Need Debunking: Climate scientists are in it for the money

TheNZThrower

Active Member
According to a Heritage Foundation article by Stephen Moore, the mere existence of government funding directed towards climate change in any way automatically means that all climate scientists are compromised by conflicts of interest:
I noted that “In America and around the globe governments have created a multi-billion dollar Climate Change Industrial Complex.” And then I added: “A lot of people are getting really, really rich off of the climate change industry.” According to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Federal funding for climate change research, technology, international assistance, and adaptation has increased from $2.4 billion in 1993 to $11.6 billion in 2014, with an additional $26.1 billion for climate change programs and activities provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.”
I don't know which GAO report Moore is getting his numbers from, but the closes I've been able to find is this GAO report from May 2018 which mentions federal funding related to climate change is $13.2 billion in 2017. However, there's an important caveat:
According to Office of Management and Budget reports, federal climate change funding was $13.2 billion across 19 agencies in 2017. In the 6 agencies we reviewed, we found that 94% of their reported climate change funding went to programs that touch on, but aren’t dedicated to climate change, such as nuclear energy research.
In addition, most of the funding was dedicated towards fields unrelated to climate change research, and instead towards technological solutions to climate change and international assistance:
1657129463274.png
Hence to conflate the broad umbrella of ''climate change funding'' with funding directed at scientists to conduct climate change research is dishonest. Especially since the funding for such research has remained stagnant according to the above graph.

As for the climate funding pertaining to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, most of it relates to clean energy projects, and not climate change research funding, the latter which actually would result in conflicts of interest assuming Moore's premise holds. To quote the Dept. Of Energy:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- commonly called the “stimulus” -- was designed to spur economic growth while creating new jobs and saving existing ones.

Through the Recovery Act, the Energy Department invested more than $31 billion to support a wide range of clean energy projects across the nation -- from investing in the smart grid and developing alternative fuel vehicles to helping homeowners and businesses reduce their energy costs with energy efficiency upgrades and deploying carbon capture and storage technologies.
After the first round of dishonesty and equivocation between ''climate funding'' and ''climate science funding'', Moore then claims that a Forbes article demonstrates that $150 billion were spent on climate change and green energy under Obama's 1st term:
How big is the Climate Change Industrial Complex today? Surprisingly, no one seems to be keeping track of all the channels of funding. A few years ago Forbes magazine went through the federal budget and estimated about $150 billion in spending on climate change and green energy subsidies during President Obama’s first term.

That didn’t include the tax subsidies that provide a 30 percent tax credit for wind and solar power — so add to those numbers about $8 billion to $10 billion a year. Then add billions more in costs attributable to the 29 states with renewable energy mandates that require utilities to buy expensive “green” energy.
In addition to conflating ''climate science research'' and renewable energy subsidies - direct and indirect - like he did before, Moore doesn't link to the Forbes article he cites, and I wasn't able to find the article either. So if any of you can dig up the article, and the GAO report Moore cites, it would be much appreciated.
 

Hougenai

New Member
According to a Heritage Foundation article by Stephen Moore, the mere existence of government funding directed towards climate change in any way automatically means that all climate scientists are compromised by conflicts of interest:

I don't know which GAO report Moore is getting his numbers from, but the closes I've been able to find is this GAO report from May 2018 which mentions federal funding related to climate change is $13.2 billion in 2017. However, there's an important caveat:

In addition, most of the funding was dedicated towards fields unrelated to climate change research, and instead towards technological solutions to climate change and international assistance:
1657129463274.png
Hence to conflate the broad umbrella of ''climate change funding'' with funding directed at scientists to conduct climate change research is dishonest. Especially since the funding for such research has remained stagnant according to the above graph.

