By Calling Out Community, posted March 2, 2016.
After years of ‘feeling the heat’, Yale University’s Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI) is finally facing ‘an inconvenient truth’: it was announced on March 2, 2016 that the program will close at the end of June, following three consecutive years of budget cuts for the program, which was established eight years ago to conduct climate change research.
The impending closure was announced Monday afternoon, February 29, in an email from the institute’s co-directors, geology and geophysics professors David Bercovici and Jay Ague: “While not all good things have to come to an end, sometimes they just do,” the email said. According to the Yale Daily News:
The YCEI was founded in 2008 with the backing of then-University President Richard Levin. Since then, the institute has hosted conferences, fostered collaborations across science departments and between universities outside of Yale, as well as supported scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships that address the changing climate. The institute also supplied undergraduates with a database of energy-related internships. Bercovici and Ague wrote that the YCEI was founded with “overwhelming enthusiasm from faculty and students across campus.” Bercovici and Ague declined to comment Monday night, citing time constraints.
The institute’s purpose was to analyze how climate change interacts with modern energy use. However, some of the research arguably sounded a wee bit whacky, with student research project including:
- Monitoring Groundwater During Fracking
- How Climate Change Impacts Diarrhea Rates
- Climate Change and Human Rights
- Climate Change and Evolving Investment Strategies
- Should Yale Adopt An Internal Carbon Tax?
Warning signs that the end was near had been on the horizon for years, as budget cuts reportedly gutted the program. “They eventually cut funding so much that it just became buying food,” student James Barile told The Daily News.
The YCEI had an extensive budget under Levin’s administration, YCEI New Haven Energy Scholar Intern Matthew Goldklang stated. Although Goldklang did not provide specific figures, he said the YCEI had enough money to pay its student fellows, fund research and create new classes in the Energy Studies Program. Goldklang and several other students involved with the institute expressed shock and frustration with the decision:
“It can’t be a budget thing. It can’t be. I don’t want to say that Yale doesn’t support [the YCEI], but…I think it’s the administration’s lack of interest. I had no idea we were going to be completely cut. It’s really sad.”
The timing of this announcement is highly suspect. Recently, much has been said in the media about a global warming “pause”, whereby the Earth has not registered any significant increase in temperature in now 18 years, 9 months. This information was known before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change began on November 30, 2015 and it seems the media all chose to bury the story until well after the event was over.
In fact, in a September 25, 2013 New York Times op-ed, , Richard A. Muller stated that:
THE global warming crowd has a problem. For all of its warnings, and despite a steady escalation of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, the planet’s average surface temperature has remained pretty much the same for the last 15 years.
As you might guess, skeptics of warming were in full attack mode as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gathered in Sweden this week to approve its latest findings about our warming planet. The skeptics argue that this recent plateau illustrates what they always knew — that complex global climate models have no predictive capability and that, therefore, there is no proof of global warming, human-caused or not.
I think it is possible that current leadership at Yale, possessing equally brilliant minds to these “climate change” scientists, perhaps has been looking at this nonsense in the media of late and saying – this is just another Y2K situation all over again, and we’re jumping ship now before we start to look actually stupid. Scientists of course have tried to play intellect into this debate, stating that they are way smarter than us, and since they all agree on this topic, the conclusion must be accurate.
Hogwash. Millions of Germans agreed with Hitler too – in fact you could barely find a German alive at that time who would admit anything but loyalty. Well, here’s one University with a huge, global reputation for brilliance, and they certainly cannot be argued as being driven by some “right wing agenda”. This is of course just speculation, but this “global warming pause” was announced last week, at the same time as the Institute was being swiftly closed. Surely if this issue was actually growing in seriousness, an academic institution like Yale with such an international reputation would actually be adding to the budget of this Institute, not cutting its funding entirely.
And what a reputation this institution has to protect. Yale University was initially founded in 1701 and incorporated as the Collegiate School – 75 years before the American Revolution. It traces its roots to 17th-century Christian leaders who sought to establish a college to train clergy and politicians.
Located in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, the private Ivy League research University was renamed after Elihu Yale in 1718, a former governor of the British East India Company and the University’s largest benefactor. In 1861, it’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences became the first U.S. school to award a Ph.D. degree.
Today, at age 315, Yale is the third oldest institution in the United States, and boasts approx. 12,300 students from 117 countries, as well as 4,400 Faculty (2014). Recognized as having the 2nd highest infrastructure assets in the entire world (worth over $35 billion), classes are held in buildings covering 260 acres on central campus. The University also boasts 35 varsity sports teams playing on over 500 acres of athletic fields, including this 71,000 seat Yale Bowl.
The University also holds over 15 million books in its Libraries, and scholarships and endowments today top over $23 billion. This is an incredible wealth of resources and assets to protect and at the end of the day, money talked louder than adherence to some nonsensical worldview with no evidence in reality.
Yale is also widely recognized as one of the most prestigious and selective universities in the world, accepting only 6.3% of applicants in 2014. I wonder how many of them were climate change researchers? Hmmmm….