This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
We keep hearing how global warming deniers are in the pay of Big Oil and are lead to presume that AGW advocates are simply concerned altruists.
This article in the New York Times suggests how much money Al Gore stands to make from green energy:
and far from the science being settled, Al Gore admits CO2 isn't quite as responsible as claimed; Carbon is and Methane(but this was trailed when the debate started to talk about Carbon, then black carbon and finally soot....)
And back in February he pulled a slide from his presentation (he has a project teaching people to give slide shows from his Movie) http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/gore-pulls-slide-of-disaster-trends/ so perhaps we will see another slide pulled?
It is normal human behaviour only to face the truth when every possible error has been embraced and has failed. Scientists are supposed to be exceptions to this rule, but many are not. Our host (peace be upon him) remains one of the exceptions.
On the issue of people advocating environmental causes that they also stand to make money out of, there are a few of those in the UK, but not in anything like the same league as Al Gore.
One example would be Jeremy Leggett, an ex-Greenpeace campaigner who writes articles in the Guardian and appears quite regularly on TV advocating renewable energy and raising related issues like claiming peak oil is imminent (which helps the renewable energy cause). He is the head of Solarcentury, the leading UK solar panel supply firm.
There are also a couple of Green-leaning Conservative MPs who are involved in environmentally-related businesses. JEB wrote an article where he found himself under attack by a firm called Sancroft, which turned out to be run by John Gummer.
Another example would be Tim Yeo who keeps advocating increased motoring taxes which favour the take-up of electric/hybrid vehicles in his job as chairman of the Environmental Audit select committee. But it turns out that he is connected with a firm that sells hybrid vehicles.
I'm not quite sure what you're talking about on the 'shifting science'. I think you're referring to Al Gore (and the Green lobby in general) becoming suddenly interested in the claimed AGW effects of soot this year.
This newspaper article from a few months ago describes this supposedly newly discovered AGW contributor:
But as I remember it, pro-AGW climate scientists were going on about soot at least six years ago, and it wasn't some obscure researcher, it was James Hansen himself:
In the above article Hansen was claiming soot was twice as important a contributor to AGW as CO2.
The interesting thing to me is why the Green lobby have waited until 2009 before recognising this particular bit of climate science. One reason I suspect is that it may be an admission that they don't think they're getting very far with lobbying for the CO2 reduction and are having to create another campaigning target to keep the momentum going.
The other reason is that one of the objectives of the Green lobby is for the developed world to provide lots of aid (or wealth redistribution if you like) to the developing world to enable it to tackle AGW. This is one of the key components of the proposed Copenhagen treaty. By drawing attention to the 'soot problem' they may think that might soften up the developed world into thinking that there is a point in supplying aid if only to reduce the amount of soot being produced by the Third world.
I wonder if it is because soot on the poles is not nearly as critical as an albedo change on the equator? and perhaps that a fresh fall of snow will cover it up on the poles?
"I wonder if it is because soot on the poles is not nearly as critical as an albedo change on the equator? and perhaps that a fresh fall of snow will cover it up on the poles?"
I've seen a climate researcher argue something along those lines. (strictly speaking the Himalayas isn't at the equator, it's at the same latitude as the Mediterranean) Details are given in this paper:
Kuhle's argument is that Ice Ages have been much more frequent in the last few million years which can't be explained by Earth's orbit variations. He attributes it to geological uplift in the Himalayas in the last few million years and whether you get an Ice Age depends on the extent of the ice sheet in the Himalayas. He thinks a 2.4 million km2 area ice sheet in the Himalayas is equivalent to a 10 million km2 area ice sheet at a much more northern latitude.
If Kuhle is right, the West ought to be paying the Third World to produce more soot, not reduce it.