Quantcast

Think Tank Compares Climate Scientist to Child Molester

Climate

Union of Concerned Scientists

By Michael Halpern

Pennsylvania State University Climatologist Michael Mann. Photo by Greg Rico.

Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI) space technology and policy analyst, Rand Simberg, recently wrote a blog post in which he compared Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann to former university football coach and convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. CEI published the post on its own blog, and the National Review decided it was appropriate to pass along. Michael Mann has rightly demanded that the National Review retract the blog post and issue a public apology.

The most offensive section of the CEI post, which has since been scrubbed:

“Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science.”

The National Review has not responded or issued an apology; Simberg’s post does now include the following caveat: “Two inappropriate sentences that originally appeared in this post have been removed by the editor.”

I was stunned when I heard that the Heartland Institute had compared climate scientists to the Unabomber. We all know they’re a group that’s on the fringe even among climate deniers.

But I am aghast that a representative of the Competitive Enterprise Institute—purportedly, a think tank that wants the public to take it seriously—would compare climate scientists to child molesters.

Perhaps the companies and individuals that withdrew their funding of the Heartland Institute might want to think twice about funding its partner in crossing the line. At a minimum, they should demand that CEI publicly apologize for inserting this sort of vitriol into the public discussion around climate change.

CEI has yet to publicly distance itself from its employee’s words. We call upon CEI to do so explicitly and directly, and to ask the National Review to remove the offensive words from its website.

Michael Mann, whose research has been the subject of eight independent investigations exonerating him against charges of scientific misconduct, is right to aggressively defend himself against defamation of character. Especially in an age where scientists receive death threats simply for doing their jobs.

Disgusting attacks like these have no place in civilized discourse.

Visit EcoWatch's CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A man wearing a protective mask sits on the lawn in front of the Australian Parliament house in Canberra, Australia on Jan. 1, 2020. The level of air pollution in Canberra is the highest in the world on some days. Daniiielc / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Researchers now say there is "no safe level" of air pollution exposure after a large-scale study found a correlation between exposure to fine particle matter, known as PM2.5, and cardiac arrests, according to the The Sydney Morning Herald.

Read More
The British Medical Journal announced a fossil fuel divestment campaign. Andrew Matthews / PA Images via Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Respected medical journal The BMJ drew praise online from climate activists and medical professionals for its newly-announced fossil fuel divestment campaign.

Read More
Sponsored
A roller coaster on the Jersey Shore flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Hurricane_Sandy_New_Jersey_Pier.jpg: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / U.S. Air Force / New Jersey National Guard / CC BY 2.0

New Jersey will be the first state in the U.S. to require builders to take the climate crisis into consideration before seeking permission for a project.

Read More
Workers selectively harvest slightly under-ripe Syrah grapes to make a Blanc de Noir wine for the Israeli winery Zaza on Aug. 6, 2019 in central Israel. Israeli vintners are harvesting their grapes earlier than they did a decade ago due to shorter winters and more intense summers. David Silverman / Getty Images

The climate crisis may be coming for your favorite wines.

Read More
An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on Nov. 15, 2018 in Paradise, Calif. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.

Read More