Letters to the Editor

Hoax motive?

December 12, 2009


To the editor:

A recent letter suggests scientists have perpetrated a global warming “hoax” to lead us to the “slaughterhouse.” In any crime, there is both opportunity and motive. Let’s say for the sake of argument that an international cabal of scientists has the opportunity to perpetrate this crime. (As a scientist, I think this gives us credit for organizational skills we don’t have, but I am willing to play along.)

So what is the motive? What is motivating this amazingly well-organized and obviously incredibly funded syndicate? I can’t think of anything reasonable, but maybe a supporter of this “vast scientific conspiracy” hypothesis can enlighten me.


Brent Garner 8 years, 5 months ago

Simple answer, O Scientific One. Money!!! Money for research! Money to publish! Money with which one can "buy" prestige! Then there is power! Do not forget the allure of power especially when offered by a political leftist elite who seek to suborn the man/woman of science to support their political agenda. Not that these are new motivations. They aren't. It is just that we are not accustomed to thinking of scientists as susceptable to these influences, but perhaps we forget that scientist are also only human and mortal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

"Money!!! Money for research! Money to publish! Money with which one can “buy” prestige! Then there is power!"

Sorry, BK, but those are the very clear motivations of the Carboneers. Pitifully projecting them on climate scientists does nothing to counter the data or the science. But since you don't have any data or science to support your viewpoint, I understand why you resort to desperate accusations.

rtwngr 8 years, 5 months ago

C'mon Paul, that was no letter. You got nailed right out of the chute! It's all about money.

staff04 8 years, 5 months ago

I heard a radio ad on the low end of the dial in Southern Indiana the other day that claimed that the "global warming hoax" was being perpetrated by bloodthirsty baby-killers (read: liberal scientists) as a means to achieve "global abortion on demand." Seriously.

temperance 8 years, 5 months ago

If global warming were a hoax, you'd think the smoking gun would be more dramatic than a dozen out-of-context emails (some of them 10 years old) stolen and revealed the week before a big international climate conference.

If one's motivation in life is money and prestige, the career of a climate scientist isn't really the surest road. There's a lot of money, however, in oil.

jafs 8 years, 5 months ago

The conclusion of three moderate scientists who were shown the e-mails was that there was nothing in them to contradict the reality of global warming and man's contribution to it.

Are scientists human and thus subject to various human imperfections? Of course.

50YearResident 8 years, 5 months ago

It's real folks, I have seen some local changes in the weather: trees dieing, faster water evaperation, heavy snows and flooding caused by the excess moisture in the atmosphere, and spikes in temperatures like we are seeing now. It is all related to Global Warming and it is going to get worse every year. Changes are comming!

Flap Doodle 8 years, 5 months ago

It's all those color tv signals bouncing around in the air. They're changing everything.

tomatogrower 8 years, 5 months ago

Do people really not believe that we have global warming? I can understand people arguing about why we have global warming - is it natural or man-made. But, seriously folks, the sea level is really rising and the poles really are experiencing melting. The average temperature really has gone up. I can't believe conservatives are so blind that they can't see that there is really a climate change. I can see that their corporate puppet masters want them to argue that our oil/coal usage has nothing to do with it, but there is a change happening in the overall world climate. Fact - there is a change in the world climate. Opinion - are our wasteful, polluting ways causing the change. But who can argue that changing our wasteful, polluting ways is a bad thing, even if it's not causing the climate change? Except those oil/coal people who are making lots of money off our wasteful, polluting ways. And they make a whole lot, tons more money than scientists. Ask yourself who really has the most to lose if science finds new ways to create energy?

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago


discounting the "deniers" as just being under the sway of "big oil" is lame and was obliterated some time ago.

also, trying to discount the e-mails as irrelevant is too. Yes, ten year old e-mails are there and some with time stamps less than a year old.
they show that the vaunted "models" don't account for the lack of warming. "hide the decline" [of temperatures] is a stark statement. discussion of hiding data, and it turns out the treering study was flawed too.

many of those described in The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon have their Wiki pages attacked daily by global warming hysteria zealots putting up all kinds of slanders and obscenities.

those who question global warming have the funding for their work or their departments threatened or even stopped.

now its called "climate change," which is a joke: the climate is constantly in flux. the earth has been warmer than this before, like 600-700 years ago.

