay my salary?”

          Again, the answer is: yes, precisely because they pay your salary Ted.

          And you wonder why your attitude is characterized the way it is?

        • Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

          I’m afraid Ted is right when it comes to NSF funding precisely because the Bayh-Dole act made it so in 1980.

          Before that, if Federal funding touched your research, that research was in the public domain, but Bayh-Dole changed everything and has likely contributed to some of the serious problems with have with academic science today.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayh%E2%80%93Dole_Act

        • davideisenstadt
          Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 2:55 AM | Permalink

          Charles:
          thanks for your edifying response.
          from your cite:

          (I know wiki isn’t the most reliable, but since its your cite…)

          “Bayh–Dole permits a university, small business, or non-profit institution to elect to pursue ownership of an invention in preference to the government.[4]”

          Among that laundry list of entities, I didn’t see “individual researchers”, or “employees”…no?
          If employees had a right to their work product, how could a nonprofit, or a university or a small enterprise assert rights to the intellectual product created as a result of the grant?
          Those rights would accrue to that institution’s employee, who conducted the research.
          Absent a specific agreement regarding the intellectual product created by an employee while at work, that work product doesn’t belong to that employee, it belongs to her employer.
          In many grant seekers’ cases, that employer is a state affiliated university.
          I suppose one could argue that, for example, Harvard maintains the rights to their employees’ work product; they are a private, non profit institution, but I dont see how, again, absent a specific agreement with an employer, that an employee can assert any rights to the work product she creates while being paid by her employer.

        • Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 3:19 AM | Permalink

          I was responding in light of this quote of yours:

          ” Why? If I do all the work, why should the NSF claim all the outcomes? Just because they pay my salary?”

          Again, the answer is: yes, precisely because they pay your salary Ted.

          It’s true, the primary beneficiaries of BD have been universities, but my main point was that the Fed funding doesn’t take away the intellectual property rights as it used to be the case.

          As far as work product, I side with the way it is practiced in business, you get a paycheck and your employer owns your work, but as long as an institution is contractually willing to part with some or all of their IP rights, they are welcome to do so.

        • davideisenstadt
          Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

          Yes…i was responding to the assertion that merely paying one’s salary didn’t entitle an employer to the rights of an employee’s work product…i don think ted is a non profit, or is himself a small enterprise, I believe from his CV that he is employed, and as part of that employment, he seeks grants…the rights to whatever work he does related to those grants goes to his employer, absent a specific agreement otherwise.
          Sorry If Im coming across as a bit testy, i just dont have a lot of patience for people who hide from disclosing data and methods based on the claim of some right to their work product, that all.

        • Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

          “…you get a paycheck and your employer owns your work.

          I believe this is the implied default but I also know that Dupont does not take any chances and claims all rights in a signed document as a term of employment, along with confidentiality. If the NSF and other agencies have latitude under the 1980 law I hope they have in on a checklist of contract terms to specify rights.

          I am not going to pose this to a question to Dave since I confess to be the question bombardier Steve is referring to. I did not mean for Dave to answer them all, (not sure if anyone could).

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 1:11 AM | Permalink

          First of all, I appreciate all the thoughtful contributions and discussion. This is really an interesting debate. Second, to Steve and Charles, I hope this hasn’t strayed too far from the original post, but just let me know if that is the case.

          I was happy to see in the Wikipedia article this articulation of the rationale behind Bayh-Dole: “A Jeffersonian belief that the solution lay with the individual and that the best thing government could do to provide incentives for success was to get out of the way of these individuals.” I think this is fairly in line with my earlier point, about the parallels with free-market mechanisms being fairly successful.

          Mpainter said, “Ted, your position is that public employees who are scientists are in business for themselves with proprietary rights to their work. Hence they are a special class with special rights not enjoyed by non-scientists.

          This position is insupportable in our society.”

          Well, possibly. I wonder about a different perspective. Consider that there have always been “independent researchers” and scientists working to advance human knowledge. For a long time the position of universities was that these are a class of professionals who would be beneficial to the university itself. The university gets credit for any discoveries and publications. And they get someone on the cutting edge of [insert field here] to teach the next generation of researchers. This is completely in line with the original educational mission of universities, as well as the more recent “research” aspect of that mission. So there is a pretty strong incentive to hire these folks and share the fruits of their labors. Not taking ALL the fruit certainly provides a needed incentive, I think, to attract and retain these folks.

          On the government side of things, consider that they are not actually giving away the store. For example, they get to tax any profitable endeavor that results from these research dollars. That’s a pretty large cut, I imagine. They also get all discoveries into the public domain … 15 years later, when the patents run out. And funding research is also in line with the government’s role “To promote the Progress of Science,” as written in the constitution.

          On data sharing, I think it is commendable to give open access to the fruits of this labor, and in line with the proper role of a scientist. And I think withholding such data, or doling it out selectively to friendly colleagues is deplorable and goes against what a scientist should stand for. I am VERY glad that Steve has had some success in criticizing bad actors here, and keeping the pressure on.

          But I’m not sure where the law should draw a line. The goal, I think, is to not impair scientific progress, and to significantly recognize that the originator of ideas, inventions, advances, etc., should have some reward for his/her creative output. (Interestingly, the law is much more supportive of artistic creators, such as writers, artists, etc., retaining some rights to their creations. They are actually barred, as I understand it, from signing everything away … otherwise, the companies – as they historically did universally – could easily take all the credit and remuneration. Such as what happened to the creators of Superman – an absolute deplorable situation, in many people’s view.)

          To davideisenstadt, first of all I’ll apologize that my c.v. hasn’t been updated for too long. I’ll try to fix that one of these days. But yes, I do work for a private (small) company as a research scientist, and everything I do to advance that company belongs to it. That’s what I was hired for. I might look more carefully at any documentation if I had been asked to sign anything in that regard, but as it is I am lucky to work for someone whom I trust and who trusts me. It is his creation and vision I am working to advance; but anything I do in my own time (in other areas, of course) belongs to me. If you are curious, we do secure IP rights for inventions; however, we love to publish and make data freely available, within the constraints of privacy concerns, etc. (We generally gather and disseminate educational data, so there are certain laws that must be followed, to protect the privacy of students.)

        • davideisenstadt
          Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

          Dear Ted:
          First of all, i want to thank you for contributing to this thread, Im sorry I was intemperate in my response to you.
          Im sure you can appreciate how galling it is for many to read of researchers who support themselves through grants awarded by quasi governmental entities who then refuse to share data and code with others on the grounds that others will only seek to find errors in their work (I’m sure youre familiar with that gentleman).
          My point this this:
          When one is an employee of a state funded, or state supported, or state affiliated institution, and one’s salary is paid (that implies employment, not entrepreneurship, no?)
          ones work product, absent a specific agreement otherwise, belongs to one’s employer, in these cases, that employer really is the greater public, who funds the institutions.
          To advance the claim that somehow paying ones’ salary doesn’t entitle and employer, or in many cases, the public, to the work product of that employee flies in the face of most, if not all IP law in this country.
          Really, what is one paying for, if not the product of an employee’s work?
          On another note…I find it difficult to divine any really proprietary value in models whose projections have been shown to be less accurate than what one would expect from a dart board and a visually impaired dart thrower.
          Who in their right mind would pay for projections of the quality that GCMs currently produce?

          But it does seem that merely paying one’s salary does entitle an employer to the work product of her employee. (absent specific agreements otherwise)

        • Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

          Ted Carmichael, I would agree that capitalism works by incentives. But reward is not a straight line relationship to results; the payoff just needs to be sufficient and equitable. If I were a government shark with a public researcher in my tank pitching for a grant I would propose terms that split the fruits optimally. In the area of climate science the data is more valuable to one party and the credit is more important to the other. The most productive deals are balanced.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 7, 2015 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

          davideisenstadt: thanks for the apology. I don’t believe it was necessary, but it certainly is appreciated.

          I’ve had a head-cold for the last few days, but I have been mulling over some things. It is interesting to me that the core debate has been in regards to the rights of employee vs the employer, in terms of IP rights and such. This is a specific example of the long-standing debate between the complementary roles of labor and capital – who should benefit, or how shall the spoils be divided. Ron Graf says, “I would agree that capitalism works by incentives. But reward is not a straight line relationship to results; the payoff just needs to be sufficient and equitable. […] The most productive deals are balanced.” I agree completely with this viewpoint.

          mpainter says, “An educational institution becomes a profit center and when the requirements of profit conflict with those of education, education will get edged aside every time. It is a human trait. So now we see secretive science and the rationale is “intellectual property”. We see the Ted Carmichaels unconscionably arguing that this is right and good. It is an abomination and it needs to be undone.”

