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The EU Connection in Climate Research

The EU Connection in Climate Research

by John Rosenthal

Millions of euros come with an agenda

The leaking of the East Anglia “Climategate” e-mails and data last November shattered the appearance of a scientific consensus on supposed “man-made global warming” and provided a disturbing insight into the corruption of the scientific process as it relates to the “man-made global warming” hypothesis. The spectacle of scientists stonewalling freedom of information requests, destroying records, hiding unwelcome results, colluding to keep dissenting viewpoints out of scholarly journals, and even suppressing their own acknowledged doubts — all of this made it perfectly clear that other interests were at stake than the pure pursuit of knowledge. The centrality of the quest for funding in the e-mail exchanges made it equally clear that for the scientists in question, money, unsurprisingly, was first and foremost among those interests.

But just who or what had corrupted the science in order to produce the phantom “consensus”? Commentators in U.S. online discussion forums and blogs wasted no time in identifying two prime suspects: the reputed prophet of green energy, Al Gore, and the right’s least favorite leftist billionaire, George Soros. Such speculation said a lot about the top bogeymen in the conservative blogosphere, but it was prima facie implausible or even indeed absurd. After all, no single individual, no matter how wealthy, has the resources that it takes to politicize weather and corrupt the entire global scientific enterprise. Indeed, in the grand scheme of things, one of the named suspects is not even particularly wealthy. Despite the prominent role he has played as a spokesperson for climate alarmism, it is far more likely that the former vice president is a passenger on the global warming bandwagon, not a driver.

If no individual has the money it takes, states — especially if they pool their resources — most certainly do. The real culprit in the corruption of the scientific process and the promotion of climate alarmism is named again and again in the East Anglia e-mails and documents. But the culprit is named with many different names, mysterious combinations of letters and numbers and lyrical code words, names like “dgxii, dgxi fp5 fp6 fp7 life enrich.” What do they mean? In the final analysis, it is but one and the same multinational organization that lurks behind all these designations: the European Union.

The eu funding stream

All the designations refer either to departments of the European Commission or eu funding schemes. “dgxii” is the acronym by which the Commission’s Directorate General for Research was formerly designated, and “ dgxi” was the acronym for the Directorate General for the Environment.

The Research dg is essentially a funding organization. It controls a massive multi-year budget for research support known as the “Framework Programme” — or “fp,” for short. The European Network for Research into Global Change — or “ enrich” — was an early climate change research initiative that was launched already under the fourth Framework Programme (1994–96). The Environment dglikewise has at its disposal a “financing instrument” (albeit a more modest one). The financing program of the Environment dg is called “ life.” The Research Directorate’s Framework Programme 6 — or “fp6” — ran from 2002 through 2006 and comprised a budget of some € 17.5 billion. The current Framework Programme 7 began in 2007 and will run through 2013 It comprises a research support budget of some €50.5 billion.

fp6 funded 26 projects on climate change. The total eu contribution to these projects was a whopping € 165,580,451. The University of East Anglia was a partner institution in no less than eight of these projects and it was the coordinating institution for one. Under fp7, the “climate research” manna has flowed even more freely. In just the first three years (2007–09) of the current Framework Programme, the European Commission has already funded 28 projects on climate change for a total eu contribution, according to provisional data, of some € 116,271,772. The University of East Anglia is a partner institution in four of these projects.

Several of the fp7 projects bear suitably alarmist abbreviated titles like climsave, redd-alert, and even HighNoon. As the example of HighNoon illustrates, not all the beneficiaries of the European financing are European research institutions. HighNoon is funded under an fp7 funding scheme known as cp-sica (“Collaborative Project-Specific International Cooperation Action”) that is specifically dedicated to funding research with “international,” i.e. non-eu, partner institutions. As it so happens, the lead international partner in the HighNoon project is none other than The Energy and Resources Institute (teri) in New Delhi. teri is the research center of Rajendra Pachauri, the embattled chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (ipcc).

No single individual, no matter how wealthy, has the resources that it takes to politicize weather.

In as much as the “principal aim” of HighNoon is “to assess the impact of Himalayan glaciers retreat” (as well as “possible changes of the Indian summer monsoon”), the short-form title can be presumed to be an allusion to what is now perhaps the most infamously alarmist claim associated with Pachauri and the ipcc: namely, the prediction that at the present rate of “warming” the Himalayan glaciers can be expected entirely to disappear by 2035.

