Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Federally-Funded Fear

The Bush White House took a lot of heat for "politicizing science," and for allegedly muzzling federal employees who didn't agree with the administration's cautious approach on climate change. But if all the government's in-the-closet climate alarmists were being persecuted, how to explain the perpetually sky-high profile of NASA climatologist James Hansen, whose spokesman work for the Chicken Little Lobby didn't slow down a bit during the Bush years.

If ever a federal employee needed muzzling, or a career change, it's Hansen, who travels the globe, trading on his NASA credentials, while spewing sensationalist climate spin to any audience that will listen. And plenty evidently will. The man is not a "scientist," in any serious sense: he's an extreme ideologue, shilling for a cause. Hansen could earn a very good living trading on fear in the private sector -- it's a big business, as Al Gore can attest. I'm sure any number of environmental groups would pay him a hefty sum to serve as their front man. But as a taxpayer, I resent having to help pay the man's salary, and help pay his future pension, and I fear his association with NASA is threatening the agency's already-shaky stature and credibility.

Will someone in the Obama Administration please fire James Hansen? Even if it makes him a martyr, it would do the tarnished reputations of climate science and the federal government a world of good.

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