The Real Money in the Climate Debate

I have yet to meet a skeptic who reports getting any money from mysterious climate skeptics.  A few years ago Greenpeace had a press release that was picked up everywhere about how Exxon was spending big money on climate denialism, with numbers that turned out to be in the tens of thousands of dollars a year.

The big money has always been in climate alarmism.  Climate skeptics are outspent a thousand to one.  Here is just one example

It sounds like the makings of a political-action thriller. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) has awarded Arizona State University a five-year, $20 million agreement to research the effects of climate change and its propensity to cause civil and political unrest.

The agreement is known as the Foresight Initiative. The goal is to understand how climate-caused disruptions and the depletion of natural resources including water, land and energy will impact political instability.

The plan is to create visually appealing computer models and simulations using large quantities of real-time data to guide policymakers in their decisions.

To understand the impacts of climate change, ASU is using the latest advances in cloud computing and storage technologies, natural user interfaces and machine learning to create real-time computer models and simulations, said Nadya Bliss, principal investigator for the Foresight Initiative and assistant vice president with ASU's Office of Knowledge and Development.

I can tell you the answer to this study already.  How do I know?  If they say the security risks are minimal, there will be zero follow-up funding.  If they say the security risks are huge, it will almost demand more and larger follow-up studies.  What is your guess of the results, especially since the results will all be based on opaque computer models whose results will be extremely sensitive to small changes in certain inputs?

Postscript:  I can just imagine a practical joke where the researchers give university officials a preview of results.  They say that the dangers are minimal.  It would be hilarious to see the disappointment in the eyes of all the University administrators.  Never in history would such a positive result be received with so much depression.  And then the researchers would say "Just kidding, of course it will be a catastrophe, it will be much worse than predicted, the badness will be accelerating, etc."


  1. mikehaseler:

    When you say "no skeptics get funding" -- it sounds very depressing.
    If however, you say "sketpics don't need funding -- because the internet is free", it sounds better.

    What we have is establishment researchers, talking to establishment political parties, talking to establishment newspapers convincing themselves .... that anti-establishment research and non-establishment blogs, are absolutely nothing to worry about and are not being listened to by all the millions and millions of voters who do not belong to establishment political parties.

  2. me:

    In a nutshell, the crux of research funded through targeted donations. A terrible waste (as any results are automatically suspect), only offset by the actual work the money will cause to get done in areas unrelated to the desired outcome.

  3. Stephen_Macklin:

    So they are going to attempt to build a computer model to predict the outcome of complex human responses to situations based on complex computer models that can't accurately predict the behavior of the climate.

    It's stupidity with compound interest.

  4. Onlooker from Troy:

    That government tit is sooooo tasty. Leeches

  5. sean2829:

    There is a much better argument against Exxon skeptic funding canard. It is simply not in Exxon's interest to do so. The big oil companies have very little in oil reserves, that mostly belongs to sovereign states. Big oil does have substantial natural gas reserves however. Climate regulations, particularly the ones just proposed by the EPA, will foster a conversion from coal fired electrical generation to natural gas. I suspect the people in charge at Exxon, Chevron, BP and other oil companies can tolerate a little name calling when those vocal environmentalists cause their market share to increase

  6. mesaeconoguy:

    And that, Warren, is where the lawsuit equalizer lies.

    CO2 a pollutant?

    Why, your honor, it’s simply a chemical byproduct of aerobic respiration

    Objection! It’s Hotter Now!

    [Derisive laughter]


    This belongs in court, or what is left of it.

  7. Gil G:

    So someone traps you in a airtight container and you die does that mean no crime was committed?

  8. TeleprompterOTUS:

    The study will assume gobal worming is a fact and that all of the most dire predictions are fact so the outcome of the study is a given with one caveat - if we change our ways now and pour 20% of GDP into moving cities to higher ground etc. that some will still survive the coming catastrophe. Gag.

  9. Bram:

    Why would they care? They won't get soaked with the bill - only their American customers. The developing world could not care less about this nonsense.

    I, on the other hand, am truly pissed at the waste of my tax money.

  10. mesaeconoguy:

    So, someone traps you in an incoherent haze, and you keep posting incoherent bullshit.

    That appears to be your massive, and highly recurrent problem, imbecile.

    Here’s a hint Gil:

    1. At least attempt to have basic understanding of your topic before commenting, and

    2. Stop commenting.

    I think you’ll find that this strategy will make you a far more effective commenter.

  11. mesaeconoguy:

    Here’s an idea for you Gil:

    I will file a class action lawsuit in international court (The Hague) when your global warmist economic “solutions” are enacted, and plunge millions into poverty.

