Mooney: "Science ought to check itself"

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A big part of the global warming denial industry argument is the contention that somehow scientists and policymakers over-inflate the threat of global warming to continue the flow of government research dollars.

Many, including the DeSmogBlog, have refuted the claim, but none quite so well as our friend and author Chris Mooney did to a question posed by “skeptic” Bill Gray at a recent symposium.

Mooney writes:

“The highlight for me (and for many in the audience, I think) came when Bill Gray got up and asked his question. If I can paraphrase, in essence he asked whether the scientists who support human-caused global warming are doing so in part because of government research funding–or in other words, doesn’t such funding create a strong incentive for researchers who apply for grants to assume that global warming is actually a “problem” in the first place, and build their research around that assumption?

I replied that there ought to be a strong contrary incentive: Namely, any scientist who unseats the global warming consensus, who proves that it isn’t a problem, ought to be able to win quite a lot of fame and renown for doing so. And so, once again, science ought to check itself…” (emphasis added)

Check out Mooney’s latest book Storm World: hurricanes, politics and the battle over global warming.

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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