Archive for January 11th, 2010


Whistleblower Inducements

January 11, 2010

Now that the semester is kicking back into gear, I’m finally digging out of my backlog, reading through old blogs and catching up on all the delicious bad reasoning that I’ve missed. I just got a fantastic kick out of this bit of pipe-dreamery from James Delingpole.

Delingpole seems to think that because the US has a law rewarding whistleblowers handsomely for blowing whistles, that therefore this will spell doom and disaster for Michael Mann and most of the climate researchers in the United States. (I’m giving benefit of doubt to Delingpole that this law exists. I’m not a lawyer. I have no idea if it exists. If it does, it’s a pretty serious law. Yay, millions of bucks for simply saying that your colleagues have done something dishonest with federal funds. You don’t even need to prove it!)

I suppose only time will tell on this one, but it seems to me that precisely because the US has this law, if nobody comes forward, then we have yet one more very strong reason to trust the research. Namely, with all that cabbage hanging out on a Deling’s fishingpole, no takers either means no trickery or that there is some seriously rich and nefarious Lex Luthor character pulling strings at Penn State. Delingpole is just hoping beyond hope that someone will come forward and claim the money because he believes that there is criminal chicanery going on.

Perhaps the appropriate counter-challenge is due: if nobody steps up to claim the money, might we stop this silly charade and STFU?