Filling in for George Noory, John B. Wells (email) welcomed space historian Robert Zimmerman, in the first half of the program, for a discussion about Climategate and other science-related issues. Zimmerman contended that Climategate was the "perfect example" of scientists distorting data to come to conclusions that were preferable to their research community. He pointed to money as the key factor which drove Climategate, since climate research is fueled by multi-billion dollar grants issued from various governments around the world. Additionally, Zimmerman surmised that misplaced "good intentions" have clouded the judgement of climate researchers who are adamant that global warming is an imminent danger to the planet.
Regarding the aftermath of the controversy, Zimmerman lamented that, rather than punish the scientists involved in the disputed findings, the research community "spent the next two years whitewashing those scientists that had committed that fraud." He called this turn of event the "biggest tragedy" of the scandal, since it undermines the public trust in not only the climate research community, but also the scientific establishment as a whole. Chillingly, Zimmerman warned that, in light of our culture's overhwelming reliance on science as a foundation for human knowledge, "if we don't trust our scientists or they become untrustworthy, then we're in big trouble."
Going forward, Zimmerman shared some solutions for fixing the damaged reputation of climate research. He first suggested expunging the scientists responsible for perpetrating the controversial findings from the climate research community. Beyond that, he called for an end to the United States' funding of the UN climate change research as well as stricter distribution of government funded grants to independent scientists. He also said that greater transparency is needed from climate researchers, who have been reticent to share their raw data in the past. Ultimately, he called on the media to do a better job of investigating the claims of climate researchers. To that end, he expressed dismay that much of the press has seemingly supported the embattled scientists and, even worse, appears to have not even read the complex leaked e-mails which began the scandal.
The latter half of the program was devoted to Open Lines and featured spirited discussion on the Occupy Wall Street movement as well as callers discussing UFOs, ancient astronauts, and chemtrails. Jeremy in Minnesota told his story of seeing a UFO which he described as a "bright shining light" with a tail pointing east. He claimed the object hovered for over four hours and left him baffled as to what it was. Later, Tom in Santa Rosa talked about the Occupy Wall Street movement and suggested the US government adopt "mandatory criminal charges for reckless corporations." Ronnie in Denver shared his concerns over chemtrails and said that he has seen them sprayed over the city in grid formations everyday for the last nine months.
After striking a pose for an amateur photographer, Samuel, a gibbon living in England's Bristol Zoo, saw his portrait claim first prize in a competition held by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The remarkable picture was captured by photographer Anna Francis, who eschews digital photography in favor of simple black and white photos taken with her old 35mm camera. More on the story at New Scientist.
Bumper music from Friday November 25, 2011