Templeton funds climate-change denialist groups

UPDATE: I forgot that I posted 2.5 years ago on the connection between Templeton and some organizations that are either explicitly climate-denialist or anti-government-regulation in nature, like the Mercatus Center and the Heartland Institute, as well as those with looser connections like the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. See my earlier post for details.

Since Templeton pours huge amounts of money into free-enterprise initiatives (that is an explicit part of its mission), I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s opposed to government regulations that would ameliorate global warming.

Again, I emphasize that we don’t have the data showing exactly how much Templeton money goes to climate-denialism of anti-climate regulation. Indeed, in some cases (if they just donate for “general support”), it would be impossible to figure out. What I am saying is that the connections are deeply suspicious, that Templeton has a long history of supporting conservative, anti-regulatory organizations, some of which are mainly involved in climate denialism or anti-climate-regulation activities, and, finally, that any scientist who wants Templeton money should know about this issue and try to find out if the Foundation really is involved in fighting science or preventing improvement of climate. I suspect, though, that most scientists who want some of that Templeton dosh will find reasons to look the other way.

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There are many scientists who take money from the John Templeton Foundation, whose ultimate aim is to show that science and religion are harmonious. If you’ve been at this site a while, you’ll have read my own take on Templeton, which is negative, and my opinion that scientists should not take money from this organization.

Nevertheless, many do, including Brian Greene (Templeton partly funds his and Tracy Day’s World Science Festival, which I hasten to add is a great event), Martin Nowak at Harvard (head of a $10.5 million Templeton project on social evolution), and social scientists like Elaine Ecklund and (in the past) Tanya Luhrmann.  When scientists do justify taking money from Templeton, they often say that the Foundation’s religious activities are irrelevant to their own, aren’t inimical to their science, and, after all, somebody has to get the money.

Well, that excuse won’t hold water any more, for a new paper in the journal Climate Change (reference and link below) shows that Templeton gives substantial sums of money to climate-change denialist organizations. And by “substantial”, I mean more than 20 milliion dollars over the eight years from 2003-2010.

This, in fact, puts scientists directly in conflict with an anti-science strain of the Templeton Foundation, since the consensus view of scientists is that human activities are substantially altering the Earth’s climate. That’s not religion, but science, and if you take money from the hand of Templeton you are likely involved in a group whose other hand gives money to science denialism.

The paper, by Robert Brulle of Drexel University, is called “Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations.” (If you can’t download it free at the link, judicious inquiry should yield it.) What Brulle did was go through Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records of both private foundations (e.g. Templeton, Lilly Endowment, Inc., etc.) and of organizations engaged in what he calls the “climate change counter-movement,” or CCCM.  Those organizations either are engaged in climate-change denialism (like the Mercatus Center), or, if they accept the scientific consensus, nevertheless argue that it’s too onerous to take action (see Brulle’s schema for identifying these groups in his “supplementary material”).

The survey period was from 2003-2010, and records for most of these foundations are publicly available, though some aren’t required to identify their donors.

His final sample included 140 foundations that gave 5,299 grants (total $558 million) to 91 organizations identified as CCCM groups.  Here’s figure 1 from Brulle’s paper, showing the investment of various donor groups in climate-change denialist organizations. Note the $20.2 million dollar investment by the John Templeton Foundation: 4% of total investments in CCCM groups (I’ve added the arrow). As Brulle’s paper notes:

Over the 2003–2010 period, they [the Donors Trust/Donors Capital Fund] provided more than $78 million in funding to CCCM organizations. The other major funders are the combined Scaife and Koch Affiliated Foundations, and the Bradley, Howard, Pope, Searle and Templeton foundations, all giving more than $20 million from 2003–2010.