          I am having trouble understanding the criticism. Elsewhere (IIRC) mpainter has argued that the spoils rightly belong to the NSF, which would subject that agency to the profit motive that they currently eschew. He also says universities are often guided by profit when they shouldn’t be; but doesn’t like my idea that the universities get very little of the “cut” of profits. As the employer, he believes they should get all. It seems to me this exasperates the problem he has identified. Or perhaps he believes all IP rights should belong to the original source of the funds and go to the public domain? But again, you will then have the problem of uncountable discoveries languishing in the lab because no one is incentivized to promote and develop them.

          Back to the labor/capital divide. I like to think I have a pretty strong understanding of economics. My first degree was in business, and the subject is fascinating and complex. Lately I have come to critically assess the longstanding conventional wisdom that capital is king, and now feel that labor has, in recent decades, gotten less credit in the US than it should. Labor unions, of course, try to correct this, but often in ways that are crude and anti-competitive, and unions have largely fallen out of favor. (Or out of power.) And so the critical question is: why is capital super-dominant? Why assume, as I stated earlier, that the provider of capital get all the spoils? The answer “because they pay you” is unsatisfactory in my opinion, and is largely circular reasoning. The provider of capital risks her money and the productivity of accumulated infrastructure; but the laborer risks her time, creativity, and expertise. Perhaps a happy accident should belong equally to both?

          I’m not trying to upend 300+ (?) years of economic theory, but I definitely think this question requires more attention, and the core assumption, that capital is everything and labor represents zero investment by the laborer, is ripe for criticism.

          Anyway, I definitely think a scientist should be dedicated to open access, and eager for useful criticism. If I publish something and it is demonstrably wrong, I want to know. I wouldn’t be researching field X if I wasn’t fascinated by all the open questions in that field. And I wouldn’t want the credit for a wrong result. That’s just how I am. (And the vast majority of scientists, IMO, share this view.) The truly anti-science folks should be roundly criticized, especially when they treat a scientific debate as if it were a rhetorical debate. That, I think, is the fundamental flaw that undermines good science, and needs to be constantly guarded against.

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

          You don’t have to worry about upending 300+ years of economic theory, Ted.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

          Ted, you say “Elsewhere (IIRC) mpainter has argued that the spoils rightly belong to the NSF,..”
          ###
          No, Ted, those are words that you put in my mouth, which false attribution I ignored on your first instance upthread. Now you tediously repeat your false attribution and I must refute. My words: “public domain”. I never “argued that the spoils rightly belong” anywhere, I never used the term “spoils” which is your term. I copy my entire comment:

          “Furthermore, I have long held the view that publicly funded research, especially that performed by those in the public sphere, is set squarely in the public domain. Proprietary claims by scientists to such work need to be swatted down.”

          In fact, your whole response is one long false attribution to me of your own words and thoughts. Very tiresome, Ted. Also unconscionable. Please stop.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

          Don Monfort: +1

          mpainter: You replied to one of my earliest comments with a quote and response. I said, “Why? If I do all the work, why should the NSF claim all the outcomes? Just because they pay my salary?” You replied, “Yes, that is one reason. This is how it is done in the business world.” When you reply “yes” to a question, it is reasonable to assume you agree with the affirmative of that question.

          So that is where you indicated your opinion, that the NSF should “claim all the outcomes” … for which the phrase “the spoils rightly belong to the NSF” is a reasonable re-statement. I am not putting words in your mouth with I simply paraphrase what you seemed to be saying.

          But, in fact, your position wasn’t clear. One reason for this is, you have a habit of making statements that sound factual but are actually your opinion. Such as: “I have long held the view that publicly funded research […] is set squarely in the public domain.” It would be clear that this is your opinion if you said “should be set” rather than “is set.” Because current law refutes your statement as-is, as Charles pointed out.

          Regardless of your grammatical error I was generous in assuming it was your opinion; and so I also said of your viewpoint: “Or perhaps he believes all IP rights should belong to the original source of the funds and go to the public domain?” It is also not putting words in your mouth if I correctly state that your position is not clear, and then go on to cite two reasonable interpretations of what you have put forth.

          Further, I have never said it is “right and good” that some science is “secretive.” In fact, I have expressed exactly the opposite idea, more than once. But that didn’t stop you from falsely attributing this idea to me. You call that “unconscionable;” I think “hypocritical” might work better in this case.

          So, to get back to the issue at hand, do you think that the universities, as the employers of research faculty, should get all the IP rights to what they produce? And if so, how does this not exasperate your concern that universities have become “profit centers” that push aside the needs of education? (Here I am referring to the cases where the research is conducted without a grant behind it.)

          If instead you believe public university results and IP, along with those produced by public research grants, should belong to the public domain, then how do you solve the incentive problem for getting discoveries to market? Especially if, as you previously claimed, “principles of economics and business [do not apply] to the sphere of science and scientific research.”

        • davideisenstadt
          Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

          Ted:

          thanks again for engaging on this thread.
          Im curious what exactly do you think the value of the intellectual property created by those in the “climate science’ community is?
          The models they produce are useless, they are less accurate than random chance, they need nearly endless amount of computing time to produce predictions…no, projections that perform far worse than a naive one dimensional model creates.
          As a whole they are abject failures…just who would pay for this product?
          The rationale behind declaring rights to these work products is solely to frustrate those who wish to replicate or analyze the methods used to generate the models’ projections.
          The guys who didn’t want to share data and code weren’t trying to make any money…or bring a product to market, or make anyone’s life better…except their own.
          To engage in this dialogue is a diversion.
          Again consider this quote:

          “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. There is IPR to consider.”

          Really? IPR? like anyone would pay these guys for the pile of excreta they’ve produced over the past thirty years?
          You would think that if they had anything of value to add to the discussion, they would have narrowed down their estimate of ECS and TCR just a tiny bit, no?
          Only thirty effing years Ted, and still the same degree of uncertainty….

          Geez Ted…why not address the elephant in the room?
          These guys’ ethics are antithetical to science, and to scientific discourse.

        • Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

          Ted, thanks for your comments. I see you wrote that you agreed the federal grant administrator has flexibility in negotiating the grant and you agree that best contracts split the consideration into those hands where it produces the most valuable. In the case of climate science wouldn’t the NSF be the most valuable place for data? Then the agency could have the choice to use proprietary access as consideration to a competing researcher for work cross-validation or challenge. This, or the immediate public release for independent researches to check or build upon, seems far more valuable than sitting on the shelf of the original grantee. Or, what are we missing?

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

          Ted, I advise you to use quotes. That will help control your tendency toward wrongful attribution, which in my view best characterizes your commenting.

          For example, I quote from your comment above:

          “I am having trouble understanding the criticism. Elsewhere (IIRC) mpainter has argued that the spoils rightly belong to the NSF, which would subject that agency to the profit motive that they currently eschew. He also says universities are often guided by profit when they shouldn’t be; but doesn’t like my idea that the universities get very little of the “cut” of profits. As the employer, he believes they should get all.[…] Or perhaps he believes all IP rights should belong to the original source of the funds and go to the public …”

          Not once did you quote me to support these attributions of thoughts and words to me. And how you justify yourself when I complain of your false attribution. Instead of making amends, you twist meanings and then declare that you do so reasonably.

          This is most tiresome.I protest your false attributions, and I request that you stop them.

        • Ted Carmichael
          Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

          mpainter: yes I agree, this is tiresome. Just so you understand my habit: when I paraphrase I don’t use quotations; when I quote directly, I use (and have used) quotation marks. When I use brackets, that indicates I left something out, for the sake of clarity or conciseness. You are right that I did not cite sources for characterizing what you said in the middle paragraph of comment ‘Oct 7, 2015 at 11:13 PM’. That is because (1) I allowed that there were two possible interpretations and I wasn’t sure which was correct; and (2) I did not believe these were controversial characterizations. IIRC means “If I recall correctly.” (Which – it turns out – I did, in that you answered in the affirmative to a question about NSF getting the “outcomes” of research they fund. I see now that that interpretation was not your intent.)

          However, after your complaint, I listed the exact places where I derived these two possibilities, in comment ‘Oct 8, 2015 at 1:22 PM.’ I now acknowledge that the second one was your intent … that publicly funded research belongs in the public domain. I, and the law, disagree with this viewpoint.

          Ron: I take your points, but I’m not sure the NSF can do that, based on the law Charles cited. Program managers absolutely do have wide latitude in approving grants, and can ask pointed questions in the lead-up to approval. I don’t know if they can do anything to explicitly force PIs to release data and algorithms generated during the grant, but they can certainly lean towards funding PIs who have a habit of transparency. Really, I think it is the purview (and responsibility) of the journals to require whatever is needed for reproducibility. I think the NSF would have to assume the journals have done their duty in regards to this. FYI – every NSF grant must have a “dissemination plan” as part of the proposal. The PIs write this (and its scope) but the program managers approve it of course. Usually this is only how results are disseminated, but it could also be about data and open-access data repositories. A “data retention plan” is also required of all grant proposals.

          davideisenstadt: This is where we can finally get back to Shukla, perhaps.:-) My PhD is on Complex Adaptive Systems, and something called Agent-based modeling (ABM). I have never closely examined GCMs, so my viewpoint is really as an outsider, though perhaps a well-informed one.

