Wednesday, January 03, 2007

CFRB and Global Warming (with sidebars on Suzuki and the AP)

I don't spend my days and nights worrying about whether the world is getting warmer or not. Personally, I kinda dig not shovelling snow and don't spend much time hanging out with either penguins or polar bears. So my climate on this issue is ambient. I will admit to being willing to accept the principle that the world is a warmer place, with my evidence being walking to my car every morning.
Yesterday afternoon, with the kids out of school and remarkably little traffic, (which leads me to a conclusion that the best way to reduce smog is to home school kids and let govt employees work from home) John Moore of CFRB led a ferocious debate on Global Warming and that it is Anthrogenic
(the fault of our species). I agree that the preponderance of commentary seems to agree with this state of the world (if not the preponderance of the evidence because I don't have the slightest inclination to develop the knowledge to be able to make this judgment).
A comment of John's stood out that I did take exception to. He said that "These scientists don't have any conflict of interest - they won't make any more money by saying what they say."
He is, of course, wrong.
Almost nothing (outside of physical beauty, natural talent or a drive to succeed) will make a person, scientist or not, more money than scaring the living bejeezus out of humanity.
A scientist who is on the leading edge of an idea that promises to detroy the world, make him famous, offer lecture opportunities from Vladivostok to Miami Beach, allow him to appear on CNN, start a website and write a book will surely milk this idea for all it's worth.
Case in point, our own David Suzuki, who has been riding this pony since before the invention of the catalytic converter (and was against global cooling before he was against global warming). And, Albert Gore, similarly back in his comfort zone, pretending that he discovered Global Warming, much the way he invented the internet.
The two are connected in this article by Suzuki on July 20, 2006 in the Environmental News Network.
Suzuki, in this pieces criticizes the huge weight of the PR spin unleashed by opponents of the global warming shibbolith as reflected in Gore's movie 'An Inconvenient Truth'.
Being the sad sack of a cynic I am, I needed to look at Suzuki's source info to understand whether he is being entirely truthful, or just conveniently so.
Of course, I discovered that the do-good doctor was himself spinning poetically first by using the opinion of Rotten Tomatoes visitors on the film as proving general acceptance of its premises (hardly a poll of any validity - talk about responder bias). And then referring to an article by the Associated Press. This supportive piece draws conclusions on the basis of 19 scientists who had seen the film and were made available for questions. One doesn't need to wonder where they stood on the issue prior to their screening. Anyone can see the lack of validity of quoting this source - a scientist providing a journalist credibility by quoting as a source of fact is rich by itself.
And last, Dr. Suzuki credits "one of the largest PR firms in Western Canada" for leading a campaign to stop this vicious attack on thing he holds dear. Once again, of course, Dr. S. fails to note that he has been a client of this firm for many years, and that it is evident that its principal shares David's environmental philosophy.
My question to David is, one I often ask, is who's zooming who?
One other thing. While I don't think that everyone who believes in anthrogenic global warming believes in 911 conspiracies, I do think that all 911 conspiracy freaks are devoted global warming geeks. Take this comment as you wish.

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