Reason TV’s Ted Balaker offers a lengthy look into how government and academia teamed up in California to stifle scientific dissent and pass new environmental regulations on the basis of fraud. Take the time to watch it all, as there is a lot to unpack in this story, which starts off with a trucking company in Cypress, California, that may go out of business thanks to new rules from the state’s Air Resources Board (CARB). New rules on diesel emissions make Dwayne Whitney’s trucks illegal to operate without enormously expensive additions, rules CARB imposed because of a study on particulates produced by Dr. Hien Tran that linked the emissions to 2000 “premature deaths” in California each year.
However, another researcher who found no connection between diesel particulates and “premature deaths” decided to check on Tran’s credentials, and discovered that his PhD had come from a diploma mill, bought for $1000. When the researcher, UCLA’s Dr. James Enstrom, blew the whistle on Tran and insisted that CARB needed to consider his work before passing the new regulation, a curious thing happened. After 34 years on the job, UCLA fired Enstrom. Why? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that two powerful CARB commissioners, Mary Nichols and John Froines, are also UCLA professors. According to Balaker, Froines voted to give Enstrom his pink slip.
This story exposes the connection between government regulators and Academia better than any I’ve seen in a long time. The people of California should demand an accounting of the attack on academic freedom at UCLA, the use of fraudulent researchers at CARB, and the destruction of private sector business on the basis of highly selective choices in scientific research. Find out more about this story at FIRE, which is defending Enstrom.