In August of this past year, at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, professors Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren and Eileen Skahill sent an email to their “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age” students declaring that those who disagree with the notion that climate change is man-made should drop their class.
At Georgia Tech, Dr. Judith Curry, a respected climate scientist who recently was targeted for coming out as a climate skeptic after decades of believing in man-made global warming, resigned this past December.
In her farewell comments, Dr. Curry said,“I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, etc…. How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide.”
These are just two case studies of a larger problem of an infringement on academic freedom at our nation’s institutions of higher education. Those who disagree with the so-called consensus on global warming are vilified, attacked and ostracized. This goes for students, professors, and the administration.
The solution is easier than one might guess. Simply by changing the way our federal government approaches climate change research funding to our universities, we can change the culture at our institutions of higher education.
According to the Science and Public Policy Institute, the federal government has funded scientific research to the tune of $32.5 billion since 1989. That does not include the billions that President Obama has funneled towards the subject during his tenure.
In order to receive federal science grants, universities and professors should be required to respect the academic freedom of ideas on climate change. Have climate research grants not only open to those professors who are looking for proof of man-made climate change, but those who are potentially skeptical of climate change as well.
If our government can do this, we can start reclaiming the minds of the upcoming generation on the issue of climate change, and create a culture of vigorous scientific debate and academic integrity.