Wednesday, April 04, 2007

649,371 Reasons To Believe In Global Warming

Originally via Orbusmax

Evergreen faculty member receives $649,371 grant
OLYMPIA, Wash. - A faculty member at The Evergreen State College who is a nationally known expert on insects has been rewarded a $649,371, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, the college announced.

John Longino will lead a study to find new insect species and to explore possible effects of global warming on insect diversity.

"This work is trying to identify the scope of global warming," Longino said from a research station in Costa Rica. "This may give us all a little extra push to do something about it."

Now I realize he needs to finish the research in a hurry as I am sure the private sector is clamoring to line his pockets with mountains of cash to study ants in Costa Rica but shouldn't Professor Longino finish the study before he comes to the conclusion that the result will give us a little extra push to do something about global warming?

One of the arguments against global warming is the conflict of interest inherent in the scientific community. If a government is handing out cash to study something that may be a problem, what is in the best interest of the scientist, to report back there is no problem and no need to study the issue further or is it to report back that an impending catastrophe is just around the corner and we need more funding for more research?


Anonymous said...

Steve, you missed the point. Notice that his grant is to study whether global warming has an effect on insect diversity. I think he's trying to find out if global warming makes ants more likely to be gay or something.

Anonymous said...

Poor Andrew. He has a moron for a father.

So, the wicked scientists are ALL lying about global warming to get "grant" money?


Anonymous said...

Let's just follow the logic here:

If all gov't funded studies will end with "yes there is a problem. We need more money.", then why not all studies? Don't scientists always need more funding?

So in fact not just gov't studies, all studies will end with a conclusion that the scientists need more money.

Thus all studies are pointless. There are no studies that report negative results unless they are done by rich scientists who don't need the money.

I hope Bill Gates starts studying global warming. Then we will finally get some answers.

Anonymous said...

Obviously there will always be *some* (only SOME) scientists that overemphasize the urgency of the problem if they think it will benefit them.

But on the whole we just want to understand the problem and try to communicate our results more clearly to the public.

It seems no matter how hard we try, we will always run up against this "scientists are evil/greedy" point of view...
Personally, I think funding biologists to study the effects of global warming on some obscure species is a little bit... stupid. If I'm a biologist who studies the African Egilskigely worm and I am suddenly saying I need money to see how global warming effects the African Egilskigely worm, yeah. In that case I am playing to the market and I am stretching pretty hard.

But what about scientists who study how the climate system works, how carbon dioxide cycles through the ocean-atmosphere system, and the effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide on global climate over time? Is it all right if we have money?

Climate science is HUGE right now. There's a limited amount of money to be had, and a ton of people who want it. If we were evil we'd come up with a new horrible problem to lie about and get money, instead of competing with all the other climate shmoes for funding.

I don't have a blog so I can't log in, but I'm a 4th year PhD student in climate science. My insider opinion? some scientists are egotistical dicks, yes. But I haven't met any outright liars who fudge their research because they have a political agenda. You can't get away with it anyway; other scientists can see through your BS pretty quickly if you just make up your results, and they will call you on it in a SECOND, because of the aforementioned competition for funding.

You will probably never listen to me, because I am an Evil Scientist, but I just hope you will talk to some of us sometime. Think and feel however you want about alternative energy and environmental concerns and economic impacts, but don't pose us as lying scapegoats to make your political points.

I am a climate scientist. I do not have a political agenda. I don't even have a political affiliation. I'm just trying to help. I know it's unrealistic to think we can all stop driving cars and live off of hydroelectric power and solar cells in a global community earth-loving socialist commune starting tomorrow. I'm not asking anyone to do that. I'm just asking people to listen, and think. And to try and learn something about the Earth's climate from as many sources as possible, not just the sources whose results support your political position.

Because, while a scientist saying he's studying the "effects of global warming on X" gets money? A scientist who goes against the "conventional" view and says he has proved global warming doesn't exist/is natural/has nothing to do with people/ is preventing a new ice age gets media attention. A lot of it. And if he gets enough attention he probably gets money, too. T

hink about that the next time you see an article quoting a scientist who has "proved" your global warming beliefs. Think about what his motivations might be. He's a scientist. Why is he any less evil than I am?

See if you can admit that it's because *you prefer his version of the story* in your gut. That's all I ask.