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Seven Victims of the Climate Witch Hunt

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Very rarely are scientists sacked for their difference of opinion. But such hostility toward dissenters is becoming increasingly common in climate science, and it is not limited just to scientists.


Marine biologist Peter Ridd was sacked last month by James Cook University (JCU) in Australia for disagreeing on the state of the Great Barrier Reef.

Ridd, a skeptic of exaggerated impacts of climate change on coral reefs, was put on notice earlier this year after he expressed his opinion on a private news channel.

Despite Ridd’s posing no threat to the university or to the health of research there, the university sacked him for disagreeing with some propaganda climate alarmists use to scare the general public—the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef due to man-made climate change.

The health of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest and most biodiverse coral reef, is not as bad as claimed by scientists who advocate climate alarmism.

Ridd is not the only victim of this climate witch-hunt. Climate alarmists routinely attack scientists who pose a threat to the extremist narrative. Here are six others (out of many), with links to articles that document their persecution:

  • Roger A. Pielke, Jr., is a political scientist known for his expertise in public policy, science, environment-society interactions, and advocates of climate science that is free from political influence.
  • Ross McKitrick, tenured professor at the University of Guelph, is a Canadian economist specializing in environmental economics and policy analysis. He played an important role in unearthing the undeniable flaws in the current climate change models used by alarmist scientists, especially the Hockey Stick Graph.
  • John Christy, is a climate scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), where he and another climate scientist, Roy Spencer, developed the first successful satellite temperature record. He has testified to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology on the faulty nature of climate models and how the warming trend has been exaggerated by climate alarmists.
  • Fred Singer, an emeritus professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia, was the first director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics, he is known for his ground-breaking contributions in space research, atmospheric pollution, rocket and satellite technology, and stratospheric ozone loss.
  • Judith Curry, is an acclaimed climatologist and critic of climate alarmism, who endured hostility from climate alarmists. She was the former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a recipient of the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society.
  • David Legates, a geologist and climatologist, is the former Director of the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware. He is known for his research papers, opinion editorials, and talks on the dangers of climate alarmism.

This attitude of climate alarmists that all critics must be attacked and silenced undermines science by curtailing freedom of speech, destroying the environment necessary for scientific debate.

More worryingly, alarmists’ censorship curtails the culture of evidence-based empirical science, in which observational data override any theory.

Alarmists’ obsession with faulty forecasts about our climatic system and hypotheses about the coming climate doomsday has led them to resist any challenge posed by actual, real-time observational data that indicate otherwise.

And this pervasive attitude of alarmists is not just within the academies!

It is surprising and shocking how the alarmist contingent weeds out dissenting voices from all spheres of our society, including mass media and political institutions.

The majority of climate alarmists oppose President Trump because of his more neutral stance on climate. In fact, some call for imprisonment of politicians who fail to endorse the climate doomsday agenda.

And, any journalist in the liberal media who writes or speaks against the doomsday narrative will be quickly reprimanded.

Case in point? Bret Stephens, formerly a Wall Street Journal columnist who moved to the New York Times, got blasted by climatistas for pointing out that aside from the pretty universally accepted facts that global temperature had risen by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880 and that human action contributed to the warming, everything else was up for grabs—as any reading of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s massive reports would show.


One fellow journalist—if you can call her that—Libby Watson of Gizmodo, tweeted something so vulgar I can’t quote it. Eve Peyser at Vice called his ideas “violently hateful.” And some social media users called for a boycott of the Times for publishing Stephens’s article, while others created a petition on demanding that he be fired.

Dissenters are even cut off from discussion in social media. A climate scientist controversial for his infamous hockey stick graph that minimized climate change over the past thousand years but exaggerated it over the past century blocked me from his Twitter account after I retweeted one of his tweets.

It is quite extraordinary that climate scientists block skeptical voices on the social media platform, yet claim that they are the real agents for the progress of climate science.

Alarmist climate scientists, largely steered by grant providers, are turning their field into what is at best pseudo-science. It looks like science and is performed by scientists, but both its practice and its conclusions are driven by vested interests of lobbyists, politicians, and global governance institutions.

Climate science is truly in a sorry state. Proponents and advocates of real science must protest climate alarmists’ calculated attacks on skeptics—whose probing questions are marks of the truly scientific mind—in universities and the press. We’re glad to see that one of them, Cliff Mass, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, has spoken out boldly against calling skeptics “deniers.” Many more should join him.


It is high time scientists, journalists, and politicians stopped suppressing skeptical voices and attacking the skeptics in the climate-change debate. They should instead promote critical enquiry in climate science—the same critical enquiry that has made so many other branches of science successful in the quest for true understanding of the world around us, how it works, and how we can make it work better for mankind.

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