Posted by: Barry Bickmore | April 8, 2011

Another Republican Climate Scientist

I already knew that Kerry Emmanuel was a Republican, but it turns out that Richard Alley is, too.



  1. Republican climate scientists are very rare and I suspect most of the ones that do exist are skeptics, in or out of the closet. I did an informal analysis of political contributions by climate scientists based on the FEC (Federal Election Commission) data base. I found 20 or so contributions in excess of $200 by people who were likely climate scientists and 100% gave to democrats or Ralph Nader. I found a similar result looking at contributions by American IPCC contributing scientists where everyone who gave was giving to democrats except for a couple of known skeptics.

    That such an ideological divide exists is strong evidence that global warming is more about ideology than science. I doubt that such a divide would exist if the science was more conclusive.

    People tend to borrow their opinions from their associates and the groups they belong to. Barry Bickmore would seem to be very unusual in that he is a believer in AGW yet a Morman and a Republican. But I doubt this is rare among the faculty at Brigham Young which is of course a Mormon school. Could it be that at Brigham Young the usual correlations are upended due to the special circumstances? I’d bet that at Brigham Young there are plenty of republican professors, unlike practically any university in the USA where the ratio is typically 10 or 20 democrats per republican.

    I believe that it is a near psychological impossibility for a young academic mainstream climate scientist to be a skeptic. I did a poster presenting evidence for this that I exhibited at the last AGU Fall Meeting:

    Most scientist skeptics are drawn from related academic fields. The only mainstream climate scientists who are skeptics are people with senior positions or pensions. They can be skeptics without ruining their careers.

  2. My very favorite is the highly respected professor Katherine Hayhoe – she is Christian, a climate scientist, a mother, and I presume Republican. And attractive.

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