NASA’s Hansen asked to account for outside activities

NASA’s Hansen asked to account for outside activities (June 21st, 2011). Here’s another whopper from Christopher Horner of that home of scientific inquiry, the American Tradition Institute (an arm of the Competitive Enterprise Institute). Anthony Watts naturally jumps to endorse the accusation that “taxpayer-funded global warming activist” James Hansen receiving a “prize” is an ethical violation and that government scientists are clock-punching shift-workers…

Sez Anthony, “Gavin Schmidt’s time spent on editing realclimate.org during working hours apparently was the trigger for a broader investigation.”

Tip to Anthony: scientists are salaried employees, not hourly assembly line workers. The “broader investigation” Anthony tries to imply is simply think tank thug Christopher Horner speaking out of both sides of his mouth at once. Previously, Dr. Hansen’s involvement with the RealClimate website was decried as “advocacy” on government time, now it’s an “outside activity” that must be “accounted for”. Which is it? Do he really care?

ATI seeks to learn whether NASA approved Hansen’s outside employment, which public financial disclosures and other documents reveal to have brought him at least $1.2 million in the past four years. This money comes on top of and, more troubling from an ethics and legal perspective, is all “related to” and sometimes even expressly for his taxpayer-funded employment, all of which outside employment commenced when Hansen stepped up his “global warming” activism from his perch at NASA. – ATI press release.

I guess the attempts to undermine Hansen’s scientific claims are running out of steam; the harassment and personal attacks will continue though, they’re pretty much reflexive.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress has a more detailed look (who would have ever thought that Fox News would jump on a story like this?): Fox News Compares James Hansen’s Prizes for Truth Telling to Big Tobacco Paying a Doctor to Deny the Risks of Smoking.

Virginia Attorney General goes after Mann and UVA

Virginia Attorney General goes after Mann and UVA“. Anthony Watts is pleased that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a denialist right-wing nutter and Tea Party supporter, is moving on from encouraging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, attacking the Environmental Protection Agency and fighting against federal health care reform.

Now he wants the University of Virginia to produce documents relating to Dr. Michael Mann’s state funding while he was at UVA between 1999 and 2005. Seems every posturing right-wing politician wants to go on a bullying Climategate-style fishin’ trip these days. I predict he’ll return with nothing more than the bait he set out with.

Let’s just say it: this is an ignorant McCarthy-style witch hunt.