Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by w1z4rd, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. IceAgeCivilizations Banned Banned

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    Please restate your question.
     
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  3. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    Too bad no one except the denialists are saying cutting back our emissions won't help.
     
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  5. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know if this is true at all---one only need look at the facts. Cutting our emissions will help, inasmuch as throwing a thimble-full of water on a fire will help in putting it out. It IS important that the West take the lead, but it is only with the understanding that China and India will somehow agree to drastically cut its emissions in the future.
     
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  7. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    Ben - do you think that you as an individual (or any other individual or group) have the right to contribute to jeopardising a shared resource? Is it ethical as a scientist to be doing this?
    I thought the scientists first responsibility was to his fellow humans - not to science itself.
     
  8. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    It is the global warming alarmists who are jeopardising our resources by recommending we waste billions on measures that will have no measurable effect.
     
  9. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    So we get a bit skint if we're wrong - but if you're wrong...what cost then?
     
  10. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    What, sea levels rise a few feet? Big deal. They rose a few feet in the twentieth century, and I don't see that listed anywhere as one of that centurys greatest problems.

    Or are you postulating a Day After Tommorow scenario?
     
  11. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    No - I live at sea level and so do 50% of the worlds population -what kind of economic cost will the migration of billions of people do to your precious profit and loss?
     
  12. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    Global warming would also disrupt the Earth's delicate climate system, severely.

    There's definitely more to worry about than a rise in sea level.
     
  13. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    Yes - Athelwulf, this has already been outlined several times in the thread.
     
  14. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    And yet madanthony doesn't seem to get it. Maybe he doesn't want to?
     
  15. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    lol - its funny how one can take a counterpoint passionately on one issue and agree wholeheartedly on others...
     
  16. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah. As if the causes of a rise in sea level don't also by extension cause a severe disruption in the global climate. People need to see the bigger picture.
     
  17. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Your proof is nothing but BS computer simulations that can not even predict the present. We're talking about a huge cost. Money spent on what may be an imaginary threat is not available to use on real ones.

    I'm all for reasonable measures. For instance, I've replaced every incandescent bulb in my house with a compact flourescent. If the whole country did this, we'd use only about 25% as much power for lighting.

    I own a two story home with a basement. That's a lot of lights. Have you done even this simple thing? Don't go proposing we cripple our economy and throw hundreds of thousands of people out of work if you haven't.
     
  18. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    What else Athenwulf?
     
  19. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    I'm remembering this from the top of my head, but I can say that a lot of measurements we took in the past which attempted to determine where we'd be today turned out to be fairly accurate. I don't know which computer simulations you were looking at.

    I understand this reluctance to splurge money. Luckily for you, however, the evidence in favor of this threat, and the evidence which shows we're majorly responsible, is pretty strong. You just have to see it all.

    This is good. And this certainly does help. So on behalf of the Earth, I thank you.

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    And if I have, or am now about to?

    It's interesting you should mention these. I've read in a Harper's Index from late last year that the ratio of the cost of ratifying and complying with the Kyoto Treaty against the cost of the Iraq War thus far was 1:1. Also, I don't see how any unemployment would result from compliance that wouldn't be evened out by new jobs that would also result from compliance. But to be honest, I haven't given this point much thought, as I consider it a very small price to pay, given the circumstances.
     
  20. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    I just want to be clear that I haven't stated my position or my beliefs anywhere here. I have simply shown that any cuts the West may make in terms of carbon emissions will be overshadowed by China and Inidia's emissions in the coming decades. This is a fact, and is not open to debate. Unless China and India accept their roles in climate change, then the best we can hope for is to push back the predictions of the IPCC. Again, this is not open to debate---it is a fact.

    I will not answer ethical questions here because there are no ethical matters to be discussed. If one wants to debate the virtues of development vs. conservation vis a vis China and India's race for world power status, then perhaps we should start a new thread.

    This is perhaps outside the scope of this discussion, but this depends on the scientist, and the fellow humans. There are certainly climate scientists who feel that the consensus is over-stated, and that many who are claiming to be experts are not. This is perhaps a shrinking minority (I don't know figures), but it would be difficult to argue that these scientists do not have the public's interest at heart when doing this research. In their opinions, whether or not you agree with that opinion, they are ensuring that the public is not duped into something that will demand most of the Earth's economic resources for the coming century.
     
  21. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    This is a response from the president of the company offering the grants to scientists, directed towards the original article in The Guardian.

    Anyone who has been keeping up with this thread should probably read this.

    AEI President Responds to “Cash for Climate Science” Accusation


    The response is from the President of AEI.
    ************************************************************

    February 2, 2007

    Note for AEI Scholars, Fellows, and Staff

    Many of us have received telephone calls and emails prompted by a shoddy article on the front page of today’s Guardian, the British newspaper, headlined
    “Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study” (posted at http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,2004397,00.html#article_continue).

