Posted by: ericgrimsrud | December 22, 2016

“Sir, are you now, or have you ever been, a climatologist?”

President-elect Donald Trump has asked the Department of Energy to provide him with a list of their employees who have attended conferences dealing with the subject of climate change. In addition, he has asked the DOE to provide lists of all websites their employees maintain or contribute to. These requests are clearly aimed at climate scientists since most of the national DOE labs conduct research related to climate change, including climate modeling, data analysis and data storage. Thus, Trump appears to be getting ready to “cleanse” the DOE of scientists who either believe that man-caused global warming is real or, at the very least, consider the topic to be worthy of study.

This bizarre behavior of President-elect Trump is reminiscent of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “commie witch hunts” of the 1950’s in which he claimed to be exposing and routing out communists from all aspects of American life in and out of government with an emphasis on the State Department and the US Army. His countless interrogations of individuals before his Senate committees invariably included the question “Sir, are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the communist party?” Although Senator McCarthy’s smear campaign eventually led to his downfall and censure by a Senate vote of 76 to 22 in December 1954, his reckless and unfounded claims did a lot of damage to both individuals and American institutions at that time.

The fact that President-elect Trump is now using McCarthyite techniques to “rout out” climate change scientists would be entirely laughable if it were not so sad. Is our future President so ignorant of US history and culture that we would not see the absolute folly and childishness of his attempt to discredit American scientists? Is he also so ignorant of world history that he does not know the result of Hitler’s campaign in the 1930’s to rid German universities of their Jewish professors?  His success in that endeavor left Germany with a second-rate set of scientists in all areas while their best and brightest migrated to England and the USA. Even though the first discovery of nuclear fission was made Germany in 1938, the rapid application of that knowledge leading to nuclear reactors and weapons occurred only in the USA. Having routed out all proponents of “Jewish science”, the German program for making a nuclear bomb never got to first base.

So the question is: is our next President so ignorant of both science and 20th Century history that he would attempt to rid or marginalize the influence of American scientists in any area and especially in the all important area of climate change? The very clear answer to that question appears to be “yes”, he is trying to do just that and, yes, he is clearly that ignorant and foolish. Furthermore, he seems to be a man who thinks that all ultimate truth is what he wishes it to be. Given his questionable attitude towards women, in general, he probably thinks that he can even grab Mother Nature by the whatever and get Her to do his bidding. Apparently, he does not know yet that She is one tough Mother and does things only one way, Her way. Since the rest of us will suffer the same fate as our new Fuhrer, however, perhaps we should do our very best to reign this intellectual moron before his administration reaches the bunker stage. In this endeavor, it would be most helpful if the majority party in both the Senate and House also did not believe that the American community of climate scientists was fatally “infected” with a Chinese virus, as Mr. Trump claims.

One wonders if we are about to enter a low point in American history in which our main contribution to the rest of the world will be the dark humor as is now reported weekly on Saturday Night Live.




  1. “This bizarre behavior of President-elect Trump is reminiscent of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “commie witch hunts” of the 1950’s……” I assume that your selective memory doesn’t allow you to re all that under Barack Hussein Obama the IRS was allowed to target select conservative groups, such as the Tea Party, to be harassed by the IRS. When taken to task over this the records of this illegal IRS action had been destroyed and were not produced to a Congressional investigating committee.

  2. “Since the rest of us will suffer the same fate as our new Fuhrer, however, perhaps we should do our very best to reign this intellectual moron before his administration reaches the bunker stage.”

    The same should have been said regarding Barack Hussein Obama before he started to try to keep the US from becoming energy independent and now in the last days of his failed administration he has placed a ban on energy development in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic. He is trying to lock up more of Utah that has resources that, if the nation was blessed with a good economy, would require to grow it GNP.

    It looks like when Obama and Jewell spout this nonsense, it is fine with Eric.

    Interior Secretary Sally Jewell wants to get rid of any climate change denial at the agency, telling her employees this week that if they doubt the existence of manmade global warming, they need to visit some federal lands to see the proof.
    “I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of Interior,” Jewell said Wednesday.
    E&E News reported that Jewell invited any individuals who still hold such views to see the melting permafrost in Alaska or the disappearing snowpacks in the Sierra Mountains.
    “If you don’t believe in it, come out into the resources,” she added.
    Jewell, the former CEO of Recreation Equipment Inc., took over at the Interior Department in April.>

    Great credentials, I’m sure, for this job, in a liberal’s mind.

    • Jdouglas:
      Your arguments would have been valid and you anger justified if you had had science and climate observations in your side. Unfortunately for you, you dont. Indeed the case against your beliefs are noe so overwhelming that skeptics and denier, like you, are in danger of spending many years of your life in shame and ridicule.

      • So, the one who doesn’t stand by their observations enough to even use their own name,  cognitiophile, believe that I didn’t have science and climate observations in my side. Am I to assume that you are too pressed for time to out line what science and climate observations I am mistaken about.

        Is the North Pole going to melt entirely ? Are the Arctic regions warm-ing up, with prospect of a great cli-matic chaange in that part of the  world ?”        

        No, cognitiophile, this and what follows are not observations from your contemporaries who have no proof of any of their wild conjectures about what the state of today’s climate is but come from “Sat 7 Apr 1923 Page 2 NORTH POLE MELTING”
        Or this one from 1947:
        LOS ANGELES, Friday.  Saturday 31 May 1947
        Dr. Hans Ahlman, a noted Swedish geophysicist, claimed that a mysteri- ous warming is manifesting itself in the Arctic and if the major ice cap at Greenland should be reduced, the oceanic surfaces will rise to ”catas- trophic proportions,” inundating people living in lowlands along the shores.    
        Dr. Ahlman urged the establish- ment of an international agency to study conditions on a global basis. Temperatures had risen 10 degrees since 1900. The navigable season along Western Spitzbergen now last- ed eight months instead of three.

        “Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at “The Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”

        Who reported this ? the IPCC, the Meteorological Office…. No, that was the US Weather Bureau in 1922.
        “The source report of the Washington Post article on changes in the arctic has been found in the Monthly Weather Review for November 1922. It is much more detailed than the Washington Post (Associated Press) article. It seems the AP heaviliy relied on the report from Norway Consulate George Ifft, which is shown below. See the original MWR article below and click the newsprint copy for a complete artice or see the link to the original PDF below:”

        I hope that even you can see that you and the rest of the alarmist reports have not been accurate and yet you actually believe all of the conjecture about the climate and CO₂.
        John D Swallow

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