The top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee leading the witch hunt against university professors who dare challenge climate change theories has backed down in the face of criticism from within the scientific community.
Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva demanded last week that certain scientists turn over all communication and requests for funding because he believes only oil companies would disagree with what causes global warming. It’s a gross abuse of power, and scientists on both sides of the political issue are calling him out for it.
University of Colorado Professor Roger Pielke, Jr., one of Raul Grijalva’s targets, says the campaign was a smear attempt against dissenters.
“That just goes to show, if all he wants is material that is already out there in the public record, the point of the letter was purely political,” Pielke told the Daily Camera on Tuesday. “If you’re a young academic, you see this kind of retaliation for giving testimony that one party or another doesn’t like, and it provides a pretty strong disincentive.”
The American Meteorological Society said in a letter to Grijalva that his demand for researchers’ communications requesting funding “impinges on the free pursuit of ideas that is central to the concept of academic freedom.” The American Geophysical Union also agreed the demand from Congress went too far.
Sadly, Pielke’scongressional representative and newly appointed House Resources Committee member, Jared Polis, did not see fit to come to the aid of his own constituent. It appears from this 9News interview that Polis’s agreed with the witch hunt.
A spokesperson for Democratic Congressman Jared Polis, whose district includes Boulder, urged a measured approach saying that while potential conflicts of interest in academic research should be fully disclosed, Polis was not going to prejudge Pielke’s work without examining the facts.
Essentially, Polis wanted all those facts his ranking Democratic boss demanded, and then he would judge Pielke’s work.
The National Journal reports that Grijalva has backed off his demands for all communications, but is still insisting that researchers disclose their funding source.
We agree there should be transparency, but on all sides, not just the ones with whom Democrats disagree.
Russia who is funding all of those environmental groups that are waging war against fracking in the name of climate change?
We’re not holding our breath for Grijalva or Polis to put pen to paper.