Sunday, May 21, 2006
Commodify your "skepticism"--Exxon's buying
"Being in the minority is difficult," he says, adding that while he now earns a small amount of money writing for TCS Daily, a Web site funded in part by ExxonMobil, "I have always said, if you want to make money in this business, the skeptics' side is not the side you want to work on."Oh, really? Is Exxon paying the others too?
How a Global Warming Satirist Breaks the Ice
Somewhere in an office about 600 miles southwest of here, former NASA scientist Roy W. Spencer is laughing. The 50-year-old, white-haired PhD dreamed up the spoof site -- sort of the Onion meets the Weather Channel -- because he thinks people are overreacting to the threat of climate change.
Now a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Spencer says human activities have "likely" contributed to climate change, but he argues that "since we do not understand natural climate fluctuations, we don't really know how much, quantitatively, of the present warmth is man-made versus natural."
Spencer describes his Web site as "a spur-of-the moment effort that resulted from the increasing number of news stories that quoted people who blamed global warming for events such as tsunamis and the latest flood, drought or hurricane. . . . Also, I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor, and the Web site gives me an additional creative outlet." His other creative outlet: He's lead guitarist in a contemporary Christian rock band at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Huntsville. (His environmentalist- mocking alternative lyrics to Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit": "I'll take a little bit, I'll take a little bit of your wealth from you/So give a little bit, oh, give a little more than a dime to me.")
It's all a way of keeping his sanity, Spencer explains.
"Being in the minority is difficult," he says, adding that while he now earns a small amount of money writing for TCS Daily, a Web site funded in part by ExxonMobil, "I have always said, if you want to make money in this business, the skeptics' side is not the side you want to work on."