Crossposted from Climate Dollars — this article was published June 20, 2017
The groups which advance the dubious narrative of man-made global warming have a lucrative ally: the federal government.
The cycle looks something like this: government grants fund politically-useful studies, which muddy the waters of real science – prompting global warming proponents to demand greater sums to conduct unscientific research on climate change. And with tens of billions of taxpayer dollars up for grabs, many such groups have a strong financial incentive to invent new studies. As Robert Brulle wrote in the press release for his study, “Money amplifies certain voices above others and, in effect, gives them a megaphone in the public square.” 1
An article in the Washington Free Beacon reveals one such transaction. The National Science Foundation, a federal agency, is funding a $12,000 doctoral dissertation on “climate change denial” through grants to the University of Kansas. The researchers will use the funds to “assess perceptions of environmental risk” among groups in Louisiana to produce a “more complete and nuanced understanding of climate change denial.”
Government-funded studies like this further a specific political agenda – global warming – by ostensibly using ‘objective scientific fact’ to bolster arguments against climate change skeptics. The giveaway is in the language: “climate change denial [emphasis mine],” not ‘skepticism.’
As Dr. Steven J. Allen reminds us in this video, skepticism is a healthy and integral element of the scientific method; it keeps scientists factual and honest, because research that can’t be reliably replicated should be questioned. By glossing over such reasonable objections, politically-motivated climatologists do harm to the very science they are purportedly experts in.
As the nearby “U.S. Government Funding of Climate Change” article explains, the narrative that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming has failed to yield actual scientific evidence – let alone an academic consensus. Nevertheless, proponents of this message have been largely successful in harnessing government grants to produce what amounts to faux-scientific propaganda; studies which set out to prove a politically-minded agenda, rather than the factual forces behind global climate change.
These grants often reveal their own biases and motivations:
Residents of southeast Louisiana regularly experience environmental harm yet remain bound economically to industries that exploit the local environment. While environmental awareness is common, climate change denial is persistent in the community.
The researchers’ implication is clear. These residents have the incorrect opinion, and that warrants a government-funded study to correct their “denial.”
And as taxpayers, we all have the privilege of paying for it.