The Environmental Spectator

Suing NASA and UVA

Scientific distrust necessitates academic transparency -- and overcoming resistance from squanderers of public monies.

By 8.19.11

Survey results published this month by Rasmussen Reports show the public is skeptical of scientists who practice in the realm of climate change, which might cause opponents of academic transparency to think twice.

The staggering findings should be a serious blow to morale within the Global Warming Governmental Science Complex. Rasmussen discovered in a national telephone poll that 69 percent of respondents say "it's at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40 percent who say this is very likely." Only 22 percent who responded believe it's not likely that some scientists have falsified global warming data to fit their theories.

Undoubtedly the Climategate scandal -- which broke in November of 2009 and disclosed thousands of email messages among researchers who built a wall of protection around an invented "consensus" view of global warming alarmism -- has had an effect. The percentage of respondents to the Rasmussen poll who say it is likely scientists have falsified research has increased 10 points since December 2009.

So who is holding all these scientists accountable, many of whom conduct their research thanks to financing from taxpayers?

Certainly the formerly mainstream media doesn't do it, because it is firmly encamped in the global warming belief system and has amplified the scientific "consensus" myth as fact since the hysteria commenced over 20 years ago. You need only look at the public positions and website of the Society of Environmental Journalists, where reporters recharge their affirmation for alarmism and marginalize scientists who are skeptical of impending catastrophe ("Big Oil owns them!").

Meanwhile the enviro-media's image and credibility tanks with the climate scientists. A Gallup poll late last year showed 57 percent of Americans distrust the media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly -- a record high for the survey organization.

That doesn't keep these journalists from applying their double standard to the climate science debate. Last year USA Today reporter Dan Vergano sought, and received, records and emails (attack!) from George Mason University surrounding a report by professors who called into question statistical methods and the "pal review" practices of the few scientists in the closed "consensus" circle. Allegations of plagiarism were made against chief author Edward Wegman because a graduate student who worked on the paper copied and pasted text from an alarmist professor's work, which was not vital to the paper's main points.

But no comparable curiosity from the media exists towards those in the climate alarmism clique, despite the public's mistrust. While Climategate briefly aroused interest at a couple of outlets, the enviro-journalist guild quickly retreated to the safety of their commune at SEJ.

That's why my organization, American Tradition Institute, initiated two public records requests (which have turned into Freedom of Information Act lawsuits) for the work of key figureheads in the government-funded global warming science realm. The first seeks the correspondence and supporting data from the University of Virginia from the work of Dr. Michael Mann, who while at the university (he's now at Penn State) developed the famous "Hockey Stick" temperature chart that cut off tree ring data after 1960. We also want to know how he eliminated the Medieval Warm Period that has been recognized widely as part of the historical record.

We also have asked NASA to provide the outside employment records of global warming activist Dr. James Hansen, who has earned into the millions of dollars in income additional to his taxpayer funded job as head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He has used that platform to get extra work as a highly compensated speaker, policy advocate, book writer, and legal adviser, among other opportunities. Both the University and NASA are resisting our inquiries, so we've had to sue them both.

A July 2009 paper published by Science and Public Policy Institute revealed the U.S. government has spent more than $79 billion since 1989 on policies and research related to climate change, with few that are curious about natural causes. Climategate, "pal" review of research, Hockey Sticks, temperature stations with a heat bias, IPCC research drawn from World Wildlife Fund pamphlets, and a host of other oddities upon which the alarmism edifice is built have contributed to doubt among 69 percent of the public.

Taxpayers deserve transparency in the science they pay billions of dollars for, and they shouldn't have to rely on hackers, whistleblowers or judges to provide it for them. Unfortunately that's what has happened, so the credibility of climate scientists -- and the media who promote them -- sank.

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About the Author

Paul Chesser publishes, a news aggregator for North Carolina, and is a contributor of articles, research and investigative reports for both national and state-level free-market think tanks.