I am sort of the anti-conspiracy theorist. I have written a number of times that events people sometimes explain as orchestrated conspiracies often can be explained just as well by assuming that people with similar preferences and similar information and similar incentives will respond to these incentives in similar ways.Read the whole thing.
I think the great herd-think around climate alarmism is a good example, and the Bishop Hill blog brings us a specific illustration from the comment section of Watts Up With That. A commenter observed that it was pretty hard to believe that thousands of scientists could be participating in a conspiracy. Another commenter [Paul Vaughan] wrote back:Actually not so hard.If only alarmist results are funded, then it should not be surprising that only alarmist studies are produced.
Last spring when I was shopping around for a new source of funding, after having my funding slashed to zero 15 days after going public with a finding about natural climate variations, I kept running into funding application instructions of the following variety:
Successful candidates will:
1) Demonstrate AGW [ed: Anthropogenic Global Warming]
2) Demonstrate the catastrophic consequences of AGW.
3) Explore policy implications stemming from 1 & 2.
Follow the money -- perhaps a conspiracy is unnecessary where a carrot will suffice.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Warren Meyer (who also runs Coyote Blog) on his Climate Skeptic site: