But things don’t always work out that way, especially when the issue concerned involves billions of dollars in research funding, as well as political policies that would cost trillions of dollars and radically re-engineer global society.
The recent case of meteorologist Lennart Bengtsson (shown in photo), one of Sweden’s leading climate scientists, shows that Climategate-style censorship of skeptics continues. Since mid-May, Professor Bengtsson has been at the center of a simmering scandal that has been the talk of the climate science blogosphere. It has also broken out into a number of mainstream media stories.
In April, Bengtsson accepted an invitation to become a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a British-based think tank that includes many eminent climate scientists. Why would that cause scandal and controversy? After all, many other scientists have also joined various think tanks involved in the controversial anthropogenic (human-caused) global-warming (AGW) debate. Well, the GWPF does not simply regurgitate the latest overheated bloviations of Al Gore, the UN’s IPCC, or the EPA; it has published 15 detailed reports and numerous shorter articles challenging the apocalyptic predictions and hysterical claims of the AGW alarmists. GWPF spokesmen are often quoted in media stories contradicting the prophets of climate doom and gloom.
However, only two weeks after joining GWPF, Professor Bengtsson resigned, citing “enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life.” And in a letter to colleagues, announcing his decision, he likewise alluded to “massive objections from colleagues around the world.”
One of Bengtsson’s colleagues wrote in an e-mail:
Joining this group would be interpreted by the media, the general public and colleagues not, as you apparently intended, as a rational contribution to an important discussion, but as an endorsement by a highly esteemed climate scientist of the political goals of GWPF (including the non-scientific methods apparently applied by GWPF).
It is easy to see why the organized AGW forces would be in a near state of panic over another prominent climate scientist such as Bengtsson joining the “enemy.” Top scientists have been jumping off the AGW bandwagon and have been publicly criticizing the UN’s IPCC process and the atmosphere of dogmatic repression enforced by the “climate science” mafia — even as President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, the United Nations, and the usual MSM talking heads double down on the AGW hysteria. (See: "UN, Obama Flog Global-warming Alarmism — As More Scientists Defect.")
Another colleague wrote to Bengtsson that “name calling, innuendo, political games, character defamation and caricature … are the methods of the GWPF.”
The “name calling, innuendo” charge is particularly risible since it is the apocalyptic warmists — not the skeptics — who have been most notorious at character defamation, equating AGW skeptics with Nazi Holocaust deniers. Some of the prominent AGW alarmists have viciously attacked skeptics as “criminals” and “traitors” who should be banned from the media and the Internet and even “thrown into jail.”
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Photo: Lennart Bengtsson