Former NASA GISS climate scientist exposes incompetence, junkets, best model called ‘jungle’ of code

Gavin Schmidt

Dr. Duane Thresher who worked seven years at NASA GISS describes a culture of self-serving rent-seekers, mismanagement, and incompetence. These are the top experts in the climate science field that we are supposed to accept without questioning. Those who say they are working to “save the planet” care more about their junkets than they do about the data or their “best” model.

NASA GISS’s most advanced climate model is run from the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Thresher recounts a story from someone on the inside:

“NASA GISS’s climate model — named Model E, an intentional play on the word “muddle” — is called the “jungle” because it is so badly coded.”   I know this to be true from my own extensive experience programming it (I tried to fix as much as I could…).

Thresher writes about how the team was happy to take taxpayer funds and spend it on unnecessary conferences which were “loads of fun” while they scrimped and saved on things like data security and incompetent tech staff. Secretaries and mail boys were hired for jobs they were not qualified for. At one point data was lost when exposed plumbing leaked in the computer room.

One of the guys hired/promoted to provide tech support was the NASA GISS mail boy. He was a good kid so why not give him a high-paying tech job?

Similarly, a NASA GISS secretary was hired/promoted to provide tech support. She was very nice but c’mon.

Another of the guys hired was so incompetent a bunch of the climate scientists finally got together and demanded Jim Hansen, head of NASA GISS then, fire him, WITHOUT REPLACEMENT. Tech support got BETTER after that.

While I was nearing completion of my dissertation at NASA GISS, an exposed water pipe to the bathroom overhead broke in the computer room, destroying thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment and data, including mine; the “data recovery” by incompetent NASA GISS tech support destroyed even more. To start, you should be shaking your head and saying, “why are there exposed bathroom water pipes going through a computer room?”

Even though flights are a large contributor to carbon emissions, climate scientists were keen to fly for fun:

Even though nowadays conferences could easily and more efficiently be done as teleconferences, climate scientists love to travel to FUN places for conferences, paid for by the taxpayer. We were no different, as we said in AGU’s “Climate Change: Believe It Or Else” Prize

At some climate conferences, climate scientists can even donate some of their conference travel money to offset the carbon emissions from the travel. The tiny number of participants would make Scrooge blush.

He wanted to be a whistleblower but the media weren’t interested

I wanted to be like FBI agent Mark Felt, who was the Watergate informant Deep Throat, or Edward Snowden, the NSA informant. Secretly supplying inside information to bring down a government agency gone bad. (Due to lawmakers actually hating whistleblowers, Snowden isn’t covered by whistleblower laws, but I might be.) I even tried that at first (did you know that you can’t simply email information to WikiLeaks but have to use Tor, which can be a bit of a hassle?).

Journalists weren’t interested. This shouldn’t have surprised me. Read Glenn Greenwald’s No Place To Hide, which is about Edward Snowden and the NSA. Snowden practically begged Greenwald for months to take his information but Greenwald was too lazy. The Washington Post (which also stalled Snowden), The New York Times (“Pravda On The Hudson”), and the rest are worthless at this point so we became our own newspaper. Recognize our masthead font?

Thresher is pressing a case against Gavin Schmidt, current head of NASA GISS, for violations of the Hatch Act. (Quote: “…the Hatch Act, …forbids government officials from spending government time and money on political activities.”)

What usually happens is that money for specific projects is pooled to pay the grad students, although usually there is one big money project paying the lion’s share. That means that many grad students are paid off grants for specific projects but are not working on those projects. I remember once at NASA GISS having to write up a progress report for a project I didn’t really work on but was paid off of. That is the definition of “misspent”.

Our article, a Top NASA Climate Scientist Uses Private Email To Avoid Oversight, describes well Gavin Schmidt’s violation of the Federal Records Act while at NASA GISS. But we’ve only briefly touched upon his violation of the Hatch Act. Here is my email to the NASA OIG agent that describes the Hatch Act violation best.

He advises skeptics and commentators to use FOI to go after the money instead of the data.

“The data is often fundamentally flawed. How you process it after that is irrelevant. Garbage in, garbage out.”

Read more at JoNova

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