It is not an unusual thing for children who are proven wrong to seek to speak over their opponent. They simply speak louder and louder so that others will not hear them. They may even seek to use physical force to silence the other person. However, we should be surprised that this kind of behavior is present in the grown up world. It is especially surprising in a republic such as our own. Yet, this is exactly what was attempted recently.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Richard Lindzen explains the current situation concerning Climate Change. That there is less and less scientific proof that there is any man caused change or any real change at all. Then he makes public, efforts by several liberal Senators to silence or defund those who oppose the political line.
Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, used the Times article as the basis for a hunting expedition into anything said, written and communicated by seven individuals— David Legates, John Christy, Judith Curry, Robert Balling, Roger Pielke Jr. , Steven Hayward and me—about testimony we gave to Congress or other governmental bodies. We were selected solely on the basis of our objections to alarmist claims about the climate.
Did you get that? A hunting expedition. He had nothing to bring charges against these seven scientists; he wanted permission to hunt for something. This sounds like something out of an Ayn Rand novel. But the senator was not done.
In letters he sent to the presidents of the universities employing us (although I have been retired from MIT since 2013), Mr. Grijalva wanted all details of all of our outside funding, and communications about this funding, including “consulting fees, promotional considerations, speaking fees, honoraria, travel expenses, salary, compensation and any other monies.” Mr. Grijalva acknowledged the absence of any evidence but purportedly wanted to know if accusations made against Mr. Soon about alleged conflicts of interest or failure to disclose his funding sources in science journals might not also apply to us.
How can he do such a thing? How can this not be seen as intimidation? Mr. Grijalva wanted these scientists to know that if they did not toe the line, they would lose their funding. Lindzen understood as much.
Mr. Grijalva’s letters convey an unstated but perfectly clear threat: Research disputing alarm over the climate should cease lest universities that employ such individuals incur massive inconvenience and expense—and scientists holding such views should not offer testimony to Congress. After the Times article, Sens. Edward Markey (D., Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D.,R.I.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) also sent letters to numerous energy companies, industrial organizations and, strangely, many right-of-center think tanks (including the Cato Institute, with which I have an association) to unearth their alleged influence peddling.
These politicians know what they want the scientific community to say, and they want to make them say just that. They want them to say that the temperature is rising even though all measurements show the contrary. This, once again, shows that the left wants their narrative to win the day; they care little for truth or science.
Who would have thought that it is actually the Right that is on the side of science?
Where all this will lead is still hard to tell. At least Mr. Grijalva’s letters should help clarify for many the essentially political nature of the alarms over the climate, and the damage it is doing to science, the environment and the well-being of the world’s poorest.
Hopefully, this will open the eyes of those who refuse to see that it is political figures and media outlets that are pushing this Climate Alarm and not true science. I have attached a video if you are interested in learning more.