[1/4/17] ETHAN HUFF– The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is the latest government agency to be exposed for putting politics over principle after it was revealed that a top DOE scientist was fired simply for telling the truth about climate change. Reports indicate that Noelle Metting was basically canned by the Obama administration when she was caught answering questions from a legislative committee honestly, which apparently is a major no-no when it comes to anything related to climate change policy.
The so-called “Climate Action Plan” put forth by Barack Obama has certain goals attached to it that, regardless of their scientific merit, must be met in order for the agenda to move forward. Achieving these goals requires scientists like Metting to first conform to the agenda, then provide “scientific evidence” to back policy proposals that will help move it forward, something that Metting apparently failed to achieve on behalf of the White House.
According to The Daily Caller, Metting was asked certain questions by the House Science, Space and Technology and Senate Energy and Natural Resources committees back in 2014, to which she responded honestly. These questions pertained to pending climate legislation that a congressional committee investigation found the DOE was trying to kill, regardless of what science had to say on the matter.
What was revealed is that Metting was essentially punished for not towing the DOE line, refusing to conform to what the investigatory body found to be “predetermined remarks” by the DOE. Instead, she provided “candid and complete information” as any legitimate scientist would, which simply wasn’t acceptable in the eyes of the Obama administration.
“Instead of providing the type of scientific information needed by Congress to legislate effectively, senior departmental officials sought to hide information, lobbied against legislation, and retaliated against a scientist for being forthcoming,” Science, Space and Technology committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, said in a statement about the matter.
“The DOE’s actions constitute a reckless and calculated attack on the legislative process itself, which undermines the power of Congress to legislate. DOE’s disregard for separation of powers is … an institutional problem that must be corrected.”
Will scientific truth once again prevail under Donald Trump?
It is certainly a sad state of affairs in the United States when scientists acting on behalf of the public interest are bullied into suppressing the truth in order to push a political agenda. In this case, that agenda is climate change policies that aim to further control the lives of ordinary people under the guise of “protecting the environment.”
For folks like Metting, telling the truth is now a consequential offense punishable by a retaliatory firing — at least for the rest of Obama’s term. Many are hopeful that under a Trump administration, truth might once again prevail in the realm of science in the public interest, though that remains to be seen.
This type of scenario — the truth being actively suppressed in order to push an agenda — is something with which Americans have had to grow uncomfortably familiar. Whether it takes place at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or some other lettered agency, it has become commonplace for politics to trump truth, for special interests to overtake the public interest.
This could all change in the coming years, but only time will tell. In the meantime, recognizing the problem and informing the public about it is the best way to bring about real and fundamental change. Telling the truth shouldn’t cost you your job, especially when that job is simply to inform Congress about the facts of something in order to help steer policy for the betterment of all people.