As for the climate funding pertaining to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, most of it relates to clean energy projects, and not climate change research funding, the latter which actually would result in conflicts of interest assuming Moore's premise holds. To quote the Dept. Of Energy:

After the first round of dishonesty and equivocation between ''climate funding'' and ''climate science funding'', Moore then claims that a Forbes article demonstrates that $150 billion were spent on climate change and green energy under Obama's 1st term:

In addition to conflating ''climate science research'' and renewable energy subsidies - direct and indirect - like he did before, Moore doesn't link to the Forbes article he cites, and I wasn't able to find the article either. So if any of you can dig up the article, and the GAO report Moore cites, it would be much appreciated.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michae...-with-nuclear-not-renewables/?sh=71e3bb1a7f61

I think it's an 'interpretation/misrepresentation' issue based on; 'between 2009 and 2018 the US gov spent $150million on the Green New Deal'.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michae...-with-nuclear-not-renewables/?sh=71e3bb1a7f61

I think it's an 'interpretation/misrepresentation' issue based on; 'between 2009 and 2018 the US gov spent $150million on the Green New Deal'.

Article:
In 2003 I co-founded a progressive Democratic, labor-environment push for a Green New Deal. We called ours a “new Apollo project,” after the 1969 moonshot.
...
Between 2009 and 2015, the U.S. government spent about $150 billion on our Green New Deal
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Ugh. The climate change denial scientists are usually the ones found to have ties to the fossil fuel industry etc.

Research/science is often government funded, for the simple reason that this makes it less likely for that research to pander to special interests. The claim that government funding leads to some kind of bias is unsupported and IMO unsupportable.

The greenhouse effect and the fact that climate change is man-made were established in the last century, any 21st century funding is based on this.

The observation that people can get rich by developing solutions to reduce CO2 emissions is the system working as intended: to get people to do something in capitalism, you offer them money. So researchers "in it for the money" (as is basically everyone who holds a job) do what we need to fight climate change; if they had to do it for free, they wouldn't be doing it. I have no idea why the idea of working for money seems so strange to these conservatives (the Heritage Foundations); maybe it's the idea of working for money but still having principles and ethics that they don't comprehend?

tl;dr The Heritage Foundation hates it when the government spends money to fight climate change. (Why, though?)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Stephen Moore himself seems to have carved himself out a job as climate change denier and fossil fuel promoter:
Article:
Stephen Moore, who has called climate change “climate improvement,” has repeatedly cited the debunked Oregon Petition as well as Bjorn Lomborg‘s “Copenhagen Consensus” to suggest there is still a debate on climate science. More has also called anyone who believes in man-made climate change “Stalinistic.” [4]

Moore is co-author, with Kathleen Hartnett-White (who also serves on Trump’s Economic Advisory Team) of Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy. According to a review of the book in American Thinker, “Rather than worrying that carbon energy resources are destroying the planet and looking to renewable energy as an alternative, the authors suggest we should celebrate the vast contributions fossil fuels made during the past century.” [5]

Moore, a regular Fox News contributor, has compared fracking to a cure for cancer in the past, and has also distorted a NASA study to claim that it was an “indication” that global warming is “actually not happening.” [6], [7]

Moore seems very biased himself.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The Heritage Foundation hates it when the government spends money to fight climate change. (Why, though?)
he says
Article:
Worldwide the numbers are gargantuan. Five years ago, a leftist group called the Climate Policy Initiative issued a study which found that “Global investment in climate change” reached $359 billion that year. Then to give you a sense of how money-hungry these planet-saviors are, the CPI moaned that this spending “falls far short of what’s needed” a number estimated at $5 trillion.

For $5 trillion we could feed everyone on the planet, end malaria, and provide clean water and reliable electricity to every remote village in Africa. And we would probably have enough money left over to find a cure for cancer and Alzheimers.


and the "progressive Democrat" [her self title] Forbes article says:
Article:
Germany spent $580 billion on renewables and its emissions have been flat for a decade. And all of that unreliable solar and wind has made Germany’s electricity the second most expensive in Europe.