Jimo 8 years, 5 months ago

"Simple answer, O Scientific One. Money!!!"

Yes, obviously scientists would disappear but for global warming. ROFL

All I see is the dirty secret of all academia -- those who sit athwart the existing consensus dislike being questioned by those who would challenge them. It doesn't matter if it's atmospheric science or anthropology or Elizabethan poetry. Usually, the challenge is silly, poorly informed, or desperation to publish something new or provocative. Nevertheless, as J.S. Mill long ago pointed out, demonstrating the error of criticism provides benefits to all.

tomatogrower 8 years, 5 months ago

So the melting of permafrost and the rising sea levels are just to be ignored. Now I live in Kansas, so it doesn't concern me personally, and according to the conservatives, that's the way it should be. Live for the now. Waste and pollute, so that some of the world can live in decadent richness. Who cares about the future. We don't care if your grandchildren have to live in a filthy horrible world. We won't be alive. We just want to drive vehicles that are bigger and faster than we really need, because the car commercials tell us we'll be cool and sexy if we do. We want to be able to use our fireplace in the summer too, so we crank up the air. We want to fly to New York just to eat lunch. We want to play our violins while the rest of the world and the future goes up in smoke, because it really doesn't concern me, me, me. Waste, waste, waste, pollute, pollute, pollute. Those didn't use to be conservative values, but the new group of conservatives have changed the meaning. That's why so many people are jumping off your bandwagon.

You have turned the legitimate concern about mankind's future (the planet is going to continue, with or without us), into something political and negative. How totally strange and warped. Do you not have children or grandchildren? Are you truly that selfish and materialistic? How would it hurt you to drive a vehicle that has low emissions? How would it really hurt you to lower your heat a few degrees and wear a sweater? How does it hurt you to buy local food from local farmers? How does it hurt you to reduce, reuse, and recycle? My life has changed very little since I've started doing this. It's only a small thing, but if everyone does only a small thing, it becomes a big thing.

anon1958 8 years, 5 months ago

If you are simple minded or scientifically illiterate then Pilgrim2's argument is probably all you need to dismiss the well documented fact of global warming.

However if you are not a simple minded nay sayer then you most likely realize that the global climate system cannot be reasonably modeled as a pot that is warming up in a near uniform manner on your stove top.

If you are not a subscriber to conspiracy theories or at least smarter than the average oak tree then you will of course realize that it is not surprising at all that the complexity of the earth's ecosystem may result in some areas becoming cooler even though AVERAGE temperature of the planet INCREASING.

If you knew anything about the magazine New Scientist you would know that its reputation was formerly very good and then went to crap for a number of years under the leadership of dunderheads like Nigel Calder. In more recent years it has regained its respectability. When asked by a famous but controversial evolutionary biologist how the current editor managed to make such an impressive turn around, the current editor replied. "Now and once more the New Scientist is about science only and if anyone (advertisers) doesnt like it they can F$$K OFF."

jaywalker 8 years, 5 months ago

"Sorry, BK, but those are the very clear motivations of the Carboneers"

Right. Nobody else is motivated by money.

What a maroon.

tomatogrower 8 years, 5 months ago

Let's see what these two groups do with money. Scientists use the money to cure disease, make energy more efficient, save animal species. Oil men buy politicians, throw million dollar parties, buy private jets, so they don't have to ride with the peasants. I'd rather my money went to a scientists, thanks.

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

Well, Paul, I'm hoping that you're just an internet innocent asking what you thought was a legitimate question, because if you Really didn't think that you'd get some answers to this then you haven't been paying a whole lot of attention.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

"In your utopia scientists and other intellectuals are above greed, power-hunger and other bad motivations."

