Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Someone Should Shut Him Up About Being Censored

I took the WSJ's advice and typed "James Hansen NASA" into Ask this morning (they said to Google it, but I use Google as little as possible because of its corporate politics) and promptly got 83,400 hits.

Not bad for NASA's resident Warmie hawk, who claims he's been "silenced" by the Bush administration.

Here's one of the more popular hits:
Censorship Is Alleged at NOAA
Scientists Afraid to Speak Out, NASA Climate Expert Reports

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 11, 2006; A07

NEW YORK, Feb. 10 -- James E. Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who sparked an uproar last month by accusing the Bush administration of keeping scientific information from reaching the public, said Friday that officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also muzzling researchers who study global warming.

Hansen, speaking in a panel discussion about science and the environment before a packed audience at the New School university, said that while he hopes his own agency will soon adopt a more open policy, NOAA insists on having "a minder" monitor its scientists when they discuss their findings with journalists.

"It seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States," said Hansen, prompting a round of applause from the audience. He added that while NOAA officials said they maintain the policy for their scientists' protection, "if you buy that one please see me at the break, because there's a bridge down the street I'd like to sell you."

He didn't exactly call George Bush a Nazi (or a Commie), but you get the point. Poor, poor persecuted Warmie. Evil Big-Oil dominated GOP White House. It's a sure laugh-line with any college audience now days.

But wait ... I thought he said he was censored, yet here he is, a government employee, likening his government to nasty old enemies. What kind of censorship is that? Could Dr. James Hansen just be a government crybaby? A guy who's sucking on government's teat while kicking it in the stomach?

That's what the WSJ editorial writers think:

The story came to a head last week at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in which Mr. Hansen testified that "for the sake of the taxpayers" he "shouldn't be required to parrot some company line." He complains that in December 2005 he was told by NASA bureaucrats that he would have to obtain official clearance before granting press interviews, giving public lectures or posting articles on the Web. More heinous still, a 23-year-old NASA spokesman rejected a request by National Public Radio to interview Mr. Hansen.

That would seem to make the climate scientist something of a martyr for truth, which in his case means the imminence of global warming doom. But as Republican Congressman Darrell Issa observed, the climate scientist managed to give 15 interviews that same month, and that's just a fraction of the 1,400 interviews he's granted in recent years. There's also the fact that all NASA scientists are required to obtain official permission before speaking to the press, a detail Mr. Hansen shrugs off as beneath his dignity.

Another little fact that gets in the way of Hansen's martyrdom is this: The NASA guy who rejected his NPR interview request got fired, while Hansen's still drawing a federal paycheck.

Hansen is an alarmist, one of the elite group of climatological Tartot card readers who claim we have a 10-year window to "take decisive action" with this millenias-old cycle of warming, or the planet will face sure catastrophe.

While that's surely false (as the media certainly won't remind us ten years from last September, when he said it), it's not something I'd censor him over. But if that's the way he thinks, you'd be justified thinking that he's a bit tightly wound up on this whole global warming thing and just might have some sort of persecution complex.

But that's just me. It's not most of the 83,400 others who turned up on Ask, mostly to hang on his words and sit at his feet. Such is the sorry state of the global warming debate.

Oh, I forgot. The debate is over.

Gee. If it's over, you'd think they'd stop censoring him.

Labels: , ,