“This is just a warm up to the real show as people realize how much trouble we are in with our environment. The trouble is that there is no clear way for our society to take action on climate change at this point in time. Much like the controversy over chloroflorocarbons and ozone depletion of the last decade, the debate and inaction raged until an alternative was developed. Taking action on climate change is somewhat different however, the cost of inaction on this issue is incalcuable. Making a transition from a hydrocarbon society to an alternative fuel society is our greatest challenge and in my view we are late in getting to the party. ” mt
“A taste for bad news?
Pat Michaels of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, claims that climate research is biased towards pessimistic conclusions, and says he can prove it.
Michaels has analysed publications by climate scientists in the journals Nature and Science between mid-2005 and mid-2006. He found 115 articles of which 83 said that the likely impact of the greenhouse effect was going to be worse than previously suggested, 23 saw no change and only 9 said that things were not as bad as previously thought.
To most researchers this is solid evidence that the prognosis for the planet is worsening as new science comes in. Michaels rejects this interpretation. To have any faith in the forecasts of climatologists, he argues, “we should expect that new research should have an equal probability of being better or worse [for Earth’s climate] than previous research.”
His explanation for what he calls “this highly skewed result” is that scientists and journal editors are more interested in bad news. “The literature is intrinsically biased,” he says. “And that means that the IPCC – which is largely a literature review process – is also biased.” Michaels aims to publish his work in February, when it is likely to distract attention from the IPCC report expected at that time.”
From the same article;
The money trail
Some sceptical scientists are funded directly by industry. In July, The Washington Post published a leaked letter from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA), an energy company based in Colorado, that exhorted power companies to support the work of the prominent sceptic Pat Michaels of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Worried about the potential cost of cleaning up coal-fired power plants to reduce their CO2 emissions, IREA’s general manager, Stanley Lewandowski, wrote: “We believe that it is necessary to support the scientific community that is willing to stand up against the alarmists… In February this year, IREA alone contributed $100,000 to Dr Michaels.”
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