The witch hunt is on for skeptical climate scientists

The beautiful thing about science (when it’s conducted properly) is that multiple experts and laboratories in any field can match their findings against each other, peer review their work and subject competing theories to rigorous testing. That is, of course, providing you’re not doing work in climate research. In that case, if you come up with any figures which fly in the face of established Eco-Church doctrine, it’s time to stack up some kindling and burn the witch.

A week ago, the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Washington Post ran stories repeating claims made by long-time Greenpeace staffer Kert Davies that Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics failed to disclose funding from “fossil-fuel sources” to the editors of a science journal that published an article coauthored by Dr. Soon. Davies alleged this violated the journal’s disclosure and conflict of interest requirements.

Since then, many other media outlets have covered the controversy.

This news coverage was the beginning of a witch hunt waged against climate scientists whose work contradicts the claims of Greenpeace and other liberal advocacy groups.

Dr. Soon is one of a number of scientist who have had the temerity (and professional suicidal tendencies) to reexamine the data and come to their own conclusions regarding climate change. This was clearly an outrage and our Green Warrior betters were bound to to whatever they could to ensure that Soon was punished. They got the Center for American Progress to demand that he be fired from his job. Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D – Arizona 3) has sent a letter around to various universities “demanding” that they reveal any and all funding for eight specific scientists who have dared to question the position of Greenpeace.

That second one is fairly stunning, since it’s the office of an elected member of Congress issuing these orders.

Several members of Congress have begun sending letters to universities, energy companies and trade associations, seeking information about funding to scientists who have been critical of climate change.

Critics have been quick to label the effort a “witch hunt,” but those responsible say the outreach is a logical response to revelations that one of the country’s leading climate skeptics had been receiving funding from major players in the energy industry.

Doesn’t this sound a bit … strange, if not outside the law? The public has a right to know where taxpayer dollars are being spent, but is scientific research funding from private sources now suddenly the purview of congressional inquiry? And if so, wouldn’t that apply to all scientific research in any field? Do the seismologists installing earthquake detectors have to report all of their funding to Congressman Grijalva’s office?

For the record, I do think the public (not the government) has the right to ask questions about who is funding research if they have questions about it, and if the groups in question choose to refuse to disclose that data the public is fully justified in questioning the results. But when you suddenly drag Uncle Sam into the mix you have a witch hunt, and the fact that they only seem to be interested in this one particular field of science makes the bias in the process becomes obvious.

Welcome to the witch hunt. You will comply with the doctrine of the Eco-Church or thou shall pay the price.

The title of this article was edited, as the science of examining clients is largely unexplored.