note: do i believe the government would spend that money to end hunger and provide clean water to the world? no. they would probably spend it on something self serving, like cancelling student debt or building more border walls.
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
According to a Heritage Foundation article by Stephen Moore, the mere existence of government funding directed towards climate change in any way automatically means that all climate scientists are compromised by conflicts of interest
This is interesting, given that in the US, an incredibly huge amount of money from oil companies is shoveled in to anti-environmental initiatives. Here's some info on 5 companies, per the US government itself.
  • Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP, and API spent a combined $452.6 million lobbying the federal government since 2011. The four oil giants employed an average of around 40 lobbyists per year and spent a combined total of $374.7 million on federal lobbying, while API employed an average of 48 lobbyists per year and spent $78 million.
As Mendel so brilliantly put it above me, the fact that there's a ton of money on environmental tech should be seen as proof that capitalism is working for the betterment of the world. I would think Moore wouldn't mind this, because he wrote an op-ed titled "Free market capitalism is under siege — from capitalists" that has this sentence in it:
In short, neoliberalism was the intellectual counterassault to the faddish trend in Europe and Asia after World War II toward socialism and communism, two economic models that eventually crashed and burned by the end of the 20th century
This article, surprisingly, is also about oil and fossil fuels and climate change. I think he might just have a bee in his bonnet about the subject, to be honest.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Stephen Moore has promoted bunk in the past.
Article:
Moore wrote a 2014 Kansas City Star opinion piece entitled, "What's the matter with Paul Krugman?," responding to Krugman's earlier opinion piece "Charlatans, Cranks and Kansas," which had discussed a recent major tax cut in Kansas.[29][30] Moore said that job creation had been superior in low-taxation states during the five years ending June 2009 following the recession. After errors were found in Moore's data, he sought to correct the errors with different data that were also incorrect. Miriam Pepper, editorial page editor for the Star stated "I won't be running anything else from Stephen Moore."[31][32]

During a 2016 debate on the minimum wage, Moore stated, "I'm a radical on this. I'd get rid of a lot of these child labor laws. I want people starting to work at 11, 12."[38]

In September 2018, Moore wrote a Wall Street Journal opinion piece entitled, "The Corporate Tax Cut Is Paying for Itself," in which he asserted that "faster-than-expected growth has produced a revenue windfall." Corporate tax receipts for the fiscal year ended September 2018 were down 31% from the prior fiscal year, the largest decline since records began in 1934, except for during the Great Recession when corporate profits, and hence corporate tax receipts, plummeted.[49][50][51][52]
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Then to give you a sense of how money-hungry these planet-saviors are, the CPI moaned that this spending “falls far short of what’s needed” a number estimated at $5 trillion.
$5 trillion is still short of what unmitigated climate change is projected to cost us.
Article:
https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pag...ld-cost-the-us-economy-trillions-by-2070.html
Deloitte Report: Inaction on Climate Change Could Cost the US Economy $14.5 Trillion by 2070 – Press release

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/22/climate/climate-change-economy.amp.html
Climate Change Could Cut World Economy by $23 Trillion in 2050 - The New York Times

04.11.2021 — The effects of climate change can be expected to shave 11 percent to 14 percent off global economic output by 2050 compared with growth
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
note: do i believe the government would spend that money to end hunger and provide clean water to the world? no. they would probably spend it on something self serving, like cancelling student debt or building more border walls.
[...]
Article:
FACT SHEET: Vice President Harris Announces Action Plan on Global Water Security and Highlights the Administration’s Work to Build Drought Resilience

JUNE 01, 2022•STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

The Historic Action Plan Elevates Water Security as Foreign Policy Priority


Article:
Biden-Harris Administration and EPA Announce Actions to Improve Drinking Water and Wastewater Services for Tribes and Alaska Native Villages

The main problem is that Malaria/Hunger/Water are not money problems, they're political problems first and foremost; and the "cure for cancer" is a research problem, they do need funding, but more funding doesn't necessarily translate to more progress. (Also, it attracts researchers "who are only in it for the money", right?)
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
and the "cure for cancer" is a research problem, they do need funding, but more funding doesn't necessarily translate to more progress. (Also, it attracts researchers "who are only in it for the money", right?)
did i mention cancer? no. i did not.

