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Dr. Pepper, Dr. J, Dr. Karl . . .



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Well, this testimony, submitted to the House of Representatives is strange, what with “Dr. Tom Karl” — now the lead author of the U.S. government’s Climate Change Science Program assessment being prepared to support EPA regulation of carbon dioxide — having never earned an academic Ph.D.

That’s according to North Carolina State University, that is, which is the school from which I found a Karl resume claiming a Ph.D., earned “1977-78”. I first found this on a Johns Hopkins website but, after asking Karl’s employer NOAA to clarify where the “Dr.” title they serially tout was earned, that CV has been taken down (but not before I saved the file, of course). NOAA wouldn’t answer my question, but only sniffed that if I can point to them claiming Karl has a Ph.D. — as opposed to just promoting him as “Dr. Karl” apparently on the basis of a 2002 honorary doctorate of humane letters — I should tell them.

The thing is, I have just received documents under the Freedom of Information Act showing that Mr. Karl is indeed styled as “Dr. Karl” on the express basis of having earned that 1978 NCSU Ph.D., as a proposed “co-investigator” in an application for a million-dollar-plus federal grant. The grant was awarded. No word yet whether the U.S. mail was involved in the process.

I suppose it’s possible that Hopkins just made this up to get the grant, and wasn’t relying on anything Mr. Karl told them. And the same could be true of NOAA, which reviewed the grant application (as evidenced by a letter in the responsive documents), and then received $100,000 from the proceeds of the grant. Maybe they got together to prepare Mr. Karl’s House testimony without his input, too.

Given the apparent seriousness of these revelations, I’ve got some correspondence underway seeking clarification from Hopkins, NOAA, and Karl. But, this is a busy time, what with — have I mentioned this? — a book coming out today. More later.



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