Friday, January 19, 2007

What Are They Really Afraid Of?

For reasons that perhaps a truly great mind (probably not a scientist) will someday explain, the tendency within the scientific "community" to accuse anyone harboring religious or conservative proclivities of being "anti-science" seems to be growing. The accusation itself is confounding, in that its purveyors hurl it as some sort of self-evident truth, despite the sheer nonexistence of corroborating information.

Isn't it ironic, then, how many stories there are in the news these days about "scientists" trying to silence competing scientists? In the examples offered below, the former category are all adherents to the conventional school of "global warming," while the latter are scientists evincing skepticism.

Most notable is the story of a Weather Channel meteorologist who called for the stripping of professional certification for any weatherman who publicly questions the "world-is-doomed" dogma. (This is a sad day in FunkyPundit Land, as the Weather Channel was once cable's untopped station. Alas, no more.)

Next comes courtesy of Hollywood's cosmopolitan demigod, Al Gore. In a Thursday oped for The Wall Street Journal, environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg and newspaper editor Flemming Rose describe an (almost) meeting with the former veep:
Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Today he is in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune.

The interview had been scheduled for months. Mr. Gore's agent yesterday thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled.
Finally, ExxonMobil announced it will no longer fund organizations skeptical of the dire consequences of "global warming," like the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Why? Because the "Union for Concerned Scientists" and Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe told it to.

Now, admittedly, in the second example Gore isn't explicitly trying to silence his critics. But if he's as confident in his climate-change knowledge as he claims, why is he afraid to mix it up with someone bearing different ideas? It's now been well over a year since Steve Milloy, publisher of, challenged Gore to debate climate change. So what is Gore afraid of?

For that matter, what is Weather Channel lady afraid of? What is Olympia Snowe, Jay Rockefeller and the Union of Concerned Scientists afraid of? If the case for "global warming" is so certifiably obvious, why such paranoia?

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