as far as VP Harris' campaign promises to end hunger and provide clean drinking water to the rest of the world, i'm not going to hold my breath.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I cited a month-old White House action plan, not a "campaign promise"
it's the same thing. dont be insulted Republicans do that too. bottom line: actions speak louder than words, i stand by my earlier stated opinion.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
did i mention cancer? no. i did not.
From your post:SmartSelect_20220707-003939_Samsung Internet.jpg
(Screenshot because @Landru objects to the way the forum quotes)
The main problem is that Malaria/Hunger/Water are not money problems, they're political problems first and foremost; and the "cure for cancer" is a research problem, they do need funding, but more funding doesn't necessarily translate to more progress. (Also, it attracts researchers "who are only in it for the money", right?)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
From your post:SmartSelect_20220707-003939_Samsung Internet.jpg
(Screenshot because @Landru objects to the way the forum quotes)


Mendel said:
The main problem is that Malaria/Hunger/Water are not money problems, they're political problems first and foremost; and the "cure for cancer" is a research problem, they do need funding, but more funding doesn't necessarily translate to more progress. (Also, it attracts researchers "who are only in it for the money", right?)
Content from External Source

oh i see, so when you ended with "right?", you were addressing that to Stephen Moore. gottcha.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
The argument that you can't trust anyone who is paid for doing their job strikes me as specious, particularly coming from people being paid to write articles about it, or for articles that appear in publications that are published by organizations with staff paid to do THEIR jobs. We may lose sight of it here... but getting paid to do the work is pretty normal, and where "both sides" are paid it is not, in and if itself, particularly significant.
 

Ann K

Active Member
Bear in mind that people who study climate change (as opposed to those who work toward creating alternative energy solutions) do not manufacture a product, do not sell a commodity, do not have shareholders, and do not turn a profit. In simple terms, world governments are the ONLY entities able to fund such research. I understand, a lot of people do not want to hear their findings, because it makes profitable fossil fuel companies look bad, but considering the global implications of the growing crisis, any investment in factual studies of the matter is vital. We have known it was coming since the nineteenth century, but it was more comfortable ...and more profitable... for many people to ignore the problem.

Every increase in hurricanes, droughts, or floods, every huge fire in tinder-dry forests, every New Orleans or New York inundated with storm surges, every failed crop season, every town whose infrastructure is washed out by flood, causes an enormous expense and costs lives. The cost of studying the climate has to be balanced against the cost of ignoring it. And every year the crisis is not addressed translates to more decades that humanity will be affected.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that weather and climate disasters in the U.S. have caused over $2.085 trillion in damages since 1980. Roughly 53 events happen each year, causing an average of $49.7 billion. While the economic damage alone is staggering, the damage on an individual scale is no less devastating.
Content from External Source
https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/costliest-natural-disasters/

Please note, the cost indicated above is just for the USA. While the world has always had climate disasters, the number and severity are affected with climate change. For several years the jet stream has swung erratically to the point that normal weather patterns are disrupted and unpredictable. That, of course, means that agriculture suffers, and thus so do the people who depend upon the harvests. Even here in the USA, our food supplies are ample but the prices have risen precipitously. The effects in countries without our ample resources include disastrous famines.

It's in the best interests of us all to understand what the climate's doing now, and what it can be expected to do in the future.
 
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LilWabbit

Senior Member
To complement the valuable point made by @JMartJr, even the political leanings of the authors or sponsors of a study/article do not automatically imply bias and poor science. Especially if we can reasonably establish for ourselves that the authors/sponsors are committed to professional standards of objectivity, integrity and impartiality. This is sometimes difficult for a lay observer to do since most people are not versed in scientific methodologies (the basics of which should be taught in junior high school at latest imho).

However, if the financial sponsor is a corporate agency or an ideological entity (religious groups, political parties), more caution must be exercised before citing a study. We must put in some independent work to establish for ourselves its scientific credentials. The alternative should obviously also be guarded against -- to be gullible and easily impressed by government-sponsored research (or any research for that matter) just because the conclusions agree with our personal ideological leanings. But as @Ann K and @Mendel said, government-sponsored studies in modern democracies are less likely to be as biased as those sponsored by political parties, faith-groups or corporate interests.

Sometimes we prefer highly biased sources, and avoid others, simply because they justify our own personal beliefs or personally convenient narratives. If your source or its sponsors actively tell you to mistrust other sources and question everyone else's integrity but theirs, they are demonstrably uncomfortable in the strength of their 'truth'. This is a red flag.