          Your quotation is, I believe, from Briffa or Jones … I’m afraid I get those two confused, although I probably shouldn’t. Anyway, that expressed view is absolutely anti-science and it was a tactical mistake to so bluntly admit it, IMO. I think most scientists would not feel that way, even most climate scientists. They would probably resist publishing hard-won data without getting first crack at it, though. I am sympathetic to that view, but I think 25 years (or even 10, or perhaps 5) is much too long.

          I previously taught an introductory class on modeling and simulation. In that course I defined a model as: An instantiation of one or more hypotheses in a specific context. Models can be validated by “back casting” – making and testing predictions about the past. All models are validated by making predictions and then testing those predictions. However, back casting a model often involves an iterative process that leaves much room for over fitting the model to the data. This allows the scientist to, as Feynman would say, fool themselves. And so the truly robust way to test a model is to predict about the future, rather than the past, and then wait for data to come in.

          The great failing of the whole GCM industry is that there is no real “moment of truth.” That would take 10 years or more. And there is always some way to massage any sort of day of reckoning. If the model fails after some time period, then the modelers simply say, “Well, we’ve improved them since then, and these new models are better.” If the model doesn’t fail, then it is championed as a correct model. I don’t know if the NSF can promote or fund such a day, but I would LOVE to see a grant that said: We will take all the most well-regarded models; we will firewall them from any changes for 10 years; we will then instantiate all the inputs (such as real CO2) from that time period; and then we will test and publish the validation steps across X measures of robustness and predictability. If done in advance – both the model choosing and choosing the validation steps – then it would have much more weight in the community when those models fail.

          From my perspective (as an outsider) the situation we have now is that most of the standard models have failed, or are very close to being outside the range of permissible variability. This should induce a wholescale reevaluation of the underlying basis … this idea that Gavin Schmidt and others have described as “We put everything we know about the climate into these models, and the only thing that can explain the warming is CO2.” (I am paraphrasing there.) I believe the models have failed generally in four distinct ways: 1) none have a “hiatus” as long as the current one. I believe Holland (?) published a paper saying 15 or 17 years is required? Well, it’s been 18+. 2) None of the models predicted an increase in Antarctic sea ice. (They do now, post-hoc; but that’s not prediction.) 3) & 4) They don’t get changes in precipitation correct, either spatially or temporally.

          Some models have also predicted more extremes in precipitation (flooding as well as droughts, which wouldn’t affect the averages), or an increase in total (world wide) cyclone/hurricane energy. These predictions have not come true, either.

          If we accept that the models have failed, then there must be a reason. The null hypothesis is that natural variability is the dominant cause of climate change, but it would be nice to have a mechanism, too. I think we can have that if the models instantiate too little influence from the sun. (I.e., the CLOUD experiments, with cosmic rays and such, hypothesize such a mechanism. As well as recent empirical results with a strong connection to solar activity.) As someone has pointed out (Roy Spencer?), just a change in cloud cover of 2% would wipe out all the warming seen over the last ~100 years. And the models, admittedly, don’t do clouds very well.

          Assuming that the deep ocean is absorbing the extra heat from the last 18 years, as many do, has it’s own problems in terms of the models. Since this would clearly be natural variability, then – even if true – it would reduce the need for a high sensitivity to CO2 (and associated positive feedbacks). If the deep ocean can absorb heat, then surely it can release it, too. The Stadium Wave paper is strong evidence of at least a cycle related to this.

          Anyway, back to Shukla. He’s been producing detailed models and studies of those models for decades. I haven’t read any of that literature, but – as Steve pointed out – they have been very productive in terms of publications. And those publications must have some sort of validation process. The models must have some value that is hidden from me, as Shukla has been very successfully funded for years. I don’t know what that value is, but I am not a specialist. Often times climate scientists will say that average global temperatures are just one measure among many, and is not even the most interesting. Well, I think that is disingenuous, because temperature is what everyone pays attention to. But I take the point – they must be doing something right in many people’s eyes … I just don’t know what that is.

          Sorry for the length.

        • davideisenstadt
          Posted Oct 9, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

          Ted:
          thanks for taking the time and thought to respond to me.
          i agree with you totally…I would only add that if one sees the flow of funds spent on energy as the life blood of a modern economy, and one senses that governments want to tap into that flow, what better rationale than impending doom can there be to justify the taxation of the use of energy?
          One only has to read the RFPs to see that the NSF wants to fund research that shows the dangers we face from global warming…errr aaa..climate change.
          We all know that in order to get funding from grant makers, one has to produce work product that fits into their paradigm.
          Now, what is the possible utility of GCMs that cant be run, except at great expense? that provide projections of no utility, that fail at every turn?
          The answer seems obvious…that is: they justify the preexisting desires of the quasi governmental entities that fund that research.
          Now, the fact the the data sets and code these….”scholars” produce have no commercial value whatsoever, and perhaps even less scientific value should be enough to conclude that whatever the reasons for refusing to disclose data and code, IPRs aren’t among them.
          Really, it has been estimated by people brighter than I am that we would need an increase in resolution on the order of 7 orders of magnitude to begin to accurately model climatic phenomena…
          we are nowhere close.
          A one dimensional model developed by calendar the better part of a century ago does a better job of modeling climate than the current generation of GCMs.
          As an aside…i was involved in the development of some macroeconomic models with the precursor to Wharton econometrics…as it turned out, the data sucked, and the more crappy data one aded to the model the worse it got.
          The most frustrating thing for me was being forced to abandon my own preconceptions, because they simply weren’t true. it sucks being wrong, but not admitting it makes things worse, not better.
          Before the fall, comes hubris.
          Be well, Ted.

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Oct 9, 2015 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

          “If instead you believe public university results and IP, along with those produced by public research grants, should belong to the public domain, then how do you solve the incentive problem for getting discoveries to market?”

          We are not talking about a better mousetrap. Climate change is allegedly the gravest threat to future generations. That is the only reason for massive public funding of scores of dubious GCMs and studies on the deleterious effects of climate change on the procreation activities of the cross-eyed arctic gnat and other such BS. If the alarmists are serious, they need to give up the data. All of it. Period.

      • Dave Verardo
        Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

        I was dismayed to learn that I am your adversary. As your quote shows, I was articulating the views, in 2003, of the NSF General Counsel in the NSF Office of the Director not my personal views. To view this otherwise is simply careless reading. You were clearly upset by this ruling by the NSF, but I was not in a position to make you happy since I do not make data policy.

        You make a sly implication in your post that I am connected to Shukla because my wife works at GMU and I recently began teaching an evening course in earth science policy as an adjunct. My wife is a geologist who has worked in the department long before climate dynamics was a part of the department. She has no professional relationship with the climate dynamics group beyond serving in the same department and working on instructional issues that arise at the university. I do not handle proposals from GMU because of obvious conflicts of interest but even more practical, the awards to climate dynamic research are not in my NSF program. I am not the NSF program director who handles the kinds of proposals that interest you and are the subject of this post. This fact is easy to verify even with a cursory search of NSF award records. Some posts here and elsewhere took the accusatory tone you aimed to incite because you knew they would not check the facts for themselves.

        Issues are raised here and at other sites regarding the Science Insider article about a serious conflict of interest issue that arose at the NSF and in which I was involved as a conflict of interest official. I was not able to respond to the article because of privacy issues and an ongoing federal investigation. As a result of a two year long NSF Office of Inspector General investigation, three NSF staff members no longer work at the NSF due to violation of conflicts rules and lying to federal investigators (public report on the NSF OIG website). For my part in upholding the high standards used everyday by most NSF staff in dispersing public funds, I was, and continue to be, harassed and hassled by individuals inside and outside of the Agency for doing my job. For those close to the three individuals, I am wrong because their friends were pinched. For others, I brought to light an uncomfortable situation. So, for those of us who work in the public sector, I am in that sweet spot where nobody is happy.

        I organized a series of workshops that began last year on addressing the important issues surrounding ethically communicating scientific uncertainty. As Judith Curry can attest because she was an invitee and attendee, I was increasingly concerned with the state of affairs in dealing with scientific uncertainty. I am concerned that scientists are forgetting what we call in geology multiple working hypotheses where we consider several possibilities when interpreting data. I believe good scientists still do this but we need more discussion so that those not involved directly with the project can be confident in the researcher’s mental process.

        I stick by my view from 2003 that the evolving understanding of climate will eventually inform us. Why this is a controversial position, I do not know. I don’t have a full picture on climate science despite what you assume, I do not fund only those projects that fit a particular view. I am a geologist who understands that the geologic record is full of surprises waiting to be discovered.

