Debra J. Saunders

Ooooh, $10,000. After the billions that have gone into pro-global-warming research, that's (pardon the pun) rich.

What critics call a $10,000 "bounty" could be seen in the research community as the equivalent of a 25-cent tip. As Steven Hayward, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, explained, his think tank was "asking very busy and prominent people to wade through as much as 5,000 pages of material and write original papers on it, and people think they're going to do that for free?"

Spencer told me he had been writing on global warming for years before he started writing for TCS Daily, which received ExxonMobil money, three years ago. He said TCS Daily now provides some 5 percent of his income. And: "All I was doing was being paid for writing things I believed in anyway."

Global warming guru James Hansen, a NASA scientist, received $250,000 from a foundation run by Teresa Heinz Kerry. Hansen endorsed John Kerry for president in 2004. But I wouldn't dream of suggesting Hansen was bought.

The science doesn't follow the money, the money follows the scientist. If you're a researcher on either side of the issue, eventually you'll get money from that side -- or be unemployed.

I guess all skeptics are supposed to work for free.

True believers appear to be afraid of a fair fight. In March, when the audience was polled before a New York "Intelligence Squared U.S." debate, 30 percent agreed with the motion that global warming is not a crisis, 57 percent disagreed. After the debate, 46 percent agreed with the motion, while 42 per cent disagreed.

After all the Newsweek-like stories announcing the debate is over, it took one debate to flip the audience. No wonder they want to muzzle dissent.

Debra J. Saunders

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