Originally Posted by Jayhawk
Would you care to define "overwhelmingly accepted?"
The degree to which climatological and ecological research has shifted from whether a pattern exists to what the pattern means.
Even the major oil companies believe there is a warming trend ongoing and that burning fossil fuels maybe a contributor. Why would they accept something that is in opposition to their own economic self-interest?
I do not understand what motivates the dogmatic rejection of a theory that most scientists are increasingly embracing. All scientists are bribed? That's such bullshit that it displays an almost stupefying ignorance of the research process and peer reviewed publication.
If a scientist gets say, $1,000,000 grant, do you suppose he pockets the cash and goes to Bermuda? Nope.
University overhead takes over 20%, leaving $800,000. Big, multi-year research projects require a team, usually including a post-doc or two and a bunch of grad student RA's. Post doc costs $50K-$80K per year (even though they get paid $30K-$40K -- somebody has to pay SSI, insurance, etc) and the RA's get $15K - $20K per year. Then you may also have some salaried technicians, which will often cost as much or more than a post-doc, say $50K. In no time at all you are up to over $100K/year and you haven't yet bought computer time, travel & per diem, supplies & equipment.
The principal investigator does not get piles of personal money from a research grant. She gets money to support her research. If the money goes elsewhere then we call that "fraud". It happens, but it is very, very difficult to get away with it for long. First of all, the granting agency and the university audit the money. Secondly, there is the publication requirement. Data and results go into the public domain and other scientists, gunning for a reputation to get tenure or more research support or greater glory, will pick it up and test it.
Whether the scientist is funded by government, EXXON, or Greenpeace, the peer review process is a sieve that catches most bullshit science, eventually.
The first indication of something potentially wrong with a research project is when a scientist goes to the public press before going through scientific publication.