Slowly but surely the Trump administration is draining the climate swamp.
It reports on the reduction (by half) of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) “prestigious” Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program — or what I would call a madrasa for climate change alarmists.
Since 1992, at a cost of around $2 million per annum, the program has sponsored eight fellows a year in order “to help create the next generation of researchers needed for climate studies.”
The graduates’ list is a veritable Who’s Who of prominent climate alarmists.
Among the program’s alumni is Myles Allen, a man-made climate change specialist at Oxford University; Gavin Schmidt, now head of the notoriously climate alarmist NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies; and Heidi Cullen, who writes alarmist propaganda for the website Climate Central.
Not all alumni, it’s true, go on to shill for the great global warming scam.
For example, one alumnus — Chris Landsea, a meteorologist specializing in hurricanes — took the brave and principled decision of resigning in 2005 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report. Landsea objected to the way his views were being misrepresented by one of the report’s lead authors, Kevin Trenberth.
Trenberth wanted to promote the idea that “global warming” (as it was then known) would lead to an increase in intense hurricane activity.
Landsea was outraged because this contradicted all available scientific studies, including his own. So he resigned in protest, no doubt costing himself a well-paid career on the climate change gravy train.
But Landsea is almost certainly the exception rather than the rule.
The majority of the Climate and Global Change Program’s 218 alumni will have gone on to positions in the science departments of some of the finest universities in the U.S. There, they will, of course, have helped entrench and promote the view that “anthropogenic global warming” is both a significant threat and an eminently worthwhile subject for scientific study.
Unfortunately for them, the U.S. is now run by an administration which doesn’t believe any of this.
Here is what President Donald Trump had to say recently on the subject in a TV interview with Piers Morgan:
There is a cooling and there’s a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place.
The icecaps were going to melt, there were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records, OK? They’re at a record level.
This is Trump-speak for: “I’m not buying that nonsense.”
His administration is acting accordingly. With the support of administrators like Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, the draining of the climate swamp has begun.
One measure of the new approach is the dramatic reduction in the number of U.S. university grant applications mentioning the words “climate change.” According to the National Science Foundation, there was a 40 percent drop in 2017.
Another sign that time is up for the alarmists is the reduction of NOAA’s Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.
Where in previous years, it funded as many as eight candidates, the 2017 intake had just four. Another four had their initial offers withdrawn, which the article in Eos appears to think is a matter of great sadness.
It quotes Katie Travis, who was finishing a PhD in atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University, landed a place on the program, but then subsequently had the offer rescinded because of budget cuts.
“This was the first grant I wrote myself,” she said. “It was really validating for me to be selected, which is why it’s so crushing that the program ended up the way it did.”
But the story gets sadder still. Another victim of this savage funding cut back, it seems, was the cause of “diversity.”
Especially troubling to Abigail Swann, an ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, is that three of the rescinded offers were to women, whereas the four who were funded are all men. That makes the 2017 class the only one in the program’s 27-year history other than the first to be all male. Swann and two program alumni wrote a letter—since signed by more than 100 program alumni, hosts, selection committee members, and others—expressing concern that the lack of diversity makes it even harder for female geoscientists to bridge the “PhD-to-Professor gap,” a precarious career stage when many women scientists leave the field. They also noted that NOAA itself has committed to increasing diversity.
Putting aside the sarcasm for a moment, let me gently suggest that while these may feel like issues of burning importance to Abigail Swann, Katie Travis, and the author of the article, a lot of readers here will be thinking: “This is why we voted for Donald Trump.”
Indeed, the very existence of this grant program is a measure of just how out of touch liberal academia is with reality.
In what way is it or was it ever good value for taxpayers to fork out $2 million a year so that needy science PhDs like Katie Travis could feel “validated”? Or that other female PhDs could feel their diversity was being celebrated? Or that science post-graduates generally should be diverted from doing something actually beneficial to mankind and instead encouraged onto a program designed to parachute them into the almost entirely pointless $1.5 trillion-plus global warming industry?
To be absolutely clear, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) “prestigious” Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is a waste of money. It always was a waste of money.
The four places on the program which have been scrapped so far are a very good start.
Let’s hope the other four places on the program are nixed soon.