The Hounding of Roger Pielke Jr amid the demise of academic freedom in climate change

Academic freedom is squashed when scholars challenge any of the principle tenets of climate change and one of the most egregious examples of this has been the hounding of Roger Pielke Jr., explained in detail in a briefing paper published today.

If this is what climate change activists and their supporters in academia will do to a senior professor like Roger Pielke Jr., who really only disagrees with them on a single point, it’s no wonder that adjunct professors like myself have been virtually powerless in defending ourselves when the university mob mobilizes to attack with earnest (Laframboise 2019).

Here’s the executive summary, by civil liberties journalist Donna Laframboise:

Climate change, we’re told, threatens the ‘viability of our societies‘. In August 2021, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres declared the alarm bells ‘deafening‘. If this is even remotely the case, humanity is in urgent need of clear thinking.

But the climate movement rejects clear thinking. It has little interest in sorting facts from fiction, in ensuring its efforts are based on evidence rather than dogma. The hostility and venom directed at Roger Pielke Jr, a natural disasters expert who wholeheartedly supports decarbonisation of the global economy, demonstrates this beyond doubt.

Stray but a little from the dominant climate narrative, and activists will fantasise about your violent death. They will dismiss your peer-reviewed publications as marginal, accuse you of spreading disinformation, and successfully campaign to get you fired from part-time jobs. They will publish false allegations about you on the White House website, target journalists who quote you in news stories, and subject you to punitive, intrusive, and extensive financial investigation.

In recent years, Roger Pielke Jr has further discovered that academic freedom is an empty slogan at the University of Colorado (Boulder), his primary employer. Rather than defending its most senior environmental studies professor, his own department is now determinedly harassing and humiliating him.

From the paper’s press release issued by the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

Professor Pielke, one of the world’s leading environmental scientists, has been a vocal supporter of decarbonisation efforts, but this has not prevented green activists from engaging in an extraordinary campaign to silence him because he refuses to support claims that extreme weather is worsening.

And he is still being hounded today, with the University of Colorado Boulder launching and then dropping an investigation of his conduct, and forcing Pielke – their most senior environmental studies professor – to move to a tiny windowless office…

GWPF Director Dr Benny Peiser said:”The witch-hunt against Roger Pielke Jr. is symptomatic of a problem that we are seeing in universities across the developed world, with activists trying to silence dissenting opinions, and with the tacit, and in many case the active, support of administrators.

“Universities need to take great care – if the public lose faith in the system, public funding and generous donations from alumni can dry up very quickly.”

Laframboise, D. 2021. The Hounding of Roger Pielke Jr. Global Warming Policy Foundation Briefing Paper #58. 11 November. Pdf here.

See also

Laframboise, D. 2019. The Defenestration of Dr. Crockford: Silencing Dissent at the University of Victoria. Global Warming Policy Foundation Briefing Paper #45. 21 October. Pdf here.

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