By Willis Eschenbach – WUWT
A few quotes about taxpayer money spent on useless climate studies from a fascinating site called Open The Books.
Quote The First — Bogus Warnings From The Future (emphasis mine in all cases)
Here is an eerie way to spend $5.7 million from the government: create fake voicemails from people as far in the future as 2065, when climate change has devastated the Earth and Alaska and California are without water.
In 2012, Columbia University’s Climate Center received the taxpayer-funded grant from the National Science Foundation to “engage adult learners and inform public understanding and response to climate change.”
This dystopian project, called Future Coast, also includes a game where people search for fictional fallen “chronofacts” that fall out of time.
These “immersive stories” are supposed to warn the public of the destruction that will befall the Earth if climate change continues on its course.
The university’s climate center’s Polar Learning and Responding Climate Change Education Partnership (PoLAR CCEP) received the funds to “to inform public understanding of and response to climate change,” according to the Future Coast website. How do fictional “chronofacts” and voicemails advertising tsunami insurance help inform people?
The only “real” aspect of all this was the $5.7 million cost, funded by the American taxpayer.
Great. You too can scare your kids with false warnings for only $5.7 million.
Quote The Second—What Passes For Infrastructure These Days
Here are just a few of the “earmarks” in the Democrats’ so-called “Infrastructure Bill”. Recall that “infrastructure” used to mean roads, bridges, freeways, and the like, projects that benefitted everyone. Here is what is called “infrastructure” today.
$4 billion earmarked for states, cities, villages, and county government projects. Recently, these localities already received $350 billion through the American Rescue Plan. Earmarks included
• $400,000 to the City of Harvey in Illinois to demolish 40 vacant homes.
$159 million on 119 earmarks for homeless services including $42 million to build housing for the California homeless in the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, Oakland, etc.
• $52 million on 52 earmarks to combat the effects of climate change including $2 million to establish the “Virginia Climate Center” at George Mason University (Rep. Gerald Connolly D-VA) – to “increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.”
• $40 million for museums including a $3.75 million request by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) to upgrade the Waukegan Carnegie Museum through the local park district. In fact, there were 29 earmarks with the word “museum” in the description and requests included a new $6.4 million Gandhi museum (Rep. Al Green D-TX); $2.2 million for the new Bahamian Museum of Art & Culture in Coconut Grove (Rep. Frederica Wilson D-FL); and $792,000 to repair the New England Motorcycle Museum (Rep. Joe Courtney D-CT).
People of goodwill can debate each of these goals, but is it truly the purpose of Congress to fund the projects on the local wish list?
Sigh … call me crazy, but on what planet is repairing the “New England Motorcycle Museum” part of “infrastructure”?
Quote The Third—White House Pluted Bloatocrats
Today, on July 1st, the Biden administration released the annual Report to Congress on White House Office Personnel. President Biden hired czars, expensive “fellows,” “assistants,” and spent on a much larger First Lady (FLOTUS) staff.
The payroll report included the name, status, salary and position title of all 567 White House employees costing taxpayers $49.6 million. (Search Biden’s White House payroll and Trump’s four years posted at OpenTheBooks.com.)
Since January, the Biden administration has quickly staffed up. Here are some key findings from our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com:
• There are 190 more employees on White House staff under Biden than under Trump (377) and 80 more than under Obama (487) at this point in their respective presidencies.
• $9.6 million increase in payroll spending vs. the Trump FY2017 payroll. In 2017, the Trump White House spent $40 million for 377 employees, while the Biden payroll amounts to $49.6 million for 567 employees. All spending amounts are inflation adjusted.
• Hires include 320 female staffers ($28.9 million salaries) vs. 240 male staffers ($20.8 million salaries). In terms of top staffers — Special Assistants — there are 52 female ($6.3 million salaries) vs. 10 males ($1.2 million).
• Currently, there are 12 staffers dedicated – at least in part – to Dr. Jill Biden vs. five staffers who served Melania Trump in her first year (FY2017).
• Counts of the “Assistants to the President” – the most trusted advisors to the president – are the same (22) in for the Biden administration and the Trump and Obama administrations. This year, these advisors make $180,000.
Special Initiative Czars
Starting in 2009, President Obama came under fire for hiring special initiative czars. From 2017-2020, we found no evidence of “czars” on Trump’s payroll.
However, Biden has czar(ed) up – naming at least 21 czars to date, with plans to fill 55 positions. These include: National Climate Advisor Regina McCarthy ($180,000) and a Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry – who is listed in press accounts, but doesn’t appear in the payroll data. Others include Jeff Zients ($36,000), the COVID-19 czar.
Critics at Politico have already questioned, “How many czars does the Biden administration need?”
A “National Climate Advisor” making ninety dollars an hour … and folks wonder what keeps climate alarmism alive and well? Simple answer? You and I keep it going with our taxpayer dollars, via government funding of politicians, universities, and scientists.