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Statement: “It (the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) began the funding of research, spreading it around the globe. At this point, it had billions and billions of dollars. I saw a total yesterday: $47 billion in federal and international funds have been spent to research global warming,” KUSI weathercaster John Coleman told a local Rotary club April 29.

Determination: Huckster Propaganda

Analysis: Coleman’s statement is false. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change doesn’t have billions of dollars nor does it fund research. The Nobel Prize-winning organization’s annual budget is typically less than $10 million. Between 1989 and 2008, the world’s governments contributed $90 million to it.

In an interview last week, Coleman said he should’ve rephrased that statement to indicate that scientists who’ve participated with the panel have received research money — but not from the United Nations. We’ve chosen Huckster Propaganda because Coleman has become the chief local global warming denier and this is a key pillar of his argument. Also, he’s using this false number to imply that scientists are simply after the money rather than science. He told the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, for example, that the U.N. panel “has attracted billions of dollars for the research” to prove that carbon dioxide is causing global warming.

Coleman made the arguments as part of his explanation for why he believes global warming is a scam. He argues that scientists are motivated to conclude global warming is happening because that’s where the research money is. Coleman’s point about the IPCC is one of many spurious points that he’s made in speeches.

He also argues, for example, that a solar cycle ended in 2002, sunspots have quieted down and the world is getting cooler. Government data shows the last decade was the warmest in 130 years. An Associated Press examination independently confirmed that no cooling was happening.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

You can also e-mail new Fact Check suggestions to factcheck@voiceofsandiego.org. What claim should we explore next?

— ROB DAVIS

Summer Polacek

Summer Polacek was formerly the Development Manager at Voice of San Diego.

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