Two posts in one day; I haven’t done that for a while. Must be because I’ve drifted back into the climate wars. I kind of wish I was more interested in sociology, because some of what I’ve experienced in the last week or so has been quite fascinating. One reason I thought I would write this post is to highlight an article by Michael Tobis – a guest author here – on the Lamar Smith vs NOAA saga. If you want to know some details, you can read Michael’s article. My own take is that I find all these type of things frustrating and annoying. We have plenty of scientific evidence and a strong consensus amongst relevant experts. If we choose to ignore that – for whatever reason – we’ve only got ourselves to blame.
I was going, however, to comment on something else. Last year, Democrat Congressman Raul Grijalva requested information from seven scientists, including Judith Curry. It was perceived as a witchhunt and he admitted that he’d overreached and backed off. The American Meteorological Society wrote a letter, that Judith Curry appreciated and regarded as very good. The letter ends with
The AMS maintains that peer-review is the appropriate me chanism to assess the validity and quality of scientific research, regardless of the funding sources supporting that research as long as those funding sources and any potential conflicts of interest are fully disclosed.
which I think is pretty spot on.
We encourage you and the Committee to help promote scientific advancement and to welcome the self-correcting nature of the peer-review process within the international scientific community.
which, again, I think is pretty spot on.
Judith has commented on this particular situation. Judith’s conclusion:
I’ve heard enough behind the scenes (including discussions with NOAA employees) that I am siding with Rep. Smith on this one.
Why? Apparently because
The politicization of climate science has gotten extreme. I don’t know where to start in trying to ameliorate this situation, but Congressional oversight and investigation into what is going on in government labs does not seem inappropriate under these circumstances.
So, the politicization of science is so extreme that oversight by partisan politicians does not seem innapropriate? Really? Personally I find it extremely disappointing that someone who has suffered such a witchhunt, would condone another. I also don’t understand the logic. The only possible difference is that NOAA scientists are formally government employees, while university scientists are not. However, no scientist should experience political pressure, government employee or not. The idea that such a partisan political investigation is somehow appropriate, seems utterly bizarre.
One might hope that anyone who can hold such an inconsistent position would largely lose credibility. I suspect that in this case, it will lead to more of Judith’s special Op-Eds; special because somehow when Judith writes them, they’re apolitical.