by Lorrie Goldstein
One of the favourite tactics of global warmists is to set up “straw man” arguments and knock them down.
For example, they’ll say the growing number of people skeptical about claims of imminent, catastrophic, man-made global warming — including many scientists — are insanely claiming all climate science is a hoax.
That might be a valid point if that’s what most critics were saying. But it’s not.
Rather, they’re arguing that since it’s only human to “follow the money” and the big money, to say nothing of scientific prestige in the climate change field, at least pre-Climategate, was in predicting imminent, worst-case, catastrophic, man-made global warming, that might have skewed the science somewhat over time.
How do we know it’s human nature to follow the money? From the warmists.
Take Greenpeace’s widely quoted 2007 report that ExxonMobil spent almost
$23 million between 1998 and 2006 funding skeptics who questioned man-made global warming, part of, they say, the oil giant’s campaign to sow confusion with the public.
So, Greenpeace’s argument goes, these skeptics’ views were influenced by money.
Okay. Let’s say that’s true. And, since ExxonMobil is only one company, albeit the biggest and baddest on this issue according to the warmists, let’s say Greenpeace’s research into ExxonMobil uncovered only 1/100th of the total funding the fossil fuel industry and others paid to skeptics. Let’s say it was
$2.3 billion. That would certainly be a lot of money.
But as Joanne Nova, an Australian climate blogger (www.joannenova.com.au) and author of The Skeptics Handbook recently noted, it pales beside the $79 billion the U.S. government alone has spent on climate research and technology since 1989. (Nova rejects the science of anthropogenic global warming, which doesn’t change her point.)
Given that kind of public mega-money invested in climate science and technology in just one country, it makes you wonder about some things.
For example, about why the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) still apparently doesn’t have the resources to double-check facts, so that it doesn’t end up doing stupid stuff such as predicting Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035, or getting the amount of land below sea level in the Netherlands wrong by a factor of over 100%. (The list of IPCC errors grows almost daily.)
Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist magazine, explained the heady effect all this public cash, starting decades ago, had on scientists in the U.K., a hot-bed of climate hysteria, in the British documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle.
“If I wanted to do research on, shall we say, the squirrels of Sussex … I would write my grant application saying ‘I want to investigate the nut-gathering behaviour of squirrels, with special reference to the effects of global warming,’ and that way, I get my money,” Calder noted. “If I forgot to mention global warming, I might not get the money.”
Exactly. No hoax, just a telling observation of the human tendency of climate scientists, like everyone else, to follow the money. Perhaps to the conclusion that when the political flavour of the month (or decade) is to find evidence of imminent, catastrophic, man-made, global warming, scientific studies over time may tend to overstate conclusions, understate uncertainties and focus excessively on worst-case scenarios.
Which, as we’re now learning, appears, in many cases, to have happened.