In terms of the objectivity of a source (i.e. a 'source' can be anything ranging from a media outlet, a think tank, a research institution, a government agency, a person, a non-profit organization or a corporation to a political, ideological and religious organization), the best ones are those to whom commitment to integrity, objectivity, factuality, accuracy and impartiality is genuinely a matter of pride (not just a slogan) and represents the foundational principle governing their work.

While being employed by a source committed to these principles and commissioned to conduct a study, the political or ideological leanings of the authors or sponsors are of course allowed to exist while consciously and resolutely kept from undermining this commitment. After years of going through articles and studies of all types by all manner of sponsors, a reasonably accurate 'sniff sense' develops even in lay observers, empowering them to somewhat quickly gauge any given study's commitment to objectivity and integrity or the lack thereof.

And yet, even then one should always give the benefit of the doubt and put in some extra effort to check whether the accuracy of one's olfactory perception really rivals canines.
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
Article:
In 2003 I co-founded a progressive Democratic, labor-environment push for a Green New Deal. We called ours a “new Apollo project,” after the 1969 moonshot.
...
Between 2009 and 2015, the U.S. government spent about $150 billion on our Green New Deal
The Forbes article in return links to this Brookings Institute article with the following graph:
1657192911386.png
Which shows that not only is the funding not related to the research of anthropogenic climate change and its impacts, but also that the funding across the 2009-2013 period of Obama's first term for green energy has been drastically declining, and that the total funding across that period was not $150 billion, but $110 billion. Moore couldn't even get his own figures right.
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
Ugh. The climate change denial scientists are usually the ones found to have ties to the fossil fuel industry etc.

Research/science is often government funded, for the simple reason that this makes it less likely for that research to pander to special interests. The claim that government funding leads to some kind of bias is unsupported and IMO unsupportable.

The greenhouse effect and the fact that climate change is man-made were established in the last century, any 21st century funding is based on this.

The observation that people can get rich by developing solutions to reduce CO2 emissions is the system working as intended: to get people to do something in capitalism, you offer them money. So researchers "in it for the money" (as is basically everyone who holds a job) do what we need to fight climate change; if they had to do it for free, they wouldn't be doing it. I have no idea why the idea of working for money seems so strange to these conservatives (the Heritage Foundations); maybe it's the idea of working for money but still having principles and ethics that they don't comprehend?

tl;dr The Heritage Foundation hates it when the government spends money to fight climate change. (Why, though?)
To play devils advocate, the claim made by climate deniers usually goes along the lines that as the government has an agenda to push regarding climate change, it henceforth follows that this leads to some kind of bias. I also think the proof for the claim is that a given government has implemented subsidies/policies favourable to renewable and clean energy.

However, no government in a liberal democracy, and that includes any scientific agencies, is a monolithic hivemind. Every agency will have officials from two or more political parties with differing ideals and views on a given relevant topic. Maybe you can offer a more comprehensive counterargument?
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
he says
Article:
Worldwide the numbers are gargantuan. Five years ago, a leftist group called the Climate Policy Initiative issued a study which found that “Global investment in climate change” reached $359 billion that year. Then to give you a sense of how money-hungry these planet-saviors are, the CPI moaned that this spending “falls far short of what’s needed” a number estimated at $5 trillion.
What Moore ignores is that the very report he cites mentions that the funding in question pertains to green energy projects, climate adaptation and emissions reduction technologies and programs:
In the absence of an internationally-acknowledged definition of what qualifies as climate finance, we limit finance flows to ‘climate-specific finance,’ referring specifically to capital flows targeting low-carbon and climate-resilient development with direct or indirect greenhouse gas mitigation or adaptation objectives/ outcomes.
So yet again, Moore is equivocating between ''climate finance/funding'' and ''funding for climate scientists to conduct their research''.
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
The main problem is that Malaria/Hunger/Water are not money problems, they're political problems first and foremost; and the "cure for cancer" is a research problem, they do need funding, but more funding doesn't necessarily translate to more progress. (Also, it attracts researchers "who are only in it for the money", right?)
How are Malaria/Hunger/Water political problems? Is it because governmental corruption in the nations affected prevents those issues from being solved.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
To play devils advocate, the claim made by climate deniers usually goes along the lines that as the government has an agenda to push regarding climate change, it henceforth follows that this leads to some kind of bias. I also think the proof for the claim is that a given government has implemented subsidies/policies favourable to renewable and clean energy.

