The Other McCain

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Berkeley Professor Swindles Kochs Out of $150,000 for Global Warming Project

Posted on | October 23, 2011 | 12 Comments

Don Surber fact-checked a Washington Post article and determined that Richard Muller, whom the Post touted as a “self-proclaimed climate skeptic” was, in fact, an early advocate for man-made global warming theory who “has re-branded himself a former skeptic — the better to sell global warming.”

But I think Surber missed the lead: Muller got $150,000 from the Charles G. Koch Foundation for his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Who approved that grant? What did Muller tell the folks at Koch about himself and his project? Wouldn’t it suggest the possibility of research fraud, if Muller was willing to misrepresent his views in order to obtain funding or to promote his findings?

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the Washington Post to follow up on that angle.


  • Joe

    If he got the money just to embarass the Kochs, the likihood of fraud goes up a lot (and the value of any data goes down a lot). 

  • Anonymous

    I doubt this has anything to do with the source of funding instead of shoddy statistics.  I’m not sure I’d call him a “climate skeptic,” but he has been critical of the Hockey Team.

    Matt Briggs (Statistician to the Stars) has a critique of the BEST methodology.  His bottom line is that their estimates are waaaaaaay too certain.

  • Joseph Morris

    One thing different about Professor Muller’s temperature graph is that his team makes the average temp of the Little Ice Age way colder than the current consensus. This, in turn, shows the warming since then starting way before the Industrial Revolution. I think we need to see more actual scientists weigh in before the media try to spin it as confirmation of the warming trend since 1980.

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  • hstad

    If you have ever given to a college you would know that there are several type of giving!  In this case, the gift was general fund and could be used by the University for anything – including what the Koch brothers hate!  That’s the problem with undirected college giving.

  • Anonymous

    Some institutionalization may be required.

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  • Drew Phillips

    Don’t forget Muller wasn’t the only distinguished member of the BEST team and the statistics, data and methodologioes were all open source — available to all and sundry. BEST also analysed the data whilst observing and responding to the issues raised by Anthony Watts and others over previous data accumulation and urban island heat effects.

    This BEST study (as well as Watts’s own Surface Station Study) puts a long overdue end to that absurd notion of a world-wide conspiracy amongst climate scientists.

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  • Anonymous

    Actually, Climategate exposed the actual conspiracy (redefining peer review, etc.).

    There seem to be some problems with the BEST team’s methodology.  Also, their science-by-press-release (the paper hasn’t even finished review yet, apparently) is pretty awful.  Either way, BEST didn’t even attempt to look at questions of attribution.

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  • AMartel

    Muller believes CO2 causes global warming but was highly critical of “consensus” studies, in the wake of Climategate and hiding the decline, specifically the hockey stick.  A little late to the party, Marty, but he didn’t  conceal the fact that he still thought CO2 was to blame for global warming.