The witchhunt over tenuous connections to fossil fuel funding wants to do a lot more than just silence a few people. The aim is to maintain the global chill over all of academia. That’s why it’s so important we support the individuals under fire, and don’t give in.
Congratulations to Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Judith Curry, Steven Hayward, Roger Pielke, David Legates, and Robert Balling. All of them have been named to be investigated and lined up for character assassination like Willie Soon. Obviously they are effective and convincing speakers, and a threat to the climate-industry.
Stephen Hayward is flattered, and mocks the critics: “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Climate Skeptic?”
“Let’s start by axing a simple question: If I say “two plus two equals four,” does the truth of that proposition depend on whether I’ve received a grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation? Apparently it does for Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. He has sent letters to seven universities targeting seven academics who, according to the Democratic spokesman for the committee, were chosen because they seem “to have the most impact on policy in the scientific community.”
Even a tiny step beyond the approved line will be punished
Consider how hard-line the inquisition is. Roger Pielke Jr. accepts most of the consensus IPCC positions, even calling for a carbon tax, and supporting Obama’s proposed EPA regulations, but he’s under fire as much as those who question everything. The aim here is much larger than just stopping Pielke — the real audience are the thousands of silent borderline skeptical academics watching on. Imagine if they spoke their minds? The message to them is “don’t even think it”. All academics must be 100% believers, and even the smallest deviation from the permitted line will receive the same treatment.
The harassment and pressure work on whistleblowers. We are all human. Sadly even Pielke admits, despite having tenure, that the harrassment means he has changed the way he writes and researches:
The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject.
As Mark Steyn would say the process is the punishment.
Judith Curry writes: This whole issue has now become personal.
As Paul Homewood says: McCarthyism is not dead.
The real conflicts of interest in climate science matter for people waving unreplicable models
Judith Curry discusses the conflict of interests and points out that it not as relevant in climate science as in other areas where things are not so easily replicable:
The issue is this. The intense politicization of climate science makes bias more likely to be coming from political and ideological perspectives than from funding sources. Unlike research related to food and drug safety and environmental contaminants, most climate science is easily replicable using publicly available data sets and models. So all this IMO is frankly a red herring in the field of climate science research.
I would argue that many of the results used in climate science are not replicable in practice. They come from mysterious black box models or detailed homogenization methods, which even if the full code were available, would take individuals months of work to replicate. In the total absence of funding and grants, no one independent is going to replicate them.
In other words, the people who have conflicts of interest that really need exposing are not skeptics reporting on public datasets which can be replicated, but climate modelers and temperature adjusters who make public announcements with billions of dollars and lives resting on them, but which have not been independently replicated. And when I say “independently” replicated, I don’t mean by another group with the same conflict of interest.
If the evidence was so solid, and the models so reliable, climate scientists would be demanding and welcoming funding to outright skeptics to settle the issue. Instead, fans of the complex unskilled and failing models know that their assumptions are dubious and unsupported, and if a truly skeptical scientist were given equivalent resources to replicate it, they would probably tear it to shreds, exposing how fickle the projections were and how dependent it all was on a few key, baseless, guesses.
The antidote to pressure and intimidation is the support of the crowd
Send Pielke, and all the others your messages of thanks and support, through emails or on their blogs and here below. It does matter. No one should stand alone against the big-government grinding machine. Let those who bravely speak their honest minds know how much you appreciate it.
Hayward invites you to send him Grijava’s letter so he can autograph copies. (He says: download it here if you’d like your very own copy. (Send it to me with a self-address stamped envelope, and I’ll autograph it for you!)