by Mike Flynn
Posted Jan 14th 2010 at 3:17 pm
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (the Stimulus Bill) has been such an epic failure, that even the mainstream media has started to notice. The White House has tacitly acknowledged this and recently announced that it would no longer ‘count’ jobs ‘created or saved’ by the Stimulus. The basic problem is that the bulk of the spending went to programs or projects that have nothing to do with economic growth.
The latest example of this is a $500,000 grant to Michael Mann, Professor at Penn State University and unintended c0-star of the ClimateGate e-mail scandal. The leaked e-mails revealed collaboration among scientists to stifle dissenting views on the extent of man-made global warming.
Mann is also the creator of the “Hockey Stick” graph, which purported to show a sharp increase in recent temperatures. That work has been thoroughly discredited by researcher Stephen McIntyre. Yet, in June 2009, the National Science Foundation awarded Mann a three-year $500,000 to further study the climate’s response to human activity. According to the grant award:
The broader impacts involve supporting postdoctoral scholars and graduate students and contributing to the understanding of abrupt climate change.
So, the research is supposed to give us a better ‘understanding of abrupt climate change.’ Mind you, the research isn’t to determine whether there is abrupt climate change occurring. Given that Mann is known for using “tricks” to finesse his data, the National Science Foundation will not be pleased with the results.
Actually, this particular grant is special, even by the low-bar set by other spending. Most of the Stimulus funds are simply wasted with no real impact on the overall economy. However, Mann’s “research” will presumably be used to further justify cap-and-trade legislation or other draconian regulatory actions. Either of these will have a very negative impact on the economy, retarding growth for years to come.
We may be paying for this $500,000 for a very long time.