Michael Mann in Washington Post op-ed: “Get the anti-science bent out of politics”

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Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann has a column in the Washington Post section this morning that begins: “As a scientist, I shouldn't have a stake in the upcoming midterm elections, but unfortunately, it seems that I -- and indeed all my fellow climate scientists -- do.” And concludes: “My fellow scientists and I must be ready to stand up to blatant abuse from politicians who seek to mislead and distract the public.”Michael E. Mann, the author of Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming, is a professor in the meteorology department at Penn State University and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center.

In “Science isn’t a political experiment” (titled “Get the anti-science bent out of politics” in the online version), Mann writes (excerpt, boldface added):

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has threatened that, if he becomes chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he will launch what would be a hostile investigation of climate science….Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) may do the same if he takes over a committee on climate change and energy security….

What could Issa, Sensenbrenner and Cuccinelli possibly think they might uncover now, a year after the e-mails were published?

The truth is that they don't expect to uncover anything. Instead, they want to continue a 20-year assault on climate research, questioning basic science and promoting doubt where there is none….

Mann concludes:

Burying our heads in the sand would leave future generations at the mercy of potentially dangerous changes in our climate. The only sure way to mitigate these threats is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions dramatically over the next few decades. But even if we don't reduce emissions, the reality of adapting to climate change will require responses from government at all levels.

Challenges to policy proposals for how to deal with this problem should be welcome -- indeed, a good-faith debate is essential for wise public policymaking.

But the attacks against the science must stop. They are not good-faith questioning of scientific research. They are anti-science.

How can I assure young researchers in climate science that if they make a breakthrough in our understanding about how human activity is altering our climate that they, too, will not be dragged through a show trial at a congressional hearing?...

My fellow scientists and I must be ready to stand up to blatant abuse from politicians who seek to mislead and distract the public. They are hurting American science. And their failure to accept the reality of climate change will hurt our children and grandchildren, too.

Related CSW posts:

Cuccinelli denialist witch-hunt is about political ambition, not climate science (Part 1 of 2)

Cuccinelli denialist witch-hunt is about political ambition, not climate science (Part 2 of 2)

Interview with Michael Mann on the Penn State Final Report and the war on climate scientists

ABC World News: Climate Scientists Claim ‘McCarthy-Like Threats’

Letter from 255 National Academy members on Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

Michael Mann interview: Denialists are waging “asymmetric warfare” against climate science

UK Guardian: “US Senate’s top climate sceptic accused of waging ‘McCarthyite witch-hunt’”

Senator Inhofe inquisition looking for ways to criminalize and prosecute 17 leading climate scientists

Sensenbrenner IPCC witch-hunt: Attempt to blacklist climate scientists must be rejected

Rep. Sensenbrenner projects "fascism" and "fraud" onto scientists, is rebutted at hearing

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2 Responses to Michael Mann in Washington Post op-ed: “Get the anti-science bent out of politics”

  1. Pingback: Political intimidation of scientists « A Man With A Ph.D.

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