Although some of the signatories to a letter calling for RICO prosecution of climate skeptics are famous, others are not. I had never heard of Jagadish Shukla before he authored the letter that others signed.
Thanks to Roger Pielke Jr. and Steve McIntyre I now know more about Mr. Shukla. He was a professor at the University of Maryland before moving on to George Mason University. He opened an institute to study climate change.
Mr. Shukla is well-paid, both by his universities and his own organization His wife is well-paid as well. They have been paid millions of dollars, mostly in the form of government grants to study climate change. Most of the millions were consumed by the salaries paid to Mr. and Mrs. Shukla.
Mr. Shukla is co-author of about 150 papers, an impressive list found here. However, only 6 of those papers have been published in the past 5 years. Neither Mr. Shukla nor his institute is mentioned frequently in the climate blogosphere, which doesn’t really mean much, but as you might have guessed, I do wonder what the output is from the work financed so liberally by the U.S. government and Mr. Shukla’s employers.
Steve McIntyre will certainly apprise us all of any conflict of interest issues associated with Mr. Shukla getting paid to serve two masters. I am more concerned by what we are getting for our money. Over the next few days I hope to read some of his publications. I don’t want to judge him prematurely. However, he’s getting a lot of money for what he’s doing.
Which of course leads to the question referenced in the title of this post. How many extremely well-paid climate researchers are collecting really large salaries–George Mason University paid him $314,000 in 2014, while his organization paid him and his wife over $800,000 in 2014–are out there?
We are spending a lot of money researching climate change. I support the research. However, I hope we are spending the money wisely. Maybe all those kids chasing the MBAs and law degrees should start looking at other professions…