Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Remember This Dude?

NASA scientist James Hansen made a name for himself when he attacked the George W Bush administration for silencing scientists who did not adhere to the administration line that global warming was not man made.

"A NOAA scientist cannot speak with a reporter unless there is a 'listener' on the line with him or her,"..."it seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States. The claim is that the 'listener' is there to protect the NOAA scientist. If you buy that one, please see me at the break; there is a bridge down the street that I would like to sell to you."

James Hansen, The Nation, source

Well, flash to today.

NASA Scientist Accused of Using Celeb Status Among Environmental Groups to Enrich Himself


First as an aside. Reading about this, I am struck with how naive we were back then as to just how secretive and punitive an administration could really be. Think back on how Bush was vilified for how secretive his administration was. Think about how he supposedly punished critics of the administration. We've come a long way since then huh?

Back to Mr. Hansen though.

Read the article. He seems to have gotten over the inability to speak freely very nicely. In fact, he doesn't seem to speak for free at all. He has made millions speaking out about climate change, most of it possibly illegally.

Now that we have a new administration that prides itself on openness and accountability, what do you think will happen to this gentleman?


LA Sunset said...

I'm shocked beyond measure. Not sure this one will heal, so easily.

Chuck said...

LA, sorry to disillusion you

Alligator said...

A lot of people have the false notion that science is somehow above it all, always fair, impartial and truthful. Scientists are just people and like all people everywhere and throughout history, they are susceptible to selling out for the right price or misinterpreting their data or skewing the data to fit their theories. Just because a scientist makes a "pronouncement" the average citizen should not surrender their critical thinking.

Chuck said...

Alligator, agreed. There was a fairly large scandal about 20 years or so ago in which it was found that cancer researchers were tailoring their projects to meet the guidelines for American Cancer Society grants. There was a fear at the time that valuable research topics were being ignored for more popular theories to get the money. It has happened for centuries as you say.

cube said...

Global warming/climate change has been, and continues to be, a cash cow for many to the detriment of the rest of us.