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Berkeley Earth Funding

July 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood






Whenever sceptical scientists receive funding from fossil fuel interests, cries of foul play quickly arise.

But for some reason, when the boot is on the other foot, it is a case of “move along, nothing to see here”.

Take Berkeley Earth for instance. It was of course set up by Richard Muller under false pretences. Muller had claimed that he was originally a climate sceptic, even telling the NY Times in 2012:

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth.



This was a lie. Way back in 2003. he had stated:

Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate. I would love to believe that the results of Mann et al. are correct, and that the last few years have been the warmest in a millennium.



And later in 2011:

“It is ironic if some people treat me as a traitor, since I was never a skeptic

This sad little charade from Muller hardly inspires much confidence in the integrity of BEST.

A look at their funders instills even less.



Their website lists 2013 and 2014 as the last two years. Whether this is up to date, only they can say.


While some, such as the William Bowles Foundation, have historically supported a variety of research, the motives of others are questionable.

None more so than the Energy Foundation. Significantly the Berkeley Earth website states:

All donations, except for the Energy Foundation grant, were provided as unrestricted educational grants, which means the donor organizations have no say over our activities or what we publish.

Why they are prepared to take money from the Energy Foundation on a restricted basis, and what such restrictions are, are questions that need to be answered.

Particularly when you check out the Energy Foundation’s background. This is what their website says:

Our mission is to promote the transition to a sustainable energy future by advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Their funders include well known liberal foundations, such as the ClimateWorks Foundation, David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Grantham Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewitt Foundation.

All of these are part of the Green Blob, which has done so much to skew debate and mislead the public in recent years.

Quite why Berkeley Earth is prepared to accept money from such a dodgy source is a mystery.



Then we have the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation.

Although many of their donations have been philanthropic, Getty is a major fundraiser for local and national Democratic Party candidates, and has contributed to the campaigns of Nancy Pelosi, Willie Brown, Gavin Newsome and John Kerry.



But most suspicious of all have been the payments from “Anonymous Foundations”, totalling $550K since 2012.


It is evident that nothing coming out of Berkeley Earth can be trusted while they are prepared to accept money from such tainted sources.

  1. HotScot permalink
    July 18, 2017 1:07 pm

    Never mind the funding sources. Claiming to be a sceptic when you’re not, in order to receive an income, on the pretext of settling the debate he had already concluded was settled is, to say the least, unethical if not downright fraudulent.

    I have had Berkeley Earth held up to me on numerous occasions in forums as proof positive that the debate was unarguable. I was not aware of the circumstances of this fraudster.

  2. July 18, 2017 1:15 pm

    Brilliant analysis that pierces the silly fake pretension of Muller

  3. Greg permalink
    July 18, 2017 1:40 pm

    Berkeley is a communist cesspool. You really don’t need to know anything else

  4. July 18, 2017 1:47 pm

    Indeed, very few people seem to be aware of the origins of Berkeley Earth and me amongst them. Thanks.I was aware that the global warming thing is nonsense but it seems that its also rotten to the core.

  5. July 18, 2017 3:04 pm

    He’s yet another fraudster who says that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. Only an idiot could actually believe that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

  6. July 18, 2017 4:03 pm

    Muller is hard to pin down. For example this year he says things like this:

    “There is another way to misrepresent the results of the polls. Yes, 97% of those polled believe that there is human caused climate change. How did they reach that decision? Was it based on a careful reading of the IPCC report? Was it based on their knowledge of the potential systematic uncertainties inherent in the data? Or was it based on their fear that opponents to action are anti-science, so we scientists have to get together and support each other. There is a real danger in people with Ph.D.s joining a consensus that they haven’t vetted professionally.”

    • July 18, 2017 5:07 pm

      Ron, I quite agree. Although I’d be inclined to say that Muller makes himself hard to pin down! I’ve always viewed him as somewhat of a chameleon. See my Oct. 2011 “assessment”

      Will the real Richard Muller please stand up

      in which I had noted, inter alia, Muller’s Dec. 2003:

      In most fields of science, researchers who express the most self-doubt and who understate their conclusions are the ones that are most respected. Scientists regard with disdain those who play their conclusions to the press. [emphasis added -hro]

      Maybe he’s one of those “do as I say, but not as I do” kinda guys, eh?!

      • July 18, 2017 5:11 pm

        Oh, my kingdom for a preview function on WP 😦 Sorry, my

        “Maybe he’s one of those “do as I say, but not as I do” kinda guys, eh?!”

        should have been outside the blockquote, above!

      • July 18, 2017 5:46 pm

        Thanks for linking to your post. It really shows how Muller is not a “joiner”, which may explain why the Kochs were willing to fund him. My own disappointment with BEST was they broke no new ground when they could have assessed station trends rather than the temperatures themselves. Thus they went down the same rabbit hole into anomalies, homogenization and all the rest of it. IMO the attempt to combine temperatures from various places is futile.
        BTW, Muller could be cagey enough to position himself in case a cooling period ensues.

  7. July 18, 2017 4:28 pm

    Don’t have to tell me about being on the opposite lock. I was a research ecologist in the UK power industry for 26 years and although we published all our work freely and peer-reviewed in journals , we were still vilified by the green idiots. Mind you whenever there was money on offer for outside research we were inundated by applications.

