Climate change denial as real estate ploy?

Climate change denial as real estate ploy? July 16, 2012

What is John Droz’s end-game?

I’m assuming he has one. I’m assuming here that Droz — “a real estate investor who owns properties along the North Carolina coast” — has some kind of long-term plan in mind.

Apart from being a wealthy coastal developer, Droz is also involved in the lucrative business of climate-change denialism. As the Institute for Southern Studies reports:

He is a senior fellow at the American Tradition Institute, a conservative think tank with ties to fossil fuel interests that promotes skepticism about global warming and renewable energy and has targeted a leading climate scientist with a controversial lawsuit.

Droz also served as the “scientific advisor” for the North Carolina anti-regulation lobby NC-20, “which is comprised of development interests in the state’s 20 coastal counties.” That’s the group behind the now-infamous bill “that would block North Carolina agencies from considering the latest science of sea-level rise in making planning decisions.”

That bill has been widely mocked because it is so utterly mockable. Confronted with scientific evidence of increased flooding due, in part, to rising sea levels and climate change, the bill addresses the problem by forbidding discussion of it.

Which brings us back to John Droz. He’s both the “scientific advisor” behind this head-in-the-sand approach and an investor with a great deal to lose once chronic flooding starts to wash away the value of his coastal property.

So one possibility is that John Droz is a staggeringly cynical and dishonest man currently pushing climate change denialism in order to preserve the short-term value of his properties in the hopes that he can sell them for more money before they eventually get swamped into worthlessness.

It’s also possible that Droz is acting both morally and rationally, but also arrogantly and ignorantly. In this scenario, Droz really believes the “contrarian” denialism promoted by his fossil-fuel industry supporters. And for whatever reason — defiant stubbornness, laziness, naiveté — he hasn’t bothered to do his homework or to check their assertions against the available facts. So due to his utter certainty — and maybe also due to his pride at being one of the very few people who “sees through” the scientific hoax — Droz invests everything he owns in coastal properties that those foolish, Al-Gore-loving scientists claim are in jeopardy.

The latter scenario is harder to believe because, as far as I know, John Droz has not tried suing the companies that insure all of his coastal properties. His insurance costs for this properties have gone up quite a bit over the past 15 years — in large part due to the increased risks of extreme weather and flooding due to climate change. If he really believes the gospel he’s preaching through the “American Tradition Institute,” then he ought to believe he has a solid case against those rate increases and he ought to be taking those insurance companies to court.

So it seems more likely that Droz is just desperately denying that the millions he has invested in vulnerable coastal properties are really at risk. He doesn’t have to fool everyone — just enough people to find buyers for those properties before the next extreme weather event or before the full cost of increased coastal flooding becomes undeniable.

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  • Tonio

    Rush’s rant revealed that he knows nothing about either the movie or its source
    material. You know, just like all his other rants and conspiracy
    theories. He’s a real-life Emily Litella:

  • Loki100

    Wow, you made those bizarre conclusions from my comment above?

    Nope, they’re actually exactly what you said. If you like I can go back and show you.

    No, he does not study climate science

    You are either lying here, or you were lying before. You said, “he always links his research proposals to anthropogenic climate change.” Which means he is either researching anthropogenic climate change, or he is defrauding whomever is giving him grants. Which is it?

    he does not falsify his conclusions.

    See the quote above. First off, he is overtly falsifying his proposals. Secondly in order for this hilarious little scam to actually work he’d have to falsify his conclusions in order to continue researching.

    You don’t know many people who work in science obviously

    Actually I do. In fact, I have done my share of empirical research work. Do you wish me to make lists for you? I’m not going to rely upon my cousin’s wife’s roommate’s dog groomer’s friend who just happens to be a scientist who just happens to agree with everything I say, even when I (on accident) show him as an intellectually dishonest con artist.

    They do what they need to do to keep a roof over thier head.

    Which, according to your story, he’s guilty of academic dishonesty. See how long that lasts in the real world of academia.

    The remainder of your comments are so emotional its clear that my remarks have offender you in some way.  Climate alarmism is like a religion to you, and I’ve insulted your religion. Time to grow up.

    Actually the remainder of my remarks were not about climate change at all. Instead they were about the fact that you claimed there wasn’t a conspiracy while everything in your statement explicitly stated there was a conspiracy. And then I mocked you for actually expecting us to believe that you have this mysterious scientist friend who happens to agree with you and is willing to falsify his work to keep that big university money rolling in.

    So, this is pretty much you trying to crawl your way out of the logic hole you fell into by claiming I am emotional, rather than you came on here with a story full of holes and actually expected us to believe it.

  • Matri

    Epic pwnage.

  • Tonio


    It’s gonna make it hella hard to get anyone to care about the Unix epoch rolling over…

    When I read about that, I upgraded the pages on my webserver so they would be good through the year 9999. Later we switched to a different server that didn’t use the Unix epoch. (I can’t type that last word without hearing Zager and Evans in my head.)

  • You don’t know many people who work in science obviously, they are just
    like the rest of us. They do what they need to do to keep a roof over
    thier head.

