Lawmaker asks whether MIT climate researcher took oil money

Richard LindzenRichard LindzenA prominent Democratic congressman is probing MIT about funding for professor emeritus Richard S. Lindzen, who is known for his skepticism of what he calls climate change “alarmism.”

“My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,” wrote Rep. Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, in a letter to President L. Rafael Reif.

Grijalva sent similar letters to six other universities on Tuesday. He is asking for detailed records about funding and other compensation for researchers who have testified before lawmakers and challenged the scientific consensus on global warming.

Lindzen, who spent three decades in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science, said Grijalva is “conducting a witch hunt in the tradition of McCarthyism.”

Regarding funding for his own work, Lindzen said he was not worried at all about what might come to light: “[Grijalva] has no evidence, and there is no evidence because there’s nothing to find.”

“I think the hope is you throw a lot of mud, and some of it’ll stick, and maybe you’ll get away with it,” Lindzen said. “This is just extraordinarily poor behavior.”

Grijalva’s letter came just after revelations that Willie Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who also doubted the risks of climate change, failed to disclose sponsorship from the fossil-fuel industry in many of his papers.

An MIT spokesperson, Kimberly Allen, said on Wednesday that Reif was reviewing the congressman’s request with MIT’s provost and vice president for research. An assistant to Reif, Karla Casey, said that he had asked MIT’s lawyers to look into the request.

“I do hope that, on a matter of principle, that President Reif refuses this request,” Lindzen said. “It has no legal basis, and once he opens that up, he’s open to harassment.”


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    The Democrats are going to get trashed in the next election so we will see desperate attempts to salvage their political space .

    Good science or bad is not political science and that is all most politicians are qualified to talk about . It is the results that matter and none of us humans should kid ourselves we are all beholding to big (beautiful) oil .

    What does Grijalva’s family drive how do they heat their house ? What % of his salary and perks come from taxes paid by big (beautiful )oil ?

    Who exactly is in a conflict of interest ?

    Prove the results are wrong and stuff the petty attempt to dismiss the findings for political reasons . They are just way to transparent coming from a spent political party .

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    Girjalva is simply projecting and putting on a show for the environmental lobbyists who pay him.

    Because he would provide results to suit those funding him he immediately assumes everyone else would as well. It is called projection.

    He hasn’t established any proof that the results of any of these people’s work would be any different if their funding came from some green NGO. He just assumes the bias is there because he is biased himself.

    Notice what he stated:
    [quote]“My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,”[/quote]

    I want an investigation into him and his colleagues to determine what lobbyists they meet with, how much money and “perks” they have received, as well as what “deliverables” they have promised.

    How am I the taxpayer to know they are performing their duties without the same type of influence from financial relationships their little witch hunt claims to be about?

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    I’d vote for that Robert .

    There simply far to many politicians eating at the public trough to start with .

    The political model has not adjusted to the times . Half the politicians at Federal ,State /Province and Municipal /County levels are redundant. Most of the other half are order takers to someone .Including big beautiful oil .

    The general public wouldn’t even notice
    they were gone as it often comes down to a single person.The rest are mainly actors with tiny bit parts .

    We need a Light-Pork Party . Maybe Girjalva could do something constructive
    and start the ball rolling once he has consulted with his bag men .

    Think of the reduced Carbon Feet print .
    A real win -win . It will happen eventually regardless .

    As long as there is other peoples money to spend and a no limit line of credit government grows like plants with lots of CO2.

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