A scientist calling on the federal government to prosecute those who question his position on global climate change has paid himself and his wife millions of dollars in federal grant money, public records show.
George Mason University meteorologist Jagadish Shukla was the lead signatory to a letter sent this month to the president and the attorney general asking them to use federal racketeering laws to prosecute “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) first suggested the tactic in a May Washington Post column.
“We don’t have enough information” to state definitively whether fossil fuel companies have engaged in criminal racketeering schemes by funding research that undermines Whitehouse’s climate policy positions, he wrote. “Civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has” committed fraud by doing so.
“We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation,” wrote Shukla and 19 other scientists in their Sept. 1 letter.
A copy of that letter is publicly available on the website of the Institute of Global Environment and Society, a nonprofit group run by Shukla and his wife Anne.
That group, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1991, is almost entirely funded by taxpayers. Since 2001, the earliest year for which its annual tax filings are available, the IGES has received more than$63 million in government funds, comprising more than 98 percent of its total revenue in that time.
Its federal support has come primarily through the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, according to its website.
Jagadish and Anne Shukla have together received $5.6 million in compensation from IGES since 2001, tax filings show. According to the group’s website, their daughter Sonia is also on staff.
IGES did not respond to a request for comment.
With Shukla’s government salary from GMU, a public university, “that totals to $750k/yr to the leader of the RICO20 from public money for climate work & going after skeptics. Good work if you can get it,” wrote Colorado University professor Roger Pielke in a Sunday tweet.
“NASA, NOAA & NSF have some Qs to answer on #RICO20 climate scam,” he said in another tweeton Monday. “How does this happen on their watch?”
Pielke has been a prominent critic of congressional efforts to use political and legal measures against scientists and academic organizations that get funding from fossil fuel companies.
Other critics scoffed at government backing for a scientist that they say is attempting to shut down dissent on a contentious political issue.
Read more: freebeacon.com