Question Environmentalist Orthodoxy, Get Fired?
April 4, 2011
by David French
National Review Online
Through FIRE, I discovered the ReasonTV report below about Prof. James Enstrom's ordeal at UCLA. Professor Enstrom's research questioned the link between diesel particulate pollution and premature mortality. Professor Enstrom's findings were at odds with conclusions drawn the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which had determined that particulate pollution was killing thousands of Californians and would thus be subject to stringent new regulations.
When Professor Enstrom dug deeper into CARB's findings, he discovered that CARB was relying in large part on the work of a "scientist" who'd purchased his Ph.D. from a diploma mill. He blew the whistle on this serious fraud, there were some minor bureaucratic consequences within CARB, yet CARB is plunging ahead with its regulations anyway. And what was UCLA's response to Professor Enstrom's solid science and strong stand for scientific integrity? It began terminations proceedings against Professor Enstrom, with justifications that - as FIRE's Adam Kissel notes - simply don't wash.
It would be a lot easier to respect "scientific consensus" in the realm of environmental policy if the actual scientists were proving themselves to be trustworthy.