Damning ‘Thinkprogress’, CU board shows support for faculty, students’ academic freedom

From the Boulder Daily Camera By Sarah Kuta, Staff Writer

POSTED: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 – 8:12 p.m.

DENVER — The University of Colorado’s Board of Regents reaffirmed its support for academic freedom on Thursday in light of recently released emails that showed that a liberal group targeted CU Boulder Professor Roger Pielke Jr. for his writings on climate change.

At a regular meeting in Denver, the regents passed a resolution 9-0 to send the message that “faculty and students must have complete freedom to study, to learn, to do research and to communicate the results of these pursuits to others.”

The principles of academic freedom are codified in regent laws, which govern the university. The board was restating its commitment to those principles on Thursday.

Though he was not mentioned in the resolution, Pielke was the motivating factor behind it, according to its author, Regent John Carson, a Republican from Highlands Ranch.

Pielke was the subject of a 2014 email sent by the editor of ThinkProgress, a website that’s part of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the advocacy arm of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.

In Judd Legum’s email to billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, Legum described how he believed the website got Pielke to stop writing about climate change for the data-focused news website FiveThirtyEight.

The email was part of an October WikiLeaks dump of emails involving John Podesta, the founder of the Center for American Progress and the chairman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Pielke and others described the email as evidence that there was a “politically motivated campaign” to damage his career and reputation. Ultimately, he stopped writing about climate change and now directs CU’s new Center for Sports Governance.

Pielke writes a regular sports column for the Daily Camera.

Carson said he felt that type of conduct was unacceptable and that he thought the board should show all CU faculty and researchers that it stands behind them.

“I want to go on record making clear that I don’t think this type of conduct is appropriate and we’re going to defend our faculty and we’re going to go on record, when we find out about these types of things, opposing it,” Carson said.

Pielke wrote for FiveThirtyEight that “human-caused climate change is both real and important,” but came under fire for an essay the website published in which he argued that rising natural disaster costs were not linked to climate change.

Reporters at ThinkProgress asked several climate scientists to weigh in on Pielke’s claims and published stories in which those scientists said Pielke’s claims were misleading. By Pielke’s count, the website has published more than 160 critical articles about him.

Legum, the ThinkProgress editor, said there was no organized campaign to damage Pielke’s career. Rather, the website was trying to report accurate information about climate change.

“There was inaccurate information being presented in his writing … We called a number of climate scientists and asked them about the claims he was making in this piece,” Legum told the Daily Camera last month. “They said that there were a lot of really inaccurate or misleading things, and we reported on that.”

Pielke was also the target of a 2015 investigation led by a Democratic congressman into whether he had received funding for his work at CU from fossil fuel companies.

In response, CU President Bruce Benson wrote that the university “did not discover any information indicating that Pielke’s funding sources influenced his research,” adding that Pielke confirmed that he received no funding from the oil and gas industry.

Carson also brought up that congressional inquiry when speaking about the resolution before the board.

Before voting for the resolution at Thursday’s meeting, Regent Michael Carrigan asked Carson if he felt the same way about a spring 2016 congressional inquiry into fetal tissue research at the CU School of Medicine.

Carson said he didn’t see that inquiry as “the same kind of an academic freedom issue” because he thought that request dealt with compliance with federal guidelines.

Don Elliman, chancellor for the Anschutz Medical Campus, said the fetal tissue inquiry “went way beyond the question of whether or not we are compliant with (National Institutes of Health) guidelines.”

Carrigan added: “I hope we are evenhanded on this and recognize that both sides are misusing their political power to pursue an agenda.”

Though he did not attend the meeting, Pielke wrote in an email to the Daily Camera that he felt supported by the leaders of the university.

He said the bipartisan-backed resolution sent a strong message “to my faculty peers who may question whether it is worth participating in important debates of the day — that CU has their back.”

http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-news/ci_30558681/cu-board-shows-support-faculty-students-academic-freedom

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85 thoughts on “Damning ‘Thinkprogress’, CU board shows support for faculty, students’ academic freedom

  1. I hope Dr. Roger Pielke jr. comes back, and again engages in telling people the truth about climate. At the same time, public exoneration of Dr. Willie Soon by Harvard Smithsonian is LONG overdue, to their unquestionable discredit.

      • Quote from the above post:
        “Pielke wrote for FiveThirtyEight that “human-caused climate change is both real and important,” but came under fire for an essay the website published in which he argued that rising natural disaster costs were not linked to climate change.”

        Did you really say that Dr. Pielke?

        My informed opinion, based on my research since 1985 and that of others who I respect, is
        ““Human-caused climate change is at most minor and insignificant.”