    This is known as the reverse Rachel Carson solution.

    My goal is to remove every penny from you leftist global warmist alarmists, because you are extremely dangerous (not to mention dangerously ignorant) and need to be impoverished for your stupidity.

  12. Earl Wertheimer:

    The ultimate purpose is to write reports to justify additional government controls. I wonder if they include skepticism, human innovation and natural climate climate change... probably not.

  13. Nehemiah:

    Is this really true? How will climate change impact human behavior? How about we try to hold together the family unit. The statistics show that the children of single parents have significantly higher incidents of criminal activity, lower academic achievement, increased dependence on drugs and a propensity to have children out of wedlock. You want to favorably impact human behavior how about getting our arms around this issue. Climate change, really. Another shiny object.

  14. jimc5499:

    "The plan is to create visually appealing computer models and simulations using large quantities of real-time data to guide policymakers in their decisions."
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

  15. Daublin:

    There's also strong self-selection in the people that apply for such a grant. You don't become a climate-change researcher if you think climate change doesn't matter. Being a researcher involves a 24/7 dedication to thinking about your subject; it would be inhuman to do that about a subject you think is totally boring.

  16. Gil G:

    Why? You assert CO2 is a necessary gas for life so it can't be a pollutant nor harmful. By the same token since water is the basis for life as we know you should be legally able to drown someone.

  17. Gil G:

    So it's okay to engage in pollution if the economic benefits of a factory outweigh the harm it does?

  18. mesaeconoguy:

    CO2 is not a pollutant, but the EPA has classified it as such, incorrectly.

    That classification drives dangerous and wasteful regulation, destroying the economy.

    People endorsing this incorrect viewpoint, like you, need to be bankrupted and destroyed.

  19. mesaeconoguy:

    CO2 is not a pollutant.

    People endorsing this incorrect viewpoint, like you, need to be bankrupted and destroyed.

  20. marque2:

    Seems like your argument is irrelevant - and actually supports the skeptic side. Yes water can be deadly, but no one should ban the creation of it.

  21. mesaeconoguy:

    Gil regularly engages in hyperbolic irrelevance.

    Apparently, we're all suffocating due to CO2, since, you know, no plants or any other organisms use CO2 productively.

  22. Rick Caird:

    That is exactly the point I have been making. As long as the funding goes toward those who will find global warming, we will continue to get global warming hysteria. But, it the money were to flow to those who do not believe in the global warming theory, it will die.

    I do get a kick out those who claim that those who object to the global warming alarms are denying science when there is actually little to no science involved, only propaganda.

  23. randian:

    Yes. All economic activity is a tradeoff. To demand zero harm (and I do not agree CO2 is harmful) is to demand zero economic activity.

  24. Gil G:

    Rain is good therefore a torrential downpour must be good? Some CO2 is good therefore a Venusian atmosphere must be great? Actually, no, most creatures on Earth do not use CO2 productively. Humans sure as hell don't.

  25. mesaeconoguy:

    Another masterpiece of stupidity.

    You’re a walking logical fallacy, not to mention extremely ignorant.

    Go away, dimwit.

  26. ruralcounsel:

    Actually, we're in the region of CO2 warming where over 90% of the warming it could cause is already done. Additional CO2 (even doubling or tripling) will have little to no impact. Kind of like the scenario where you are in a tub and the water level is mere fraction of inches from the overflow. It really doesn't matter how much more water you put in the tub, most of it will not increase the depth because it will just run out the overflow.
    We aren't in any danger of a Venusian atmosphere. Planetary physics are too different. Earth naturally cycles between warm and cool; we're near the end of one of the warm period now. Which is what has allowed humans to thrive.
    And humans would suffocate without CO2 ... it's level in our bloodstream is what helps trigger our respiratory response. That's how most mammal respirate. And virtually all vegetative growth utilizes CO2, without which we would starve and/or asphyxiate. Gil G, your ignorance seems to know no bounds.

  27. Gil G:

    Yeah right. And while you're at it you might as well argue a lack of CO2 is also dangerous as it would drop Earth's global temperature and shorten growing seasons leading to famines and war because it's technically true. Nonetheless not only does more CO2 lead to more heat energy being stored it also leads to more CO2 to be absorbed by the oceans leading to acidification.
    On the other hand, the principle difference of Venus would be its slow rotation,lack of magnetosphere and: no carbon cycle. CO2 just builds up in the atmosphere making Venus hotter than Mercury's dayside.
    Lastly plants need CO2? So? Just because plants need water doesn't mean flooding is good. Deniers must only live in colder climates because a longer summer would mean longer growing seasons for them.