Most people assume that “science” has proved that the earth is getting significantly, and potentially catastrophically, warmer, and that the reason is human activity, specifically the release of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases. In fact, scientific support for that theory is weak. But it’s where the money is: funding for climate research by the U.S. government alone is up more than a billion dollars a year as a result of the alarmism spread by–guess who–the same people, largely, who get the extra billion dollars. There are some contexts in which economic interests make reporters suspicious, and some contexts in which they don’t. Why? Beats me. Ask a reporter.
One sinister aspect of the global warming industry is the extent to which it bullies those who employ scientific methods to critique its claims. Richard Lindzen of MIT writes in the Wall Street Journal:
Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.
[H]ow is it that we don’t have more scientists speaking up about this junk science? It’s my belief that many scientists have been cowed not merely by money but by fear.
In 1992, [Senator Al Gore] ran two congressional hearings during which he tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists–a request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. ***
Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.
And then there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific journals for articles submitted by those who raise questions about accepted climate wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are commonly refused without review as being without interest.