Stan Duncan, who at least bothered to paraphrase the smear site, complains, "You highlighted Crichton's view that climate scientists have an incentive to exaggerate global warming in order to win grants. But you did not mention that the inverse is true: Many global warming skeptics receive generous funding to downplay the problem -- for example, from energy companies with a stake in opposing regulation of fossil fuel emissions."
Sounds like the skeptics are all doing it for money. But while some of those scientists do get money from the energy industry -- that is, from people who make their living providing products on which nearly everything we do depends -- it's nowhere near as "generous" as the millions the scaremongers collect. And the scientists tend to get the funding after their research led them to skepticism. Many get no industry funds. Suggesting corruption is a just another smear.
The inspiration for the hate mail is a group called "Media Matters for America." The man behind it is David Brock. Brock first made his reputation fighting viciously for the right wing: He published a book called "The Real Anita Hill." Now he fights viciously for the Left.
Thirty years ago this month, Newsweek reported: "There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production -- with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now." The headline? "The Cooling World." That's right: Just 30 years ago, scaremongers were telling us about global cooling . The alarmists never stop. Maybe the key issue isn't science. Maybe they just want us to be "concerned."
John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20" and the author of "Give Me a Break," just released in paperback.
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