Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sen. Inhofe inquisition seeking ways to criminalize and prosecute 17 leading climate scientists

Now we’re entering McCarthy territory.

Joseph Raymond McCarthy. Source: Library of Congress Photographer: United Press, 1954

Senator James Inhofe, ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, has gone a step beyond promoting his long-notorious global warming denialist propaganda. He is now using the resources of the Senate committee to seek opportunities to criminalize the actions of 17 leading scientists who have been associated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports. A report released by Inhofe’s staff on February 23 outlines this classic Joe McCarthyite witch-hunt: page after page of incorrect and misleading statements, a list of federal laws that allegedly may make scientists subject to prosecution by the U.S. Justice Department, and a list of names and affiliations of 17 “key players” in the “CRU Controversy” over stolen e-mails and their connections with IPCC reports.

Post by Rick Piltz

See our February 23 post: Scientists ill-equipped to deal with all-out war on climate science community

Inhofe’s committee minority report: ‘Consensus’ Exposed: The CRU Controversy (United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Minority Staff, February 2010)

Inhofe press release: “Senate EPW Minority Releases Report On CRU Controversy—Shows Scientists Violated Ethics, Reveals Major Disagreements On Climate Science”

From the Executive Summary of Inhofe’s report:

The scientists involved in the CRU controversy violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, may have violated federal laws.

In our view, the CRU documents and emails reveal, among other things, unethical and potentially illegal behavior by some of the world’s preeminent climate scientists.

    [boldface added]

In a section titled “The CRU-IPCC Connection” (pages 25-26; also see pages 35-37), Inhofe names the targets of his witch-hunt to be investigated for possible referral to the U.S. Justice Department for prosecution. Inhofe’s targets include, in alphabetical order:

Raymond Bradley
Keith Briffa
Timothy Carter
Edward Cook
Malcolm Hughes
Phil Jones
Thomas Karl
Michael Mann
Michael Oppenheimer
Jonathan Overpeck
Benjamin Santer
Gavin Schmidt
Stephen Schneider
Susan Solomon
Peter Stott
Kevin Trenberth
Thomas Wigley

Those of you who know the climate science community will note that the list includes some of the very best—individuals whose contribution to scientific understanding and science communication would be lionized in a society that was seeing things clearly. …

Sen. Inhofe inquisition seeking ways to criminalize and prosecute 17 leading climate scientists

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