        To quantify, the total warming caused by the increase of atmospheric CO2 from ~280 to ~400ppm is probably less than 0.2C. This warming is so small that, while it may be real (although it may not*), it is clearly NOT IMPORTANT.

        I do agree with you that:
        “Rising natural disaster costs are not linked to climate change.”

        Regards, Allan

        * Alleged global warming caused by increasing CO2 may not exist in reality, because CO2 lags temperature in time at all measured time scales. I suggest that the future cannot cause the past.

      • Allan M.R. MacRae, November 11, 2016 at 10:05 pm

        I believe you missed the point of the article. Dr Pielke wrote what he believed to be true and mostly agreed with Thug Progressive. They attacked him for NOT saying it as they prescribed. I do not agree with his conclusions in their entirety, however, this is neither the time nor place for that discussion. Defend his right to speak.

      • If I recall correctly, Pielke Sr. was focused on land-use change WRT climate change, not CO2 drivel.

      • Steve, I did not say he could not speak – just that he was stating the (luke?-)warmist position.

        To be clear, I will always defend Dr. Pielke’s right to speak – even his right to be wrong. It’s a complicated subject, and I suppose there is a ~1% chance that I could be wrong on some of the details. :-)

        It is the radical left who, since Hitler and his Brownshirts, have beaten down the right of others to speak.

        My friend Dr. Tim Ball has received many death threats from green leftist thugs, trying to intimidate him. Other skeptic scientists have as well. One of my American scientist friends had the family dog taken and killed, another apparent intimidation.

        In 2002, I wrote an article in the National Post that strongly opposed the Kyoto Protocol, and received a threat. Just one though. I feel underappreciated – am I not worthy? :-)

        The thuggish behaviour of the radical left is seen everywhere – the recent demonstrations against the Trump election are just one more example of their typically dishonest approach to democracy.

        Best regards, Allan

      • Good for you, Allan MacRae — While we need to support Pielke’s right to speak his mind, it is even MORE imperative that we defend the truth, i.e., the facts about human CO2. What you said needed to be said here, to prevent WUWT being used to unintentionally promote AGW.

      • “It is the radical left who, since Hitler and his Brownshirts, have beaten down the right of others to speak.”

        I am very pleased that someone else besides me recognizes that these leftists are also fascists. No if we could only get Anthony Watts and others to stop calling them “liberals”. “Liberal” is rooted in “liberty”. Leftists don’t believe in liberty, especially ours. They are not “progressive” either, they are regressive as they wish to take away our freedoms and return us to authoritarian control.

  2. About time our Universities threw off the yoke of oppressive PC liberals trying to censor those who do not agree with them.

    PMK

  3. The true irony was Mann claiming that Pielke threatened him with legal action. How many years has Mann been dodging discovery in his two lawsuits?

    • Good question. Mark Steyn needs a “countup” clock on his site showing how many days Mann has been avoiding process, and how many days it has taken the DC courts to actually take up — let alone decide — the simple question of whether a 270-word article published July 2012 is defamatory.

  4. If nothing else comes about, the Election of Trump will allow the crimes and unethical behavior in the Podesta emails to be exposed and published. Many will not read or listen to them, but they will not follow Clinton’s 30k emails into a black hole.

      • One small Australian journalist, stuck in 2 rooms in the middle of London, has the entire American Democratic machine cowering in fear.
        Talk about punching above your weight…

      • Indeed, Marcus (glad you are still here:) ) and Felflames.

        Australia (real Australia, the liberty-loving, sharp-thinking, goodhearted, Australia) can be proud of Julian Assange. If one word could be chosen to sum up all that it took to make Australia the great nation it is and all that it takes today to live and thrive there, that word would be

        COURAGE.

      • As a resident of another Oz once said, ” Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?”

        “Courage!”

  5. Does CU receive central government funding that might just disappear if they pursue so-called “deniers” or allow them to be castigated by outside forces”? We might see other universities subtly changing tack if they sense the gravy train hits the buffers.
    Can only open this CU site http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/SeaLevel/ just now, but perhaps we will see a revision taking the satellite observations closer to the NOAA gauges used before satellite info became available when Cruz or Smith gets round to holding enquiries into adjustments to sea level records. I note that they state “adjusted tide gauge data”. Might we see NOAA re-adjusting their adjustments as well unless CU adjusted NOAA’s adjustments. The mind boggles at the complications. We need Tony Heller to come up with the original data.

  6. Sometimes, a seemingly powerful and enduring institution will collapse with no obvious warning. One can only hope the green blob follows the example of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

  7. It is long past time for academics who are serious about the health of the academy to stand up to the “social justice warriors” who are not after justice, are not warriors but bullies, and are more sociopathic and social.

