From Patrick Michaels atForbes Will The Overselling Of Global Warming Lead To A New Scientific Dark Age?
Science changed dramatically in the 1970s, when the reward structure in the profession began to revolve around the acquisition of massive amounts of taxpayer funding that was external to the normal budgets of the universities and federal laboratories. In climate science, this meant portraying the issue in dire terms, often in alliance with environmental advocacy organizations. Predictably, scientists (and their institutions) became addicted to the wealth, fame, and travel in the front of the airplane:“A new and rewarding research lifestyle emerged which involved the giving of advice to all types and levels of government, the broadcasting of unchallengeable opinion to the general public, and easy justification for attendance at international conferences—this last in some luxury by normal scientific experience, and at a frequency previously unheard of.”
In effect, the academies, which are the most prestigious of the institutions of science, formally nailed their colours to the mast of the politically correct.
Since that time three or four years ago, there has been no comfortable way for the scientific community to raise the spectre of serious uncertainty about the forecasts of climatic disaster.”
Every year that elapses without a significant warming trend more and more erodes the credibility of not just climate science, but science in general:
“In the light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem—or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem—in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour.” [emphasis added]
While funding from industry is clearly considered to pollute the results, so will funding from government. It is ironic than the right is often considered anti science (Chapter 4 of the Liberal Playbook) because of the small segment that believes in creationism in its most literal sense, but it is the pollution of science from government funding that will do the most damage to the profession. It is tremendously telling that one’s political affiliation is more correlated to acceptance of AGW than any degree of scientific education.