PSU Geologist Richard Alley sends CDT a letter responding to the letter they printed from the National Center for Public Policy Research
"Unfortunately, the opinion piece on global warming from the National Center for Public Policy Research (added note - an infamous global warming denial "thinktank", primarily funded by Exxom-Mobil, with strong ties to ALEC and disgraced right-wing lobbyist Jack Abramoff,) that ran in Monday’s Centre Daily Times missed several relevant points that contribute to this discussion. Making choices along these paths requires high-quality information and active discussion."
What a surprise - the CDT uncritically publishes a global warming denial machine polemic.
"Solid scholarship shows that with small warming there are winners and losers, but the costs rise rapidly as the temperature climbs, as crops become stressed by heat and sea level rises against levees.
And, unless we address the warming climate quickly, we will drill and frack and remove mountaintops to get the rest of the fossil fuel — without planning for the much more costly warming that will eventually come."
Richard B. Alley (born 1957) is an American geologist and Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University. He has authored more than 170 refereed scientific publications about the relationships between Earth's cryosphere and global climate change, and is recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a "highly cited researcher."
NCPPR's work is in the areas of environmental, retirement security, regulatory, economic, and foreign affairs. Particular areas of interest include global warming, endangered species, energy policy, environmental justice, property rights, legal reform, Medicare reform, health care, Social Security, civil rights, foreign affairs/defense and United Nations reform/withdrawal.
Controversies regarding the NCPPR
"Fright Mail" Firm
NCPPR has been criticized for bombarding senior citizens with "fright mail." According to an article by Diane Walsh of the San Francisco Examiner, NCPPR contracts out its mailing of repetitive and frightening letters to the right-wing direct mail mill, Response Dynamics. NCPPR's leader Amy Moritz Ridenour admitted to an investigative reporter that "her organization sent donors up to a dozen major pitches a month. The appeals are sent on four different letterheads. She said anyone receiving more than a dozen solicitations in a month probably was on mailing lists the National Center has "rented" from other organizations, which she said were outside her control."
According to comments on Guidestar, adult children of senior citizens targeted by NCPPR are not happy with the group's tactics. One commentor asserted "Amy R. is the Queen of Scare Mail. My father receives 5-15 letters from them per day under four different names (maybe more I hadn't realized the association). He started giving to them in 2009 and gave them thousands of dollars little by little. When I found out he was spending all his money, I started tracking his junk mail and putting him on a charity budget.". That commentor added that: "In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are... Children of the elderly who find out what they are doing" and "They are Parasites feeding off the elderly!" Another commentor in 2010 urged fellow citizens to "Be VERY careful before giving money to this organization. You will be swamped by mail and they do not honor requests to be removed from mailing lists." Yet another commentor stated "the National Center for Public Policy Research has several 'projects' such as The National Retirement Security Task Force, etc. These projects simply acquire the names of older people and mail them requests for donations. These requests are sent with letters intended to scare the recipient into donating. Often these requests are sent via Certified Mail in the hope that the recipient will think the contents more important." NCPPR was cited by three other anonymous commentors for praise for supposedly shedding light on government corruption.
Distributing Millions in Charitable Donations as Directed by Jack Abramoff
According to a U.S. Senate investigation of the financial dealings and influence peddling of disgraced right-wing lobbyist Jack Abramoff, NCPPR's Amy Ridenour directed money received from tribes and others, at Abramoff's direction, and distributed it to other "charities," again at his direction.. Specifically, Ridenhour admitted that in 2002 she received a one million dollar gift from the Mississippi Band of Choctaws, who had been paying Abramoff to help secure its casino business, and also received $1.5 million from Abramoff's law firm, Greenburg Traurig. At Abramoff's direction, she gave $700,000 of this money to one of Jack Abramoff's "charities" called the "Capitol Athletic Foundation" (CAF).  CAF reportedly used money it received from a variety of sources not to help inner city kids but to fund luxury golf trips for Members of Congress, like Bob Ney, and to buy sniper scopes and camouflage for West Bank settlers in Israel, among other things. Ridenour also directed $1.275 million to received at another Abramoff entity called "Kaygold, LLC," whose address was listed as her board member, Abramoff's.  Ridenour testified that she thought Kaygold was controlled by Abramoff's colleague Michael "Sean" Scanlon, Congressman Tom DeLay's former communications director, who later pleaded guilty to the criminal charge of conspiracy to bribe public officials. She also gave $500,000 to Scanlon's "Capital Campaign Strategies."  Abramoff was convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy, and he resigned from the board of NCPPR. Ridenour was not charged with a crime for distributing tax-deductible donations NCPPR's received to entities controlled by Abramoff and his associates.