        You and I may disagree on issues or how to implement change but I am not always able to satisfy you or the science community for every idea that is put forward.

        I think the jury is out on how effective the blogosphere is in terms of helping to build a society of informed and engaged persons. I think it is still finding its way. But one way to move forward is to stay away from gossip, water cooler talk, or information that cannot be verified. It derails otherwise important conversations.

        These are my personal views and not those of the NSF.

        Dave Verardo

        Steve: I disagree with your characterization of our exchange in 2003. I have re-examined the correspondence and will revert on this.

        I mentioned that your wife was in the same department as a “small world” observation and, as I read the comments, readers understood the observation in that sense. Contrary to your allegation, I do not see any reader comments which interpret you and/or your wife as having been involved in a conflict of interest or adopting an “accusatory tone” on that issue, though some were critical of NSF’s acquiescence in Mann’s refusal of data. While I do not agree with your accusation that I intended to “incite” accusations of conflict of interest, I entirely understand your desire that there should be no misunderstanding on this point and have added your declaration to the body of the post. As a side point, I think that it is helpful that you spoke up on this point (rather than sulking), so that an issue on which there was no actual dispute could be clarified.

        Your accusation that readers “would not check the facts for themselves” is entirely contrary to the spirit of this particular blog. I encourage readers to consult original documents and my own discussions err on being overly pedantic in showing documents. I did not raise the Stromme incident. Nor would I discourage NSF from erring on the side of strict enforcement of conflict of interest policies, as critics in this incident seem to have done. No need to discuss that incident any further.

        Judy Curry told me that your workshops were constructive. Sometimes lingering disputes can be resolved. As noted above, I disagree with your characterization of the 2003 incident. I will separately re-state this and perhaps this lingering sore can be resolved.

        • pjb
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

          Bravo and thanks. Cooler heads always prevail and as they say , the truth will out.

        • Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

          Dr. Verardo, thank you for commenting and I appreciate that you have a tough position being in the middle of a very politically divisive topic where ethics and values are complicated. I hope you agree that the blogosphere is maturing as a source of relevant public debate and even investigation thanks in a large part to the recent year government mandates of open access to records. When you say NSF awards are easily available please realize that most of the public is not aware of that. I searched and I think I found what you are referring to here. Please let us know if there is other information sources. Best, Ron

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

          Dave Verardo, in my comment immediately above I misspelled your name and so please excuse that.
          You say “Some posts here and elsewhere took the accusatory tone you aimed to incite because you knew they would not check the facts for themselves.”
          ###
          That is quite an accusation. My comment was not directed at the issue of funding approval decisions, but the issue of secretiveness in science. I stand on my above comment in that regard and I do earnestly pray that the House Committee on Technology and Science looks into the sort of secretive science as promulgated by the NSF in the instance cited by Steve McIntyre involving yourself.

        • Lord Frijoles
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

          Mr. Dave Verardo wrote:

          “I was articulating the views, in 2003, of the NSF General Counsel in the NSF Office of the Director not my personal views. To view this otherwise is simply careless reading. You were clearly upset by this ruling by the NSF, but I was not in a position to make you happy since I do not make data policy”.

          Obviously, this misses Mr. Mcintyre´s point by a mile. It IS execrable to have a policy that allows scientists (especially if they are funded by the government) to keep the crucial aspects of their research hidden from public scrutiny. Whether you were only articulating the views of the NSF or giving your personal opinion, it still is deplorable/execrable to hold such views.

          Lord Frijoles

        • Dave Verardo
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

          I appreciate the consideration, Steve.

          I have seen some of your blog’s posting as having a positive effect on scientists in the technical arena. It is too bad that some cannot bring themselves to acknowledge your help. It is wrong. In this regard, we are kindred spirits.

          As a former Capitol Hill staffer, I understand the dynamics between the branches of government and respect the checks and balances. I have spoken at times to the Hill on matters of paleoclimate science over the years when they have been concerned. I have urged the Agency to have more not less interaction as a means of education and transparency.

          As a citizen, I expect Congress to do its job, regularly and consistently, on matters of oversight. So, I view congressional oversight as a normal process in government and nothing to fear especially if one is conducting themselves fairly even if others would make different judgements.

          I believe that I need to deal with the science community at arms length because of my position as the decision maker on publiic funded grants. This has caused some in the science community to view me as aloof or not concerned or secretive. All it really means is that I am not in their pocket and that I will make decisions outside of any notion of friendship and based on the best advice I get from reviewers and panelists.

          Climate science has degraded into a tiring shouting match with ad hom attacks thrown on both sides. I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday; I get what is at stake. But I lament that we are wasting our collective talents instead of getting to the bottom of the issue.

          I think your blog is at its best when you audit both sides of a technical piece. Just my two cents.

          Dave

        • bernie1815
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

          Dave:
          I greatly appreciate your willingness to engage here. I also appreciate that as part of an organization one might be faced with a dilemma: the need to make statements in support of an organization’s position which is not your own.
          With regards to the latter, it seems to me that there is always the option to explicitly state the dilemma that you are in when having to follow an existing policy. If you were or are opposed to the NSF policy, I would be interested in hearing what steps, if any, you have taken to amend the relevant NSF policy on the sharing of data and code from NSF funded work. Any policy based on claims that peer review is sufficient to justify the withholding of data and code, seems totally unjustifiable and contrary to practices in other areas of government such as drug research.

        • Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

          Dave Verardo: “I think your blog is at its best when you audit both sides of a technical piece.”

          I believe all here agree on hearing both sides, which is why we appreciate your comments. I mean that.

          As a US taxpayer I have a few funding questions:

          1) Is there any NSF policies regarding looking for “double-dipping” and how that is defined and how it would affect decisions for awarding a grant or terminating one already active?

          2) What is the NSF policy on using science award money for political “education” or political based research? How would that be defined? For example, on the COLA slide presentation there is one for “culpability” of what nations placed the current (assumed excessive) CO2 in the atmosphere, clearly laying groundwork for international grievance. What would happen if a money specified for weather prediction goes for programs for climate justice, or start a school in India?

          3) Is it legal or within policy now for NSF to fund advancement of environmental justice? What about using funds for lobbying? Does it matter, for example, if IGES letterhead was used in the RICO letter? What if it was personal letterhead of the first signer but all the other twenty were employees of a NSF funded NPO?

          4) Is there currently any guidance given, or review done, of awardees by the NSF to look for conflicts of interest? For example, is a board of directors of three, with one being the executive director and the other two personal friends, be a red flag? Can the NPO leadership be dominated by one family? What is a reasonable compensation formula for the CEO?

          5) Finally, if there is a breach found what are possible consequences? Can the accused use and NSF award to fund a legal defense, countersue, sue detractors for libel? Does NSF have power to control this?

        • HAS
          Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

          Ron Graf re your funding questions.

          I don’t think Dave Verardo is in any position to answer the questions you pose, particularly in the context you pose them.

        • Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

          HAS, I thought Dr. Verardo’s function at the NSF was to evaluate grants for paleoclimatolgy. I thought he would be particularly familiar with the polices or could direct us to them. I fear if my questions are already clear in the written policy that brings up even more questions.

        • Dave Verardo
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

          I view the data policy as a floor not a ceiling. As science has become more collaborative over the years and Agency policy has evolved with each Administrstion, I have found ways to address data sharing.

          I work with researchers on a case-by-case basis in some instances when a general policy seems either too rigid or too lenient. Some of these cases were initiated by interest raised on this and other blogs. Usually these efforts are unknown to anyone except those directly Iinvolved.

          As you all know, once you state a policy for all there immediately become legitimate exceptions that are unanticipated at the time. Reasonable people remain flexible though. The key is not to be arbitrary. I allow a reasonable restriction on data access that allows the researcher to collect the data and think about it and then publish. The timeframe I allow from award to publication is about 2-3 years given the logistics of field and analytical work. Research and publication takes time. The time horizon for access, however, is NOT until the end of the grant or when the researcher feels they are done with the data. Most researchers are very good about access.

          My personal view from my career is that journals used to publish tables of data with each publication. When they felt this was not economical, they pushed the burden of providing data on to the authors, in some cases, or relegated to supplementary data. To my mind, this is when the data issue got legs. Recent changes on the political front are challenging this practice among journals and giving agencies more responsibility and authority.

          On a more pragmatic level, this past year I provided the NOAA data center with funds to specifically help NOAA improve the paleoclimate data archives by making them more accessible and searchable. One concern raised by everyone is that data is out there but difficult to use or in a less than convenient or standard format. Hopefully this effort will help address the issue.