Picture 2

Brulle points out that the foundations giving the most money to CCCM organizations, Donors Trust/Donors Capital, are what they call  “donor directed” foundationa, meaning that other groups and individuals contribute to such groups can state the intent of their donations, and then the donor directed foundations can disperse the money to CCCM organizations without disclosing the identify of contributors. That means that money intended to fund climate-change denialism is laundered; it’s what, in a parallel with physics, Brulle calls “dark money.”

Here, by the way, are the CCCM organizations to which the groups shown above donate:

Recipients

If you want to know who Templeton donated to, here are the data from Brulle’s “supplementary material”:

Picture 2 Picture 1

As Brulle notes,

. . . conservative think tanks were the largest recipients of foundation support. These think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Cato Institute, are among the best known conservative think tanks in the United States. The American Enterprise Institute received 16 % of the total grants made to organizations that are active in the CCCM. The Heritage Foundation was a close second, receiving 14 %. The majority of foundation funding goes to multiple focus conservative think tanks. As previous analyses have shown (Jacques et al. 2008; Dunlap and Jacques 2013), these multiple focus think tanks are highly active in the CCCM.

One of Brulle’s more notable findings was that “network analysis—” a measure of the “weight” of donor groups among all monies dispersed to CCCM organizations—showed that donations by two of the largest groups once funding climate-change denialim, ExxonMobil and Koch Affiliated Foundations, have dropped to almost nothing (ExxonMobil went from 4.7% of total funds in 2003 to zero by 2007, and Koch from 9% in 2006 to 2% in 2010.) At the same time, as you see in the graph below, the amount of funds dispersed by Donors Trust/Donors capital has risen dramatically, from less than 4% in 2003 to more than 23% in 2010. It is possible, but not certain, that ExxonMobil and Koch are still donating to CCCM groups, but hiding their donations by giving the money to donor directed foundations like Donors Trust/Donors Capital.  That is not a certainty, but are we to think that these organizations have simply stopped donating completely?

As Brulle notes:

The rapid increase in the percentage of funding of the CCCM by Donors Trust/Capital and the decline in both Koch and ExxonMobil corresponds to the initiation of campaigns by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Greenpeace publicizing and criticizing both ExxonMobil and Koch Corporations as funders of climate denial. Although the correspondence is suggestive of an effort to conceal funding of the CCCM by these foundations, it is impossible to determine for certain whether or not ExxonMobil and the Koch Foundations continue to fund CCCM organizations via Donors Trust/Capital or direct corporate contributions. However, it is important to note that a Koch run foundation, the Knowledge and Progress Fund, initiated a pattern of making large grants to Donors Trust in 2008.

Node strength

Let me add here that while Templeton has donated substantial funds to CCCM groups, it’s not certain whether (or how much of) that money was earmarked for climate-change denialist activities. I’m not sure, for instance, whether the recipient foundations just have a pot of money that they disperse for whatever activities they want (i.e., “general support,” in which case Templeton would be directly complicit), or whether Templeton can say, when it gave out that 20 million bucks, “We don’t want any of this money used for climate-change denialist activities.”  The latter possibility seems quite unlikely to me, and certainly to Brulle.  But at any rate, were I a Templeton-funded scientist, I would demand to know how much Templeton money goes for climate-change denialism.  If any does (and I suspect it does), or if they won’t reveal the answer, I’d stop taking their money. (I would never take Templeton money anyway, but lots of scientists do, for federal grants are hard to get, and Templeton has deep pockets and much looser standards.)

On December 21, The Daily Climate reported on Brulle’s paper and interviewed him in a piece called “Study finds shift to ‘dark money’ in climate denial effort.” Here are a few statements by Brulle in that interview:

“The climate change countermovement has had a real political and ecological impact on the failure of the world to act on global warming,” Brulle said in a statement. “Like a play on Broadway, the countermovement has stars in the spotlight  – often prominent contrarian scientists or conservative politicians – but behind the stars is an organizational structure of directors, script writers and producers.”

“If you want to understand what’s driving this movement, you have to look at what’s going on behind the scenes.”

