Saturday, December 19, 2009

Scientists are paid...

I absolutely loved this clip on The Daily Show.

His point at the end is classic, that the global warming skeptics want us to disbelieve scientists because they are paid.

Let's look at some numbers. In the world there are likely less than 2000 serious climate scientists. But for the sake of argument, let's say there are 10,000. I imagine that most scientists are getting paid in the range of $50K to $100K in US dollars, with a few of the more visible researchers getting perhaps up to $150K. If we take $100K as an overestimation of the average, that would mean that the total scientific payroll for all climate science is $1 billion dollars - that would be the absolute top, and its likely much much lower. But consider some corporate incomes; here I've got data from corporate reporting (available on Exxon Mobil last year $81 billion, Chevron $43 billion, BP $34 billion, Royal Dutch Shell $50 billion. So without even stepping into the money available from coal, natural gas, or second tier oil companies, we have companies with more than 200 times the income of the the climate scientists. Keep in mind that the climate scientist are trying to support their families and send their kids to school on their income as well!

So tell me how does a poorly financed and disorganized group of ivory tower academics perpetrate a massive hoax on such well funded group of corporations?

Its interesting to note that scientists can't maintain any sort of agreement for very long unless there is truth at the core. And yet, for 40 years the tobacco corporations kept up a well-funded propaganda campaign that smoking wasn't "proved" to cause cancer - do any of you believe big tobacco anymore? Are we really going to need to wait 40 years for the climate skeptics to be proven to be the same type of liars?

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