Two interesting posts on Roger Pielke Jr’s excellent and open-minded Prometheus blog today speak to the subject of my recent New Atlantis essay, “Eco-censorship.” In the first, a Chancellor of a Canadian university is chided for giving “poorly-considered credence to widely discredited extremist opinions such as these.” What discredited extremist opinions? These:
And in science there’s almost never black and white. We don’t know what next week’s weather going to be. To say in 50 or 100 years, the temperature is going to do this, is a bit of a stretch for me.
Her critics included professors from such hard scientific disciplines as nursing and journalism.
In the second, a federal scientist expresses outrage that he wasn’t allowed to utter the word “Kyoto” in public. Another example of the Bush Administration shutting down scientific debate? Well, aside from the fact that Kyoto has very little to do with science, quite possibly not…
Elkins studies greenhouse gases and has worked at NOAA for more than 20 years. He said he can’t remember when the directive was issued, but it was “probably in 2000 or 2001.”
Now who was President in 2000, hmm?
We at CEI are very much in favor of free speech. We are also very much in favor of employers’ rights to set conditions on the acceptable conduct of their employees; and employees to be able to walk away from what they consider unacceptable conditions. As Roger Pielke Jr himself says in the comments section:
Indeed for government to work it needs a consistency in approach to policies. Imagine if every State Department employee was out giving public comments about their personal views on Iran or Israel.
Yet there are good and bad ways for employers to act. As Roger puts it, NOAA and other agencies have a history of “ham-handed and self-destructive” approaches to their policies. That goes whoever the President was. One might even suspect it to be a symptom of the disease of bureaucracy…