. . .In the end, Brulle concluded public records identify only a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars supporting climate denial efforts. Some 75 percent of the income of those organizations, he said, comes via unidentifiable sources.

And for Brulle, that’s a matter of democracy. “Without a free flow of accurate information, democratic politics and government accountability become impossible,” he said. “Money amplifies certain voices above others and, in effect, gives them a megaphone in the public square.”

Powerful funders, he added, are supporting the campaign to deny scientific findings about global warming and raise doubts about the “roots and remedies” of a threat on which the science is clear.

“At the very least, American voters deserve to know who is behind these efforts.”

And so do American scientists, especially those who take money from Foundations like Templeton. So how about it, Drs. Greene, Nowak, Ecklund, and Luhrmann? Will you demand to know how much money from the organizations that fund you goes for climate-change denialism? If any does, will you continue, as scientists, to take money from groups that fund anti-science, a kind of anti-science that threatens to destroy our planet?

And if you look at the Board of Advisors of the John Templeton Foundation, you will find many prominent scientists and academics.  Will they be willing to demand accountability from the organization they “advise”?

The “I-don’t-care-about-religion” excuse can no longer hold for those associated with Templeton money. For scientists must surely care if they’re supported by a group that also gives money to deny the findings of science in the service of capitalism.

h/t: Diana MacPherson

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Brulle, R. 2013. Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations. Climatic Change. doi:10.1007/s10584-013-1018-7

47 Comments

  1. Posted December 26, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Well, this does not surprise me at all. Personally I wouldn’t want to be associated with groups like templeton.

  2. Kevin
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I am glad to see you caught this finding, I saw it a couple of days ago on PhysOrg.

    Taking money from Exxon or Chevron is, I think, not like taking money from Templeton. Finding meaningful and real technological solutions for making oil pumping more efficient, cost less, and most importantly, safer is far different than taking money to extoll that Jesus is a friend of science.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Exxon at least seem to have got the message that their funding of CCCM groups is damaging to those groups effectiveness, and over the last few years their direct funding has decreased a lot. The funds are still getting there – for obvious reasons – but it’s taking indirect routes.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if Templeton were acting as money launderers in this.

    • paxton
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Exxon, Kochs etc are trying to obscure the truth in order to enhance their profits. Not so different from relions.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    It is shocking to see the numbers laid out as they are and I know I shouldn’t be surprised but I really am, not at who supports this stuff, but at the money behind it! No wonder climate change denial is so wide spread; we’re dealing with a well oiled machine! I wish I had money and influence to fix stuff, but maybe if would be like having The One Ring & I’d go all evil and Sauron-like.

    Interestingly, there seems to be a correlation between climate change denial, conservatism, and religiosity which makes Templeton seem highly pernicious when it slithers into science.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted December 27, 2013 at 3:26 am | Permalink

      a well oiled machine

      Nice one!

  4. susan freiman
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I’d take money from Templeton. Whatever they gave me would be that much less for denialists. But if Templeton cares what is done with their money, they wouldn’t give anything to me a second time.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure that you would really want to see your name listed amongst those who receive funds from Templeton, whatever your reason.

  5. Shane
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    So giving to, say, the Reason Foundation, is tantamount to denying science? This fanciful construct of “CCCM” groups is typical of the work of Brulle and “environmental sociologists”. Apparently Climate Change is not really a science journal, but some kind of social science text. Start looking for “hermeneutics” and “justice” and “gendered” in paper titles. Climate science now has it’s own cadre of critical theory practitioners!

    • Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Umm. . . . are you denying that Templeton gives money to organizations involved in climate-change denial. What difference does it make whether the journal is a social science text so long as its information is accurate.

      Your comment is snarky and irrelevant.

      • Shane
        Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Oh, you want accuracy. I see. So, after this great bit of science was published, do we know how much money was spent by these nasty mean conservative groups on climate science “denial”? Nope. Even Brulle himself had to correct the breathless Guardian headline and it’s lede on his report.