    The article uses several garden-variety journalistic tricks to create the impression of a story where none exists. Thus, AEI is described as a “lobby group” (we are a research group that does no lobbying and takes no institutional positions on policy issues); ExxonMobil’s donations to AEI are either bulked up by adding donations over many years, or simply made up (the firm’s annual AEI support is generous and valued but is a fraction of the amount reported—no corporation accounts for more than 1 percent of our annual budget); and AEI is characterized as the Bush administration’s “intellectual Cosa Nostra” and “White House surrogates” (AEI scholars criticize or praise Bush administration policies—every day, on the merits). All of this could have been gleaned from a brief visit to the AEI website.

    But the article’s specific charge (announced in the headline) is a very serious one. Although most of you will appreciate the truth on your own, I thought it would be useful to provide a few details.

    First, AEI has published a large volume of books and papers on climate change issues over the past decade and has held numerous conferences on the subject. A wide range of views on the scientific and policy issues have been presented in these publications and conferences. All of them are posted on our website. It would be easy to find policy arguments in our publications and conferences that people at ExxonMobil (or other corporations that support AEI) disagree with—as well as those they agree with and, I hope, some they hadn’t thought of until we presented them. Our latest book on the subject, Lee Lane’s Strategic Options for Bush Administration Climate Policy, advocates a carbon tax, which I’m pretty sure ExxonMobil opposes (the book also dares to criticize some of the Bush administration’s climate-change policies!).

    Second, attempting to disentangle science from politics on the question of climate change causation, and to fashion policies that take account of the uncertainties concerning causation, are longstanding AEI interests. Several recent issues of our “Environmental Policy Outlook” address these issues, as does Ken Green’s “Q & A” article in the November-December issue of The American. The new research project that Ken and Steve Hayward have been organizing is a continuation of these interests. I am attaching the two letters that Steve and Ken have sent out to climate change scientists and policy experts (the first one emphasizing the scientific and climate-modeling issues addressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the second, more recent one covering broader policy issues as well)—and invite you to read them and compare them with the characterization in the Guardian article. The first letter, sent last summer to Professor Steve Schroeder of Texas A&M (and also to his colleague Gerald North), is the one quoted by the Guardian. Ken and Steve canvassed scholars with a range of views on the scientific and policy issues, with an eye to the intrinsic quality and interest of their work rather than to whether partisans might characterize them as climate change “skeptics” or “advocates.” They certainly did not avoid those with a favorable view of the IPCC reports—such as Professor Schroeder himself.

    Third, what the Guardian essentially characterizes as a bribe is the conventional practice of AEI—and Brookings, Harvard, and the University of Manchester—to pay individuals at other research institutions for commissioned work, and to cover their travel expenses when they come to the sponsoring institution to present their papers. The levels of authors’ honoraria vary from case to case, but a $10,000 fee for a research project involving the review of a large amount of dense scientific material, and the synthesis of that material into an original, footnoted and rigorous article is hardly exorbitant or unusual; many academics would call it modest.

    We should all be aware that political attacks such as the Guardian‘s are more than sloppy or sensation-seeking journalism: they are efforts to throttle debate, and therefore aim at the heart of AEI’s purposes and methods. The successive IPCC climate change reports contain a wealth of valuable information, but there has been a longstanding effort to characterize them as representing more of a “scientific consensus” than they probably are, and to gloss over uncertainties and disagreements within the IPCC documents themselves. Consensus plays an important role in science and scientific progress, but so does disputation—reasoned argument is essential to good science, and competition of ideas is essential to scientific progress. AEI is strongly opposed to the politicization of science, just as it is to the politicization of economics and other disciplines. On climate change as on other issues, we try to sort out the areas of genuine consensus from the areas of reasonable debate and uncertainty. Ken and Steve’s letter to Professor Schroeder was clear about this: “we are looking for . . . a well-supported but accessible discussion of which elements of climate modeling have demonstrated predictive value that might make them policy-relevant and which elements of climate modeling have less levels of predictive utility, and hence, less utility in developing climate policy.”

    The effort to anathematize opposing views is the standard recourse of the ideologue; one of AEI’s highest purposes, here as in many other contentious areas, is to ensure that such efforts do not succeed.


    Chris DeMuth

    (signed)
     
  22. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    Mmm...I wonder how Foucault would analyse this?
     
  23. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Here's the problem with your logic. The money spent on Kyoto compliance would have been spent on something productive. The jobs created will take the place of other jobs. Furthermore, the increased energy costs caused by Kyoto would push many businesses into bankrupsy and throw hundreds of thousands out of work. Here's the evidence.
     

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