          I deal with a lot of legacy and cultural issues that have to be dealt with but not catered to. Trying to balance the interests of the public who fund the research with those of the researchers who conduct the research requires empathy towards the rights and perspectives of both groups. NSF does not view the projects we fund and the data that is created as our own – we don’t do the research. The Agency was not set up under law to do research but rather to invest in research on behalf of the American people. That situation means we have to balance public and private interests, which means this is, by necessity, an ongoing and evolving discussion.

          Dave

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

          “Most researchers are very good about access.”

          All researchers who are funded by the taxpayers should be good about access. If they aren’t good, they should be compelled to be good.

        • Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

          Dave, this reminds me that we talked at the workshop about doing a Q&A. Are you still game? Lets email and discuss.

        • bernie1815
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

          Dave: Thanks for the detailed response. I will let Steve take the discussion further.

  73. thingodonta
    Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    IGES website:
    “The staff of IGES includes a dedicated group of scientists uniquely qualified to conduct basic research in these areas”

    ‘uniquely qualified’ is another red flag, there are plenty of ‘qualified’ people in the world, anyone who says they are ‘uniquely qualified’ is usually having you on.

  74. pottereaton
    Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    Steve’s post on Shukla was the basis for a post on Powerlineblog:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/10/an-instance-of-warmist-corruption.php

  75. Adrian O
    Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 1:11 AM | Permalink

    By the way of secret EPA science, the House voted against it.

    The President though said that the EPA can function ONLY based on secret science (i.e. by not divulging on what papers its actions are based,) and promised to use veto powers to keep the EPA science secret.

    See http://tinyurl.com/ofes5z6

    Based on secret science, the EPA computes every American’s climate liability now (the SSC times the emissions/head) to be about equal to one’s income tax.

    That secret science is planned (!) to improve (!), according to the EPA, so as to make everyone’s climate guilt about twice one’s income tax.
    Now THAT would be about $1.5 trillion/year, which could fund 1.5 million Shukla families.

    Every 20 people would have a Shukla family living at $1m/year off them.

    • mpainter
      Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

      Dave Verardo, you say

      “Climate science has degraded into a tiring shouting match with ad hom attacks thrown on both sides. I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday; I get what is at stake. But I lament that we are wasting our collective talents instead of getting to the bottom of the issue.”
      ###
      I lament the platitudes of those who should know better. I am sure that you are of aware of the House vote on secret science. Where do you come down?

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

        I’d prefer that readers not bombard Dave Verardo with questions and opinions, as this is unfair to someone who’s not a regular commenter. (I’ve placed a number of such comments into suspense.) There are a couple of points that I would like to raise with him in a day or two and I request that readers leave me a little space to do so.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

          Fine, I know your purposes, so just suspend mine, no problem.

        • kenfritsch
          Posted Oct 9, 2015 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

          SteveM I would appreciate you removing the moderation status of a couple of posts I made on the Ocean2k Blade thread today. There are lots of graphs and a couple tables that I would like feedback on. I think the analyses show a major problem with the proxy response.

  76. Rick
    Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Jagdish Shukla
    IGES total income
    2014 $333k for 28 hrs/wk
    2013 $387k for 33 hrs/wk
    2012 $376k for 33 hrs/wk
    GMU income
    2014 $250k for ?? hrs/wk
    2013 $215k for ?? hrs/wk
    2013 $xxxk for ?? hrs/wk

  77. Beltway Patrol
    Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    Some background of the NSF program that funded IGES:

    Eric DeWeaver, the program manager who handles $4.2 million grant to IGES, was a graduate of U. of Maryland – same department with which Shukla had long-term affiliation. Shukla was however not DeWeaver’s advisor.

    Anjuli Bamzai, the other NSF program director in the same program as DeWeaver, got PhD from George Mason under Shukla. NSF has a clear policy on conflict of interest so Bamzai could not have handled Shukla’s grant.

    NSF web page here:
    http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=11699

    How anyone could get away with producing one publication out of a $4.2 million grant (according to report at WUWT) is beyond me. Perhaps program managers at NSF were just too in owe of their old professor to make a clear judgement?

    Steve: IGES authors produced dozens of articles over the years. I’m not sure what the WUWT claim is based on, but producing articles doesn’t seem to me to be a legitimate complaint.

    • AntonyIndia
      Posted Oct 4, 2015 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

      The National Science Foundation’s street address is 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. NSF is located in the Ballston area of North Arlington, Virginia, between Wilson Boulevard and Fairfax Drive.

      Also physical close proximity pays off, again!

  78. Adrian O
    Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    THE TIMELINE

    2007-2008 Climatologists from the CRU realize that there is something terribly wrong with their climate models, as global temps do not go up as predicted
    [CRU email #2007] Wils:
 What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation?
 They’ll kill us probably.

    [CRU email #0850] Barnett:
 [IPCC AR5 models] clearly, some tuning or very good luck involved.  I doubt the modeling world will be able to get away with this much longer

    Shukla too sees that the models are entirely inadequate

    [CRU email #5131] Shukla/IGES: [“Future of the IPCC”, 2008]
    It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.

    The honest thing to do for any science and scientists would be to come forward and say publicly that the models are still very primitive and need at least another decade or two to become predictive.

    Such a situation is common. In my field, physicists try to model two black holes spinning around each other but they cannot yet do it, after decades of trying. Their talks always start by mentioning this inability.

    But this is not science and these are not scientists. It’s climate science and they are climate scientists.

    Shukla realizes that bad models need even more propaganda to cover up their failures, so his institute dedicated to such propaganda is more needed than ever. He is not disappointed. The NSF pumps $65m into the Institute. He hires his wife and daughter.

    2015 Making, together with his family, $1m/year, by knowingly pushing inadequate climate models as good, Shukla asks Congress to prosecute as organized crime those who dare to mention what he knows is true, namely that the climate models are inadequate.

    Instead, the Senate informs him that his businesses are now under forensic investigation.

  79. Posted Oct 5, 2015 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    Michael Tobis:

    I have carefully taken no position on whether RICO applies to fossil fuel corporations’ willfull misrepresentations, if any. To be frank I do believe that there have been such misrepresentations …

    Our host:

    Can you provide an example of such a misrepresentation that stands out for you?

    May I second the question.

    • joe
      Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

      I have carefully taken no position on whether RICO applies to fossil fuel corporations’ willfull misrepresentations, if any. To be frank I do believe that there have been such misrepresentations …

      As if Mann has made no representations – as evidenced by his most recent studies showing that the cooling cycle of the amo/pdo has given us a false impression of the pause, while not acknowleging that the warming side of the amo/pdo might have enhanced the warming trend during the 20’/30’s and during the 80’s/90’s

  80. mpainter
    Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

    Charles the moderator says:

    “Before that, if Federal funding touched your research, that research was in the public domain, but Bayh-Dole changed everything and has likely contributed to some of the serious problems with have with academic science today.”
    ####

    Undoubtedly so. An educational institution becomes a profit center and when the requirements of profit conflict with those of education, education will get edged aside every time. It is a human trait. So now we see secretive science and the rationale is “intellectual property”. We see the Ted Carmichaels unconscionably arguing that this is right and good. It is an abomination and it needs to be undone.

  81. Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 3:23 AM | Permalink

    There is an article in Science on the story. It contains a quote from Shukla:

    “We can not believe the viciousness of attacks because we signed a letter as our civic duty with the ultimate goal of repairing our planet”.

    There is also an amusing, ironic quote from a Dem member of the committee who is puzzled that the letter “contains no specific allegations” and expresses concern about stifling free speech. He’s talking about the Lamar Smith letter:)

    • mpainter
      Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

      Note that the Science article makes no mention of the millions skimmed by Shukla. The author even twists the tweets of Roger Pielke, Jr, into something that does not mention this. Too good to be true.

      • Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

        As Samuel Johnson would surely say: “Repairing the planet is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Patriotism is a distant second these days.

    • Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

      Note: Eddie Bernice Johnson is a “she”.

    • mpainter
      Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

      Now we shall see this self-righteous fellow explain before the cameras to the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology if he considered it as his “civic duty” to skim uncounted $ Millions from NSF grants. I will not miss this.

      Shukla’s statement is in fact a rallying call to the faithful to step up and defend his behavior. It should be interesting to see those who do, and those who do not.

    • Michael Jankowski
      Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

      Yep, it was Shukla’s civic duty to sign the letter…then place it on the internet for all to see…then remove it as soon as he was caught with his grants down.

    • David L. Hagen
      Posted Oct 7, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

      Noble Cause Corruption!

  82. David L. Hagen
    Posted Oct 6, 2015 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    ScienceAccess reports: Climate scientist requesting federal investigation feels heat from House Republicans (without finding/reporting the evidence at ClimateAudit).

  83. David L. Hagen
    Posted Oct 7, 2015 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    NASA & NSA fraud prosecution: Alpharetta Business Owner Convicted of Defrauding NASA and National Science Foundation of Almost $800,000

    fraudulent techniques allowed Near and Genziko, Inc., to conceal the fact that they were making profits ranging from 79 to 197 percent on the three proposals that were actually granted by the government. These profits were far in excess of the seven percent maximum that was allowed for these contracts by the NSF and NASA.