        Is this relevant enough?

        • Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          No, it’s not relevant, because I already said we don’t know how much of the donor money was spent on climate-change denialism. But any scientist taking money from Templeton should demand to know the answer to that. As should be clear, this pattern is suspicious but doesn’t prove the suspicion.

          And Brulle is careful to give the proper caveats in his paper. If you read the supplementary materials, you’ll see that the money handed out was identified to the dollar.

          That’s enough of your snark, especially the “great bit of science” stuff.

          Presumably you aren’t aware of the rules of this site, which require civilized discourse, and not snark.

          • colnago80
            Posted December 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            I believe that Shane is a global warming denier who comments his denialism over at Phil Plait’s blog whenever the latter posts something on climate change.

  6. Posted December 26, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    It’s like David Lamar being the progenitor of weltanschauung. Hedgefundemony.

  7. WT
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    This is all guilt-by-association.

    Take the Manhattan Institute. Are they a “climate change denier” in the first place? Not clear. One of their main guys on the environment is Jim Manzi, who is famous for having urged conservatives to stop being anti-science on climate change. He certainly isn’t a “denier” by any means. See http://www.newrepublic.com/blog/critics/75757/why-the-decision-tackle-climate-change-isn%E2%80%99t-simple-al-gore-says

    But let’s assume that there is some good reason for saying the Manhattan Institute is a climate change denier. Does that mean Templeton granted them money for denying climate change?

    No, that’s another illogical leap. The Manhattan Institute does lots of things — analyzing the financial status of public sector pensions, for one. If Templeton gave them money for a pension project (I’m not saying that’s the case, but it could be for all we know), that means that any future Templeton money is now forever tainted by anything else the Manhattan Institute ever did in the past?

    What a heroic standard of purity. Good luck with that.

    • colnago80
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      What does a study on the financial status of public sector pensions have to do with the Templeton Foundation’s reason for existing, namely the intersection of science and religion?

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      You didn’t read the Methods section (in the supp). Only organizations with sole or substantive focus on climate change were used.

  8. Posted December 26, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    A bit of a tangential comment:

    One of Brulle’s more notable findings was that “network analysis—” a measure of the “weight” of donor groups…

    I’m going to have to dig up this ref to find out what facet of “network analysis” they used to characterize the “node weights”.

    “Network analysis” is, in itself, an entire scientific discipline with its roots in graph theory. It is not a single measure or procedure, but a collection of a zillion different analytical techniques. (I’ve been involved in “social network analysis” since about 1988, back before it became “fashionable” – i.e. abused as buzzwords in many social science papers).

    I’d be interested to see what particular techniques they used in their analysis, and whether they make sense in context – or, if they are merely doing like so many others have done, and are merely abusing the terms, as networks happen to be “sexy” right about now.

    (so to my ears, the blockquoted sentence reads kind-of like: the authors used “physics”, a measure of particle spin, to show…)

    • Posted December 26, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Anyway… I find the Templeton wingnut financial giveaway to be particularly obnoxious. Not sure where I stand morally about a hypothetical case where any ol’ Joe Blow accepts money from Templeton, and fritters it away on worthy causes (instead of the same monies going to the forces of evil and ignorance)… such money would have strings attached as to how one spends it, methinks. So that’s a pipe dream. I wouldn’t want to be associated with such money myself.

      But unfortunately, Robert Brulle abuses “network analysis” much in the way I initially suspected. He throws terms like “core groups” and “centrality” out there, using UCINet in unspecified ways… no clear delineation of how the network sample was obtained nor how it was censored… abuses the word “component”, and for some reason calls percentages of funding by each organization “node strength”.

      This fraction, technically known as relative node strength, measures the overall influence…

      .