  8. “adding that Pielke confirmed that he received no funding from the oil and gas industry.”
    And funding from federal and state sources and programs are as clean as ever, and could never influence the researcher in any way?
    It must be nature that forces all reports to refer to climate change even if the subject has nothing to do with that.

    • You mean Nature the journal? The New Scientist Magazine has had that policy for ages. IT is the main reason I stopped reading it after 40 continuous years. It was imply unbearable to have the “climate agenda” thrown into literally every single article on every subject.

      If you mean ‘nature’ there are two aspects: one hand washes the other, and knowing which side of the bread is buttered.

      • All three for me too. I used to love them. Even Popular Mechanics is in on it. They had an article on how they moved a lighthouse. Really cool! There was erosion over the years so it had to be moved. Not one single mention of climate change in the whole article. On the cover? “Think Climate Change isn’t Real? Ask the guys that moved a lighthouse.” Discover magazine was also one that I used to enjoy too but it’s a real green POS now. When I do read that it’s purely to see how many times they can work in ‘climate change’. Answer? A boatload.

    • Since when is it a crime to get funding from any industry to do Research? Are we living under Communistic rules as to who can fund research?

  9. Well, Veterans Day (Remembrance Day, in Canada) appears to be going completely unmentioned here at WUWT.

    So! To commemorate the day we set aside to remember and to honor all those whose sacrifice of time, of effort, and of, in some cases, their very lives,

    a photo of a teenage boy who personifies all that is GOOD about America.

    Arek Trenholm, October 12, 2016 (photo by his uncle, Myron Legget)

    Patriotism lives! #(:))

    And veteran’s lives mattered
    and matter.

    “God, bless America, land that I love.”
    Irving Berlin, Jewish American patriot

      • grr — sorry for the unfinished sentence above — “whose sacrifice … {made this wonderful blog possible} …”

    • Thank you, Janice, for posting that inspiring photo!
      Great to hear the story behind it as well. Our Veterans of the United States Armed Forces are the very Foundation of Freedom & Liberty.
      Now they can get back to their chosen task instead of the Climate “war”.

      • Oh, Mr. Davis, you are very welcome. Thanks for saying so. It was my pleasure! Yes! In! Deed!
        And thanks, Joe Crawford and Paul H, for the affirmation.

    • +100
      I’m a proud father who can say that my teenage son, who’s an Air Cadet here in the UK, is marching in uniform on Sunday in honour of the fallen.

      He wants to enter the RAF when he finishes college, and I know he’ll do a damn good job. What more could a father want?

      (Oh, and he thinks CAGW is complete bunk!)

      • Thanks for sharing that rousingly good news about your fine son, Mr. Smith. I’m smiling as I picture a son marching tomorrow, chin up, shoulders back, determined to protect and serve all that is right. And my smile widens as I see also his proud dad, standing on the sidewalk, cheering him on. Very COOL!!! :)

      • And, thank YOU, Mr. MacRae, for sharing that movingly meaningful poem. It is nice to see that someone took the time to remember the day.

        Anthony used to note days like Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and the 4th of July on WUWT. I think he has stopped doing that because of all the vicious, snarling, abuse from the small-minded whose understanding isn’t broad enough to embrace the fact that we can BOTH have a political or patriotic point of view AND be accurate scientifically. I wish Anthony would just tell those socialists (or whoever it was) or anti-patriots to go jump in a lake and just be HIMSELF (a deeply patriotic man).

        Just FYI: We in the U.S.A. celebrate BOTH Veterans Day (on November 11, also known as Armistice Day, 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month) and Memorial Day (in May). We like to remember around here. :) (we also like 3-day weekends, heh, so we have traditionally observed those days on a Friday or Monday).

      • @Janice – I used to think that we (the US) had a lot of Holidays. That changed when I started working for a multi-national company and found out the US is a bunch of pikers when it comes to holidays!!! The Philippines has 30, but the king of holidays is Thailand with 36!

        Every other country has at least 18 and most more than 20 (versus about 12 for the US).

    • Janice
      Thanks for your remembrance of remembrance day! We live in Belgium and today I took our 3 daughters to see the Tyne Cot war grave of thousands of British, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, South African, West Indian, French and German soldiers who died there at the huge battle of Passchendale in WW1. They began to appreciate the price that was paid for the freedom that led to YouTube, Google and Facebook. And to elections where one is free to vote in privacy for unconventional candidates.

      http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/85900/TYNE%20COT%20MEMORIAL

      • Thank you for sharing that beautiful thing that Belgium has done and is doing (so carefully maintained, that says something….). Never again. Never. Again. IF — we keep up a strong defense (via Patriot missiles and the like). Peace through strength. Your daughters have a fine parent in you to be sure they went there.