That's funny. The Carboneers live in a world in which greed and power-hunger are, by design, the only motivations. That's not to say that scientists are immune to such things, but it's certainly not the prime motivator for most scientists when choosing to go into science. Those who have such motivations almost always choose other professions.

anon1958 8 years, 5 months ago

Here is a news bulletin for Tom and Pilgrim about scientists and why their paranoia about the collusion of scientist committing a huge hoax is so laughable.

Scientists are ultra-competitive with one another because it is a common behavior of people that want to be scientists and because there are more scientists than there are funds to support them. Scientists will attack the ideas of competing scientists with great enthusiasm and no remorse.

This is the first thing that everyone of all political stripes need to realize. If you cannot get a grip on this and understand the implications then you are an uninformed and very foolish person.

The great American writer and satirist Mark Twain articulated this fact of life brillantly all those many decades ago.

"A scientist will never show any kindness for a theory which he did not start himself." - A Tramp Abroad

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

Certainly Mr. Atchley did not seriously think that there are no nutcases with answers to his question, albeit loonie and incorrect answers.

It is clear that many posting here do not understand the process of science.

The same process that revealed global warming also revealed all of our medicines, our machines, and yes, the computers that these ignorant knuckleheads use to type in their moronic and anti-scientific ideas.

Scientists are human and are driven by fame and riches like everyone else.

The difference is that in science, cheating and fabrication are usually rooted out by the process of competition and repetition. Ideas that cannot be supported or repeated by further experimentation are abandoned.

These scientists might have exaggerated their data to fit global warming, so certainly their careers and data should be held in suspicion by all scientists. However, the vast amount of data supporting global warming generated by myriad other scientists is not under question.

Fabricated or bad ideas are eventually found out and debunked. This is how science works, the same science that gave us our medicines and technologies and other current ideas about the nature of nature.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

"bozo, your naive utopian view of scientists is quaint."

Funny, all that "utopian view" amounts to is that I don't see any grand money-grabbing conspiracy in the science that has identified the near certainty of global climate change caused by human activity.

Sorry, LO, just because I haven't joined this conspiracy cult doesn't make me "utopian."

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

Yes, that Piltdown man hoax sure did disprove and put an end to paleoanthropology.

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

"The Bible says of the earth, God entrusted Adam, Eve, and their descendants to have “dominion” over it. Who would you rather believe, the word of God or a bunch of lying liberal scientists wanting to take your money?"

That's amazing. As I was walking my dog this morning I had a brief ponderence if there wasn't a case where this was the ultimate argument of a particular individual. Not the individual that I was wondering about, but still. . . .

ivalueamerica 8 years, 5 months ago

E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.

feeble 8 years, 5 months ago

tomatogrower (Anonymous) says…

So the melting of permafrost and the rising sea levels are just to be ignored. Now I live in Kansas, so it doesn't concern me personally.

If you're involved with agriculture, you should be concerned. Even a 4 degree Fahrenheit change in average Kansas temperatures will lead to longer summer droughts and even drier conditions for the western part of the state. Also, reduced snow accumulation in northern states will lead to reduced water resources and increased competition between the states for those resources.

Further, it is laughable that the deniers have no cover from big oil and fossil fuel companies. One of the biggest defenders of the climategate hack is Saudi Arabia: http://www.businessinsider.com/climategate-shakes-up-talks-in-copenhagen-2009-12

Paul Atchley is, by the way, a (cognitive) psychologist. I'm sure the response from ljworld.com regulars was not unanticipated.

tomatogrower 8 years, 5 months ago

The Bible says of the earth, God entrusted Adam, Eve, and their descendants to have “dominion” over it. Who would you rather believe, the word of God or a bunch of lying liberal scientists wanting to take your money?

I'm just real sure God's thrilled about how much we have screwed up his creation.

BigPrune 8 years, 5 months ago

It's only natural to question the latest scientific claims being made regarding the climate as history has shown. Global cooling, global warming, global cooling, global warming, etc. It's also a multi-billion dollar stimulus for scientists.

There have been at least 75 major global temperature changes in the past 4500 years. Are we supposed to just shut up and believe this new age religion?

nbnozzy 8 years, 5 months ago

BigPrune nails it.....

