Environmentalists vs. whistleblowers

By June 21, 2012

Because of his disagreements with colleagues and members of the California Air Resources Board, a UCLA professor has resorted to suing the school to keep his job of 35 years.

Strong disagreements had taken place over the extent to which certain air pollutants affect public health. Adam Kissel, vice president of programs for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), says the final straw was when Dr. James Enstrom blew the whistle concerning the deceit of a member of the department.

"The environmental regulation machine is very powerful in California, and it has come after a professor who has challenged the science and the math behind the science that has caused regulation to be very expensive for Californians," Kissel explains. "And that’s the bottom line."

Though the issue may not seem to interest most Americans, the FIRE vice president encourages the public to keep an eye on this case.

"It’s a case that people should be following around the whole country," he contends, "because what happens to skeptics and to censors at UCLA is something that can happen to scientists all over the country and cause every state to have misguided policies that are based on politicized science."

The American Center for Law & Justice has filed a lawsuit [PDF] on Enstrom’s behalf.

Schools: University of California, Los Angeles