AEI’s Descent

On the eve of the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, The Guardian revealed that the American Enterprise Institute was offering $10,000 to scientists to publish studies critical of the panel’s findings. This is curious, because as The Guardian reported AEI receives large donations from energy companies who would rather you remain skeptical about the human causes of climate change.

Much ink has already been spilled chronicling the intellectual decline of the American Enterprise Institute. Today, the Washington Post adds to the chorus with a story that includes a precious quote from a self-respecting climate change researcher who would not be paid to play with AEI.
“At least two academics — Texas A&M University atmospheric sciences professor Gerald North and Texas A&M climate researcher Steven Schroeder — turned down AEI’s offer because they feared their work would be politicized.

“Schroeder, who has worked with Green in the past and has questioned some aspects of traditional climate modeling, said in an interview that he did not think AEI would have skewed his results. But he added that he worried his contribution might have been published alongside “off-the-wall ideas” questioning the existence of global warming.

“‘We worried our work could be misused even if we produced a reasonable report,’ Schroeder said. ‘While any human endeavor can be criticized, the IPCC system greatly exceeds the cooperation, openness and scientific rigorousness of the process applied to any other problem area that has significant effects on society.'”

So there you have it: even a scientist with whom AEI personnel have collaborated in the past refused to join AEI’s crusade because he considers the IPCC process a paragon of scientific rigor. I’m no climate change expert, but consider me skeptical when AEI issues its next set of public policy prescriptions on climate change.