You demonstrate a remarkable ignorance of fluid mechanics and failure at reading comprehension. From the article:
Hot air wants to rise, so there's a central point for it to rush towards and escape; the tower in the middle. And there's a bunch of turbines at the base of the tower that generate electricity from that natural updraft.
Nowhere in all of this is there mention of a need for insulation or any nonsense of hauling multi-ton turbines to the top of the tower. The point of the tower is that the air does cool as it rises. You're channeling the updraft through the tower and running the turbines from inflow at the base.
Do you think they would still be getting the level of funding had they said "not a problem, nothing to see here"?
Yes. Climatology is a hell of a lot more than just AGW. Without AGW that money would be focused on other things, but I doubt it would be substantially less than it is now. Climate (and its shorter timescale sibling weather) have huge impacts on global economics. Government tends to support studying things have large implications for society even if there isn't some looming doomsday threat.
Additionally, climate science funding (as opposed to global warming related technology expenditures) has averaged about $2 billion/year in 2009 dollars (see Table 1). In contrast the US spent a little over $4 billion on astronomy in FY2010 (see Table 1, pg. 174).
You have a point that technology expenditures (mostly programs to promote energy efficiency and weatherizing buildings) increase total climate-change related spending. However, it's a very very tenuous stretch to claim that researchers would make up AGW in hopes that the government would spend billions on technology projects they have no part in.
As someone working at a tech company full of engineers and scientists (I started as one myself), I absolutely disagree that the only thing stopping technical professionals from writing good documentation is a lack of initiative. I started taking on roles producing documentation and training (and acquiring some formal education in technical communication) because so many of my colleagues are absolutely terrible at it and our company realized this was increasingly becoming a liability. Technically-minded people can be brilliant in their areas of expertise; however, a great many of them struggle to effectively communicate results to people outside their field.
Your point about the nature of your technical writing underscores where professional technical communicators are really valuable: when you aren't writing for someone who already has background on the topic you're writing about. However, I do agree that you don't necessarily need an arts degree to do this. Many great technical communicators started as tech people who learned how to do technical writing because they enjoyed it.
My experience is that most technical people without some training in technical communication don't have the first clue how to effectively write and structure information for a non-technical audience and it's a skill few people possess naturally. Similarly, many great writers don't have the first clue about tech. I think the reason it's hard to find is because it is cross-disciplinary: you must enjoy tech and writing to truly be good at it and few people fall into both categories.
Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...