  84. Posted Oct 7, 2015 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    The hormone Leptin isn’t new drug heading to the marketplace or result-oriented supplement that promises you unlimited weight-loss
    while using flick of the fingers. Because there’s no scientific proof that it’s going to help disappear your fat, you’ll have to function as the judge of
    whether the thing is that any actual advantages from applying this natural and organic remedy.
    Obesity is the results of busy life style and bad food habits.

  85. Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    “I signed this letter as a private citizen on personal time, urging action on climate change, and I have been shocked by the reaction,” Shukla told InsideClimate News. “Any allegations of inappropriate behavior are untrue.”

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/07102015/climate-scientist-shukla-backlash-RICO-investigation-fossil-fuel-companies-lamar-smith-congress

    • Sven
      Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

      The evil republicans going after the valiant green heroes again. Did not see the name Grijalva (or Soon or Curry or Pielke…) in the article though. Or the obscene amounts of grant money pocketed by the righteous family that started the whole thing. How surprising…

    • Sven
      Posted Oct 8, 2015 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

      And time passes and nothing happens. NOTHING!

  86. Posted Oct 9, 2015 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Linked to this thread by the old theme of legal activism wishing to silence climate dissent, I recommend UK barrister Robin Guenier’s meticulous notes on law professor Philippe Sands’ proposals last month, at a conference at the UK Supreme Court, that the International Court of Justice should pronounce once and for all on climate science. Robin was alerted to the event and speech by Geoff Chambers after an article in The Guardian. Donna Laframboise also picked up the trail at that point I think. Just as well.

  87. Posted Oct 9, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on I Didn't Ask To Be a Blog.

  88. DGH
    Posted Oct 10, 2015 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    A careful review of the IRS 990s shows the total amount transferred from IGES to Gandhi College was significantly higher than the $100,000 that was reported.

    2014 $100,000
    2007 $136,502
    2005 $37,612 (Directly to Gandhi College)

    In Schedule I Part II of the 2014 IRS 990 IGES discloses the grant to IGEP of $100,000 explaining that it was given “to help in education and training of poor students in rural India.” Nevertheless, to the question regarding grants to foreign entities, Lines 15 in Part IV of the 990, IGES answered “No.” The IRS provides the following guidance for question:

    “Line 15. Answer “Yes,” if the organization reported on Part IX, column (A), line 3, more than $5,000 of grants and other assistance to any foreign organization or entity, (including a foreign government) or to a domestic organization or domestic individual for the purpose of providing grants or other assistance to a designated foreign organization or organizations.”

    Given that there doesn’t seem to be a penalty for supporting foreign entities and given that IGES’s business is in the hands of an highly qualified (and well paid) manager, it’s a surprise they would answer this question incorrectly. Perhaps my interpretation is incorrect.

    • joe
      Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

      DGH – “Given that there doesn’t seem to be a penalty for supporting foreign entities and given that IGES’s business is in the hands of an highly qualified (and well paid) manager, it’s a surprise they would answer this question incorrectly. Perhaps my interpretation is incorrect.”

      Your interpretation is correct. However, I am going to give a likely explanation for the incorrect answer the question #15. The tax software program is CCH ProFx which is one of the top three software tax software programs and used by most of all of the mid market CPA firms (and the same software that I use).
      The default answer in the software for that line/box is no. So most likely the incorrect answer is simply due to an oversight in the preparation / review of the return. I dont see that mistake as much of an issue.

      • mpainter
        Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

        Does it not become an issue in the present circumstances? Clearly, Shukla’s donation of NSF funds to Ghandi College is an indefensible violation of NSF rules.

        • Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

          I don’t understand the complaint here. NSF paid money to IGES for scientific investigation, which seems to have been performed per the grant. At that point, the money is no longer NSF’s; it belongs to IGES. IGES paid its scientists and managers from those funds, and had some left over. This could have been distributed to its personnel as a bonus, but instead IGES made a donation. I don’t see why NSF would care.

          You say this is “an indefensible violation of NSF rules.” Please cite such a rule.

        • joe
          Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

          Mpainter – there are two separate issues 1) violation of NSF rules which may or may not be the case. The correct or incorrect reporting on the 990 has no effect on that issue. 2) Whether the incorrect answer on 15 was an attempt to hide the foreign grant or simply an oversight in the preparation of the return. Since the foreign grant was disclosed elsewhere in the return/990, I would attribute the error to simply an oversight.

          I will add that the IRS added numerous questions to the 990 beginning with the 2012 returns for the purpose of finding non profits with potential tax issues. The use of the yes / no questions has made it easier for the IRS computers to spot audit issues vs having humans manually read the disclosures to spot audit issues.

          Again, I am not justifying the error, just pointing out the likely explanation. I will also add that the CPA that prepared the return appears to be a fairly large firm with likely expertise with operating foundations and non profits and having multiple levels of review, so I was a little surprised by the error.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

          HaroldW you say ” please cite such a rule.”
          ##

          Don’t need to. Shukla’s application for funds would specify the intended use of the grant. NSF grants the funds on the stricture that they be used for the purpose specified in the application. Please show where the NSF approved the use of grants for establishing Ghandi College.

          Or do you reason that Shukla may dispose of the NSF grant howsoever he may choose? Then please show NSF rule that permits funds granted by NSF to be used entirely at the discretion of grantee and applied to purposes having nothing to do with those given in the original application for a grant.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

          Joe, you say “two separate issues”.
          ###
          You may formulate subsidiary issues (such as reporting) as you see fit. See my comment above.

          It has been my experience that those who do taxwork (CPA firms, tax attorneys, etc.) will crowd the line on behalf of clients. A clever CPA or attorney knows the weaknesses in the system; that’s his job:

          “The use of the yes / no questions has made it easier for the IRS computers to spot audit issues vs having humans manually read the disclosures to spot audit issues”

          And if caught, then “OOPS! Heh,heh, pesky software.”

          A CPA once told me “The profession breeds sneakiness.”
          We shall see if the defense “My CPA’s software did it” will avail Jagadish Shukla.

        • joe
          Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

          Mpaint look at my full comment “Mpainter – there are two separate issues 1) violation of NSF rules which may or may not be the case. The correct or incorrect reporting on the 990 has no effect on that issue [this is an issue with the NSF – it is not a tax issue- Added comment]. 2) Whether the incorrect answer on 15 was an attempt to hide the foreign grant or simply an oversight in the preparation of the return. Since the foreign grant was disclosed elsewhere in the return/990, I would attribute the error to simply an oversight.”

          As i previously stated, Since the foreign grant was disclosed elsewhere in the return, it is a non issue. Somethings are important, this one is not.

          Also as stated earlier, the primary substantive issue is the excess compensation. Under Section 4958 there is a tax on excess benefits. As Steve pointed out, there is ample evidence of compensation in excess of the value of services rendered.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

          Joe, no need to repeat yourself.
          As to your “non-issue” of improper reporting, it does not make it any better for Jagadish Shukla. In the context of the larger issue, it may not seem as a “non-issue”. The lessor issue is certainly connected to the larger issue. We shall see how Jagadish Shukla excuses himself at the hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, that is, if urgent business at Ghandi College does not require his presence there, instead of at the hearing.

        • Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

          mpainter –
          Many commenters here have mentioned that approximately 1/3 of a grant is allotted to administrative expenses. For a typical (university) grant, I imagine that the administrative portion is commingled with other funds such that one cannot itemize how it is disbursed, nor would NSF concern itself with such matters.

          Assuming that the usual 50% overhead figure applies to the IGES grant(s), and at least 2/3 was spent on salaries of researchers, what NSF rule is broken by the donation?

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

          “nor would NSF concern itself with such matters.”
          ###
          We shall see whether the NSF concerns itself with this.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

          From the NSF website link:

          Each federal agency has an Office of Inspector General (OIG) that provides independent oversight of the agency’s programs and operations. The office is responsible for promoting efficiency and effectiveness in agency programs and for preventing and detecting fraud, waste, and abuse. By statute, the NSF OIG is independent from the agency, with the IG reporting directly to the National Science Board and the Congress. We consult NSF in developing our plans and obtain agency feedback on reports before they are issued. Semiannually, the OIG submits a summary report of its activities to the Congress, National Science Board, and NSF.

          To promote efficiency and effectiveness, we assess internal controls, financial management, information technology, and other systems that affect the operation of NSF programs. By identifying individuals who attempt to abuse the public trust or defraud government programs, the OIG also enforces integrity in agency operations. Our office is staffed with auditors, investigators, attorneys, scientists, and other specialists. Close working relationships with NSF and its awardees help us focus our efforts on priority areas and facilitate our proactive educational efforts.