  8. July 18, 2017 4:49 pm

    FTR: According to The Guardian, BEST had received $150,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, for Mueller’s Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project – 2012.

    • July 18, 2017 5:57 pm

      Yes, that was when he was still pretending to be a sceptic!

      • July 19, 2017 12:46 am

        Indeed, one would suspect that he presented himself as such, in order to secure the funding.

  9. Athelstan permalink
    July 18, 2017 5:00 pm

    Hmm, BEST and all that sh*te, didn’t that charlatan Muller coopt and dupe Mr. Anthony Watts for a while?

    Mind you, that didn’t last long

    Muller, thinks he’s such a clever ar$e, yet his sly unhand ways only highlight the paucity of his methodology and specious claims to man made warming advertized by ‘fixing’ the T data records.

    So scientist, some bloody malignant mountebank.

    He – Muller curses himself with his knavery..

  10. Geoff Sherrington permalink
    July 18, 2017 6:31 pm

    If Berkeley Earth normalised the daily raw maximum temperature at sites to daily rainfall at sites, many of the so-called break points could be explained by natural variation if such correlation is causation. At least that is what happens with Australian data. There is no cause for joy if BE results match other data sets. It merely shows, in such a comparison, that all of them are making the same big mistakes.

    • richard verney permalink
      July 19, 2017 9:00 am

      I have made a comment below as to how I consider that BEST should have approached the issue. I consider that a fundamentally different approach to that used by GISS/NOAA/HADCRU etc was required, not a repetition of their basic approach.

      It is noteworthy that the (contiguous) US shows no warming since the late 1930s/early 1940s, and if anything, it shows cooling. This is noteworthy since the US is the best sampled country and probably has one of the highest standards of quality control on stations.

      The US is not an insignificant land mass, and has geographical and topographical features that are broadly representative of the Northern Hemisphere, and is not unduly influenced by oceanic currents. There is no obvious reason why the US should be some outlier behaving in a way different to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere as a whole.

      Since CO2 is a well mixed gas (or at any rate at high altitude +/- about 10 ppm on about 395 ppm), there is no obvious explanation under AGW that would explain why the US should be some outlier (it slightly cooling whist the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is warming) so the observational data from the US strongly suggests that there may be a problem with global temperature data sets themselves.

      One should start by doing a quality check on the data. There ought to have been a proper audit of all stations and the data that they return. One would then identify good data from poor data and discard the bad data using only the good and reliable data. On cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, so they should have worked with the cream, not with all the crud.
      A different approach would have been insightful.

  11. July 18, 2017 6:39 pm

    Good reporting. Keep it up!

  12. eliza permalink
    July 18, 2017 8:14 pm

    Re AGW old soldiers never die they only fade away this will take some time. Trump is just noding to the warmistas but doesnt believe in it so dont worry! Be happy get a life hahaha

  13. eliza permalink
    July 18, 2017 8:16 pm

    As I maintained here and a WUWT 15 years ago the actual weather/climate is telling the truth NO CHANGE if it did change from CO2 we would not exist LOL

  14. richard verney permalink
    July 19, 2017 8:47 am

    BEST were supposedly to consider whether there was a problem with the data sets caused by data collection issues and in particular adjustments/homogenisation made to RAW data.

    The starting point to such exercise would to carry out a SANITY CHECK to get a feeling for the problem, if any, and its extent.

    We know that temperatures rose between 1920 to 1940 and that the 1930s/1940s were a warm period. We know that the (contiguous) US, which is the best sampled country and has one of the highest quality control standards has not warmed since the 1940s and may slightly have cooled. We also know that about 95% of all manmade CO2 emissions have been made after 1940. So this period (1930s/1940s) is an obvious comparator.

    BEST should have identified the 150 prime stations in the Northern Hemisphere which have no siting issues, are entirely rural with no nearby land change/encroachment by UHI, no station moves, have the best practice, procedure (including maintenance) and record keeping so that NO adjustments whatsoever need to be made to RAW data that those stations collected in the 1930s/1940s.

    Those station would then be retrofitted with the same type of LIG thermometer used by the relevant station in the 1930s/1940s (calibrated in Fahrenheit or Centigrade as applicable for the station in question), and measurement would be made today using the same TOB as the station in question used, so that RAW data could be collected without the need for any adjustment.

    In this manner there would be no need for any adjustments. Simply compare RAW data collected in the 1930s/1940s at that station with RAW data collected today. There would be no need to compile an hemispherical data set, just simply compare each station’s RAW data with its own historical RAW data, and then note what percentage of stations show an increase in temperature and by how much.

    This would avoid all the issues caused by station drop outs, the change in the number of airport stations, UHI, station moves, TOB adjustments etc. We would quickly know whether there had been any significant warming and its approximate value. IF say some 70 to 80% of these stations showed no material change (not more than 0.2degC) then this would strongly suggest that warming in the data sets is imaginary and due to data handling/adjustments/homenisation.

    There does not need to be ideal spatial coverage but obviously it would be sensible to endeavour to get a representative sample covering the main countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

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