Thursday, December 24, 2009

Turning Tricks, Cashing In on Fear By Alexander Cockburn

One of the common objections I’ve run into when expressing my skepticism ofAnthropogenic global warming (AGW) is that this skepticism is limited to right-wingers. While this might be true in general terms there are exceptions on both side of the political fence. Here is an example from the left: Alexander Cockburn in CountePunch. I recommend reading his essay on the Copenhagen Conference. He addresses the usual canard I hear hurled at AGW deniers: that they’re shills for the oil industry, that their position is driven by money.

But the CRU emails graphically undermine the claim of the Warmers – always absurd to those who have studied the debate in any detail – that they commanded the moral high ground. It has been a standard ploy of the Warmers to revile the skeptics as intellectual whores of the energy industry, swaddled in munificent grants and with large personal stakes in discrediting AGW. Actually, the precise opposite is true. Billions in funding and research grants sluice into the big climate modeling enterprises. There’s now a vast archipelago of research departments and “institutes of climate change” across academia, with a huge vested interest in defending the AGW model. It’s where the money is. Skepticism, particularly for a young climatologist or atmospheric physicist, can be a career breaker.

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