Global Warming - Scientists Claim Funding Doesn't Color Conclusions

Global Warming - Scientists Claim Funding Doesn't Color Conclusions
reprinted from
The People
May 1996

Global Warming - Scientists Claim Funding Doesn't Color Conclusions

BY KEN BOETTCHER

Robert Balling, director of the climatology program at Arizona State University, Sherwood Idso, who works closely with Balling, and Patrick Michaels, a professor at the University of Virginia, are darlings of the Republican Party, which is presently attempting to cut back federal funding of a program to monitor climate trends.

There is little wonder why that is so. All three are "scientists" who are outspoken critics of the theory that global warming is occurring, that it is caused largely by the burning of fossil fuels, and that it will have catastrophic effects upon the environment and human society. All three have been "frequently called to testify before congressional panels and other public groups," according to THE WASHINGTON POST. They have discounted the possibility that global warming is occurring and "have also suggested that if the phenomenon is real, it is generally caused by natural factors and not by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities." Balling contends that the environment would BENEFIT from global warming, should it occur.

Recently, however, the environmental group Ozone Action revealed documents that show that Balling, Idso and Michaels are more than just the darlings of the political right. They are also the darlings of the industries that stand to lose the most from the implementation of environmental laws ostensibly enacted to slow or end global warming.

According to the documents, the U.S. coal and oil industries -- and the government of oil-rich Kuwait -- have paid Balling as much as $350,000 to fund his "study" of global warming. The same documents show that Idso has received an undisclosed amount from similar sources, and that Michaels -- or at least the university he works for -- has received more than $200,000 from petroleum and coal interests.

Idso wasn't available for comment, but both Balling and Michaels contend that industry money doesn't affect the "scientific" conclusions their studies purportedly sustain. That assertion goes against all logic and common sense.

Realistically, only a society that has purged itself of property and profit interests can cope with such problems as global warming in a truly objective and scientific way. Only such a society can view global warming and other environmental problems rationally and survival problems, hence give them the first-rank place of importance they deserve.

Socialism will be such a society. By terminating the rule of private interests and the motivation of profit, by making the life and welfare, hence the environment, of human beings paramount, socialism will enable us to marshal all of our scientific knowledge and physical resources for the solution of this urgent problem.