As recently as early January, Pachauri rudely dismissed an Indian government report that found the “sensational” prediction to be unsupported by the evidence. Pachauri called the government report “voodoo science.” Barely two weeks later, the ipcc was forced officially to retract the claim, after the supposed expert on whose authority it had been based refused to stand behind it. The expert in question, Syed Iqbal Hasnain, is a teri “distinguished fellow” and, per a recent teri press release, the head of teri’s “glaciology team.” He is also the coauthor of a presentation on the “Status of Indian Glaciers under Climatechange Scenarios” available on the HighNoon website.1 It now appears that the 2035 date was the product of a misreading of the findings of the geologist V.M. Kotlyakov, who in a 1996 paper estimated that at then-present rates of warming the world’s extra-polar glacier cover would diminish by 80 percent by . . . 2350.

The projected eu contribution to HighNoon is €3,311,756. It is telling that a recent and related Carnegie Corporation grant to teri and an Icelandic partner institution is worth barely one-tenth of this total. This is to say that for scare-mongering “climate researchers” like Pachauri and Hasnain, private American foundation money is just, so to speak, icing on the cake. eu money is the cake. Pachauri’s teri is a partner institution in no less than six research projects that have thus far been funded under the eu’s Seventh Framework Programme. Three of the six are on “climate change.” Numerous U.S. institutions, both public institutions and private educational institutions, are likewise participants in eu-funded “climate research” projects.

Among the files to be found in last November’s online document dump is a spreadsheet of grant monies received by Professor Phil Jones, the former director of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (cru). Jones “stood aside” from his post shortly after the compromising documents were made public. Above all on account of its imposing £13,718,547 total — or over $21 million at current exchange rates — the spreadsheet attracted attention in both new and even some old media. The data in it clearly reflect the importance of eu funding for the “climate research” agenda of Jones and the cru. But they also in fact underestimate the importance of eu funding. By far the largest grants included in the spreadsheet are operating grants to two research centers: the Institute for Connective Environmental Research and the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research. As a British public educational institution, the University of East Anglia naturally relies on British public sources to cover the operating costs of its research centers.

But they underestimate the importance of EU funding. By far the largest grants in the spreadsheet are operating grants to two centers.

If one removes these two operating grants and considers only the project-related funding, Jones’s total haul falls to £4,379,264 for the roughly decade-and-a-half (1990–2006) covered by the spreadsheet. Of this amount, some £1,882,706 — or 43 percent — came from the European Union. Moreover, the importance of the European funding clearly increases with time, representing some 48percent of the project-related grant monies after 2000< and fully 52 percent after 2002. The latter date is of particular significance for European “climate activism,” since it was in 2002 that the European Union and all its then-member states simultaneously submitted their ratifications of the Kyoto Protocol, the eu’s showcase international initiative for “combating” climate change. The year 2002 also marked the start of the sixth Framework Programme.

It should be noted that some of Jones’s domestic British sources of research funding are themselves in turn beneficiaries of eu money. This is the case for both the uk Met Office — which is a partner in several eu-funded climate research projects —and the Natural Environment Research Council (nerc). The nerc, moreover, makes no bones about its avid interest in helping uk scientists to “leverage” eu money.2 As it happens, such a “leverage effect” — i.e., the stimulation of additional public and private investment as a consequence of eu funding — is one of the express aims of the eu legislation adopting the current Framework Programme.3

That eu money would come to swamp domestic British sources of funding even in the work of Professor Phil Jones is particularly impressive given just how relatively limited the horizons of the professor appear to have been. The real “internationalist” in the East Anglia group was clearly Mike Hulme, the director of the Tyndall Center. Thus, on June 18, 2004 Hulme and two of his associates sent an e-mail to Jones and several other recipients announcing:

The Tyndall Centre is intending to lead a bid for a large eu research project (ca. 12-15 million Euros in the initial bid) on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in Europe. The call was announced this week with outline bids (ca. 20 pages) due by October (3rd call of the sixth framework programme, fp6).

The Tyndall trio went on to invite the recipients to participate in the bid. Jones then proceeded to forward the e-mail to two of his Climate Research Unit colleagues along with the following note:

Dave and Clare,
I am presuming we (cru) don’t want to get involved with this.

