from A Shameful Climate Witch Hunt by Rich Lowry in The Wall Street Journal

Let the climate inquisition begin. The ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, has written to seven universities about seven researchers who harbor impure thoughts about climate change. One of the targets is Steven Hayward, an author and academic now at Pepperdine University. As Hayward puts it, the spirit of the inquiry is, “Are you now or have you ever been a climate skeptic?”

Soon’s lapse aside, the assumption of Grijalva’s fishing expedition is that anyone who questions global-warming orthodoxy is a greedy tool of Big Oil and must be harried in the name of planetary justice and survival.

Science as an enterprise usually doesn’t need political enforcers. But proponents of a climate alarmism that demands immediate action to avert worldwide catastrophe won’t and can’t simply let the science speak for itself.

Consider the plight of Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado Boulder, who has done work on extreme weather. He, too, is on the receiving end of one of Grijalva’s letters. At first blush, Pielke seems a most unlikely target. It’s not that he doubts climate change, or even doubts that it could be harmful. His offense is merely pointing to data showing that extreme weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, and droughts haven’t yet been affected by climate change. This is enough to enrage advocates who need immediate disasters as a handy political cudgel.

It can’t be Apocalypse 100 Years From Now; it has to be Apocalypse Now.

It has to be counted a small victory in this project that Pielke will no longer be an obstacle. Citing his harassment, Pielke has sworn off academic work on climate issues. And so the alarmists have hounded a serious researcher out of the climate business. All hail science! The other day, the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, quit amid a sexual-harassment scandal and noted in his letter of resignation: “For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion.”

Is it too much to ask that the man in charge of a project supposedly marshaling the best scientific evidence for the objective consideration of a highly complex and contested phenomenon not feel that he has a religious commitment to a certain outcome?

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