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Skip to comments.FOIA Request to NASA: Produce Ethics Papers & Records for Hansen (He Earned 1.2M Spreading CAGW)
Posted on 06/21/2011 8:37:02 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE
American Tradition Institutes Environmental Law Center today filed a lawsuit in federal district court in the District of Columbia to force the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to release ethics records for taxpayer-funded global warming activist Dr. James Hansen - specifically records that pertain to his outside employment, revenue generation, and advocacy activities.
ATI seeks to learn whether NASA approved Hansens outside employment, which public financial disclosures and other documents reveal to have brought him at least $1.2 million in the past four years. This money comes in addition to - and, more troubling from an ethics and legal perspective, is all related to - his taxpayer-funded employment. Dr. Hansens outside employment commenced when he increased his global warming activism from his perch at NASA.
On January 19, ATI filed a Freedom of Information Act request with NASAs Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which sought records detailing NASAs and Hansens compliance with applicable federal ethics and financial disclosure laws and regulations, and with NASA Rules of Behavior. Thus far the agency has denied ATIs request for Hansen�s Form 17-60s ("Application for permission for outside employment and other activity"), and ATIs request for records of internal discussions about it.
NASA argues the release of the records would constitute a clearly unwarranted violation of Hansens privacy rights, and says ATIs lengthy explanation of Dr. Hansens outside work had not made the requisite showing that the documents requested would contribute to the publics understanding of the activities of the Government, or how it would shed light on NASAs performance of its statutory duties.
ATI maintains that NASAs compliance with ethics laws, and a senior employees outside revenue-generating activities, are patently of public interest, as is clear in the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Dr. Hansens position requires him to file vastly more detailed Public Financial Disclosure filings (Form SF 278), which are made available to the public on request.
Dr. Hansen engages in high-profile public advocacy with regard to global warming and energy policy, directly trading on his platform as a NASA astronomer to gain interest and attention. This outside employment and other activities related to his work have included: consulting; highly compensated speeches; policy advocacy; a commercial book; advising Al Gore on his movie An Inconvenient Truth; and most recently, advising litigants on suing states and the federal government.
Since escalating the provocative (in Dr. Hansens word) nature of his advocacy in a 2006 60 Minutes interview, these outside activities have become extraordinarily lucrative - yielding on average more than a quarter of a million dollars per year in extra income between 2007 and 2010 from outside sources, all based upon the work he is paid by taxpayers to do for NASA.
Under federal statutes and NASA rules, employees may not privately benefit from their public office, said Christopher Horner, ATIs director of litigation. Outside income must be disclosed, certain activities avoided, and permission must be applied for before engaging in permissible outside employment or activities.
ATIs request seeks official documents which, if they exist, would inform the public about NASAs and Dr. Hansens adherence to these ethics rules. Considering the records already obtained and the public record, compliance by NASA and Dr. Hansen is in doubt.
Dr. Hansen has admitted that lucrative offers of prizes and awards for his public service began flowing after that 60 Minutes interview, in which he accused the Bush administration of censoring his global warming views. Records show a sudden spike in highly compensated speeches on the subject of his work as well.
NASA has already provided Form 17-60 documents for Dr. Hansens subordinate Gavin Schmidt to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Schmidt writes for and edits the climate alarmism blog RealClimate.org, during normal business hours. That Hansen and NASA had not required Schmidt to file Form 17-60 seeking permission for these activities - until NASA was asked about this matter - triggered ATIs inquiry into whether Hansen, too, was avoiding this requirement. Other records obtained by CEI (and posted on ATIs Web site) indicate that Dr. Hansen has also used NASA staff for his own commercial activities.
The President and the Attorney General have made clear their commitment to transparency and a high standard of ethical behavior by government employees, said Dr. David Schnare, Director of the ATI Environmental Law Center. NASA needs to clear the air by releasing the documents about Dr. Hansen and about whether he had permission to wear his government hat when engaging in a lucrative effort to sway government policy.
[Above copied from an ATI press release. Interesting that Hansen is always the first to claim that skeptical scientific conclusions are always funded by "Big Oil" ....]
Well, well, well...it’s really amazing to see that the tentacles of corruption have even gotten into an organization that was once the wonder of the world. Someone really needs to look at NOAA, too...check out their home page, not very much has to do with the weather.
Basically, an academic whore.
Now get back to work, you have carbon taxes to pay.
Mr Hanson's motivations are pretty clear.
Does this make him the whore or the pimp?
This greedy bass turd Hansen has no business being on the NASA payroll. IMHO.
Hansen is so guilty, I'm waiting for an indictement....***CRICKETS***
Government money+advocacy = ultra-corruption. Hansen stinks, AGW advocates are going to get a real spanking once sanity and/or bankruptcy controls Washington.
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