“Err! yes i think this would be good to get involved,” Dave Viner replied. The successful bid would become adam — “Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies: Supporting European Climate Policy” — a project funded by the European Union to the tune of nearly €13 million. According to an “indicative budget” included in the East Anglia document file, as the lead participating institution the University of East Anglia alone was slated to receive a cool €1.84 million.4 Another document contained in the file indicates that Jones was part of a group applying for fp7 funding at the very time that the “Climategate” scandal broke. The document is dated November 9, 2009. The abbreviated title of the proposed project offers some curious insight into just how Jones and his colleagues viewed the eu. The full title is “European Reanalysis and Observations for Monitoring,” out of which the authors managed creatively to extract the abbreviation euro4m. But the short-form title would seem more obviously to refer to something else: namely, the €4 million in support that the researchers were requesting!

EU funding and the politicization
of science

It is no accident that eu funding leads to politicized science. “Promoting research that supports eu policies” is, after all, one of the stated “main strategic objectives” of the Research dg’s framework programmes.5 Indeed, the joint European Council/European Parliament decision adopting Framework Programme 7 promises “a new approach . . . which should allow the political objectives of Community research policy to be reached more easily.”6

The decision identifies ten thematic areas for research support and “community action.” For each of them, a “rationale” is provided and key “activities” are identified. The rationale for including “energy” among the ten areas is explained by, among other things, “the need to curb dramatically emissions of greenhouse gases in order to mitigate the devastating consequences of climate change.” In keeping with this rationale, “co2 capture and storage technologies for zero emission power generation” is identified as a key “activity.” Not surprisingly, “Environment (including climate change)” is another of the ten thematic areas. The “rationale” provided for its inclusion notes that “earth’s natural resources and the man-made environment are under intense pressure from . . . climate variability and warming at local, regional and global scales.”

In other words, the eu’s funding for climate research is based on the proverbial assumption that the science is “settled,” the debate “over.” Skeptics, so to say, need not apply. That the earth is warming, that the causes are anthropogenic, and that the consequences will be devastating — all these propositions, despite their largely empirical character, are treated as axiomatic by the eu’s program and hence placed outside the realm of legitimate inquiry. The program is thus at variance with the very nature of the normal scientific process. When Barack Obama went to Copenhagen in December and declared that “the reality of climate change is not in doubt” and that all that remained was to agree on actions “to meet the challenge,” he was merely repeating European dogma. The eu decision adopting the seventh “framework programme” serves, in effect, to promulgate this dogma: to establish it by law for the entire “European research area,” i.e. for all the eu member states and their some 500 million inhabitants. While decreeing empirical truths may have been a matter of course for Church authorities in the Middle Ages, it is surely extraordinary to find the political authorities of supposedly democratic nations doing the same in the 21st century.

If we consider, moreover, the concrete policy objectives that eu-funded “climate research” is designed to support, it is hardly surprising that eu funding would favor dogma over science. The centerpiece of eu“climate change mitigation” efforts is, after all, the Kyoto protocol. Indeed, the Kyoto protocol has arguably been the single most high-profile eu policy initiative bar none. With the protocol set to expire at the end of 2012, the focus of current eu efforts is to have a new Kyoto-like international agreement in place by that date and to succeed in involving the United States this time as party to it. But unless all three of the highly contestable propositions enumerated above are true, the emissions-trading scheme at the heart of the Kyoto arrangements amounts to nothing more than an enormous and wasteful boondoggle. All the various and sundry “mitigation” strategies — such as the development of “carbon capture” technologies, for instance — would be boondoggles as well.

But just why would the eu want to promote such a system of boondoggles? In order to answer that question, one needs to go back in time: to 1990.