How does government implementing green policies in keeping with its party line and election promises (yes, ideology) prove the research they fund is also automatically biased and throws pursuit to scientific objectivity (non-ideology) out the window?

However, no government in a liberal democracy, and that includes any scientific agencies, is a monolithic hivemind. Every agency will have officials from two or more political parties with differing ideals and views on a given relevant topic.

Or officials who give two hoots about any ideology and are dispassionately interested in facts.
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
it's a quote. just google the quote
1657131386191.png
I think I've found the source. According to ClimateChangeFork, this is how the funding in question is split:
1658376595099.png
As observed, the funding for the science has been consistent and static over time, with most of the funding increases being put to technologies to mitigate climate change and its impacts via emissions reduction. Now if we look at the original sourced GAO report, we find that only $641 million of the total $25.5 billion climate funding from the American Recovery and Investment Act is dedicated towards scientific research on climate change, so the final number spent on research in total is only approx. $12 billion:
Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. No. 111-5 (2009)) included an additional $25.5 billion for technology and $641 million for science.
To put it another way, the total funding for climate change research and technology and science from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act only comprises about 3.2% of the total funds allocated to the Act at $787 billion. To quote Investopedia:
The Act consisted of $787 billion in spending (later raised to $831 billion) in tax cuts/credits and unemployment benefits for families; it also earmarked expenditures for healthcare, infrastructure, and education.
The percentage becomes even lower at 3% if we factor the higher $831 billion figure. So henceforth from a governmental perspective, climate funding is mere pennies, doubly so in regards to funding for climate research.
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
Ugh. The climate change denial scientists are usually the ones found to have ties to the fossil fuel industry etc.

Research/science is often government funded, for the simple reason that this makes it less likely for that research to pander to special interests. The claim that government funding leads to some kind of bias is unsupported and IMO unsupportable.

The greenhouse effect and the fact that climate change is man-made were established in the last century, any 21st century funding is based on this.

The observation that people can get rich by developing solutions to reduce CO2 emissions is the system working as intended: to get people to do something in capitalism, you offer them money. So researchers "in it for the money" (as is basically everyone who holds a job) do what we need to fight climate change; if they had to do it for free, they wouldn't be doing it. I have no idea why the idea of working for money seems so strange to these conservatives (the Heritage Foundations); maybe it's the idea of working for money but still having principles and ethics that they don't comprehend?

tl;dr The Heritage Foundation hates it when the government spends money to fight climate change. (Why, though?)
How would government funding make it less likely for research to be biased by vested interests? Isn't the government a kind of vested interest (to play devils advocate)?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
How would government funding make it less likely for research to be biased by vested interests? Isn't the government a kind of vested interest (to play devils advocate)?
You changed my "special interests" to "vested interests". Special interests are typically self-serving and often financially motivated, with little oversight. The government serves the people, and incorporates multi-party political oversight.
The government has a "vested interest" in education and science because they benefit the people, regardless of specific results.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
As observed, the funding for the science has been consistent and static over time, with most of the funding increases being put to technologies to mitigate climate change and its impacts via emissions reduction.
i'm confused why you are so into "scientists" and science/research, and separating it from technologies. I know you titled the thread "scientists" but that isn't what your claim quote in the op says.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
i'm confused why you are so into "scientists" and science/research, and separating it from technologies. I know you titled the thread "scientists" but that isn't what your claim quote in the op says.
Article:
Shortly after the latest Chicken Little climate change report was published last month, I noted on CNN that one reason so many hundreds of scientists are persuaded that the sky is falling is that they are paid handsomely to do so.

[...]