Liberals are egotistical to think that "man" can cause major changes in global climate. Belching mountains, shifting ocean plates, earths spinning orbit, etc... are the factors that decide what the shape and condition of what our world will become.

We have control of the "life" within our earth. Work on that, for you (science) will never, ever take over Mother Natures job. And last I knew, she wasn't asking for help.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

1) These scientists did indeed exaggerate their data to fit the idea of human-caused global warming. However, the unmassaged data are still consistent with this theory.

2) Just because a few scientists acted unethically does not negate the vast amount of data generated from other scientists.

3) Science is self-correcting. Theories that do not stand up to repeated testing and experimentation by many scientists in the community are discarded.

4) Indeed, proving that a prevailing theory is incorrect would be nirvana for a scientist. However, to do so they would need to have unquestionable data that are repeatable by others and that stand up to long-term scientific experimentation and scrutiny. This is how science works.

ivalueamerica 8 years, 5 months ago


has anyone bothered to notice that extensive review of this so called hoax has not actually changed any facts presented?

There is nothing here but some people acting childish, there is no HOAX about the science.

People like prune will continue to doubt because he does not care about the science, only his political belief and Limbaugh told him to think this way so he will no matter what...he has sides, no morals, no values, no logic..just sides.

The rest of us can continue to scrutinize the science, but please, let us do that with the science, blindness.

Kirk Larson 8 years, 5 months ago

It is about the money. It's about the billions of dollars the oil companies and auto manufacturers stand to lose if we finally pull our heads out of our collective arses. As far as Piltdown Man. Who debunked it? Other scientists. That's how science corrects itself.

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… Why do you think the Tea Party's caused Pelosi and other arrogant liberals to use far-left blog inspired words like 'nazis' and 'astroturfers' and 'teabagging rednecks'?

Pelosi never called them Nazis. She said they were carrying Nazi symbols...Which they were. And considering the heavy investment of Dick Armey and other right wingers in the movement, they certainly are astroturfed. "Teabagging rednecks"? We'll have to consider that on a case-by-case basis.

BigPrune 8 years, 5 months ago

ivalueamerica, I am looking at the historical record of climate change over the past 4500 years. At least 75 major climate changes, some hot, and some cold.

With all this heat everywhere, shouldn't Kansas be experiencing massive dust storms - even a little?

FYI - I don't listen to Rush or watch Fox News. I'm too busy working.

Please try to open your mind ivalueamerica.

ivalueamerica 8 years, 5 months ago


You of all people say that to me?

You are a joke, on any specific issue there is never a question as to how you fall on it. You follow your party line hook line and sinker.

You have sides, no values.

As a liberal as you call me, I denounce Al Sharpton and La Raza as fast as I denounce the Klan and Ann Coulter, I am not against the death penalty (even though I think it needs fixed) and I consider Hugo Chavez the biggest thread to the Americas right now (now that Bush is out of office).

Why do I feel this way? I research the facts.

Is there global warming right now...clearly.

Is global warming increased by carbon gasses, it has been clearly documented.

Have carbon emissions been increased significantly by man, clearly.

No one says there is not a natural cycle going on and no one says man is causing the majority of what is happening, but only the must stubborn fool or a pure idiot would not see that we have SOME effect, just to what extent is in question. Further, along with carbon emissions, pollution is decreased in most "green" efforts for industry.

You want to continue following your political faith, you are free to, but to continue to do so with such vehement blindness does a disservice to yourself.

BigPrune 8 years, 5 months ago

uh, ok............good one!

here's an interesting link. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look at the chart of warm periods and cool periods over the past 4500 years.


Might open your mind a little.

patchley 8 years, 5 months ago

I am glad to see so many excellent comments!

For those of you that think thousands of scientists conspired to make up data to get research funds, I don't think any discourse can reach you.

As for climate change, we will see what happens. This is what we call an empirical question. The data will tell us who is right.

BigPrune 8 years, 5 months ago

What is needed is billions upon billions of dollars of taxpayers' dollars spent on the enviro'mental' movement so the scientists perpetrating this grand hoax can save face by claiming they helped save the planet. There's the conspiracy.

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