SEARCH BLOG: GLOBAL WARMING
This has been making the rounds in the blogging world:
There are two assumptions here:
Newsweek says "the denial machine is running at full throttle" and is a "well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists."
How well-funded? Newsweek cites Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) "giving $19 million over the years to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)" to produce what eminent climatologist Sen. Jay Rockefeller is quoted as calling "very questionable data" on climate change.
No mention is made of the $3 billion contribution to the global warming crusade by Virgin Air's gazillionaire owner Richard Branson alone. Donations such as these are the reason the 2004 budgets of the Sierra Club Foundation and the National Resources Defense Council were $91 million and $57 million respectively.
Newsweek portrays James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, as untainted by corporate bribery.
Hansen was once profiled on CBS' "60 Minutes" as the "world's leading researcher on global warming." Not mentioned by Newsweek was that Hansen had acted as a consultant to Al Gore's slide-show presentations on global warming, that he had endorsed John Kerry for president, and had received a $250,000 grant from the foundation headed by Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Newsweek reporter and editorial, uh, article co-author Eve Conant was provided, during her interview with Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., documentation of the overwhelming funding advantage enjoyed by those who promote fear of climate change. Newsweek chose to ignore it.
In a Sept. 25, 2006, Senate floor speech, Inhofe noted: "The fact remains that political campaign funding by environmental groups to promote climate and environmental alarmism dwarfs spending by the fossil fuel industry by a 3-to-1 ratio."
- obtaining money for expertise is "unethical"
- obtaining money for expertise inevitably leads to "tainted" results
There is no absolute causal relationship between funding and fraud. There may be a causal relationship between funding and bias. The problem is that often fraud and bias result in similar conclusions.That is not to say that funding causes the bias, rather that the bias leads to funding.
If Dr. Hansen's research bias, that showed the late 1990s were hotter than the 1930s, was appealing to the Kerry/Heinz coalition, then he was more likely to receive funding for further study than if his research showed that the 1930s were at least as hot as the 1990s... or hotter. The latter conclusion might draw funding from those in whose interest it was to say that certain anthropogenic activities were not driving global warming.Perhaps the kettles that are calling the pots black need to step back a little and recognize that, while funding can support research looking for certain outcomes, there is still a scientific method that has to be followed before "the debate is over."