This story takes place across the pond but it shines a light on some of the current state of “research” in the climate studies field. The Daily Caller has a fascinating report on the University of London and the expensive process they engaged in when commissioning research papers and scholarly work on global warming. The university’s Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) was tasked by the government with providing such educational material for use by Parliament and they delivered it at a hefty price tag to the taxpayers. The only problem is that a lot of the research in question wasn’t even done by them.
A global warming research center at the London School of Economics got millions of dollars from UK taxpayers by taking credit for research it didn’t perform, an investigation by The Daily Mail revealed.
The UK government gave $11 million dollars to the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) in exchange for research that the organization reportedly never actually did.
Many papers CCCEP claimed to have published to get government money weren’t about global warming, were written before the organization was even founded, or were written by researchers unaffiliated with CCCEP. The government never checked CCCEP’s supposed publication lists, saying they were “taken on trust,” according to the report.
Some of the researchers who actually did the work were never even informed that CCEP was repackaging and releasing the studies for profit and they were furious about it. Others seemed to be engaged in research which wasn’t even directly related to the subject ostensibly under study.
A second question arises in the reliability of research material which is generated for payment rather than studies which arise from independent academic studies. That happens in the United States as well, with the EPA paying researchers for studies which seem designed to support a particular conclusion before they even begin. As the DC notes, this leads to situations such as we saw when the agency was looking for material to support the need for carbon reduction. That led to a multi-million dollar payday for one scientist.
Recent studies in the U.S. — which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses to support the scientific case for its Clean Power Plan — saw the agency give $31.2 million, $9.5 million, and $3.65 million in public funds to lead authors, according to EPA public disclosures.
The author who received $3.65 million, Charles Driscoll, even admitted to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the result of his study was predetermined, saying “in doing this study we wanted to bring attention to the additional benefits from carbon controls.”
$16M may not sound like a lot of money in terms of the total federal budget, but the EPA certainly is generous with your tax dollars when it wants to support new regulations on the energy industry. They rely on scientific papers to make their point, but investigations such as this one have to leave us wondering just how much of it is independent work of merit and how much is simply public relations material. If you ever want to get a sense of how much scientific research is being bought and sold with dubious contents, spend some time browsing through the website Retraction Watch. They monitor peer reviewed papers from around the world on all manner of subjects which wind up being yanked after the authors are discredited. There have been nonsense papers – some generated by computer algorithms – published and paid for in virtually every field. And climate science is no exception to that rule.