Behind The Black Postings By Robert Zimmerman

Our government's modern scientific method:
Proving others are wrong is not allowed!

An Interior Department official has been accused of trying to disband a fish research division specifically because its research is politically incorrect.

The research division, the Fisheries Resources Branch, had repeatedly found good evidence that the salmon of the Klamath River in the northwest were not suffering significantly from the presence of the dams on that river, contradicting the accepted wisdom that the dams had to be removed in order for these species to survive. The Interior official, Jason Phillips, along with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), did not like these results, and decided that scientific work that “proved others wrong” was unacceptable and had to be squelched. From the actual complaint [pdf]:

In the past, Mr. Phillips had complained that Reclamation science was causing “problems,” often citing a study conducted by the Fisheries Resources Branch on the abundance of endangered suckers in Lake Ewauna. Lake Ewauna is an area of poor water quality previously thought to be a “dead zone” for fish moving downstream from the primary populations located in Upper Klamath Lake. However, using sound scientific methods, the Fisheries Resources Branch found a stable population of sucker in Lake Ewauna, with many more endangered fish than most expected. This finding caused the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to re-evaluate this area in its recovery strategy. Apparently, this caused the FWS to complain to Mr. Phillips who apparently perceived this new scientific work as “proving others wrong.” [emphasis mine]

And this:

During the November 30, 2012 meeting, Mr. Phillips provided another example of Fisheries Resources Branch science that was causing him “problems” – development of a life-cycle model of threatened coho salmon. Preliminary results generated by the model suggest mainstream Klamath River flows (i.e. Reclamation-controlled flows) were less important for coho salmon survival and recovery than tributary flows (i.e. non-Reclamation controlled flows). Since the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries had raised concerns regarding this model, Mr. Phillips stated that he did not intend to allow the model to be published, be “shelved“ and not used by Reclamation on its decision making process. Mr. Phillips further stated that he was eliminating the Fisheries Resources Branch so that this kind of work would no longer cause problems for NOAA Fisheries. [emphasis mine]

As a result, Phillips announced [pdf] that he was going to disband the division, reassigning its scientists to other work or eliminating their positions entirely.

To Phillips, the “problems” were that Fish and Wildlife wants to tear down a lot of dams, and the research of these scientists showed that there is no reason to do so. Rather than adjust their plans to these facts, Phillips and FWS instead preferred to shove the results down the memory hole, forgotten and ignored, and then destroy the careers of the scientists who did the work. At no point did Phillips actually question the quality of the research itself, only the results themselves.

The sad part of this story is that it is not surprising. For the past twenty years the research fields of climate and environment have been ruled by doctrine and ideology. No result can contradict the accepted consensus that human technology is destroying the environment, and if you dare to say different your future as a scientist will disappear. This story is just another example of this tyranny.

The good thing here is that the scientists are fighting back, using policies that Barack Obama himself instituted. We shall see if those policies mean anything as this case goes forward.

8 Comments
  1. wodun says:

    Not surprising. Just like the constitution, leftists only like science when it can be used for political gain.

  2. I’m split on this one. I don’t like to see ideology triumph over facts, but I’m not adverse to seeing a government agency dismantled.

  3. D. K. Williams says:

    Agree with wodun and Blair.

  4. AFree American says:

    Dr. James Hansen seeks recruits from OccupyWallStreet ….

    Hi Robert,

    I very much enjoy your interviews on The Space Show & The John Bachelor show. I did not find the best place to post this so I chose here.

    I want to bring to your attention that Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is recruiting likeminded propagandists from the hard left radical ranks of OccupyWallStreet.

    Details here: http://www.nycga.net/events/confronting-the-climate-crisis-can-labor-help-shape-an-effective-strategy/

    Living in NYC, I was very interested in OccupyWallStreet. While they were occupying Liberty Park several times & for countless hours I attended OWS General Assemblies (meetings), spoke with the “leaders” of the professed “leaderless” OWS, & spoke with dozens of the members. Contrary to the cuddly opinions of the uninformed public, OWS is composed mostly of Statist brainwashed youth of VERY privileged upbringing (some in their 40’s) & hard left radicals puppeteering the youth.

    In a few months of occupation, OWS took in over $750,000.00 in donations from hard working families from around the world & made it disappear with almost no accounting to show where it went. OWS provided next to NO AID to anyone except themselves.

    That Dr. James Hansen feels a kindred spirit with the fraud that is OWS is completely in harmony with his activities now at NASA.

    I hope you can use this info to further expose the fraud & deceit that is Dr. James Hansen.

    AFree American

    • This is very interesting. Thank you for the link and tip. I will probably discuss this on John Batchelor tonight.

    • One more question: will you be attending Hansen’s lecture tonight, and if so, can you get video?

      • AFree American says:

        Sorry Robert,

        Dr. James Hansen’s “Teach-In” was at 8:30 AM EST this morning. I find it very hard to stomach attending these far left radical meetings with their snugness, militancy, & extreme totalitarian sympathies, especially so early in the morning. The contact is someone going by the handle “misfist”. This is thugish handle is completely in OWS character.

        In the past when OWS was flush with good will from OWS propaganda “True Believers”, OWS would post numerous videos of their meetings. Not so much anymore.

        FYI: The Joseph A. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies offers higher education programs for working adults and union members, and serves as a resource center to labor, academic, and community leaders seeking a deeper understanding of labor and urban issues. Self-described (here: http://sps.cuny.edu/institutes/jsmi). I believe this CUNY School sees a part of its mission is teaching Labor Agitation.

        • I realized after I sent you my last comment that the lecture had already taken place. Oh well. Maybe someone will post something on youtube. I am sure it will be very educational.

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