Global Warming

Mark Walker MWalker at
Tue Jul 15 12:10:14 EDT 2003

Stan wrote:

> I do not think your statement holds much water, at least with respect to
> university scientists. The small pot of money scientists use for research
> is allocated by Congress and the executive branch, and the purpose to
> which this money is to be used normally has strict guidelines. There is
> generally no great monetary incentive for university scientists to lie
> because of the small amount of money involved, and if they do lie (i.e.,
> falsify results) it could negatively impact on their ability to get future
> grants. This is in sharp contrast to executives in private industry.
> Executives can realize a great profit (millions, maybe even billions, of
> dollars in their bank accounts) by narrow mindedly opposing the research
> results of scientists that humans are the cause of global warming. Who has
> the greater incentive to lie with respect to global warming? It is obvious
> executives in private industry do.

It is obvious to me that both sides are being led more by their convictions
than by fact.  Both personify the villains as nameless, greedy, self serving
entities without providing specific information about any one liar or
exploiter.  It would seem to me that the only thing we may "know" at this
time is that the average temperatures over some relatively short period of
time have been moving steadily in one direction (or not).  It would seem to
me that any and all "explanations" for this phenomenon would be completely
hypothetical at this stage, and that therefore it would be ludicrous to
suggest that anyone is "lying" to anyone.  Do people have economic interests
on either side?  Of course.  Are researchers trying to create false doomsday
scenarios so they can put money in their institutions and stimulate the
preservation of natural resources based on false pretense?  Probably not.
Are wealthy industrial executives gathering around conference tables to spin
lies that will cover up and enable their corporations role in slowly boiling
the planet into oblivion?  Probably not.  In any case, I know of no specific
allegations.  On either side, it probably better serves your position to
refrain from making such blind accusations.

But the dialogue that has been stimulated provides certain entertainment,
for sure.  It's sort of like getting cable network news - without paying for
cable (oh, my cable modem light is blinking to remind me otherwise).

Mark Walker. 


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