Yesterday, as I was perusing Steve’s new site, I saw where, once again, political correctness had run amok against the skeptic camp. Its latest victim was Dr. Pat Michaels. Apparently, our friend Joe Romm received a draft of a Forbes article written by Dr. Pat Michaels. Which stated, in part, “It is doubtful that Irene will even cough up eight bodies,……”
Dr. Michaels stopped by and commented on Steve’s site. Here’s what he said about it…..
“The odd part here is that the forbes.com text does not include what Romm said it did. Here is what’s there:
A day later, the smart money is still riding a very Gloria-like track, but with a cyclone that will be weaker than projected (and hopefully kill fewer than the eight people who died in Gloria) though power outages east of where the center makes landfall (probably on Long Island) may be extensive.
Draft text did have the “cough up bodies statement”. I am wondering if somehow a draft was leaked onto the internet. I am having Forbes look into it as I write this.
Apparently, Anthony hadn’t seen that. And, he included this event in his Scientists and activists behaving badly post.
This prompted Dr. Michaels to e-mail this statement.
“While the text was in fact changed, the original was over the top. As anyone in this business knows, sometimes we don’t proof ourselves very well and say things that are hurtful, and that is not good and requires an apology to those unfairly hurt, which I offer sincerely. I will try to be more careful in the future, and I hope to have learned from this.”
– Pat Michaels (via email)
My goodness! Has it come to this?
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. —— Friedrich Nietzsche
Dr. Michaels has carried the skeptic torch as long as anyone. All of the skeptics of any note became notable only because they had to audacity to utter unsanctioned words. Steve McIntyre, Dr. Michaels, Dr. Spencer, Dr. Lindzen, Steve Mosher,…. the list goes on. In one form or another they have all been subject to the censorship PC brings us. This includes Anthony Watts. Have we fought so long to be able to utter unmentionable words that we’ve now engage in the same manner? Have we fought the monster so long that we’ve become one of the same? Should Dr. Michaels be made felt compelled to apologize for using the words “cough up” in this context? I think not. What was little noted, was that the article did not contain that phraseology, but rather it was in a draft not meant for public consumption.
Just to be clear, I’m not stating anyone should be angry at anyone for anything. The people mentioned, Dr. Michaels and Anthony have done a great service to society in ways that can never be measured. This is just a reminder of the admonishment Nietzsche left with us. We should take great care to not become what we’ve fought so hard against. In exchanging thoughts and ideas, we mustn’t limit our expressiveness to only approved vernacular. To limit expressiveness limits the ideas one can communicate. To place such constraints limits our ability to understand and exchange knowledge.
Best wishes to all,