The ClimateGate money trail

For the last few decades, when it’s come to the debate over global warming and whether or not it is “man-made”, alarmists in both the activist community and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) usually will immediately point to any money tie global warming skeptics have to “big oil” and related industries as if to suggest that a money tie alone is good enough reason to dismiss claims made by “the deniers.” On the other hand, very little attention is paid by our so-called “objective” MSM to the extensive money ties of those who have made pushing the AGW agenda their life’s work.

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens levels the playing field in a piece he wrote outlining some of the players in the ClimateGate scandal and the dough they’re rolling in – and how it’s pushing the “research” in a pre-determined direction:

But the deeper question is why the scientists behaved this way to begin with, especially since the science behind man-made global warming is said to be firmly settled. To answer the question, it helps to turn the alarmists’ follow-the-money methods right back at them.

Consider the case of Phil Jones, the director of the CRU and the man at the heart of climategate. According to one of the documents hacked from his center, between 2000 and 2006 Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he’d been awarded in the 1990s.

Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums. And who better to ring it than people like Mr. Jones, one of its likeliest beneficiaries?

Thus, the European Commission’s most recent appropriation for climate research comes to nearly $3 billion, and that’s not counting funds from the EU’s member governments. In the U.S., the House intends to spend $1.3 billion on NASA’s climate efforts, $400 million on NOAA’s, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. The states also have a piece of the action, with California—apparently not feeling bankrupt enough—devoting $600 million to their own climate initiative. In Australia, alarmists have their own Department of Climate Change at their funding disposal.

And all this is only a fraction of the $94 billion that HSBC Bank estimates has been spent globally this year on what it calls “green stimulus”—largely ethanol and other alternative energy schemes—of the kind from which Al Gore and his partners at Kleiner Perkins hope to profit handsomely.

Supply, as we know, creates its own demand. So for every additional billion in government-funded grants (or the tens of millions supplied by foundations like the Pew Charitable Trusts), universities, research institutes, advocacy groups and their various spin-offs and dependents have emerged from the woodwork to receive them.

And it’s not just ClimateGate’s scientists who are “in the money.” Fox Business Network’s David Asman wrote a column on the “climate change” money trail back in April 2007 that you should also read and bookmark.

For the latest developments in the ClimateGate scandal, click here and here and keep scrolling.

Related reading:

Shocker: CBO says Senate bill will increase healthcare premiums for individuals

Like we didn’t see this one coming, right?

Individual insurance premiums would increase by an average of 10 percent or more, according to an analysis of the Senate healthcare bill.

The long-awaited report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) also concluded that subsidies provided by the legislation would make coverage cheaper for those who qualify.

The report, issued in the form of a letter to Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), will provide both Democrats and Republicans with ammunition as the Senate begins amending the healthcare bill on Monday.

“CBO and JCT estimate that the average premium per person covered (including dependents) for new nongroup policies would be about 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law. About half of those enrollees would receive government subsidies that would reduce their costs well below the premiums that would be charged for such policies under current law,” the report says.

Though Republicans will seize on the projections that insurance premiums for individuals would increase, Democrats will highlight the conclusion that the legislation would lower premiums by 56 to 59 percent for those individuals who would receive subsidies to buy insurance on the exchange created by the legislation. Of those who participate in the exchange, 57 percent would be eligible for subsidies. The subsidy would cover about two-thirds of their premiums, the report says.

“Subsidies”? You know what that means: You and I will be footing the bill.

Continuing:

This exchange, open to individuals and small-business employees, would provide coverage to just 17 percent of the marketplace, the report notes. The bill would have a different effect on the small-group insurance market utilized by many small businesses and the large-group market of employer-provided insurance, which would cover 70 percent of Americans with benefits. Premiums would range between the same to 3 percent lower for employer-sponsored insurance and from 2 percent lower to 1 percent higher for small-group plans, according to the report.

[…]

The analysis does not measure the effects on premiums of a proposed excise tax on the most expensive insurance plans. Consistent with their previous reports, the CBO and the JCT predict that most people who currently have so-called Cadillac insurance plans would opt for less expensive insurance to avoid the tax.

After noting that 83% of the American people don’t buy their health insurance via an “exchange,” Ed Morrissey also points out:

The Senate plan envisioned a $259 billion revenue stream from this [“Cadillac plans”] tax in the first decade. As I argued at the time, this static tax analysis would be proven dead wrong and leave a huge hole in the funding of ObamaCare. The CBO and the JCT apparently agree.

As far as the insurance premiums go, this is yet another example of ObamaCare bending the cost curve … upward. Why will premiums increase? Guaranteed issue and expansion of third-party payer services. Instead of exercising cost control through real reform, the new plan will intensify the existing structural problems of cost in the American health-care system. And since the covered won’t be paying that cost themselves, the rest of the taxpayers who don’t participate in the exchange system will be left with the bill through the federal subsidy program.

And let’s not forget those who choose not to sign on for any kind of healthcare plan, who as a result will be jail time if they don’t pay the fines. They’ll be the ones paying for this so-called “healthcare reform” bill, too.

To recap: In addition to the higher premiums mentioned above, and the fines (and possible jail time) those who don’t sign on for an “affordable” healthcare plan will have to pay, there will be no so-called “savings” from this bill – check. Medicare benefits would be cut – check. A government panel will decide on who will be lucky enough to get certain kinds of healthcare, and who won’t be, in an effort to “reduce Medicare costs” – check. No tort reform, which would majorly bring down healthcare cost, included in this bill, because the left is afraid of trial lawyers – check. Quality of healthcare nosediving – check.

So … just what is it we are supposed to like about this bill again?

Informal poll: Are Mike Huckabee’s 2012 presidential ambitions now DOA?

In light of the news that the suspect wanted in the Lakewood, WA ambush – which left four police officers dead – was granted clemency upon a time by then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, can he effectively kiss any 2012 presidential hopes he may have had goodbye? Bloomberg takes a look at the potential political fallout for Huck:

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) — The political future of former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee could be damaged by his role in commuting the sentence of the gunman suspected of killing four police officers in Washington state.

Huckabee, as governor of Arkansas in 2000, commuted a 95- year prison sentence for Maurice Clemmons. Huckabee cited Clemmons’ youth – he was 17 when he was convicted in 1989 of aggravated robbery – in commuting the sentence, the Associated Press reported. Clemmons was then paroled.

“If you pardon someone and they do something, it’s bad news,” said Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist. “It can come back to haunt you.”

Huckabee, in a statement on his Web site, said that if Clemmons is found to be responsible for the shooting, “it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system.”

Huckabee, who lost the Republican presidential nomination last year to John McCain, was criticized during the campaign for the number of clemencies granted to prisoners while he was governor.

According to an AP analysis at the time, Huckabee granted 1,033 clemencies during 10 years in office, more than double the number granted by three governors during the previous 17 years.

During the presidential campaign, Huckabee denied pressuring a state parole board to release a convicted rapist who later raped again and committed murder.

Even before this story broke, I didn’t think Huck would have much of a chance of making it beyond the primaries in 2012 – his ambitions as of this point on the subject are unclear – but I think the news of his granting clemency to Clemmons, which some are calling his “Willie Horton moment,” pretty much seals the deal.

Michelle Malkin has the latest updates on this developing story.

Please remember to keep the families of the victims in your thoughts and prayers.