Planet Gore

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been . . . ? received the following e-mail revealing how the folks at the University of Colorado, many of whom fought to deflect complaints about the hateful rantings of Ward Churchill as attacks on free speech and open academic inquiry, have failed to extend those same rights to one of their own scientific colleagues — at least, not one who might upset the global-warming gravy train.


The student wisely chooses to remain anonymous in reporting a professor openly asking his students to organize in protest of thought and speech of which the professor disapproves; of course, he’ll be watching.


If you aren’t someone who simply read that without blinking and asking yourself, why? (see “gravy train” above) and why do we accept such a state of affairs? then this book is for you.


Emphases below to passive, sneaky, or sniveling language are added. Read this, but also enjoy the unacceptable, must-be-muzzled slide show prompting an academic “investigative committee.”

The following email was shared around to graduate students, from another graduate student, at the Atmospheric Sciences Dept at University of Colorado following a dustup over Dr. Richard Keen’s “global warming quiz” which has been removed from the University website. The Dept has set up an investigative committee. So much for academic freedom. I wish to remain anonymous.

Hi all,
 As you may or may not be aware, there has recently been concern over

 inaccurate, partisan teaching in an ATOC 1050 class.  The material

 presented in the class seriously misrepresented scientific data, had a

 significant political slant, and has now made its way across various

 climate change related blogs.  The faculty requested the material be

 removed from the atoc server, as it was felt that by hosting the

 material this implied an endorsement by ATOC.  In response, the

 material is now hosted off site and there is now a link on the atoc

 server to this material:
 In my personal opinion, ATOC continues to implicitly endorse this

 material by continuing to allow the presentation of it in class and

 hosting it (now a link) on the atoc server.  By supporting bogus

 science and politically oriented teaching, I believe that:
 1) The reputation of a graduate degree from ATOC is diminished.

 2) Future graduate students who are motivated by the pursuit of

 objective science will be less likely to apply and accept offers of

 Faculty members value academic freedom and are therefore justifiably

 hesitant to suppress views that run counter to the mainstream

 scientific consensus.  As such, I believe that the ATOC faculty are

 unclear on how to handle this.
 My suggestion is that ATOC create and enforce a policy of only

 teaching material from peer reviewed scientific sources.  I do not

 think this is too much to ask for a science department.  However, I am

 not sure that faculty members will endorse that suggestion due to

 their concerns over academic freedom.  If you, as graduate students,

 have any other suggestions, comments, or concerns, please let me know.

 I will compile thoughts, remove names, and forward them on to the

 faculty.  The faculty ultimately have the choice on how, or if, to

 respond – that’s not our call.  However, I do think that if there was

 a strong consensus from graduate students on how to handle this, the

 faculty would take our opinion seriously.


 Matt Higgins

 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

 Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

 University of Colorado – Boulder

Despite obviously not being limited by space considerations, the complainant offers few specifics of the alleged transgressions — except for a perceived political slant. Presumably, this concerns Keen’s criticisms of Al Gore, whose wild-eyed claims have hysterically politicized the issue of climate change. [Thus, noting that politicization is to insert politics. Dialectics never flowed so smoothly.] Oddly enough, I don’t recall Higgins’ complaints about the misrepresentations of scientific fact in An Inconvenient Truth, the falsehoods in which have been laid bare in open court.

Once again, the real offense is refusing to go along with group-think and group-speak. The American academy: champion of free speech and open inquiry. As the great chronicler of climate change Thomas Jefferson noted, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.


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