Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Shill For Big Oil

Roy Spencer, whose hypothesis about heat transfer in the atmosphere I recently discussed, talks about where he gets his funding.

It has become commonplace for those of us scientists who are skeptical of mankind's role in global warming (I like to call us global warming optimists) to be branded as shills for "Big Oil". As a result of misinformation posted at (and other web sites that spread that misinformation), I have decided to set the record straight concerning my financial interests.

I have never been asked by any energy company to take a position on global warming -- or to do anything else for them. While I have given talks on global warming at conservative think tanks like the Marshall Institute (for no pay), I have also done the same for environmental organizations in several states. Apparently, those who run think that any association of my name with conservative organizations is sufficient "guilt by association" for the public to assume that I receive compensation from energy companies.

After 12 years of receiving no compensation for my writings, I was eventually asked to write global warming related articles for (now That website advocated science, technology, and free markets, and was indeed partially funded by Exxon Mobil. While I no longer write for that web site, over a three year period I augmented my "day job" salary by an average of 5% by writing articles. The views expressed in those articles were consistent with the views I had expressed for twelve years for no compensation. (Quite frankly, since I supported the ideals promoted on, I really didn't care who funded it).

The dirty little secret is that environmental organizations and global warming pessimists receive far more money from Big Oil than do global warming optimists such as myself. While professional environmental lobbyists are totally dependent upon environmental crises for their continued existence, atmospheric researchers and meteorologists have day jobs which are not. Some outspoken global warming pessimists have received large cash awards (hundreds of thousands of dollars) for the positions they have taken; there are no such monetary awards for global warming optimists. Instead, we have to endure scorn from several outspoken peers in the scientific community, some of whom are successful at thwarting our publication of scientific articles and government funding of our research proposals.

As long as the global warming pessimists can convince the public that we skeptics are simply shills for Big Oil, they do not have to address our scientific arguments.
You see in science it doesn't matter where the money comes from. All that matters is "is the explanation correct.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

If you haven't yet, watch "The Great Global Warming Swindle". Its free to watch on google video.