Friday, November 15, 2013

How Big Climate Generates Support

There is an op-ed on the Washington Post website about Typhoon Haiyan. It is by Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. It makes the following curious claims:
click to enlarge
After some initial speculation (put aside before the article was published), it does not appear Haiyan was the strongest storm to ever make landfall. Haiyan appears to be less strong than Camille which struck the U.S. in 1969. Regardless, there is no evidence hurricanes are increasing in number or intensity. As we have previously discussed, the U.S. is now -- by far -- into the longest drought between major hurricanes in its history. The year 2013 will end with either the record low or a near record low number of tornadoes. Wildfires are down. Ice at the North Pole up, etc., etc.

So, why would Dr. Sachs, who has no background in meteorology or climatology, write this article which is, at best, misleading about the current state of the climate?

This is something we have discussed many times on the blog (here, here, here and here, or example): There is no institutional incentive to disprove global warming.  

While I have no reason to doubt Dr. Sach's good faith, the fact is that his institution is one of those that can only exist while the global warming gravy train keeps running. As previously discussed, global warming is a $165 Billion (yes, billion) business. Big Climate is genuinely Big.

Add the fact there is little accountability for scientific rigor from these thousands of universities, institutions, labs, and researchers. So, they are incentivized to paint a picture of climate far worse than the one that actually exists and there is no one that counts that will stop them. In fact, the worse they make it seem, the more likely the National Science Foundation will send more dollars their way and Congress will send more dollars to the NSF.

So, the next time you hear about 'deniers' supposedly among the
From a comment on Dr. Sachs' story
ask yourself,
Which side is really the 'special interest'?

2 comments:

  1. The manner in which the 'special interests' took over this otherwise scientific issue is breathtaking, but it had to be done. Gore, Schneider, Hansen and a few others declared the science to be settled back in '88-ish, skeptics begged to differ, and it became abundantly obvious that AGW could not stand on its own science merits. So 'special interests' people were called in for the express purpose of manufacturing doubt about the credibility of the skeptics. My favorite of the bunch when it comes to making out like a bandit was John Passacantando, a person initially at the heart of the smear of skeptic scientists, who later exited from Greenpeace while being paid over $134 grand for doing literally nothing ( http://web.archive.org/web/20120427091206/http://www.telofski.com/blog/2011/12/09/greenpeace-exec-paid-for-zero-hours-worked/ ). If it weren't for the pro-global warming gravy train, he would have had to go out and get a real job. Now, do the math on how many more people have been contracted to write up and implement things like cap-and trade laws or other systems for mitigating or advocating solutions for man-caused global warming, and you have a good-sized chunk of the economy dumped down a dry hole.

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  2. Mr. Smith,

    To play Devil's Advocate, can't a scientist make good money questioning the IPCC theory, at least on the lecture circuit? For instance, is Dr. Willie Soon courageously putting his career at risk? How about Dr. Roy Spencer? He has gone against the tide in the scientific literature. Granted, I've read some serious criticisms of one of his papers by other scientists (Dr. Dessler), but the point is, his material wasn't suppressed right? I mean, if Dr. Spencer was just another subscriber to the consensus theory, I wouldn't know his name as a layman. My point is, isn't there an incentive the other way, at least in certain instances?

    Enjoyed reading your post on Texas Observer. It seems as if the reporter was criticizing Dr. Nielsen-Gammon for not being sensational. As I see it, that only adds to his credibility.

    -- Michael

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