Good point. But by any metric, almost half the people will be below the average. The complication is probably the definition of “average”.....How do you measure intelligence?
Being funded doesn't necessarily invalidate scientific work. However, the source of the funding can certainly influence the direction that the work takes and how much work in a particular direction that there is. Before we even consider wider industry (wind, solar etc), there are an awful lot of scientific, endeavours, and scientists, whose futures depend entirely upon man made global warming being as significant a factor as they might try to suggest. In an equal and opposite manner, there are plenty on the opposite side of the coin whose future rides on it being insignificant. I don't have much faith in either side and suspect that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Right or wrong, I don't believe that scientific endeavour is the incorruptible academic one, that's entirely benevolent, that some would like to believe.Being funded doesn't invalidate scientific work, and there's a world of difference between work on risks to public health funded by government, and work done for industrial and business sponsors to serve their interests, even when their interests are plainly at odds with public health. The motivation, not the money, is the key.
I agree Sam, follow the money.As much as many refuse to allow it, I'm utterly cynical about it all and remain somewhere in the middle. I firmly believe that the climate is changing, just as it always has. However, I'm less convinced that human activity plays such a massive part. There's a good chance that human activity has accelerated an underlying cycle, but that's about all.
As far as I'm concerned, the extremists on both sides are largely driven by self interest. There is huge money riding on either extreme. Far too much vested interest for me to ever take it all at face value. Some of the money is so confused as to which way things might go that it's hedgeing its bets and backing both sides.
The solid Earth contains a huge quantity of carbon, far more than is present in the atmosphere or oceans. Some of this carbon is slowly released from the rocks in the form of carbon dioxide, through vents at volcanoes and hot springs. Volcanic emissions are a small but important part of the global carbon cycle. Published reviews of the scientific literature by Mörner and Etiope (2002) and Kerrick (2001) report a range of emission of 65 to 319 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Counter claims that volcanoes, especially submarine volcanoes, produce vastly greater amounts of CO2 than these estimates are not supported by any papers published by the scientists who study the subject.
The burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use results in the emission into the atmosphere of approximately 34 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year worldwide, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The fossil fuels emissions numbers are about 100 times bigger than even the maximum estimated volcanic CO2 fluxes. Our understanding of volcanic discharges would have to be shown to be very mistaken before volcanic CO2 discharges could be considered anything but a bit player in contributing to the recent changes observed in the concentration of