Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Rabett shatters his New Years Resolution....

A few months ago, in a post entitled, whom the government would destroy they first defund, Eli point to an article by Jim Hansen in World Watch which explains how NASA's 2006 budget for Earth Sciences was cut 20% without anyone noticing.

When the administration announced its planned fiscal 2007 budget. NASA science was listed as having typical changes of 1 percent or so. However, Earth Science research actually had a staggering reduction of about 20 percent from the 2006 budget. How could that be accomplished? Simple enough: reduce the 2006 research budget retroactively by 20 percent! One-third of the way into fiscal year 2006, NASA Earth Science was told to go figure out how to live with a 20-percent loss of the current year’s funds.
But why do this

One way to avoid bad news:stop the measurements! Only hitch: the first line of the NASA mission is “to understand and protect our home planet.”Maybe that can be changed to “...protect special interests’backside.”
So, why double post (other than the neat cartoon from the article, there is another one btw) Well, the big bird flew in from Boulder breathless with news. After feeding Eth some chocolate covered liver we discovered that the keen researchers at the Science Policy Institute had figured out that reductions in Climate Science Funding were just as bad in the Clinton years as under Bush Co, and how unscientificintegrety it was to criticize dear leader and Uncle Dick for chopping science:

From 1995 to 2001:

Climate science funding was cut from $2.234B to $1.886B (constant dollars), representing a cut of 15.6%. With respect to climate science funding as a proportion of domestic discretionary spending the cut is 23%.

Data from Rick Piltz's testimony and the Congressional Budget Office. Note that funding in 2000 and 2001 are virtually identical.

If the Bush Administration's cuts represent an assault on scientific integrity, then why wouldn't the larger cuts by the Clinton Administration also fall under that same category?

In my mind, conflating research budgets with heavy-handed Bush Administration communication policies is a mistake.

Now, in spite of temptation, Eli has been trying to resist piling on Roger. As a matter of fact he thought that some of the criticisms on this blog and elsewhere were, shall we say, a bit to enthusiastic at whacking the pinata. He was tempted mind you, and the occasional side swipe en passant did pass through his paws, but on the whole he has been trying to be as good as he can be. John Fleck almost turned the trick with his offer

  1. jfleck Says: January 30th, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    I think I’m gonna start a new “Pielke watch” feature on Inkstain, where I highlight people going all apoplectic about Roger. That guy’s like waving a red rag in front of you guys. :-)

  2. Eli Rabett Says: January 30th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    You want me to break my New Year’s resolution again? I go on the wagon and you guys drag out the booze.

    Esteemed Coney

But ears over eyes the Rabett held out another week, even said some nice (for Eli) things about Roger, took Eth out for some exercise to hold down his energy level and such, until the above exchange started his whiskers twitching, and when whiskers twitch they must be twirled, so let us, as they say RTFR cited from today's Senate Commerce Committee testimony by Rick Pilz.

Funding for Global Change Research under the CCSP and USGCRP, Fiscal Years 1989 - 2008 (millions of dollars) funding

Fiscal Year

Actual $

Constant (2005) $




















































2006 (estimate)



2007 (request)



Climate Research funding increased strongly in the years of Bush I and for the first three years of the Clinton presidency. In FY 1996, it took a huge cut from 2.234 B$ to $2,039 and then declined slowly to 1886 in 2001. Eli took these figures to the local financial advisor. Ms. Rabett pointed out that something happened in 1995:

The Republicans took the US House and Senate genius.

Since the FY 2005 budget started in Oct. 2004, that was the last budget passed by the Democratic Congress. Those are the cuts of Newt Gingrich and Co. Given the choice they would have zeroed it out. To put not to a fine point on it, the 2001 budget was the last Clinton budget, so it is not so surprising that the budgets for FY2000 and FY 2001 are the same. While it is a bit harder to attribute the increase in FY2004 to the Democratic controlled Senate about to go glug, the thought occurs.

Now this passing thought should have occured to any policy wonk you'd find sleeping on a steam grate in DC, but why spoil a good post?


Anonymous said...


Was that you sending me the anonymous email? Here is how I responded on our blog:

"What effect did the Republican Newt Gingrich Congress play in the budget cuts 1995-2001? Should you have mentioned that?"

Here is my response:

This is a good point, and yes I should have mentioned it so thanks for asking.

1. Yes, the Republican Congress over this time period cut the President's USGCRP budget request annually over this time period.

2. But, the picture looks quite similar if one starts the analysis with the amount requested in the President's budget (i.e., before being sent to Congress and entering the appropriations process).

From FY 1995 to FY 2001 the cut (in constant dollars) in what the President requested was from $2.298B to $1.893B, or a cut of 18%. So the Clinton Administration reduced its budget requests for the USGCRP by a significant amount.

I am no fan of the Bush Administration, but given the history of climate research budgets it is a stretch to suggest that agency budget politics across the sprawling USGCRP represent an assault on scientific integrity.


EliRabett said...

Nope, we are pseudonymious, or something like that, the anonomice are cute but not us.

While I cannot yet find the President's budget requests for the mid-90s on line, or anything broken out for the components of the Global Climate Research programs, I did find the requests for Mission to Planet Earth (Climate Science mostly) at NASA which went from 1,024.5 M$ in FY 1994 to 1,238.1 in FY1995 and was 1341.1 in FY1996.

Of course the GCR is composed of many parts, which float in and out so one has to be careful to compare carrots with carrots.

And so to bed.

Anonymous said...

One simple point: who are you going to trust on this issue? Roger Pielke Jr. or the experts from the different agencies?

Mr. Anonomouse

Anonymous said...

We the anonomice of the United States of America would like to point out that the budget for climate change is not that well understood. Just about anything gets labelled "climate science" and then shoved into that category so that Bush can pump up those numbers.

Pielke Jr. should know this, but he's been busy doing heavy lifting for the Republican party, so he's a bit conflicted on this issue.

Mus Musculus

Anonymous said...

Pielke would argue that 2 + 2 = 5 if he thought it would "debunk" the claim that Bush is worse than most others when it comes to politicization of science.

It would make about as much logical sense as his argument that James Hansen was "right for the wrong reason", but hey, who's paying attention?

As long as the "argument" is couched in long-winded, tortuous (and torturous) wonkish rhetoric, no one is going to be able to follow it anyway -- which is the plan, of course.

And in answer to Fleck, I'd say that a "target" is a much better analogy than a "red flag".

Anyone who paints a new bullseye on his shirt every day just makes a good target. If he stopped painting the target, I'm sure most people would stop shooting.

Anonymous said...

What is this, a blog for the Democratic Party? Is your analysis of the budgets for 1995 as fine as that that you apply to AGW? The big decline from 2.3B to 2B that you lament was from a record budget through the entire period of BushI, Clinton, and Bush II. Since the AGW croud is always compalining that the skeptics are paid by industry or right-wing groups, I expect that you all are volunteers. Or are you sucking at the public tit?

EliRabett said...

No, I grow carrots on a National Park Service allotment. You had a point?