But the tidal wave of funding does reveal a powerful financial motive for scientists to conclude that the apocalypse is upon us. No one hires a fireman if there are no fires. No one hires a climate scientist (there are thousands of them now) if there is no catastrophic change in the weather.
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
You changed my "special interests" to "vested interests". Special interests are typically self-serving and often financially motivated, with little oversight. The government serves the people, and incorporates multi-party political oversight.
The government has a "vested interest" in education and science because they benefit the people, regardless of specific results.
So your point is that unlike special interest that are motivated by profit, the government in a multi-party democracy is kept in check at the ballot via the people, and that the multiple parties and their competing ideologies in various positions throughout the government keep the government from pursuing a specific self-serving agenda like corporations and other special interest groups?

Correct me if I got anything wrong.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
So your point is that unlike special interest that are motivated by profit, the government in a multi-party democracy is kept in check at the ballot via the people, and that the multiple parties and their competing ideologies in various positions throughout the government keep the government from pursuing a specific self-serving agenda like corporations and other special interest groups?

Correct me if I got anything wrong.
Well, you're describing the ideal; reality sometimes falls short. (As the phenomenon of corruption attests.)

But then, my claim was "less likely" and not "impossible". Government-funded science is less likely to be biased by an agenda than science funded by special interests.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Article:
No one hires a climate scientist (there are thousands of them now) if there is no catastrophic change in the weather.

If the parenthesised implication (there's been a noteable increase in number), do we conclude, from the budget for science (graphed above) being flat for decades, that the scientists have been taking pay cuts? That's hardly a sign of just-in-it-for-the-money behaviour, if so. Maybe their argument is as least in part self-defeating?

Here on planet FatPhil, most of our clients are now academics, and the source of the funds in the institutions is government grants (libertarians are permitted to shout "you mean the taxpayer" quietly to themselves at this point), and whilst none of it that I can remember has been climate related certain fields definitely go through waves of popularity. So there's definitely a bit of bandwagon-jumping going on, but it's really not all that significant. Make more money available, more people will want to reach for it, obviously. If that advances the science quicker - all well and good, that's a positive. Pretending it must be a negative would be an anti-science stance.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
If the parenthesised implication (there's been a noteable increase in number), do we conclude, from the budget for science (graphed above) being flat for decades, that the scientists have been taking pay cuts? That's hardly a sign of just-in-it-for-the-money behaviour, if so. Maybe their argument is as least in part self-defeating?
except in the first bit of Mendels quote it says "many hundreds of scientists are persuaded that the sky is falling". Moore might be alluding to bias here, ie. that if you are battling "thousands" for grant money then you might be motivated to give the government what they want. ?

only because i've heard that argument, that if you don't toe the line you don't get the grant money. (i'm not saying it is true, but i've heard denialists say that)
 

TheNZThrower

Active Member
Article:
Shortly after the latest Chicken Little climate change report was published last month, I noted on CNN that one reason so many hundreds of scientists are persuaded that the sky is falling is that they are paid handsomely to do so.

[...]

But the tidal wave of funding does reveal a powerful financial motive for scientists to conclude that the apocalypse is upon us. No one hires a fireman if there are no fires. No one hires a climate scientist (there are thousands of them now) if there is no catastrophic change in the weather.
Regarding Moore's claims about climate scientist employment, I can rebuke it by pointing out that as understanding any climatic changes, natural or manmade, would assist fields like agriculture from adapting to those changes in the event they cause negative effects, you still would have an incentive to fund climatologists to do their work even if there aren't any major climatic changes yet, as you have to be on the lookout for any changes in climate trends that lead to negative effects to adapt to them accordingly. You still have an incentive to fund astrophysics even if there is no imminent threat of a mile wide asteroid impact, just like how there still exists an incentive to fund climatologists even if anthropogenic climate change wasn't a problem. So climatologists can rest easy about their pay if climate change somehow didn't happen.

However, I am still a bit lacking in knowledge about what other uses does climatology have?
 

Ann K

Active Member
However, I am still a bit lacking in knowledge about what other uses does climatology have?
The use of knowledge is to make us all a bit LESS "lacking in knowledge". It's like storing pasta in our pantry: so we have it when we need it. As for climatology, I think it's apparent that we need to know as much as possible right now. Good thing we have some of it in the pantry.
 
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