Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Criminalizing climate science: It’s a crazy situation says Georgia Tech scientist

By Rob Nikolewski

Climate scientist Judith Curry says data tell her the earth’s surface temperature is definitely warming and humans have something to do with it.

In the increasingly polarized world of climate research where, with increasing frequency, one side is labeled “deniers” and the other is called “alarmists,” the decorated scientist at Georgia Tech has become a target.

But the fire isn’t coming from those who deride her conclusions about a hotter planet, but instead from scientists who actually agree with her.

Why? Because Curry questions how much of the earth’s warming can be attributed to humans and is resistant to calling for political prescriptions for climate change.

“We have this politically correct, green position that all scientists are supposed to pledge allegiance to,” Curry told “I’m not going to pledge allegiance to that silliness.”

For such plain talk Curry has been called a “climate heretic” by Scientific American magazine and was described by outspoken climate change advocate and Penn State scientist Michael Mann as a “serial climate misinformer.”

Earlier this year, Curry was one of seven climate scientists who had letters sent to their respective universities from U.S. House of Representatives member Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, demanding they disclose “potential conflicts of interest and failure to disclose corporate funding sources in academic climate research.”

Grijalva backed down after receiving criticism of McCarthyism, but another controversial political tactic from Capitol Hill has Curry believing scientists who question the numbers and conclusions put out by organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are under attack.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, in May called for the federal government to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to file civil lawsuits against those in the private or public sector who work with the fossil fuel industry to “undermine climate science.”

Last week, 20 climate scientists sent a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy “strongly” supporting a RICO investigation similar to the way tobacco companies were summoned before Congress from 1999-2006.

“It is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done,” the letter said.

“Since I was one of the scientists called out in (Grijalva’s) witch hunts, I can only infer that I am one of the scientists you are seeking to silence,” Curry wrote on her Climate Etc. blog of the 20 scientists who signed the letter.

The letter does not mention going after colleagues in the scientific community but does call for racketeering investigations into “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”

Are Curry and other climate scientists who differ with the letter’s writers being called out? tried to speak to Jagadish Shukla, the lead signatory on the letter from 20 climate scientists and director of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies at George Mason University, but an email to his media contact at George Mason went unreturned.

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