A routine press release from a Canadian government ministry announces “$4.7 million to fund nine climate change research projects.” By which, you understand, they mean projects that will either discover that man-made climate change is a problem, or assume it is and propose “solutions”. And it might not sound like a large sum, especially by government standards. But it is just one among many such programs. If someone can tell us where climate skeptics in Canada can pick up that kind of cash, please do, because we’re always told we’re in it for the money. Yet it all seems to be going to the other guys.
There is nothing wrong with governments funding research into matters they consider problems, even crises. There is, we have repeatedly argued, something wrong with their judgement that man-made climate change is a problem. But it’s not the point right here.
The point is that anyone who questions the orthodoxy is immediately accused of being a venal hack, with a 50% chance of being asserted to be in the pay of the Koch Brothers, generally without a shred of evidence being thought necessary. It is, to use a lamentably overworked phrase, “fake news,” like the repeated assertion that Patrick Moore was not a co-founder of Greenpeace because it would be embarrassing if he had been. In fact there is far more money flowing to alarmists, including from oil companies, than to skeptics. To the point that as long as you throw the word “climate” into an application you might, say, snare a quarter of a million bucks to perk up your parking lot as though anyone seriously believed that more shade in the lot at Parc du Bois-Brûlé in Saint-Charles-Borromée (it’s 45 km north of Repentigny) would have a measurable impact on global temperature decades hence.
So man-made climate change has, at least, caused one form of crazy weather: it’s raining money. Including $318,000 for “a climate change adaptation project in Atlantic Canada” that turns out to involve “incorporating climate change adaptation into design guidelines for municipal water and wastewater infrastructure in Atlantic Canada”. In short, it’s raining money onto consultants cozy with government. And academics who share the government’s view, for instance a July announcement of some $13 million for a research facility in St. Peter’s Bay, PEI.
It’s astounding the sums being poured into research and related spinoffs on the premise that man-made climate change is a clear and present danger. Whether it is money well spent or not, the bottom line is that it vastly exceeds what is available to those wanting to question the premise. Shall we then say that those who benefit from this money are motivated by it?
As it happens, professorships across all disciplines are well-paid, with cushy perks and amazing job security. Yet how often is someone who admits, boasts or merely notes that they are an academic, in any field, accosted by the charge that they did it for the boodle? Nor is almost anyone criticized for having done well out of environmentalism. Even though many people have including, famously, Al Gore.
Then there’s Sir David Attenborough, who has done very well for himself financially and socially by praising nature, and to this day finds himself obligated to fly about saving us from ourselves and our fossil fuel addiction with the attendant risk of massive social unrest. Would there be a shred of truth, or credibility, to the claim that he did it with an eye on the food in first class?
We say not. But because we are so often accused of being on the take ourselves, we are obliged to stress the plain truth that the money is flowing in rivers to alarmists, not “deniers”. So if you’re convinced someone’s bought and paid for in this debate, well, follow the money. It won’t lead to our door.