ARE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS JUST IN IT FOR THE MONEY?
By Jeff Stark
One of the most enduring memes of the climate change deniers is that climate scientists - climatologists - are united in a global scam to enrich the scientists. They are also responsible, as the meme goes, for the "fake news" that seems always to accompany their "reports." This is a claim and belief that is easy for the deniers. They have no strong connections to science, and often seem to revel in their own ignorance. This is classic conspiracy theorist behavior, easy to believe, and difficult to debunk. It is also beloved beyond belief among those who still believe that President Obama was actually born in some foreign country and groomed from childhood to prepare for the US presidency.
The most amazing thing about this phenomenon is how quickly and completely it has infected our political class. No surprise that the criminal conspiracy managed by the current President and his gang are experts at this wholesale deception. Trump and his gang revel in their ability to avoid doing any of the hard work required to be effective leaders. Instead they make a living on throwaway lines that are about as deep and the Bay of Fundy at low tide.
Then they use a technique long favored by right-wing disbelievers to add more weight to their witless outbursts. This technique involves taking one of Trump's pronouncements and adding veracity by pretending it was uttered by a known expert. Thus Trump and his minions declare that the Corona virus will just magically go away. This is reported as fact by the right wing cable TV industry, then quoted in newspapers and magazines and, finally appears in books and pamphlets authored by charlatans with PhD in front of their names. This is the real source of "fake news" and it is ironic that the leading practitioners of this mass deception are rewarded and lionized. Particularly when the honest practitioners of the scientific arts labor mostly in anonymity and chronic financial distress.
Most amazing perhaps is that the facts about the financial rewards of pursuing climate science are markedly different from the beliefs of the deniers. This is particularly true since the truth is so easily available. According to the website Environmental Science climate scientists can expect a starting salary, with a Bachelor's degree, of $43,203. The top of the line in the scientific community, those with experience, publications and PhD, is $122,250. Given their importance this sub-par financial compensation is pitiful. The question now is what can be done to enhance the role and remuneration of the guardians of the truth?
WHAT WE CAN DO
The core belief of the scientific community is that their world is devoted to technique and truth. Science is all about collecting data, interpreting those data and publishing their data and conclusions for anyone to see. The idea of open and factual communication is easily understood and easy to observe. Virtually all scientific studies and publications honor scientific inquiry and rarely force a conclusion on their audiences. Instead they present, defend and let their work stand on its own merits. Their overriding goal is to go where the data drive them.
These characteristics of the scientific community are presented in a overview presented at the website cited above: www. environmentalscience.org. This is scientific education by and for scientists. Subtopics in the website include environmental science, environmental education, environmental job prospects and listings, environmental science degrees and more. Check this site out for an introduction to the practice of science and ideas on how to become a part of an educational and inspirational movement.
PLACES TO STUDY ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE is a comprehensive collection of US and overseas educational programs and institutions.
STING OF CLIMATE CHANGE. An interesting short video from Nasa with outstanding photography and science on the role of pollinators in our global ecosystem.
CLIMATE SCIENTISTS AT WORK. A Bing search on field work. Be sure to check out "A New Solution to Climate Science's Mystery." from The Atlantic.
CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY a community-oriented public interest group is promoting, in the US Congress, a carbon pricing bill that will reduce US greenhouse emission by 40% in 12 years. The bill is entitled the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Find out how we can help support this effort in our home towns.
MAKE EARTH COOL AGAIN logo hats, shirts and more -- wear it, and gift it, with pride.