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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Global Warming: Follow the Money

A short comment on global warming. In any controversy, an important aspect of analyzing the arguments when you yourself can't evaluate all the pros and cons of the arguments, is to follow the money.

Who benefits?

There is global warming side: the scientists declaring that there is global warming.
There isn't global warming side: the politicians and business leaders declaring there isn't global warming.

Note: there aren't that many "scientists" on the anti-global warming side. There are a few. But then, you can find someone on any side of most arguments. There aren't that many of those experts on the anti-side. And you can find plenty of politicians on the yes-global warming side.

How do the business leaders benefit? The benefits are short term and financial. It would cost more to install anti-pollution devices and otherwise control emissions. So in the short term, they benefit with increased profits. This is where the money is.

How do politicians benefit? Those business leaders support the politicians' reelection efforts.

How do the scientists benefit? I really can't think of anything clear cut. I'm sure you'll hear vague analyses saying that scientists have to think all like each other or they won't get promoted or some such, or they're all liberal or some such. But that really isn't how things work in academia and in science. The argument won't stand up to much inspection: plus it's indirect and unclear.

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