It is a simple question. Why are government or quasi government agencies allowed to blatantly falsify data and face no sanction? If I had blatantly falsified data in the financial services industry I would face stiff fines (depending on scale) and a potential lengthy jail sentence. In either case it is white collar crime. Ahh, I hear some argue – but banksters are defrauding ‘real’ billions. That is true but doesn’t a government agency that willingly publishes falsified data indirectly lead to the misallocation of billions in research grants and tax dollars?
One would think that government agencies are ‘independent, not-for-profit’ organizations. Clearly not. We had ClimateGate where the UN IPCC was knowingly using falsified data from its funding of University of East Anglia’s (UEA) climate research unit. The UEA was exposed deleting data that didn’t fit the narrative and even joking about it. Instead of letting the data tell the truth, computer models fiddled it to create alarmist outcomes.
Now we have the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which tried to disprove “the pause” in global warming over the last 18 years. Two things strike me with regards to NOAA.
First, when a whistleblower alerted Congress of a deliberate act to falsify data to disqualify “the pause”, House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith sent a letter to NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan demanding reams of deliberative materials among scientists related to their work. After months of refusal eventually Smith ordered the documents by subpoena. While arguments were made about privacy and sensitivity between scientists the sad fact is that this is a taxpayer funded agency and their bosses asked for proof to check whether there was wrong doing. Simply, if they had nothing to hide why not just offer the data immediately and exonerate themselves. The mere fact that data was being withheld only lifts suspicion. The documents were eventually turned over.
Second, whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist showed irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data which was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process which he devised to keep it honest. According to the Mail, “Both datasets [sea and land] were flawed…NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend…The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’… A final, approved version has still not been issued…”
Official delegations from advanced nations were influenced by the report at the Paris COP summit to introduce sweeping reductions in their use of fossil fuel and to spend US$110 billion every year on new, climate-related aid projects. So US$110bn of taxpayer funds are being allocated on the basis of deliberate fraudulent activity yet no one is charged or fined or at the very least fired. Volkswagen, which falsified emissions data on 482,000 vehicles, is being fined $15bn and those responsible for the stunt are facing jail time. WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years based on nine counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and false regulatory filings to the tune of $11bn. Enron’s former CEO Jeffrey Skilling was convicted on 35 counts of fraud, insider trading and other crimes related to Enron and sentenced to 24 years prison and fined $45 million. Madoff got 150 years, Stanford got 110 years jail time.
So if this is the scale of punishment meted out to the evil private sector, why aren’t similar types of risks to fraud not applicable to the public sector? Perhaps if the government made public officials accountable like they do the private sector imagine the waste that would be eliminated. Ahh, but we have to falsify the data to keep the fires burning below the kettle of our deceit so we can keep the taxpayer funded junkets that take us all around the world to preach fear at the altar of the UN IPCC.