1990: Kyoto’s secret history

According to abelief that is widespread among “climate skeptics,” the global warming scare and Kyoto’s ostensible solution are just means to an end, and the end in question is in fact entirely unrelated to climate or the environment. They are, in effect, just a backdoor route to global socialism. Now, it is certainly true that Kyoto hands over enormous power to international bureaucracies and subordinates markets to their whims. Indeed, the emissions trading scheme does more than just subject markets to political control. By dictating companies’ and countries’ need for carbon credits, it actually conjures a market into existence purely by government fiat. But the socialist Trojan horse explanation for Kyoto requires that we attribute an implausibly large degree of foresight and premeditation to European actors and/or their un “co-conspirators.”

eu bureaucrats and the national political elites in the two major continental European powers, Germany and France, are undoubtedly overwhelmingly inclined to favor a directive role for state institutions. But they did not need to have any grand design for global government in order to find Kyoto attractive. Simple opportunism and the aggressive pursuit of national interest were sufficient. For the terms of the Kyoto accord are in fact enormously advantageous for the eu. Most fundamentally, they are advantageous for the country representing the eu’s largest economy: Germany. They are more or less neutral for most other eu member states. And they are enormously disadvantageous for the United States.

Kyoto was essentially conceived as a deal between the eu and the U.S., the world’s two largest economic areas in terms of gdp. Other parties to the agreement are largely window dressing. Under the banner of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” the treaty implicitly recognizes this fact. “Common but differentiated responsibilities” is a bizarre sort of newspeak for a novel type of international “agreement” under which many of the parties, in effect, only “agree” to other parties doing things. The Kyoto accord creates no concrete obligations whatsoever for some 150 of the 189 countries that are presently party to it. It is hardly surprising, then, that it was possible to get them to sign on.

Many of the Annex I countries, however, benefit from targets that are so lenient that they too incur no real obligations.

Indeed, by allowing developing countries to sell carbon credits to industrialized countries as part of the so-called Clean Development Mechanism (cdm), Kyoto creates a positive financial incentive for the developing countries to join. Only countries that have ratified Kyoto may participate in the cdm. In light of its existence, it would have been astonishing for poorer countries to refuse to join the Kyoto system. They had literally nothing to lose and cold hard cash to gain. India’s National cdmAuthority estimates that the country will be able to earn nearly $6 billion on the carbon credit market by the year 2012.7 China and Brazil are likewise major beneficiaries of the cdm.

So-called Annex I countries are a different matter. “Annex I” refers to Annex I of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Kyoto accord is a protocol to the convention. Unlike the developing countries, the Annex I countries do incur practical obligations under Kyoto in the form of emissions reduction or limitation targets — at least, in theory. The targets concern a bundle of “greenhouse gases” of which co2is the key component. Many of the Annex I countries, however, benefit from targets that are so lenient that they too incur no real obligations. Russia, for instance, is only required to hold its emissions at or below 1990nbsp;levels. Given the collapse of Soviet-era industries, this meant that Russia would be sure to have plenty of “hot air” to spare and could only be a financial beneficiary of the Kyoto arrangements.

Australia is one of three Annex I countries assigned a positive emissions target under the treaty, thus being officially allowed to increase its emissions in relation to the 1990 base year. But Australia was not only given the benefit of a positive target. By virtue of what is commonly referred to in the literature as the Australia clause, it was also allowed to include emissions from land clearing in the calculation of its emissions total for the base year. The effect of this was massively to inflate the base year emissions total, thus rendering the real allowance even greater than the official 8 percent.

On the other hand, all but two of the present day eu member states are officially required to reduce their emissions under the treaty. Twenty-three of them incur the maximum requirement of an 8 percent emissions reduction. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that for the most part this apparently stringent requirement translates in practice into minimal requirements or indeed none at all.

In 1990, of course, something rather epoch-making occurred in Europe: German reunification.

The fundamental source of the legerdemain is the selection of the year 1990 as the reference date for measuring emissions reductions. In 1990, of course, something rather epoch-making occurred in Europe: German reunification. As a result of reunification, East Germany’s highly inefficient, highly carbon-intensive industries were quickly wound down. This would be reflected in a sudden and substantial drop in the reunified country’s overall co2 emissions figures. Now, it might be thought that only Germany itself could benefit from this fact under Kyoto. Why should the other eu countries have gone along with the trick?

But under Kyoto other countries are in fact also able to benefit from Germany’s statistical “good fortune.” The protocol permits groups of countries to share their emissions reduction burden. Among Kyoto cognoscenti, this arrangement is colloquially known as a bubble. Nominally, each of the fifteen states that comprised the eu at the time of Kyoto’s adoption is supposed to reduce its emissions by 8 percent in relation to 1990 levels. But thanks to their formation of a bubble, in reality they are only committed to collectively reducing their emissions by this amount. The actual individual commitments are laid out in Annex 2 of the April 2002 European Council decision approving the ratification of Kyoto.

