Lawmakers Probe Taxpayer-Funded Academic Who Wants Obama to Prosecute Climate Change Skeptics

Taxpayer-funded college professors and researchers who cite climate change to advocate regulations that would raise energy costs for consumers have some explaining to do, congressional investigators say. A House committee wants to know more about the relationship between taxpayer money received by the academics and their urging of President Obama to use federal racketeering law to go after businesses and other groups that oppose his aggressive agenda against climate change. The panel’s investigators also are curious to hear a George Mason University environmentalist, leader of the publicly supported researchers, explain a growing disparity between computer models showing global warming and fresh scientific evidence suggesting that Earth’s temperatures have been flat for 18 years. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, cites “serious concerns” in a stern letter to Jagadish Shukla, a professor at George Mason University who specializes in atmospheric, oceanic, and earth studies. Shukla’s environmental institute, Smith writes, “appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan political activities by requesting a [federal] investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama administration on climate change.” In a follow-up letter dated Oct. 19, Smith asks Shukla for financial documents as part of the congressional investigation. Smith is correct to be curious about an apparent conflict of interest, free-market energy policy analysts and scientific skeptics who question the validity of climate models told The Daily Signal in interviews. “As evidence mounts that the dire predictions of catastrophic global warming are not confirmed by climatological observations, the alarmist camp has had to resort to witch hunts,” said Bonner Cohen, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. Shukla is among 20 publicly subsidized academics who signed a letter to Obama calling for a probe of “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.” Continue reading

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