      “Technically” my ass. I’m sorry… this stuff is just laughable here. If one is using percent fractions of overall funding for “node weights”, that’s just fine… but there needs to be context for the reasons in doing so. “Node weights” would not be an outcome of the analysis… it would be something that one puts IN — supposedly in the context of some particular analysis, like a flow analysis (say flow betweenness) or “prestige” (used in a weighted analysis of Bonacich centrality, or Katz prestige)… and then then it would have to be explained how one demarked what was in the sample and what was not, and how one deals with the “edge effects” of one’s methodology.

      For example, if one wants to look at “centrality” (he threw that word out there), then one is measuring how “central” nodes are, relative to other ones in the network… which may or may not consist oof separate “components” (regions of the network where there are paths of some length between nodes). He maintains the network he’s analyzing is of one connected region (one “component” in network-ese), but then later talks about “components” using the vernacular meaning of the word. I would then expect to see a mention of WHAT centrality measure(s) are being used, along with some kind of assurance that the reasoning is not circular. If you start at node A, and put a bunch of connected things to A in your sample, you will very most likely get A as highly central in your network… this would be an unsurprising result, wholly determined by how you choose what’s in the network and what’s out, and where you started. It’s like drawing a map, starting in Leeds… and detailing the road intersections within a 100 km radius of Leeds… and calling them all “nodes”, doing a centrality analysis… and WOW, what do you know? Leeds is the most central node on the map. Now associate all the road intersections with favorite ice cream flavors of the 10 people nearest that intersection – and we’ll call the percentage of people liking “chocolate” the “node strength”. And report that.

      Huh?

      I.E. network analysis not required… it’s a simple cross-tab of % funding by year, and it seems to be couched in fancy speak, using “network analysis” to make it appear sexier than it really is. I give that portion of the paper an F. If he tried to submit it to “Social Networks” or even the online journal “Connections” such a piece would get obliterated. Extremely dire stuff.

      This is what network analysis is. It’s ridiculously complicated stuff, OVERLY SO, in my not so humble estimation — and largely abused of late in the sociological literature. This paper is a prime example, I’m afraid. (and I think Borgatti, and every other luminary in the field that I can think of, would agree with me)

      • BillyJoe
        Posted December 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        I think your comment is wasted here. I doubt that anyone here could understand it. Maybe you should direct your comment to the author of the paper.

        • Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps — but this place is frequented by many folks who read scientific papers (incl. the one which is the topic) outside their specialist discipline. (incl. many physicist PhDs like “Ant” who took my comment as “concern trolling”, strangely enough). In any case, I’ve passed it on to a few network science colleagues, and given enough time and energy, may approach the author for some clarification. In any event, the visualization (Figure 4, Templeton is at the right, slightly below center) does provide “a thousand words” and a bit of a road map as to who the major players are. Being visual creatures, pictures can be the best way to summarize interlinked relationships. Sometimes it’s just spaghetti, though.

          • Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            update: as per below, “Ant” did not intend to post the “concern is noted” remark to my comment. WordPress barfed.

            • Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

              No need for quotes around my handle, Stephen, as it is my real real-world name! (Short for Anthony.)

              /@

              • Posted December 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

                Pleased to re-make your acquaintance, Dr. / Prof. Ant Allan, Research VP. Too cool!

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

                Ooooo that’s what Ant is short for. I knew it was your real name, but I wondered where it came from.

      • Posted December 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        On a quick re-read, I’m at least heartened that the paper actually has network DATA in it. So am dialing back my previous comment that the paper is a “prime example” of network analytical badness. I’ve seen many papers that just throw buzzwords out there without any real network data to speak of.

        And the most pertinent bits regarding Templeton’s beneficiaries were helpfully dug out by Jerry from the supplementary material — big thanks there.

        At this point, not sure what “added value” a network analysis gives, besides making for a cool picture of interconnections. (Fig 4 of the paper here). In any case, just collecting the data regarding which organization paid whom and how much is an extremely difficult task – nothing to be sneezed at, and a great public service.