    Most of us have enough ethics to report honestly on our research and do it honestly. Yes, slanting things might be done for funding purposes (or an experiment’s purpose might just become irrelevant in the light of new data), but anyone who out and out lies, cheats and fabricates – (>_<) if I have anything to say about it they won't last long and I think many fellow scientists feel the same way.

  • ohiolibrarian

     You really know nothing about government grants. That’s obvious from your apparent delusion that anyone gets their living-on money from them. That’s why most researchers work for universities–to pay the bills. The pay-off for their research efforts usually comes from reputation, tenure, and occasionally a prize or stray patent (that they usually have to share with the university). Oh yes, and the joy of discovery and doing something they love.

    Now researchers who get grants from drug companies … or oil companies … or other businesses–they can make some serious $$.

    BTW, I’ve written on proposals for state and federal grants. First-hand knowledge is better than second-hand BS.


    You said, “he always links his research proposals to anthropogenic
    climate change.” Which means he is either researching anthropogenic
    climate change, or he is defrauding whomever is giving him grants. 

    So, I have no interest in the status contest you and Klem have going, nor in getting into a similar one. I am not a scientist and am not definitive on the behaviors of scientists and do not claim to be, so if credentials are important here feel free to ignore me.

    All of that said: research proposals frequently include, or are attached to, text to the effect of “why should I care?” that gets targeted to whoever is being asked to fund the research. (It’s rather like cover letters in this respect.)  E.g., if I’m researching some obscure biochemical reaction in snail digestive systems, and I’m applying for funding from a group that cares a lot about ocean ecology, I might talk about the role that snail digestive systems play in ocean ecology.

    Am I researching ocean ecology? No, not in any meaningful sense.

    Am I defrauding the group? Well, I suppose an argument to that effect could be made. But if we conclude that this is fraud, it follows that fraud is pretty common.

  • Loki100

    Yes. But inherent difference is in your example you actually think ocean ecology exists. If you were to, however, claim that your studies in snail digestive systems would help us find Atlantis even though you don’t actually believe in Atlantis, that would be massively unethical.

  • I agree that there are many differences between my example and various
    things that have come up in other conversations, including the
    conversation you’re having with Klem.

    I also agree that the example you give involves a fraudulent claim, specifically the claim that my research will help us find Atlantis. (Which in this example is fraudulent because I don’t believe it will do so, because I don’t believe Atlantis exists to be found.)

    That said, if I claim instead that my studies in snail digestive systems will help us find Atlantis if it exists, or that it will help us find the true source of the stories about Atlantis, or various other things along those lines, it’s not quite so clear that those claims are fraudulent. (Though a compelling argument could be made that they are.)

  • Indianist Online

    how to successfully close a deal in real estate pls give some tips ….

  • Klem

    look how many of you greenies were upset by the comments of that evil fossil
    fuel loving Klem character. What thin skins you greenies must have, you’ll
    never maintain your greenie faith for long if Klem can get you so riled up. Lol!


    yes, wind turbines are still fruity and ineffective.



  • Beroli

    You mean we have a time machine and we used it
    to put in place a politician of our choice and that politician
    isn’t somebody other countries consider a radical
    leftist? I AM DISAPPOINT.

     Clearly, the time machine is owned and controlled by the Coalition of Evil Centrists.

    On an unrelated note, one thing I encounter a lot around the internet is trolls who seem to genuinely believe that trolling is something hard that shows skill. Klem’s crowing about having annoyed anyone is rather like if I were to brag that I was able to lift ten whole pounds over my head–only, you know, lifting things isn’t inherently pathetic.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    You are either lying here, or you were lying before. You said, “he always links his research proposals to anthropogenic climate change.” Which means he is either researching anthropogenic climate change, or he is defrauding whomever is giving him grants. Which is it?

    He could be studying biology, or geology, or sociology, or any number of things, and focuses on examining the effects of climate change without studying the mechanisms of climate change itself (or, in the.

  • Klem

    Dear BaseDeltaZero

    You are correct, the scientist I refer to studies glacial sediments, he does not study climate. And all he does is make the LINK to anthropogenic climate change. Making a link or a connection is easy, it helps his research so he does it. He does not need to fabricate or lie about anything.

    Just remember, only a few years ago insect infestations were believed to be caused by too much insecticide use, and diminishing salmon stocks were believed to be due to over fishing. Today they are supposedly caused by anthropogenic claimte change. They are merely making the link, they don’t study climate.

  • Mario

    The Good, Bad & Ugly…sounds like the movie, but this is real life.
    Mario Sanchez

  • Klem

    You have to assume that the Klem you find is the same Klem making these annoying climate denial posts. There are several climate deniers on the web named Klem. I hate those other Klems.


  • klem

    I  agree.

    In no way am I suggesting that my scientist friend is being dishonest, fabricating data or reporting falsely.

    But perhaps slanting research to suit the flavor of the month like climate change is more common that you might think.

    here are a few:

  • Klem

    “..research proposals frequently include, or are attached to, text to the effect of “why should I care?” that gets targeted to whoever is being asked to fund the research. (It’s rather like cover letters in this respect.)”


  • Ima Pseudonym

    Whatever you say, Klem.  Hope the pay is good.

  • Klem

    Good? I wish it paid at all.