Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Climate Criminals

Here is a comment in Real Climate, a pretty good climate change site with pretty tame scientific language generally being the rule.

This is unbelievable, what I have been reading on this page.

It is a matter of harassment of scientists from members of the Congress.

This is similar to what KGB/STASI did to dissidents in the glory days of the Soviet Union.

Scientists should spent their time on science and not on defending themselves against attacks from politicians associated to the oil industry.

I have in general a great respect and admiration for the Congress and their members, but the actions taken by one member of the Congress are not in line with my expectations and must be condemned.

It is a matter of freedom of science.

What is this hubbub about?

Joe Barton, Chairman of the The Committee on Energy and Commerce

just decided last week that he's interested in Climate Change Science.

Not because he wants to know about it.

But because he thinks that the scientists involved are a bunch goof balls

who are trying to put a big one on the world by making up a bunch

of stuff so that the oil and coal industries might suffer.

This site has seemingly violated its own covenant not to be political

with this posting:

18 Jul 2005
Scientists respond to Barton

Many readers will be aware that three scientists (two of which are contributors to this site, Michael Mann and Ray Bradley) have received letters from Representative Joe Barton (Texas), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee specifically requesting information about their work on the 'hockey stick' papers (Mann et al (1998) and Mann et al (1999)) as well as an enormous amount of irrelevant material not connected to these studies.

Many in the scientific community would welcome any genuine interest in climate change from the committee, but the tone and content of these letters have alarmed many scientists and their professional organizations. In the words of Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Barton letters "give the impression of a search for some basis on which to discredit these particular scientists and findings,

rather than a search for understanding."

All kinds of academic and scientific folks are up in arms.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Academy of Sciences are both concerned with Barton's actions. Even the House Committee on Science has jumped in and so has Congressman Waxman.

All of the responses emphasize two main points:

There is no case for casting doubt on the scientific value and integrity of the studies by Mann et al. - they have been replicated by other scientists, the data and the computer code are available in the public domain and many other studies with different data and methods have confirmed the prime conclusion:

that it is likely that the late 20th Century is the warmest period of at least the past one thousand years.

The above studies are just one small piece of evidence in a very solid scientific case that humans are now altering the climate - and with or without this piece of evidence, this case is firm (see our post "What if the Hockey Stick were wrong?" or the commentary on Prometheus.

The real question we are faced with is not whether humans are changing climate. The science on this is clear, and decades of research have culminated in a scientific consensus on this point.

The real question now is what we need to do about it.

A Congressional committee concerned with energy could be - and indeed should be - a key player in exploring policy options to deal with the global warming threat. We hope that after studying the responses by the scientists, they will make a start."

These letters from Barton are symptomatic of this administration's

and this generation of Republicans disdain for the facts.

They would rather trumpet their own fantasies and paranoias,

Than govern as respectable and honorable men of trust.

They play and gamble with our future

with a neglect for our well being that

will surely make them defendants in some future

World Tribunal just as significant as Nuremberg.

And it will find them just as guilty.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an outrage that these D.C. types are strong arming the scientific community and getting away with it.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an outrage that these D.C. types are strong arming the scientific community and getting away with it.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for bring this to the fore. Your final commentary is inspired and has the correct tone - outrage.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOOH the climate trials, I love the idea, and these guys deserve to be served up a good dose of justice for their political blindness and allegiance to their party over the well being of the nation and and the planet.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

super post, I didn't know about this.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo. CHF

8:05 AM  

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