  9. thh1859
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    It’s a travesty of science, to label as a denier, anyone who questions the increase of atmospheric CO2 being a significant cause of global warming; and plainly wrong to always link them with creationists, astrologers or believers in a god.

    I have been intensely interested in science and the scientific method all my adult life while strongly against religion and other superstitions. I find the bulk of the opinions expressed, both for and against anthropogenic global warming, mostly sound and fury.

    Anyone else willing to put their heads above the parapet?

    • Keith
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      I think the folks who get labeled as “deniers” those who refuse to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of both the patterns of a warming planet and the known biophysical processes by which the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis continues to be tested. To my knowledge, no one has credibly been able to reject the warming hypothesis. So at some point, it becomes perverse to deny the reality of what the science is telling us. The travesty that I see is a denial of reality, so perhaps the label you decry is justified?

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I think that “anyone” who questions the increase in CO₂ as being responsible should put up an alternative hypothesis that is as plausible and is supported by the weight of available evidence … and they should do that in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. I don’t work in the field, but I’ve read a fair number of original papers in the primary literature and I’ve listened to seminars given by contributors to the field and the “sound and fury” of which you speak was not at all in evidence. On the other hand, virtually everyone I see questioning whether the greenhouse effect as the source of global warming is a dilettante, at best – with no significant contributions to the primary scientific literature and offering no plausible alternative hypothesis with any significant support from the available evidence.

      • Keith
        Posted December 26, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        A bit more on this point: the denialist demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of how science works and where the true incentives are. If the consensus view is incorrect, then it should be no trouble at all to reconstruct observed patterns of warming absent human carbon emissions and then of course, to publish these findings for the benefit of the wider scientific community. I’m sure there’s a Nobel or some other prestigious prize waiting to earned. But instead, the denialist–much like the creationist–plays the victim and/or global conspiracy card. If the denialist wants to be taken seriously by the thinking world, then do the science.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 26, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        +1

      • thh1859
        Posted January 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        An alternative hypothesis to what? That the earth is getting warmer? Natural causes clearly make a difference to the planet’s temperature, testified by ice ages and other historic warming and cooling periods.

    • Posted December 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      It’s a travesty of science, to label as a denier, anyone who questions the increase of atmospheric CO2 being a significant cause of global warming; and plainly wrong to always link them with creationists, astrologers or believers in a god.

      No, that’s exactly what science is all about, since the science for anthropomorphic climate change is (essentially) as solid as the science behind Darwinian evolution, astronomy, and naturalism in general.

      At any level you care to examine it, from back-of-the-envelope order-of-magnitude estimates down to the most sophisticated computer models humanity has ever produced, CO2 is the biggest factor in modern climate change and its impact is perfectly proportional to the amount human industry has pumped into the atmosphere. Suggesting that maybe it isn’t so is every bit as insane as suggesting that maybe Darwin wasn’t right, that the position of Uranus at the time of your birth might influence your personality after all, or that an ancient Palestinian zombie who regularly reanimates in the form of cheap wine and stale crackers passionately cares about what you do with your private bits.

      If you don’t like being lumped in with the anally-probed UFOlogists who see Bigfoot’s ghost in out-of-focus Polaroids of spare tires in Scottish lakes, then you should stop being as naïve and willfully miseducated as them about well-established science.

      Cheers,

      b&

    • Rhetoric
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Your problem is that you only listen to opinions and probably have never read any of the original literature.

      Try Google Scholar, the vast majority of articles will be free.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted December 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      thh1589: “Anyone else willing to put their heads above the parapet?”

      It may be of interest for you to know that the middle ground is rarely the correct position between two opposing views.
      And, in the specific case of climate change, if you take up the middle ground after looking at all the evidence, then I’m afraid you are a climate denier.
      So I think you can get yourself off that parapet (and please read the comic linked to by Ant below – it is instructive).