          I have no doubt that the NSF OIG is looking into the Shukla affair. They will determine if “fraud, waste or abuse” has been committed by Shukla.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

          From the NSF website link:

          Each federal agency has an Office of Inspector General (OIG) that provides independent oversight of the agency’s programs and operations. The office is responsible for promoting efficiency and effectiveness in agency programs and for preventing and detecting fra*d, waste, and abuse. By statute, the NSF OIG is independent from the agency, with the IG reporting directly to the National Science Board and the Congress. We consult NSF in developing our plans and obtain agency feedback on reports before they are issued. Semiannually, the OIG submits a summary report of its activities to the Congress, National Science Board, and NSF.

          To promote efficiency and effectiveness, we assess internal controls, financial management, information technology, and other systems that affect the operation of NSF programs. By identifying individuals who attempt to abuse the public trust or defra*d government programs, the OIG also enforces integrity in agency operations. Our office is staffed with auditors, investigators, attorneys, scientists, and other specialists. Close working relationships with NSF and its awardees help us focus our efforts on priority areas and facilitate our proactive educational efforts.

          I have no doubt that the NSF OIG is looking into the Shukla affair. They will determine if “fra*d, waste or abuse” has been committed by Shukla.

        • Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

          mpainter,

          The 990s indicate that IGES has sources of income in addition to their NOAA/NSF/NASA grants. The amount of income is significant and may be enough to account for the donations to Gandhi College.

          If the funds came from unrestricted sources that were related to the exempt purpose of IGES then they could probably be granted to Gandhi College. IGES would have to properly account for expenses related to that income – they couldn’t load their expenses on the other income sources. The balance could be donated.

          The 990s probably don’t provide the detail required to address this question. One would need access to the audited financial statements to fully understand their treatment of these funds.

      • DGH
        Posted Oct 11, 2015 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

        Joe,

        Yes, the mistake is a bit of a surprise and by itself means very little. But IGES made a habit of this mistake. Together with the questions of compensation this pattern doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

        In 2003 IGES acknowledged its support of Gandhi College in the 990. The “exempt service achievments” were amended to include “…education in the developing world.” An explanation is provided in Statement 5 which stretches the scope of the statement of purpose excerpted by IGES from the original articles of incorporation.

        In the 2005 990, Part II IGES reported that no Grants were made that year and that there were no “foreign grants.” The statement of purpose and accomplishments reverted to the original language without reference to education. However, on the same 990 an expense line item appears in Statement 1 Other Expenses which details a direct transfer to Gandhi College.

        In 2006 IGEP was founded and from thereon it appears the donations passed through that organization.

        In 2007 IGES submitted and then amended their 990. The amendment was related to the treatment of the grant to IGEP. In the first filing the grant was treated as an “Unallowed Institute Cost” on Statement 2. In the second filing the grant was moved to line 22b of Part II. You may not be surprised to learn that they failed to check the box on 22b that reads, “if this amount includes foreign grants, check here.”

        IGES has neglected to acknowledge that grants were made to a foreign entity on at least 3 occasions. A second non-profit was established as a conduit for at least two of these gifts. The funds were transferred to a College that is “managed” by Dr. Shukla’s brother. Dr. Shukla, his wife, and their daughter receive salaries from IGES.

  89. Posted Oct 16, 2015 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    Lamar Smith has written to NOAA, NASA and NSF requesting all documents relating to funding for IGES since 2009, by Oct 23rd.

  90. Adrian O
    Posted Oct 16, 2015 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    I would settle for having Shukla’s case talked about to kids, starting in playschool.

    Can you imagine a small girl on a school tour:

    “Mr. Shukla, we heard in school that you get like a million dollars, which buys you truckfuls of toys!
    And that, in exchange, you are VERY scary!”

    “LEAVE ME ALONE!”

    “You ARE very scary indeed, Mr. Shukla. Thank you!
    Bye, bye, now!”

  91. Posted Oct 17, 2015 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Stuart Varney brought up the RICO 20 on Thursday’s O’Reilly Factor. Comments on O’Reilly’s site page for RICO 20 can be made by premium members.

  92. Posted Oct 18, 2015 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Mark Steyn wrote a nice article on this: http://www.steynonline.com/7239/the-mason-dippin-line

  93. Greg Goodman
    Posted Oct 20, 2015 at 5:48 AM | Permalink

    Total OT here but I was looking at Steve’s Loehle #2 article where the raw data was allegedly archived, however the link no longer works.

    For some odd reason it bounces to another Loehle article.

    re
    https://climateaudit.org/2007/11/20/loehle-proxies-2/

    is WP doing an automatic redirection to seach😕

    Any chance of a corrected link?

    Thx.

  94. joe
    Posted Oct 25, 2015 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    is any familiar with the details of Murry Salby’s dispute with the NSF in the use of grant money? How huge is the chasm in standards between the treatment of Salby vs Shuklas?

  95. Posted Oct 31, 2015 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Apparently the RICO 20 was the tip of the spear. James Hansen and Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, have teamed up with the Democratic presidential candidates and green/rainbow coaltion, ranging from the Sierra Club to Women in Hip Hop, calling for action against Exxon. There is a petition to Loretta Lynch here. It was reported in the NYT yesterday here.

    • Posted Oct 31, 2015 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

      Link to the 350.org article and petition:http://350.org/the-department-of-justice-must-investigate-exxonmobil/

      • joe
        Posted Oct 31, 2015 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

        Ron – thanks for the update.
        From my reading of the memo’s was that the Exxon geologists encountered a formation where co2 was in the formation along with the methane/natural gas, and Exxon was grabbling with the process as to whether the field warranted further development due to the cost of cost of disposing of the excess co2 via flaring vs injection with the injection being part of flooding the field for the purpose of improving the production. The Exxon smoking gun was in reference to one of the geologists simply acknowledging the emerging and very elementary stages of climate knowledge that co2 may contribute to warming.

        Does any one have any source/site of better information on the contents of those exxon memo’s – which would not include the websites of the climateballers.

        thanks

      • mpainter
        Posted Oct 31, 2015 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

        The petition is watered down: it calls for a “federal probe” of XOM’s “potential misconduct”, says nothing of RICO or DOJ, as in the RICO 20 letter. Apparently these folks had a little chit chat with their attorneys before they did this. Will Obummer pay any attention? As in fat chance?

    • mpainter
      Posted Oct 31, 2015 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for the update, Ron. This is interesting beyond words and oh, so delightful. The public spotlight has been focused on Exxon-Mobil,and RICO20 and Shunkla will be caught in the glare.

  96. RayG
    Posted Nov 5, 2015 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Sadly, Shukla’s tree is yielding poisonous fruit:

    The headline from a NYTimes article:

    “Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General”

    nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/exxon-mobil-under-investigation-in-new-york-over-climate-statements.html?_r=0

    The article also takes pot shots at Willie Soon.

    • Joe
      Posted Nov 5, 2015 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

      RayG – “Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General”

      The investigation may have more legs than what a suppression of speech investigation it really is. Under SEC rules, a public company has to disclose all the adverse potential contengencies that may affect future earnings. AWG (if true or if believed to be true) will have potential negative impact on earnings and the failure to disclose is a no-no.

      So whether AWG is valid science or pseudo science is not relevant, the failure to disclose the potential impact is the problem.
      (My apologies if statement of the relevant SEC rule is somewhat muddled – though the general gist is reasonably close)

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Nov 7, 2015 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

        We could equally call for an investigation of insurance companies for exaggerating the risk of climate change to charge higher rates, as well as every company with infrastructure that could be damaged for the same charge as Exxon (such as hotels on the beach). The greatest risk is actually from government action. For example, some localities have banned beach-side building which would hurt resort towns. Governments keep messing with rates and mandates and feed-in tariffs which could affect utilities. All of the above could affect future profitability.

        • Joe
          Posted Nov 7, 2015 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

          Craig – I concur with your insurance company analogy.

          The following is the only disclosure in their 2014 10K filing :

          “Climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions. Due to concern over the risk of climate change, a number of countries have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, regulatory frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These include adoption of cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, restrictive permitting, increased efficiency standards, and incentives or mandates for renewable energy. These requirements could make our products more expensive, lengthen project implementation times, and reduce demand for hydrocarbons, as well as shift hydrocarbon demand toward relatively lower-carbon sources such as natural gas. Current and pending greenhouse gas regulations may also increase our compliance costs, such as for monitoring or sequestering emissions.”

          This disclosure is consistent/similar to most other oil companies disclosure related to the risks of climate change.

          The “sin” / violation of the adequate disclosure rule for risks under SEC disclosure rules/the martin act is that Exxon “knew”/”Knows” that agw is valid and therefore the disclosure should have been that AGW is real. A similar analogy is that the pharma companies did not disclose that vaccines cause autism (even though the scientific connection is very weak, and subsequently demonstrated to be false).

