Allegations of science pandering

Texas Rainmaker called it the Silence of the Lame. The issue is the claims of James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He thinks the Bush administration has improperly squashed climate scientists and their research. He is irked because he does not get the funding he thinks he should and for other reasons. The absurdity of his claim is pointed out in his responses at a Congressional hearing reported in the Washington Times.

“We have over 1,400 opportunities that you’ve availed yourself to, and yet you call it, you know, being stifled,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican.

Mr. Hansen responded: “For the sake of the taxpayers, they should be availed of my expertise. I shouldn’t be required to parrot some company line.”

The fact is that an employee is burdened by his employment. There are proper ways to disagree with policies of one’s employer. Mr. Hansen illustrates an approach that puts narcissism first. Anyone who gets in his way or disagrees with him is subject to insult and allegation. The rules and previously accepted norms of civil behavior are to be cast aside as the end justifies the means.

In a case like this, to evaluate Mr. Hansen’s allegations a first criterion is in the behavior of the accuser. In this case the behavior lacks integrity in many ways. That should create a great deal of skepticism about the credibility of the allegations and stimulate some questioning about the motivations behind them.

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