  10. Posted December 26, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Your concern is noted.

    /@

    • Posted December 26, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      * reply to #8

      • Posted December 26, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Pretty silly and off the mark, considering I was talking about abuse of an entire scientific discipline to make a point, which is unfortunately what this paper does in its “network analysis” section.

        Did you read the paper?

        • Posted December 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, Stephen, I don’t know what happened there — some quirk of WordPress — I was replying to thh1859’s, “I find the bulk of the opinions expressed, both for and against anthropogenic global warming, mostly sound and fury.”

          I swear (um, affirm) it was numbered #8 (and my link #9) when I posted it … 

          /@

          • Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Oh… I see. That explains it. Also can disregard the bit of the comment I just posted where I found your comment odd… ain’t no more. I be posting willy-nilly.

            Dang must get back to work… and that means in this instance, networks of IVDU and Pros across the world… Krokodil, HIV and all that hairy stuff. Trying to get interventions tweaked, against all odds. :-(

  11. Posted December 26, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    re “And if you look at the Board of Advisors of the John Templeton Foundation, you will find many prominent scientists and academics. Will they be willing to demand accountability from the organization they “advise”?”

    As with ( nearly ) all of the “leadership” and of the “counseling and advisory efforts” of the World’s current and so – called “great” religions today ( and, for at least, a couple or so of the previous millennia ), a mere 04% of these alleged advisory academics and scientists are of the Not Males’ ones: are of the Other, of the (ab)Normal ones.

    Blue

  12. Posted December 26, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    This is an extraordinary post.

    We should probably save this post for the next time we find yourselves banging our heads up against the wall trying to comprehend why such levels of ignorance and denialism persists in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence for the anthropomorphic causes of global climate change. It appears that a lot of it boils down to the greed and hypocrisy of the very people who claim to know better.

    These revelations, however, do leave me w/ thoughts about the fine-tuning claims of the faithful; if these people really do believe that the Earth was extraordinarily “fine-tuned” for life (particularly the life of their deity’s favorite creation), why in the world would they dare risk tampering, even in the slightest way, with this “tuning?” One would think the known consequences of just a one degree rise in global temperatures (a soon foreseen reality) would scare the literal begeebus out of this gang and force them to change in significant ways about this critical issue.

    In the end, I think the answer to this contemplation may be that it’s probably just another manifestation of their deeply held death wish. The Jehovah Witness and Westboro gangs provide us w/ a clear understanding of this tendency; they actually, and quite firmly, believe that every earthquake, volcano, tornado, flood and disease is just another “sign” that their deity is displeased with them and that he’s softening-up the planet for his “triumphant return.”

    If I’m not mistaken, this asinine belief closely resembles the conclusion made by the Aztecs in 1519 when they encountered the murderous gang of thugs w/ Cortes on the lead horse. And we see where that belief got them.

  13. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The Templeton Prize has gone to some undeserving figures (Billy Graham & Mother Theresa), but also to a lot of worthy luminaries like astrophysicist Martin Rees, the Dalai Lama, and Desmond Tutu (the previous 3 winners) and a friendly acquaintance, Charles Towne. They also seem to be funding a bit of real science in genetics and astronomy, as well as some more dubious sociological research.

    In the past, I’ve been unable to get very excited about this organization which struck me as rather harmlessly eccentric, like the odd co-worker who nonetheless does their job well. Nonetheless, Jerry C may have finally convinced me there is something here to be seriously wary of!!

    (I should add that one of my very favorite babysitters from my middle school days in the late 60s is now a top admin person at Templeton, which may bias me in their favor as well.)

  14. Posted December 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Templeton must support these twits because they must pretend that their god will somehow intervene and that all of the bad ol’ science will be shown wrong.

  15. Richard Olson
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    /

  16. paxton
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t there a similarity here with the boycott of interactions with Israeli universities? Aren’t you suggesting a boycott of the Templeton Foundation?

  17. Posted December 27, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    This is unfortunate, but I’d like to know why they are doing this.


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