Whining and Dining — Part 1

Talk about the Department of Energy! Whoa, yeah!

When you’re a climate scientist on top of the world, using taxpayer dollars to socialize with your friends is easy. You just have to be careful to call the social events “symposiums.” What’s not easy, evidently, is using those same taxpayer dollars for beer and wine. Ah, the humanity!

An e-mail sent on June 16, 2008, from Ben Santer to Kevin Trenberth makes this painfully clear:

Anjuli has informed me that it will be possible to use up to $10,000 of my DOE Fellowship for the purpose of funding the Symposium. I’m assuming there may be DOE restrictions on using that money for purchasing wine and beer. I’ll check into this.

Am I the only one to whom it seems unfair that a giant in his field,  especially one with the passion to “beat the crap out of”a skeptic scientist, should even have to wonder if tax dollars are usable for the purchase of booze?

For a scientist to arrive at this painful, and distracting juncture, it is necessary, first, to take the subject of intentionality and cast it to the wind, of course. How so? It’s a psychologically complex process, so bear with me. These are the steps:

  1. Try to forget that the money one wishes to use for beer was allocated by the United States Congress to the Department of Energy to further the pursuit of climate science. Alternatively, convince yourself that a little beer and wine buzz is part of the pursuit of science. Either strategy could work here.
  2. Focus hard on how much one works and how richly one deserves to take the edge off. Anyone working hard enough to be driven to thoughts of violence (you know who you are!) obviously has a good-size edge to be taken off, and doing so is really the moral duty of anyone who wishes for humanity to be saved. Do you wish for humanity to be saved, or not? Pass the bottle, bro!
  3. Forget that real people, some of them struggling to get by, might not want to pay for your parties, if given the choice. This might seem hard, but it’s not. It’s well known that the public pays for the elaborate social functions, including those with alcohol, for the president and some other top-tier officials. Does anyone really believe that a climate scientist of the highest rank, particularly one with a good right hook, is doing less to save the world than the president? Seriously? Of course the less financially comfortable members of the tax-paying public, if they merely stopped to think about it for a moment, would want to fund a little climate-scientist party. It’s a no-brainer!

To be continued

About Harold Ambler

I am a lifelong environmentalist. I started my journalism career at The New Yorker, where I worked as a copy editor. Since then, my own work has appeared in The New York Daily News, The National Review Online, The Atlantic Wire, The Huffington Post, The Berkeley Daily Planet, The Providence Journal, Brown Alumni Monthly, The Narragansett Times, Rhode Island Monthly, and Providence Business News.
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2 Responses to Whining and Dining — Part 1

  1. Babsy says:

    “3.Forget that real people, some of them struggling to get by, might not want to pay for your parties, if given the choice.”

    Which means us working folks are too stupid to understand the nuance of climate science. Theefore, it must be forced upon us. For our own good and for the good of ‘the children’, the planet, Mother Gaia, etc.

  2. James Evans says:

    I, for one, am all in favour of them spending this money on booze. If they were drunk they might do a little less damage.

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