“It’s never been harder to be a climate scientist,” claims a heartrending piece in New Republic.
Climate scientists working directly for the Trump administration are the most affected. A report published last week by the Union of Concerned Scientists describes a “culture of fear” as government scientists are gagged, sidelined, or fired, and funding cuts loom. “Some are afraid to utter the words ‘climate change,’” the report reads.
But wait. You haven’t got to the saddest part, yet.
“All action at the agency on climate has effectively stopped,” an EPA air quality scientist told The Guardian in June. And they’re being discouraged from interacting with other climate scientists. “There was a climate conference in Atlanta last month and EPA employees were told not to go,” the scientist said, “so even simple interactions are coming to an end.”
In sadness terms I would say that this is quite literally even sadder than a picture on the internet of a cute kitten with a bandaged paw.
Think about it. These EPA scientists work hard to spend your tax dollar. That trip to the climate conference in Atlanta would have afforded them a vital opportunity not just to rack up air miles but also to broaden their understanding of the challenges facing us. For example, by visiting the legendary Georgia Aquarium they would get to experience at first hand all the innocent sea creatures that are likely to be melted if ever ocean acidification actually becomes a thing.
And by taking part in the Walking Dead Big Zombie Tour Part One – and Part Two, if time had been available – they could have acquainted themselves with the kind of post-Apocalyptic societal breakdown/flesh-eating-hordes-of-ravenous-undead issues which might well occur if global warming ever became a serious problem, which admittedly it hasn’t so far.
But now because of spoilsport Donald Trump and killjoy Scott Pruitt, they’re being forced to do boring stuff like actual science instead.
There are several reasons, though, why I don’t feel quite as sorry for these scientists as they feel for themselves.
One is that they seem to be a lot more interested in politics than they are in science. This is a point economist Ross McKitrick made recently, with regard to an attack made by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) on Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
Perry had made in a perfectly reasonable, scientifically accurate point about the causes of “global warming” in an interview. Yet the executive director of the AMS, brandishing ‘settled science’, had written to censure him.
Oh, the double standards! As McKitrick wrote in The Hill:
It is noteworthy that the meteorological society remained completely silent over the years when senior Democratic administration officials made multiple exaggerated and untrue statements in service of global warming alarmism.
When Secretary of State John Kerry falsely claimed in 2016 that “storms that used to happen once every 500 years are becoming relatively normal,” or when Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy claimed in 2015 that green house gases are behind upward trends in “extreme heat, cold, storms, fires and floods,” the meteorological society said nothing, even though the evidence clearly contradicts these positions.
When President Obama tweeted in 2013 that “97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real, man-made and dangerous” the meteorological society said nothing, even though no such survey existed and the meteorological society’s own membership surveythe next year showed nearly half of its members doubted either that climate change was even happening or that CO2 played a dominant role.
Another point well made by Eric Worrall at Watts Up With That? is that if you are an employee of the government your job is to do what the government tells you to do, no matter how much might you disagree with the government’s policy.
I have no problem with public statements from climate scientists who raise their own money – they can say whatever they want. But the job of an employee of the government is to do what the government tells them to do. For a government employed scientist, surely this means researching what the government asks them to research, and submitting reports to the government agencies which commissioned the research – not grandstanding in front of the media on a regular basis.
Then, of course, there’s the small issue of relevance. A must-read piece by David R. Henderson and John H. Cochrane in the WSJ hints at an important truth about the climate change industry that really isn’t said often enough: far too much attention is paid to the scientific aspects of this non-issue and far, far too little to the economic ones.
Put simply, the noisy bleating of these climate alarmist scientists and their demands that more must be done is currently costing us, at a very conservative estimate, around $1.5 trillion a year. Money which is currently achieving next to nothing in making the world a better, safer, more stable or prosperous place.
My view is that a period of dignified silence from these scientists is long overdue.