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Turnabout is fair play? The lead signer of a letter from global warming scientists demanding the Obama administration investigate and prosecute corporations and scientists who express skepticism of human-caused global warming are now being investigated themselves.
Last week, Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the chairman of the science panel of the House of Representatives, announced plans to investigate a nonprofit research group led by climate scientist Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He is the lead signer of a letter to White House officials that urges the use of an antiracketeering law to crack down on energy firms that have funded efforts to raise doubts about climate science.
In a 1 October letter, Smith asked Shukla, who is director of the independent Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES) in Rockville, Maryland, to preserve all of the “email, electronic documents, and data” that the institute has created since 2009. Smith’s panel soon may be asking for those documents, the letter suggests.
This is not good news and illustrates the truly poisonous culture we now live in. The original demand that skeptics be prosecuted was horrible. To respond by considering prosecution of global warming scientists is just as bad.
The solution to the debate about climate is to do research, to openly challenge the theories and claims of either side with facts. Attacking those with whom you disagree gets us no closer to the truth, and in fact hinders that effort significantly.