Muzzling Science


America’s media over the years has hung on NASA climatologist James Hansen’s every word as he accused the Bush Administration of muzzling the facts about government climate science. For example, here, or here, or here, or. . . .

At the International Climate Change Conference this week, however, Hansen’s former boss, climatologist John Theon, put Mr. Hansen’s NASA career in perspective saying not only that political pressure prevented him from firing an out-of-line Hansen but that global warming is a “fraud.” As Reason’s Ronald Bailey reported from New York:

Retired NASA climatologist John Theon rose to lament the fact that he hadn’t fired James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an ardent advocate of the idea that man-made global warming is a catastrophe in the making. Theon called Hansen an “embarrassment” . . . (and) admitted that he actually couldn’t have fired Hansen, who had powerful political protectors, most notably then-senator and later vice president Al Gore. So had Theon tried to do it, it’s much more likely that he himself would have been out on the street rather than Hansen.

Theon told the audience that while he remained silent on the issue of global warming when he retired from NASA, he now felt he needed to speak out. “This whole thing is a fraud,” said Theon. “We need to educate the public about what we’re going to get into unless we stop this nonsense.” The nonsense being the deleterious effect that carbon rationing would have on economic growth and jobs.

That’s news. And how did our national media react to these blockbuster revelations from one of the nation’s top ex-government scientists? [Crickets.]

[Ahem.] Isn’t that muzzling the facts?


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