Climate-change defectors having to weather Democrat-led storm

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Michael F. Haverluck (

Top Democrats are turning up the pressure against college professors who aren't on board with their agenda to unconditionally promote "climate change," even when the evidence stacks up against it.

A Closer Look"I am under 'investigation,'" declared University of Colorado-Boulder (UCB) professor of environmental studies Roger Pielke, Jr., on his blog. "[I've been targeted] in a politically motivated 'witch hunt.'"

The recent attack on Pielke was triggered by a statement he made before the U.S. Senate, which Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) noted in 2013 didn't align with the government's staunch support of aerial pollutants being the chief cause of alleged "global warming."

"[It is] incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases," Pielke argued before the Senate floor.

In an effort to uproot the legitimacy of Pielke's position discrediting the claims of climate change, Grijalva issued a letter to UCB president Bruce Benson requesting that the university surrender it financial disclosure policies and information on how they apply to Pielke, Townhall reports. Grijalva also asked for every draft and communication the school possessed having to do with all testimony Pielke made before Congress between Jan. 1, 2007, and Jan. 31, 2015, as part of his investigation.

Others targeted

According to Pielke, he isn't the only researcher being targeted by the Democratic Party's "witch hunt" to shoot down those no longer on board with its climate-change agenda.

"A group called the Energy & Environment Legal Group has filed state freedom of information act requests modeled on the Rep. Grijalva letter with four universities (Colorado, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia Tech) requesting funding information from five researchers," Pielke stated on his blog Monday. "This is obviously a retaliatory act, legitimized by Rep. Grijalva's campaign. It is just as wrong-headed."

Pielke says his colleagues — who also won't endorse every climate-change decree and argument — are subject to the government probe that only seeks to eliminate those considered dissidents from the White House's climate-change doctrine.

"Without the agreement of Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah — who is the committee's chairman — the ranking Democrat asked for documents from six other academics, including my old pal Steve Hayward at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy, who have challenged global warming orthodoxy," Townhall columnist Debra J. Saunders informed. "Grijalva is fishing on one side of the pond only."

100 percent on board … or thrown overboard

For years, Pielke has been a climate-change advocate. He still supports some of the exorbitant regulations the global-warming movement and environmentalists push at taxpayers' expense. But because he is no longer in the circle of those offering a full-fledged backing of the agenda, he is being targeted for removal from the debate altogether.

"Grijalva is a fervent believer in climate change … Pielke is a believer, as well," Saunders reported. "He has defended the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and supports a carbon tax, [b]ut Pielke doesn't buy all the hype — hence his testimony that challenged the catastrophic-weather argument. For that, Grijalva wants to give Pielke the full treatment — a full financial and documentary probe."

Pielke revealed on his blog site Monday that both scientific and academic organizations agree that Grijalva's attempt to silence all opposition is the government's Gestapo-style display of authoritarian control over an issue.

"Here in PDF is that strongly worded letter from the American Meteorological Society to Representative Raul Grijalva warning that he is sending 'a chilling message' to all researchers," Pielke shared with his blog audience." At The Breakthrough Institute, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus take the high road and argue that political intimidation of academics in unacceptable, defending both me and Michael Mann."

Who made this a political issue?

Saunders noted the hypocrisy of many Left-leaning climate-change activists who plead that Republicans have made the debate a political issue. "... [T]rue believers [in climate change] always say they want to keep politics out of science, but they cannot help themselves," he points out.

Pielke corroborates Saunders' take by demonstrating that the liberal media has chided him for being a turncoat on global warming … because he challenged allegedly doctored figures presented by climate-change scientists.

"Several reporters have asked me why I testify before Congress if I know that my results will be used by Republicans," Pielke shared, pointing out "the interesting framing of this question."

Besides Pielke's fellow researchers being investigated, others outside the university scene are under high scrutiny.

"Pielke calls it a 'politically motivated witch hunt designed to intimidate a point of view," Saunders said. "What prompted the probe? On Feb. 21, The New York Times reported that Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scientist Wei-Hock 'Willie' Soon, a global warming skeptic, had received more than $1.2 million from the fossil fuel industry but failed to disclose his funding in journals that published his work. So Grijalva apparently decided to interrogate others presumed guilty by association of belief."

Excuses, excuses

Grijalva's self-proclaimed justification for hunting out those pointing out holes in climate-change science is contended to be problematic in and of itself. This mindset is recognized by many climate-change critics.

"When partisans want to silence those with whom they disagree, they often concoct a host of phony reasons to convince themselves and others that they really aren't trying to bully anyone into submission," Saunders explained.

Grijalva attempted to use his attack on Soon to explain how he was merely being a good steward of the land that he has been commissioned to protect.

"I have a constitutional duty to protect public lands," Grijalva argued. "My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships."

Green funding vs. oil funding?

Saunders reports that UCB provost Russell Moore supports Pielke's contention, which states that he never received a dime of fossil fuel money … only government grants. She outlines this argument.

"I object to the Democrat's apparent presumption that any global-warming skeptic is likely to be driven by oil money, whereas climate-change enthusiasts have nothing to gain financially," Saunders asserts. "To the contrary, David Legates of the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean & Environment, who is skeptical of climate-change predictions of catastrophe, told me that he realized years ago that his independent position means that he should not accept corporate money for research or speaking fees."

Legates, who was forced out of his job as a climatologist in Delaware, had his own take on the subject.

"There's a lot more money to be made by saying the world is coming to an end than to say that this is a bunch of hooey," Legates said, who is also on Grijalva's short list, according to Saunders.

Saunders said that oftentimes, the difference between scientists being rich or poor is determined upon which side of the global warming debate they hang their hats.

"Scientists who reinforce catastrophic predictions continue to get fat government grants," Saunders adds. "As for Legates, his apostasy forced him out of his post as Delaware state climatologist."

You know the routine …

Saunders says there is now a protocol for those in the scientific community who no longer support all of the claims made by pro-climate-change scientists.

"There has been some blowback … from the 'consensus' climate change community at Grijalva's heavy-handed ways," Saunders attests. "Those mild objections are tame compared with the message that has been sent to academia: Anyone who disagrees with climate change absolutists should be prepared to hear, 'Your papers, please.'"

Big money climate change wins out

Even though many climate-change theories have been debunked and the whistle has been blown on the government's intimidation of those not going along with its climate-change agenda, Pielke has thrown in the towel when it comes to continuing to challenge the highly contested global-warming claims.

"The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues," Pielke stated on his blog. "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. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I'll be just fine, as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can't imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: 'When people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus, there's no reason to go on a witch hunt.'"

Saunders also concedes that because the government holds the purse strings and pink slips, it will continue to get away with bullying those not on board with its environmental agenda, which is buttressed by untold billions of tax dollars.

"Me, I am no scientist … I'm just an observer who expects academic disagreements to be settled after passionate debate and civil discourse," Saunders concludes. "What I see instead is an inquisition from the side that considers its biggest selling point to be the fact that it represents the scientific 'consensus.' Once again, this is how they build their 'consensus' — by the heavy-handed use of political muscle and brute intimidation."


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