Germany graciously agreed to take on the seemingly disproportionate “burden” of a 21 percent reduction in emissions. As the top line in Figure I below illustrates, the country has already achieved such a 21 percent reduction in co2 emissions. The graph is adapted from the textbook Renewable Energy and Climate Change (Wiley & Sons, 2010) by Professor Volker Quaschning of Berlin’s Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft. As the other two curves in the graph make clear, however, Germany’s prima facie impressive achievement is largely just a statistical by-product of the precipitous fall in eastern German emissions in the early 1990<. The evolution of co2 emissions in eastern Germany is represented by the bottom curve. The middle curve represents the evolution of co2 emissions in western Germany. As can be seen, on Professor Quaschning’s calculations, from 1990 until today, they have remained almost unchanged.

And what of Germany’s principal partner in European integration? Under the eu bubble arrangement, France has no obligation to reduce its “greenhouse gas” emissions. It is only supposed to hold them steady at 1990 levels. All told, seven of the fifteen eu member states forming part of the eu “bubble” have no emissions reduction requirement. Five members of this group are indeed permitted to increase their emissions, some of them by vast amounts.

The 1990 Kyoto base year was also, of course, beneficial for the ten “post-Communist” Eastern European countries that were candidates for eu-membership at the time of Kyoto’s adoption in 1997 and that would subsequently join the eu. In case it was not beneficial enough, however, the ten countries were permitted to opt for a year other than 1990 as their base year or even to use the average over a period of years. Unsurprisingly, several of them opted to employ a base year or period upstream of 1990 when their still communist-era industries were pumping out the maximum amount of co2. Equally unsurprisingly, almost all of these countries will be able to meet their Kyoto targets without any difficulty and without having to have taken any special measures to do so.

And what of the United States? Under the terms of the Kyoto protocol, the U.S. is supposed to reduce its emissions by 7 percent. On the face of it, this is a slightly less stringent target than that accepted by the eu15. But what does this 7 percent mean in practice? Well, it means 7 percent. The U.S. was granted none of the hidden indulgences that have allowed other industrialized nations to continue emitting “greenhouse gases” at unchanged levels or even to increase their emissions.

It is hardly surprising, then, that according to calculations undertaken by Yale economist William Nordhaus, the United States alone was slated to bear some two-thirds of the total costs of the protocol as originally conceived and four times the costs borne by the eu15.8 From both Nordhaus’s analysis and the details of the treaty itself, it would appear that the other major loser under the terms of the Kyoto accord is Japan, which is saddled with a hard and fast 6 percent emissions reduction target.

The march of the pgos

Here is an update on the Inter-reg proposal,” Tyndall Center associate Iain Brown writes to Mike Hulme and two other colleagues in an e-mail dated January 29, 2004, “ . . . Aiming for a 3 year project of 3–4 million Euros.” interreg is yet another eu funding scheme, this one attached to the Directorate General for Regional Policy. The proposal in question would become the interreg-funded project branch: Biodiversity Requires Adaptation in Northwest Europe under a Changing Climate. But in case the interreg application failed, Brown suggested some possible backups: “Other alternatives are life and Framework VI.”

As mentioned above, lifeis the financing instrument of the Directorate General for the Environment. The current life + program, covering the period from 2007 through 2013, makes available €2.143 billion in funding.9 Contrary to Iain Brown’s apparent expectation, ordinarily life would not in fact fund scientific research. But what it does fund is highly relevant to the story of climate alarmism. If the eu’s Research dg and its Framework Programmes have corrupted the scientific process as it pertains to climate, the Environment dg and its life program have distorted public debate and thereby undermined the very democratic process. They have done so, notably, by financing ngos.

The leaking of the East Anglia e-mails and documents sparked a remarkable and, in many ways, unprecedented process of public scrutiny of the supposed climate science consensus via blogs and online discussion forums. One of the most troubling discoveries made by the scrutinizers was the vast number of allegedly scientific claims in the ipcc’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report that were referenced not to peer-reviewed scientific journals, but rather to advocacy groups or ngos. As judged by the number of citations, perhaps the most authoritative of the nonscientific “authorities” cited in the ipcc report is the self-styled conservation organization that goes by the initials wwf. The acronym originally stood for “World Wildlife Fund,” and the American branch of the organization still uses this name. The organization as such, however, is now officially known as “wwf—World Wide Fund for Nature.”

