[Marxism] Katrina's real name

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Tue Aug 30 14:24:17 MDT 2005

Austin, Andrew :

(There is a lot more that has happened to me because of my work in this
area, including a smear campaign by right-wing AM radio and College
Republicans, as well as hostile e-mails and phone calls from around the
United States and Canada.  We are a paper mill town, and I have been
pursuing the issue of the destruction of the Fox River and the bay.  The
industry mounted an impressive propaganda campaign to sabotage my tenure,
but, my record being as it is, there was no way the powers-that-be could
have found a way to stop me from obtaining tenure.  It is an irony that my
award for best article in 2002 contributed to my getting tenure in a city
shaped by the interests of polluting corporations!)


Republicans accused of witch-hunt against climate change scientists

Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Tuesday August 30, 2005

Some of America's leading scientists have accused Republican
politicians of intimidating climate-change experts by placing them
under unprecedented scrutiny.

A far-reaching inquiry into the careers of three of the US's most
senior climate specialists has been launched by Joe Barton, the
chairman of the House of Representatives committee on energy and
commerce. He has demanded details of all their sources of funding,
methods and everything they have ever published.

Mr Barton, a Texan closely associated with the fossil-fuel lobby, has
spent his 11 years as chairman opposing every piece of legislation
designed to combat climate change.

He is using the wide powers of his committee to force the scientists
to produce great quantities of material after alleging flaws and lack
of transparency in their research. He is working with Ed Whitfield,
the chairman of the sub-committee on oversight and investigations.

The scientific work they are investigating was important in
establishing that man-made carbon emissions were at least partly
responsible for global warming, and formed part of the 2001 report of
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which convinced most
world leaders - George Bush was a notable exception - that urgent
action was needed to curb greenhouse gases.

The demands in letters sent to the scientists have been compared by
some US media commentators to the anti-communist "witch-hunts" pursued
by Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.

The three US climate scientists - Michael Mann, the director of the
Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University; Raymond
Bradley, the director of the Climate System Research Centre at the
University of Massachusetts; and Malcolm Hughes, the former director
of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona -
have been told to send large volumes of material.

A letter demanding information on the three and their work has also
gone to Arden Bement, the director of the US National Science

Mr Barton's inquiry was launched after an article in the Wall Street
Journal quoted an economist and a statistician, neither of them from a
climate science background, saying there were methodological flaws and
data errors in the three scientists' calculations. It accused the trio
of refusing to make their original material available to be

Mr Barton then asked for everything the scientists had ever published
and all baseline data. He said the information was necessary because
Congress was going to make policy decisions drawing on their work, and
his committee needed to check its validity.

There followed a demand for details of everything they had done since
their careers began, funding received and procedures for data

The inquiry has sent shockwaves through the US scientific
establishment, already under pressure from the Bush administration,
which links funding to policy objectives.

Eighteen of the country's most influential scientists from Princeton
and Harvard have written to Mr Barton and Mr Whitfield expressing
"deep concern". Their letter says much of the information requested is
unrelated to climate science.

It says: "Requests to provide all working materials related to
hundreds of publications stretching back decades can be seen as
intimidation - intentional or not - and thereby risks compromising the
independence of scientific opinion that is vital to the pre-eminence
of American science as well as to the flow of objective science to the

Alan Leshner protested on behalf of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, expressing "deep concern" about the inquiry,
which appeared to be "a search for a basis to discredit the particular
scientists rather than a search for understanding".

Political reaction has been stronger. Henry Waxman, a senior
Californian Democrat, wrote complaining that this was a "dubious"
inquiry which many viewed as a "transparent effort to bully and harass
climate-change experts who have reached conclusions with which you

But the strongest language came from another Republican, Sherwood
Boehlert, the chairman of the house science committee. He wrote to
"express my strenuous objections to what I see as the misguided and
illegitimate investigation".

He said it was pernicious to substitute political review for
scientific peer review and the precedent was "truly chilling". He said
the inquiry "seeks to erase the line between science and politics" and
should be reconsidered.

A spokeswoman for Mr Barton said yesterday that all the required
written evidence had been collected.

"The committee will review everything we have and decided how best to
proceed. No decision has yet been made whether to have public hearings
to investigate the validity of the scientists' findings, but that
could be the next step for this autumn," she said.

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