    • Stand beside her and guide her
      Through the night with a light from above.

      Son of a vet, grandson of a vet, brother-in-law of a vet, nephew of a vet, father of an active duty Navy man, OCS, think he’s an LT now; stationed in the Pacific somewhere.

      • Thank you (on behalf of ALL of us grateful Americans, I daresay!) for all that your family has given to keep our country FREE. And to do so much to promote the freedom of peoples around the world — even though that sometimes means the freedom to crank up their loudspeakers and call us names. And may God keep your son — AREN’T YOU SO PROUD OF HIM! :) — safe.

        (singing antiphonally back at you)

        …. from the mountains,
        to the prairies,
        to the oceans white with foam,
        God, bless America,
        my home sweet home.

  10. And we need to point out again that the “Center for American Progress” which sponsored ThinkProgress was founded and run by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. And Joe Romm, who ran ClimateProgress, is a long time employee of ThinkProgress/Center for American Progress.

    To put it simply, THIS IS/WAS A DIRECT PART OF THE CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN! ALWAYS HAS BEEN!!!

    That’s why it’s astounding to see people wonder why we have to talk about politics. The entire ISSUE is political!!! The warmists have not just been advanced by the left, they have been PAID and ORGANIZED by the Clinton Campaign, in the person of John Podesta!

    On the bright side, I think you may see the entire movement in the US fly apart pretty quickly now that the campaign is over. Hillary certainly has no reason to keep pumping any of her hard earned tens of millions into it, and I very much doubt she will.

  11. Global warming (climate change) has lost all its political value — in fact, it is a negative. Black Lies Matter will also soon disappear now that the election is over as did Occupy Wall Street when the previous election was over.

    It was interesting to watch Leftest, who live in their bubble, fund “movements” that actually created Trump voters. Black Lies Matter was worth a couple million votes for Trump. The snowflakes on college campuses were worth a couple million more. Black Lies Matter and “snowflakes” probably created the margin of victory for Trump. He could not have won without them.

    Eugene WR Gallun

    • I think a lot of people just got tired of being called ‘racist’ because they don’t agree with the left. Now we see their true colors. That’s all they have left. It’s fun watching the snowflakes meltdown.

      • I find their behavior disgusting and disturbing. They are, at least in part, the result of a failed, progressive, educational system in America. And that system will continue to turn out students like these until it is reformed and teachers and professors held accountable for what they teach. I mean REAL history (the good, the bad, and the ugly), REAL science, and REAL math.

  12. Dear Moderator,

    The timestamp on WUWT has been one hour ahead since midnight, November 7th, 2016.

    Just FYI :)

    Janice

    • Okay. A test of the WUWT time stamp (along with a correction to my above comment to the mod: “November 6th“).

      The time is now approx. 8:41PM, PST

  13. It is more something from ‘The Onion’ than a real action.
    A researcher was forced to abandon his field after vicious harassment and years later the powers that be affirm that students and faculty ‘must have complete freedom to study, to learn, to do research and to communicate the results of these pursuits to others’. No redress, no apology, no safeguard to keep this kind of mobbing from happening again.
    When the budgets for ‘higher education’, if you can call it that, get slashed, these ‘leaders’ and their minions should not be surprised.

  14. Hmm. What am I missing here? CU comes out with this statement supporting “academic freedom” two days AFTER an election with results which portend major changes in the way they do business and how they get their funding and thus which threatens the status quo within academia. And this is something to celebrate? Seems like boiler plate being erected for the battles they know are to come. I am thinking that Dr. Pielke is not mentioned by name because this statement is not about him. It is about trying to protect the funding of the status quo within the university from what they see coming. Name those at CU that came to the defense of Dr. Pielke and his work at the time that it mattered!

    • It’s not even that. If you read the letter you will see they are not really apologizing or saying they will change. Only a gruber will trust them, but there are plenty of grubers, just look at how many voted for the criminal HRC.

  15. The timing of this uplifting declaration on freedom at the University demonstrates the complete self-interested crassness of this broken institution. I’m sure their “safe places” are filled to bulging by simpering, lefty, designer-brained, core subject flagellated student-lite, bedwetters after this ‘politically incorrect’ election.

    This walk back by the regents at UC is part of the end game. We will (hopefully) see the entire politically corrupted educational sector scrambling to save themselves. Over half the students in universities should not be there in the first place and half the fluffy faculties that have been part of the great dumbing down will have to go. One could say the regents don’t know the half of what needs to be done. Bandaid pronouncements won’t cut it.

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