Why We Shouldn’t Believe Every Scientist
Scientists live or die by grant money. In order for a teaching scientist to keep his job, he has to publish a certain number of peer reviewed papers every year. Ph.D. students choose a university based on the prestigious reputation of its faculty. The published papers and books are indicators of the school’s academic achievement. Universities began to realize that there’s money in doing research for government projects, especially for the military. Campus protests in the 1960s and early 1970s were often directed at schools that were doing work for the “Military-Industrial Complex.” The Sterling Hall Bombing that occurred on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus on August 24, 1970 was committed by four young people as a protest against the University’s research connections with the US military during the Vietnam War. It resulted in the death of a university physics researcher. The bombers were after the Army Math Research Center (AMRC) that was housed in the building.
The Manhattan Project, which began in 1939, was led and developed by university professors. The Project eventually employed more than 130,000 people and cost nearly $2 billion ($22 billion in current value). The majority of the money came from the Federal government.
It’s hard to say no to billions of dollars. Research is big business that is most often driven by ideology. Those who know how to write the grants get the money. A 2005 study in the journal Nature surveyed 3247 US researchers who were all publicly funded (by the National Institutes of Health which is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. It consists of 27 separate institutes and centers). Out of the scientists questioned, 15.5% admitted to altering design, methodology or results of their studies due to pressure of an external funding source.
With this very brief background study, should we be surprised if scientists who are pushing Global Warming as a man-made disaster would be reluctant to criticize the claim if they knew their funding would be cut? There are big bucks in Global Warming. Those who are pushing it are mostly ideologues with a larger political agenda.
Most Americans have an idealized opinion of scientists, that they are somehow detached from the mundane world of power, prestige, and fortune. If you believe this, then you also believe that Tiger Woods only cares about golf and the purity of the sport. Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould has written: “The stereotype of a fully rational and objective ‘scientific method,’ with individual scientists as logical (and interchangeable) robots, is self-serving mythology.”1 Scientists are just like everybody else. They want the same things.
We shouldn’t be surprised that climate scientists might fudge the evidence to keep the grant money coming in. Who’s really getting harmed? Anyway, the kids need new shoes and an investment portfolio so they can get into the best universities.
If these scientists and politicians were really concerned about Global Warming, would 15,000 delegates and officials, 5,000 journalists, and 98 world leaders be meeting in Copenhagen for a Climate Summit?2 Why not set up a teleconferencing system? Really show the world what can be done to “save the planet.”
More than 1200 limos well be called into service. Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen’s biggest limousine company says there are not enough limos in the country to fulfill the demand. “We’re having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden,” she says. This does not count the huge carbon foot print that will be created by the number of private jets (140 so far) being used. The eleven-day conference, including the participants’ travel, will create a total of 41,000 tons of “carbon dioxide equivalent.”
It’s all a scam. Newsweek “did a cover issue warning us of global cooling on April 28, 1975. And The New York Times, Aug. 14, 1976, reported ‘many signs that Earth may be headed for another ice age.’” In 1974, the National Science Board announced: “During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end . . . leading into the next ice age.” Gary Sutton, writing in an online article for Forbes, makes the point:
You can’t blame these scientists for sucking up to the fed’s mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. Remember how Galileo recanted his preaching about the earth revolving around the sun? He, of course, was about to be barbecued by his leaders. Today’s scientists merely lose their cash flow. Threats work.3
Of course, they can be blamed when they claim that they are doing real science, there is no contrary evidence, and what contrary evidence they do find they suppress it. So the next time someone dogmatically asserts that the majority of scientists believe in Global Warming, ask your antagonist how much grant money he’s getting?
- Stephen Jay Gould, “In the Mind of the Beholder,” Natural History (February 1994), 103:14. [↩]
- Andrew Gilligan, “Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges,” Telegraph (December 5, 2009). [↩]
- Gary Sutton, “The Fiction of Climate Science,” Forbes.com (December 4, 2009). [↩]