According to publicly available European Commission data, WWF was awarded nearly 9 million euros in EU support in 2008 alone.

The infamous Himalayan glacier retreat prediction in Chapter 10 of the ipcc report, for instance, is supported by nothing more than a citation of a 2005 wwf paper (which cites in turn Syed Iqbal Hasnain). As Donna Laframboise of the No Frakking “Scientific Consensus” blog has pointed out, a search of the ipcc’s Fourth assessment report turns up dozens of citations of no less than sixteen wwf-sponsored papers or pamphlets.10

Now, it is commonly assumed, even by many ipcc critics, that wwf is a private advocacy organization funded by donations from the public. This is hardly surprising given that wwf does, of course, engage in high-profile fundraising efforts. wwf commercials have indeed helped to popularize what is undoubtedly the most iconic image of the supposedly nefarious effects of a warming climate: the stranded polar bear floating aimlessly on what we are led to believe are ever diminishing chunks of ice.

But wwf also receives substantial funding from the European Union. Indeed, the financial ties between the eu and wwf are so regular and systematic that it would be more accurate to describe the organization as a pgo — or “para-governmental organization” — rather than an ngo.

According to publicly available European Commission data, wwf was awarded nearly €9 million in eu support in 2008 alone. In 2007, the figure was over €7.5 million. The money came from several different eu budget lines, including development aid, “communication,” and the environment dg’s life+ program. Most of the support took the form of ostensibly project-linked grants to wwf-International or its national affiliates. The largest single grant — for €3,499,999 — went to wwf-International in 2007. wwf is so intimately familiar with eu money that it has even edited a handbook on eu environmental funding on behalf of the European Commission. In February of this year, the organization advertised a job opening with the title “European Funding Coordinator.” “The European Funding Coordinator will promote funding interactions between the eu as a donor and the wwf Global programme,” the job description explains.

Not all of the eu’s funding of wwf, moreover, is project-linked. Most significantly for present purposes, wwf’s European Policy Office in Brussels receives an annual “operating grant” from the Environment dg. According to publicly available European Commission data, in 2009 this contribution amounted to €661,878, representing 15.46 percent of the office’s total budget. wwf’s European Policy Office has been awarded an annual operating grant from the eu every year since 1997. In earlier years, the subsidy represented as much as 28 percent of the office’s budget. In addition, since 2002 the organization’s Danube-Carpathian Programme Office in Vienna has likewise received regular operating grants from the eu.11

The period of the eu’s financing of the wwf policy office happens largely to coincide with the period covered by the East Anglia e-mails. wwf and wwf officials make several appearances in the e-mails. The general tenor of the organization’s interaction with the scientists is unmistakable.

In October 1997, for instance, just two months before the Kyoto climate conference, Andrew Kerr of the wwf Climate Change Campaign can be found berating the Japanese government for proposing “scandalous” emissions reduction targets for industrialized nations: i.e., more realistic, less misleading, and more equitable targets than those that would ultimately be adopted. “It is vital that European governments reject the proposal in no uncertain terms and urge Japan to at least support the eu standpoint,” Kerr writes. In July 1999, Dr. A. Barrie Pittock of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (csiro) can be found well-nigh pleading with Mike Hulme to alter climate change scenarios being prepared by Hulme on a wwf grant. “Our main concern . . . is your use of the 95% confidence limits of natural climatic variability as some sort of threshold for change,” Dr. Pittock writes.

This is a reasonable thing to do if you are addressing the question of whether climatic change will be detectable at a “scientific level” of confidence, but that is certainly not the question I would expect wwf to want answered . . . I would be very concerned if the material comes out under wwf auspices in a way that can be interpreted as saying that “even a greenie group like wwf” thinks large areas of the world will have negligible climate change.

After receiving assurances from Hulme about changes in the latter’s presentation, a relieved Pittock (“I am now much happier”) sheepishly explains the background to his intercession:

I should perhaps explain my delicate position in all this . . . I have a son who is now a leading staff member of wwf in Australia and who is naturally well informed on climate change issues. Moreover, Michael Rae, who is their local climate change staffer, is a member of the csiro sector advisory committee.

