Climate change deniers frequently claim that there is a climate change or global warming “industry” – that scientists are being paid to come up with results that show warming. This is a typical example:
Global warming industry becomes too big to fail
So the warming crowd, these e-mails show us, suffers from the same conflicts of interest and profit motives that are frequently attributed to skeptics. When Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” came out, Gore charged that global warming deniers were trying to protect profits. Gore quoted fabled muckraker Upton Sinclair, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it.” Climate scientists derive both their sense of purpose and their paychecks from a perceived climate crisis. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, to see them putting their pet cause ahead of scientific standards. …
This conspiracy theory is well overblown. The IPCC for example, which produces the occasional reports which have lately been at the centre of the debate, consists of no more than 10 to 20 full time staff at any given time. The scientific work is done by thousands of scientists all over the world, who all volunteer their time.
There is a climate change industry however. It is the denier industry. It is described here:
A report from the Union of Concerned Scientists offers the most comprehensive documentation to date of how ExxonMobil has adopted the tobacco industry’s disinformation tactics, as well as some of the same organizations and personnel, to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay action on the issue. According to the report, ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.
The report begins:
In an effort to deceive the public about the reality of global warming, ExxonMobil has under-written the most sophisticated and most successful disinformation campaign since the tobacco industry misled the public about the scientific evidence linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease. As this report documents, the two disinformation campaigns are strikingly similar. ExxonMobil has drawn upon the tactics and even some of the organizations and actors involved in the callous disinformation campaign the tobacco industry waged for 40 years. Like the tobacco industry, ExxonMobil has:
- Manufactured uncertainty by raising doubts about even the most indisputable scientific evidence.
- Adopted a strategy of information laundering by using seemingly independent front organizations to publicly further its desired message and thereby confuse the public.
- Promoted scientific spokespeople who misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific findings or cherry-pick facts in their attempts to persuade the media and the public that there is still serious debate among scientists that burning fossil fuels has contributed to global warming and that human-caused warming will have serious consequences.
- Attempted to shift the focus away from meaningful action on global warming with misleading charges about the need for ‘sound science.’
- Used its extraordinary access to the Bush administration to block federal policies and shape government communications on global warming.
So yes, there is a climate change industry. The industry to deny, bought and paid for by Big Oil. You climate change deniers out and about in the blogs, whether you know it or not, are their foot-soldiers.