          So the sin is for not for the failure to disclose, but the failure to disclose as if the entire theory is 100% valid with no scientific dissent. This may sound like splitting hairs, but I hope the distinction is clear. ( A caveat with my comments – My background is as a CPA specializing in federal and state taxation with limited exposure to financial auditing in the publicly traded company arena).

          Lastly, my comment is intended to be a commentary on where Exxon has the risks/ potential exposure on litigation and not the merits of the litigation nor on the merits of AGW

  97. Ivan
    Posted Nov 6, 2015 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    Sightly OT but not quite:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/05/exxonmobil-investigation-climate-change-peabody?CMP=fb_gu

    Hope Steve will defend Exxon with the same zeal he defended Mann against Cuchinelli investigation.

  98. Posted Nov 22, 2015 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Practical article ! I was enlightened by the points – Does someone know if my assistant can get access to a template SSA-3373-BK form to fill out ?

  99. mpainter
    Posted Mar 2, 2016 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Interesting article in the Daily Signal today (trackback 45). Lamar Smith of the House Committee on S S & T has sent a letter to the Inspector General of the NSF. Smith claims that Shukla and wife have pocketed $5.6 millions of NSF funds since 2003, this apparently in violation of laws of the State of Virginia, “double dipping”, Smith puts it. Now, perhaps these issues raised above will be settled. RICO 20 boomeranged on poor Jagadish.
    In the politest manner possible, Smith offered the assistance of the Committee to the NSF Inspector General.

  100. AGW_Skeptic
    Posted Mar 26, 2016 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    It appears that http://www.iges.org (Institute of Global Environment and Society) has vanished.

47 Trackbacks

  1. By My Fox News op-ed on RICO | Climate Etc. on Sep 28, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    […]  Steve McIntyre has a thorough expose Shukla’s Gold.  Must […]

  2. […] Steve McIntyre har grävt vidare i Shucklas korrupta hantering av forskningsmedel. (h/t #46 i denna […]

  3. […] at his ClimateAudit blog, Steve McIntyre has been probing financial matters concerning Shukla’s institute. Having received millions in federal climate grants the […]

  4. […] big story at Climate Audit this week (see Shukla’s Gold) is about the twenty authors of the letter demanding that climate skeptics be put on trial, and in […]

  5. […] claims backed by blogger Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit who found that “the numbers are even worse than Pielke […]

  6. By RICO Ructions Round-up | The IPCC Report on Sep 30, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    […] change industry, as do members of his family. This was picked up by Bishop Hill on Sept 21 and then explored by Steve McIntyre on Sept 28th with his usual forensic detail. Shukla’s so-called “non-profit” […]

  7. […] quite a gravy train going on there it seems, and as Steve McIntyre pointed out in Shukla’s Gold, it seems there’s quite a bit of double dipping going on, despite GMU policy to the […]

  8. […] to Roger Pielke Jr. and Steve McIntyre I now know more about Mr. Shukla. He was a professor at the University of Maryland before moving on […]

  9. […] — receiving compensation from a research organization on top of academic compensation — is prohibited by the federal agencies from which IGES receives money, as well as by George Mason University, as […]

  10. […] under the US RICO Act. The bunch then hastily fled the field, taking the letter down, when it was shown Shukla’s own various organizations were less than squeaky clean with federal […]

  11. […] Dr. Shukla has spent each of the past 2 years raking in $800,000 for part time work! And the best part is, none of his claims about climate change have to be true; […]

  12. […] At issue is at least 63.5 million dollars from the National Science Foundation, and where it went, whether it was used for the purpose intended, and who benefited from that money. The problem at hand seems to be that there may have been more than a little “double dipping” going on with that grant money as Steve McIntyre pointed out in Shukla’s Gold: […]

  13. […] for part-time work. This is on top of his $314,000 salary from George Mason University, according to Climate Audit’s Steve McIntyre. IGES joined GMU’s College of Science in […]

  14. […] as a professor at George Mason, a “double-dipping” scenario that is, to say the least, frowned upon in academia. His partner, another professor at George Mason, appear to also “double dip,” taking […]

  15. […] Shukla’s Gold (Climate Audit) […]

  16. […] Shukla’s Gold […]

  17. […] Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold. […]

  18. […] Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold. […]

  19. By Anonymous on Oct 3, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    […] […]

  20. […] Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold. […]

  21. […] Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold. […]

  22. By Get your climate popcorn out « Samizdata on Oct 3, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    […] You can follow along at Watts Up With That and Climate Audit. […]

  23. […] https://climateaudit.org/2015/09/28/shuklas-gold/ […]

  24. […] for a professor. His salary is currently around $314,000 a year. But that isn’t the half of it. Steve McIntyre writes that Shukla set up a “non-profit” entity, the Institute for Global Environment and […]

  25. […] for a professor. His salary is currently around $314,000 a year. But that isn’t the half of it. Steve McIntyre writes that Shukla set up a “non-profit” entity, the Institute for Global Environment and […]

  26. […] Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold. […]

  27. […] as a professor at George Mason, a “double-dipping” scenario that is, to say the least, frowned upon in academia. His partner, another professor at George Mason, appear to also “double dip,” […]

  28. […] prima di finire incriminati per associazione a delinquere, avrebbero venduta cara la pelle e tirato fuori gli altarini. Che ora qualcuno si sta affrettando a far sparire. Al link dove è stata in origine pubblicata la […]

  29. […] Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold. […]

  30. […] Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold. […]

  31. […] Steve McIntyre’s post Shukla’s Gold, Dave Verardo made several comments.  If you don’t know who Dave Verardo is, he is Program […]

  32. […] Steve McIntyre’s post Shukla’s Gold, Dave Verardo made several comments.  If you don’t know who Dave Verardo is, he is Program […]

  33. […] Climate activists have highlighted the history of research on tobacco smoking and lung cancer not to illustrate the weakness of climate science compared with the epidemiology of lung cancer, but to intimidate those who disagree with them and close down debate. Last month, 20 climate scientists wrote to President Obama requesting that the government use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to bypass Congress and, they hope, muzzle dissenting views. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the letter’s organizer, Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University, and his family have been doing very well indeed out of federal research dollars, reaping more than $1 million in 2014 alone. […]

  34. […] Climate activists have highlighted the history of research on tobacco smoking and lung cancer not to illustrate the weakness of climate science compared with the epidemiology of lung cancer, but to intimidate those who disagree with them and close down debate. Last month, 20 climate scientists wrote to President Obama requesting that the government use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to bypass Congress and, they hope, muzzle dissenting views. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the letter’s organizer, Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University, and his family have been doing very well indeed out of federal research dollars, reaping more than $1 million in 2014 alone. […]

  35. […] And speaking of curious absences … Absent from the gallery of smiling pics of the IPCC’s newly elected honchos is any photo of Working Group III’s Co-Chair, “P.R. Shukla (India)”. Pure speculation on my part, I agree; however, I can’t help wondering … If one were to shake this particular Shukla’s family-tree, might one find a branch on which rests a somewhat more infamous Shukla?! […]

  36. […] agency-administered, taxpayer-funded largesse. Shukla, his wife, and daughter reportedly received $900,000 in 2014 alone from GMU and federal grants to the Institute for Global Environment and Society (IGES), an […]

  37. […] No problem with that per se, but Fairfax, Virginia-based George Mason is a public university and paid Shukla $314,000 last year. There is some question about whether his salary at IGES comports with state and federal laws. […]

  38. […] agency-administered, taxpayer-funded largesse. Shukla, his wife, and daughter reportedly received $900,000 in 2014 alone from GMU and federal grants to the Institute for Global Environment and Society (IGES), an […]

  39. […] Steve McIntyre looked into the matter as well and found that Shukla’s annual income was in fact even higher – close to a million dollars. Read his article “Shukla’s Gold” at Climate Audit: […]

  40. […] is some question about whether Shukla’s salary at IGES comports with state and federal laws. In addition, IGES has reportedly received $63 million in taxpayer-funded grants since […]

  41. […] turns out Shukla reaped tens of millions in climate-related grants from U.S. taxpayers in addition to his […]

  42. […] https://climateaudit.org/2015/09/28/shuklas-gold/ […]

  43. By Current climate scandals | Scottish Sceptic on Nov 25, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    […] Shukla’s Gold – lawsuit filed – original Climate Audit  […]

  44. […] Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold. […]

  45. […] for challenging the data and methodology used in United Nations reports on climate change, offers a detailed analysis of Shukla’s compensation and how it squares with university and government policies in his […]

  46. […] for challenging the data and methodology used in United Nations reports on climate change, offers a detailed analysis of Shukla’s compensation and how it squares with university and government policies in his […]

  47. […] for challenging the data and methodology used in United Nations reports on climate change, offers a detailed analysis of Shukla’s compensation and how it squares with university and government policies in his […]

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