One day after receiving Pittock’s plea, Hulme received still more indirect “input” from wwf, this time via Adam Markham. Markham tells him that “in particular, they [wwf] would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible.” In an e-mail sent August 6, 2003, Stephan Singer of wwf’s European Policy Office can be found flogging that summer’s European heat wave as proof of “truly global warming” and offering money for a study on the “economic costs of these weather extremes.”

How could allegedly man-made global warming come to eclipse unquestionably man-made terrorism?

Several other so-called ngos that have played important roles in the promotion of the Kyoto protocol and the supposed fight against “global warming” are likewise beneficiaries of eu operating subsidies. During the Copenhagen conference in December, the youthful militants of the environmentalist group Friends of the Earth earned a particular reputation for rowdiness, leading to the group’s highly publicized banning from the Bella conference center. Friends of the Earth is commonly described as a “grassroots” organization. Magda Stoczkiewicz, the director of Friends of the Earth Europe, complained bitterly about the ban: “If Friends of the Earth is not allowed inside the un negotiations we cannot play our crucial role in bringing the voices of citizens to the talks, especially the voices of those who are disadvantaged and already suffering most because of climate change.”

But consultation of eu funding data reveals Stoczkiewicz’s pretence to representing “civil society” and the “climate-disadvantaged” global masses to be a sham. In every year from 2003 through 2009, Friends of the Earth Europe was awarded operating grants from the eu’s Environment dg representing anywhere from 40 percent to 53 percent of its annual budget. Friends of the Earth Europe has been receiving eu subsidies since 1997. The Climate Action Network Europe, an umbrella group of European ngos, has received operating grants from the eu’s Environment dg representing anywhere from 34 percent to 64 percent of its budget in every year from 2003 through 2009. In all but one year, the grant was over 50 percent.

One of the great political puzzles of the last decade is how allegedly manmade global warming — a purely hypothetical threat, of which no one has to date suffered any known consequences — could come to eclipse unquestionably manmade terrorism as the greatest “global challenge” of our times. That this development could occur during a decade in which by all accounts global temperatures have on the average declined renders the mystery all the greater. During this same decade, at least tens of thousands, and more likely hundreds of thousands, have fallen victim to Islamist-inspired terror attacks in the United States, India, Iraq, Great Britain, Tunisia, Russia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel, Somalia, Spain, and numerous other countries around the world.

The eclipsing of the real and immediate threat of Islamist terror by the hypothetical long-term threat of “global warming” represents an obvious aberration. It simply cannot be the result of the spontaneous uprising of the global masses, as Friends of the Earth and other eu-funded pressure groups would like to make us believe. Instead, it would appear that the very practice of eu-funding of ngos has helped to create a sort of pseudo civil society, amidst the din of whose protests and press releases and media campaigns the interests of actual civil society have become all but inaudible.

1 Accessed January 22, 2010.

2 See Natural Environment Research Council, “An International Plan for nerc.” According to nerc’s 2008–09 annual report, nerc itself received £4.3 million in support from the eu in the 2008–09 fiscal year.

3 See Decision No. 1982/2006/ec of the European Parliament and of the Council.

4 The university’s final take was presumably even higher, since the proposed budget assumes an eu grant of “only” €12 million.

5 European Commission, FP7 in Brief (2007), 7.

6 See Decision No. 1982/2006/ec of the European Parliament and of the Council.

7 See, (accessed February 26, 2010). For a revealing example of how the cdm works, see Christopher Booker, “£60m bill for the co2 of our political class,” Telegraph (February 20, 2010).

8 See William D. Nordhaus, “Global Warming Economics,” Science, 294 (November 9, 2001), Figure 3. By “total costs” here I mean just the sum of the costs of all the countries or regions bearing costs. Nordhaus’s chart includes a bar representing “world costs,” which is something different.

9 See Regulation No. 614/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

10 Richard North’s EUReferendum blog should be mentioned as another blog that played a major role in drawing attention to the ipcc’s dependence upon wwf.

11 Data on eu operating subsidies to environmental ngos is available at, (accessed June 30, 2010).


John Rosenthal writes regularly on European politics for publications such as the Weekly Standard and the Daily Caller. More of his work can be found at

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ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, Oxfam Aotearoa and World Vision New Zealand say that while Afghanistan faces chronic poverty, persistent droughts, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, winter is about to bring a whole new set of challenges...More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>