The Met Office, Britain's national weather service, "has embarked on an urgent exercise to bolster the reputation of climate-change science" in the wake of a whistle-blower's revelation of widespread misconduct by climate scientists, London's Times reports:More than 1,700 scientists have agreed to sign a statement defending the "professional integrity" of global warming research. They were responding to a round-robin request from the Met Office, which has spent four days collecting signatures. . . .
One scientist told The Times he felt under pressure to sign. "The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of only appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views on man-made global warming," he said.
The concept of scientists--or journalists, or artists--signing a petition is ludicrous. The idea is that they are lending their authority to whatever cause the petition represents--but in fact they are undermining that authority, which is based on the presumption that they think for themselves.
The problem with the petition as a form is also a problem with the Met Office petition's substance. The purpose of the petition is to shore up scientists' authority by vouching for their integrity. But signing a loyalty oath under pressure from the government is itself a corrupt act. Anyone who signs this petition thereby raises doubts about his own integrity. And once again, the question arises: Why should any layman regard global warmism as credible when the "consensus" rests on political machinations, statistical tricks and efforts to suppress alternative hypotheses?
To be sure, Joseph McCarthy was right about communism even though the ways he combated it were wrong and counterproductive. But that's all the more reason that honest scientists who view global warmism as credible--if such creatures exist--should rise up against these McCarthyite tactics.