06 Aug 2007

Where’s My $10,000?

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Newsweek’s Sharon Begley explains that everyone who does not accept Anthropogenic Global Warming is part of a sinister conspiracy.

One of her staffers told Barbara Boxer that Exxon Mobil was funding an unnamed conservative think tank which has been going around paying people $10,000 to argue against Global Warming. There is a name for the mercenaries and hirelings doing all this arguing. They are “Global Warming Deniers.”

I deny Anthropogenic Global Warming all the time myself, and nobody has given me any $10,000. I’ll have to be sure to call Exxon Mobil later today sometime, and ask where exactly I can find that think tank in order to pick up my check.

Recently, I was arguing about Global Warming with an undergraduate at my old university, who was impressed by the consensus supporting it. I tried explaining to him that the behavior of members of the Global Warming consensus makes the truth status of that theory perfectly clear.

One obvious clue is the arm-twisting going on, all the intimidation games, the “get on board, everybody else says so, or else!” approach.

When a scholar knows he has the truth, and he observes a colleague clinging to error, you will observe a complacent smile on the former’s lips, combined with a single eyebrow raised in ironic pity at the latter’s predicament. The scholar who knows he’s right also knows the facts will sooner or later vindicate him and will inevitably humiliate his pitiable rival. He is a happy and contented man.

On the other hand, when you find men of learning becoming emotional and losing their tempers, when you find them characterizing people who don’t agree with them as evil, when supporters of a theory start behaving like thugs, it’s perfectly clear that the argument’s gravamen has moved outside the realm of science and learning into the debatable border regions of religion and politics, and you can also easily perceive who it is that is operating in bad faith.

One Feedback on "Where’s My $10,000?"

William Adams

We are way past the need to argue that global warming is happening. Earth is getting warmer. This may be a long-term cycle in nature, but something new has been added to these natural cycles, burning fossil fuels and increasing greenhouse gas. So instead of peaking near where it has in the past, the Earth’s temperatures will rise higher with dire results. No sane person would argue against humans affecting the environment this way nor the against the measurable rises in temperature. Hence, we should take steps to curtail the human part of this rise. We cannot change the long-term factors.


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