If you've paid any attention to the global warming debate, you've heard of James Hansen.
Hansen is the politicized NASA climate scientist who virtually invented the global warming issue in the broiling summer of 1988 when he was the star doomsayer at Senate hearings called by Al Gore.
Since then, Hansen has received better press than Mother Teresa. In hundreds of interviews and glowing profiles, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has been treated as objective and/or infallible by an adoring mainstream liberal media.
Yet Hansen's not even close to being an objective scientist. He is openly ideological and rabidly partisan. His political pals and financial patrons are liberal Democrats -- Gore, John Kerry and left-wing groups funded by George Soros and Teresa Heinz.
Nor is Hansen part of the hallowed scientific "consensus" on global warming. He's much more apocalyptic. He still predicts faster and much greater sea-level rises, ice-sheet meltings and species extinctions than the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Hansen's Teflon credibility wasn't even scratched after the August revelation that since 2000 he and his fellow scientists had been incorrectly crunching the data from about 1,200 ground weather stations that NASA uses to take the country's annual average temperature -- and which the unquestioning mainstream media used as "proof" the country has been getting hotter every year since 1998.
In 2005, Hansen complained that officials in the Bush administration were editing/censoring what he said and wrote about the alleged human causes and scary consequences of climate change. If you read Hansen's overheated bloggings, you might understand why the Bushies wanted to cool him down.
Here's a sample paragraph or three:
"The deceit behind the attempts to discredit evidence of climate change reveals matters of importance. This deceit has a clear purpose: to confuse the public about the status of knowledge of global climate change, thus delaying effective action to mitigate climate change. The danger is that delay will cause tipping points to be passed, such that large climate impacts become inevitable, including the loss of all Arctic sea ice, destabilization of the West Antarctic ice sheet with disastrous sea level rise later this century, and extermination of a large fraction of animal and plant species.
"Make no doubt, however, if tipping points are passed, if we, in effect, destroy Creation, passing on to our children, grandchildren, and the unborn a situation out of their control, the contrarians who work to deny and confuse will not be the principal culprits. The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. ...
"The real deal is this: the 'royalty' controlling the court, the ones with the power, the ones with the ability to make a difference, with the ability to change our course, the ones who will live in infamy if we pass the tipping points, are the captains of industry, CEOs in fossil fuel companies such as EXXON/Mobil, automobile manufacturers, utilities, all of the leaders who have placed short-term profit above the fate of the planet and the well-being of our children."
Ordinarily, ravings like this would raise doubts about a scientist's credibility -- if not destroy it forever. But so far Hansen's soulmates in the media either haven't noticed or don't care.