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If climate scientists are in it for the money, they’re doing it wrong

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Gaston Alexander
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It's Memorial Day, all Ars staff is off, and we're grateful for it running a site remains tough work .

One of the more unfortunate memes that makes an appearance whenever climate science is discussed is the accusation that, by hyping their results, climate scientists are ensuring themselves steady paychecks, and may even be enriching themselves.

A Google search for "global warming gravy train" pulls out over 50,000 results six of them from our forums .

Since it doesn't have a lot of commercial appeal, most of the people working in the area, and the vast majority of those publishing the scientific literature, work in academic departments or at government agencies.

It's also worth pointing out what they get that money for, as exemplified by a fairly typical program announcement for NSF grants.

Climatologists are well equipped to identify potential problems, but very poorly equipped to solve them; it would be a bit like expecting an astronomer to know how to destroy a threatening asteroid.

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Gaston Alexander
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