The statistical analysis and computer modeling used by climate scientists could easily be applied to economics and business management. Instead of trying to calculate the role that clouds play in regulating global temperatures and instead of drilling ice cores in search of trapped pockets of prehistoric air, these individuals could be spending their time predicting market trends and making boatloads of money off of innovative financial products. Obviously, vast ideological and personal motivations separate business and science, but I would argue that the mathematics and statistics are comparable. In my own studies into computer modeling of environmental systems, we often jump back and forth between cost analysis and environmental system modeling. You would be surprised how similar a model predicting the rate of pollution diluting into a stream is to a model determining the cost of replacing high-sulfur coal with low-sulfur coal and solar panels as a city’s primary energy source. If climate scientists were motivated by money, they would have studied economics or law in college and gotten MBA’s instead of PhD’s in an area of study that would automatically make then the targets of ridicule. Before questioning the validity of global warming claims, think for a moment about the motivations that each group (the scientist and the denier) is acting upon.
The thought that scientists would collectively fake data in order to deceive the general public would never occur to me. I could accept that a handful of never-going-to-be-influential individuals would sell-out, lie about their results, and fabricate unjustifiable conclusions. I could accept that some more established minds, tired of the day to day grind of academic research, would accept a check, put their name on someone’s report, and retire comfortably. I could accept that corporations with a vested interest in the continued, un-penalized use of fossil fuels would support research contradicting the findings of climate scientists (additionally, if I did work for an energy company, I would certainly play up the limited availability of oil and coal so as to stimulate the price in a healthy direction without increasing my operating costs), but to suggest that the scientific community is somehow coercing the public into believing their false conclusions with regards to global warming trends shows a deep misunderstanding of academic research and of the nature of the individuals that dedicate their lives to climate science research. To put that another way, research is strenuous and academically rewarding, encouraging those interested in intellectual discovery to join and those interested in making money to stay far away. Poor methodologies and unsupported conclusions are not accepted by the scientific community and thus it is not plausible that the scientific community would maliciously affirm global warming findings. Finally, the populations of people that become climate scientists are nerds; late-night-working, excited-by-new-data-finding, for-the-love-of-learning nerds. The deceitful, manipulative, and self-serving people go into fields and careers where such characteristics might actually be useful.
Below is a video produced by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing all the known CO2 concentration records.
I think the graph speaks for itself.