University of Delaware spurns House Democrats’ probe into climate professor

grijalvaUniversity of Delaware officials have refused to provide information on the funding of a climate professor to House Democrats, stating that to do so would violate the university’s policies on academic freedom.

In a response dated Monday and later released to reporters, officials at the University of Delaware provided Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, with general information about the institution’s funding policies. But they refused to turn over details related to the financial backing of professor David Legates.

“The University of Delaware chooses not to act in a manner inconsistent with its governing principles and contractual commitments,” said the letter signed by UD president Patrick T. Harker and provost Domenico Grasso.

Mr. Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources, launched an investigation last month into the internal and external funding of seven professors who have disputed the climate change movement’s contention that global warming is resulting in extreme weather events.

The Grijalva letters ask five questions, the first on university policies on financial disclosure and the other four on the funding of specific professors by name. University of Delaware officials provided information in response to the first question but not the others.

“The remaining four questions in your letter relate to research conducted by Professor Legates, who is mentioned by name in each question,” said the letter from the Delaware president and provost. “The University respectfully declines to respond to those questions, which we believe intrude into areas that are protected by academic freedom.”

Mr. Grijalva had originally asked for the seven universities to provide information by Monday, but he may have since granted them an extension. University of Colorado Boulder spokesman Ryan Huff said the congressman had given CU officials an additional week to provide information on professor Roger Pielke Jr.

Mr. Grijalva told the universities he was concerned about whether the professors, who have testified before Congress, were being funded by the fossil fuel industry. The congressman has since received enormous pushback from academics, scientists and others who say his investigation amounts to a “witch hunt,” in the words of Mr. Pielke.

Mr. Legates, the former Delaware state climatologist, is a geography professor and former director of the university’s Center for Climatic Research. He has come under fire from the climate change movement for disputing its contention that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will lead to catastrophic temperature increases.

Mr. Legates was also the co-author of a 2015 paper, along with other so-called climate “skeptics” like Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics researcher Willie Soon, that predicts only a 1 degree temperature rise from 2000 to 2100 and challenges the more drastic predictions of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Officials at Arizona State University provided the bulk of the information requested by Mr. Grijalva in a March 12 response on professor Robert Balling, minus copies of his congressional testimony, noting that ASU does not require faculty to submit such documents.

Arizona State University president Michael M. Crow included an additional document in a March 6 letter: a copy of the ASU policy on academic freedom.

“I strongly urge you and your colleagues to be aware of and to consider the principle of academic freedom as you continue your pursuit of documents and information from universities and individual faculty members,” Mr. Crow said.

A geography professor at ASU, Mr. Balling is also the former director of the university’s Office of Climatology. He has described global warming as real but “relatively modest,” and far less catastrophic than widely depicted.


Comments (5)

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    Grijalva did not ‘launch an investigation’, he launched attacks meant to silence scientists and/or get them fired.

    Anyone who does not condemn his actions is at the very least a closet fascist.

  • Avatar



    Couldn’t agree more Gator . They have lost the scientific pretence of the greatest scam in decades so the only thing left is to have flunkies throw muck .Political science at its best.

    They are desperate …the earth doesn’t have a fever and the climate models used to prop up the scam have now been proven to grossly overestimate any warming .

    Virtually no warming in over 18 years .As if the earths temperature could even be
    accurately taken within a fraction of one degree .

    A lot of work and money was spent setting up the global warming caper
    so it is not surprising they will pull out all stops to take another kick at the can .

    Thank goodness for the scientists who had the courage to do their jobs and weren’t being bullied or bought .

  • Avatar

    Frederick Colbourne


    “He has described global warming as real but “relatively modest,” and far less catastrophic than widely depicted.”

    I think that Dr. Balling, a geography professor at ASU and former director of the university’s Office of Climatology, is not a skeptic at all, since he accepts the theory of global warming but merely questions the rate of warming.

    I am a skeptic because I hold that the theory might or might not be valid. There may be factors whose impact on climate have been underestimated.

    What is now regarded as continuous (secular) warming could simply be the upward swing of a long-term natural climate cycle. Not a change, but a fluctuation. Or is could be systematic, related to some key geophysical factor.

    I am a skeptic in the sense that I am not certain about any theory of climate.

    Cosmoclimatology may someday show that galactic cosmic rays (muons) control the Earth’s albedo.

    The Earth’s albedo controls the short-wave energy flux and has been subject to adjustment over time. The reflectivity of cloud cover is the most important and least-well modeled climate factor.

    Formerly, the value of SW flux was 99.5 W m-2 but in 2009 was re-estimated at 107 W m-2.

    The adjustment by 7.5 W m-2 was then 8.8 times greater than the estimate energy imbalance that causes global warming. (Loeb et al, 2009)

    However, in 2012 Loeb et al. updated the estimate of energy imbalance to 0.5 W m-2. This means that the 2009 adjustment in SW flux was 15 times greater than the net energy imbalance.

    Have we now reached the point where we know for sure that the net energy imbalance is actually only 0.07% of the energy flux at the top of the atmosphere?

    I am not sure and I believe that NASA scientists are not sure either. But if the net energy imbalance is as small as they estimate, then the Earth’s albedo must be measured substantially better than 0.293 which gives only 0.3% precision.

    Alternatively, we have to begin considering more seriously the role of galactic cosmic rays and even changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, including the Southern Hemisphere Magnetic Anomaly.

    There is much more to climate than CO2 and other GHGs.

    Loeb et al (2009) Toward Optimal Closure of the Earth’s Top-of-Atmosphere Radiation Budget, Journal of Climate, American Meteorological Society. DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2637.1

    Norman G. Loeb, John M. Lyman, Gregory C. Johnson, Richard P. Allan, David R. Doelling,Takmeng Wong, Brian J. Soden and Graeme L. Stephens. Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty. (Nature Geoscience Vol 5 February 2012)

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    Grijalva didn’t ask for the same information from the Earth Has a Fever Church promoters .

    Why wouldn’t he be asking the scientists and others who have a vested financial interest in promoting scary global warming to disclose their business interests including the environmental groups which are huge beneficiaries of the scam ?

    When government officials try to target
    and bully people who have a right to provide their scientific evidence that governments days are numbered and they know it .

    We can expect more scorched earth tactics in the dying days of the democrat
    bully’s .

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