Among the motivations are increased and continued grant funding, university advancement, job advancement, profits and payoffs from carbon control advocates such as Gore, being in the limelight, and other motivating factors I am too inexperienced to identify.
Money is a massive motivating factor, and it seems that there are some people who are very keen on "proving" anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
Via Bishop Hill, I came across this comment at Watt's Up With That: it's written by a scientist called Paul Vaughan who commented thusly:
Last spring when I was shopping around for a new source of funding, after having my funding slashed to zero 15 days after going public with a finding about natural climate variations, I kept running into funding application instructions of the following variety:
Successful candidates will:
- Demonstrate AGW.
- Demonstrate the catastrophic consequences of AGW.
- Explore policy implications stemming from 1 & 2.
Follow the money—perhaps a conspiracy is unnecessary where a carrot will suffice.
As His Ecclesiastical Eminence noted, this accords with a number of similar anecdotes that have been left in the comments at The Kitchen over the years, as well as those that people have emailed me.
Of course, this is still just hearsay so Bishop Hill has decided to check the veracity of this claim.
However, it is a testable hypothesis and to that end I've put a FoI request into NERC, the main UK funding body for the environmental sciences. I've asked for details of the eligibility criteria for funding programmes covering climate change, hopefully back to 2000.
Let's hope that they reply truthfully to the Bishop's FoI request: as we have seen, an awful lot of data appears to go missing in these bodies.
In the meantime, it's worth noting that the NERC is headed up by some familiar—and far from unbiased—faces.
In the meantime, take a look at the NERC Council, the body responsible for prioritising funding. Several of these are familiar names, and one or two have been ubiquitous in the media in recent weeks. For example:
- Bob Watson (of CRU fame)
- Andrew Watson (of CRU and "What an Asshole" fame)
- Julia Slingo (recently seen trying to drum up support for a pro-AGW letter signed by scientists)
- Mike Lockwood (well known to sceptics as the author of a rather questionable critique of Svensmark)
Political scientists or honest brokers? You decide.
So, funding priorities for climate science in this country are allocated by a bunch of confirmed AGW alarmists.
As I have constantly said, just follow the money...