Election 2010: Will GOP Victory Lead to Anti-Science Crusade?
Climate scientist Michael Mann had an op ed in the Washington Post, warning what we might have to look forward to if the Republicans take back the House of Representatives: two years of headline-grabbing anti-science “investigations” that will set this country back rather than move us forward into the 21st century.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has threatened that, if he becomes chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he will launch what would be a hostile investigation of climate science. The focus would be on e-mails stolen from scientists at the University of East Anglia in Britain last fall that climate-change deniers have falsely claimed demonstrate wrongdoing by scientists, including me.Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) may do the same if he takes over a committee on climate change and energy security.
My employer, Penn State University, exonerated meafter a thorough investigation of my e-mails in the East Anglia archive. Five independent investigations in Britain and the United States, and a thorough recent review by the Environmental Protection Agency, also have cleared the scientists of accusations of impropriety.
Global warming is only the beginning. With the ideologues holding the reigns of the GOP already talking about “no compromise” once they take control, expect the same on endangered species, clean energy/dirty coal, pesticides, GMOs, and a host of other issues. And it’s coming at the worst possible time.
Challenges to policy proposals for how to deal with this problem should be welcome — indeed, a good-faith debate is essential for wise public policymaking.
But the attacks against the science must stop. They are not good-faith questioning of scientific research. They are anti-science.
…My fellow scientists and I must be ready to stand up to blatant abuse from politicians who seek to mislead and distract the public. They are hurting American science. And their failure to accept the reality of climate change will hurt our children and grandchildren, too.
Want to know how your representatives stand on climate science, clean energy and a host of other environmental issues? Check out our Voter Guide list…