According to an article I found via The Guardian today, the Bush-friendly think tank the American Enterprise Institute has offered up to $10,000 (plus perhaps other expenses) to scientists willing to be critical of new open-secret IPCC report citing mankind as the 90% probable cause of global climate change. I forget who I heard on NPR this morning about the report, but one of the US experts involved mentioned that over 600 scientists were asked to review the findings and over 3,000 comments were made and taken into account during the course of the research, the report making the term “global warming” inaccurate as the global climate is going to change in some ways not previously discussed in detail (i.e. changes in rainfall). Indeed, scientists the world over agree that human activity is almost certainly the cause behind the current trend in climate change, the idea that there is some large group of dissenting scientists is an invention of groups like AEI and media outlets. Indeed, the AEI is to climate change as the Discovery Institute is to evolution, both having dubious ties to conservative interests and penchants for crackpot scientific claims.
Although the Guardian article cites that AEI receives funds from Exxon-Mobil, the wikipedia entry on the subject cites that in a year AEI only received 0.66% of its funding from the oil company. Even regardless of their somewhat dubious ties, most of AEI’s claims about global warming and the new IPCC report are unfounded, the report being the collaboration of the largest group of researchers working on the topic and taking into account commentary from even more scientists, perhaps being the most comprehensive study on the subject yet-undertaken. This isn’t a singular article in a journal done by a handful of scientists, but rather a worldwide effort to ascertain what exactly is happening to global ecology, a study that is long overdue in my opinion. According to the IPCC website, we can expect the reports from other working groups to come out sometime in the spring of this year, at least one group focusing on mitigating global climate change, and I hope their advice will be heeded, especially by my own country who I am embarrassed to say is so oil-addicted it could care less about good stewardship of the planet.